The skilfull'st Physiognomers, who Scan
Each line and wrinkle in the face of man,
Can tell no more what Soules dwell there, then wee
By Seing Stars can tell what Angels be.
Then ask not at the door who 'tis: if so,
This Shadow cannot tell thee. Read and know.

A Generall Martyrologie, CONTAINING A COLLECTION Of all the greatest PERSECUTIONS which have befallen the CHURCH OF CHRIST From the Creation to our present Times, Both in England and all other Nations.

Whereunto are added two and twenty LIVES OF ENGLISH Modern Divines, Famous in their Generations for Learning and Piety, and most of them great Sufferers in the Cause of CHRIST.

As also the Life of the Heroical Admiral of France, slain in the Parisian Massacre, and of Joane Queen of Navar, poisoned a little before.

By Sa. Clarke, Pastor in Bennet Fink, London.

The second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged; having the two late Perse­cutions inserted: the one in Piemont: the other in Poland.

PSAL. 44.22.

For thy sake are we ki [...]led all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nihil crus se [...]tit in nervo, cum animus est in caelo,


Printed by Tho. Ratcliffe, for [...] and [...] in Saint Pauls Church-yard, near the little North-door. MDCLX.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER; Especially to the suffering Saints in these three Nations.

Christian Reader.

THou hast here presented to thy view that strange sight which so much astonished Mo­ses, Exod. 8.3. A bush burning with fire, and not consumed: A lively Emblem of the Church, oft times all on a light flame with the fire of Persecution,Sanguis Martyrum semen Eccle­siae. and yet so far from being con­sumed, that The bloud of the Martyrs proves the seed of the Church: And indeed she is the only, and true Salamander, that can live in the fire: Yet this, not by any strength of her own, but because the Angel of the Covenant, even the Lord Jesus Christ is in the bush, either to slack the fire, or to strengthen the bush, and make it incombustible. In this Book thou mai­est see, as in a Mirrour, what hath been the lot and portion of the Church and people of God from the Creation hitherto, viz. Act. 14.22. Through many tribulations to enter into the kingdom of hea­ven. Here thou hast a certaine and infallible mark of the true Church of Christ, viz. To be hated and persecuted by the De­vil and his instruments. Here thou maiest see what is the con­stant concommitant of the Gospel, when it is received in the love and power of it, viz. Persecution, according to that of the Apostle, Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, 1 Thes. 1.4. having received the word in much affliction, &c. Neither yet is God an hard Master in dealing thus with his faithfull servants. He knows that heavy afflictions are the best benefactors to heavenly affections: and that grace is hid in nature [Page] here, as sweet water in rose leaves, which must have the fire of affliction put under to distill it out. He knows that when afflictions hang heaviest, corrupt affections hang loosest upon his children. Yet doth not the Lord afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men, to crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth:Lam. 3.33, 34 but he will hereby try who are his indeed and in truth, not in name and profession only: For as the Eagle tries her young ones by turning their faces to the sun beams, so those Christians that can outface the sun of Persecution, are sincere indeed.

One thing is very remarkable in this History, that usually before any great Persecution befell the Church, the holy men of those times observed that there was some great decay of zeal, and of the power of godliness, or some mutuall conten­tions and quarrels amongst the people of God, or some such sin or other that provoked God against them; and then, as the shepherd sets his dog upon his sheep, when they go a­stray to bring them in, and then rates him off again: So God lets loose wicked Persecutors upon his own children, but it's only to bring them in unto him; and then, he not only re­strains their rage, but casts the rod into the fire. If judgement begin at the house of God, Isa. 10.12. 1 Pet. 4.17. what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? Much excellent use may be made of this History: As, teaching us,

1 That whosoever will take Christ truly, must take his Crosse as well as his Crown, his Sufferings as well as his Sal­vation.

2 That persecution is the bellows of the Gospel, blowing every spark into a flame; and that Martyrs ashes are the best compost to manure the Church, their bloud to water it, and make it fertill.

3 That Gods children are like Starres, that shine brightest in the darkest night: Like Torches that are the better for beating: Like Grapes that come not to the proof, till they come to the presse: Likes Spices, that smell sweetest, when pounded: Like young Trees, that root the faster for shaking: Like Vines, that are the better for bleeding: Like Gold, that [Page] looks the brighter for scouring. Like Glow worms, that shine best in the dark: Like Juniper that smels sweetest in the fire: Like the Pomander, which becomes more fragrant for chafing: Like the Palm tree, which proves the better for pressing: Like the Camomile, which the more you tread it, the more you spread it. Yea God knoweth that we are best, when we are worst, and live holiest, when we die fastest; and therefore he frames his dealing to our disposition, seeking ra­ther to profit, then to please us.

That when God exposeth us to Persecution, he expects our 4 speedy and thorow Reformation, if we desire the affliction to be removed. For as it were to no purpose for the Finer to put his gold into the fire, except it lie there till it be re­fined: So were it to small purpose for God to lay afflictions on us, if so soon as we whine and groan under his hand, he should remove them, before we be bettered thereby. Whereas afflictions, like Lots Angels, will soon away, when they have done their errand. Like plaisters, when the sore is once whole, they will fall off of their own acco [...]d.

That we should with patience submit to the afflicting 5 hand of the all wise God, and our mercifull Father, saying with the Church, I will bear the indignation of the Lord, be­cause I have sinned against himMicha 7.9. Considering also that impa­tience under affliction, makes it much more grievous. As a man in a feaver, that by tossing and tumbling, exasperates the disease, and encreaseth his own grief.

That all that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer perse­cution. 6 It hath been the portion of all the Saints,1 Tim. 3.12 from the cre­ation hitherto. What son is there whom the Father chasteneth not? One son indeed God had without sin,Heb. 12.7. but not without sorrow; for though Christ his naturall Son, was sine corrupti­one, without corruption, yet not sine correctione, without cor­rection; though he was sine flagitio, with out crime, yet not sine flagello, without a scourge. And if they did these things to the green tree, what shall be done to the dry? And behold the wonderfull wisdom of God herein? who by these afflictions separates the sinne that hates, from the son that he loves,Luk. 23.31. [Page] and keeps him by these thorns from breaking over into Satans pleasant pastures, that would fat him indeed, but to the slaughter.

In an Appendix to this Book, I have added the Lives of sun­dry of our Modern Divines, which I conceive not to be hete­rogeniall to the rest of the Work; for though they were not Martyrs, yet may they well be stiled Confessors, in regard of the great Persecution and Sufferings, which most of them met withall whilest they lived here. And if any ask the rea­son why I have added no more? It is because my intelligence comes in so slowely; and if such as are able, will take the pains to inform me, I shall (if God spares life) adde more to the end of the next impression of my Lives of the Fathers, and modern Divines. I hope that these my weak and poor endea­vours will not prove ungratefull, nor be judged unseasona­ble, considering the times wherein we live: For if the same sins abound amongst us in these daies, which have been the forerunners of persecutions formerly;Praemonitus praemunitus. we have cause to fear the worst, and to prepare for it; Forewarnd, forearmed. The reading of this History will manifest what wonderfull constancy and patience the Saints have shewed in their greatest sufferings: what hath been the power of Almighty God in their support: and what miserable ends many of their Persecutors have come to. My hearty desire is, That by reading of this Book, God may have the glory, and thy soul the comfort, and I shall be well appaied for my pains, Who am,

Thine in the Lord SA. CLARKE.



Thomas Dugard. A. M. Rector Barfordiae.


Tho. Dugard.

To the Reverend, the Author of the Book, CALLED A Generall Martyrologie, &c.

WHat? yet more Books? what spirit now inspires
Your Pen to write of Torments, Warres and Fires?
What? Will that Pen that drew to th' Life before,
Change stile, draw Death, and speak of Life no more?
What blustering Boreas rais'd these stormy Windes,
Which blew down Churches, shook the steddiest Mindes,
Sure Hell's broke loose, and Devils in the flesh
Are come out thence to try their wits afresh.
Who ever heard Troy's story with his ears,
And could restrain his eies from shedding tears?
I quake to hear what Saints in former daies
Ne're shook to feel, so they might win the Baies.
They conquer'd all; Their patient disposition,
O're came both Pope, and Spanish Inquisition.
They conquer'd Kings, and won the Crown at last;
Prest towards the Prize, forgetting what was past.
The Story's sad; 'tis true, yet the Authors skill
Hath made that pleasant which in't self is ill.
Away long-winded Volumes, Times disease;
This Author doth our phansies better please.
Large Books are endlesse; but 'tis his design
T'enclose great Volumes in his single Line.
Eli. Awn:

To the Reverend Mr. Sa. Clarke, ON HIS MARTYROLOGIE.

OH, Welcome home, Divine Drake, welcome home,
First girdle of the World of Martyrdome.
Who seeks for more, can no new thing descry,
Y' have left no room for new discovery.
These Maps and Charts you bring, nay every letter
Makes you the worlds great Patron, it your Debtor.
To call't a Map doth but a Part imply,
'Tis the whole Globe of Martyrologie.
Each Picture is a Map, each Figure breaths
A little hist'ry of the Martyrs deaths.
Pisgah's too farre to see the Holy-Land,
Stand here on Calvary, and view't at hand.
Let others brag at large, whose fancy 'tis
To say A SAINT by a Periphrasis.
Who doth this Book of yours with theirs confer,
Findes Saint and Martyr in one Character.
Though (some there be) that differ from the rest
In judgement, and account short-writting best:
Those I am sure will praise you when they eye
Your skill in Tachyhagiography.
Th'are many words make Volumes, do but look
And you shall see 'tis matter makes a Book.
All Volumes of this Subject here are set
As't were contracted in an Alphabet.
In characters, for brevity, 'tis good
That Vowels be by Cons'nants understood.
The least is best, if no essentiall be
Wanting to make't a perfect Entitie.
Man's but the World Epitomiz'd, but this
Compendium of Saints and Martyrs is.
Its commendation is it self, 'tis best
Though't were without this my Probatum est.
J. C.

A Table of the Names of all those Martyrs that are mentioned in this book.

  • ABel Pag. 1
  • Aber 21
  • Achaz 22
  • Achilleus 36
  • J. Addis 385
  • Aegidio 257
  • Agathonica 39
  • Agapetus 48
  • Agatha 51
  • Agathon 52
  • Agnes 77
  • Agricol [...] 75
  • Aimeri 147
  • Alcibiades 44
  • Alexander 36, 49
  • Algerius 270
  • Aloisius 271
  • Ammonarion 51
  • Andas 81
  • Anthimus 64
  • Andoclus 47
  • Andrew 29
  • G.J. Annick 303
  • Anthea 36
  • Apollonia 51
  • Apollonius 45
  • Areth 22
  • Arias 254
  • Arnald 263
  • Antemìus 83
  • Armand 422
  • Asclepiades 47
  • Asyrius 59
  • Athanasia 75
  • Athanasius 85
  • Attalus 41
  • A. Audebert 320
  • Austin 290
  • BAbilas Pag. 49
  • J. Baker 261
  • Barbara 78
  • Barlaam 75
  • Bartholomew 75, 301
  • Baudison 293
  • Isa. Beard 390
  • de Beck 317
  • Benjamin 81
  • Bergerius 322
  • M. Bertino 422
  • Bertrand 292
  • D. Berto 361
  • Betkin 305
  • Biblides 42
  • de Bile 193
  • Blandina 41
  • Blondel 320
  • J. de Boisons 268
  • B. Bor 340
  • J. de Boscane 301
  • F. de Bossu 350
  • Bovellus 271
  • A. du Bourg 328
  • F. Bribard 318
  • P. Bruly 289
  • S. Brunes 317
  • W. Burgate 261
  • W. Burges ib.
  • N. Burton 260
  • CAcalla 235
  • Calepodius 48
  • Ja. Calvin 338
  • Campbel 351
  • A. Canus 316
  • [Page] de Cadurco. 316
  • G. Carpenter. 283
  • Carpus. 39
  • Jo. Castellane. 316
  • Cecilia. 47
  • Cheremon. 51
  • P. Chapot. 319
  • Charlin. 135
  • Chober. 195
  • J. Clarke. 315
  • Claudius. 317, 321
  • N. Clivet. 326
  • J. Cobard. 318
  • V. Cockan. 194
  • Concordus. 40
  • C. Conink. 297
  • Constantino. 258
  • Martha Constantine 421
  • J. Coomans. 302
  • B. Copin. 131
  • J. Cornon. 317
  • P. Coulogue. 305
  • J. Cowder. 351
  • H. Cowell. 391
  • Cronion. 50
  • Cyprian. 56
  • Cyrillus. 84
  • M. DImonet. 322
  • Dionysius. 35
  • Dionysia. 51, 98
  • Dominicus. 266
  • Domitius. 83
  • P. Domo. 337
  • Dorotheus. 64
  • P. Dorzeky. 193
  • R. ECklin. 391
  • Eleazer. 19
  • Elutherius. 36
  • Emilianus. 83
  • Encenas. 264
  • J. English. 319
  • Enraudus. 108
  • Epimachus. 51
  • J. Eseh. 278
  • Eulalia. 76
  • Eusebius. 45, 88
  • Eustachius. 36
  • Eustratius. 64
  • J FAber. 293
  • C. Fabri. 290
  • Fabian. 49
  • Faninus. 264
  • Faustinus. 36
  • Felicitas. 39, 47
  • Ferdinando. 251
  • H. Forrest. 378
  • T. Forret. 365
  • Mr. Fournier. 331
  • Mis. Frankland. 384
  • Fructuosus. 59
  • M. Fruen. 197
  • F. GAmba. 270
  • E. Garcino. 422
  • W. Gardiner. 275
  • C. Gauderin. 303
  • P. Gaudet. [...]16
  • George. 76
  • Germanicus. 39
  • Gervasius. 35
  • Glee. 335
  • C. Girard. 115
  • Girauda. 147
  • Gisbitzky. 197
  • Godfrid. 293
  • J. Gonsalvo. 250
  • M. Gonin. 317
  • Gordius. 73
  • Gorgonius. 64
  • N. Gourlay. 364
  • Granvelle. 326
  • P. HAmilton 363
  • P. Hamlin. 324
  • L. Harant. 192
  • B. Hector. 118
  • Hermes. 36
  • Hermogines. 76
  • [Page] Herwin. 299
  • An. Hill. 385
  • Hipolitus. 49
  • W. Hooker. 261
  • Hormisda. 81
  • M. Hostialek. 196
  • Hostius. 291
  • Mis. Howard. 384
  • Hubert. 320
  • de Hues. 302
  • J. Huglin. 283
  • J. Husse. 170
  • W. Husson. 318
  • IAcob. 23
  • St. James. 27
  • James Justus. 29
  • N. of Jenvile. 324
  • Jerome of Prague 170
  • Jessenius. 195
  • J. Insperg. 286
  • Jobita. 36
  • John Bap. 26
  • John. 75
  • Irenaeus. 47
  • Isaiah. 4
  • Ischirion. 51
  • Judas Mac. 17, 21
  • Judas brother of James. 29
  • Julius. 45
  • Julianus. 50
  • Julitta. 78
  • Juliano. 251
  • Justin Martyr. 39, 44
  • C. KAplitz. 292
  • A. Kennedy. 366
  • L. Keyser. 284
  • J. Kutnaur. 196
  • S. LAloe. 322
  • La-moth. 337
  • Laurence. 56
  • de Lavoy. 317
  • Leonides. 46
  • J. Leon. 252
  • Lin. 386
  • Lollard. 165
  • M. Loquis. 172
  • C. Losada. 253
  • Will. Loverden. 386
  • Lucianus 69
  • Lucius. 40
  • Ludomilla. 168
  • MAcer 50
  • Maccabeus 20
  • Machir 21
  • Malchus 58
  • Mappalicus 54
  • Marchus Arethusius 83
  • Marcella 46
  • Mark 30
  • Marinus 59
  • Maris 84
  • Marlorat 336
  • Martin 287, 296.
  • Martina 48
  • Mr. Jo. Mason 350
  • P. Masson 136
  • Tho. Mason 383
  • Mathew 29
  • Mathias ib.
  • Maturus 41
  • Mauritius 67
  • J. Maxwell 388, 391
  • Menas 74
  • Mercuria 51
  • T. Messino 361
  • Metra 51
  • Metrodorus 39
  • L. Meulin 303
  • G. de Meyer 304
  • M. Michelot 319
  • Midleton 382
  • W. Mill 378
  • P. Moice 289
  • Montgemery 390
  • J. Mollius 268
  • N. NAile 323
  • Nemesion 51
  • Nereus 36
  • Nicanor 30
  • Nicholas 285
  • Nicholson 389
  • L. of OBiers 352
  • Oguire 293
  • L. Hen. Otto 193
  • PAmachius 48
  • Pamphilus 63
  • Pampinian 91
  • J. Panane 316
  • Papilus 39
  • Paul 29, 31, 87
  • Peregrinus 85
  • Perpetua 47
  • Persival 286
  • Pescinus 165
  • Peter 31, 49, 64, 65, 69
  • Philip 29, 48
  • Phocas 36
  • Photinus 46
  • M. Pierrone 356
  • M. Pilot 422
  • Pionies 39
  • Pistorius 285
  • de la Place 345
  • Plutarch. 46
  • J. Pointer 316
  • S. Polliot 319
  • Polycarp 39
  • J. Pontio 249
  • Potentianus 45
  • Potichus 44
  • Potamiena 46
  • Priscus 58
  • Procopion 76
  • Protasius 35
  • Ptolemaeus 40
  • Pusices 80
  • QUinta 51
  • Quirinus 36, 69
  • P. RAmus 346
  • Sara Rastignole 421
  • de Reux 316
  • Revocatus 47
  • Rhais 46
  • Ricetto 272
  • P. Roch 338
  • Rochus 234
  • J. Rogres 367
  • F. Romane 233
  • Romanus 71, 72
  • Rogues 338
  • L. of Rugenice 394
  • J. Russel 334
  • SAlamona 24
  • Sanctus 41
  • Satyrus 47
  • G. Scherter 285
  • Schlick 391
  • Scoblant 302
  • W. Scuch 282
  • Sebastian 75
  • Sega 273
  • Secundianus 53
  • Secundulus 47
  • Serena 64
  • Serenus 46
  • Serapion 52, 53
  • P. Serre 323
  • J. Shultes 195
  • Simon 34, 79
  • P. Simon 422
  • Simon Zelotes 29
  • Silvanus 63, 64, 69
  • Sixtus 56
  • P. Spengler 281
  • F. Spinola 273
  • Starky 391
  • [Page] Stemback. 265
  • Steven. 27
  • T. Steffeck. 195
  • Jo. Stone. 384
  • D. Straton. 364
  • Suenes. 81
  • Sulpitius. 36
  • H. Sutphen. 279
  • S. Sussikey. 196
  • Symphorissa. 36
  • Syrus. 75
  • TAilor. 289
  • Tertullia. 47
  • Theodora. 52
  • Theodorus. 71, 83
  • Thiessen. 288
  • Thomas. 29, 321
  • Tiburtius. 47
  • G. Tilleman. 286
  • [...] Timothy. 35
  • Tiranion. 63
  • J. de Tour. 335
  • G. Trecius. 267
  • VAlerianus. 47
  • de Valougnes. 336
  • F. Venote. 320
  • Uetius Epagethus. 41
  • Vincentius. 45, 76
  • Vitalis. 75
  • H. Voes. 278
  • Urbanus. 47, 48
  • Usthazares. 79
  • A. WAllace. 377
  • Watson. 391
  • Wendelmutha. 284
  • Wenceslaus. 168, 191
  • William of Nassaw. 273
  • G. Wiseheart. 367
  • N. Wodniansky. 196
  • ZEchariah. 3
  • Zenon. 36
  • Zenobius. 64
  • Zepherinus. 47
  • D. Zervius. 194

The CONTENTS of the Chapters, CONTAINING The several Persecutions, together with the Lives of such Persons as are mentioned in this Book.

  • THE Persecutions mentioned in the Old Testament Pag. 1
  • The Persecutions from Nehemiah to Antiochus his time 5
  • The Persecutions under Antiochus Epiphanes 6
  • The Life of Judas Maccabeus 9
  • The Martyrdom of the Maccabees 18
  • The Persecutions mentioned in the New Testament 26
  • The first primitive Persecution under the heathen Roman Em­perors 30
  • The second primitive Persecution 32
  • The third primitive Persecution 35
  • The fourth primitive Persecution 39
  • The fifth primitive Persecution 46
  • The sixth Primitive Persecution 48
  • The seventh primitive Persecution 49
  • The eight primitive Persecution 56
  • The ninth primitive Persecution Pag. 61
  • The tenth primitive Persecution 62
  • The Persecution of the Christi­ans in Persia 79
  • The Persecution of the Church under Julian the Apostate 82
  • The Persecvtion of the Church under the Arrian Hereticks 86
  • The Persecution by the Donatists 89
  • The Persecution under the Arrian Vandals in Africk 90
  • The persecution of the Waldenses 102
  • The persecution of the Waldenses in Calabria 133
  • The persecution of the Waldenses in Provence 136
  • The persecution of the Albingen­ses 140
  • The persecution of the Church in Bohemiah 167
  • The persecution under Ferdinand 1617 180
  • The persecution of the Church in Spain 233
  • [Page] The Original, Progress, and Pra­ctice of the Spanish Inquisition 236
  • The Life of Dr. Aegido 256
  • The Life of Dr. Constantino 258
  • The Martyrdom of Nic. Burton in Spain 260
  • The Persecution of the Church in Italy 263
  • The Life of Mr. John Mollius 268
  • The Life of William Gardiner 275
  • The Martyrdom of a Christian Jew 277
  • The Persecution of the Church in Germany 278
  • The Martyrdom of a Minister in Hungary 284
  • The Persecution of the Church in the Low-Countries 284
  • The Persecution under the D. de Alva 297
  • The Martyrdom of W. of Nassaw 306
  • The modern persecution of Ger­many 308
  • The Persecution of the Church in France 315
  • The Persecution in the Civil Wars in France 329
  • The History of the Massacre of Paris 341
  • The Siege of Sancerre 352
  • The Siege of Rochel 354
  • The Persecution of the Church in the Valtoline 359
  • The Persecution of the Church in Scotland 363
  • The Life of Mr. George Wiseheart 367
  • The Persecution of the Church in Ireland 379
  • A continuation of the History of the Waldenses from the year 1560. to our time 397
  • The Marquisat of Saluces describ­ed, with its several troubles and persecutions 401
  • The Artifices and wicked practi­ces used to consume and de­stroy the faithfull in the valleys of Piemont 407
  • The motives of the late persecu­tion in the valleys of Piemont 411
  • A Narrative of the bloody cruel­ties lately exercised there 418
  • A Narrative of the War between the Papists and Protestants there 431
  • Who interceded to the D. of Sa­voy in the behalf of the Prote­stants 442
  • A Description of Piemont, and the valleys thereof 447
  • The late persecution of the Church of Christ in Poland 451
  • The Destruction of Lesna 452
  • The cause of Religion as it stands now in Germany 454

THE PERSECUTIONS Mentioned in the Old Testament.

CHAP. I. The Persecution of the Church in the first Ages of the World, and so forward till the Incarnation of Christ.

THE first Murtherer and Persecutor that was in the World, was the Devil, and the first method and means that he made use of to carry on this perse­cution, was by subtilty and large promises, that by eating the forbidden fruit, they should have their eyes opened, Gen. 3.5. and should be as gods knowing good and evil: and hereby he drew our first Parents from their Obedience unto God, and cheated them of that blessed and happy estate which God had created them in. Since which time his enmity against the Church and Children of God hath never ceased: but by his effectual working in the Children of dis­obedience, he hath provoked and stirred up one man to be the Persecu­tor and Devourer of another: Thus he provoked Cain to rise up against, and to slay his brother Abel, Gen. 4.8. Abel. and though the Scripture be silent how the wicked Cainites, the sons of men, behaved themselves towards the sons of God; yet doubtless they perse­cuted them with the tongue, if they proceeded no further. Can we imagine that Noah, Noah. that was a Preacher of Righteousness in the midst of a perverse generation, could escape without hatred, scorn and contempt? How many jeers (think ye) had he whilest he was building the Ark, as doting and dreaming (not of a dry Summer, but) of a wet winter? the earth in his days was said to be corrupt and filled with violence, Gen. 6.11. which violence certainly was principally exercised against the Church [Page 2] of God: And afterwards when the world was reduced to a very small number, yet then Satan had his cursed Ham that persecuted and mock­ed his own father,Gen. 9.22. Lot. Isaac. the righteous Noah. Was not Lot also persecuted and scoffed at in Sodom? Gen. 19.9. Isaac in Abrahams house mocked by Is­mael? Jacob. Gen. 21.9. Was not Jacob hated and persecuted by his brother Esau? Joseph. Gen. 27.41. Joseph by his brethren? Gen. 37.4. and that because he brought unto his father their evil report, verse 2. Was he not afterwards cast into a pit by them? ver. 24. Then sold to the Ishmaelitish Merchants, who carried him into Egypt, ver. 28. There he was persecuted by his whorish Mistriss, Gen. 39.17, 18. Cast into prison, where his feet were hurt with fetters, and he was laid in irons, Psal. 105.18. But these were but small persecutions in comparison of those which followed.

Th [...] Israelites in Egypt.For when the Children of Israel were multiplied in Egypt, Pharaoh King of Egypt set over them Task-masters to afflict them with their burdens, Exod. 1.11▪ thinking thereby to eat up, and wear them out; and when that prevailed not, they made them serve with rigour, and they made their lives bitter with the hard bondage in Mortar, and in Brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all the service wherein they made them serve, was with rigour, ver. 13, 14. And when this prevailed not, the King commanded the Midwives, Siphrah and Puah, when they did the office of a Midwife to the Hebrew women, and saw them upon the stools, if they were delivered of a son, they should presently kill him, ver. 15, 16. and when these Midwives neglected his commands, he charged all his people that every son that was born to the Israelites, should be cast into the river Nilus, v. 22.

Moses. Moses was persecuted by Pharaoh, who sought to slay him; which caused him to fly into the Land of Midian, Exodus 2.15. And when God sent him back into Egypt to deliver his people from the house of bondage, how did Pharaoh persevere and proceed in his per­secuting the people of God: he caused straw to be taken from them, and yet the number of Bricks to be continued; and when the task was not done, the Officers of the Children of Israel were cruelly beaten, ver. 14. And when God had brought out his people with an high hand from under the Tyranny of the Egyptians, and carried them into the wilder­ness, how did Satan stir up some sons of Belial against Moses and Aaron, even Korah, and his complicies, two hundred and fifty Princes, who cried out against them,Moses and Aa­ron. Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the Congregation are holy, even every one of them, Numb. 16.3. Afterwards when the children of Israel were setled in the land of Canaan, they were often grievously oppressed, and persecuted by the wicked and I­dolatrous nations that lived amongst them, and round about them; as first by Chushan-Rishathaim, King of Mesopotamia, who tyrannized over them eight years Judg. 3.8. Then by Eglon King of Moab, who slew ma­ny of them,Israel in the time of the Judges. and oppressed them eighteen years, v. 13, 14. Then by the Philistines, v. 32. Then were they mightily oppressed for twenty years together, by Jabin, King of Canaan, Judg. 4.2, 3. Then did the Midianites persecute them with so much cruelty, that they were forced to forsake their houses, and to make them Dens and Caves in the Mountains, to [Page 3] shelter and hide themselves from them, Judg. 6.2. yea for seven years together they tyrannized over them; and when the Israelits had sowen their land, they came up in such multitudes, that they destroyed the in­crease of the earth, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor oxe, nor asse, ver. 3, 4. Then the Philistines again, and the Ammonites Lorded it over Israel, and brought them into great distresse for eighteen years, Judg. 10. [...]. After that the Philistines yet againe oppressed them for forty years together, Judg. 13.1. And afterwards they slew of them in two battels thirty four thousand, and carried away the Ark of God also, 1 Sam. 4.2, 10, 11. Then in Sauls time, these Philistines so distressed Israel, Jsrael in Saul's time. that the people were forced to hide themselves in caves and thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits; yea some of them forsook their own country, and fled beyond Jordan, 1 Sam. 13.6, 7. and the land was so en­slaved to them, that there was not a Smith to be found in Israel, but the Philistines either slew them, or carried them away captives, so that the Israelites were fain to go to the Philistines to have their instruments of husbandry set in order, ver. 19, 20.

How David was persecuted by Saul all his time,David. the Scripture doth amply set forth, 1 Sam 19. &c. and was not he persecuted grievously, when cursed and railed upon by Shimei, 2 Sam. 16.5, 6, &c. The Church of God was afterward persecuted under Rehoboams reign, by Shishak King of Egypt, who took Jerusalem, 1 King. 14.25, 26. and carried away the Treasures of the Lords house, and of the Kings house into Egypt. And again under Asa, by Baasha King of Israel, 1 King. 15.16. and by Zerah the Ethiopian, Judah under the Kings. who came against Judah with an Army of a thousand thousand men, and three hundred chariots, 2 Chron. 14.9. Yea so malicious and subtile is Sa­tan that he sometimes stirs up one Saint to persecute another; as he stir­red up good King Asa to persecute the Prophet of the Lord who dealt plainly and faithfully with him, by casting him into prison,Asa persecutes a Prophet. 2 Chron. 16.10.

Michaiah also was persecuted and imprisoned by Ahab, Michaiah. 2 Chron. 18.25, 26. Under Jehosaphat the Church of God was persecuted by the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites, Gods judge­ment on Per­secutors. Elijah. Elisha. whom God destroyed by setting of them one against another, 2 Chron. 20.23.

Elijah was persecuted by Ahab and Jesabel, 1 King. 18.10. and 19.2. The Prophets of the Lord were slain by Jesabel, 1 King. 18.13. Elisha was hated and persecuted by Jehoram. 2 King. 6.31. in the reign of this Je­horam, the Philistines and Arabians mightily oppressed Judah, 2 Chro. 21.16, 17. Then Athaliah by murthering the Kings seed, usurpeth the King­dom, and tyrannizeth five years, 2 Chro. 22.10. Joash in his reign slayeth Zechariah for reproving him, 2 Chron. 24.21.Zechariah. The Church was op­pressed at the same time by the Syrians, ver. 23. and afterwards also in the reign of Ahaz, 2 Chron. 28.5. and about the same time the King of Israel slew of Judah a hundred and twenty thousand, and carried away captive two hundred thousand men, women and children.2 Chron. 28.8. Judah was also oppressed by the Edomites, ver. 17. and by the Philistines, ver. 18. and by the King of Assyria, ver. 20. and chap. 32.1. Manasses persecuted [Page 4] the Prophet Isaiah for reproving him,Isaiah. and caused him to be sawn a sun­der with a wooden saw. Josephus. Afterwards Pharaoh Necho tyranni­zed over Judah, 2 Chron. 36.3. and after him Nebuchad [...]ezzar ▪ v 6; &c. and so the sins of Judah being come to the full, the good figgs were car­ried away captive to Babylon, Jer. 24.1, &c. and the land afterwards was wholly laid waste and destroyed: which being foretold by the Prophet Jeremiah, the wicked Jews, Jeremiah. first persecuted him with the tongue, Jer. 18.18. then was he smitten, and put into the stocks, Jer. 20.2. then was he indanger of death by the Preists and false Prophets, Jer. 26.8. then was he impri­soned by Zedekiah, Jer. 32.2, 3. then he is beaten, and again put into pri­son, Jer. 37.15. and after that cast into a dungeon, where he stuck in the mire, Jer. 38 6. then by the wicked Captains he was carried into Egypt, Jer. 43.6, 7. What grievous afflictions the Church and people of God endured about this time, see it set forth to the life in the book of the Lamentations.

The 3 Chil­dren.In the time of the Captivity, the three Children were persecuted by Nebuchadnezzar, and thrown into the fiery fornace, for refusing to wor­ship his golden Image,Daniel. Dan. 3.23. Daniel was persecuted by Darius his Courtiers, and cast into the Lions den, Dan. 6.16. Mordecai was hated and persecuted by Haman, Mordecai. and a Decree procured for the murthering of all the people of God in one day, Esth. 3.13.

Israel after the Captivity.After the return of the Jews from captivity, the people of the Land laboured to weaken the hands of the men of Judah, and troubled them in the building of the Temple, and hired Counsellors against them to accuse them to Cyrus, and Ahasuerus: they wrote also against them to Artaxerxes, that they were a rebellious people, and that if they should be suffered to build Jerusalem, they would neither pay toll, tribute, nor cu­stom to the King, Ezra. 4.4, &c. and having by this malicious suggestion gotten authority, they came upon the poor people of God, and enforced them to give over th [...]ir worke. Yea▪ and afterwards, when by the com­mand of the Lord, the Jews had again set upon the building, Tatnai and Shether-Bosnai came up to discourage and discharge them from it; and when this prevailed not, they wrote against them to King Darius. Again, when Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, and began to build the wall of the City, how were they scorned and jeered by Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem? Nehe. 2.19. and [...]. 2 3▪8. And when the work prospered in their hands, and jeers would not prevaile to stop it, they then conspired to fight against Jerusalem, and so to hinder it; but neither that prevailing, by reason of the prudent carriage of Nehemiah, Nehemiah. they then sought to entrap him, and by destroying him, to hinder the work, Nehe. 6.2. Then they accused the people of God of treason and rebellion, ver. 6, &c. Then they hired a false Pro­phet to terrefie Nehemiah, ver. 10, 12. Then they corrupted, and held in­telligence with some of the Nobles of Judah to betray him; notwith­standing all which designes, God preserveth Nehemiah, and the building of Jerusalem is finished. And thus farre the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament have given us a certain Register of the Persecutions, Martyrdomes and sufferings of the Church and children of God for [Page 5] the space of about three thousand five hundred years; from the creation of the world, to the Restauration of the Jewish Polity under Nehemiah.

CHAP. II. The Persecution of the Church from Nehemiah to Antiochus his time.

AFter the death of Eliashib the High-Priest, Judas his sonne succeed­ed, and after him John his sonne, which John had a brother called Jesus, who was much favoured by Bagoses, Generall of Artaxerxes, who promised him the Priesthood, which made him take occasion to quarrel with his brother John, The Jews per­secuted by Ba­goses. who thereby was so much provoked against him, that he slew him in the Temple; Bagoses being informed hereof, came with his Army to Jerusalem, and kept the Jews in bondage seven years, making them tributaries, so that before they could offer their daily sacrifice, they were compelled to pay for every Lamb, fifty Drachmes. After the death of John, Jaddus his sonne succeeded in the priesthood, in whose time Alexander the Great passed over the Helle­spont, and having overcome the Lieutenant of Darius, he conquered ma­ny countries in Asia minor, intending suddenly to come upon Jerusalem. Jaddus being informed of his intention, was sore afraid; he therefore offered sacrifice,Prayer in times of danger. and commanded the people to make their prayers unto God, for direction and protection in this common danger: and when he heard that Alexander approached, he caused the Priests and people to put on white garments, and himself, attired in his Priestly robes, went before them; when Alexander espied them, he himself marched be­fore the rest of his company, and coming to the High-Priest, he fell down on his face before him: then did all the Jews circle him in round about, and with one voice saluted him. Alexanders chief Commanders were wonderfully astonished at this deportment of the King, and thought he was out of his wits: and Parmenio stepping to him, asked him what he meant thus to adore the High-Priest of the Jews, when as all other men adored him; Alexander answered, I doe not adore him, but that God whom the High-Priest worshipeth; for in my sleep I saw him in such an habit when I was in Macedonia, consulting with my self how I might conquer Asia; and he bad me to make no delay, as­suring me that he would both guide me and my Army, and would deli­ver the Empire of the Persians into my hands: Then gave he the High-Priest his hand, and went with him to the City, and comming to the Temple, he offered sacrifice according to the direction of the High-Priest; then did Jaddus shew him Daniels Prophecy, wherein his vi­ctories over the Persians, and his Monarchy were foretold, which much rejoyced Alexander: then did he command the Jews to ask some fa­vours at his hands; the High-Priest requested onely that they might [Page 6] live after the Ordinances of their forefathers, and that every seventh year they might be exempted from taxes and tributes, which he fully granted: they besought him likewise that the Jews which were in Me­dia and Babilon, might be permitted to live after their own Laws, which he willingly promised, and so departed: this was about the year of the world 3632. and before Christs nativity 332.

After the death of Alexander, his Kingdom was divided amongst his Captains, amongst whom Ptolemy the son of Lagus held Egypt, who falling out with Antigonus that held Asia minor, there grew great wars between them, wherein Ptolemy won from him all Syria, and going to Jerusalem on a Sabbath day under pretence to offer sacrifice, the Jews suspecting nothing, he surprised the City, carrying away many of the Jews into captivity into Egypt: but after his death, his son Ptolemy Phi­ladelphus at his owne cost redeemed an hundred and twenty thousand of them, paying twelve Crowns apeece for each of them, and sent them back into their owne countrey: He sent also by them fifty talents of gold for the temple, and obtained of Eleazer the High Priest, the Law of the Jews, and 72 Interpreters (out of every Tribe some) who tran­slated it into Greek in 72 daies: and having finished their work, Pto­lemy returned them with great rewards for themselves, and with many rich presents to Eleazer.

Antiochus and Ptolemy being at war each against other, the Jews suf­fered much by them, Mach. 1.

Collected out of Josephus.

CHAP. III. The persecution of the Church of God under Anti­ochus Epiphanes, before the nativity of Christ about 168 years.

AFterwards the Jews being divided amongst themselves, one part of them went to Antiochus, telling him that their purpose was to forsake the Religion and Ordinances of their forefathers,Apostates. and to fol­low that of the Kings, and to live after the manner of the Greeks, en­treating him to license them to live in Jerusalem; which Antiochus as­senting to, they went to Jerusalem, where they behaved themselves very wickedly, but finding opposition from the other party of the Jews, they sent for Antiochus, who led his army against Jerusalem, and encam­ped before it, and by his faction within, had the gates opened, and the City betraied to him,Antiochus en­tred Jerusalem. about the year of the world 3796. and before the nativity of Christ 168.

Being entred Jerusalem he slew many of the faithfull Jews, and ha­ving taken great spoils, he returned back to Antioch.

[Page 7] Two years after he came to Jerusalem again, and having seen what quantity of gold was in the Temple, and what a huge number of Presents and precious Ornaments were in the same, he was so over­come with covetousness, that he violated all conventions and conditions formerly made, equally raging against his own and the adverse party, sparing neither friend nor foe: then he spoiled the Temple, and carried away the Vessels dedicated unto God, the golden Table, the golden Candlestick, the Censers,Antiochus robs the Temple. &c. leaving nothing behind him of any va­lue; yea, he inhibited the godly Jews from offering their usual and dai­lie sacrifices to God; and having spoiled the whole City,Forbideth the daily sacrifice. he slew many of the Inhabitants, and carried the rest away into Captivity, with their Wives and Children, to the number of ten thousand: He also burned the fairest buildings of the City, and brake down the wals, and raised a Fortress in the lower City, and having inclosed it with high wals, he planted a Garison of Macedonians therein, with whom remained the scum of the Apostate Jews. He also caused an Altar to be erected in the Temple, on which he commanded swine to be offered in Sacri­fice, contrary to the Law.

He constrained the Jews to forsake God, and adore those Idols which himself vvorshiped; he forbad them to circumcise their Children▪ His Cruelty. and appointed Over-seers to constrain them to fulfill his Commandments, so that many for fear of punishment conformed themselves to his will; But such as were of upright hearts, and valiant minds, little respected his menaces; whereupon they were beaten,Christian cou­rage. and exposed to cruel pu­nishment many days together, in the midst of which they yielded up the ghost; for after they were whipt, and maimed in their bodies, they were tortured and crucified; the women vvere strangled, and the cir­cumcised children vvere hung up about the necks of their parents; and vvhere any books of the sacred Scriptures vvere found, they de­faced, and burnt them, and such with vvhom they vvere found,The Scriptures burnt. vvere put to most cruel deaths.

At this time there dvvelt at Modin (a Village of Jury) one vvhose name was Matthias, a Priest of the rank of Joarib, that had five sons, John called Gaddis, Simon called Matthes, Judas called Maccabeus, Ele­azer called Aaron, and Jonathan called Apphas. This Matthias often complained to his sons of the miserable state of their Countrey, of the sacking of their City, the profanation of the Temple,Matthias his zeal. and the mise­ries of the people, telling them, that it was better for them to die for the Law, then to live in Ignominy. When therefore the Kings Commi­saries came unto Modin, and commanded the people to sacrifice ac­cording to the Kings Edict; they first applied themselves to Matthias as to the most Honourable person amongst them, requiring him first to offer sacrifice, that others might follow his example, promising that the King vvould much honour him for it. Matthias ansvvered that he vvould by no means commit that Idolatry, assuring them,A noble Reso­lution. that though all other Nations, either for love or fear, should obey the Edicts of Antiochus, yet that he, nor his children could be induced to forsake the [Page 8] Religion of their fathers: As soon as he had thus spoken, a certain Jew stepped forth to offer sacrifice according to the command of the King, wherewith Matthias, inflamed with zeal, was so displeased, that he and his sons fell upon him,Zeal. and with their swords hewed him to pieces; he also slew Apelles the Kings Captain, and some other soul­diers, who would have withstood him. Then he overthrew the Altar and with a loud voice, he said, If any one be affected to the Laws of their fathers, and to the service of God, let him follow me? and so he retired into the deserts with his sons; the like did the rest, with their wives and children, hiding themselves in caves and dens. The Kings Cap­tains having intelligence hereof, with the Garison that was in the Ci­tadel at Jerusalem, they pursued them into the desert, and having over­taken them, they first endeavoured by perswasions to draw them to Idolatry; but the Jews absolutely refusing to yield to their wicked wils, resolved rather to die then to submit to them, and to commit such im­piety;The Jews murthered, re­fusing to fight on the Sabbath day. whereupon these bloody persecutors assailed them on the Sab­bath day, and burned them in their caves, who neither resisted their enemies, nor closed up the mouths of their Caves, supposing it to be a violation of the Sabbath, if they should fight or work upon that day; some thousands of men, women and children were there stifled; yet divers escaped, who joined themselves with Matthias, and chose him for their Captain. Then did he inform them, that they ought to fight on the Sabbath day, if they were assailed by their enemies, and pre­vailed with them not to be guilty of their own death, by their neglect to defend themselves; and so having assembled a sufficient number, he destroyed the Altars, and slew those that had forsaken their Religion: commanding others to circumcise their Children, and driving those from every place, whom Antiochus had set to see his Laws executed. But when he had thus governed one year, he fell sick, and perceiving his end to approach, he called his sons, and exhorted them to follow his steps in maintaining the Law of God,Matthias his sickness. and fighting for their Coun­trey, telling them, that then they should have God for their Assister, who will not forsake those that love and fear him, but taking pleasure in their vertues, will once more grant them favour to recover their former peace and liberty; and saith he, God will establish you in the posses­sion of your ancient Laws; His counsel to his sons. and though our bodies be mortal, and subject unto death, yet the memory of our virtuous actions is enfranchised by immortality; make therefore no difficulty to hazard your lives in so good a cause: But above all things I exhort you unto concord, and in whatsoever any one of you shall be found more naturally apt and fitted then another, let him prosecute the same without any contradiction from the rest: I charge you to obey your brother Simon (who is a Politick and valiant man) in whatsoever he shall coun­sel you: but make Judas your Captain, who is both valiant and strong, for he shall revenge the injuries and out-rages which have been done to our Nation, and shall put our enemies to flight; second him therefore with men of valour, His death. and such as fear God, and by this means you shall be sure to prevail.

CHAP. IV. The Life of Judas Maccabeus.

AFter Matthias his death, Judas took upon him the government of the wars, and by the help of his brethren, and other Jews, he drave the enemies out of the countrey, purg [...]ng the land of all the un­cleaness that had been brought into it. But when Apollonius, who was Antiochus his Generall in Samaria, heard of it, he gathered his Army together, and invaded Judea, against whom Maccabeus went forth, and after a terrible battel, overthrew him,Apollonius slain. slew Apollonius and many of his souldiers; took his Camp, and therein a very rich booty; and Judas gat Apollonius his sword for his part in the spoil. Then Seron Governor of Caelosyria gathered all his forces together, and hired ma­ny Apostate Jews to joyn with him, and so marched against Judas as far as Bethoron: Judas also advanced towards him, but when he per­ceived that his souldiers were unwilling to fight, by reason of the in­equality of their numbers, and for that they had eaten no meat, but had fasted for a long time, he encouraged them, saying, that the means to obtain the victory, consisted not in the greatness of their number, but in their devotion towards God;Judas encou­raged his soul­diers. whereof they had evident exam­ples in their forefathers, who with a small number, had often defeated many thousands of their enemies, &c. Hereby he so prevailed with his souldiers, that, dreadless of the number of their enemies, they all together ran upon Seron, and after a cruel fight, routed his Army, and slew him together with eight hundred of the Syrians;Seron slain. The rest escaped by flight.

Antiochus hearing of these things, was highly displeased, and there­fore he assembled all his forces, and hired many mercenaries, but ha­ving mustered his Army, he found that his treasure failed him to pay so great a multitude; whereupon he resolved, first to go into Persia, to gather up his tributes: and in the meane time he made Lysias his Vice­gerent, a man of greate esteem with him, and one that governed all the countries from Euphrates to the borders of Egypt: with him he also left some Elephants, and part of his Army, commanding him ex­presly, that when he had conquered Judaea he should make the inha­bitants thereof his slaves,Antiochus his [...]rpel com­mand. and sell them to those that would give most for them, and that he should destroy Jerusalem, and utterly abolish that race. Lysias having received this commandment, sent Ptolemy, Nicanor, and Gorgias (men of great authority about the King) with an Army of forty thousand Foot, and seven thousand Horsemen; to in­vade Jury; who marching as far as the City Emmaus, encamped in the field; and increased their Army with many Syrians, and Apostate Jews. There came also divers Merchants a long with them to buy the priso­ners that should be taken, bringing gieues along with them to manacle [Page 10] the prisoners withall. Judas having viewed the Camp, and number of his enemies, encouraged his souldiers, exhorting them to repose their confidence and hope of victory in God: he also appointed a F [...]st, that they might humble themselves, and call upon God, by supplications and prayers,Fasting and prayer before the battel. for success in such an extreame danger. Then he told them that God would have compassion upon them, and give them strength to stand against their enemies, and to put them to shame. The next day he marshalled his Army by thousands, and by hundreds, and sent away all that were newly married, or that had lately bought pess [...]ssi­ons, according to the Law. And t [...]en he said unto the rest: My coun­trymen and companions, His exhortati­on to his Army we never yet had any occasion more necessary, wherein we ought to express our courages, and contemn dangers, then at this present; for now if you fight valiantly, you may recover your liberties, which ought the more to be prised, because thereby you may win opportunity to ser [...]e God, and so live an happy life: but if ye prove cowards in the fight, you shall be branded with perpetuall infamy, and hazard the utter extirpation of our Nation. Think therefore, that if you fight not, you must die: and on the con­trary, assure your selves, that in fighting for your Religion, Laws and Liberty, you shall obtain immortall glory: be ready therefore, that to morrow morning you may bid your enemies battel. Immediately news was brought him, that Gorgias with five thousand foot, and a thousand horsemen, was sent forth under the conduct of some fugitives, by night to fall upon him; whereupon he resolved the same night to break into the enemies Army whilest they were thus divided. Having therefore refreshed himself and Army, leaving many fires in his Camp thereby to deceive the ene­my, he marched all night to seek them out. Gorgias finding that the Jews had forsaken their Camp, conceited that for fear they were fled into the mountains, and therefore he resolved to search them out diligently. But in the morning, [...]udas accompanied only with three thousand men and those but ill armed because of their poverty, shewed himself to the e­nemies that were at Emmaus, and having viewed their warlike discipline, and mighty number, and how well they were incamped, he encouraged his followers to fight v [...]liantly, telling them, that God would deliver their enemies into their hands, and thereupon causing his Trumpets to sound, he rushed in upon his enemies with such fury and resolution, as altogether affrighted and discouraged them;A wonderfull v [...]ctory. and having slaine such as resisted, he pursued the rest as farre as the plains of Idumaea, &c. In this fight [...]bout three thousand of the enemies were slain; yet would he not suffer his souldiers to take the spoil, telling them, that as yet they were to fight with Gorgias and his Army, but so soon as they had (through Gods mercy) with the lik [...] val [...]ur beaten them, they might then securely enrich themselves by the prey of all their enemies. Gorgias with his Army being upon an hill, and discovering the flight of their friends,Gorgias flies. and the Jews readinesse to give them battell, were so affright­ed, that they also fled; whereupon Judas with his men returned to ga­ther the pillage, and having found great store of gold, silver, scarlet and purple,Thanksgiving. he returned to his dwelling with joy, praising God for their happy success.

[Page 11] Lysias hearing of this overthrow was much enraged, and presently assembled another army of neer sixthy thousand chosen foot, and five thousand horsemen, wherewith he went to invade Judaea and encamp­ed in Bethsura: Judas hearing of it, came forth against him with ten thousand men, and seeing the number of his enemies so farre to ex­ceed his, he earnestly cried unto God, that it would please him to fight with, and for him;Prayer. and then charged the vanguard of the ene­my with so great force, that he discomfited, and slew about five thou­sand of them, Lysias perceiving hereby the resolution of the Jews, Lysias beaten. who would rather die then lose their liberty, he returned with the rest of his Army unto Antioch, where he continued, and entertained many mercenaries, to make a greater Army for the conquest of the Jews: In the meane time Judas assembled the people, and told them, that having obtained so many victories, through the mercy of God, they ought now to go up to Jerusalem, and purifie the Temple that was desolate, and to offer unto God the sacrifices that were ordained by the Law.The Temple cleansed. Then going up with a great multitude of people he found the Temple desolate, the gates burned, and grass growing within the same: grieving therefore at so sad a spectacle, he began to weep, and all the people that were with him, and having chosen out some of his best souldiers, he commanded them to force the garisons which were in the fortresses, whilest himself purged the Temple. Then he caused to be made a Table, a Candlestick, and Altar for incense, all of gold; he put up a rail also, and set gates to the Temple: and having thrown down the Altar of burnt-offerings that was profaned by Antiochus, The service of God restored. he built a new one of stones neither hewed nor hammered: Then on the twenty fifth of Chasleu [September] were lights set in the Candlestick, per­fumes laid upon the Altar, loaves set upon the Table, and sacrifices of­fered upon the new Altar, which was the same day three years where­in before the sacred service was changed into profane and hatefull im­piety. Then did Judas with his country-men celebrate a feast unto the Lord for eight daies, praising God with Hymns and Psalms. He enclosed the City also with a wall, and built high Towers thereon, in which he planted Garisons against the incursions of the enemies. He fortified also the City of Betsura, that it might serve as a Fort against the enemy.

But the nations round about them, being greatly displeased with this prosperity of the Jews, oppressed divers whom they surprised by am­bushes and treachery;The Edomites overcome. whereupon Judas warred against them to hin­der their incursions: he slew many of the Idumaeans, and brought a­way a great prey out of their country, and shut up the sonnes of Baan ▪ their Prince, who lay in waite for the Jews, and after a siege, he over­came them, setting fire on their Towers, and killing all the men that where therein. After this he made warre upon the Ammonites, who had a mighty Army under the conduct of Timotheus: The Ammo­nites overcome. with these he fought and overcame them, and took their City of Jazor, and burned it, leading their wives and children into captivity, and so returned into Judaea: But the neighbouring nations hearing of his departure, assem­bled [Page 12] themselves together against the Jews in Galaad, who retiring into the sort of Dathema, sent to Judas, requesting him to come and re­lieve them; and whilest he was reading their Letters, other messen­gers came out of Galile, informing him that they were assaulted by the inhabitants of Ptolomais, Tyre, and Sidon, and others there abouts. Here­upon Judas commanded his brother Simon to take three thousand cho­sen men, and with them to relieve those Jews that were assailed in Ga­lile: and himself with his brother Jonathan, accompanied with eight thousand fighting men, marched into Galaad, leaving the rest of his forces under two other Captains, whom he commanded to have a watchfull eye over Judaea, yet not to joyn battell with any enemy till his returne.Simons victo­ries in Galile. Simeon in Galile fought against his enemies, discomfited them, pursued them to the gates of Ptolemais, and slew about three thousand; and having gathered their spoils, he released many Jews that were pri­soners, restored their goods to them, and so returned home. But Ju­das having passed Jordan, and marched three daies journey, he met the Na [...]athians, who told him that his brethren were besieged in their Castles and Cities, and some of them were already brought into great exrteamity and penury: Hereupon he first assailed the Inhabitants of Bosra, Judas taketh Bozra. tooke their City, set it on fire, and killed all the men that were able to bea [...] arms: then marching all night, he came early in the morning to the Castle, where the Jews were besieged by Tymothies Army. The enemies were just then raising their ladders to scale the walls, and applying their engins for battery: Then did he incourage his men to fight valiantly for their brethren that were in danger, and causing his Trumpets to sound, he distributed his forces into three battalions, wherewith he assaulted the enemies, but they, hearing that it was Mac [...]abaeus, Overcometh Timothy, were struck with so great a fear, that immediately they fled: Judas with his men pursuing them, slew about eight thousand, and then marching to Malla [a City of the enemies] he surprised it, slew all the men therein, and burnt it with fire; after which he destroyed Chaspomo, Bosor, and divers other places.

Shortly after Timothy leavied another great Army, hired many of the Syrians, and drew forth all his allies to his assistance; with these he marched to Jordan exhorting them valiantly to oppose the Jews and to hinder their passage over the river, telling them that if the Jews gat over, they were sure to be put to the worst: Judas hearing hereof, marched hastily against his enemies, and having passed the river, he presently set upon them,Timothy again overcome. killing some, and grievously affrighting the rest, who casting away their arms, immediately fled; some of them to save themselves fled into a Temple called Carnain, but Judas having taken the City and Temple, slew them and burnt the same. Then did he lead away with him all the Jews that lived in Galaad, together with their wives, children and substance, and brought them into Judaea.

When he drew near to the town of Ephron, they had baricadoed up his way that he could not pass: then did he send Ambassadors to them, to desire them to open his passage; which when they refused, [Page 13] he besieged the City, took it by assault, burned it down,Ephron destroy­ed. Thanksgiving for victory. A miracle of mercy. and slew all the men that were therein. After having passed over Jordan, they came into Judaea with great joy and gladnesse, praising God, and offering sa­crifices of thanksgiving to him, for the safe return of his Army; for that in all those battels and encounters, he had not lost one Jew.

But whilest Judas and Simon were gone upon these expeditions, the two Captains which he had left to command the Garisons of Judaea, Vain-glory punished. being desirous to obtain the reputation of valiant men, tooke their forces, and went towards Jamnia; against whom Gorgias, Governor of that place, issued out, and slew two thousand of them; the rest fled to Judaea. The Idumaeans overcome.

Afterwards Judas and his brethren warred against the Idumaeans, took divers of their Cities, and with a great booty returned home with great joy. Antiochus in the meane time being in Persia, heard of a wealthy City called Elymais, in which was a rich Temple of Diana, &c. thither he went, and besieged it, but the inhabitants sallied out, and with great losse drave him from thence, whereupon he returned to Babylon: there also news was brought unto him of the overthrow of his Captains in Judaea, and that the Jews were grown strong; which together with his former defeat, so wrought upon him, that he fell sick, and finding no hope of recovery, he called his most familiar friends to him, and told them that his sicknesse was violent and desperate, and that he was plagued with this grevous affliction, for that he had tor­mented the people of the Jews, destroyed their Temple,Antiochus his horrible death. committed hor­rible sacriledge, and contemned the reverence of God; but now he vowed, that if it would please the Lord to restore him, he would be­come a Jew, and do many great things for the people of God; as also that he would goe through all the known world to declare the power of God. Notwithstanding which, the Lord knowing his hypocrisie continued to plague him after a terrible manner: he had a remedilesse pain in his bowels, and intollerable torments in all his inward parts: His body bred abundance of worms, which continually crawled out of the same: yea, he so rotted above ground, that by reason of the in­tollerable stink, no man could endure to come near him, neither could he himselfe indure the same: and thus this vile person who had former­ly in a proud and insolent manner protested that he would make Jeru­salem a common burying place,Gods judge­mente on Per­secator [...]. and the streets thereof to run with the bloud of Gods people; by Gods just judgement ended his life in extream misery: but before his death, he called Philip one of his chief Captains, and made him governour of his kingdom, requiring him to be very carefull of his son Antiochus.

Then was Antiochus proclaimed King, and sirnamed Eupator:Antiochus Eupa [...]tor. A­bout which time the Garisons, and Apostates that were in the Fortress at Jerusalem, did much mischief to the Jews; for setting unawares up­on those that came to the Temple to worship, and to offer their sacri­fices, they slew them: Hereupon Judas resolved to cut off these Ga­risons, and to that end he assembled all the people, and besieged them, and having made certain Engins, and raised divers Rams, he earnest­ly [Page 14] prosecuted the siege: but divers of those Apostates escaping by night, went to Antiochus, desiring him not to suffer them to perish, who for his fathers sake, had forsaken their Religion, &c. Then did Antiochus send for his Captains, commanding them to raise a mighty Army, which accordingly they did, gathering together a hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty two E­lephants; with these Forces he departed out of Antioch, and made Ly­sias Generall of his Army:Bethsura be­sieged. Then did he besiege Bethsura, a strong City, but the inhabitants valiantly resisted him, and sallying out, burned his Engines which he had prepared for battery. The King continuing the siege for a longe time, Judas hearing of it, raised his siege from before the Castle of Jerusalem, and marched towards Antiochus his Army, and when he came neer to the enemies Camp, he lodged his Army in certain streights, called Beth-zacharia.

The King hearing thereof, raised his siege from Bethsura, and march­ed to wards the streight where Judas with his Army was; The King first caused his Elephants to march thorow the streight; about each Elephant were a thousand Footmen, and a hundred Horsemen for his guard, each Elephant carried a Tower on his back, furnished with Archers: the rest of his Forces he caused to march two waies by the mountaines, commanding them with huge shouts and cries to assail their enemies, and to uncover their golden and brazen bucklers, that the reflection thereof might dazle the eies of the Jews; yet was not Judas at all amated, but entertained the Army with a noble courage, slaying about six hnundred of the forlorn hope: But Eleazer, Judas brother, seeing a huge Elephant armed with royall trappings, supposing that the King was upon him, he ran against him with a noble courage, and having slain divers that were about the Elephant, he thrust his sword into the belly of the beast,Eleazer slew, and is slain by an Elephent. so that the Elephant falling upon him, slew him with his weight.

Judas seeing the great strength of his enemies, retired back to Jeru­salem; and Antiochus sent back part of his Army against Bethsura, and with the rest, he marched on towards Jerusalem. The Bethsurites de­spairing of relief, and their provisions failing them, surrendred their City,Bethsura sur­rendred. having the Kings oath that no out-rage should be offered to them, yet he thrust them out of the City and placed a Garison in it. He spent also along time in besieging the Temple at Jerusalem, they within de­fending it gallantly;The Temple besieged. for against every Engine that the King erected, they set up a contrary Engine: Their only want was of victuals, be­cause (it being the seventh year) the Land had not been tilled; where­upon divers of them fled away secretly, so that very few remained for the defence of the Temple. But behold the good providence of God! just then came tidings to Antiochus, A speciall pro­vidence. that Philip coming out of Persia, intended to make himself Lord and Master of the country, Antiochus concluded to give over the siege and to march against Philip; but first he sent an Herauld to Judas, promising them peace, and li­berty to live according to their Religion, which conditions Judas ac­cepting [Page 15] of, took an oath from the King for performance, and so sur­rendred up the Temple. Whereupon Antiochus entred the same, and seeing it so impregnable a pl [...]ce,Perfidiousness. contrary to his oah he commanded his Army to levell the wall that environed it, and then he returned to Antioch, leading away with him Onias, surnamed M [...]nalaus, the High-Priest, whom, by the counsell of Lysias, he put to death,A just judge­ment. because he had advised his father to enforce the Jews to forsake their Religion: A just reward for so wicked a fact.

Antiochus finding that Philip had already conquered much of his country, went straite against him, fought with him, and slew him.

Presently after Demetrius the son of Seleucus took possession of Tripo­lis in Syria, and setting the Diadem upon his own head, he leavied an Army, and invaded the Kingdom of Antiochus. The people general­ly submitted themselves to him, and laying hold of Antiochus and Lysias, they brought them both to Demetrius, Antiochus slain by Demetrius who caused them to be slain.

To this new King, divers Jews (banished for their impiety) toge­ther with Alcimus their High-Priest, resorted, a [...]cusing their Nation,The wickednes of Apostates. and in particular Judas and his brethren for killing their friends, and banishing such as were friends to Demetrius. Demetrius was much mo­ved with these reports, and therefore he sent a greate Army under Bac­chides, a valiant and experienced Captain,Bacchides sent against Judas. with commission to kill Ju­das and his confederates. Bacchides with his Army marched into Ju­dea, sending an Herauld to Judas and his brethren, pretending peace, when he intended to surprize them by subtilty and treachery. But Ju­das seeing that he came with so great an Army, found out his drift, and would not trust him: yet many of the people were deceived with his Proclamation of peace, and therefore submitted to live under his go­vernment, first having received an oath from him, that neither they, nor any of their followers should be endamaged: but when they had committed themselves to him, he falsified his oath,Perjury. Perfidiousness. and slew sixty of them.

Then removing his Army from Jerusalem, he came to the village of Bethzeth, where, apprehending many of the Jews, he slew them all, and commanded the rest in the country to obey Alcimus, with whom he left a part of his Army, and so returned to Antioch unto demetrius.

Alcimus by his feigned and familiar deportment, drew many more of the wicked Jews to joyn with him,Alcimus his subtilty and cruelty. and then he went with his Army thorow the country, and slew all that took part with Judas. Judas per­ceiving that hereby many upright men, and such as feared God were slain; he also with his Army went thorow the Land, and slew all the Apo­states that were of Alcimus his faction. Whereupon Alcimus repaired to Demetrius, and made greivous complaints against Judas; who fearing that if Judas prospered, it would be prejudiciall to his estate,Nicanor sent against Judas he sent Nicanor to make warre against him, and having furnished him with a sufficient Army, he commanded him that he should not spare any one of that Nation.

[Page 16] Nicanor coming to Jerusalem; offered no act of hostility, endea­vouring to entrap Judas by subtilty,His subtility. sending him a peaceable message, wherein he protested that he would do him no injury, and that he came only to express the good affections of Demetrius to the Nation of the Jews.

Judas and his brethren being deceived with this glozing message entertained him and his Army. Nicanor then saluted Judas, but whilest he was conferring with him, he gave a sign to his souldiers to lay hands on him;Judas in dan­ger. but Judas discovering the treason, brake from him, and escaped to his Army. Then did Nicanor resolve to make open war upon him, and bad him battel near to a Burrough called Capar-salama, where he obtained the victory, and constrained Judas to retreat into the Fortress at Jerusalem;Judas forced to retreat. there did Nicanor besiege him for a while, and then retired; at which time certain of the Priests and Elders met him, and having done their reverence, they shewed him those sacrifi­ces which they intended to offer to God for the Kings prosperity; but he blaspheming, threatned them, that if they did not deliver Judas into his hands,Nicanors blasphemy. he would destroy the Temple at his return. Here­upon the Priests wept abundantly, praying unto God to defend the Temple, together with those which called on his Name therein, from the outrage of their enemies.

Nicanor coming neer to Bethoron, received a greate supply of souldi­ers out of Syria. Judas also was about thirty furlongs distant from him not having above a thousand men, yet he exhorted them not to fear the multitude of their enemies, but to set couragiously upon them, expect­ing help from God;A terrible battel. and so encountering with Nicanor, there was a very doubtfull conflict, yet Judas had the upper hand, and slew a great number of the enemies. Nicanor himselfe also fighting valiantly, was slain; whereupon his Army fled: but Judas speedily pursuing, made a great slaughter,Nicanor slain. and by sound of trumpet, giving notice to the neigh­bouring places, the inhabitants thereof betook themselves to their weapons, and meeting those that fled, they slew them, so that no one escaped from this battel, though they were at least nine thousand men.

Then ensued a little peace to the Jews. Shortly after Alcimus the High-priest, intending to beat down an old wall of the Sanctuary, was suddenly striken by God, became speechless, and fell to the ground, and having endured many grievous torments for many dayes,A just judge­ment. he died miserably. Then did the people by a generall consent give his place to Judas: who hearing of the great power and victories of the Romans, sent two of his intimate friends to Rome, to intreate the Romans to be their Al­lies and Confederates,Judas sends to the Romans. and to write to Demetrius to give over his wars against the Jews.

The Embassadors coming to Rome, were intertained by the Senate, and friendship concluded betwixt them, upon these conditions; That none under the Romans should war against the Jews, A league be­tween the Jews and Romans. nor furnish their enemies with Victuals, Ships or Silver: That if any enemies should [Page 17] assail the Jevvs, the Romans should succour them to the uttermost of their povver; that if any made vvar upon the Romans, the Jevvs should succour them; that if the Jevvs vvould add or diminish any thing from this Association, it should be done vvith the common advice of the Romans; and that vvhat should so be ordained, should remain irre­vocable.

Nicanors death, and the discomfiture of his Army being reported to Demetrius, he sent another Army under Bacchides, vvho coming into Judaea, and hearing that Judas vvas encamped at Bethzeth, Bacchides sent [...]gainst Judas twenty thou­sand. he marched against him vvith tvventy thousand footmen, and tvvo thousand horse­men. Judas had not in all above tvvo thousand men, vvho seeing the multitude of Bacchides Army, vvere afraid, so that some, forsaking the Camp, fled avvay, insomuch as there then remained vvith Judas but eight hundred men. His enemies also pressed so upon him, that he had no time to re-assemble his Forces, yet he resolved to fight vvith those eight hundred men, vvhom he exhorted to be of good courage, and to fight valiantly: but they answered, That they were not able to make head against so great an Army, and therefore they adviced him to retire, and stand on his guard, till he had gather­ed more Forces: Judas replied,Judas his reso­lution. God forbid that the Sun should see me turn my back upon the enemies; though I die, and spend my last blood in this battle, yet will I never soil my former worthy actions by an ignominious flight. And so having encouraged his souldiers, he commanded them without apprehension of danger, to bend themselves altogether against the enemy. Bacchides drew out his Army, arranged them in battle, placing his horse-men in the wings, his Archers, and light-armed men in the front, and then the Macedonian Phalanx, and so causing his Trumpets to sound, and his Souldiers to shout, he charged his ene­mies. Judas did the like, and encountred Bacchides, so that there was a most cruel conflict, which continued till Sun-set.A terrible bat­tel.

Judas perceiving that Bacchides, and the flower of his Army fought in the right wing, he chose out the most resolute of his Souldiers, and drew them towards that quarter, and set upon them, brake their squa­dron, and thrusting into the midst of them, he forced them to flie, and pursued them as far as to the mount Aza; but the left wing followed Judas, and so enclosed him on the back part. He seeing himself thus enclosed, resolved with his followers to fight it out to the last. He slew a great number of his enemies, till at last he was so wearied, that [...]he fell to the ground, and was there slain: His souldiers seeing him dead, betook themselves to flight. Simon and Jonathan his brothers, by in­treaty recovered his body, carried it to Modim, Judas slain. where they interred it, all the people weeping divers days for him; and Jonathan his bro­ther succeeded him in the Government.

CHAP. V. The Martyrdom of the Maccabees.

WHilst Antiochus Epiphanes was living, he thrust out Onias the High-Priest from his Office, and put into his room Jason his brother, whereupon Jason promised to pay him yearly three thousand six hundred and sixty Talents of silver. This wicked Jason presently forced all the people to forsake their Religion, and to build Baths: He hindered the defence and building of the Temple. Hereat God was very wroth, and stirred up Antiochus to go to Jerusalem, where he was gallantly entertained by the Jews. Then did he presently make an Edict, That whosoever of the Jews refused to offer Sacrifice to the gods,Antiochus his cruel Edict. he should presently be broken to pieces on the wheel. But those that were godly did little esteem that Edict.

Antiochus perceiving that the rigour of his Edict prevailed little, and that many chose rather to die,Constancy. then to forsake their Religion, he sitting in an eminent place, and calling all the Jews together, caused swines-flesh to be sacrificed on the Altar, and to be offered to every Hebrew to eat. Amongst the multitude thus assembled, there was one Eleazer, a Priest a man that feared God, and one who was very aged, of a reverend countenance,Subtilty. and famous for his vertue; To him Antio­chus said, Be advised by me, holy old man, to avoid those torments which are prepared for the obstinate; preserve thy reverend age, and contemn not the be­nefit of life; take the sacrifice, and eat of the swines-flesh, for no wise man will credit the Jews opinion to refuse that meat which nature hath ordained for mans use, as well as any other: Why should this beast be more abominable then others? &c. Or, suppose your Laws are to be observed, yet will they ex­cuse thee, seeing thou sinnest not voluntarily, but by compulsion? To whom Eleazer answered;Courage. ‘We, O Antiochus, follow not vanity, but the verity of Religion, and fear of torments cannot make us embrace another: but suppose that the Religion left us by our fore-fathers had no firm ground, yet should not torments make me forsake it. Do not esteem it a small matter to eat forbidden meat, and to taste of that which is sacrificed to Idols; for it is a profane thing to touch things that are prophane, and we are taught by our Law to suffer with pati­ence whatsoever, for Gods cause, is inflicted upon us, &c. And there­fore I refuse this profane meat, well knowing what I ought to eat, as warranted by Gods Law, which I have learned to obey, &c. and herein will I persist, though with tyrannous hand thou pluck out mine eyes, or with a sharp knife rip up my entrails. Think not that because I am old, my body is feeble: If I must be sacrificed for Gods sake, thou shalt find me as lusty, and constant as a young man, and most joyfull in torments. Prepare an extraordinary fire, or what else thou pleasest, thou shalt find me more constant in the midst of all [Page 19] torments, then I am now before they come, &c. The chaste, and pure company of Fathers shall receive me into their number, where I shall not fear (O impious King) thy threats, &c.

Whilst Eleazer spake thus boldly,Eleazer cruelly beaten. the souldiers haled him to be tor­tured, and stripping him naked, they hanged him up, and whipped him: and whilst on either side he was thus beaten, one cryed, Obey the Kings pleasure and command. But this worthy man was not over­come by torment, but suffered as though he had been in a sleep: and fixing his venerable eyes upon Heaven, he knew in whom he believed, and to whom he sacrificed his life, and beholding the flesh on each side of his body rent and torn with stripes, and the bloud issuing out abun­dantly, he admired his own patience, and thanked God the author of it: At last finding his own frailty, scarce able to endure such torments, he fell upon his face, which with stripes was all rent, and torne,His admirable patience. still glo­rifying God, as he did before: Then a souldier, to gratifie the King like a mad man, did spurn, and tread upon him, to encrease his sufferings: but Eleazer, strong in body and minde, like a Champion of the true God, did never shrink at those pains, but by patience overcame the cru­elty of his tormentors; so that his torturers admired that he should be able to bear them: Then the Kinges Officers said, How long wilt thou forbear to obey the King? eat Swines flesh and free thy self from all that thou endurest. Eleazer, though hitherto he had been silent in all his torments, yet could he not hear such profane counsel without answering, where­upon he cryed out; ‘We Hebrews are not so effeminate as to forsake the way of salvation wherein we walk to our old-age,His zeal. neither are we taught for feare of contumely, which will not long endure, to give others an occasion, and example to sin, &c. Wilt thou, O Tyrant, esteem of us if we should yield unto thee? nay, thou mightst justly reprove our inconstancy:’ Then did the souldiers, by the Kings com­mand, cast him into the fire, and poured stinking, and loathsome li­quors into his nostrils, all which he patiently suffered, till he was con­sumed in the flames: Yet when nature began to fail, lifting up his daz­led eyes to Heaven, he said, ‘Thou, O God, art he from whom life, and salvation proceedeth: Behold I die for observing thy Laws: Be mercifull to this thy Nation,His prayer at death. and forsake not them whom hitherto thou hast protected in thy bosom, and under the shadow of thy wings, let my death end all misery, &c. and so he joyfully yielded up the ghost.

Antiochus was but more incensed hereby, and therefore he caused seven Children of the Hebrews to be brought to Antioch, who being young, and therefore, as he thought, weak, and unable to endure tor­ments, he presumed that either by perswasion, or fear, he should en­force them to forsake their Religion.

Then he commanded these seven, together with their mother Sala­mona now aged, to be brought before him: They were of excellent beauty, and worthy children of so vertuous a mother. The Tyrant beholding them, with a merry countenance, craftily spake unto them: [Page 20] I wish your good, O admirable young men, do not therefore like mad men resist my commands: Antiochus his subtilty. Avoid not only torments, but death also: I desire not only to exalt you to honour, but to encrease your riches, and possessions: Con­temn therefore your own superstition, and embrace our Religion: If you re­fuse this (as I hope you will not) I will devise all torments, that by a lin­gring, and painfull death, I may consume you: And to terrifie them the more, he caused all sorts of Instruments for torment to be brought forth before them, as Wheels, Rods, Hooks, Racks, Cauldrons, Cages, Gridirons, &c. with Engines to torment the fingers, and hands, as Gauntlets, Auls, Bellows, Brazen-pots, and Frying-pans, &c. Then said he, Obey me, O prudent young men, for if I command that which is a sin, yet do not you offend, being compelled to it.

But these holy young men, inflamed with a divine spirit, con­temned these torments, and despised both threats and flateries, denying to eat of the sacrificed Swines flesh, and saying: ‘Where­fore,The seven bre­threns courage O Tyrant, dost thou persecute us that are innocent? We de­sire to die, and will, till death expels life, firmly keep that which God commanded and Moses taught us: and therefore seek not, O Tyrant to seduce us by protesting thy unfeigned love: Thou lover of in justice, master of cruelty, deviser of iniquity, the pardon thou pro­ferrest is more painfull to us then punishments: We contemn death, and esteem not thy words, our master Eleazer having taught us to de­spise them. Why dost thou expect such pusillanimity in us young men, when of late thou foundest such courage in an old man? Thou canst not know our minds except by tearing our bodies thou searchest them out: We will willingly for our God suffer any thing, and ex­pect Heaven, whilst thou for thy cruelty to innocents, shalt be reser­ved to eternal fire.’

The Tyrant greatly moved herewith, caused them to be beaten with Buls-pizels: first commanding Maccabeus the eldest to be stripped, and stretched out upon a Rack,Maccabeus his torments. and his hands to be bound, and so to be most cruelly beaten, who so wearied his tormentors by sufferring, that they rather desired to give over, then he requested it: Then was he put upon a Wheel, and a weight hanged at his feet, and so stretched round about it, that his sinews and entrails brake, yet all this while he called upon God:His resolute speech. and then said to the Tyrant: ‘O bloudy Tyrant, who persecutest the Majesty of God; I whom thou thus tormentest, am no witch, nor murtherer, but one who dies for observing Gods Law:’ And when the tormentors, overcome with compassion, willed him to submit to the Kinges pleasure, he said; ‘O ye wicked ministers of Tyranny! Your Wheels are not so sharp and cruel, that I there­by will be forced to forsake Heaven, whereon my minde is fixed: Tear my flesh, yea if you please, rost it at the fire: torture each par­cel of my body with severall cruelties, yet you shall not be able to force us young men to impiety.’

His Martyr­dom.As he thus spake, a fire was kindled, & he thus racked on the Wheel, was thrown into it, and by flames was so burned that his bowels ap­peared, [Page 21] yet was his minde unmoved, and in the midst of his torments he cryed thus to his brethren; ‘O beloved brethren, make me your example; despise the alluring baits of this world; obey God rather then this Tyrant,His speech at death. who can if he please humble the proud and migh­ty, and exalt the dejected:’ Then was he taken from the fire; and slain alive; his tongue was pulled out of his head, and he put into a frying pan, and so he departed out of this life, to the admiration of his enemies, and the joy of his mother, and brethren.

Then was the second brother, called Aber, haled by the souldiers; and the Tyrant shewed him all those instruments of torment, and as­ked him if he would eat of the sacrifice? which he, denying to do,Abers tor­ments. his hands were bound with iron chains, and being hanged up thereby, the skin of his body was slain from the crown of his head to his knees, so that the entrails in his brest were seen: Then was he cast to a cruel Libard, greedily thirsting after blood, but the beast smelling at him,Or Leopard. forgat his cruelty, and went from him, without doing him any harm: This increased the Tyrants rage, and Aber by his torments grew more constant, crying aloud, ‘O how pleasant is that death to me, which is caused by all sorts of torments for Gods sake! yea,H [...]s speech at death. the more plea­sant, because I know I shall be rewarded in heaven; Let these tor­ments, O Tyrant, satisfie thy cruelty, for my pain is not increased by them, but my pleasure, as thou shalt find by my patience in these sufferings; I am more willing to suffer, then thou to punish, yet my pain is less in suffering, then thine by inflicting: I am tor­mented for keeping the Law, thou by Gods Justice shalt be banished from thy Regal seat, yea, eternal torments are prepared for thee, which neither thy prophane mind is able to endure, nor thy power to decline, &c. And so shortly after he yielded up his soul to God.

Then Machir the third son was brought, whom all pitied,Machir brought forth. and ex­horted by his brothers examples to forsake his opinion, and so decline the punishment; but he being angry at such Counsel, replied, ‘One Father begat us, one Mother bore us, one Master instructed us,His courage. &c. Therefore no longer prolong the time in vain; I came to suffer, not to speak, use all the Tyranny that possibly you can against my body yet have you no power over my soul.’ This so moved the Tyrant, that he devised new torments beyond the reach of humane wit; and com­manding a globe to be brought, he caused him to be tied about it in such sort, that all his bones were put out of joint,His torments. hanging one from another in a most pitifull manner; yet was the holy Martyr nothing dismaid; then the skin of his head and face was pulled off, and then was he put upon the wheel, but he could be racked no worse, for all his bones were dislocated before; the blood issuing from him abun­dantly, he said, ‘We, O Tyrant, endure this torment for the love of God, and thou the Author of such cruelty,His speech at death. shalt be punished with everlasting pain;’ Then was his tongue cut out, and he being put in­to a fiery frying pan, resigned his spirit unto God.

Next followed Judas the fourth brother, whom all the people per­swaded [Page 22] to obey the King:Judas his cou­rage. But he said, ‘Your fire shall not separate me from the Law of God, nor from my brethren; To thee, O Tyrant, I denounce destruction, but to such as believe, salvation: Try me thou cruel wretch, and see if God will not stand by me, as he did by my three brethren now in glory, &c. The cruel Tyrant hearing this, was so inraged, that he leaped down from his chaire to torment this Martyr himselfe;His torments. He commanded also his tongue to be cut out, to whom Judas said, ‘Thy cruelty will nothing avail thee, our God needs not by voice to be awaked,His speech at death. &c. he heareth such as call upon him with their hearts, and know's our thoughts afar off, &c. Cut out my tongue if thou please, would thou wouldst so sanctifie all the parts of my body, &c. and think not that thou shalt long escape un­punished:’ Then was his tongue cut out, and he bound to a stake, was beaten with ropes ends, which torments he bore with admirable pati­ence: After which he was put upon the wheel, where he ended his life, and went to the rest of his brethren.

Then spake Achas the fift brother, ‘Behold, O Tyrant, I come to be punished before thou commandest me,Achas his cou­rage. therefore hope not to alter his minde that desireth to be tormented: The bloud of my innocent brethren hath condemned thee to hell, I shall make up the fift, that by it thy torments may be increased: What offence have we com­mitted that thou thus ragest against us? &c. All that thou canst al­ledge against us is, that we honour God and live in obedience to his Laws, and therefore we esteem not punishment, which is an honour to us; though no part of us be left untormented, yet we shall be the more rewarded by God.’ Then at the command of the Kings the executioner cast him into a brazen pot,His torments. where he was prest down with his head to his feet, and afterwards he sufferred all the torments inflicted on his brethren, but he was so far from being discouraged, that suddenly starting up,His speech at death. he said, ‘Cruel Tyrant, how great bene­fits dost thou (though against thy will) bestow upon us! yea the more thou ragest, the more acceptable to God shalt thou make us; therefore I shall be sorry if thou shewest me any mercy: by this tem­porall death, I shall go to everlasting life.’ And having thus finished his sufferings, he died.

Then was Areth the sixt brother brought, to whom the Tyrant proferred the choise of honour,Areth his cou­rage. or punishment; But he being grieved at this profer, said, ‘O Tyrant, though I be younger in years then my bre­thren, yet the constancy of my minde is not inferiour; as we have lived, so we will die together in the fear of God: Hasten therefore thy torments, and what time thou wouldest spend in exhorting me, spend it in devising torments for me.’ Whereupon Antiochus in a rage, commanded him to be tied to a pillar with his head downwards: Then caused he a fire to be made at such a distance,His torments. as might not burn, but rost him: Then he made them prick him with awles, that the heat might pierce the sorer: In these torments much bloud, like froth, gathered about his head and face;His speech at death. yet said he, ‘O noble fight! O valiant [Page 23] warre! O strife between piety and impiety! My brethren have past through their Agonies, whose crown of Martyrdom is the punish­ment of their Persecutors. I willingly follow them, that as by blood I am conjoyned to them, so by death I may not be separated from them. Devise, O Tyrant, some new torment, for I have overcome these already: O Master of cruelty, enemy of piety, and persecu­tor of Justice! we young men have conquered thy power, thy fire is cold, and heateth not: thy weapons are bended, and blunted in our bodies; our God giveth us more courage to suffer, then thou hast to punish, &c. As he thus spake, they pulled out his tongue with an hot pair of tongs, and lastly frying him in a frying pan, he gave up the ghost.

There being now only the youngest brother left, called Jacob, he,Jacob brought forth. Antiochus his subtilty. presenting himself before the Tyrant, moved him to some compassion, wherefore he called the Child to him, and taking him aside by the hand, he said, By the example of thy brethren thou seest what to expect if thou disobeyest me; therefore deliver thy self from these torments, and I will give thee what honour my Kingdom can afford: thou shalt be a Ruler, Gene­rall of my Army, my Counceller &c. But when this prevailed not, he called his mother, who coming, and standing by her son, the Tyrant said to her, O worthy woman, where now are all thy Children? yet thou hast one remaining; advise him therefore not to ruine himself, and to leave thee childless by his obstinacy, &c. The mother bowing her self to the King, said to her child in Hebrew, that she might not be understood of others, ‘Pity and comfort thy sorrowfull mother, O my son,His mother encourageth him. who bare thee nine moneths in my womb, gave thee suck with my brests three years, and with great care have brought thee up hitherto. I pray thee, dear son, consider the heavens and earth, and remember that God created them all of nothing, &c, fear not therefore these pains and torments, but imitate thy brethren, and contemn death, that in the day of mercy I may receive thee with thy brethren again in heaven.’ Then did he desire to be unbound, which being granted, he immediately ran to the torments,His noble cou­rage. and coming where was a frying pan red hot, he said to the King; ‘Cruel Tyrant, I now know thee, not only to have been cruel to my brethren, but even cruelty it self. Wretch that thou art, who gave thee these purple robes? who ex­alted thee to thy Kingdom? Even he whom thou in us dost perse­cute, whose servants thou tormentest and killest, for which thy self shalt suffer eternal torments; though thou art above others, yet he that made other men, made thee also of the same nature, for all are born, and must die alike. He that kils another, sheweth that he himself may be killed; thou tearest and tormentest thine own Image all in vain? In thy fury thou killest him, whom God created like thy self, &c. thou pullest out our tongues, tearest our bodies with flesh-hooks, and consumest us with fire; but they that have already suffered, have received everlasting joyes, and everlasting punishments attend thee. Think not that I expect any favour, I will follow my [Page 24] brethren, and remain constant in keeping Gods Law.’ The Tyrant herewith inraged, caused him to be tormented; but his mother com­forted him, and with her kind hands held his head, when through violence of the torturers,His torments. the blood issued out of his mouth, nose, and privy parts; the tormentors not ceasing till his life was almost spent; but then giving over, God gave him strength to recover, and to endure more then any of his brethren had done. At last his hands and arms being cut off, with his eyes lift up to heaven, he cryed, ‘O Lord. His last words. Adonai. be mercifull unto me, and receive me into the company of my bre­thren. &c. Then was his tongue pulled out, and he of his own accord going into the fiery frying pan, to the great admirarion of Antiochus, died.

Salamona's zeal.The mother seeing all her Children dead, was inflamed with a holy zeal to suffer Martyrdom also; and despising the Tyrants threats, she offered her motherly brest to those torments which her Children had suffered before her. Indeed herein she excelled them all, in that she had suffered seven painfull deaths, before she came to suffer in her own person, and feared in every one of them, lest she should have been overcome. She alone with dry eyes did look upon them whilst they were torn in pieces, yea, she exhorted them thereunto, rejoycing to see one torn with flesh-hooks, another racked upon the wheel, a third bound and beaten, a fourth burned, and yet she exhorted the rest not to be terrified thereby; and though her grief in beholding their torments was greater then that which she had in child-birth, yet did she frame a chearfull countenance, as if it had been one triumphing, wishing ra­ther the torments of their bodies then of their souls; for she knew that nothing was more frail then our lives, which are often taken away by Agues, Fluxes, and a thousand other ways. Therefore when they were first apprehended, she thus exhorted them in the Hebrew tongue, ‘O my most dear and loving Children,Her speech to her Children. let us hasten to that Agony which may credit our profession, and be rewarded by God with eter­nal life. Let us fearlesly present our bodies to those torments which aged Eleazer endured. Let us call to mind our father Abraham, who having but one only son▪ willingly sacrificed him at Gods com­mand, and feared not to bring him to the Altar, whom with many prayers he had obtained in his old age. Remember Daniel, the three Children, &c. Antiochus being enraged against her, caused her to be stripped naked,Her torments and death. hanged up by the hands, and cruelly whipt: then were her dugs and paps pulled off, and her self put into the red hot frying pan; where lifting up her eyes and hands to heaven, in the midst of her prayers she yielded up her chast soul unto God. But God suffered not the cruel Tyrant to escape unpunished, for in his wars against the Persians, See more of this before. the Lord struck him with madness, his intrals were devoured with worms, and stinking like a Carrion, in the extremity of his tor­ments he gave up the ghost.

Concerning this Antiochus, Daniel, chap. 8.9, 10. &c. saw in the vi­sion, that there came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great to­wards [Page 25] the south, and towards the East, and towards the pleasant Land, and it waxeth great even towards the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host, and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them: Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sa­crifice was taken away, and the place of the Sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily Sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered. Which afterwards is thus interpreted by the Angel unto Daniel, verse 23. &c. In the latter time of their Kingdom, when the Transgressors are come to the full, a King of fiery countenance, and understanding dark sen­tences shall stand up, and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people: And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he shall magnifie himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: He shall also stand up against the Prince of Princes, but he shall he broken without hand.

Collected out of Josephus, and the Books of the Maccabees.

Here place the first Figure.

CHAP. VI. The Persecution of the Church from Christs time to our present Age; and first of those mentioned in the New Testament

HErod the great, hearing by the wise men of one that was born King of the Jews, and being informed by the chief Priests and the Scribes, that the place of his birth should be Bethlehem of Judah, Mat. 2.2, 5, 16. he sent forth souldiers, and slew all the Children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, hoping thereby to have destroyed Christ: for which cruel fact the Lord gave him over to such a spirit of phrensie, that he slew his own wife, his Children,Gods Judge­ment on Perse­cutors. and nearest kins-folks, and familiar friends. And shortly af­ter Gods heavy Judgement fell upon him by a grievous sickness, which was a slow and slack fire in his inward parts; and withal, he had a gree­dy appetite after food, and yet nothing sufficed him; he had also a rot­ting in his Bowels, and a greivous flux in his fundament; a moist and running humour about his feet,Herods misera­ble death. and the like malady vexed him about his bladder; his privy members putrified, engendring abundance of worms which continually swarmed out. He had a short and stinking breath, with a great pain in breathing; and through all the parts of his body such a violent cramp, as humane strength was not able to endure. Yet longing after life, he sent for Physitians from all parts, by whose advice he went to the hot bathes of Calliroe; but finding no ease there­by, his torments still encreasing, he sought to lay violent hands upon himself, if he had not been prevented by his friends, and so in extream misery, he ended his wretched life.

Then Herod the less having married the daughter of Aretas, King of Arabia, put her away, and took Herodias, who had forsaken her husband Philip, brother to Herod; for which incestuous and adulte­rous marriage, John Baptist plainly reproved him; whereupon at the in­stigation of Herodias, John Baptist behe [...]ded. Mat. 14.10. Herod first imprisoned him, and afterwards cut off his head: but the Lord left not this murther long unpunished, for Aretas raising an Army against Herod, for that ignominious dealing with his daughter, in a pitched battel wholly overthrew him, and cut off all his hoast,Gods Judge­ments on Herod for it. not longe after Herod falling into disgrace with the Roman Emperour, he, with his incestuous Herodias were banished to Vienna in France, Caius Caligula. where they ended their wretched lives with much shame and misery.

After the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, Peter and John, having [Page 27] cured a man that was born lame, and preaching Jesus to the people, upon that occasion they were apprehended, and cast into prison by the Priests and Captain of the Temple, who the next day,Act. 4.1, 17. having ex­amined them, threatned to punish them, if they spake any more in that name, and so dismissed them. Yet afterwards the high-Priests and the Sadduces again laid hands on the Apostles, and cast them into the common prison; but in the night time the Angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, and released them, Ast. 5.18, 19. The next day, as they were preaching to the people, they were again apprehended,The Apostles beaten. and carried before the Counsel, ver. 26, 27. at whose command they were beaten, and so dismissed, ver, 40.

Then were false witnesses suborned against Steven, who accused him for speaking blasphemous words against Moses, and against God, Act. 6.11. for which being apprehended and brought before the Coun­cel, he was there condemned, led out of the City, and stoned to death,Steven stoned. chap. 7.58.

After this there was a general persecution raised up against the Church of Christ in Jerusalem, whereby all the faithfull were scat­tered abroad throughout the Regions of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles, chap. 8.1. Saul also made great havock of the Church, entring into every house, haling both men and women, and committing them to prison, verse 3.

Then Saul, after his Conversion, preaching Christ boldly, the en­raged Jews took Counsel, and lay in wait to kill him,Paul persecut­ed. watching the Gates of Damascus, where he then was, both day and night; but the Disciples took him by night, and let him down over the wall in a bas­ket, whereby he escaped, Act. 9.23, &c.

Then rose up a third Herod, called also Agrippa, who, not taking warning by his predecessors calamities, fell to persecuting the Church of Christ, and sending for James, the brother of John, before him, he condemned him to be beheaded: Concerning whom Clemens reports,Act. 12.1, 2. that he which drew James before the Tribunal seat, when he saw him so cheerfully embracing the sentence of death, was exceedingly mo­ved therewith, and voluntarily confessed himself to be a Christian, and so was condemned to be beheaded with him:A Persecutor converted. As they went in the way to execution, he requested the Apostle James to pardon him, who after a little pause, turning to him, said, Peace be unto thee; and kissed him, and so they were beheaded both together. Herod seeing that the death of James pleased the Jews, he took Peter also,James behead­ed. and delivered him to four quaternions of souldiers to keep him in prison, intending after the passover to put him to death; But the night before he should suffer, as he was sleeping, bound with two chains to tvvo souldiers, and the Keepers watching before the prison doors, an Angel came and awaked him, causing his chains to fall off, and so going before him, he led him out of prison, causing the iron gate to open to them, and having brought him out of danger, left him. But this cruel persecu­ting Herod scaped no better then his Predecessors had done,Peter escapeth death. for being [Page 28] arraied in glistering and royal apparel, and sitting upon his Throne, he made an Oration to his people, who like flattering Court Parasites, gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a God, and not of a man: Where­upon the Angel of the Lord immediately smote him,Gods Judge­ment on Herod and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost, verse 21, &c. in the fifty fourth year of his age, and the seventh of his reign, and under Claudius Caesar.

Then the wicked Jews stirred up the Gentiles against Paul and Bar­nabas at Iconium, Paul and Bar­nabas persecut­ed. so that being in danger to be stoned to death, they fled into Lycaonia, Act. 14.2, 5▪ 6.

Again at Ly [...]tra they stirred up the Gentiles against them, where­upon Paul was stoned and drawn out of the City,Paul stoned. and left for dead, but it pleased God that he revived, and so escaped to Derbe, ver. 19.20.

Afterwards Paul and Silas, for casting a spirit of divination out of a Damosel at Philippi, Paul and Silas whipt. were dragged before the Rulers, who caused them to be whipt, and cast into prison. But the Magistrates after­wards hearing that they were Romans, were much afraid, as having done more then they could answer, and therefore they came to them, released them out of prison, and besought them to depart out of their City, Act. 16.2 [...], 39.

Presently after at Thessalonica, the Jews again stirred up the people against Paul and Silas, Paul and Silas again persecut­ed. and raising up an uproar, they sought for them in the house of Jason, and not meeting with them there, they drew forth Jason himself, and some brethren before the Rulers, who giving secu­rity for their forth-coming,Act. 17.5, 13, 14. were dismissed. Yet these wretched Jews followed Paul to Berea also, and there stirred up a persecution against him, whereby he was forced to depart. At Corinth also they made an insurrection, caught Paul, and brought him before Gallio, Deputy of Achaia, Sosthenes beaten. and when he would be a Judge of no such matters, they took Sosthenes the chief Ruler of the Synagogue, and beat him before the Judgement seat, Acts 18.12, 17.

Afterwards at Ephesus, Demetrius that made silver shrines for Diana, raised an uproar, and having caught Caius and Aristarchus, Pauls companions, they with them rushed into the Theatre; but this tumult being allayed by the wisdom of the Town-Clark, Paul hasted away into Macedonia, cap. 19.29, &c. Paul at last returning to Jerusalem, the Asian Jews finding him in the Temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him; but as they were about to kill him, he was rescued by the chief Captain of the Romans, chap. 21.31, 32. Then being brought forth before the Counsel of the Jews, he was first smitten by the Command of the High-Priest, chap. 23.2. And afterwards being in danger of being pulled to pieces,Paul in danger he was again rescued by the Captain, ver. 10. Then above forty of those desperate Jevvs, bound themselves under a curse, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed him, ver. 12, 13. Hereupon he is sent to Faelix at Caesarea, who kept him in prison till his Accusers came, ver. 24, 35. Then being accused by Tertullus, Acts 24.27. he clears himself; yet because he vvould not bribe Faelix, he [Page 29] is kept prisoner still. Festus succeeding Faelix, the Jews importune him also for sentence against Paul, or that he might be sent for to Je­rusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him, chap. 25.3. but when that was denied them, they went to Cesarea to accuse him there, whereupon he is forced to appeal to Caesar, ver. 11. Then he was sent to Rome, and there committed Prisoner to the Captain of the Guard, chap. 28.16. where he continued prisoner at large for two years, and then being re­leased, he visited the Churches of Greece and Asia. Afterwads he preached in Spain and France, and at last returning into Italy, he was again apprehended, and imprisoned at Rome, Pauls Martyr­dom. where also he suffered Martyrdom, as afterwards you shall hear.

The Jews being much displeased that they could not reak their teen upon Paul, turn themselves against James the brother of Christ: him therefore they bring, and set them in the midst of them, requiring him publickly to renounce the faith of Christ: but he on the contrary made a bold and open confession of Jesus to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world. Then did they set him upon a Pinacle of the Temple, again requiring him in the audience of all the people, to tell them which is the way of Jesus crucified; to whom he answered, Why ask you me of Jesus the son of man, when as he sits at the right hand of God in Heaven, and shall again come in the clouds of the air? this so en­raged the Scribes and Pharisees, that they threw him down head-long; but he not being dead with the fall, gat upon his knees, and said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do: Then one taking a Fullers Club, struck him on the head, and brained him.The Martyr­dom of James.

This James was sirnamed Justus, of whom Aegesippus writes, that his knees were as hard as Camels knees,His constancy in prayer. by reason of his continual kneeling in prayer. But shortly after his death, Vespasian came into Judea, and subdued the Jews: and his son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, and the Temple.

Andrew the brother of Peter, preached the Gospel to the Scythians, Andrews mar­tyrdom. Sogdians, and Aethiopians, and was at last crucified by Aegeas, King of Edessa.

Philip preached the Gospel in Phrygia, and at last was crucified at Hierapolis. Philips Mar­tyrdom.

Bartholemew preached to the Indians, and (as some say) was beaten with Cudgels to death: or as others, he was flaid alive,Bartholemew. and then be­headed.

Thomas preached unto the Parthians, Medes and Persians, &c, and in Indian he was slain with a dart.Thomas.

Mathew preached to the Aethiopians, and at last by the command of the King, was ran thorow with a sword.Matthew.

Simon Zelotes preached in Mauritania and Africk, and at length was crucified under Traian, being above 112 years old.Simon Zel.

Judas the brother of James preached to the Edesseans, and at last was slain by the command of the King.Judas.

Matthias preached first in Macedonia, Matthias. and afterwards coming into [Page 30] Judea, he was by the Jews first stoned, and then beheaded.

Mark the Evangelist preached in Alexandria, and the neighbouring Regions,Mark. and afterwards was burnt by the furious Idolaters.

Nicanor. Nicanor, one of the Deacons, was martyred, together with two thou­sand other faithful Christians.

Collected out of the New Testament, and Dorotheus.


CHAP. VII. The First Primitive Persecution which began An. Christi, 67.

THis first Persecution was begun by Domitius Nero, the sixt Emperour, Anno 67. or thereabouts: the occasion whereof was this;Quinquennium Neronis. Nero having passed over the first five years of his reign somewhat plausibly, he then began to fall to all manner of prodigious impieties: and amongst other wicked designs, he had a great desire to consume the stately im­perial City of Rome with fire; pronouncing King Priamus an happy man, because he beheld the end of his Kingdom and Countrey toge­ther; yea, said he, let not all be ruined when I am dead, but whilst I am yet a­live: Nero sets Rome on fire. and for the effecting of this villany, he sent divers to kindle the fire in sundry places; yea, some of his own bed-chamber were seen to carry Flax, Toe, Torches, &c. to further it: and when any attempted to quench it, they were threatned for it; others openly hurled fire­brands, crying, They knew what they did, there was one would bear them out. This fire first began amongst the Oyl-men and Drugsters; The night-watch and Praetorian guards did openly cherish it; and when it was throughly kindled, Nero went up to the top of Maecenas Tow­er, which over-looked the whole City, where he fed himself with the sight of infinite burnings, and sang to his harp, the burning of Troy.

The Circus burnt down.Amongst other stately buildings that were burned down, the Circus, or race-yard was one, being about half a mile in length, of an oval [Page 31] form, with rows of seats one above another, capable to receive at least a hundred and fifty thousand Spectators without uncivil shouldrings: but the particulars were innumerable, the damage inestimable; be­sides which, many thousands of people perished; the flame and smoak smothered some, the weight of ruins crusht others, the fire consumed others; others threw themselves into the fire out of sorrow and de­spair, and villains slew many.

But Nero finding that this fire, which continued burning nine dayes, brought a great Odium upon him; to excuse himself, he transferred the fault upon the Christians, as if out of malice they had done it,Nero charged it upon the Chri­stians. and thereupon he raised this first persecution against them. For there was at this present a flourishing Church of Christians in Rome, even before St. Paul's arrival there,Raiseth the first Persecuti­on. and Nero's own Court was secretly gar­nished and enriched with some of those Diamons, whose salutations the Apostle remembers in his Epistle to the Philippians. But whilst Nero with their blood, sought to quench and cover his own infamy, he pro­cured to himself new envy; whilst many that abhorred Christians for their Religion, commiserated their sufferings as undeserved. Some he caused to be sewed up in the skins of wild beasts, and then worried them to death with dogs: some he crucified, others he burnt in publick,Several kinds of torments. to furnish his evening sports with Bonefires. Many he caused to be packed up in paper stiffened in molten wax, with a coat of sear-cloth about their bodies, bound upright to Axletrees, many of which were pitcht in the ground, and so set on fire at the bottom, to maintain light for Nero's night-sports in his gardens. Some of them were gored in length upon stakes, the one end fastened in the earth, the other thrust into their fundaments, and coming out at their mouths.

Nor did this Persecution rage in Rome alone, but it was extended generally over the whole Empire,Beastly cruel­ty. insomuch that a man might then have seen Cities lie full of mens bodies, the old lying there together with the young, and the dead bodies of women cast out naked in the open streets, without all reverence of their sex. Yea his rage and malice was so great, that he endeavoured to have rooted out the very name of Christians in all places. Whereupon Tertullian said, That it could be no ordinary goodness which Nero condemned; and, saith he, We glory on the behalf of our sufferings, that they had such a dedicator as he:Tertullians speech. but this great Persecution, like a blast, did spread the Religion that it blew, and ha­ving continued four years from the first rising, is expired in two most shining blazes, viz. in the Martyrdom of the two great Apostles Peter and Paul: Peter was crucified with his head down-wards, which manner of death himself made choice of, and whilst he thus hung up­on the Cross, he saw his wife going to her Martyrdom, whereupon he much rejoyced; and calling her by her name, he bad her remember the Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, also Paul, before Nero, made a confession of his faith, and of the Doctrine which he taught;Peter and Paul martyred. where­upon he was condemned to be beheaded, and the Emperor sent two of his Esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death: [Page 32] they coming to Paul, heard him instruct the people, and thereupon desired him to pray for them that they might believe; who told them, that shortly after they should believe and be baptized: then the soul­diers led him out of the City to the place of execution, where he prayed, and then gave his neck to the sword, and so was beheaded. This was done in the fourteenth, which was the last year of Nero.

Collected out of the life of Nero Caesar, Eusebius, and the Book of Martyrs.

CHAP. VIII. The second Primitive Persecution, which began Anno 96.

AFter the death of Nero, there succeeded, first Vespasian, and then his son Titus in the Empire, under both whom the Church had rest, but Titus associating to himself his brother Flavius Domitian in the Government of the Empire; This wicked Monster, first slew his brother, and then raised the second persecution against the Church of Christ.Domitians cha­racter. His pride was so great, that he commanded himself to be worshiped as God; and that Ima [...]es of gold and silver should be set up for his honour in the Capitoll. His cruelty was unmeasurable. The chiefest Nobles of the Roman Senators, either upon envy, or for their goods,He destroyes Davids seed. he caused to be put to death. Having also heard some rumors of Christs Kingdom, he was afraid, as Herod had been before him; and thereupon commanded all of the linage of David to be sought out and slain; At last two poor Christians that came of Judas, the brother of Christ according to the flesh, were brought before Domitian, and accused to be of the Tribe of Juda, and of the line of David: Then did the Emperour demand of them what stock of money and possessi­ons they had; To whom they answered, that they two had not above thirty nine Acres of land, out of which they payed Tribute, and re­lieved themselves by their labour and industry, withal shewing him their hard and brawny hands, by reason of their labour. Then did he ask them of Christ, and of his Kingdom; to whom they answered, that Christs Kingdom was not of this world, but spiritual and celestial; and that he would come at the last day to judge the quick and the dead. Hereupon he despised them as simple and contemptible persons, and so dismissed them. He punished an infinite company of Christians that were famous in the Church, with exile, and loss of their sub­stance. Under this persecution it was that St. John, the beloved Disci­ple,St. John put in­to boiling oyl. Banished into Patmos. was first put into a vessel of boiling oyl, and coming safe without hurt, out of the same, he was then banished into the Isle of Patmos, Anno 97. where he continued till after the death of Domitian, but was [Page 33] released under Pertinax: At which time he returned to Ephesus, where he lived till he was a hundred and twenty years old. During his abode there, he was requested to repaire to some place not farre off, to order their Ecclesiasticall affairs; and being in a certain City, he beheld in the Congregation a young man, mighty of body,An excellent story [...]f a young man. of a beautifull coun­tenance, and fervent minde; whereupon calling the chief Bishop unto him, he said, I commend this man unto thee with great diligence, in the witness here of Christ and of the Church. The Bishop having received this charge, and promised his faithfull diligence therein, John spake the like words to him the second time also, after which he returned unto Ephesus. The Bishop having received this young man thus com­mitted to his charge, brought him home, kept, nourished, instructed and Baptized him; and the young man so profited under him, that at last he was made the Pastor of a Congregation. But having by this means more liberty then before, some of his old companions began to resort unto him; who first drew him forth to sumptuous and riotous banquets; then inticed him to go abroad with them in the nights to rob and steal, and to much other wickedness. And he being of a good wit, and stout courage, ran like an unbridled horse to all manner of disorders and outrage: And associating to himself many loose and dissolute companions, he became their Head and Captain, in com­mitting all kindes of murther and felonies. Not long after, upon some urgent occasions, St John was again sent for into those parts, where having decided those controversies, and dispatched those busi­nesses for which he came, meeting with the afore-mentioned Bishop, he required of him the pledge, which before Christ and the Congre­gation he had committed to his custody. The Bishop herewith ama­zed, supposing that he meant it of some money committed to him, which yet he had not received, not daring to contradict the Apostle, he thereupon stood mute: Then John perceiving that he was not un­derstood, said, The young man, and the soul of our brother committed to your custody, I do require. Whereupon the Bishop with many tears said, He is dead: To whom John replyed, How, and by what death? The Bishop answered, He is dead to God, for he is become a wicked and vicious man, and a thief, and now he doth frequent these mountains, with a company of thieves and villains like himself, &c. The Apostle, rending his garments with a great lamentation, said, I left a good keeper of my brothers soul; get me an horse and guide presently; which being done, he went strait to the mountains, and was no sooner come thither, but he was taken by the thieves that watched for their prey, to whom he said, I came hither for this cause, Lead me to your Captain: and so being brought before him, the Captain all armed, looked fiercely upon him, and soon coming to the knowledge of him, he was striken with such shame and confusion, that he began to flie, but the old man followed him as fast as he could, crying, My son why dost thou flie from thy fa­ther? an armed man from one naked? a young man from an old man? Have pity upon me my son: and feare not, there is yet hope of salvation, I will an­swer [Page 34] for thee to Christ, I will die for thee if need be, as Christ died for us, I will give my life for thee; Believe me, Christ hath sent me. He hearing these things, first as in a maze, stood still, lost his courage, cast down his weapons, then trembled, and vvept bitterly, and coming to the old man, he embraced him with many tears, only his right hand he kept hid and covered. Then the Apostle, after he had promised and assured him that he should obtain pardon of our Saviour, falling upon his knees, he prayed for him, kissing his murthering right hand, vvhich for shame he durst not shevv before, and then brought him back to the Congregation, where he fasted and prayed continually for him, comforted and confirmed him with many Scripture-promises, and left him not, till he had restored him to his former Office, and made him a great example of Gods Mercy to repentant sinners.

Sim [...]on crucifi­ed.In this Persecution Simeon Bishop of Jerusalem, after many torments, was crucified to death: and an innumerable company of Mar­tyrs suffered for the like testimony of the Lord Jesus, amongst whom vvas Flavia, Flavia banish­ed. the daughter of Flavius Clemens, a Roman Senator and Consul, vvho amongst many others vvas banished into the Isle of Pontia.

A cruel death.This Lavv also vvas made by the Roman Senate, Non debere demitti Christianos, qui semel ad tribunal venissent, nisi propositum mutent, that Christians should not be let go, that vvere once brought before the Tribunal seat, except they renounced their Religion. Yea, that vvhich stirred up the Emperor more to persecute the Christians, vvere those abominable lies, and malicious slanders raised against them by the Heathen Idolaters, as that they were a people that lived in incest, that in their nightly meetings,Christians slandered. putting out the Candles, they ran together in all filthy manner; that they killed their ovvn Children, and used to eat mans flesh: that they vvere seditious and rebellious, and refused to svvear by the fortune of Caesar;Charged with Sedition and Rebellion; and the causers of all publick Calamities. Christianos ad Leones. and vvould not adore his Image in the Market place, and in brief, that they were pernicious to the Roman Empire: yea, whensoever any thing happened amiss to the City of Rome, or to her Provinces, either by famine, pestilence, Earth-quakes, Wars, unseasonable Weather, &c. it vvas presently imputed to the Christians. Besides, also there vvere a number of vvicked Promoters and Accusers, that for lucre's sake, to have the possessions of the Chri­stians, accused and persecuted them to the death. Also vvhen the Christians vvere brought before the Magistrates, they gave them an Oath,The Oath ex officio. requiring them to declare the truth, vvhether they vvere Christi­ans or no, and if they confessed; then by the Lavv, sentence of death vvas passed against them. Yet vvere not these Tyrants content by death to destroy their bodies, but the kinds of death vvere divers and horrible; vvhatsoever the cruelty of mans vvitty and vvicked invention could de­vise for the punishment of mans body, vvas practised against the poor Saints of God;Variety of tor­ments. Imprisonments, Stripes, Scourgings, Rackings, Tear­ings, Stoning▪ plates of iron burning hot, laid to the tenderest parts of their bodies, deep Dungeons, strangling in Prisons, the teeth of [Page 35] wild Beasts, Gridirons, Gibbits and Gallows, Tossings upon the Horns of Bulls, &c. And when they were thus killed, their bodies were laid on heaps, and dogs left to keep them, that none might come to bury them;Burial denied them. neither could any prayer or entreaty obtain leave that they might be interred. Notwithstanding all which horrible punish­ments, the Church of Christ daily increased, being deeply rooted in the Doctrine of the Apostles and Apostolical men, and watered plen­teously with the blood of the Saints.

Also in this persecution, Protasius and Gervasius were martyred at Millaine. Timothy was stoned to death at Ephesus, Protasius. Ger­vasius. Timothy and Dionysius mar­tyred. by the Worship­pers of Diana. Dionysius Areopagita was slain with the sword at Paris, &c.

CHAP. IX. The third Primitive Persecution, which began Anno Christi, 108.

DOmitian being slain by some of his own servants, Nerva succeeded him, who was a good and mercifull man, stayed the persecution against the Christians, called them home from banishment, so that the Church enjoyed peace in his time, but he reigning only thirteen moneths, Trajan a Spaniard succeeded him,Trajans perse­cution. who in the tenth year of his reign, raised the third persecution against the Church, which was far more cruel then either of the former; inasmuch as Plinius Secun­dus, an heathen Philosopher,Pliny writes in the Christians behalf. seeing the lamentabte slaughter of the Christians, moved with pity, he wrote to Trajan concerning the same; that whereas there were many thousands of them daily put to death, there were none of them which did any thing contrary to the Roman Laws worthy of persecution, saving that they used to gather together in the morning before day, and sing Hymns to a certain God that they vvorshipped, called Christ; in other things they were godly and honest; and for proof hereof, saith he, I caused two Maidens to be laid on the rack, and with torments to be examined about the same; but finding nothing in them but only lewd and immoderate superstition, I resolved to surcease further en­quiry, till I received further instructions from you about this matter. Christianity accounted su­perstition. &c. Trajan having read this Epistle; returned answer, that it was his mind, that the Christians should not be sought after, but if they were brought and convicted, that then they should suffer execution:Tertullians speech. whereof Ter­tullian, speaking, saith, O confused sentence! He would not have them sought for as men innocent, and yet would have them punished as men guilty: Now though upon this act, the rage of the persecution was somewhat aba­ted, yet many evil disposed men, and cruel Officers there were, vvhich ceased not to afflict the Christians in divers Provinces: especially if any [Page 36] commotion was raised in any of them, then presently were the Chri­stians blamed for it. Trajan sent a command to Jerusalem, that who­soever could be found out of the stock of David, should be enquired for,The stock of David sought for. and put to death; hereupon some Sectaries of the Jewish nation, accused Simeon the son of Cleophas, to come of Davids line, and that he was a Christian: of which Accusers it happened, that some of them were taken to be of the stock of David, and so most righteously were executed themselves who sought the destruction of others. In this Persecution suffered Phocas Bishop of Pontus, A just reward. whom Trajan, because he would not sacrifice to Neptune, Phocus Martyr. caused to be cast into a hot lime-kilne, and afterwards to be put into a scalding bath, where he ended his life in the cause of Christ: As also Sulpitius Servilianus, and Nereus, and Achilleus suffered Martyrdom in Rome, Sulpitius, Ne­reus and A­chilleus Mar­tyrs. Sagaris in Asia; Then also Ignatius Bishop of Antioch was apprehended and sent to Rome, where he was devoured of wild beasts, and besides these, many thousand others.

Adrian Emp. Alexander, Herenes and Quiri [...]us mar­tyrs. Zenon.After the death of Trajan, succeeded Hadrian, who continued this third persecution against the Chrstians; at which time, Alexander Bishop of Rome, with his two Deacons, as also Hermes and Quirinus with their families suffered Martyrdom. Also about this time, Zenon a noble man of Rome, with above ten thousand more were slain for Christs sake.Ten thousand crucified. Also in mount Ararath were ten thousand Christians crucified, crowned with thorns, and thrust into the side with sharp darts, after the example of the Lords passion. Eustachius, a noble Cap­tain,Eustachius Martyr. who Trajan had sent out to war against the Barbarians; after (through Gods Mercy) he had valiantly subdued his enemies, was re­turning home with victory: Hadrian for joy, went to meet him, and to bring him home with triumph: but by the way, he would needs sacri­fice to Apollo, for the victory obtained, willing Eustachius to do the same with him; but when by no means he could be perswaded thereto, com­ing to Rome, he with his wife and Children suffered Martyrdom; by the command of the ingratefull Emperour.Monstrous in­gratitude. Faustinus and Jobita Mar­tyrs. Also Faustinus and Jobita, Citizen of Brixia, were martyred with many torments; which caused one Calocerius, beholding their admirable patience in the midst of their cruel torments, to cry out, Vere magnus est Deus Christianorum, Verily great is the God of the Christians; whereupon being apprehend­ed,More. he was made Partaker of their Martyrdom. Also Eleutherius Bi­shop in Apulia, Eleutherius, Anthea, and Symphorissa Martyrs. was beheaded, together with his mother Anthea. Also Symphorissa, a godly Matron, was often cruelly scourged, afterwards hanged up by the hairs of her head: at last had a huge stone fastened to her, and so thrown into the river; after which her seven Children in like manner,With her seven sons. with sundry and divers kinds of torments were all of them martyred by the Tyrant. These seven Children of Symphorissa, were fastened to seven stakes, then racked up with a pully, & afterwards thrust thorow; Crescens in the neck, Julianus in the breast, Nemesius in the heart, Primitivus in the navil, Justinus was cut in every joint of his body, Statteus run thorow with spears, and Eugenius [Page 37] cut asunder from the breast to the lower parts, and then all of them were cast into a deep pit; Adrian being at Athens, sacrificed to the Idols after the manner of the Grecians, and gave free leave to whomsoever vvould, to persecute the Christians, which should refuse it: whereupon Quadratus bishop of Athens, a man of admirable zeal, and famous for learning,Quadratus his Apology for the Christians, and Aristides, and Serenus. exhibited to the Emperour a learned and excellent Apolo­gy in defence of the Christian Religion: The like also did Aristides, an excellent Philosopher in Athens. There was also one Serenus Granius, a man of great nobility, who writ pithy and grave Letters to Hadrian; shewing that it was neither agreeable to right nor reason, that the blood of innocents should be given up to the rage and fury of the people, and be condemned for no other fault but for their opinions; Here­upon the Emperour became more favourable to them, writing also in their behalf to Minutius Fundanus, Proconsul of Asia, that if they had no other crime objected against them, but their Religion, they should not be put to death. Yet notwithstanding all this, the rage of the heathen multitude did not disquiet and persecute the people of God; imputing to them whatsoever mischief and judgements befell them; yea, they invented against them all manner of Contumelies,Christians falsly accused. and false crimes to accuse them of, whereby many in sundry places vvere mo­lested and put death.

After Hadrian, succeeded Antoninus Pius, An. Pi. Emp. shews them [...]a­vour. vvho being informed of the cruel sufferings of the Christians, vvrote this Letter to his Com­mons of Asia, forbidding them to persecute the Christians any fur­ther, which Epistle he thus concludes, If any hereafter shall offer any vexation and trouble to Christians, having no other cause, but because they are such, let him that is appeached, be released, and freely discharged, An excellent Law. and let his Accuser sustain the punishment, &c.

By this means then the tempest of persecution began in those days to be appeased, through the mercifull providence of God; who would not have his Church to be utterly overthrown and rooted up thereby: The rod of the wicked shall not always rest upon the lot of the righteous, Psalm 125.3.

[Page 38] Here place the second Figure.

CHAP. X. The fourth Primitive Persecution, which began Anno Christi, 162.

AFter the death of that quiet and mild Prince Antoninus Pius, his son M. Antoninus Verus succeeded in the Empire, a stern and severe man by nature, who raised the fourth persecution against the Chri­stians; wherein a great number of them, who truly professed Christ, suffered most cruel punishments and torments especially in A­sia and France, amongst whom was Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna, who was burnt at a stake at Smyrna, together with twelve others that came from Philadelphia. Also Germanicus a young man,Polycarp mar­tyr. did most constantly per­severe in the Doctrine of Christ, whom when the Proconsul of Asia desired to remember his age, and to favour himself,Germanacus. Constancy. he would by no flatteries be with-drawn from his stedfastness, but remaining constant, was thrown to the wild beasts, whom he allured and provoked to come upon him, and devour him, that he might be the more spee­dily delivered out of this wretched life. Also in this persecution suf­fered Metrodorus, a Minister, who was consumned by fire;Metrodorus. Pionus Apol­lggy and Mar­tyrdom. and Pionius who after much boldness of speech, with his Apologies exhibited, and his Sermons made to the people in defence of the Christian faith, and after much relieving and comforting such as were in prisons and distress, at last was put to cruel torments, and then burned in the fire, Also at Pargamopolis in Asia, suffered Carpus, Papilus, and Agathonica, a woman, who after their most constant and worthy confessions,Carpus, Papilus and Agathonica. were put to death.

At Rome, Felicitas with her seven Children were martyred, whereof her eldest son, after he vvas whipt and grievously scourged with rods,Felicitas and her seven chil­dren. vvas prest to death with leaden weights: the two next had their brains beaten out with mawls: the fourth was thrown down head-long from an high place, and brake his neck: the three youngest were beheaded; and lastly, the mother was slain with the svvord.

Also Justin Martyr, a man that excelled in learning and Philosophy, and a great Defender of the Christian Religion, who had deliver­ed to the Emperor and Senate,Justin Ma [...]tyas Apology and Martyrdom. an Apology in defence of the Chri­stians, suffered Martyrdom in this persecution.

There was in Egypt a certain woman married to a husband that was given much unto laciviousness, whereunto she her self also had been formerly addicted; but being instructed in the Christian Reli­gion, she became a chast and godly Matron, and endeavoured to per­swade her husband also thereunto: But he continuing in his filthy life, she resolved to be divorced from him; yet at the request of her friends: she forbore, to try if by any means he would be reclaimed: But he going to Alexandria, and living more licenciously then before, she [Page 40] sued out a bill of Divorce, and so was separated from him; then did this malicious wretch accuse her to be a Christian,Malice. which was no lesse then death, whereupon she being in great perill, delivered up a suppli­cation to the Emperour, craving but so much favour, that she might go and set her family in order, and then she would be ready to answer to all such crimes as should be objected against her: This petition the Emperour granted; Her husband perceiving that he was frustrated of his expectation, went and accused Ptolemaeus (who was her instructer in the faith of Christ) that he was a Christian.Ptolemaus. Ptolemaeus loving the truth, and not thinking it good to hide his profession, confessed it: Therefore being brought before Vrbicius the Judge, he was by him condemned to die;Lucius. Whereupon one Lucius a Christian, standing by, said to the Judge, What reason, I pray you, or equity is this, that this man, who is neither Adulterer, Fornicator, Murtherer, nor Felon, nor guilty of any other crime, should he condemned for his name, and profession of Christianity? These manner of Judgements (O Urbicius) are neither ho­nourable for the Emperor, nor for the estate of the Senate of Rome: Then said Vrbicius, Note. Methinks thou also art a Christian, which Lucius con­fessing, the Judge without any further delay, commanded him also to be had away to the place of Execution; to whom he answered, I thank you with all my heart, that hereby you release me from most wicked governors, and send me to my good and loving Father, who is God of gods, and King of Kings. Also a third man coming to the Judge, and using the like liberty of speech, had the like sentence of death, and was crown­ed with the same crown of Martyrdom.

Concordus.Also one Concordus, a Minister of the City of Spoleto, because he re­fused to sacrifice to Jupiter, and did spit in the face of the Idol, after divers cruel torments sustained, was beheaded with the sword.

Many others also suffered Martyrdom at the same time, because they sharply reprehended Idolatry, and refused at the Emperors com­mand, to offer sacrifice to Idols, for which they were beheaded.

Persecutions in France.Many Christians also suffered in France, the History of whom was written, and set forth by their own Churches, and directed to the bre­thren of Asia and Phrygia; wherein they write, that Satans Instru­ments were so maliciously active against them, that they could not be safe any where, neither in the Markets, Shops, nor their own Houses. Yea, they were forbidden to come into any publick places: But God in Mercy took out of the Tyrants hands,Gods Provi­dence. such as were weak amongst the Christians, and sets up others, as Pillars, who are able to abide all sufferings, and valiantly to withstand the enemy, notwithstanding all the opprobrious punishments they could devise;Patience. yea, by their admira­ble patience they shewed that all the sufferings of this present time were not to be compared with the glory which they expected to be re­vealed in them. First they suffered whatsoever the frantick multitude could inflict upon them,Divers tor­ments▪ by railings, scourgings, drawings and halings, flinging of stones, imprisonment, &c. Then were they led to the Mar­ket-place, vvhere the Captain and other City-Officers, commanded [Page 41] them to prison, after they had made confessions of their faith pub­lickly, till the return of the chief Governor: Who being come back, he used all extremity that possibly he could against them. At which time a noble young man, called Vetius Epagathus, Vetius Epaga­thus his zeal. being replenished with fervent zeal and love, both to God and the brethren, could not suf­fer the wicked Judgement which vvas given against the brethren: Whereupon he desired the Governor to hear vvhat he had to say in their behalf, in whom vvas no impiety found: But the people cryed out against him, and the Justice denied his lawfull request, withal, asking him vvhether he himself vvere not a Christian? unto which, vvith a loud and bold voice he answered, I am a Christian; And thus was he received into the fellowship of the Martyrs▪ By this worthy ex­ample the rest of the brethren were more animated to suffer Martyr­dom: Yet some there were as yet weak, and not so well prepared for sufferings, of vvhom there vvere ten that fainted, vvhich filled the rest vvith great heaviness.Humane frailty. Their example also caused such as vvere not yet apprehended to be less forward in adventuring themselves; yet every day were some apprehended, which were worthy to fill up the number of them which vvere fallen.

Against the Christians vvere their heathen servants examined, and being threatned vvith extream torments, they vvere enforced to con­fess against their Masters,Christians slandered. that at their meetings they kept the feasts of Thiestes, and incest of Oedipus, and many other such like crimes, not fit to be named, which things being bruted abroad, every one began to exercise their cruelty against the people of God; yea, their fami­liar friends disdained and vvaxed mad against them.

Then vvas all manner of cruelty used against them, especially against Sanctus, Deacon of the Church of Viena, and Maturus, but a little before baptized, but yet a worthy souldier of Christ.Sanctus. Maturus. Attalus. Blandina. Also against Attalus and Blandina, concerning whom vve vvere all afraid, especi­ally her Mistress, lest through vveakness she should not stand to her profession; but, through Gods Grace, she vvas so admirably replenished vvith strength and boldness,A miracle of Mercy. that they vvhich had the tormenting of her by course from morning till night, for very vveariness gave over, and fell dovvn, confessing that they could do no more against her, mar­velling that she yet lived, having her body so torn and rent as it vvas:Tormentors, wearied. professing that any one of those torments alone had been sufficient to bereave her of life. But this blessed Virgin became stronger and stronger in her sufferings, and as often as she spake these vvords, I am a Christian, and have not committed any evil, she was vvonderfully comforted.Note.

Sanctus also, who in his torments had endured more pains then the nature of man vvas able to stand under, when the wicked▪ thought to have heard him utter some blasphemous vvords, through the intolle­rableness of his pains, abode notwithstanding so constant in mind, that they could neither extort out of him▪ vvhat Countryman he vvas, where brought up, what his name was, vvhether a bond-man, or a free, [Page 42] but to every question he answered,Admirable constancy. I am a Christian: When therefore they had used all other kinds of torments, they clapped plates of brass red hot to the tenderest parts of his body, wherewith, though he was grievouslly scorched, yet shrunk he not for the matter; yea though his body was all drawn together with the scorching fire, so that he re­tained not the proper shape of a man, yet did he draw comfort from Christ, so as to rejoyce in these tribulations. After a while they brought him again to new torments, hoping thereby to enforce him to a recan­tation; at which time his body was so sore and swoln, that he could not suffer a man to touch him: but contrary to their expectation, his body in these latter torments was so suppled and restored, that he re­covered the former shape and use of his members,A miracle of Mercy. so that these second torments, through the Grace of Christ, proved a soveraign medi­cine to him.

Satan also now thinking that he was sure of Biblides, who was one of those that had denied Christ, and hoping to prevail with her, a weak and feeble woman in the faith,Biblides. to damn her soul by blasphe­ming God, brought her to the place of Execution; but she in the midst of her torments returning to her self, and by those pains remem­bring the torments of hell, said to her tormentors, How should we Chri­stians eat our own Children (as you report of us) when we eat not the blood of any beast? and so confessing her self to be a Christian, she was mar­tyred with the rest.

Yet here did not the rage of the enemies cease; for when the Chri­stians were cast into prison, they were shut up in dark and ugly dun­geons, and drawn by the feet in a rack, even unto the fifth hole: some of them were strangled and killed in the prisons; others remaining in pri­son, destitute of all humane help, were so strengthned by the Lord, both in body and mind, that they were a great comfort to the rest: The younger sort, whose bodies had not yet felt the lash of the whip, were not able to endure the sharpness of their imprisonment, but died under the same.

Photinus, Deacon to the Bishop of Lyons, about eighty nine years old,Photinus. weak and feeble, by reason of age and sickness, yet of a lively spirit and courage, by reason of the great desire which he had of mar­tyrdom, being brought to the Judgement seat, and being there de­manded of the chief Ruler, What was the Christian-mans God? he an­swered, If thou beest worthy to know, thou shalt know: the Ruler being en­raged herewith, caused him to be extreamly beaten: also such as stood next him, did him all the despight they could, beating and kick­ing him without any regard to his reverend gray hairs; others that were further off, threw at him vvhatsoever came next hand; and thus whilst he vvas gasping after life, they threw him into prison, where af­ter tvvo days he died.

They also vvhich in the first pesecution had denied Christ, vvere apprehended, cast into prison, and made partakers of the others affli­ctions; yea, they had twice so much punishment as the other had: and [Page 43] whereas they which had been constant,Danger of A­postacy. were refreshed with the joy of Martyrdom, with the hope of Gods Promises, and with the love of Christ, and his holy Spirit; the other Apostates being full of guilt, went out to death, with dejected and ill-favoured countenances, and were filled with shame, so that the very Gentiles reviled them as de­generous persons, and worthy to suffer as evil-doers: whereas in the mean time, they which had remained constant, went to their Martyr­dom with cheerfull countenances, adorned with glory and grace: yea, their very bonds wherewith they were tyed, set them out as brides when they are decked in gorgious aray: and withal they had such a re­dolent smell, as if they had been anointed with some sweet balm: by which sights the rest were confirmed, and being apprehended, confes­sed Christ without any staggering.

The Martyrdom of the Saints was of divers kinds, as the offering to God a Garland decked with sundry kinds of colours and flowers.

Maturus, Attalus, and Blandina, were again brought forth to the publick Scaffold, where Maturus and Sanctus suffered again all manner of torments, as if they had suffered nothing before: They were scour­ged, torn of wild beasts, set in red hot iron chairs, in which their bo­dies were dried as on a grid-iron, and their tormentors raged more and more against them, labouring to overcome the patience of the Saints: yet could they get nothing out of Sanctus's mouth, but that he was a Christian: These holy men having been thus made a spectacle all the day to the people, were at last slain. Then Blandina being fastened to a stake, was cast to the wild beasts, but they, as being more mercifull then men, would not come near her: then they cast her again into pri­son, where she, though a weak woman, yet armed with invincible courage by Christ, mightily encouraged her brethren. Then was Attalus brought forth with this inscription, This is Attalus the Christi­an, against whom the people were much enraged, but the Gover­nour understanding that he was a Roman, remanded him to prison till [...]he understood the Emperors pleasure: Many that had before denied Christ, through Gods Grace, recovered themselves again,Recovery after fals. and tasted the sweetness of him that desired not the death of a sinner, &c. and of their own accord came to the Judgement seat to be examined; then did the Judge, when a great concourse of people was met together, s [...]nd for all the Christian prisoners, and as many as were Free-men of Rome he beheaded, the Residue he gave to be devoured of wild beasts, amongst whom also they which had before denied Christ, joyfully suffered Martyrdom. Whilst the Christians were examining at the Bar, one Alexander, a Physitian, by signs, and becks,Alexander. perswaded those which were examined, boldly to confess Christ, which the people tak­ing notice of, accused him to the Judge: who asking him what Religi­on he was of, he answered, I am a Christian: whereupon he was imme­diatly adjudged to be devoured of the beasts.

The next day was Attalus and this Alexander brought forth to the Sca [...]fold, where they had all manner of torments inflicted upon them, [Page 44] and having endured the greatest agony that possibly they could be put to, they were at the last slain: Alexander never so much as sighed, but prayed to, and praised God all the while he was tormented: Attalus, when he was set in the iron chair, and the frying savour of his burning body began to smell,Note. said to the people, Behold! this which you do is to eat mans flesh: for we neither eat men, nor commit any other wickedness: And being demanded what was the name of their God, he said, Our God hath no such name as men have;Blasphemy▪ then said they, Let us see whether your God can help you, and take you out of our hands. Then was Blandina again brought forth,Ponticus a boy of fifteen years old. and with her one Ponticus, a youth of fifteen years old, who defying their Idols, and constantly cleaving to Christ, were put to all the torments their enraged enemies could devise: the youth ha­ving suffered all kinds of torments, at last gave up the ghost: Blandina was first pitifully whipped, then thrown to the wild beasts, then tor­mented upon the grid-iron, then put into a net, and thrown to the wild Bull, and when she was tossed, gored, and wounded with his horns, she was at last slain, but was so filled with ravishing joyes of the H. Ghost, that she felt no pain during all her torments.Joy unspeak­able. Such as were strangled in prisons, were afterwards thrown to dogs, and had keepers both day and night set to watch them, lest their bones and members should be buried. In the mean time the Gentiles extolled their Idols, mocking and flouting the Christians, saying, Where is your God that you so much boast of? Blasphemy. and what helpeth this your religion for which you give your lives? The bodies of the Martyrs were thus made a gazing-stock for six days in the open streets, and then were burned, and their Ashes thrown into the River.

Justin Martyr. Alcibiades.Also in this persecution Justin Martyr, through the malice of Cre­scens the Philosopher, suffered Martyrdom. Also one Alcibiades a man of a strict life, eating only bread and water, was cast into the prison where Attalus, and other Christians lay; and Alcibiades con­tinued the same strict diet in prison: but it was from God revealed to Attalus, that he did not well in refusing the other good Creatures of God, and that it was scandalous to his brethren: whereupon he re­formed, and ate of all things boldly with thanksgiving.

About this time Clandius Apolinaris, Bishop of Hieropolis, and Melito Bishop of Sardis, Clau. Apolina­ris and Melito Apologize for the Christians. eloquent and learned men, delivered to the Empe­rour excellent Apologies written by them in defence of the Christian Religion, whereby they prevailed with him somewhat to stay the rage of his Persecution: which also was furthered upon this occasion: Marcus Aurelius, and Marcus Antonius the Emperors, going to War against the Quades, Vandals, Sarmates and Germans; their Army, by the mul­titude of their enemies, was coopt up in some strait, dry and hot pla­ces, where the souldiers having been destitute of water for five days together, were all like to perish. Hereupon a Legion of Christian souldiers being in the Army,The thun­dring Legion. with-drew apart from the rest, and falling prostrate upon the earth, by ardent prayer, obtained of God a double relief: for the Lord sent the Romans such showers, as satisfied their [Page 45] necessities, and flashed such lightnings against their enemies, that thereby they were discomfited and put to flight. This Miracle so plea­sed the Emperor, that ever after he used the Christians gentler, wri­ting also to divers Rulers, commanding them to give thanks to the Christians, as for their victory, so for the preservation of himself, and his Army. His letters was to this purpose, That whereas himself and Army, were invironed with nine hundred seventy five thousand fighting men, and were like to perish for want of water, the Christi­ans praying to a God, that he knew not, obtained relief for him, and by hail and lightning, Destruction to his enemies; whereby he per­ceived their God to be a mighty God. Hereupon he decreed that none should be punished for the Christian Profession, being guilty of no other crime,A good Edict. and that the Accusers of the Christians should be burned alive: Which degree he commanded to be recorded in the Senate-house, proclaimed publickly in the Court of Trajan, and sent diligent­ly into all his Provinces, that all might take notice of the same.

Yet not long after, Apollonius a noble Senator of Rome, was accused by his own servant before the Judge, for being a Christian;Apollonius. The Ac­cuser, according to the the Decree, had his legs broken, and was put to death.A just reward of treachery. But Apollonius having rendred an accocnt of his faith before the Senate, was condemned to be beheaded, notwithstanding the De­cree, because there was an old Law, that any that was arraigned for professing Christ, without a recantation, could not be released.

Commodus the Emperor upon his birth-day, calling the people of Rome together, in a great royalty, clothed in his Lions skin, sacrificed to Hercules causing it to be proclaimed, that Hercules was the Patron of the City: whereupon Vincentius, Eusebius, Peregrinus and Pontentianus, learn­ed men, and Pastors of the Congregations, being stirred up with zeal,Vincentius, Eu­sebius, Peregri­nus and Poten­tianus. Zeal, went about from place to place, converting the Gentiles to the faith of Christ, and hearing of the madness of the Emperor and people, they reproved that Idolatrous blindness, exhorting them to believe in the true and living God, and that forsaking the worshipping of devils, they should honour God alone. The Emperor hearing thereof, caused them to be apprehended, and required them to sacrifice to Hercules, which they refusing to do, he caused them to be grievously tormented, and at last to be pressed to death with weights of lead.

Julius a Roman Senator,Julius. having been converted by the preaching of these men, afterwards sent for Ruffinus a Minister, by whom him­self and all his family were baptized, and burning with holy zeal,Zeal. he made an open profession of the faith of Christ, praying that he might not only believe, but that he might have the honour to suffer for his Name. The Emperor hearing that he was become a Christian, sent for him, to whom he said, O Julius, What madness possesseth thee thus to forsake the Religion of thy Fore-fathers, to embrace a new and fond kind of Religion of the Christians? Hereupon Julius made before him a free and open profession of his faith, affirming that the Roman gods were false gods, and that they that worshipped them, should be punished [Page 46] with everlasting damnation. The Emperor hearing that he despised his gods, was much enraged, and committed him to Vitellius, a cruel and fierce man, to compell him, either to sacrifice to Hercules, or to slay him: But Julius nothing discouraged, and perswading Vitellius to ac­knowledge, and serve the true God, was at his command with Cud­gels beaten to death.

CHAP. XI. The Fifth Primitive Persecution which began An. Christi, 205.

COmmodus being dead, Pertinax succeeded in the Empire, under whom the Church enjoyed peace, and flourished exceedingly, so that many of the Nobles of Rome embraced the true faith, together with their whole housholds.

Pertinax being dead, Severus succeeded, and in the first ten years of his reign he was very mild and gentle to the Christians:Severus Empe­rour. But after­wards, through sinister suggestions, and malicious accusations; he was so incensed, that by his proclamations he commanded that no Christians should any more be suffered to live. Hereby great pe [...] ­secution was stirred up on every side, and an infinite number of Mar­tyrs were slain. The crimes objected against the Christians were sedi­tion,Christians charged with sedition and rebellion, &c. rebellion against the Emperor, Sacriledge, Murthering of Infants, incestuous pollutions, eating raw flesh, worshipping the head of an Asse, &c. but especially that they would not worship their Idols. The Places where this persecution most raged, were Africa, Capadocia, Alexandria and Carthage. The number of them that suffered, was innumerable, amongst whom was Leonides the father of Origen; with whom Origen his son,Leonides father of Origen. being but seventeen years old, would have suf­fered, (such a fervent desire he had of Martyrdom) had not his mo­ther privily in the night conveyed away his shirt and cloths, where­upon,Zeal. more for shame to be seen, then for fear to die, he was constrain­ed to remain at home.

Origen was afterwards a Professor of Divinity at Alexandria, and out of his school,Plutarch. Serenus. Potamiena. Marcella and Rhais. one Plutarch suffered Martyrdom, as also Serenus his brother, who was burned, and another Serenus who was beheaded. Potamiena also, who was tormented with boiling pitch poured upon her, and afterwards with her mother Marcella, and Rhais burned in the fire. This Potamiena being a beautifull Virgin, was committed to Captain Basilides to see execution done upon her, and as he led her to the place of Execution, he repressed the rage of the multitude, who followed her with many railings and revilings, whereupon, to requite his kindness, she prayed to the Lord for his Conversion to the true faith, and so with admirable patience she suffered Martyrdom.

[Page 47] Shortly after Basilides being required to give an oath in the behalf of his fellow-souldiers, he denied the same,B [...]silides his strange con­version. plainly affirming that he vvas a Christian, and therefore he could not swear by the Idols, &c. They vvhich heard him, thought that he jested at first, but when he had constantly affirmed it, they had him before the Judge, vvho commit­ted him to vvard: the Christians vvondring at it, vvent to him, and en­quiring the cause of his Conversion, he told them that Potamiena had prayed for him, and so he savv a Crovvn put upon his head, adding that it should not be long before he received it, and accordingly the next day he was beheaded.

As many suffered death in this persecution, so others there were, who through Gods providence, suffered great torments; and yet esca­ped vvith life, of whom there vvas one Alexander, vvho for his constant confession, and torments suffered, vvas afterwards made Bishop of Je­rusalem. Also Narcissus, Narcissus. False Witnes­ses plagued by God. against vvhom three vvicked persons conspired to accuse him, binding their accusations vvith oaths and curses, one vvishing to be destroyed vvith fire, if it vvere not true; another to be consumed vvith a grievous disease; the other to lose both his eyes; Narcissus being unable to vvith-stand so vvicked an accusation, retired himself into a desert: In the mean time Gods vengeance follovved these perjured Wretches: for the first, by a small spark of fire, vvas himself vvith all his family, and goods burned: the second vvas taken vvith a grievous sickness vvhich tormented him from the top to the toe, where­of he died: the third, being vvarned by these Judgements, confessed his fault, but by reason of his abundant sorrovv and vveeping, he lost both his eyes: Narcissus being hereby cleared from their false accusation, returned home, and vvas received into his Congregation again. Also one Andoclus vvas sent by Polycarp into France, vvho because he spread there the Doctrine of Christ,Andoclus. vvas apprehended by the command of Severus, and first beaten vvith staves and bats, and aftervvards behead­ed. Asclepiades also, aftervvards Bishop of Antioch, Asclepiades. suffered much in this Persecution. Then did Irenaeus, and many others vvith him suffer Martyrdom; and shortly after Tertullian also. Perpetua and Felicitas, Irenaeus. Tertullian. Perpetua. Felicitas. Revocatus. Satyrus. Secundulus. tvvo godly vvomen, vvith Revocatus their brother, and Satyrus, vvere throvvn to the vvild beasts, and devoured by them. Saturninus vvas beheaded: Secundulus cast into prison, where he died: all these suffered Martyr­dom at Carthage.

Also Zepherinus, and after him Urbanus, both Bishops of Rome, vvere martyred in this Persecution:Zepherinus. Urbanus. This Urbanus by preaching and holiness of life, converted many heathens unto Christ; amongst vvhom vvere Tiburtius and Valerianus, tvvo noble men of Rome, vvho both suf­fered Martyrdom: Also Cecilia a Virgin, vvho vvas espoused to Valerian ▪ vvas apprehended & carried to the Idols to offer sacrifice,Tiburtius. Valerianus. Cecilia. vvhich she refusing to do, should have been carried to the Judge to receive the sentence of condemnation; but the Serjeants and Officers beholding her excellent beauty and prudent behaviour, began vvith many per­svvasions to solicit her to favour her self, &c. but she so replied vvith [Page 48] wisedom and godly exhortations,A great Con­version. that by the grace of Almighty God, their hearts began to relent, and at length to yield to that Religion which before they persecuted; which she perceiving, desired leave to go home; and sending for Urbanus the Bishop to her house, he so grounded and established them in the faith of Christ, that about four hundred persons believed, and were baptized; amongst whom was Gor­dianus a noble man. Afterwards this blessed Martyr was brought before the Judge, by whom she was condemned; then she was enclosed in an hot bath for twenty four hours, yet remaining alive, she was there be­headed.

Agape [...]us a boy of fifteen years old.At Preneste in Italy was one Agapetus of fifteen years old apprehen­ded, and because he refused to sacrifice to Idols, he was first scourged with whips, then hanged up by the feet, and had scalding water pou­red on him, then he was cast to the wild beasts; but because they would not hurt him,Gods judge­ment on a per­secutor. he was lastly beheaded. Antiochus that executed these torments on him, suddenly fell down from his judicial seat, crying out that all his bowels burned within him, and so he died mise­rably.

Calepodius, a Minister of Christ in Rome, was first dragged thorow the streets,Calepodius. and after cast into Tyber.

Pamachius, a Senator of Rome, with his wife and Children, and other men and women,Pamachius. to the number of forty two, vvere all beheaded in one day, together with another noble man, all whose heads vvere hung up over the gates of the City▪ to deter others from the professi­on of Christianity.Martina. Also Martina, a Christian Virgin, having suffered many other bitter torments, vvas at last slain vvith the sword.

CHAP. XII. The sixth Primitive Persecution, which began Anno Christi, 237.

THe Emperor Maximinus raised the sixth persecution against the Christians,Maximinus Emperor. especially against the Teachers and Leaders of the Church, thinking that if these Captains were removed out of the way, he should the easilier prevail against the rest. In the time of this Persecution, Origen vvrote his book De Martyrio, vvhich being lost, the names of most that suffered Martyrdom in those times, are buried in oblivion, yet were they very many: Amongst whom Urbanus Bi­shop of Rome, Urbanus and Philip. and Philippus, one of his Ministers were banished in­to Sardinia, where they both died.

About this time one Natalius that had formerly suffered great per­secution for the cause of Christ, was seduced by Asclepiodotus and Theodorus, Sectaries dan­gerous. two Sectaries, to be the Bishop of their Sect, promising to [Page 49] pay him a hundred and fifty crowns of silver every moneth, and so he joined himself to them;Note. but the Lord in mercy not intending to lose him that had suffered so much for his sake, admonished him by a vision to adjoin himself to the true Church again, which the good man for the present, blinded with lucre and honour, did not regard as he ought to have done: The night after he was scourged by Angels, whereup­on in the morning, purting on Sack-cloth,Probably it was by the ter­rors of his own consci­ence. with much weeping and lamentation, he went to the Christian Congregation, praying them for the tender mercies of Christ, that he might be received into their Communion again; which request was accordingly granted unto him.

Hippolitus was drawn thorow the fields with wild horses till he died; Many others were martyred and buried by sixty in a pit.

CHAP. XIII. The seventh Primitive Persecution, which began Anno Christi, 250.

DEcius the Emperor raised this seventh terrible persecution against the Christians,Decius Emp. which was first occasioned by reason of the trea­sures of the Emperor, which were committed to Fabian the Bishop of Rome, who thereupon, by the command of Decius, was put to death,Fabian Mar­tyr. and moreover his Proclamations were sent into all quarters, that all which professed the name of Christ, should be slain.A cruel Edict. In the time of this Persecution Origen suffered many and great torments for the cause of Christ, by Rackings, Dungeons, &c.

Nicephorus, who writeth of this persecution under Decius, decla­reth the horribleness of it to be so great, and that so many Martyrs suffered, That, saith, he, it is as easie to number the sands of the sea, as to set down the names of all those whom this persecution did devour.

Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, who was very aged, having go­verned the Church forty years, was from thence carried to Caesarea, Alexander Martyr. where after a bold and constant confession of his faith, made before the Judge, he was cast into prison, and there died. Babilas Bishop of Antioch also died in prison,Babilus. and forty Virgins were martyred there about that time. And one Peter in the Country of Phrygia, being ap­prehended by the Proconsul,Peter. suffered most bitter torments for the name of Christ, the like did divers others in Troada. From Babylon divers Christians were led away by Decius into Spain, and there exceu­ted; the like sufferings had many in Caesarea,

Dionysius Alexandrinus, writing of the Martyrs that suffered in Alexandria, saith thus, This Persecution began about a year before the Em­perors Proclamation came forth, by reason of a wicked South-sayer, A South-sayer stirs up a per­secution. who com­ing to the City, stirred up the multitude of heathens against the Christians, [Page 50] perswading them to uphold their Idolatrous services; wherewith the people being inflamed, obtained full power to prosecute their wicked purposes, con­ceiving all Religion to consist in the destruction of the Christians. And first of all they fell upon a Minister,Metra Martyr. called Metra, whom they would have enforced to blaspheme Christ; which when he refused, they laid up­on him with staves and clubs, and with sharp Reeds they pricked his face and eyes; and then, bringing him to the Suburbs, they stoned him to death.Quinta. Then they took an holy woman, called Quinta, and bringing her to the Idol-Temple, would compell her to worship there; which she constantly refusing, they bound her feet, and drew her thorow all the streets upon the hard-stones, whipt her with Whips, dashed her against Mil-stones,The Christian houses plun­dred. and lastly stoned her to death. Then the en­raged multitude breaking into the Christians houses, plundred them of all they had; the rest of the lumber they carried into the market-place, and burned it: The Saints in the mean time taking patiently and joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had a more enduring substance in heaven.

Then they took an ancient Virgin, called Apollinia, whom they brought forth▪ Apollinia leaps into the fire. and dashing all the teeth out of her head, they made a great fire, threatning to cast her into it, unless she would blaspheme and deny Christ; whereupon she, after a little pause, leaped into the fire, and so was burned. Then they took Serapion out of his house, whom they assailed with all kind of torments,Serapion. broke almost all the joynts of his body: and lastly throwing him down from an high loft, killed him. The poor Christians could no where shelter themselves, nor rest day nor night, the multitude crying out, that unless they would blaspheme Christ, they should all be burned. But, through Gods Mercy,Persecutors di­vided amongst themselves. the miserable wretches at last fell out amongst themselves, turn­ing their cruelty, formerly exercised against the Christians, upon their own heads, whereby the Church had a little breathing time.

The danger of riches.Shortly after came forth the cruel Edict of the Emperor, which so terrified the Christians, that some, especially the rich, partly through fear, and partly by the perswasion of their Neighbours, came to those impure and idolatrous sacrifices:Zeal. Others came boldly to the Altars, declaring publickly, that they were not of that Religion: Of the rest some ran away, others were taken, enduring bands and torments constantly: Others again, after long imprisonment, and sundry tor­ments,Apostacy. renounced their faith, whilst others more strong in the faith, valiantly endured Martyrdom: Amongst whom was Julianus, a man diseased with the gout, and not able to go, and Cronion, who were laid upon Camels,Julianus Mar­tyr, and Croni­on. and there scourged, and at last thrown into the fire, where, with much constancy, they were consumed. As Juli­anus went to Martyrdom, a certain souldier took his part against those which railed upon him; Whereupon the people crying out against him, he was apprehended, and being constant in his profession, was presently beheaded.

Macar. Epim [...]chus.Also Macar a Christian Lybian was burned alive. Epimachus and [Page 51] Alexander, having been long imprisoned,Alexander. Ammonarion. Mercuria. after innumerable pains and torments, with rasors and scourges, were vvith four women, consumed with fire: Ammonarion a Virgin, Mercuria an aged Matron, and Dionysia, a mother of many Children,Dio [...]ysia. whom yet she loved not above the Lord, these, vvhen they could not be overcome by any torments inflicted on them by the cruel Judge, but rather were unsensible of them all, vvere at last slain vvith the svvord.

Also three Egyptians, and a youth of fifteen years old, vvere brought before the Judge, who first began vvith the Child, by fair words,A boy of fif­teen years old. seeking to entice him, then by torments to constrain him, which not prevailing, when he had tormented the other also he condemned them all to the fire; But the Judge wondring at the wise answers, and grave constancy of the child, dismissed him.

Nemesion also an Egyptian, Nemesion. vvas first accused to be a companion of thieves, but being purged from that, he vvas accused of Christianity, tormented and scourged extreamly, and then amongst other thieves, burnt to death.

A certain Christian being examined before the Judge, and through fear being ready to shrink back, there were by,Humane frail­ty. certain souldiers of the degree of Knights, and an aged man named Theophilus, who were ready to burst for grief, making signs to him,Zeal. by their hands and ge­stures, to be constant; vvhich being observed by the By-standers, they vvere ready to lay hold of them, but they of their own accord, pressing up to the Judge, professed themselves to be Christians,Courage. which much imboldened the weak Christian that vvas before the tribunal, and ter­rified the Judge. This being done they departed away, rejoycing for the testimony that they had given of their faith.

In other Cities many Christians were torn in pieces by the heathen.

Ischirion, a servant to a noble man,Ischirion. vvas commanded by his Master to sacrifice to the Idols, vvhich vvhen he refused, and vvould by no means be perswaded to, his Master took a pike, and ran him thorovv. Multitudes of Christians vvandring in deserts and mountains, vvere devoured by hunger, thirst, cold, sickness, thieves and vvild beasts,The miseries of Christians. Cheremon. amongst vvhom vvas Cheremon, Bishop of the City of Nilus, and his vvife, vvho flying into the mountains of Arabia, vvere never heard of more. Dionysius also saith of himself, I speak the truth before God, and lie not, I having no regard of my own life,Dionys [...]us. and not without the moti­on of Gods Spirit, did flie,A miracle of Mercy. and avoid the danger of this persecuti­an: Yea, and before that, when one was sent from the Governor te seek me, I remained three days at home to tarry for him; The messenger in the mean time narrowly sought for me by all ways, fields, floods and corners, where he thought I might hide my self, God striking him with such blindness, that he could not find my house. After these three days,Flight in per­secution. the Lord God willing and commanding me to flie, and marvellously opening to me the way, I with my Children, and many other brethren, vvent out together, and so escaped.

Also Agatha, a godly Virgin of Sicilie, suffered divers and bitter [Page 52] torments of imprisonment, with beatings, famine, racking, as also rolling naked upon sharp shels, and hot coals, and having her breasts cut off her body. Also forty other Virgins, by sundry kinds of tor­ments, were put to death about the same time.

Decius erecting a Temple at Ephesus, compelled all in the City to offer Sacrifice to Idols, but there were seven Christian souldiers of his own Retinue, who refused, neither could the Emperor, by perswasions or threats,Courage of seven souldiers. induce them to it, yet he gave them respite till his return from the Wars; in the mean time they hid themselves in a cave in the mountain Celius. At the Emperors Return he made great inquisition for them, and at last hearing where they were, he caused the mouth of the cave so to be closed up, that they could not get out, and so they were famished there.

There was also one Nicetas, a Christian souldier, whom when the Praetor could not by any torments remove from his stedfastness, he took another course with him,Nicetas his ra [...]e chastity. for he brought him into a most fragrant garden, flowing with all manner of pleasures and delights, where he laid him upon a bed of down, softly enwrapped in a net of silk, among the Lillies and Roses, the delicious murmure of the streams, and the sweet whistling of the leaves moved with a gentle wind, and so de­parted: presently in comes a beautifull strumpet, and useth all the abo­minable tricks of her impure Art, and whorish villanies, to draw him to commit wickedness with her; whereupon the young man fearing that he should now be conquered by folly, who was Conqueror over fury, bites off a piece of his tongue with his own teeth, and spits it into the face of the whore, and so prevented the hurt of sin by the smart of his wound.

At Antioch, Theodora, a godly Virgin, refusing to sacrifice to the Idols,Theodora con­demned to the Stews. Her strange deliverance. was condemned by the Judge to the Stews, which sentence being executed, there were many wanton young men ready at the door to press into the house where she was, but one of the brethren, called Di­dymus, putting on a souldiers habit, would have the first admittance, and coming in, he perswaded her to change garments with him, and so she, in the souldiers habit, escaped away, and Didymus was left to the rage, and wondring of the people, when he was found a man: hereupon he was presented to the President, to whom he presently confessed the whole matter, professing himself to be a Christian, and so was condem­ned; which Theodora hearing of, thinking to excuse him, she came, and presented her self to the Judge, as the guilty party, desiring that she might be condemned, and the other excused: but the cruell Judge, neither considering the vertue of the persons,Cruelty. nor the innocency of the cause, most inhumanely condemned them both, first to be beheaded, and then burnt, which was accordingly executed.

Agathon, a man at arms in Alexandria, rebuking some lewd per­sons who scornfully used the dead bodies of the Christians,Agathon. was ac­cused to the Judge, and lost his head.

In Troada, two Christians being delivered by the Proconsul to the [Page 53] people, were first scourged, then drawn out of the City, and there tro­den to death. Two Ministers with a Deacon were martyred in Rome, Two Mini­sters. and two noble men were brought and accused to Decius for burying the dead bodies of the Christians, and being by him commanded to sacri­fice to the Idols, and they refusing, he caused them to be cast to the wild beasts, but when they would not touch them, they were beheaded with the sword.

Also Secundianus was accused to be a Christian, which he affirming, was commanded to prison;Secundianus. Zeal. by the way two Christians cryed to the souldiers, asking them, whether they carried the innocent man, where­upon being apprehended and examined, they confessed themselves to be Christians, and were condemned; first they were beaten with cud­gels, then hung up, and tormented with the gibbet, having fire set to their sides, & lastly were beheaded: But some of their tormentors were taken with evil spirits; others of them fell down suddenly, and died.Gods Judge­ment on perse­cutors.

But the number of Martyrs of all ranks that suffered in this per­secution was so great, that it is impossible to set them down all; Bi­shops, Ministers, Deacons, &c. young, old, men, women, &c.

Yet amongst this great number, some there were that fell away, as Serapion an old man, that for a long time had lived a sincere and godly life, who afterwards repenting of his Apostacy,Serapions Apo­stacy, desired to be re­admitted into the Church, but that was not granted: Shortly after he fell sick, and in it having remained dumb,and Recovery. and bereaved of his senses for twenty four hours, the day after, he began a little to recover, and calling his Nephew to him, he said, How long, how long do you detain me here? make haste that I may be absolved: Call me hither some of the Mini­sters, &c. and so being absolved, he presently after died.

In Troada, Nicomachus being grievously tormented, cryed out, I am no Christian; and so being let down from the Engine, he had no sooner sa­crificed to the Idols, but being possessed by the devil, he was thrown on the ground, where he bit off his own tongue, and immediately after died; Many others which shewed the like cowardise,Danger of A­postacy. were taken and tormented with wicked spirits: One was struck dumb: A maid taken with a wicked spirit, tore out her own tongue, and died with grievous torments in her belly, and inward parts: But though some did thus fall away, yet others there were, whom neither fear,Constancy. nor pain could remove from their stedfastness, but they continued glorious Martyrs to the end.

Cyprian relates a story of one of his fellow-Ministers, who in the midst of his torments began to faint, being greatly afraid of death, and desired to be released:A Vision. at which time there appeared to him a young man of admirable beauty, and so bright, that mans mortal eye could scarce endure to behold him, who angerly said to him, Pati timetis, exire non vultis, quid faciam vobis? To suffer you dare not, to go out you will not, what would you have me do unto you?The begin­ning of the Novatian schism.

In this Persecution there sprung up the Novatian Schism, which made a great disturbance in the Church. This Novatus being a Minister under Cyprian in Carthage, by stirring up discord and factions, bred [Page 54] much trouble to the Church, seeking to withdraw certain of the bre­thren from the Bishop: And afterwards Novatus going to Rome, set up himself as a Bishop,Pride the cause of schism. against Cornelius, the then Bishop of Rome; And to further his design, he by subtilty allured to him three or four holy men that had been Confessors; Then he entised three weak Bi­shops that lived in Italy, to come to Rome, and there perswaded them by imposing hands upon him, to make him Bishop; for which fact, two of them afterwards were suspended, and the third upon his repentance vvas re-admitted. Novatus being thus made a Bishop, grew proud, and sought by all means to with-draw the people from Cornelius to himself; yea, he made many of them to swear that they would not leave him to go to Cornelius. But the holy Confessors before mentioned, vvhen they perceived the crafty subtilty of Novatus, left him, and much grieving for their sin, were reconciled to Cornelius again. Novatus held this opinion, that they which once renounced the faith, and for fear of torments had offered incense to the Idols, although they re­pented,A Synod against Nova­tus. yet could never be re-admitted into the Church of Christ again. To suppress this error, there was a Synod called at Rome of sixty Bishops, Anno 255. who condemned it.

Cyprian also relates of Aurelius, a godly and valiant young man, who for his constancy in the cause of Christ,Aurelius. suffered great and many torments, and afterwards was banished. And of Mappalicus, who the day before he suffered,Mappalicus. in the midst of his torments told the Pro­consul▪ Videbis cras agonem, to morrow you shall see the running for a Wager, and accordingly the next day being brought forth to his Martyrdom, he with no less constancy then patience, endured faithfull unto the death.

But Decius the Author of this persecution, escaped not the revenging hand of God, for warring against the Goths, and being overcome by them,Gods Judge­ment on perse­cutors. lest he should fall into their hands, he leaped vvith his horse into a whirlpit, where he was drowned, and his body was never found after. Yea, God avenged the blood of his Saints upon the whole Ro­man Empire, by sending a general plague of pestilence upon it, which continued ten years together; and Dionysius saith, that in Alexandria, vvhere he vvas Bishop,A terrible plague. there vvas scarce any house clear; and though some Christians died in this plague, yet it fell most heavy upon the Gentiles. The Christians also in this plague shewed much brotherly love each to other, by visiting, comforting, and relieving one another. Whereas the Idolaters,The brotherly love of Chri­stians. being stricken with extream fear of the plague, none considered his Neighbour, but every man shifted for himself, and of those that were infected, some they cast out of doors half dead, to be devoured of dogs and wild beasts, some they let die in their houses without all succour; others they suffered to lie unburied, and durst not come near them,A special Pro­vidence. notwithstanding vvhich, the pestilence followed them whithersoever they vvent, and miserably consumed them; so that the most part of the Inhabitants were consumed by it in every Country, especially in those Provinces, where had been the greatest [Page 55] persecutions raised against the Christians.

After the death of Decius, there succeeded Gallus and Volusianus in the Empire, Anno Christi 255. who continued this persecution against the Christians; which fell most heavy upon the Pastors and Mini­sters of the Congregations: for about this time Cyprian, and many other Ministers were banished: others were put into the mettal Mines, to whom Cyprian wrote an Epistle consolatory, wherein he writes thus, Wounds and scars are an Ornament to a Christians brest, Cyprians con­solatory letter. such as bring not shame, but honoureth them before the Lord; and though in the Mynes there be no beds for their bodies to rest on, yet they have rest in Christ; and though their weary bones lie on the cold ground, yet it's no pain to lie with Christ. Their feet are fettered with chains, but he is bound of man, whom the Lord Christ doth loose; he lies tied in the stocks, whose feet thereby are made swifter to run to heaven; neither can any man tie a Christian so fast, but he runs so much the faster for his garland of life. They have no garments to save them from cold, but he that puts on Christ is sufficiently clothed. Doth bread fail to their hungry bodies? Man lives not by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Your defor­mity shall be turned to honour, your mourning to joy, your pain to pleasure, and felicity infinite. And if this grieve you, that you cannot serve God in your places as formerly, yet your daily sacrifice ceaseth not, which is a con­trite and humble heart; and though your travel be great, yet shall your re­ward be greater; for God beholding them which confess his name, appro­veth their willing minds, in their strivings helpeth them, in their victory crowneth them, rewarding that in us which he hath performed, and crowning that which he hath in us perfected. Again he tells them that they are now in a joyfull journey, hasting apace to the mansions of the Martyrs, there to enjoy, after darkness, durable light, and comfort above all their sufferings, &c. About the same time also, Lucius Bishop of Rome was banished.

After the death of Gallus and Volusianus, there succeeded Valerianus, who ceased the persecution, and carried himself exceeding friendly to the Christians; so that his whole Court was replenished with holy Saints and servants of Christ, whereby his house seemed a Church of God. But the Devil envying the peace of the Church, by the means of an Egyptian Enchanter, (who was hindred from doing his feats, by the presence of the Christians) stirred up the Emperor against them, who grew to such impiety himself,Persecution stirred up by a Sorcerer. that he sacrificed young infants to his Idols, quartered their bodies, divided the Entrails of young Children new born, &c. as hereafter follows.

CHAP. XIV. The eighth Primitive Persecution which began An. Christi, 259.

VAlerianus being seduced by the Egyptian Inchanter, as is before related, stirred up the eighth persecution against the Church of Christ;Sin the Fore­runner of per­secution. concerning which Cyprian writeth thus; ‘We must confess that this great calamity which hath wasted for the most part all our Churches, and still dayly consumes us, ariseth chiefly from our own wickedness, while we walk not in the way of the Lord, nor observe his precepts as we ought, whilst we are full of lucre, pride, emulation, dissention, void of simplicity and faithfull dealing, renouncing the world in word, but not in deed, every man pleasing himself, and dis­pleasing others; and therefore we are thus worthily scourged: For what stripes do we not deserve, when the Confessors themselves do keep no Discipline; &c. Concluding, Non venissent fratribus haec mala, si in unum fraternitas fuisset animata; These evils had not happened to the brethren, if they had joyned together in brotherly unanimity.’ A little before this persecution began, God by a vision revealed it to Cyprian, saying to him, Be quiet and of good comfort, for peace will come;A Vision. albeit a little stay there is for a while, for that some remain yet to be proved and tried, &c.

The crimes and accusations that were laid to the charge of the Christians,Christians charged as the causes of all plagues. by the Persecutors, were, that they refused to worship Idols, and the Emperors; and that they professed the name of Christ: Yet be­sides, all the calamities and evils that happened in the world, as wars, famine, pestilence, &c. were imputed only to the Christians: But Cyprian and Tertullian confuting those slanders,Confuted by Cyprian and Tertullian. proved that the speci­al cause of all those miseries which befell the Empire, proceeded from the cruel shedding of the innocent blood of the Christians. In this persecution, Cyprian was at last condemned to have his head cut off,Cyprian Mar­tyr. who patiently and willingly submitted his neck to the stroak of the sword.

Also about this time, Sixtus Bishop of Rome, with his six Deacons, were accused for being Christians,Sixtus and his Deacons. whereupon being brought to the place of Execution, they were all beheaded.

Laurence also another of his Deacons, following Sixtus as he went to his Execution, complained that he might not suffer with him, but that he was secluded, as the son from the father: To whom the Bishop answered, that within three days he should follow him, bidding him in the mean time to go home, and if he had any treasures, to distribute them amongst the poor: The Judge hearing mention of treasures, sup­posing that Laurence had great store in his custody, commanded him to bring the same to him: Laurence craved three days respite, promising [Page 57] then to declare where the treasure might be had: In the mean time he caused a good number of poor Christians to be gathered together,The courage and constancy of Laurence. and when the day of his answer was come, the persecutor strictly charged him to make good his promise; then valiant Laurence stretching out his arms over the poor, said, These are the precious treasures of the Church, these are the treasure indeed in whom Christ hath his mansion,, &c. But oh! what tongue is able to express the fury and madness of the Tyrants heart! how he stamped, stared, ramped,The rage of Tyrants. and fared like one out of his wits: his eyes glowed like fire, his mouth foamed like a boar, like a hell-hound he grinded his teeth: then he cryed, kindle the fire, make no spare of wood: hath this Villain deluded the Emperor? away with him, whip him with scourges, jerk him with rods, buffet him with fists, brain him with clubs: Jesteth the Traitor with the Emperor? pinch him with fiery tongs, gird him with burning plates, bring out the strongest chains and fire-forks, and the grate of Iron, set it on the fire, bind the Rebell hand and foot, and when the grate is red hot, on with him, rost him, broil him, toss him, turn him upon pain of our high displeasure, do every man his Office, O ye tormentors. Immediately his command was obeyed, and after many cruel handlings, this meek lamb was laid, I will not say upon a bed of fiery iron, but on a soft down­bed; so mightily God wrought for his servant, so miraculosly did he temper this Element of fire, that it was not a bed of consuming pain, but of nourishing rest unto Laurence. Not Laurence, but the Em­peror seemed to be tormented, the one broiling in the flesh,In all these things we are more then Conquerors. the other burning in his heart: when this triumphant Martyr had been pressed down with fire-forks for a great space, in the mighty Spirit of God he spake to the Tyrant thus;

This side is now rosted enough, turn up▪ O Tyrant great,
Assay, whether rosted or raw thou think'st the better meat?

By the constant confession of this worthy and valiant Deacon, a Roman souldier was converted to the same faith, and desired to be baptized, whereupon he was called before the Judge, scourged, and afterwards beheaded.

About the same time Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria, with his three Deacons, were brought before Emilianus, Dionysia. banished. who told them of the cle­mency of the Emperor, and therefore required them to sacrifice to his gods, &c. to whom Dionysius answered, Divers men worship di­vers gods, but we, only that one God who is the Creator of all things, making our prayers to him uncessantly for the health of the Empe­ror, &c. Then said the President, Why can you not worship your own God and ours also? Dionysius replied. We worship only one God, as we have said; the President said, I see you are ingratefull persons, and regard not the Emperors clemency, therefore I banish you to Cephro in Lybia, and charge you that you convent no more your assemblies, nor be found out of that place at your peril, and though Dionysius was sick, yet would he not grant him one days respite before his depar­true.

[Page 58] In Cephro he had a great Congregation, as well of those that follow­ed him in his banishment, as of others that resorted to him out of E­gypt; yea, though at first he was persecuted there, and stoned, yet af­terwards a great number of the Inhabitants forsook their Idols,The power of the Word of God. and were converted unto God by his Ministry; and having accomplished his Ministry there, the Lord removed him to another place. For (saith Dionysius) Emilianus translated us from thence to a sharper place of Lybia, commanding us to meet all together at the City Mareota; in­tending to separate us into several villages, or rather to take us by the way; when we came thither, I was commanded to Colluthion, a place which I had never heard of; yet was it some solace to me that the bre­thren told me it was near to the City Paretonium: for as my being at Cephro gat me the acquaintance of many brethren of Egypt, Gods Provi­dence. so I ho­ped that the vicinity of that place to the City, might procure me the concourse of certain loving brethren from it, as it came also to pass, &c.

He writeth moreover that the number of those which suffered Mar­tyrdom about that time was great, men, women, young men, maidens, old wives, souldiers, and men of all sorts and ages; of whom some with scourgings,The cruel tor­ments of the Christians. and fire, and some with the sword, obtained the vi­ctory, and gat the Crown. Neither (saith he) to this day doth the Pre­sident cease cruelly murthering such as be brought before him, tearing some with torments, imprisoning others, and commanding that no man should come to them: yet God with the daily resort of the brethren doth comfort the afflicted.

In Palestine, Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander, three godly men, see­ing the valiant courage of the Christians so boldly to venture,Priscus, Mal­chus, Alexander con­stantly to stand, and patiently to suffer in this persecution, as grieved with themselves,Zeal. began to accuse their own sluggishness and cowardise, to see others so zealovs and valiant, and themselves so cold and faint-hearted, in labouring for the Crown of Martyrdom: whereupon, agreeing amongst themselves, they came to Caesarea, and stepping to the Judge, they declared themselves to be Christians, and so they were sentenced, and given to the wild beasts.

A certain woman also in the same place, formerly a Marcionist, being brought before the President, obtained the same Martyr­dom.

In Carthage three hundred Christians being brought before the Pre­sident,Three hundred Christians put into a lime-kiln. were put to their choice, either to offer sacrifice, or to go into a lime-kiln: whereupon by mutual consent, they all chose the lime-kiln, in which, with the smoak of the lime, they were smothered.

In another part of Africk, three godly Virgins had first vinegar and gall given them to drink,Three Virgins cruelly tor­mented. then were they scourged, then tormented upon the gibbet, and rubbed with lime, then were they scorched upon the fiery grid-iron, then cast to the wild beasts, which would not touch them, therefore lastly they were beheaded.

In Italy a godly man was first tormented with the rack, then cast [Page 59] to the wild beasts, which not hurting him, he was burned in the fire. Fructuosus a Bishop in Spain, with his two Deacons, having wit­nessed a good confession, were all of them burned in the fire.Fructuosus. But this cruel Emperor Valerian, who thus persecuted the Saints of God,Valerian Em [...]peror. short­ly after felt the revenging hand of God: for in an expedition that he made against the Persians, he was taken prisoner by Sapores the King, who made a foot-stool of him, every time that he gat upon his horse;Gods Judge­ment on perse­cutors. and at last by the command of the King he was flaied alive, powdered with salt, and so ended his wretched life. Also Claudius, a President and Minister of his persecutions, was possessed by the Devil, and bi­ting off his tongue in small pieces, he ended his wretched life. Also there were great & terrible Earth-quakes, and many commotions and Rebellions in sundry parts of the Empire, insomuch as Galienus, the son of Valerian, and his fellow Emperor, began to relent towards the Christians, and set forth some Edicts in their favour: notwithstanding which, some there were that suffered in sundry places; amongst whom was one Marinus, a noble man, and valiant Captain in Caesarea, Marinus. who stood for an honourable office which of right fell to him, but his Com­petitor to prevent him, accused him to the Judge to be a Christian. Hereupon the Judge examined him of his faith, and finding that in­deed he was a Christian, he gave him three hours to advise and delibe­rate with himself; then the Bishop of the place finding that he stood doubtfull in himself what to do, took him by the hand, and led him in­to the Church, and laid before him a sword and a New Testament, bidding him take his free choice, which of them he would have. Ma­rinus immediately ran to the New Testament, and chose that, and so being animated by the Bishop, he presented himself boldly before the Judge, by whose sentence he was beheaded.

About the same time there was in Caesarea, Asyrius, Asyrius. a noble Senator of Rome and a Christian, and whereas the Gentiles in that place used to offer sacrifice by a fountain side, which sacrifice by the working of the Devil, used suddenly to vanish out of their sight, to the great ad­miration of the deluded multitude;Satans subtilty Asyrius pitying their miserable ignorance, came amongst them, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, pray­ed to God in the name of Christ,Power of pray­er. that the people might no longer be thus seduced by the Devil, whereupon the sacrifice was seen to swin upon the fountain, and ever after that false miracle ceased.

After the death of Galienus there succeeded Claudius, a quiet Em­peror; and after him Quintilianus his brother,Peace in the Church. both which reigning nineteen years, the Church enjoyed peace in their time.

[Page 60] Here place the third Figure.

CHAP. XV. The ninth Primitive Persecution which began An. Christi, 278.

AFter the death of Quintillian, succeeded Aurelian in the Empire, who was by nature severe and rigorous, and a strict punisher of dissolute manners, so that it grew into a Proverb, That he was a good Physitian, saving that he gave too bitter Medicines. In the beginning of his reign, he was a moderate and discreet Prince, and no great distur­ber of the Christians, whom he neither molested in their Religion, nor in their Councels. But afterwards, through sinister suggestions of those which were about him, his nature being before inclinable to se­verity, he was altered to plain Tyranny, which he first shewed in the death of his own sisters son, and afterwards he raised the ninth perse­cution against the Church of Christ; but when he was about to sign a Proclamation or Edict for that persecution, it pleased God that a thun­derbolt fell so near him, that all men thought he had been slain, and the Emperor was so terrified thereby,A special Pro­vidence. that he gave over his Tyranni­cal purpose, so that he rather intended, then moved persecution. Having reigned about six years, he was slain.

After whose death divers other Emperors succeeded, in whose time the Church had peace for about the space of forty four years. During which time it did mightily increase and flourish: Yea, the more the Christians had suffered, the more they were honoured;P [...]ace causeth the Church to flourish. In­somuch as some of the Emperors did singularly favour them, prefer­red and made them Governors of Provinces.

Dorotheus, with his Wife, Children, and whole family, were ac­cepted, and highly advanced in the Emperors Court. Yea, Gorgonius, and divers others, for their Doctrine and Learning, were with their Princes in great estimation. The Bishops were also in great favour with the Rulers and Presidents where they lived; so that innumerable multitudes and Congregations assembled together in every City, and there were great concourses of such as daily flocked to the publick places of prayer.

But through this great prosperity, the Christians, by reason of the corruption of their natures, and the temptations of Satan,Sin the Fore­runner of per­secution. began to degenerate, and to grow idle and delicate, striving and contending amongst themselves, upon every occasion, with railing words bespat­tering one another in a despitefull manner; Bishops against Bishops, and people against people, moving hatred and sedition each against other: Besides, cursed hypocrisie and dissimulation increased more and more; by reason whereof Gods Judgements brake forth against them, which began first to fall upon those Christians which were souldiers; but that touched the other very little, neither did they seek [Page 62] to appease Gods wrath, nor to call for Mercy, but thinking that they should escape well enough, they heaped iniquities daily more and more,Contention amongst Chri­stians. one upon another. The Pastors being inflamed with mutual contention each against other; Then did the Lord raise up adversaries against his people, that rased their Churches to the ground, burnt the sacred Scriptures in the open Market places, made the Pastors of the Church to hide themselves, and some with great shame were taken Prisoners, and were mocked of their enemies, and put to open reproach.

CHAP. XVI. The tenth Primitive Persecution, which began Anno Christi, 308.

DIoclesian and Maximian having many wars, associated to them­selves two Caesars, Galerius, who was sent into the East against the Persians; and Constantius, who was sent into Britain, where he married Helena, the daughter of King Coel; a Maiden excelling in beau­ty, and no less famous for her Studies and Learning, by whom he had Constantine the Great.

These two Emperors having obtained many victories, were so puffed up with pride, that they ordained a solemn Triumph at Rome. After which, Dioclesian would needs be worshipped as God, saying, that he was brother to the Sun and Moon, and adoring his shoes with gold and precious stones,P [...]ide. he commanded the people to kiss his feet. Then also did he raise a great and grievous Persecution against the Church of God: and the Feast of Easter drawing nigh, he command­ed all the Churches of the Christians to be spoiled, and cast down, and the books of the holy Scriptures to be burnt,Bibles burnt. which was executed with all rigour and contempt that might be.

Then he sent forth his Edicts for the displacing of all Christian Magistrates,Cruel Edicts. and put all others out of their Offices, imprisoning such of the common people as would not abjure Christianity, and subscribe to the heathen Idolatries.

Then were cruel Edicts sent abroad for the imprisoning of the Elders and Bishops, and constraining them by sundry kinds of tor­ments to sacrifice to the Idols; whereupon insued a great persecution against the Governors of the Church, amongst whom many of them manfully passed through exceeding bitter torments:Horrible tor­ments. Some were scourg­ed all over their bodies with whips: some with racks and tearings of their flesh, were exceedingly cruciated: some one way, others another way were put to death.

Some were violently drawn to the impure sacrifices, and as though [Page 63] they had sacrificed, when indeed they did not, were let go. Others neither coming to their Altars; nor touching any piece of their sacri­fice, yet were born in hand by those which stood by, that they had sa­crificed; and so being defamed by their adversaries, were let go.False Accusa­tions of Chri­stians. Others as dead men were carried out, and cast away, being but half dead.

Some were cast down on the pavement, and trailed a great space by the legs, and the people made to believe that they had sacrificed; Others with-stood them, stoutly affirming with a loud voice, that they had not sacrificed; withal saying, that they were Christians, and glo­rying in the profession of that name.

Some cryed that they neither had, nor ever would be partakers of that Idolatry,Courage. who were buffetted on the face and mouth by the soul­diers, that they might hold their peace. But if the Saints seemed ne­ver so little to do what their enemies would have them, they were made much of;Humane infir­mity. yet none of these devices prevailed against the con­stant servants of Jesus Christ; but of the weaker sort, through frailty, many fell at the first brunt.

When these Edicts were first set up at Nicomedia, a Christian, a noble man born, moved with an holy zeal, ran, and took them down,Zeal. and tare them in pieces, though the Emperors were present in the Ci­ty; for which he was put to a most bitter death, which with great constancy and patience, he endured to the last.

These furious Tyrants, Dioclesian in the West, and Maximian in the East, raged exceedingly against the poor Saints of Christ. But Dio­clesian proceeded more subtilly,Subtilty. first beginning with the souldiers in his Camp: to whom the Marshal of the field proposed that they should either offer sacrifice, or leave their places and offices, and lay down their arms; whereunto the Christians resolutely answered, that they were not only ready to lay down their weapons, but to suffer death, if it was imposed upon them,Constancy. rather then so to sin against God.

In the beginning of this persecution, few were tormented, but af­terwards the Emperor grew to greater cruelty. It cannot be expres­sed what number of Martyrs suffered; what blood was shed through all Cities and Regions for the name of Christ.

In Tyre certain Christians were given to the most cruel wild beasts, which would not hurt them; and the Lions, Bears and Leopards,A miracle of Mercy. which were kept hungry for the purpose, would not touch them: Yet did they vehemently rage against those that brought the Christians into the stage, who though they stood, as they thought, without their reach, yet were they caught, and devoured by them. Afterwards these Martyrs were slain with the sword, and cast into the sea.

Silvanus, Bishop of Gazenses, with thirty nine more, were slain in the Mettal-Mynes. Pamphilus of Caesarea, dyed a glorious Martyr.Silvanus. Pamphilus.

In Syria, all the chief Pastors were first cast into prison, together with the Bishops, Elders and Deacons:Tiranion. Tiranion was throwen into [Page 64] the sea.Zenobius. Zenobius a Physitian was slain with Brickbats.

At Antioch two young Maidens were thrown into the sea. Also an aged Matron, and her two beautifull daughters, being sought af­ter, and at last found, rather then they would be drawn to do sacrifice, threw themselves head-long into a river.Sylvanus. Sylvanus Bishop of Emissa, with some others were thrown to the wild beasts.

The Christians in Mesopotamia were tormented divers ways: some of them were hanged up by the feet, and with the smoak of a small fire strangled. So out-ragious was the Emperor in the beginning of this Persecution, that in Nicomedia he slew the chiefest Princes of his Court, whom a little before he prized as his own Children.

Also one Peter was hoisted up naked, and so beaten, and torn with whips,Peter. that his bones might be seen; then they poured upon him salt and Vinegar, and lastly rosted him with a soft fire. Dorotheus and Gor­gonius, Dorotheus. Gorgonius. men of great Authority under the Emperor, after divers tor­ments were strangled with an halter. Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia, with divers others,Anthimus. having made a good confession, were beheaded. Yea,Serena, Diocle­sian's wife. Serena, the wife of Dioclesian the Emperor, was martyred for her Religion. Some others were bound hand and foot to a post, and so burnt.

Also many Christians of all ages and sorts, being met together in a Church, to celebrate the memorial of Christs Nativity, Maximian the Emperor sent some to fire the Church, and burn them all; But first they commanded a Cryer to proclaim, that whosoever would have life, should come out, and sacrifice to Jupiter, otherwise they should be all burnt; then one stepping up boldly, in the name of all the rest, said, We are all Christians, and believe that Christ is our only God and King, and we will sacrifice to none but him; hereupon the fire was kindled, and some thousands of men, women and children were burnt in that place.Christians burnt in a Church.

In Arabia many Martyrs were slain with Axes. In Phrygia, the Em­peror sent his Edicts to a City, commanding them to sacrifice to the Idols: but the Major, and all the Citizens professed themselves to be Christians, whereupon the Emperor made his Army environ the City, and set it on fire,A Christian City burnt. whereby all the inhabitants were burnt together in it.

Eustratius an Armenian, and skilfull in the Greek tongue, highly honoured and advanced by the Emperor,Eustratius, a Persecutor converted and martyred. who also had executed many Christians; beholding the marvellous constancy of the Martyrs, privately learned the Christian Religion, burned exceedingly with a desire of Martyrdom, and not staying for Accusers, professed himself to be a Christian, openly execrating the vanity and madness of the heathens; Being therefore apprehended, he was tied up, and bitterly beaten; afterwards he was parched with fire put to his bowels, then basted with salt and vinegar, then scraped and bemangled with sharp cutting shels, that his whole body seemed to be but one wound, yet af­terwards, through Gods goodness, it was restored again whole. And lastly was he burned.

[Page 65] In Alexandria, Peter the Bishop,Peter. and his Deacons constantly suffered Martyrdom: as also many other Bishops in Egypt, together with many fa­mous and excellent men, suffered about the same time.

A whole legion of Christian souldiers, that lay at Thebes in Egypt, un­der their Christian Col▪ Mauritius, A legion of Christians martyred. because they refused to sacrifice to I­dols, were first tithed over by the Emperours command, once, and again and afterwards, by the exhortation of Mauritius, they died all together constant Martyrs.

The persecution raged not only in Asia and Africa, but also in Italy, France, Spain, &c. in all which countries an innumerable company of Christians were martyred by sundry kindes of death. In Trevers were so many Christians slain, that their bloud ran like small brooks, and dis­coloured great rivers; yet this sufficed not the Tyrant, but he sent abroad his horsemen to command all those which had apprehended any Christi­ans, immediately to put them to death.Inhumane c [...]uelty.

At Collen also, and in Rhetia many were martyred: yea, this perse­cution extended into our Britan, where all the Christians were put to death.

Besides the kindes of death, the punishments were so great and hor­rible as no tongue is able to express: as whippings, scourgings,Cruel tor­ments. rack­ings, horrible scrapings, sword, fire, shipboats, whereinto many were put and sunk into the sea: Also hanging upon crosses, binding some to the bodies of trees with their heads hanging downward, hanging others by the middle upon gallowses till they died of hunger: throwing others alive to Lions, Bears, Leopards, wilde Buls, &c. Pricking others with bodkins and talons of beasts till they were almost dead.

In Thebaide, they hanged up women naked by one of their feet, the rest of their body hanging downwards, with many other sorts of punish­ments most cruell to be thought of: Some were bound to the boughs of trees, and had their members torn asunder, others were mangled with axes, some choaked with smoak over a slow fire, some had their hands, ears, and feet cut off, others were scorched and broiled upon coals, yet not to death, but had the torment renued every day.

In Pontus the Martyrs had other horible torments inflicted on them, Some had their fingers-ends under the nails thrust in with bodkins: Some were sprinkled all over with boiling lead, having their necessary members cut from them, others suffred most filthy and intolerable torments in their bowels, and privy members: what the outrage of this persecution was in Alexandria, Phileas a Bishop thus wri­teth,

Because (saith he) every man might torment the holy Martyrs as he listed, some beat them with cudgels, some with rods, some with whips,Hellish cruelty. some with thonges, some with cords, some having there hands bound behind them were lifted upon timber-logs, and with certaine instru­ments had their members and joints stretched out, where their bodies hanging, were subjected to the will of the tormentors, who were com­manded to afflict them with all manner of torments: on their sides, [Page 66] bellies, thighs, legges, they scratched them with the claws of wilde beasts: some were hanged but by on hand one the engine, that they might feel the more grievous pulling out of the rest of their members: Some were bound to pillars, having no stay under their feet, that w [...]th the weight of their bodies being drawn out, they might feel the greater torment: and these torments endured all day long; the Judge com­manding that they should not be let down, till either by the extremity of torment, or by the cold, they were near death; and then they were let down, and haled upon the ground.

They devised also another greater torment, for when the Christians were lamentably beaten, they had a new kinde of rack, wherein they lying upright, were stretched by both the feet above the fourth hole, with sharp shels strawed under them. Others were cast down upon the pavement, where they had so many torments inflicted upon them, that their sufferings cannot be imagined what they were: In the midst of which torments some died,Admirable pa­tience. their enemies being confounded with their singular patience.

Some half dead were thrust into prisons, where, with their wounds and pain they ended their lives: Others being cured of their wounds, were again put to their choice; whether they would sacrifice to the Idols, and have their liberty, or have the sentence of death pass upon them, who did willingly chuse death for Christs sake, rather then to sin against him.

In Nicomedia, a Christian pulling down, and tearing the Emperors Edict, was stript and beaten till the bones appeared, and then washed in salt and vinegar, under which torments he died. Yet notwithstanding the horribleness of these tortures, the Christian Martyrs were so farre from being dismaied,Courage and constancy. that they were confirmed and strengthned there­by, merrily and joyfully undergoing whatsoever was inflicted upon them.

Eusebius saith, that himself saw the cruel Persecution in Thebade, where the swords of the Persecutors were blunted with the great slaugh­ter of the Christians,Tormentors wearied. and they sat down with weariness to rest them, whilest others took their places. Yet still the Christians shewed their willingness, and with courage, joy and smiling, received their sent [...]nce of death from the Judge, and to the last gasp, sang Psalms and Hymns of praise to God.

In Alexandria the holy Martyrs led with the love of better rewards, did not only bear the menaces of the cruel souldiers, wherewith they threatned them, but also whatsoever torments they could devise for their destruction: Yea saith Sulpitius; then the Christians with more greedy desire pressed and sought for Maryrdom,Humane infir­mity. then now they do for Bishopricks. Yet some through infirmity in this Persecution fell back, for which they were excommunicated by the Church.

Damasus and others witness, that there were slain in thirty daies, seventeen thousand persons, besides a great number that were condem­ned to the Metall-mines and quarries, with the like cruelty.

[Page 67] In Alexandria were slain with axes three hundred:The story of Mauritius and his legion. At Collen three hundred. Mauritius with his Christian legion, six thousand six hundred sixty six, whose story, deserving perpetually to be remembred, is this:

Maximian sent for his Mauritius with his legion of Thebane soul­diers, under a pretence of imploying them against his enemies: When they came to Rome, Marcellus, the Blessed bishop, laboured to confirm them in the truth, to whom they promised perseverance in the faith unto the death. Then they followed they Imperial army into France, and when they were cowe thither, Maximian offered sacrifice to the devils, and called all his souldiers to the same, strictly charging them to fight against his enemies, and against the Christians which were enemies to his gods. These Christian Thebans resolved rather to die▪ then to sacrifice, or to bear arms against the Christians, wherewith the Tyrant being enraged, commanded every tenth man of the legion to be put to the sword, hereupon they strove who should submit their necks to the stroke. Mauritius encouraged them greatly hereunto, and being called before the Emperour, he said; Wee, O Emperour, your soul­diers, and yet the servants of God, owe thee service of war, A most Chri­stian speech. but to him innocency; of thee we receive wages, but of him life; therefore we cannot obey thee to deny God our Lord and yours also, will ye nil ye: We are ready to obey you, if you enforce us not to disobey him: Otherwise we will rather obey him then you: We offer here our hands against any other enemies, but to defile our hands with the bloud of innocents, we may not: These hands of ours have [...]kil to fight against wicked enemies, but not to murther godly friends, &c. We have engaged our faith to God, we cannot be true to you, if we break covenant with him, &c. We see our brethren and fellows in arms, cruelly put to the sword, which we rejoyce in, that they have been counted worthy to suffer for Christs sake, &c. Behold here we cast down our weapons, and had rather to be killed, then to kill, and to die guiltlesse then to live guilty: We are ready to suffer what more you shall appoint, yea b [...]th fire, sword, or any other torments. We confesse our selves, to be Christians, wee cannot persecute Christians, nor sacrifice to your devillish Idols. The Em­perour being highly incensed with this answer commanded the second time the tenth man to be slain, which being accomplished, when the Christian souldiers would not yet condescend to his minde, he set up­on them with his whole host, both of foot and horse, charging them to kill them all; the Christians made no resistance, but throwing down their arms, offered their naked necks to the persecutors, and so were all slain.

At that time, one Victor, an old souldier, that for his age was dis­missed, coming to the Army, as they were banquetting and making mer­ry with the spoils of the Martyrs, was bidden to sit down with them, but he asked them what was the cause of there mirth, and understanding the trut [...], he detested them, and refused to eat with them;Christian cou­rage. and being there­upon demanded whether he were a Christian? he answered that he was and ever would be. Then they rushed upon him; and made him partaker, of the lik Martyrdom and honour.

[Page 68] When Dioclesian and Maximian, notwithstanding all the slaughter which they made, saw the number of Christians rather increased then diminished, so that they were out of all hope of utter rooting them out, and having now even their fill of blood, they ceased at last of their own accord from putting any more Christians to death:The mercies of the wicked are cruelty. Yet of a great multitude, they thrust out their right eies, and maimed their right legs at the ham, with a searing iron, condemning them to the Metal-mynes, not so much for their labour, as desirous to afflict them there­by: and so having raigned together about one and twenty years, Di­oclesian divested himself of the imperial Dignity, and lived a private life, and the like did Maximian also, resigning the Empire to Galerius Maximinus, and Constantius.

Maximinus was of a cruel Nature, a great Enchanter, vicious in his life, and a great enemy to the Christians, and therefore continued the Persecution of them, yet at length was revoked from his cruelty by the just Judgement of God upon him; For he was suddenly taken with an horrible and filthy disease,Gods judge­ments on per­secutors. which first began outwardly in his flesh: and then proceeded more inwardly: his privy members putrified with a botchy corrupt boil, and a fistula consuming, and eating up his En­trails, whence swarmed forth an innumerable company of lice, with such a pestiferous stink, that no man could abide him; he being also very gross, his fat putrified, and stank intollerably; and because his Physitians could not abide the stink, he commanded them to be slain: others of them, because they could not cure his incurable disease, he put them to cruel deaths.

At last being told that his disease came from God, he began to be­think himself of all the cruelty which he had shewed to the Saints, confessed his offences to God, and gave command that the Persecuti­on against the Christians should cease; requiring his Officers likewise to re-edifie their Temples,Hypocrisie. and requesting them to pray to their God for him.

This Edict much comforted and refreshed the Christians, who thereupon gathered together in every City, called their Synods and Councels; yea, the Infidels themselves extolled and magnified the true God of the Christians.

But this Tyrant Maximinus scarce suffered this peace to continue six moneths together, but again he forbad the Christians to meet, and privately stirred up the Athenians to petition him that none of them might be suffered to live in their City: Also a Conjurer in Athens made an Image of Jupiter, which uttered these words, Jupiter commandeth the Christians to be banished out of this City and Suburbs, because they are enemies to him. Also certain harlots were suborned to say, that they formerly were Christians, and privy to the wicked and lascivious acts which they exercised amongst themselves, upon Sabbath daies, &c. And thereupon the Emperor commanded that they should put them to death by all means possible. Then did the Persecution grow as great as ever it was, and the Governors of every Province fell upon [Page 69] the Christians▪ banishing some, and putting others to death.

Silvanus Bishop of Emissa, a very old man, and three others with him, were condemned to death. So was Lucianus, Silvanus. Lucianus. Peter. Quirinus. an Elder at An­tioch. At Alexandria, Peter the Bishop was beheaded. Quirinus Bi­shop of Scescanus had an hand-mill tied about his neck, and was thrown head-long into a river: where yet he floted a great while, exhorting the lookers on not to be dismaid with his punishment, and so with much ado, was at last drowned.

At Rome, many Bishops, Ministers and Elders were put to death. In sundry other places very many others suffered martyrdom with fire, wild beasts, drowning in the sea, &c. Some were crucified, some were slain with the sword;Cruel torments some endured the cutting and burning of their members; some had their eyes thrust out; some were starved in prisons, and whatsoever other cruelty the Magistrates could devise; All which the people of God endured, rather then they would offer sacrifice to the Idols. The like miseries did the women also endure, for being inticed to the filthy use of their bodies, some rather chose banishment, and others to prevent it, killed themselves.

Neither could Christians live safely in the wilderness, but even from thence they were drawn to torments and death.

And whereas the Tyrant in his Edict had boasted of the plenty and prosperity of all things in the time of his persecuting of the Saints, God to confute him, presently sent great drought,Gods judge­ments on perse­cutors. famine and pesti­lence, besides the wars with the Armenians; by which calamities, the people were miserably wasted; corn was sold at an unreasonable rate, so that exceeding great multitudes died of hunger in the Cities, but far more in the villages; most part of the husband-men dying of famine and the pestilence. Divers brought out their best treasure,A terrible fa­mine. and gave it for any kind of sustenance, though never so little. Others ha­ving sold their possessions for food, fell into extream misery: Some did eat grass, others fed upon unwholsom herbs, whereby they hurt and poisoned their bodies: Many women were driven to leave the Cities, and beg up and down through the countrey: some through faintness fell down in the streets, and holding up their hands, cryed miserably for some scraps or fragments of bread, being ready to give up the Ghost; and being able to say no more, they cryed, Hungry, hungry.

Some of the richer sort being tired with serving such multitudes of beggers, began to grow hard-hearted, fearing lest themselves should fall into the like misery: By reason whereof the Market-places, streets, and lanes, lay full of dead corpses, and naked bodies were cast out un­buried, many of which were devoured by dogs, whereupon they which lived, fell to killing of the dogs, lest running mad, they should fall upon them, and kill them.

The pestilence also scattering through all houses, killed very many, especially those of the richer sort, which escaped the famine, whereby innumerable Magistrates,Pestilence. Princes and Presidents were quickly dis­patched, so that all places were filled with mourning, and nothing [Page 70] was seen or heard but weeping and wailing every where. Death so reigned in every family, that two or three dead bodies were carried out of one house together. But notwithstanding that these miscreants had been so cruel to them,Charity of Christians▪ yet the Christians were very diligent and charitable to them in all their extremities, travelling every day, some in curing the sick; some in burying of their dead; others called the multitude together, which were ready to famish, and distributed bread unto them, whereby they occasioned them to glorifie the God of the Christians, and con [...]essed them to be the true worshippers of God, as appeared by their works: and hereby the Lord wrought wonderfully for the peace of his Church, for after he had corrected them, he again shewed th [...]m mercy.

Constantine succeeding his father, overcame Maxentius the Tyrant in Rome, and he together with Licinius set forth Edicts in favour of the Christians: See Constantines life in my second part of lives. Yet Maxi­minus continued his persecution in the East, whereupon Constantine and Licinius wrote to him to favour the Christians, and he finding that he was too weak to encounter with them, sent forth his Edicts to stop the persecution: yet afterwards he picked new quarrels with them, and began to persecute them again: whereupon Licinius went against him, and overthrew him in a battell: Then did Maximinus kill many of his enchanters and conjurers that had encouraged him, and promised him victory.

Shortly after the Lord striking him with a grievous disease, he glorified the God of the Christians,Gods judge­ments on per­secutors. and made a Law for the safety and preservation of them: yet not long after by the vehemency of his disease, he ended his life.

Hypocrisie. Licinius, that for a long time had pretended to the Christian religion, and lived in great familiarity with Constantine, who had given him his sister Constantia to be his wife, began afterwards to discover his hypocri­sie, and the wickednesse of his nature, secretly conspiring the death of Constantine: but the Lord discovering and preventing his conspiracies, he then fell out with him, and manifested his hatred of the Christian religion, being puffed up with the victory that he had got against Maximinus.

He quarrelled with the Christians, because as he said, they praied not for him, but for Constantine: and thereupon he first banished them all from his Court: then he deprived all the Knights of their honou­rable order,Wicked Laws. except they would sacrifice to devils: then he command­ed that the Bishops should have no meetings to consult about their Ec­clesiastical affairs: nor that any Christians should come to the Church­es, or hold any assemblies: then that men and women should not meet together to pray, that women should not hear the Bishops, but chuse out women to instruct them: then that none should help or succour those that were in prison, nor should bestow any alms upon them, though they should die for hunger, and that they which shewed any compassion to those which were condemned to death, should suffer the [Page 71] like punishment themselves; then he persecuted the Bishops, and slew those which were the most eminent of them: the flattering officers also which were about him, thinking to please him thereby, slew many Bi­shops without any cause: yea many of their bodies they cut into gobbets, and threw them in to the sea to feed fishes: Some were banished,Cru [...]lty. others had their goods confiscated; many noblemen and gentlemen were privily made away: and Licinius gave their unmarried daughters to wicked varlets to be defloured, himself also violated many women, both wives and maidens.

This cruelty made many godly persons voluntarily to forsake their houses, and to live in woods, mountains, and desarts: He caused The­odorus to be hanged upon a crosse, to have nails thrust into his arm-pits,Theodorius. and afterwards to be beheaded: Divers other Bishops had their hands cut off with a fearing iron. In Sebastia fourty Christian souldiers in the vehe­ment cold winter were cast into an Horse-pond, where they ended their lives: the wives of these fourty men were carried to Heraclea, where, to­gether with a Deacon of that place, after they had suffered innumerable torments, they were slain with the sword.

Constantine being informed of all this wickednesse, raised an Army, went against him, overcame him twice, and at last caused him to be put to death, as you may see in Constantines life in my second part: whereby the Church obtained a generall peace.

Yet in this tenth Persecution many other eminent Christians suffered Martryrdom, besides those before-named.

Galerius in his time invaded Antioch, intending to force all Christi­ans to renounce Christ, at what time they were assembled together, whereupon one Romanus ran to them, declaring that the wolves were at hand, which would devour them, yet he exhorted them not to fear by reason of the perill; and, through Gods grace, the Christians were greatly encouraged by him, so that old men and matrons, fathers, mothers, young men and maidens were all of one minde, being wil­ling to shed their bloud in defence of their profession: A band of armed men were sent against them, which were not able to wrest the staff of faith out of their hands: hereupon they sent word to their Captain, that they could not inforce the Christians to deny their faith, by rea­son of Romanus who did so mightily encourage them: then did the Captain command that he should be brought before him, which was done accordingly; What (saith the Captain) art thou the author of this sedition? art thou the cause that so many lose there lives? By the Gods I swear thou shalt answer for them all, and shalt suffer those torments that thou encouragest them to undergo; Romanus answered, Thy sentence, O Em­perour, I willingly embrace, I refuse not to be sacrificed for my brethren, Romanus's no­ble courage. and that by as cruel torments as thou canst invent. &c. The Captain being much enraged with this his stout Answer, commanded him to be trussed up, and his bowels drawn out, whereupon the Executioners said, Not so Sir, this man is of noble parentage, and therefore he may not be put to so ignoble a death: Scourge him then (quoth the Cap­tain) [Page 72] with whips with knobs of lead at the ends: but Romanus sang Psalms all the time of his whipping, requiring them not to favour him for nobilities sake; Not the bloud of progenitors, (saith he) but the Christian profession makes me noble:True nobility. then did he earnestly inveigh against the Captain, and derided their Idoll gods, &c. but this further enraged the Tyrant, so that he commanded his sides to be lanced with knives, till the bones were laid open: yet still did the holy Martyr preach the living God, and the Lord Jesus Christ to him: then did the Tyrant command them to strike out his teeth, that his speech might be hin­dered; also his face was buffeted, his eye-lids torn with their nails, his cheeks gashed with knives, the skin of his beard pulled off by litle and little,Note. &c. yet the meek Martyr said, I thank thee O Captain, that thou hast opened to me so many mouths as wounds, whereby I may preach my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: look how many wounds I have, so many mouths I have, lauding and praising God: The Captain astonished at his constancy, bad them give over tormenting him: yet he threatned to burn him, reviled him,Blasphemy. and blasphemed God, saying, thy crucified Christ is but a yesterdaies God, the gods of the Gentiles are of greatest anti­quity: But Romanus taking occasion from hence, declared to him the eternity of Christ, &c. withall saying, Give me a child of seven years old, and thou shalt hear what he will say; hereupon a pretty boy was called out of the multitude, to whom Romanus said, Tell me my pret­ty babe, whether thou think it reason that we worship Christ, and in Christ one Father, or else that we worship infinite gods? the child answered, that certainly what we affirm to be God must needs be one, which with one, is one and the same; and inasmuch as this one is Christ, of necessi­ty Christ must be the true God: for that there be many gods, we children cannot beleeve: The Captain amazed at this, said, thou young villain and traitor, where, and of whom learnedst thou this lesson? of my mother, said he, with whose milk I sucked in this lesson, that I must believe in Christ: The mother was called, and she gladly appeared: the Tyrant commanded the child to be horsed up,A child tor­mented. and scourged: the standers by beholding this mercilesse act, could not refrain from tears; the joyfull and glad mother alone stood by with dry cheeks, yea, she rebuked her sweet babe, for desiring a cup of cold water, charging him to thirst after the cup that the babes of Bethlem once drunk of; She willed him to remember little Isaac, who willingly proferred his neck to the [...]int of his fathers sword, &c. Then did the cruell tormen­tor pull off the skin, hair and all from the crown of the childes head: the mother crying, Suffer my child, anon thou shalt passe to him that will adorn thy head with a crown of eternall glory: thus the mo­ther councelleth and encourageth, the childe is encouraged, and re­ceiveth the stripes with a smiling countenance. The Captain seeing the childe invincible, and himself vanquished, commands him to be cast into the stinking prison, whilest the torments of Romanus were renewed and encreased: Then was Romanus brought forth again, to receive new stripes upon his old sores, the flesh being torn, and the [Page 73] bare bones appearing: yet the cruell Tyrant raging like a mad man, quarelling with the tormentors for dealing so mildely with him, com­manding them to cut, prick, and pounce him: and then he passed sen­tence upon him, together with the childe to be burned to death: to whom Romanus said, I appeal from this unjust sentence of thine to the righ­teous throne of Christ, that upright Judge, An appeal to Christ. not because I fear thy cruell tor­ments, and mercilesse handling, but that thy Judgements may be known to be cruell and bloudy.

When they came to the place of execution, the tormentors required the childe of his mother, for she had carried it in her arms from the prison;The childes Martyrdom. She kissing it, delivered it to them, and as the executioner was striking off his head, she said, farewell my sweet childe:

All laud and praise, with heart and voice,
O Lord we yeeld to thee:
To whome the death of all thy Saints,
We know most dear to be.

The childes head being cut off, the mother wrapt it in her garment, laid it to her brest, and so departed. Then was Romanus cast into a mighty fire, which being quenched with a great storm, the Tyrant com­manded his tongue to be cut out, and afterwards caused him to be strang­led in the prison.

Gordius, a Centurion in Caesarea, in the heat of this persecution, left his charge, living a solitary life in a wilderness for a long time:Gordius. at last when a solemn feast was celebrated to Mars in that city, and multi­tudes of people were assembled in the Theatre▪ to see the games, he came, and gat up into a conspicuous place, and with a loud voice said, Behold, I am found of those which sought me not, &c. the multitude here­upon looked about to see who it was that spake this, and Gordius being known, he was immediatly brought before the Sheriff, and being as­ked who, and what he was, and why he came thither? he told him the whole truth, professing that he believed in Christ, valued not their threatnings, and chose this as a fit time to manifest his profession in: then did the Sheriff call for scourges, gibbets, and all manner of tor­ments: to whom Gordius answered, that it would be a losse and da­mage to him,Courage. if he did not suffer divers torments and punishments for Christ and his cause: the Sheriff more incensed hereby, commanded all those torments to be inflicted on him: with which Gordius could not be overcome, but sang, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me: and I will fear no evill, because thou Lord art with me, &c. then did he blame the tormentors for favouring him; pro­voking them to do their uttermost:Flattery. then the Sheriff not prevaling that way, sought by flattery to seduce him, promising him preferment, riches, treasures, honour, &c. if he would deny Christ: but Gordius derided his foolish madness, saying, that he looked for greater preferment in heaven, then he could give him here upon earth: then was he condemn­ed, and had out of the city to be burnt: Multitudes followed him,Constancy. and some Kissing him, with tears entreated him to pity himself, to whom [Page 74] he answered, Weep not I pray you for me, but for the enemies of God, which fight against the Christians; weep I say for them which prepare a fire for us, purchasing hell-fire thereby for themselves in the day of vengeance: and cease I pray you thus to molest my quiet and setled mind: for truly for the name of Christ I am ready to suffer a thousand deaths, &c. Others perswa­ded him to deny Christ with his mouth, and to keep his conscience to himself▪ My tongue (saith he) which by Gods goodnesse I have, cannot be brought to deny the author and giver of the same; for with the heart we beleeve unto righteousnesse, and with the tongue we confesse unto salvation: and thus perswading and encouraging the people to be willing to die in the like cause, with an unappalled countenance, he willingly gave him­self to be burnt.

MenasAlso Menas an Egyptian, and a souldier by profession, in this persecuti­on, forsook all, and went into a desart, where he gave himself to fast­ing, prayer, meditation, and reading of the Scriptures: at last returning into the city of Cotis, when the people were at their pastimes, he with a loud voice proclaimed himself to be a Christian, and thereupon was carried before the President, and being demanded of his faith, he said, Convenient it is that I confesse God in whom is light, and no darknesse; for with the heart we beleeve to righteousnesse, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation: Then was he pinched and excruciated with sundry torments:Note. But (said he) there is nothing in my minde that can be com­pared to the Kingdom of heaven, neither is all the world, if it were weighed in a balance, comparable to the price of one soul; and further said, Who can separate us from the love of Christ? can tribulation, or anguish? &c. and again, I have learned of my Lord Christ not to feare them that can kill the body, and have no power to kill the soul, &c. Having endured manifold torments, he received the sentence of death, and at the place of execu­tion, he said, I give thee thanks, my Lord God, which hast accepted me to be a partaker of thy precious death, and hast not suffered me to be devoured of my fierce enemies, but hast made me constant in thy true faith unto the end: and so he lost hi [...] head, but found a crown.

Basil relates a story, that the Emperours officer brought the Edict against the Christians to a place to be published, and then privily sub­orned some to detect and accuse the Christians: then he caused the sword, gibbet, wheel, and whips to be brought forth, at the sight whereof the hearts of all the beholders did shake and tremble: Some for fear fled, others stood in doubt what to do: Some again for fear denied their faith,Humane infir­mity. others suffered cruell torments, but at last vanquish­ed by the intollerable pain, they made shipwrack of their consciences, and lost the glory of their confession.

Fourty young gentlemen.Amongst others, fourty young gentlemen that were souldiers, free­ly and boldly confessed themselves to be Christians, declaring to the Marshall their names, who amazed at this their boldnesse, stood in doubt what to do: then he assaied with fair words and flatteries to win them, perswading them to consider their youth, and not to change a pleasant life for a painfull and untimely death,Tenta [...]ion of flattery. promising them ho­nour, [Page 75] money, &c. But they boldly answered, that they neither desired, money, honour, nor life, but only the celestiall Kingdom of Christ, for the love of which they were ready to endure the wheel, crosse, fire, &c. The Marshall being much offended herewith, devised a new torment; for spying a pond in the street that did lie open to the Northen winde, it being in the cold winter time, he caused them to be put into it all night; but they being merry, comforted one another as they put off their clothes, saying, We put not off now our cloths, but our old man, corrupt with the deceit of concupiscence, for which we blesse and praise God: for by meanes of the serpent we once put on the old man, but by the means of Jesus Christ we now put him off: and being brought naked to the place, where they felt the vehement cold, they were put into the pond, so that all their members were stark and stiffe with it: and as soon as it was day, they hauing breath yet remaining in them, were brought to the fire, wherein they were consumed into ashes, which ashes were thrown into the floud.

It happened that one of the company being more lively,A mother en­courageth her son to die. and not so near death as the rest, the executioners pitied him, and delivered him to his mother who stood by, to save his life: but she led him to the piles of wood where the other starved creatures lay ready to be burnt, admonishing him to accomplish the blessed journey he had taken in hand, which accordingly he did, and was burnt with his companions.

Syrus a Physician of Alexandria, in this persecution fled into Syria, where he lived a private life,Cyrius. John. Athanasia. unto whom one John a souldier adjoined himlelf: but not long after one Athanasia with her three daughters, be­ing virgins, were cast into prison at Canope in Egypt for the profession of their faith: Cyrus being of their acquaintance, fearing lest through in­firmity they should fall, he together with his partner John went thither to the prison to comfort and confirm them, for which he was accused to the President, who thereupon condemned them all, and so they were beheaded.

Sebastian also borne in France, and Captain of the avaunt-guard of the Emperour,Sebastian encouraged many Martyrs by his exhortations unto con­stancy, and kept them in the faith, for which being accused to the Em­perour, he caused him to be brought forth into the open field, where by his own souldiers he was thrust through with arrows.

Basil also maketh mention of one Barlaam, Barlaam: who having endured all sorts of tortures to the point of death, was then by the tormentors laid upon the altar, and they put fire and frankincense in his right hand, hoping that the burning of the fire would have forced him to scatter the incense upon the altar, and so to have sacrificed: but his hand, endu­ring the fire, remained steady, the Martyr in the mean time singing, Blessed be the Lord my God which teacheth my hands to fight, &c.

Ambrose mentioneth one Agricola and Vitalis his servant, who agreed betwixt themselves, to give their lives, with other Martyrs,Vitalis▪ for the name of Christ; Vitalis first offering himself to Martyrdom, [Page 76] the persecutors laboured by all means to draw him to deny Christ, but not prevailing,Constancy. they exercised upon him all sorts of torments, so that he had no whole skin left on all his body: Vitalis in the midst of his sufferings, having by prayer commended himself to God, gave up the ghost. Then was Agricola set upon by the tormentors, whose vertuous life and gentle conditions,Agricola. had won him such respect, that they delayed tormenting of him, but he provoking them to make quicker speed, they fastened him to the crosse, where he finished his Martyrdom.

Augustine writes of one Vincentius a Spaniard, who by Dacianus the President was first laid upon the rack,Vincentius. till all the joints of his body crackt, then were all his members slasht and indented with deadly wounds; then they miserably scratched all his body with iron combs, filed very sharp;Horrible cru­elty. then they laid his body, being all out of joint, upon an iron grate, opened it with iron hooks, seared it with fiery plates, and then besprinkled it with hot burning salt: lastly they drew him, and cast him into a vile dungeon, the floore whereof was thick-spread with the sharpest shels, his feet were fast locked in the stocks, and so left him without all wordly comfort;Joy unspeak­able. but the Lord his God was with him, the holy Spirit of God, whose office it is to comfort the afflicted, filled his heart with joy unspeakable; so that he there ended his life with much comfort.

Procopius.Also Procopius in Palestine, after his conversion, brake his Images of gold and silver, and distributed them amongst the poor; where­upon he had all sorts of torments inflicted on him, racking, cording, tearing of his flesh, firing, goring, stabbing, and lastly had his head cut off.

Georg. Zeal. George, a young man of Cappadocia, stoutly inveighing against the impious Idolatry of the Emperor, was apprehended, torn with hooked irons, burnt with hot lime, stretched out with cords, after had his hands and feet cut off, and lastly was beheaded.

Hermogenes. Hermogenes the President of Athens, being converted by beholding the patience and constancy of two Martyrs in their torments, suffered himself for the same faith.

In Portugall a noble virgin named Eulalia, not much above twelve years old,Eulalia. had profers of great marriages made unto her, but she seeing the f [...]rious rage of this Persecution, had a great minde to join her self to the number of the Martyrs, for which end she poured out her heart in prayer to God for strength and faith to enable her thereunto: But her godly parents fearing that her ready minde to die for Christs cause, might make her guilty of her own death, they kept her close at their country-house, a great way from the City; there she lived quietly for a while; but at last, detesting to make such dealy, she stole out of her fathers house in the night, and travelled all alone through by­waies, with much difficulty and wearinesse towards the City, whi­ther she came in the morning, and going before the Judge▪ she with a loud voice said,Zeal. I pray you, What a shame is it for you thus wickedly to kill [Page 77] mens souls, and to breake their bodies in pieces, to compell them to deny the omnipotent God? Would you know what I am? I am a Christian, and an enemy to your devilish sacrifices, I spurn your Idols under my feet, I con­fesse God omnipotent with my heart and mouth, &c. Go to therefore thou hangman, burne, cut and mangle these my earthly members; thou maist easily break a brittle substance, but thou canst not hurt my inward minde by any thing thou canst doe. The Judge enraged herewith, said to the hang­man, Take her and pull her out by the hair of her head to torments, let her feel the power of our gods, and know what we can do: But yet, O sturdy girl, I would fain have thee, before thou diest,Tentation. to revoke thy wickednesse: Remember the honourable house of which thou art come, and thy friends tears; Wilt thou kill thy self in the flower of thy youth, so near honourable marriages? Doth not the glistering pomp of the bride-bed move thee &c. Behold here the engines pre­pared for thy death; either thou shalt be beheaded with the sword, or torn with wilde beasts, or consumed with fire to ashes, &c. yet this thou maiest escape if thou wilt; What greate matter is it for thee, with thy fingers to put a little incense into the censers? yet thereby thou shalt be delivered.

To this Eulalia answered not, being in a great passion,Eulalia. but spit in the Tyrants face, and spurned abroad the heap of inc [...]nse. Where­upon without further delay, the hangmen with both their strengths pulled out her joints, scratched her with the talons of wilde beasts to the hard bones, she singing and praising God in the mean time; saying,Horrible cru­elty. Beh [...]ld O Lord, I will not forget thee: What a pleasure is it for them, O Christ, that remember thy triumphant victories, to ataine to these high dignities! &c. Yea, when as out of a warm fountain, her fair and white skin was discoloured with the purple bloud that flowed from her torn members, she wept not, but chearfully sang praises unto God; then they gored her mangled body with the iron grate, terribly har­rowed her flesh, and burned her brest with flaming torches, then setting fire to her long hair, which covered her naked body, when it came to her face, she opened her mouth, and sucked in the flame, and so peaceably slept in the Lord.

Also Agnes a young virgin being accused for a Christian, was brought before the Judge, who first laboured by flatteries,Agnes. Tentation. then by threatning her with cruell torments, to draw her to the deniall of her faith; but she being strengthened by Christ,Courage. told him that she feared not his torments, which she was willing to undergo, yea and death it self for Christs sake; then said the Judge, if it be so easie with thee to undergo torments, yet I know that thou prizest thy virginity there­fore it is fully determined, that except thou sacrificest to the gods, thou shalt be put into the common Stews. Then did many youths flock together, craving that Agnes might be exposed as a prey to there filthy lusts, to whom she said, Christ is not forgetfull of those that are his, neither will he leave me destitute of his help, Faith. nor suffer my unspotted chastity to be defiled by you, &c. you shall willingly bathe your swords in my [Page 78] blood, but you shall not defile my body with filthy lust for any thing that you can do. Then the Judge commanded that she should be [...]et naked at the corner of a street; whereupon the multitude sorrowed, and were ashamed to see so shamelesse a sight, turning away their face, and so departing,A remarkable judgement. but one amongst the rest looking upon her in a shamelesse manner, behold a flame of fire, like a flash of lightining struck out both his eies, and he falling down wallowed in the kennell dirt, whereupon Agnes sang praises unto God. Then the cruel Tyrant en­raged hereby, commanded the executioner to draw out his sword, and dispatch her: She seeing a sturdy souldier coming towards her with a naked sword, rejoyced saying, This, O this is he that I love, I will make hast to meet him; Faith. and no longer protract my longing desires; I well willing­ly receive the length of his sword into my breast: O eternall father, vouch­safe to open the gates of heaven to my soul that seeketh thee; and so kneeling down, and praying unto Christ, the executioner with his bloudy hand, finished her hope.

Julitta An excellent story. Basil in one of his Orations, relates a story of one Jullitta, from whom one of the Emperours officers tooke all her goods, lands and servants, contrary to all equity; whereupon she complained to the Judges, and a day of hearing was appointed, where the spoiled wo­man lamentably declared her cause: But the wicked villain that had robbed her, said that her Action was of no force, for she was an out­law, for not observing the Emperours gods, and that she was a Chri­stian: His allegation was allowed, incense was prepared for her to offer to the gods, which if she refused, she should neither have pro­tection nor benefit of the Emperours Laws, nor continue her life. She hearing this,Strength of Faith. in the mighty strength of God, said, Farewell riches, welcome pouerty, farewell life, welcome death▪ All that I have were it a thousand times more, would I lose, rather then speak one wicked word against God my Creator. I yield thee most hearty thanks, O my God, for this gift of grace, that I can contemn and despise this frail and transitory world, e­steeming the profession of Christ above all treasures: And thenceforth when any question was proposed to her, her answer was, I am the servant of Jesus Christ. Tentation. Constancy. Her kindred and friends earnestly sollicited her to change her minde, but she constantly refused, with detestation of their Idolatry. Then did the cruel Judge condemn her to be burnt, which sentence she embraced joyfully, as a thing most sweet and de­lectable; and so she addressed her self to the flames, in countenance, gesture and words, declaring the joy of her heart, coupled with singu­lar constancy, and so embracing the fire, she sweetly slept in the Lotd.

Barbara. Barbara a noble woman in Thuscia, after miserable imprisonment, sharp cords, and burning flames put to her sides, was as last beheaded, together with many others.

Here place the fourth Figure.

CHAP. XVII. The Persecution of the Christians in Persia, under Sapores, about the same time.

THE Idolatrous Magicians in Persia, Magit [...]a [...]s st [...]r up persecution. taking counsell together a­gainst the Christians, accused them to Sapores for keeping corres­pondence with, and favoring the Roman Emperour, which was Constan­tine the Great.

The King being much moved herewith, took occasion to oppress them with taxes and tributes, to their utter undoing, and killed there Ministers with the sword.Simeon. Then he called before him Simeon their Bishop, who remaining constant and valiant, he commanded him to be led forth to torment, yet did he neither shrink for fear,The Persion King requ [...]ed Divine wor­sh [...]p. nor make any humble suit for pardon, which the King being offended at, requi­red him either to worship him after the countrey manner, or else he would destroy him and all other Christians in his land: But Simeon, neither allured with promises, nor terrified with threatnings, could be induced to the Idolatrous worship, for which cause he was sent away to prison, and as he was going, there was sitting at the Court-gate an Eunuch, an old Tutor of the Kings, named Usthazares, once a Chri­stian, but now fallen from his profession, who seeing Simeon led by,Usthazares. rose up and did him reverence; Simeon on the contrary, rebuked him, crying out against him for revolting from his profession: Whereupon,Zeal. the Eunuch burst forth into tears, layd aside his costly apparell, and put on black mourning weeds, and sitting at the Court-gate weeping, he said to himself, Wo is me, with what face hereafter shall I look upon God, seeing Simeon disdaineth with one gentle word to salute me? Recovery after fall. This being carried to the Kings ears, he was exceeding angry, and sending for him, he first with gentle words and large promises, spake him fair, and asked him why he mourned? Whether there was any thing in his house that was denied him? &c. Whereunto Usthazares answered,Tentation. that there was nothing in that earthly house that was detained from him: Yea▪ said he, O King, would God any other grief or calamity in the world had hap­pened to me, rather then this for which I justly sorrow:Repentance. For this is my grief, that I am alive this day, who should have died long since, and that I see this sun, which dissemblingly, to pleasure you, I have seemed to worship, for which I have deserved a double death: First for dissem­bling with you; secondly for that thereby I have denied Christ: withall vowing that he would never hereafter forsake the Creator to worship the creature, &c.

Sapores was much astonished hereat, and doubted whether to use him gently or with rigour, but at last in his mood; he commanded him to be beheaded: But as he was going to execution, he requested an Eunuch that attended on the King, to desire him for all the old and [Page 80] faithfull service that he had done to his father and him, that he would cause it to be proclaimed openly at his death, that he was beheaded, not for any treachery against the King or Realm, but for that he was a Chri­stian, and would not deny his God; this the King yielded to, and so it was performed; and this he desired, because by his former Apostacy he dad discouraged many Christians, and therefore he sought by his pro­fession and example to encourage them to the like sufferings.His Martyr­dom.

Simeon in prison hearing of his death, much rejoyced and praised God for it,Simeon be­headed. and the very next day, he, with above an hundred more Christians were beheaded likewise. There was present at their Mar­tyrdom one Pusices an officer to the King, who beholding an aged Minister to tremble when he saw the others beheaded before him,Pusices. said unto him, O father! shut thine eys for a little moment, and be strong, and shortly thou shallt see God in glory. Hereupon Pusices was apprehended, and carried before the King,His Martyr­dom. in whose presence he made a bold confession of his faith, for which cause they made a hole in his neck, and pulled out his tongue backward, and so he was put to death, together with one of his daughters that was a virgin.

The year after, when the Christians were met together to celebrate the memoriall of Christs passion, Sapores sent forth a cruel Edict, that all they should be put to death that professed the Name of Christ; and this he did at the instigation of the wi [...]ked Magicians, whereupon an in­numerable company of Christians,Magicians au­thors of perse­cution. both in Cities and Towns were slain by the sword, some being sought for, others offering themselves will­ingly least they should seem to deny Christ: In this Persecution many of the Kings own Court and houshold-servants suffered Martyrdom; a­mongst whom was Azades, an Eunuch, whom the King entirely loved, insomuch as hearing that he was slain, he was so offended and grieved, that he commanded that thenceforth no more Christians should be slain, but only the Doctors and Teachers of the Church.

About this time the Queen fell very sick, upon which occasion the wicked Jews and Magicians accused two of Simeons sisters, which were godly virgins,Simeon sisters. that by charms and enchantments they had procured her sickness to revenge the death of Simeon:Slanders. This accusation being beleived, they were both condemned, and with a Saw cut in sunder by the mid­dle, whose quarters were hung upon stakes, the Queen going betwixt them, thinking thereby to be freed of her sickness.

Then ensued a great Persecution against the Bishops and Ministers, who were daily dragged forth to the slaughter;B [...]shops and Min [...]ste [...]s per­secuted. but first they cruelly scourged them, and put them to other great torments, because they would not worship the Sun.

Miserable and almost innumerable were the slaughters under this Sapores, of Bishops, Ministers, Deacons, and other religious men and holy virgins, so that the Persians themselves reckon up above sixteen thousand men and women that suffered Martyrdom.

The report of the miserable condition of the Christians coming to the ears of Constantine the Great, put the good Emperour into great [Page 81] heaviness, who studying how to relieve them, it so fell out, that about that time there came Ambassadors to him to Rome, from Sapo­res, whom he entertained courteously, and granted all their requests, and then by them wrote his Letters to Sapores in the behalf of the Christians, whereby he did something mitigate the heat of the Per­sian Persecution: Yet afterwards it was renewed again: at which time suffered Andas the Bishop, and Hormisda a noble mans son of great re­putation amongst the Persians, Andas. Hormisda. whom when the King understood to be a Christian, and resolute in his profession, he condemned him to keep his Elephants naked: afterwards the King looking out, and seeing him all swart, and tanned with the sun, he commanded that a shirt should be put upon him, and that he should be brought before him; Then did the King ask him if he would yet deny Christ? Hormisda hearing this, tare off his shirt, and cast it from him, saying▪ if you think that I will deny my faith for a shirt, have here your gift again.Constancy. &c. whereupon he was banished the Countrey.

Also Suenes, a noble man that had under him one hundred servants, because he would not deny his Christian Profession, was so hated by the King, that he made the worst of his servants Lord over him, and over all that he had, and coupled his wife to him, and made Suenes himself to serve him.Suenes.

Also Benjamin a Deacon was thrust into prison, where he was kept two years, but at the length, at the request of the Roman Ambassadors,Benjamin. he was released, yet afterwards, when contrary to the Kings Com­mandment, he preached and taught every where the Gospel of Christ, he was again apprehended, and miserably tormented, having twenty sharp reeds thrust under the nails of his fingers and toes, but he laugh­ing at it, had a sharper reed thrust into his yard, with horrible pain, and lastly, and a long ragged thorny stalk thrust through his fundament in­to his bowels, whereof he died.

These Primitive Persecutions are collected out of Eusebius, So­crates Scholast. Evagrius, Nicepho. Theod. the Imperial History, and the Magd. History.

CHAP. XVIII. The Persecution of the Church under Julian the Apostata, Anno Christi, 365·

IUlian was Nephew to Constantius the son of Constantine, and was by him made Caesar, and sent against the Germans, where after some smaller victories having overcome his enemies in a great and bloody battel, he was by his Army made Augustus, and after Constantius his death, succeeded in the whole Empire, both of the East and West. He was brought up in the Christian Religion, and was endowed with excellent parts;His Apostacy. but when be came to the Empire, he Apostatized from his former profession, and turned Heathen, and became a deadly enemy to the Church of Christ, and a great persecutor of it.

The first thing that he did, was to open the Idol Temples; shut up by his Predecessors, and to suffer the Gentiles to commit their super­stitious Idolatries, and publickly to adore their Idols: Then his next design was to supplant the true Christian Religion, being induced thereto by the devil and his own wickedness: And the better to effect the same, he practised a means never before used by any, which was to shew himself pitifull, and not cruel; perceiving that by means of the torments inflicted on the Martyrs,Devilish sub­tilty. the holy Christian Faith was greatly increased; and therefore he took a contrary course, and sought by gifts, favours, flatteries, and by bestowing offices and dignities, to draw them to renounce the Christian Faith, and to sacrifice to false gods, and by this means there were not a few, who being covetous and ambitious, desiring to be rich and honoured, fell from their Christian profession.

Then did he make Laws and general Decrees, that no Christian should be Master of any Arts or Sciences,Christians might not stu­dy. neither should study in any Schools, that so through the desire of Learning they might turn Ido­laters, or else they should remain ignorant and illiterate, and so be in­sufficient to preach the Christian faith.

He also ordained that no Christian should have any charge, or hold any office of Justice,They may be in no Offices. neither should be a Captain in the Wars, nor enjoy any other dignity. Thus he used all the inventions that possibly he could devise, to make War against Jesus Christ, without shedding any Christian blood, that so he might take the Crown from the holy Martyrs,The most dan­gerous persecu­tion. which they formerly obtained by the persecution of the sword: and indeed this was the greatest and most dangerous Persecu­tion that ever the Church endured.

Amongst other of his subtill devises to bring Christianity into con­tempt,Christ [...]ans made the ob­ject of scorn. this was one; He entertained about him many witty, but wick­ed persons, who made it their business to scoff at, and deride the Chri­stians [Page 83] with all manner of base jears; and those which excelled most in this wicked practise▪ he most loved and honoured, advancing them to offices, both in his Court and Army.

During his short reign, though himself put none to death, as is be­fore specified; yet the heathen Idolaters, in sundry places, proceeded far otherwise; especially in Palestine, where they burnt many Chri­stians alive, others they stripped naked, and tying cords to their feet, dragged them up and down the paved streets,Barbarous cru­elty. till their flesh was torn from their bones; Upon others they poured scalding water: Some they stoned, or beat out their brains with clubs: and having thus murthered them, they burnt their bodies, and then took their bones, and mingled them with the bones of Camels and Asses, that they might not be known for mens bones.

The Christians in Alexandria were most cruelly used by the Eth­nicks, or Pagans: Some were slain with the sword, some were fastned to the Cross, some brained, some stoned; and such was their rage against Christianity, that one brother spared not another, nor parents their children, nor children their parents.

Emilianus was burned in Thracia. Domitius was slain in his cave. Theodorus for singing a Psalm at the removing of the body of Babilas, Emilianus. Domitius. Theodorus. being apprehended, was examined with exquisite torments, and so cruelly excruciated from morning till almost noon, that hardly he escaped with life, and being afterwards asked by his friends how he could endure such extream torments, he said, that at first he felt some pain, but afterwards there stood by him a young man,A miracle of Mercy. who as he was sweating with the pain, wiped away his sweat, and oft-times so re­freshed him with cold water, wherewith he was so delighted, that when he was let down from the Engine, it grieved him more then before.

Artemius also, a Captain of the Egyptian souldiers,Artemius. Two brethren Martyrs. was beheaded for his Religion, though other causes were pretended. Two Christian brethren were dragged through the streets, and murthered by the Ido­latrous people of Gaza.

But the cruelty of the wicked Arethusians exceeded against the Christian Ministers and Virgins,Barbarous cru­elty. whom they set forth naked before the multitude to be scorned by them. Then did they cover them with hogs-meat, and ripping up their bellies, put barly into them, and so caused their bowels and flesh to be devoured by their hungry swine.

Their cruelty most raged against Marcus Arethusius, Marcus Ar [...] ­thusius. the Christian Bishop of that City, who formerly, by the command of Constantine, had pulled down their Idol-Temple, and set up a Church for the Chri­stians in the room thereof; The Arethusians knowing how Julian hated him, accused him as a Traitor and enemy to the Emperour: Where­upon at first he prepared himself to fly, but when he perceived that some of his friends were apprehended in his stead, he returned,Courage. and of his own accord offered himself to those that thirsted for his blood: [Page 84] Whom when they had gotten, neither pitying his old age, nor reve­rencing his holy and blameless Conversation, they stript him naked, and pitifully beat him; then they cast him into a foul, filthy sink: then they caused Boies to thrust him in with sharp sticks to augment his pain:Barbarous cru­elty. Lastly, They put him into a basket▪ anointed him with hony and broth, and so hung him abroad in the heat of the sun, to be meat for wasps and flies to feed upon; and this they did to enforce him, either to build up their Idol-Temple again, or to give them money to pay for the doing of it, but he stoutly refusing both; they profered to forgive one half, if he would pay the other; which he still refusing, and con­temning all their torments, they at last demanded of him but a small sum of money, but he answered, It is as great wickedness to confer one half-penny in case of impiety, as if a man should give the whole. Whereupon, despairing to prevail, they left him, and went their ways.

CyrillusAlso Cyrillus, a Deacon in Hieropolis, who in Constantines time had broken in pieces the Images of the Gentiles, they took him, ript up his belly, drew the liver out of his body, which with barbarous inhu­manity they chawed with their teeth: But the Lord suffered not this brutishness to go unpunished,God's judge­ment on Perse­cutors. for their teeth shortly after fell out of their jaw-bones, and their tongues rotted in their mouths, and they fell stark blind.

Julian when he came to Constantinople, offered sacrifice in the Ca­thedral Church to the Goddess Fortune; about which time Maris, Bishop of Chalcedon in Bythinia, being blind, caused himself to be led to the Emperour,Maris [...]oldly reproveth Ju­lian. whom he rebuked sharply, calling him an impious person, an Apostate, and an Atheist; he on the contrary called the Bishop, Blind fool, saying further, Thy God of Galilee will not restore thee thy sight again! Blasphemy. Maris replied, I thank God which made me blind, lest that ever I should set mine eies upon so ungracious a face as thine is.

In the Market-places of the Cities, Julian set up his own Image, amongst the Images of the heathen gods, to the end that whosoever should do civil reverence to his Image,Devilish sub­tilty. might also seem to worship the gods of the Gentiles; and that they who would not bow to the Idols, might seem to refuse due reverence to the Emperour. When he di­stributed gold to his Captains and souldiers, he erected an Altar near to his Throne, with coals burning upon it, and incense on a Table by, & none might receive the gold before he had cast incense on the coals up­on the Altar, by which subtilty he circumvented many, who discerned not his purpose to intangle them with the rites of Idolatrous services.

All about Antioch he dedicated all the fountains to the goddesses of the Gentiles, and caused all the Victuals that were sold in the Market to be sprinkled with heathenish holy water:Christian wis­dom. yet did the Chri­stians without scruple drink of the water, and eat of the meat accord­ing to that rule, Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, and ask no question for conscience sake, &c.

Juventius and Maxentius. Juventius and Maxentius, two brave Captains, used much boldness [Page 85] and liberty in reproving him for his heathenish superstition, which so enraged him, that he caused them to be put to death.

In Caesarea, the Inhabitants being most Christians, had formerly overthrown the Temples of Jupiter and Apollo; and now in Julians time, they overthrew the Temple of Fortune, which so enraged him,Christian cou­rage. that he disfranchised them, exacted of them three hundred pounds weight of gold, and compelled their Clergy to serve in War-fare, threatning further to put to death all the Inhabitants thereof at his return, but it pleased God that his own death prevented it.

About this time, Julian going to enquire of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphos, there came down fire from heaven, and destroyed the Temple, and beat the Image of Apollo in pieces,Apollo's Image broken with lightning. like to the smallest powder or dust.

When he came to Antioch, there was a noble woman, called Publia, who had the Education and government of divers young virgins, these she caused, as Julian passed by her house, to sing with a loud voice, The Idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the works of mens hands, &c. This so angred the Emperour, that he sent them a command to sing no more as he went that way; but Publia was so far from fearing him, that the next time he came, she made them sing the same verse, and to add to it, Let God arise, and his enemies shall be scattered, &c. This so incensed Julian, that he sent for her to him, scoffed at her, and caused her to be clapt on the cheeks in a disgracefull manner; but she looked upon it as a great honour thus to suffer reproach for Christs sake; and coming home, she caused her maids still to sing Psalms of the Emperours fury and madness.

Afterwards the Emperour intending to war against the Persians, Christians fined. set a great fine upon every ones head that would not sacrifice to the Idols, whereby he much enriched himself by the spoil of the Christians.

Then were false Accusations forged against Athanasius, so that he was forced to flie; yet he thus comforted himself and friends,Athanasius dri­ven away. Nubecula est, cito pertransibit, This persecution is but a little cloud, and will soon pass away.

In his flight, he took a ship upon the river Nilus to fly to Thebais, but Julian sent an Earl after him, to bring him back again, who pursuing him with sails and ores, had almost overtaken his ship, whereupon the Marriners would have run her ashore, and fled into a wilderness that was hard by, to whom Athanasius said, Quid turbamini filii? Courage. quin in occursum eamus persecutori nostro, ut intelligat, quia longe major est qui nos defendit, quam qui persequitur: My sons, why are you thus af­frighted? Let us rather turn and meet our pursuer, that he may know, that he is greater which defends us, then he that follows to apprehend us. Hereupon the Marriners turned back again, and the Earl suppo­sing nothing less then that Athanasius was in the ship that came to­wards him, he only called to them,A special pro­vidence. and enquired whether they had not heard of Athanasius? they answered, that they had seen Athanasius a [Page 86] little before; whereupon he hastned forward to overtake him, and Athanasius in his ship returned back privately into Alexandria, where he lay hid till that persecution was over.

Julians Officers in exacting the fines of the Christians, demanded more then they were assessed at, and sometimes tormented their bo­dies also, of which wrongs when they complained to the Emperour▪ he scoffingly answered them,Blasphemy. Its your part, when you are injured, to take it patiently, for so your God commandeth you.

At Meris in Phrygia, the Governor Commanded the Idol-Temple to be set open and cleansed, and began himself to worship the Idols: Whereupon some Christians, inflamed with zeal, in the night time, brake into the Temple, threw down the Idols, and stamped them to powder.Zeal. The Governour being wonderfully incensed herewith, purposed to execute some Christian Citizens which were innocent and guiltless; whereupon the Authors of their own accord, presented themselves before him, chusing rather to die for the truth, then that others should suffer for their sakes;Courage. Thereupon the Governor com­manded them to sacrifice to the Idols, or else he would severely pu­nish them; but they, setting at nought his threats, prepared themselves to suffer what he could inflict; Then did he assay them with all kinds of torments, and at last laid them on the grid-iron, and broiled them to death, to whom they said, If thou long, O Tyrant, for broiled meat, turn up the other side, lest in eating, the blood run about thy teeth.

When Julian went against the Persians, of very malice and hatred against the Christians, whom scornfully he called Galilaeans, he made a vow, that if he obtained the victory, he would sacrifice to his gods the blood of those Christians which would not sacrifice to the Idols: But what the issue of that exepdition was, See in my second part, in the Life of Jovianus.

Collected out of the imperial History, and Socrates Scholasticus, Theodor. and the Magd. Hist. Cent. 4.

CHAP. XIX. The Persecution of the Church under the Arrian Hereticks, which began, An. Christi, 339.

COnstantine the Great, dying, divided his Empire amongst his three sons, Constantius, Constans and Constantine. Constantius that go­verned the East, was seduced by an Arrian Presbyter, who had been in his fathers Court, with his Aunt Constantia; So pernicious a thing it is to have deceitfull Hereticks lurking in Princes Courts, Note. and Ladies Chambers.

[Page 87] This Presbyter complained to Constantius that the Return of Atha­nasius from banishment was very dangerous to the peace of the Com­mon-wealth: Yea, he so far incensed the Emperour against him,Athanas [...]us ac­cused of sediti­on. that he sent a Captain with five thousand armed men to slay him; but the Lord delivered him miraculously out of their hands, for the armed souldiers being placed round about the Church where he was, he went safely through the midst of them undiscerned,His miraculous deliverance. though many Ar­rians were present on purpose to point him out to the souldiers, as a sheep ordained for the slaughter.

But neither in banishment could he enjoy peace and safety, for this Arrian Emperour sent to all the officers in his Army to search him out, wheresoever he was,His banish­ment and dan­ger. proposing a great Reward to those that could bring Athanasius to him, either alive or dead; whereupon he was for­ced to hide himself in a deep pit, where he lay six years never so much as seeing the light of the Sun, till at last a Maid that used to carry him his food, was corrupted by those which sought for him, to betray him to them;His miraculous deliverance. but it pleased God by his Spirit to reveal to him his danger, whereby he escaped a little before they came to apprehend him.

Afterwards Constans forced his brother Constantius, though much against his will, to restore Athanasius to his Church at Alexandria:He is restored for a time, and again banished. But after the death of that good Emperour Constans, Constantius drave him into banishment again; yet the Lord stirred up a godly woman to hide him in her house, till the death of Constantius.

In Alexandria in the room of Athanasius, was George an Arrian Bishop placed, who also was furnished with armed souldiers to assist him in his devillish devices. Thereupon he caused a great fire to be made, took many Christian Virgins, caused them to be stripped naked, re­quiring them to renounce their faith, or else they should be burned: but when the sight of the fire could not terrifie them,Christian vir­gins shame­fully abused. he caused their faces to be so dashed with strokes, that their countenances were dis­figured; yet like patient souldiers of Christ they endured all kind of rebuke for his names sake.

Thirty Bishops, of Egypt and Lybia, were slain in the fury of this Arrian Persecution. Fourteen Bishops were banished,The Arrians cruelty. whereof some of them died in the way, the rest in exile. Forty Orthodox Christi­ans in Alexandria were scourged with rods, because they would not communicate with the Arrian Bishop George, and so pitiously handled, that some pieces of the rods were so deeply fixed in their flesh, that they could not be drawn out, and many through excessive pain of their wounded bodies, died.

The like cruelty did the Arrians exercise in Constantinople. Paul the good Bishop was banished to Cucusus, B. Paul ba­nished. where he was strangled by the Arrians. Macedonius a notable heretick was placed in his room, who used no less cruelty in forcing men to communicate with him, then was used formerly to force them to sacrifice to Idols.

These Hereticks used also great diligence in procuring Councels toSubtilty. [Page 88] establish their Errors. But not long after the Emperor died, sorrowing much that he had changed the form of the Nicene faith.

After the death of Jovian, Valentinian succeeded in the Empire, who associated to himself his brother Valens, An. Christi 364 and made him Empe­ror of the East. This Valens was an Arrian, and raised up a cruel Persecution against the Orthodox:Persecution raised by Va­lens. Concerning which Greg. Nazian­zen in his Oration of the praise of Basil, thus writeth, Insurrexit re­pente nebula grandine plena, & perniciose stridens, quae omnes Ecclesias in quas incidit, cont [...]ivit, & postravit, Christi Cultor, pariter & os [...]r, qui post persecutorem persecutor fuit, He succeeded Julian. & post Apostatam, non quidem Apostata, sed nihilo tamen meliorem se Christianis praebens: Christi nomen prae se ferens, Christum mentiebatur. Miletius Bishop of Antioch he banished to Ar­menia. Miletius. Eusebius. Pelagius. Eusebius Bishop of Samosata, to Thrace. Pelagius Bishop of Lao­dicea, to Arabia.

He was exceedingly filled with wrath against the Bishops assembled in the Counsel of Lampsacum, because they adhered to the Nicene faith. In Constantinople he banished all the Orthodox. In Edissa, he commanded them all to be slain as they were assembled together in the Church. The Lieutenant that had received this charge from him, being more mercifull then his Master, gave private notice to the Chri­stians,An admirable story. that they should not assemble at that time; but they, neither re­garding his advice, nor fearing his threats, flocked to the Church in great companies: and whilst the Lieutenant, with many armed soul­diers, hasted thitherward to fulfill the Emperors command, a wo­man leading a child in her hand, all in haste, brake the ranks, and thrust into the armed troops; the Lieutenant being moved therewith, called the woman before him, saying, Thou fond and unfortunate woman, whi­ther runnest thou so rashly? Thither (said she) whither others hasten; Hast thou not heard (said he) that the Lieutenant will slay as many as he finds there? I heard it (said she) and therefore I make the more haste to the place. Courage. But whether (said he) leadest thou this child? That he also (said she) may be accounted in the number of Martyrs. Hereupon the Lieutenant returned back to the Emperor, and told him that all the Christians from the highest to the lowest prepared themselves to die in the defence of their faith,Gods Provi­dence. and withal he shewed him what a rash thing it was to murder so great a multitude, &c. and so with his rea­sons perswaded the Emperour, that he appeased his wrath, and pre­vented the mischief at that time.

In Constantinople the Arrians, favoured by the Emperor, crowed insolently over the Christians, they scourged, reviled, imprisoned, amerced, and laid upon them all the intollerable burthens they could devise. Hereupon eighty godly Ministers, in the name of all the rest, addressed themselves to the Emperour, complaning of the out-rages that were done to them,Eighty godly Ministers burned. craving some relief: But this cruel Tyrant commanded Modestus the General of his Army, to embark them all in a ship, as if he would have sent them into banishment, but secretly he gave direction to the Marriners, to set the ship on fire, and to retire [Page 89] themselves into a boat, and so these holy Martyrs glorified the Name of Christ, by patient suffering of a double death, burning and drowning.

In all the Eastern parts he tormented many with sundry sorts of grievous torments, put many to death, drowned many in the sea,Cruelty of he­reticks. and in rivers.

About this time he consulted with Necromancers, to know who should succeed him in the Empire: The devil answered ambiguously, that his name should begin with Th. Whereupon he put to death as many as were called Theodorus, Theodotus, Theadosius or Theodulus.

Athanasius being dead at Alexandria, there succeeded him a god­ly and holy man, named Peter, Peter. but the Emperour presently sent soul­diers, which clapt him in prison, and the rest of the Ministers were banished, some to one place, some to another.

After this he sent forth an Edict for the persecuting of all the Or­thodox in Egypt: Whereupon many were stript of their raiment,Cruelty. scourged, fettered in prisons, crushed in pieces with stones, beheaded, driven into deserts, where they wandred in sheeps-skins and goats-skins, destitute of aid and succour; Many hid themselves in mountains, in dens, caves and hollow rocks.

Terentins and Trajan, two worthy Captains, used some liberty in admonishing the Emperour to abstain from persecuting of the inno­cent; but the Lord was minded to destroy him,The Emperour refused admo­nition. and therefore he could receive no wholesome admonition; For many of the Goths, whom he entertained as souldiers to assist him against his enemies, turned against himself, so that he fled, and was overtaken in a village, which the Goths set on fire, whereby he died miserably,Gods judge­ment [...]n perse­cutors. leaving none to suc­ceed him, and his name a curse and execration to all ages.

Collected out of Magd. Hist. Socrates and Theod.

The Persecution by the Donatists.

ABout the year of our Lord 410. there sprang up in Africk the Do­natists and Circumcellions, who first made a great Schism in the Church, and afterwards raised up a great persecution against the Or­thodox: concerning which, St Austine complains in sundry places; And in his 50. Epistle to Earl Boniface, he thus writes of it, In hoc labore multi Catholici, & maxime Episcopi, & Clerici horrenda & dura per­pessi sunt, quae commemorare longum e [...]t, &c. In this disturbance,Bloody schis­maticks. the Orthodox, especially the Bishops and Ministers, suffered hard and horrible things, the particulars whereof are long to recite; for some of them had their eies put out: Some Bishops had their hands and tongues cut off, and some were slain out-right. To speak nothing of the cruel slaughter of others that were sound and sincere: of the plun­dering of their houses, of the out-ragious burning, not only of their [Page 90] private habitations, but of their Churches also; yea, so vile and violent were they, that they sticked not to burn the sacred Scriptures.

Profane Schis­maticks. Optatus in his second book tells us, that when Julian the Apostate came to the Empire, the Donatists preferred a petition to him, where­in they desired leave to return to their places in Africk, from whence formerly they had been banished. Julian knowing what furious and turbulent spirits they were of, and how prejudicial their Return would be to the Catholick Church, easily assented to their petition, and so they returned full fraught with malice and revenge, and presently imployed all their abilities, partly by subtilty to seduce the common people, partly by violence to oppress the Orthodox Bishops and Mi­nisters,Turbulent Schismaticks. of whom, some they thrust out of their Churches, others they slew.

Some of their chief Bishops, taking armed souldiers with them, went to the Castle of Lemella, where finding the Church shut against them, they commanded their attendance to get upon it, to uncover the roof, and so having broken into it, they set upon some Deacons, whom they found there, wounded some, and slew two of them out­right. In all places where they came, they profaned all holy things; The Sacramentall bread they threw to their dogs; but behold the just judgement of God against these profane schismaticks; those very dogs shortly after running mad,Profane Schis­maticks. Gods Judge­ment on them. Impure schis­maticks. fell upon their own Masters, and tore them in pieces.

Virgins they defloured, and wives they defiled. So usual a thing it is for those which adulterate the holy truths of God, to be given over to corporal uncleanness.

These furious persons dispersed themselves all over Africk, and would not suffer the Orthodox to preach the truth against their Er­rors: By their violent assaults, thieveries, rapines, burnings and mur­thers, they destroyed many, and afrighted all, &c.

CHAP. XX. The Persecution of the Church in Africk, by the Arrian Vandals, which began Anno Christi, 427.

THE cruel Vandals, passing out of Spain into Africk, under Genserick their Captain, finding the Province peaceable and quiet, set upon the flourishingest part of the land, wasting and destroying all before them with fire and sword, not sparing so much as the shrubs and bushes which bare fruit, lest they should minister relief to those poor Christians which hid themselves in dens, in mountains, and steep cliffs:Profane Here­ticks. But especially they raged against the Churches and Temples [Page 91] of the Saints, burning all them to the ground, and where they found any of them shut they brake them open with their Maces.Cruelty of He­reticks. The Bishops and Ministers they destroyed especially, with many kinds of torments, seeking by tortures to force them to deliver up whatsoever gold and silver they had of their own, or belonging to the Church; and where they gat any, they still tormented them afresh, to inforce them to confess more.

The mouths of some they wrested open with iron, thrusting into them stinking mire and dirt:Prodigious Some they tormented by wresting their fore-heads and legs with bow-strings, till they crackt again; Into the mouths of others they poured sea-water, vinegar, with the dreg [...] of oyl and grease; and neither weakness of sex, nor respect of nobility, nor reverence of their Ministry, mitigated their cruel minds; yea, their fury most abounded where there appeared any dignity or worthiness.

Many of the Ministers and Nobles they loaded with mighty bur­thens, as if they had been Camels or Horses,Ministers loaden with burthens. and made them carry them after them; and if they went slowly, they hasted them with iron pricks and goads, so that some of them under their burthens, gave up the ghost. Reverend gray hairs found no priviledge of Mercy; guiltless Infants felt their barbarous rage, whom they dashed against the ground,Cruelty to In­fants. violently pulling little ones from their mothers breasts to brain them; of others, by wide stretching of their tender legs, they tore them in pieces, from the fundament; the stately buildings they burnt down, and levelled with the earth: The chief Churches in Carthage they imployed to their own heretical worship. Where any strong Castles were held against them, they brought multitudes of Christians, slew them, and left their bodies lying about the Castles, that by the stench thereof they might force them to surrender.

Who can express the number of Ministers that were by them tor­tured!Pampinian. Pampinian the Bishop of Mansuetus was tortured with burning plates of iron all over his body. The Bishop of Urice was burnt to death.

Then did they also besiege the City of Hippo, where St. Augustine was,Hippo besieged. who before that time had compiled two hundred thirty two Books, Epistles innumerable besides his Expositions on the Psalms and Gospels, and his Homilies to the people. See more of this in my first part of lives in the life of St. Austine.

When they had taken the Regal City of Carthage, they enslaved the Citizens and Senators, publishing a decree that they should pre­sently bring forth whatsoever gold, silver, precious stones, or rich ap­parel they possessed, and thereby dispoiled them of all in one day; Then did they take the Bishop and all the Ministers of that City, and thrust them naked into weather broken-ships, and so banished them, whom yet the Lord of his great Mercy directed, and brought in safe­ty to the City of Naples. A special pro­vidence. The Senators and Nobles they first banished from the City▪ and then drave them beyond-sea. The dead bodies of the Christians they would not suffer to be buried but in the night, and without any solemnity.

[Page 92] The Bishops and Ministers through all the Province, being dispoil­ed of all their substance, and turned out of their Churches, assembled together, and presented a petition to Genserick, that they might, at least in private,Pride. be suffered to instruct their people to whom he proudly an­swered, I have decreed that none of your profession shall remain in the coun­trey, how then dare you prefer such a request? and withal, he would at that instant have drowned them all in the sea, but that the importuni­ty of some about him, stopt him.

There was also a noble Earl, called Sebastian, a man of great wis­dom and courage, whom Genserick much feared, and therefore sought occasion to put him to death: which that he might the better effect, he moved him to be re-baptized by one of his Priests, and to turn Arrian: the Earl therefore requested him to call for a fine manchet, which being done, he said, This loaf, that it might be fine and white, hath been boulted from the bran, A noble Earl martyred. moistened with liquor, and baked: but if you now cause it to be broken in pieces, steeped in water, kneaded and baked again, if it come out better, I will do as you would have me. Genserick understand­ing his meaning, could not tell what to answer for the present, yet af­terwards he caused him to be put to death.

If any Minister in his Sermon occasionally did but mention Pharaoh, Nebuchadrezzer, An evil con­science. Herod, &c, presently it was laid to his charge that he meant it by the King, and thereupon he was banished.

Yet notwithstanding all this cruelty, the people of God stood fast in their holy profession,Constancy. and rather increased then otherwise.

Afterwards at the request of Valentinian the Emperour, Genserick suffered the Orthodox in Carthage to choose them a Bishop, which they did; and not long after Genserick with his Vandals took the fa­mous City of Rome, Rome sacked. carrying away with him, not only all the treasure that of a long time had been stored up there, but many of the people also; who, when they were brought into Africk, were shared between the Vandals and the Moors, so that husbands were separated from their wives, parents from their children; which this godly Bishop hearing of, he caused all the gold and silver vessels belonging to the Church, to be sold for their Redemption,Charity. that so married persons, and parents, and children might enjoy the comfort of their relations: Then also did he provide food and lodging for them, and night and day went amongst them himself, to see how they did, to minister to their wants, and comfort them; But this procured him such hatred amongst the Arrians, that they sought to slay him; but the Lord about this time took him to himself, whereby he escaped their malice.

Gods provi­dence.One of the Gensericks Colonels, having some Christian slaves, and a beautifull and a godly Virgin amongst them, he took occasion to vex them with fetters and torments, thereby to force them to re-baptiza­tion, which they constantly refusing, he caused them to be stripped, and beaten with ragged cudgels till their flesh was torn in pieces, &c. At last they were banished to Capsur, an heathen Kingdom of the Moors, where it pleased God so to bless their labours,A special Pro­vidence. that many of them [Page 93] were converted, and sending for an Orthodox Minister,Moors conver­ted. were baptized.

This coming to Gensericks ears, he commanded these servants of God to be drawn at a Chariots tail thorow thickets of thorns,Cruelty of He­reticks. till they were torn in pieces, and these newly converted Moors, he caused their naked bodies to be haled backwards and forwards, thorow bushes and brambles, and others of them to be tied to wild beasts, and so to be rent in sunder; the poor Christians saying thus each to other, O brother pray for me, God hath fulfilled our desire, O this is the way to the kingdom of heaven.

Genserick further raging against the Orthodox, sent one Proculus in­to the Zeugian Province, to dispoil all the Churches of their Orna­ments, and the Ministers of their books, that thereby they might be disabled to holy services; which command was executed with all rigour: and whereas the Bishop of Habensa refused to deliver them up, he was expelled the City,The Bishop of Habensa. and all men at great penalty were for­bidden to harbour him, so that, being above eighty years old, he lay naked for a long time, under the open skie.

About Easter, when the Christians were met together in a Church, to celebrate the remembrance of Christs Resurrection, the Arrians with a great power of armed men, set upon this innocent company, who with their naked swords slew many: The Minister that was preaching, they shot through the throat with an arrow:Christians murthered at a Sermon. and such of them as escaped death, were by the command of the King, executed by sundry kinds of torments.

In other places, when the Christians were administring the Sacra­ment, the Hereticks rushed in amongst them, taking the bread and wine, and trampling them under their profane feet.Horrible pro­faness.

Then did Genserick command, that none but Arrians should bear any office, either about himself or his children: And a Bishop called Armogastes, they took, and first nipped his fore-head and legs with bow­strings; then did they hang him up by one foot,Armogastes tormented. with his head down­ward, yet did he seem to all men as if he slept in a feather-bed, which so enraged Theoderick the Kings son, that he commanded him to be beheaded, but some about him disswaded him from it,A special pro­vidence. because said they, he will be accounted a Martyr. Then was he banished to dig in Mynes; yet afterwards he was sent for again, and made a Cow-heard near to Carthage, that he might be a continual object of scorn.

There was also one Saturus, a noble man, eminent for holiness, whom the Tyrant much laboured to draw to the Arrian profession, but he refusing, the King told him, that if he presently consented not,Saturu's noble courage. he should forfeit his house and goods, that his Children and slaves should be sould, and his wife should be given to the Camel-driver: Yet no menaces could shake his faith. His wife hearing of her doom, went to her husband as he was praying, with her garments rent, her hair disheveled, her Children at her heels, and a sucking infant in her [Page 94] hands, whom she cast at her husbands feet, and took him about the knees,Tentation. saying, Have compassion (O my sweetest) of me thy poor wife; and of these thy Children; look upon them, let them not be made slaves; let not me be yoaked to a base Marriage, &c. that which thou art required to do, thou dost it not willingly, but by constraint, and therefore it will not be laid to thy charge: He gave her an answer in the words of Job, Thou speakest like a foolish woman:Resisted. thou actest the devils part; if thou lovest thy husband, thou wouldst never seek to draw him to sin, which will procure the second death. I am resolved therefore as my Lord com­mands me, to forsake wife, children, lands, house, &c. that I may be his Disciple; and accordingly he was dispoiled of all, and turned out a begging, yet all were forbidden to harbour him.

Gensericks death. Genserick having reigned thirty seven years and three moneths, died.

Genserick being dead, his son Hunrick succeeded him, who at first was more moderate to the Christians, insomuch as they began to hold their meetings as before time. The Manichaean Hereticks he sought out, and though most of them were of his own Religion, yet he burnt some,Manichaeans punished. and banished others.

At the request of the Emperour Zeno and Placidia his wife, he suf­fered the Church of Carthage to chuse their own Bishop, having been destitute of one for twenty four years. Then they chose Eugenius, an humble,Eugenius cho­sen Bishop. holy and charitable man, whose fame increasing, the Arrian Bishops much envied him, and put into the Kings head to forbid him to preach, and not to suffer any to enter into the Church, that were at­tired after the manner of the Vandals;Envy. To which command Eugenius thus answered, The house of God is free for all: those which enter, no man may drive forth. The King being incensed with this answer, placed tortures at the Church door, who when they espied any man or wo­man in a Vandals habit, about to go into the Church, clapping flesh-hooks on their heads, and twisting them in their hair, with a strong twitch they pulled off hair,Cruelty of He­reticks. scalp and all, whereby some lost their eies, and some their lives.

The women, besides these torments, they carried thorow the streets, to be made a publick laughing-stock, yet could they not force them to altar their Religion.Constancy.

Then did Hunrick ordain, that none of his Countries which dis­sented from his Religion, should receive their ordinary pensions and salaries. Then did he send many of them who had been delicately brought up, to Utica, in the parching heat of the sun, to dig the land for corn; yet they went cheerfully, and comforted themselves in the Lord.

Then did he command that no man should be a Knight, or bear any publick office except he turned Arrian: whereupon very many with invincible courage,Constancy. forsook their honours and offices, rather then their faith.

Barbarous cru­elty.Many Virgins he caused to be proved by the Midwives in a most shamefull manner; hanging them up from the ground with mighty [Page 95] weights at their feet, and putting to their sides; breasts, back and bel­lies, red hot plates of iron, to compell them to confess that their Bishops and Ministers lay with them, that so he might from thence have an occasion to persecute them. Many of these died under the pain, and others remained lame and crooked all their lives after, yet would they not confess any such thing.

Then did he banish into the wilderness, of Bishops, Ministers, Dea­cons, and other Members of Christ, four thousand nine hundred seventy six; some of them being lame with the gout, others blind with age:Multitudes ba­nished. Amongst whom also was Foelix Bishop of Abiris, possessed with a dead palsie, and therefore unable, either to go or ride;Foelix. which the cruel King being informed of, and requested that he might be suffered to stay; he answered, if he be not able to ride, let wild bulls be coupled to drag him to the place appointed: So that they were fain to carry him on a Mules back across, as if he had been a sack.

Then were all these holy Confessors, brought to the City of Sicca, where the Moors were to receive them, and transport them thence to the wilderness. Thither came two Arrian Earls,Tentation. and with great subtil­ty sought to withdraw them from their stedfastness, saying, What mean you to be so obstinate, as not to obey the Kings Laws, whereas by complying with him, you may be preferred to honour? Then did they all cry out, We be Christians, we be Catholicks, we believe, and confess the Trinity in Unity. Hereupon were they shut up in a grievous prison.

Many mothers also voluntarily followed their little children, much rejoycing that they had born Martyrs: Others sought to draw them to rebaptization by the Hereticks but, through Gods grace, they could not prevail.Constancy.

As they passed on the way travelling more by night then by day, because of the excessive heat, a woman hasted after them,An excellent story. leading in her hand a little child, encouraging him, saying, Run Sirra, seest thou all the Saints how merrily they go forwards, and hasten to their Crown? One of the company rebuked her, and asked her whether she went? To whom she answered, Pray for me, I go with this little boy, my nephew, to the place of banishment▪ least the enemies finding him alone, should seduce him from the way of truth into the way of Error.

The enemies being more enraged because of their constancy, when they came to their lodgings, penned them up in narrow places. Then was denied to them all the comfort of access of their friends, for per­mitting whereof formerly, their Keepers had been beaten with staves. These blessed Saints were tumbled one upon another, as grains of corn,Cruelty of He­reticks. neither could they have means of stepping aside to ease nature, so that the stink of their excrements exceeded their other pain.

Then were they brought forth, their garments, heads and faces be­smeared with dirt in a pitifull manner, and by the clamorous Moors they were hastened forward in their journey; yet they went singing with great joy unto the Lord, Loe, This honour have all his Saints. Then came to them the blessed Bishop Cyprian, Cyprians sym­pathy. who to their singular [Page 96] consolation, comforted every one of them with fatherly affection, and with streams of tears was ready to lay down his life for the brethren, and would fain have accompanied them, if he might have been suf­fered:Charity. He bestowed all that he had amongst them, for which he af­terwards suffered imprisonment and much hard-ship, and at last had his hearts desire in being banished.

There came great multitudes from sundry Countries and Cities, to behold these servants of God, and many casting their Children at their feet; cryed thus, To whom will you leave us wretches whilest you go forward to your Crown? Who shall baptize our infants? instruct and administer the Sa­craments to us? our hearts serve us well to go with you if we might. But now none were suffered any more to go with them for their comfort, but they were pressed forwards, and made to run.

When any of the aged, or tender Children fainted, they were first punched forwards with staves:Barbarous cru­elty. Then were the Moors commanded to tie ropes to the feet of such as were unable to go, and to hail them thorow the rough places, so that first their garments were rent, then their flesh, and their heads were dashed against the sharp edges of rocks, whereby very many of them died.

The rest that were stronger came at last to the wilderness, where, like beasts, they had barly given them for their food; there were also abundance of venemous serpents and scorpions in that place, whose sting was deadly, yet, thorow Gods great Providence, none of these servants of Christ gat any hurt thereby.A special pro­vidence.

Hunrick in the seventh year of his reign, directed his Mandate to Eugenius Bishop of Carthage, and told all other Bishops in Africk, that they should by such a day meet at Carthage to defend by disputation their faith against the Arrian Bishops;Subtilty of He­reticks. but withal, by the tenour of the decree, they perceived that he would not suffer any of them to live within his dominions, which caused great heaviness amongst them. Eugenius returned answer, that since it was the common cause of all the Christian Churches, it was but equal that Bishops out of other Countries should be requested to be there present also; and this he did, not because they suspected their own abilities to defend the truth, but because he knew that strangers might use more liberty of speech then they could, and that other Bishops might be witnesses of their sufferings, but this request did but more enrage this unreasonable Tyrant.

The appointed day approaching, many Bishops resorted to Carthage, worn out with afflictions and sorrows, yet for many days after their coming, there was no mention of disputing, till in the mean time the King had singled out the learnedest and skilfullest of them, that by sundry Calumniations he might make them away: Amongst whom was Laetus, a stout and learned man, whom he first impri­soned, and then burnt him in the fire, that so he might strike a fear into the rest.

At last the Disputation began, and the Orthodox, to avoid tumult, [Page 97] chose out some to answer for all the rest. The Arrians placed them­selves upon lofty Thrones,Pride of Here­ticks. whilest the Orthodox stood below upon their feet; Whereupon they said, Conference is to be taken in hand, not where proud superiority of power bears sway, but where, by common consent, the Disputants upon equal tearms debate the controversies, that truth may come to light, &c. Then were all the Catholicks commanded to have an hundred stroaks a piece with a cudgel, given them for this speech:Unjust cruelty. Whereupon Eugenius said, The Lord from heaven behold the violence which we suffer, and consider the tribulation which we sustain from our perse­cutors. Then did the Orthodox Bishops desire the Arrians to pro­pound what they intended; But the Arrian Bishops seeing them ready to dispute with them, sought out tergiversations, and declined the dispute. Hereupon the Orthodox drew forth a declaration of their faith, excellently well penned, and exhibited it with this Protestati­on, If you be desirous to know our belief, A confession of [...]aith. the faith which we hold is herein com­prised. The Arrians stormed exceedingly at this, giving them out­ragious language, and presently by false Calumnies they accused them to the King, and so incensed him, that by an Edict in one day he caused all the Christians Churches through Africk to be shut up,A wicked E­dict. giving to the Arrians all the goods and Churches of the Orthodox.

Then did he command that all those godly Bishops that were met together at Carthage, Cru [...]lty of He­reticks. should be spoiled of all that they had in their lodgings, and so driven out of the City-gates; having neither ser­vant, nor beast, nor garment to s [...]ift them in, left unto them; and all men were forbidden either to harbour them, or give them any suste­nance, the King threatning to burn him and all his family that should relieve them.

The Bishops being thus turned out, lay in the open fields round about the Wals: and when the Tyrant went forth to the fish-ponds, they met him, saying, Why are we so afflicted? what evil have we done? If we be called to dispute, Why are we spoiled of all we have? Why are we slandred? Why are we forced to remain here amongst the dung-hills, affli­cted with hunger and nakedness, far from our Churches and houses? Herewith the Tyrant was so enraged, that he commanded his horse­men to ride over them, whereby many of them were sore bruised and wounded, especially the aged and weak men: Then did he command them to meet him at the Temple of Memory: and when they came thi­ther, they had this writing delivered to them; Our Lord King Hun­rick, lamenting your obstinacy in refusing to obey his will, and to em­brace his Religion, yet intends to deal graciously with you, and if you will take this oath, he will send you back to your Churches and houses: Then they all said with one consent, We are all Christians, and Bishops, and hold the Apostolical and only true faith; and thereupon they made a brief confession of their faith;Devillish sub­tilty. But the Kings Commissioners urged them without any further delay to take the oath contained in that paper; Whereupon they answered, Do you think us bruit beasts, that we should so easily swear to a writing, wherein we know not what is con­tained? [Page 98] Then was the Oath read unto them, which was this, You shall swear that after the death of the Lord our King, his son Hilderick shall succeed him in the Kingdom, and that none of you shall send letters beyond the seas. If you take this oath, he will restore you to your Churches.

They that were plain-meaning men amongst them, were willing to take it; but others that saw further into the subtilty of it, refused it. Then were those which would take it, commanded to separate them­selves from the other, which being done, a Notary presently took their names, and of what Cities they were: he did the like also by the Refusers; and so both parties were committed to ward, and short­ly after the King sent them word; first to those that would have taken the oath: Because that you, contrary to the rule of the Gospel, which saith,A wicked sen­tence. Thou shalt not swear at all, would have sworn: The Kings Will is, that you shall never see your Churches more, but shall be banished into the wilderness, and never perform any Ministerial office again; and there you shall till the ground: But to the Refusers of the oath, he said, because you desire not the reign of our Lords son, you shall therefore be immediately sent away to the Isle of Corse, there to hew timber for the ships.

He also sent abroad through all Africk, his cruel tormentors: So that no place, no house remained free from lamentation, screeching and out-cryes. They spared neither age nor sex, but only such as yielded to their will. Some they cudgelled with staves; some they hung up, others they burned. Women, and especially gentlewomen, they openly tortured stark naked without all shame: Amongst whom was Dionysia, whom when they saw bolder, and more beautifull then the rest,Dionysia. they first commanded her to be stript naked, and made ready for the cudgels, who spake boldly to them, saying, I am assured of the love of my God, Impudence of Hereticks. v [...]x me how you will, only my woman-hood disclose you not; But they, with greater rage, set her naked upon an high place for a publick spectacle: Then did they whip her till the streams of blood flowed all over her body: Whereupon she boldly said, Ye Ministers of Satan, that which you do for my reproach, is to me an honour. And beholding her only son,Courage. that was young and tender, and seemed fear­full of torments, checking him with a motherly Authority, she so en­couraged him, that he became much more constant then before. To whom in the midst of his terrible torments, she said, Remember, O my child, She encourag­eth her son. that we were baptized in the name of the holy Trinity: Let us not lose the garment of our salvation, least it be said, Cast them into outer darkness, where is weeping▪ and wailing and gnashing of teeth: For that pain is to be dreaded, that never endeth; and that life to be desired, that alwayes lasteth: The youth was so encouraged hereby, that he persevered patient in all his sufferings, till, in the midst of his torments, he gave up the Ghost. Many by her exhortations and example were gained to God, and animated in their sufferings.The benefit of good examples.

Not long after, Cyrillas the Arrian Bishop at Carthage, stirred up the Tyrant against the Christians,Slanders. telling him, that he could never [Page 99] expect to enjoy his Kingdom in peace, so long as he suffered any of them to live, Hereupon he sent for seven eminent Christians from Capsa to Carthage, Tentation. whom he first assaulted with flattery and large pro­mises of honour, riches, &c. if so be they would imbrace his faith: But these servants of Christ rejected all those profers▪ crying out, One Lord, one faith, one Baptism; saying also,Courage and constancy. Do with our bodies what you please, torment them at your will, its better for us to suffer these momentary pains, then to endure everlasting torments.

Hereupon they were sent to prison, loaded with great iron chains, and thrust into a stinking Dungeon: But God stirred up the hearts of many godly persons (by great bribes to the Jayler) to procure daily access to them, and by their exhortations,Gods Mercy. they were so corroborated in the faith, that they much desired to suffer the like things for Christ with these men, and would willingly have laid down their necks to the Persecutors swords.

The Tyrant hearing of it, was exceedingly enraged, caused them to be kept closer, loaden with more chains, and to be put to great tor­ments. Then did he cause a ship to be filled with combustible matter, commanding that these holy Martyrs should be put into it,Many burned in a ship. and fast bound in the same, and fire to be set to the ship in the sea, that they might be burned to death.

When they were brought out of the prison, the multitude of Gods people accompanied them to the ship, who as innocent Lambs were led to be sacrificed, looking upon their weighty irons, as rare Jewels and Ornaments. With chearfulness and alacrity they went towards the place of execution, as if they had gone to a banket,Admirable courage and comfort. singing with one voice unto the Lord, as they went along the street, saying, This is our desired day, more festival then any fe [...]ivity: Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation! when for the faith of our Lord God, we endure death, that we may not loose the garment of obtained faith. The people also with one voice cried; Fear not, O servants of God, neither dread the threats of your enemies: Die for Christ, who died for us, that he might redeem us with the price of his saving blood.

Amongst these was a pretty boy, to whom a subtil Seducer said, Why hastest thou, my pretty boy, unto death: let them go,Tentation. they are mad; Take my counsel, and thou shalt not only have life, but great advancement in the Kings Court: To whom the lad answered, You shall not get me from the fellowship of these holy men, Constancy of a boy. who bred me up, with whom I lived in the fear of God, and with whom I desire to die; and with whom I trust, I shall obtain the glory to come. And so being all put into the ship, they were burned to­gether.

After the death of Hunrick, Gundabund succeeded in the Kingdom, who continuing in the steps of his cruel predecessors, afflicted the Christians grievously by sundry kinds of persecution, during the space of twelve years, at the end whereof he died, and Thrasamund [Page 100] succeeded him, a man that excelled all his Predecessors in magnani­mity and courage.

His manner was by perswasions, flatteries, promises and rewards, to seek to draw the Christians to his Arrian Heresie; but they which would not be prevailed with hereby, he no way punished or molested them.

In his time there were great Wars between the Moors and Vandals, the Moors had one Cabaon for their General, who commanded all his souldiers to use abstinence in their diet,An excellent example of an Heathen. and to abstain from women, and from all Injury and wrong-doing. The women he enclosed with­in trenches by themselves, commanding that under pain of death no man should have access to them. Then did he send forth a certain company of Moors, commanding them privately to follow the Camp o [...] the Vandals, and that wheresoever the Vandals profaned any Church of the Christians, presently after their departure, they should follow and purge the same; For (saith he) if the Christians God be a good God, then will he assist them that are devoted to him, and punish the Blasphemers. These men in counterfeit base attire, followed the Van­dals Camp; and whereas the Vandals where ever they came, took up the Christians Churches for their Horses and Beasts of burthen,Profaness of Hereticks. carrying themselves very insolently against God and his House: beating and abusing the Ministers and Church-Officers, making them to attend upon them as their slaves. After their departure the Moors on the contrary, cleansed the Churches, carried out the dung▪ kneeled down to, and reverenced the Ministers, and distributed money to the poor, and thus they did continually.

Then did Cabaon prepare to give his enemies battel; and whereas the Vandals were all Horse-men, and very well mounted, their Horses were so afrighted at the sight of the Moors Camels, that they were presently put into disorder, and the Moors with darts and arrows did so pelt them, that they put them to flight, and slew many of them, whereupon Thrasamund shortly after died of grief.

Then did Ilderick the son of Hunrick succeed in the Kingdom, who was equally mild and gentle, both to the Vandals and Christians, and one that kept very fair correspondence with the Emperour Justi­nian. But Gilimer, a cunning and ambitious man, deposed him, and usurped the Kingdom to himself. Whereupon Justinian sent against him that brave and gallant General Billisarius, The destructi­on of the per­secuting Van­dals. who overcame him in several battels, took him prisoner, freed the Christians from persecu­tion, and subverted the Empire of the Vandals in Africk, after they had reigned there for the space of ninety years, wherein for the most part they had been cruel persecutors of the true Church of God.

Sin the fore­runner of perse­cution. Salvian, who was Bishop of Masilia, and lived at the same season, complaineth, that before these brutish Vandals came into Africk, the Church of God there was much degenerated from its ancient purity, and the power of Godliness was much decaid; insomuch as they [Page 101] which lived exactly according to the Rule of Gods Word, were hissed at as they went in the streets, as if they had been monsters: Where­upon, saith he, the passage of the Vandals into Africk, was not to be imputed to Gods rigour, but to the Africans wickedness, &c.

Collected out of a Book written by Victor Bishop of Utica, who lived at the same time, and was himself a Sufferer under this persecution.

Here place the fifth Figure.


CHAP. XXI. The Persecutions of the Waldenses, which began Anno Christi, 1160.

WHen the darkness of Popery had overspread the Christi­an world, so that Kings and Princes imploied their Authority to establish the Romish Idolatry, appointing to slaughter such as denied Transubstantiation, Adora­tion of the Host, bowing the knees before it, &c. this occasioned many Christians to detest this superstition as unknown to the Apostles and primitive Church.The f [...]st Re­formers▪ And first of all God raised up Berengarius, presently after the year one thousand, who boldly and faithfully preached the Truth, and against the Romish Er­rors, continuing his Ministry, till about the time that William the Con­queror came into England, whereupon the Gospellers were called Be­rengarians, till about the year 110. At which time common notice being taken of their separation from the Church of Rome, and their disagreeing from so many of their Tenents, they were branded with the odious name of Hereticks, And twenty years after, when they were grown into a very great multitude, they had one Peter Bruis for their most famous Preacher, who taught long, and publickly at Tho­louse, under the protection and favour of a noble Earl, called Hilde­phonsus, whereupon in those parts they were called Petro-Brusians. For Peter Bruis, Anno Christi, 1120. published their Tenents in a book called Anti-Christ, wherein he declared both the ground of their Doctrine, and the causes of their separation from the Romish Church.

Twenty years after this, they were grown into a mighty multitude about Anno Christi, 1140. whereupon the Popes of Rome now began to lay about them for their Extirpation: For which end he stirred up his most learned followers to write against them; and warned Princes to take heed of them, and to banish them out of their Territories.

[Page 103] Anno Christi, 1147. they had Henry of Tholouse for their most eminent Preacher, whereupon they began to be called Henericians; and because they were well red in the Scriptures, especially in the Epistles of St. Paul, whom by way of eminency they called the Apo­stle, alleadging Texts out of him, nnd would admit of no Testimo­nies for the proof of Religion, but only out of Scripture, they were cal­led Apostolicks. And shortly after God raised up Peter Valdo a Citizen of Lions in France, Peter Valdo. who shewed himself most couragious in opposing the Popish inventions, withal taxing divers other innovations which were crept into the Church of Rome, and he was the more eagerly hearkened unto,Charity. because he was in high esteem for his Learning and Piety, and his liberality to the poor; for besides the nourishing of their bodies, he did also feed their souls, by exhorting them to seek Jesus Christ, and salvation by him. The Arch-Bishop of Lions being informed that Valdo used thus to instruct the people,Popish malice. boldly taxing the vice, luxury, and pride of the Pope, and his Clergy, forbad him the same upon pain of Excommunication, and proceeded against him as an Heretick; Valdo replied,Christian cou­rage. that he could not be silent in a cause of so great importance, as the salvation of mens souls, wherein he must obey God rather then man: Then did the Arch-Bishop seek to have him apprehended, but could not effect it, Valdo having many great friends, and being generally beloved, whereby he continued (though closely) in Lions three years.

Pope Alexander the third being informed that divers persons in Lions questioned his soveraign Authority over the whole Church, cur­sed Valdo, and his Adherents,Pope Alexander raiseth persecu­tion. commanding the Arch-Bishop to pro­ceed against them by Ecclesiastical censures to their utter extirpation; whereupon they were wholly chased out of Lions. Valdo and his fol­lowers were called Waldenses, which afterwards spread themselves in­to divers Countries and Companies.

The opinions of these Waldenses for which they were so declaimed against, and cruelty persecuted by the Romanists, were these.

1. That holy oyl is not to be mingled in Baptism.

2. That all such prayers are superstitious and vain which are made over the oyl, salt, wax, incense, boughs of Olives and Palms, Ecclesi­astical garments, calices, Church-yards, and such like things.

3. That time is spent in vain in Ecclesiastical singings, and saying the Canonical hours.

4. That flesh and eggs may be eaten in Lent, and that there is no merit in abstinence at such times.

5. That when necessity requires, all sorts of persons may marry, Ministers as well as others.

6. That auricular confession is not necessary.

7. That Confirmation is not a Sacrament.

8. That Obedience is not to be performed to the Pope.

9. That Ministers should live upon Tithes and Offerings.

10. That there is no difference between a Bishop and a Minister.

[Page 104] 11. That it is not the dignity, but deserts of a Presbyter that makes him a better man.

12. That they administer the Sacrament without the accustomed form of the Roman Church.

13. They say that Images are to be taken out of Churches, and that to adore them was Idolatry.

14. They contemned the Popes indulgences, and say, that they were of no vertue.

15. They refused to take any oath whereby they should be en­forced to accuse themselves, or their friends.

16. They maintained their Ministers out of their own purses, think­ing it unreasonable that such should be diverted from their stu­dies, whilst they were forced to get their livings with their own hands.

17. They held that the Miracles done in the Church of Rome, were false Miracles.

18. That the Religion of the Frier Mendicants was invented by the Devil.

19. That the Pope of Rome was not to be obeyed.

20. That whoredom and stews were not to be permitted under pre­tense of avoiding Adultery and Rapes.

21. That there is no Purgatory wherein the souls of the deceased are to be purged before they be admitted into heaven.

22. That a Presbyter, falling into scandalous sin, ought to be sus­pended from his office till he had sufficiently testified his Repen­tance.

23. That the Saints deceased are not to be worshiped, and prayed unto.

24. That it matters not for the place of their burial, whether it were holy or no.

25. They admitted no extream unction amongst the Sacraments of the Church.

26. They say, that Masses, Indulgences, and prayers do not profit the dead.

27. They admitted no prayers, but such as did correspond with the Lords prayer, which they made the rule of all their Prayers.

28. Lastly, Though their adversaries charged them with holding, that every lay-man might freely preach to the people, yet they had Bishops, and orders amongst themselves; as the Order of Bulgarie, the order of Druguria,; and they who were their Ministers were or­dained thereunto, though they were not of the Romish Institution, as Nicolus Viguierius, and others report of them.

God [...] Provi­dence. Persecution spreads the Gospel. King of France perse­cutes them. Valdo himself went into Dauphiney, conversing in the mountains of the same Province with certain rude persons, yet capable of receiving his belief: his Disciples also spread into Picardy, whence they were called Picards: against whom afterwards K. Philip (enforced by the Ecclesiastical persons) took arms, and overthrew three hundred gen­tlemens [Page 105] houses that followed their part, and destroied some walled Towns, pursuing them into Flanders, whether they fled, and causing many of them there to be burnt to death.

This persecution caused many of them to flie into Germany, and Al­satia, where they spread their Doctrine; and shortly after the Bi­shops of Mayence and Strasburg, raised up a great persecution against them, causing five and thirty Burgesses of Mayence to be burnt in one fire, and eighteen in another▪ who with great constancy suffered death.

At Strasburg eighty were burnt, at the instance of the Bishop; yet multitudes of people received such edification by the exhortations, constancy, and patience of the Martyrs, that Anno 1315. in the County of Passau, and about Bohemia, there were above eighty thousand persons that made profession of the same faith.Many burnt.

Anno Christi 1160. some of them came into England, and at Ox­ford were punished in the most barbarous and cruel manner as ever were any Christians for Religion-sake before the time,The spreading of the Gospel. as you may see in my English Martyrologie. And three years after in the Council of Turon, or Towers in France: viz. 1163. Pope A­lexander the third, made a decree, that these Gospellers, and all their favourers should be excommunicated, and that none should sell them any thing, or buy any thing of them, according as it was fore-prophesied, Rev. 13.17.

But notwithstanding all these devises they had goodly Churches in Bulgary, Croatia, Dalmatia, and Hungary. Malicious slanders. The Popish Monks to make them odious, and to have the better occasion to persecute them, raised up many foul slanders of them, as they were sorcerers, bug­gerers, &c. that they assembled themselves in the night time, and that the Pastors commanded the lights to be put out, saying, Qui potest capere, capiat, catch who catch can, whereupon they committed abominable incest, the son with the mother, the brother with the sister, the father with his daughter,Vindication. &c. they charged them also with many foul and false opinions: from which accusations they by a pub­lick Apology and vindication cleared themselves, which they pub­lished both in French and their own language.

Rainerus the Monk saith of them, that amongst all those which have risen up against the Church of Rome, the Waldenses were the most dan­gerous, in regard of their long continuance, for some say, that it hath continued from the time of Pope Silvester; and some say, from the Apostles time; and because this Sect (saith he) is more general, and there is scarce any Countrey in which it hath not taken footing: and because it hath a great appearance of piety, for they carry themselves uprightly before men, and believe rightly touching God in all things, holding all the Articles of the Creed, only they hate and revile the Church of Rome, The greate en­c [...]ease of the Waldenses. and therein (saith he) they are easily believed of the people.

Cesarius saith, that this Heresie so encreased, that in a short time it in­fected usque ad mille civitates, a thousand Cities. Parsons saith, that they [Page 106] had an Army of seventy thousand men to fight for them; yea, they were so spread in Germany, that they could travel from Collen to Mi­lan in Italy, and every night lodge with Hosts of their own profession.

Hereupon the Pope hath always used all his art for their utter ex­tirpation, by his Thunder-bolts, Curses, Canons, Constitutions, Decrees, and whatsoever else might make them odious to Kings, Princes, and people,Popish rage and malice. giving them over to Satan, interdicting them all Communion and society with others, making them incapable of any charges, ho­nours, profits, to inherit lands, to make wills to be buried in Church-yards, yea, confiscating their goods, dis-inheriting their heirs, and where they could apprehend any of them, they condemned them to be delivered to the secular power, their houses to be razed, their lands and goods to be confiscated, commanding Kings, Princes, Magistrates, Consuls, and people, to make an exact inquisition, to shut the City-gates, to ring the Toll-bell, to arm themselves, to apprehend, kill, or use any other violence to them, giving to their Accusers a third part of their Estates, condemning all favorers of them to the same punishment.

Anno Christ, 1163. came some of these godly persons to Collen in Germany out of the parts of Flanders, where they secretly remained for a time in a barn near the City:Five burnt at Collen. But the diligence of the Popish Clergy found them out by their not coming to their Church, and so caused, them, to be apprehended, and brought before them; and af­ter examination because they constantly adhered to the truth, and would by no means be brought to recant the same, they condemned them, and delivered them to the secular power: who carrying them out of the City, (being four men, and one young woman) they first bound the four men to a stake, and set fire to them: The people much pitied the young woman, and would fain have saved her, hoping that the burning of her companions would have wrought her to a re­cantation; but she perceiving their drift, strugled out of the hands of those that held her, and voluntarily leaped into the fire, whereby she was burned with them. Godfridus Monachus.

A bloody Edict against the Waldenses. Anno Christi, 1194. Aldephonsus King of Arragon (probably by the instigation of Pope Celestine, and mis-information of his Clergy) published this evil Edict against them.

Aldephonsus by the grace of God King of Arragon, &c. to all Arch-Bishops, Bishops, and the rest of the Prelates of the Church in his Kingdom, to Earls, Vi­counts, Knights, and all the people of his Kingdom, and to all that are in Au­thority, health, &c. Because God would have us to be over his people, it is a wor­thy and just thing that we take continual care as far as in us lies of the salvati­on, and defence of them: Wherefore being imitators of our Predecessors, and in obedience to the Canons, we judge that all Hereticks cast out of the sight of God and of all Catholicks, are to be condemned, and persecuted every where, namely the Waldenses, or poor men of Lyons, whereof there is no number, who being cursed by his holy Church: We also command to depart, and flie from all our Kingdoms, and places within our power, as enemies to the Cross of Christ, our selves, and this Kingdom. Therefore from this day forward [Page 107] shall presume to receive the foresaid Waldenses into their houses, or to hear their doleful preaching, or to give them meat, or any other relief, let him know, that he hath incurred the indignation of God, and of us, and that he shall be punished as a Traitor, and all his goods shall be confiscated without remedy or appeal. And this our Edict we command to be published upon Sundays by Bishops, and all Rectors of Churches, &c. through all our Dominions. And we command that the foresaid punishments be inflicted upon all Transgressors of it by our Bailyffs, Justices, &c. And if any of the foresaid naughty, people whether noble, or ignoble, shall presume to stay three days after the publication hereof, and not hast their removal, we will, and command all men to bring upon them all mischief, disgrace, and agrievance (except death, or cutting off their members) which shall be gratefull and acceptable to us, neither shall they fear any punishment for the same, &c. But this same Aldephonsus that made this cruel Edict by the just retribution of God, the very next year lost part of his Kingdom to the Moors, and his son having also fifty thousand of his men slain in one battel. Hoveden.

The Popelings exercising such cruelty against the Gospellers,They defend themselves by Arms. they began to defend themselves by arms, repelling force with force: and when, being overpowred by multitude, they could defend themselves no longer, they left their places, and became souldiers abroad, and many of them became very helpfull to our King Henry the second in his Wars, when he was molested about Arch-Bishop Beckets death: Also our King Richard the first at his return out of the Holy land, (as they called it) made good use of them (who though they were curs­ed by the Pope, yet were they blessed by God) for the recovery of his right, and for the defence of his people.

Valdo notwithstanding all the curses of the Pope, continued to pub­lish, that the Pope was Anti-Christ, the Mass an abomination,Valdo's Zeal and Courage. the Host an Idol, and Purgatory a fable: whereupon Pope Innocent the third, Anno, 1198, seeing that the other remedies were not sufficient to sup­press these Hereticks, as he called them, authorized certain Monks Inquisitors, who by process should apprehend and deliver them to the secular power, by a far shorter, but much more cruel way then was used formerly; for by this means the people were delivered by thou­sands into the Magistrates hands, and by them to the Executioners, whereby in a few years all Christendom was moved with compassion, to see all those burnt and hanged, that did trust only in Christ for salvation.

The Pope seeing that this suppressed not, but rather increased the number of his enemies,Sang [...]i [...] Marty­rum, semen Ec­clesia. sent certain Bishops and Monks to preach in those places of the Waldenses, but their preaching converted not any of them from their former opinions.

Amongst those Monks was Dominick, who was a zealous persecutor of these Saints of God both in word and deed,Dominicans instituted. who seeing himself to be in Authority▪ instituted an Order of begging Monks, called after his name Dominicans, which order was confirmed by the Pope, for their [Page 108] zealous assisting of him against the Waldenses, and this Dominick labour­ed in the inquisition with such contentment to the Popes, that from that time forward the Monks of his order have always been imploied in the inquisition.

The power of these Inquisitors was without limitation, they could assemble the people by the sound of a bell when they pleased, proceed against the Bishops themselves,Inquisitors be­gun, An. Chri. 1176· they could imprison and re­lease without controul: Any accusation was sufficient with them: A sor­cerer▪ a whore was a sufficient witness in the case of pretended Heresie: It mattered not who accused, or whether by word of mouth, or ticket thrown in before the Inquisitors: for process was thereby framed with­out party,Injustice. without witness, or without other Law, then the pleasure of the Inquisitors.

To be rich was a crime near to Heresie, and he that had any thing to lose, was in the way to be undone, either as an Heretick, or as a favou­rer of them: yea, bare suspition stopped the mouths of parents, kins­folk, and friends, that they durst not intercede each for other. If any did but convey a cup of cold water,Prodigious cruelty. or a pad of straw to the poor Saints that lay in stinking dungeons, he was condemned as a favourer of the Hereticks, and brought to the same or worse extremities.

No Advocate durst undertake the defence of his nearest kinsman, or friends: no Notary durst receive any Act in his favour; yea, death it self made not an end of their punishment, for sometimes they passed sentence against the bones of the dead, to dis-inter and burn them, it may be thirty years after the death of the party accused.

Such as were heirs had nothing certain, for if their fathers or kindred were accused they durst not undertake the defence of their own right, possess their own inheritance, without the crime or suspition of Heresie. The greatest and richest amongst the people were constrained even to adore these Monks Inquisitors, and to give them great sums for the building of their Convents & houses, for fear to be accused of Heresie.

And the better to keep the people in aw, these Inquisitors would sometimes lead in Triumph their prisoners in their processions, enjoyn­ing some of them to whip themselves, others to go in their shirts bare-foot and bare-headed, having a With about their necks; and a torch in their hands for the greater terrour to the beholders, seeing persons of all estates and sexes in so miserable a condition.

Some of these accused persons were sent into the holy Land, or en­rolled for some other expedition against the Turks and Infidels, where they were to serve for a certain time at their own charge: in the mean time these Fathers Inquisitors took possession of their houses and goods, and when they returned home, they must not so much as enquire whether these Monks had in their absence lain with their wives, lest they would be condemned as back-sliders, and unworthy of favour.

Anno Christi, 1201. A gallant Knight that was one of these Wal­denses, called Enraudus, whom Henry, Earl of Nivers had made Go­nour of his land,A Knight burned. was accused of Heresie, and brought before the [Page 109] Popes Legat, who called a Common Council at Paris against him, consisting of the Arch-Bishop, Bishops, and Ministers of Paris, who after examination of witnesses, condemned him for an Heretick, and so delivered him to the secular power, by whom he was burned in the flames. Chron. Rol. Altissiodorensis.

In Octo. Anno Christi, 1207. in the Town of Mont-royal near Carcasson in the Earldom of Tholouse, A Disputation between the Popelings and the Waldenses. there was held a famous dispu­tation between Didacus Bishop of Oxon, a Spaniard: Frier Dominick; Peter of the New Castle, the Popes Legat, and Raph his Colleague on the one party, and Arnold Hot, Pastor of the Albingenses, with some other of his fellow-labourers on the other party: The Arbi­trators were two noble men, viz, Bernard de villa nova, and Pernail of Arras; and two Plebians, viz. Raimond Godius, and Arnold Ribe­ria, The Questions disputed upon were these: First, that the Church of Rome is not the Spouse of Christ, nor an holy Church, but an impure one, and instructed by the Doctrine of Satan. Se­condly, That their Ecclesiastical Polity is not good, nor holy, nor established by Jesus Christ. Thirdly, That the Mass, as it is cele­brated therein, was not instituted by Christ, or his Apostles. The Bishop undertook to prove the contrary: but after three days disputa­tion, he desired fifteen days to commit his Arguments to writing; and Arnold Hot required eight days to put in his Answer.

At the day appointed the Bishop brought in a very long writing; and Hot desired to answer by word of mouth, intreating his Auditors that he might not seem troublesom to them, if he were long in an­swering so long a discourse; and it was granted that he should be heard with patience without interruption, and so he discoursed for divers hours four days together, to the great admiration of all that heard him, and so ready was he therein, that all the Bishops, Abbats, Monks, and Priests, wished themselves elsewhere: For he framed his answer to each point in order, as it was set down in the writing, and that with such plainness and perspicuity, that he gave all that were present to understand, that this Bishop, though he had writen much, yet had he concluded nothing that might truly turn to the ad­vantage of the Church of Rome against his Assertions: Then did Arnold request, that forasmuch as the Bishops, and himself in the beginning of the conference, were bound to prove whatsoever they affirmed by the Word of God only, it might now be imposed upon the Bishops, and Priests to make good their Mass as they sing it, part by part, to have been instituted by the son of God, and so used by the Apostles, &c. But the Bishops were not able to prove that the Mass, or any part of it was so ordained or used, whereupon they were much discontented, and ashamed. Arnold pro­ceeded to prove that it was not instituted by Christ or his Apo­stles.The Popelings bafled. For (said he) if the Mass were the holy Supper instituted by our Saviour, there would remain after the consecration, that which was in the supper of our Lord, viz. Bread: But in the Mass there is no bread; [Page 110] For by transubstantiation the bread is vanished, therefore the Mass is not the holy Supper of the Lord: &c. The Bishops, Legats, Monks, and Priests having nothing to answer to these things, retired themselves: not being willing to here any more: and fearing least these Gospellers should work such an impression on the hearts of those that were present, as might shake their beliefe touching the Masse, they dessolved the A­ssembly. Nich Vignerius.

Between the years 1176. which was the time when this Inquisition was first erected, to the year 1228. there was so great a havock made of poor Christians, that the Arch-Bishops of Aix, Arles, and Narbonne, being assembled at the request of the said Inquisitors, to conferre with them about divers difficulties in the execution of their offices,Horrible cru­elty. had com­passion of the great number that were accused & cast into prison, saying, We hear that you have apprehended such a multitude of the Waldenses, that it is not only impossible to defray the charge of their food, but to provide lime and stone to build prisons for them, we therefore advise you to forbear this rigour till the Pope be advertised, and direct what he will have done in this case, &c. Yet notwithstanding all this cruelty, there was in the year 1260. according to the report of George Morrel in his memorials,The number of the Waldenses. p. 54. above eight hundred thousand persons that made profession of the faith of the Waldenses.

Besides the Churches that they had in Valentinois, where their faith was propagated from the father to the son, their religion spread also beyond the Alps into the valley of Pragela, within the jurisdiction of the Arch-Bishop of Turin, from whence were peopled the Waldensian Valleys of Piedmont, La Perouse, S. Martain, Angrogne, &c. This valley of Pargela was one of the safest retiring places that the Waldenses had, being environed on all sides with mountains almost inaccessible, into the caves whereof they retired themselves in the times of persecution: and though they were weakned on all sides, environed with enemies, and in danger of being apprehended if they looked but forth of their doors; yet was there never any wordly respect that had power to alter their holy resolution from the father to the sonne,Their godly lives. to serve God, taking his Word for the rule of their faith, & his Law for the rule of their obedience: yea, no sooner were the infants weaned from their mothers breasts, but their parents took a singular delight to instruct them in the Christian faith.

Good Pastors.There Pastors also did not only preach to them on the Sabbath daies, but went in the week daies to instruct them in the villages and hamlets, not sparing themselves for the roughnesse of the rocks, the coldnesse of the ayr, and the cragginesse of the country, where they were fain to climbe up high mountains to visit their flocks.

There was also holy Discipline exercised amongst them: The people praied with fervency at night when they went to their rest, and in the morning before the went about their labour: They had Schools wherein their children were taught and nurtured.

B [...]t whilest they thus busily sought the advancement of Gods glory and their own salvation,Persecution raised. the devil raised up a persecution against them. [Page 111] Anno 1380. by a Monk Inquisitor, called Francis Boralli, who had a commission to enquire after the Waldenses in Aix, Arles, Ambrun, Viene, Geneva, Aubone, Savoy, the Venetian County, the Principality of Orenge, the City of Avignion, &c. which commission he received from Pope Cle­ment the seventh.

This Monk cited to appeare before him at Ambrun, all the Inhabi­tants of Frassiniere, Argentire, and of the valley Pute upon pain of ex­communication: but they appeared not, whereupon they were con­demned of contumacy, and excommunicated:Popish cruelty▪ and for the space of thirteen years, as he caught any of them, he delivered them up to the se­cular power to be burnt at Grenoble, the number of whom was an hun­dred and fifty men, divers women, with many of their sons and daugh­ters; besides about eighty persons of Argentire.

The Inquisitors also adjudged to themselves two par [...]s of all their goods▪ and the third part to the temporal powers: they forbad all their bordering neighbours also to assist, receive, visit, or defend them or to converse with them in any sort upon pain of being attainted, and punish­ed as favourers of Hereticks, &c.

The Waldenses of the valley of Pragela, In Pragela. Anno 1400. were assaulted by their enemies on the side of Susa in Piedmont: but most of their assaults proved in vain, because these Waldenses retired into the high moun­tains, hiding themselves in the caves and hollow places thereof, from whence they much endamaged those that came to assail them. Their enemies seing this, came upon them in the depth of winter, when those poor people never suspected it, all the mountains being covered over with snow:Popish malice. and thereupon they retired into the highest mountain of all the Alps, together with their wives and children, the mothers carrying some in their cradles, and leading others by the hand: yet the enemy followed them till night, and slew many before they could recover the mountain: and they which were so slain had the better bargain: for night coming on, these poor people being in the snow, without any meanes to make a fire for their infants, many of them were benummed,Infants star­ved to death. and in the morning above eighty of them were frozen to death in their cradles, and most of their mothers died also, and divrese others were giving up the last gasp: The enemies lay all night in these peoples houses, which they ransacked and pillaged, and so returned to Susa, but by the way, meeting with a poor Waldensian woman,Popish cruel­ty. they hanged her upon a tree, and so departed.

The VValdenses of the valley of Frassiniere, Frassiniere▪ were greatly persecuted by the Arch-Bishop of Ambrun, Anno 1460. who made a Monk cal­led John Vayleti his Commissioner against them, which Monk pro­ceeded with such diligence and violence, that scarce any person could escape his hands, but that he was either apprehended for an Heretick, Popish cruelty. or a favourer of them, whereby many Papists suffered amongst the rest, which caused them to petition King Lewis the eleventh of France, by his authority to stay the course of that persecution:The King for­bids the perse­cution. and thereupon the King wrote his Letter to the Governour of Dauphine, signifying, that whereas the Inquisitors had daily sent forth their processe against many [Page 112] poor people in those parts without reasonable cause, putting some to the rack, and condemning them for matters whereof they were never guilty, and which they could not prove by any witnesse: and of others they had exacted great sums of money, and divers waies had unjustly vexed, and molested them: he therefore decreed that for the time to come all such processe should be void, and of none effect, nor any wrong done to them in body, goods, or good name, except there were any that obstinately maintained and affirmed any thing against the holy Catholicke Faith.

Yet the Arch-Bishop conti­nues it.But the Arch-Bishop was so far from ceasing the persecution upon this Edict, that he grew more violent by reason of the last clause, pre­tending that he did not any thing contrary to the Kings precept, see­ing they which were cited, appeared not to justifie themselves, &c. He also suborned many Priests, which were his own Officers, to depose, that all they which had petitioned the King were VValdenses: Popish malice. Slanders. He also hired one John Pelegrin to accuse them for assembling themselves in dark places to commit whoredom, &c. and then he sent to the Court to justifie himself from the complaint made to the King against him, that he had persecuted the Waldenses rather out of covteousness to get their goods, then out of zeal to the Catholick Faith: but this single witness prevailed but litle, seeing there were many other who deposed, that they had never seen any such villany amongst the Waldenses, nor any the least appearance of the same.

Yet did not the Archbishop cease to prosecute them to the utter­most of his power, so that he caused most of them to flie away, only one James Pateneri stood to it, averring before the Court that he was unjustly vexed,Ja Pateneri contrary to the Kings Letters, demanding a copy of the proceedings, that he might right himself by Law: [...]hereupon the Archbishop left him, and fell upon those that wanted the like cou­rage, citing the Consuls of Frassiniere to answer for themselves, and all the inhabitants of their valley: But they refused, saying, that they had nothing to say before the Archbishop, seeing their cause was now depending before the King and his Council,The Arch-Bishops cruelty. protesting against the Archbishops power, and demanding a copy of the Kings Letter: But the Archbishop, notwithstanding this protestation, sent them to the fire, without any other indictment.

Yet the Lord left not this cruelty long unrevenged, for shortly after the Archbishop died by the stroak of Gods justice,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. and so ended his Persecution▪ Anno Christi 1487.

One villany of the Inquisitor Valeti may not be forgoten, which was this: When he examined any of the Waldenses, Whether he be­leeved that the bread in the Sacrament, after the consecration, was changed into the reall and naturall body of Christ which hung upon the crosse? If the Waldenses answered, No; he set down his answer thus, That he beleeved not in God. When he asked, Whether we ought not to pray to Saints?Popish lies. If they answred, No; he set down, That the railed upon, and spake evil of the Saints. When he enquired, Whether we [Page 113] ought not to pray to the Virgin Mary in our necessities? If they answer­ed No; he set down, That they spake blasphemy against the Virgin Mary, &c.Gods provi­dence. And by Gods providence these Records were kept in the Arch-bish­op of Ambruns house, till the City and their Records fell into the hands of the Protestants an hundred years after, and so God brought all their knavery to light.

Anno 1488. Pope Innocent the eight sent Albert de capitaneis, Arch-Deacon of Cremona against these Waldenses, who craved aid of the Kings Lieutenant of Dauphine, against them. This Lieutenant for his service levied troops of men, and at the Arch-Deacons request,Popish subtilty led them against the Waldenses in the valley of Loyse, and to colour his proceedings with a pretence of justice, he took a Counsellour of the Court along with him. But when they came to the valley, they found no inhabitants, for they were all retired into their Caves in the high mountains, having carried their little children, and all their provision of food with them. Then did this cruel Lieutenant cause much wood to be laid to the mouths of the caves, and set it on fire,Barbarous cru­eltie.. so that some were choaked with smoak, others burnt with the fire, others cast themselves headlong from the rocks, and were broken in pieces; and if any stirred out, they were presently slain by the souldiers.

In this Persecution,A girevous per­secution. there were found within the Caves four hun­dred infants stif [...]ed in their cradles, or in the arms of their dead mo­thers: and in all, there perished above three thousand men and women at that time, so that there were no inhabitants left in all that valley: And to prevent the coming of any more of them thither, the Lieutenant gave all their goods and possessions to whom he pleased.

Then did he march against the Waldenses of Pragela, and Frassa­niere, but they, providing for their own safety, attended him at the passages and narrow straits of their vallies,The Lieute­nant repulsed. so that he was forced to retire.

After a while Albert de Capitaneis, being called to another place, he substituted a Franciscan named Francis Ploieri, who Anno 1489. began anew to informe against the Waldenses of Fressaniere, citing them to appeare before him at Ambrun, and for non-appearing, he ex­communicated them, and condemned them for Hereticks, to be de­livered to the secular power, and there goods to be confiscated; and in this judgement, their assisted one Ponce, a certain Counsellour of Dauphine. These men afterwards caught two of their Pastors [Fran­cis Gerondin, and Peter James] who being asked why the Waldenses in­creased so fast, and spread so far; they answered,Plain dealing. Because the Popish Priests live so dissolutly, and because the Cardinals are so covetous, proud and luxurious, it being commonly known that there is neither Pope, Popish un­cleannesse. Cardi­nall, nor Bishop, but keeps his whores, and few or none but had their youths for Sodomy besides; And therefore it is easie for the Waldensian Pastors to perswade the people, that their religion could not be good, whose fruits were so bad, &c

This Persecution grew exceeding hot, the Inquisitor and Councel­lor [Page 114] sending as many as they could catch to the fire without admit­ting any appeal: and if any interceded for them, though the father for the childe, or the child for the father, he was presently committed to prison,In Dauphine. and indicted as a favourer of Hereticks.

Anno 1594. Anthoni Fabri, and Christopher de Salience had Comis­sions sent them from the Pope,The weaknesse of a woman. to commence suit against the Walden­ses in Dauphine, who apprehending the widow of one Peter Berand, they imprisoned, and oft examined her, and thereby drew from her whatever she knew of the Assemblies of the Waldenses, of the persons that frequented them, and of the places and times of their meeting, which afterwards brought great trouble to the said Churches of Christ, and of gain to the Inquisitors.

King Lewis the twelfth succeeding King Francis, Anno 1598. the inhabitants of Frassaniere petitioned him to take some order for the resti­tution of their goods, which by the Inquisitors were deteined from them. The King referred it to his Chancelor, who procured a Commissary from the Poppe, and Commissioner from the King, to be sent down to examine the businesse; These accordingly, having examined divers wit­nesses against the Waldenses, The innocen­cy of the Wal­denses. and finding their innocency, did at last ab­solve them; the Kings Commissioner publickely professing, that he de­sired to be but as good a Christian as the worst of those of Frassaniere were: and returning to the King, they made report to him of that which they had done: The King thereupon ordered that the goods of the Wal­denses should be restored▪

When the Kings order came to Ambrun, it was the opinion of most men, that seeing most of these goods were in the possession of the Arch-Bishop, that therefore he should give a good example in begin­ing to restore them, but the Arch-Bishop answered, that the goods which he held were annexed to his Arch-Bishoprick,Popish subtilty and injustice. and incorporated to his Church and, therefore it was out of the Kings jurisdiction, and he did not beleeve that the King would meddle therein: Yet being willing to please the King, he profered to restore them their Vineyards, provided that the Lords of Dauphine would restore the goods which they had; but there was not one that would restore what they had so unjustly gotten, so that the poor people where wholly frustrated of their expectation.

Then did the summon the Arch-Bishop and those refusers before the King, but these great ones having more friends and favour at Court, then the poor people had, their excuse was admitted, which was, that they could not restore the goods, before the Pope had ab­solved those of Frassaniere from the sentence of excommunication. Anno 1560. The President of Provence made a speech to the assembly of Estates to root out these Waldenses: Whereupon they raised an Army for the effecting of it; but as soon as the men were in Arms, it pleased God,A speciall pro­vidence. by the death of King Francis, to put an end to that design, whereby the Waldensian Churches in Dauphine enjoyed peace, and were well furnished with godly Pastors, who held them in the ex­ercise [Page 115] of religion, though they were in continuall danger of being per­secuted to the death for the same.

The Waldenses in Dauphine, many years before being multiplyed, so that the countrey could not feed them, dispersed themselves abroad into divers parts, whereof some went into Piedmont, In Piedmont. who lived in great love with those of Da [...]phine, and though they were alwaies oppressed with troubles, yet with hearty love and charity, they ever-succoured one another,Love. not sparing their lives and goods for their mutuall conservation.

The first Persecution in Piedmont were occasioned by the Preists, who complained to the Arch-Bishop of Turin, Popish malice. that these people lived not according to the manner and belief of the Church of Rome; that they offered not for the dead, cared not for Masses, Absolutions, or to get any of theirs out of the pains of Purgatory, &c. Hereupon the Arch-Bishop persecuted them, complaining of them to their Princes to make them odious: But the Prince enquiring of their neighbours, heard that they were of a good conversation, fearing God, without deceit or malice, loving plain dealing, alwaies ready to serve their Prince with alacrity, &c. He therefore purposed not to molest them: But the Priests and Monks gaining nothing by their belief, charged them with an infinite number of calumnies,Slanders. and ever and anon catch­ing one or other of them, they delivered them to the Inquisitors, and the Inquisitors to the executioners,Persecution in Piedmont. so that there was scarce a Town or City in Piedmont, wherein some of them had not been put to death.

At Turin one of them had his bowels torn out of his belly,Cruelty. and put into a bason before his face, and then was he cruelly martyred,

At Revel in the Marquisat of Saluces, one Catelin Girard being on the block whereon he should be burnt,Cat. Girard. requested his Executioner to give him two stones, which he refused to do, fearing least he would throw them at some body, but he protesting the contrary, at last they gave him two stones, which he held in his hands, and said, When I shall have eaten these stones, then shall you see an end of our Religion, for [...]hich you now put me to death, and so he threw them on the ground, and died cheerfully.

Thus they burnt many of them in the fire, till Anno 1488. and then they resolved to assault them by open force, because they saw that otherwise they should never be able to extirpate them: besides,Popish malice. their constant sufferings converted many to the faith. Hereupon they levied an Army of eighteen thousand men, besides many inhabitants of Pied­mont, who ran to the pillage from all parts. These marched all at once to Angrogne, L [...]cerne, La Perouse, &c. They raised also forces in Dau­phine, where with they over-ran the Valley of Pragela, so that they be­ing put to defend themselves, could not assist their friends in Piedmont. But the enemy by this division of his forces, being weakned, was every where beaten, especially in the Valley of Angrogne, where the VVal­densians having been informed of the levies of their enemies against them, prepared themselves to receive and resist them, keeping [Page 116] the strait passages, where few men might defend themselves against many.

They defended themselves with long Targets of wood, whereby they covered themselves from the hurt of their enemies arrows. Whilst they were thus bickering with their enemies, the women and children upon their knees cried out, O God help us. The enemies made them­selves merry with this fight,Prayer. and amongst them, one Capt. Saquet, who as he was imitating the woman,Profanenesse. A just judge­ment. was slain, and tumbled down into a ve­ry deep valley.

Another Captain, crying out to the women in derision, was killed with the shot of an arrow in the throat. Hereupon the souldiers be­took themselves all to their heels, and the greatest part slew themselves, by tumbling down from the rocks.

Another providence of God was this, that the enemies approaching to the stongest entrance by nature, might their have fortified them­selves,A specall proui­dence. and so made themselves masters of that Valley: But God sent so thick a cloud, and dark a fog, that they could scarce see one ano­ther, whereby they wanted opportunity to discover their advantage, and therefore departed: which the VValdenses seeing, couragiously pursued them,Gods judge­ment on per­secutors and by that means the enemy being dispersed, and not seeing which waies they went, the greatest part fell headlong down the mountains, quitting their arms and booty which they had gotten at their first entrance into the Valley, by which means the Waldenses recovered it again,

Then it pleased God to move the Princes heart (which was Philip the seventh, Duke of Savoy; and Lord of Piedmont) with pity towards these poor people,Gods mercy. saying, That he would not have that people which had been alwaies true, faithfull and obedient to him, to be unjustly destroyed by Arms; being content that twelve of the Principall should come to him to Pignerol to crave pardon for all the rest, for ta­king arms in their own defence, without his authority: These he en­tertained lovingly, forgiving all that was past, during the warre. And having been informed that all their children were born with black throats,Slanders. with foure rows of teeth, and all hairy, he caused some of them to be brought to him, and seeing them fair and perfect creatures, he was much displeased with himself for beleeving so easily the reports which were brought to him against them, giving command that none should hereafter molest them, but that they should enjoy all the pri­viledges which they rest of his subjects in Piedmont did.

Notwithstanding which, the Monks Inquisitors daily sent out pro­cesse against them, lay in wait for them, and as they could aprehend any of them, delievered them over to the secular power. This Perse­cution lasted to Anno. 1532. at which time the Waldenses ordered that there exercises of religion should be performed no more in covert, as formerly they had been, but in publick, that every one might know them,Zeole and cour­ageth. and that their Pastors should preach the Gospell openly, not fear­ing any persecution that might happen unto them.

[Page 117] The prince being advertised hereof, was highly offended with them, and thereupon caused one of his Commanders to hast with his Troops into the said Vallies,Persecution renued. which was performed with such dili­gence, that he was entred with five hundred horse and Foot, before they were aware, ransacking, plundering and wasting all before them. Then did the Waldenses leave their ploughs, putting themselves into passes, and with their slings charged their enemies with such multi­tudes of stones, that they were constraned to flie, and to abandon their prey, many remaining dead upon the ground.

This news was presently carried to the Prince, and withall he was told, that these people were not to be subdued with Arms, they know­ing bettter the straits of their Country, then the assailants, and that the skin of one of the Waldenses would cost him the lives of a dozen of his other subjects: where upon he vsed Arms no more against them, but as any of them was caught in Piedmont, he put them to death, if they changed not their belief.

Notwithstanding with rigour, they persisted in their resolution,Constancy. and that things might be carried on in the better order, they assembled out of all their Vallies to Angrogne, Anno 1535. viz. the heads of all their families, with their Pastors, where they heard that their bre­thren of Provence, and Dauphine had sent two of their Pastors, George Morrell, and Peter Masson into Germany, to confere with Oecolampadius Bucer, and others, about their relief, which they had held from fa­ther to son, time out of minde. Where also the Germane Divines ac­knowledged that God had been very mercifull and gracious to them, in preserving them undefiled,The antiquity of the Faith. in the midst of so many superstitions which had defiled all Christendom under the tyranny of Antichrist; encouraging and exhorting them not to bury those Talents which God had given them: onely they blamed them for delaying so long to make a publick profession of their adhering to the Gospel▪ and cau­sing it to be preached publickly, leaving the success to God, &c. Then were the Letters of Oecolampadius and Bucer, which they sent to them, openly read, together with the Propositions and Articles of Religion which they had agreed upon, which were all approved, sign­ed and sworn to by all the assistants with one consent, to perform,Unity. ob­serve, beleeve and retain amongst them inviolably, as being confor­mable to the Doctrine which they had been taught from their fore-fathers for many hundred years, and all taken out of the Word of god.

When this Agreement came abroad to the ears of the Priests, they were much astonished, despairing to see these people reclaimed and brought back to the Church of Rome; whereupon they retired from amongst them without speaking a word.

The Waldenses, because they had only the New Testament and some books of the old, amongst them in the Waldensian Tongue,Zeal. resol­ved speedily to send the whole Bible to the Press, all their books hi­therto being but Manuscripts, and those but a few. They sent there­fore [Page 118] some to Newcastle in Suitzerland, where they gave 1500. Crowns in gold to a Printer, who brought to light the first Impression of the Fre [...]ch Bible that was seen in France. The first French Bibles printed. They sent also to Geneva to make a large supply of books fit for the instruction of the people; but their messenger, as he passed over the hill de Gap, was apprehended for a spy by the Lord of Champelion, and as soon as they knew him to be a Waldensian, they sent him to Grenople, where he was first imprison­ed;One of them drowned. and then in the night drowned in the river, least he should speak of his belief before the people.

Shortly after there happened warres between King Francis the first, and the Princes of Piedmont, which, through Gods grace, turned to the great peace and quiet of these poor people;A speciall pro­vidence. which peace continu­ed till Pope Paul the third sollicited the Parliament of Turin to perse­cute them as pernicious Hereticks: Whereupon the Parliament caused a great number of them to be burnt at Turin. The Pope stirs up persecution. Then these Waldenses petitioned the King that they might not be persecuted for their Religi­on, in which they and their Ancestors had lived for many hundred years. But the King reiected their petition, commanding them to live according to the Laws of the Roman Church, upon pain of being punished as Hereticks: adding, that he did not burn the Lutherans through his whole Kingdom of France, to let them amongst the Alps escape.

Hereupon the Parliament of Turin commanded them presently to send away all their Ministers, and receive the Priests to sing Masse. &c. Courage. To which they answered, that they could not receive any such commandment, it being contrary to Gods Word, whom they would rather obey then men.A special pro­vidence. But through Gods mercy, the King had other imploiments elsewhere; whereby they wanted leasure to prosecute these servants of Christ, and therefore they only proceeded by the In­quisition, receiving such as the Monks condemned to the fire.

Bar. Hector. Anno 1555. They increased the persecution, condemning to the fire Bartholmew Hector a Stationer, to be executed at Turin, who died with admirable constancy, and so edifying the spectators, that they wept and compassionated him, justifying him in their speeches, and praying for him. Hereupon the Parliament resolved wholly to extir­pate them, and for that end sent two men with authority, either to re­form, or root them out.

These persons went first to Perouse, where by Proclamation in the Kings name, they command all to go to Masse upon pain of loosing their lives.Persecution. renewed. Then they went to Pignorol, where they cited many to ap­pear before them: and amongst others, a poor simple labouring man appeared, whom the President commanded to have his childe re-bap­zed by a Priest: The man requested respite to pray to God before he answered him,Profanenesse. which with great laughter was granted: Then fal­ling down on his knees, he prayed unto God, and when he had done, he said to the President; I will cause my child to be rebaptised, up­on condition that you will give me a bill, signed with your own hand, [Page 119] that you will discharge me of the sin which I shall commit hereby,Prudence. and bear one day before God the punishment and condemnation which should befall me for the same, taking this iniquity upon you and yours: The President hearing this, commanded him out of his presence, and pressed him no further.

The President framed diverse Indictments against sundry persons in the Vallies, and collected whatsoever he thought might hurt them: and going to one of their Churches, he caused a Monk, that he brought along with him, to preach in the presence of the people; and when he had ended, the people desired that some one of their Pastors there present might answer his discourse, but that was denied by the President, whereupon there was such a murmur amongst the people, that the President, without any more speech, gat him away to Turin, where he reported all to the Parliament, and withall told them, that if they sought by violence to reclaime this people, they were resolued to defend themselves; and that the places of their abode, were of such strength, that it was a work for a King of France to root them out. Thereupon, this report and the Indictments were sent to the King, who having other occasions, returned no answer that year: Only the Inquisitors proceeded as they could catch any, to deliver them to the secular power.

At the years end, the King commanded the Parliament to cause them to do that by force,Popish malice. which they would not by words be brought to. Then did the Parliament send the President again to Angrogne, where he commanded them in the name of the King, to go to Masse upon pain of forfeiting their lives and goods; but they answered, that they could not obey such commands against the command of God. Then he commanded that twelve of the Principal of them, together with all their Ministers and Schoolmasters, should presently yeeld up their bodies to the prisons of Turin, &c. They answered, that they could not obey that command or appear at Turin, because they should thereby endanger their lives. The Parliament was so incensed at this answer, that as many as they could apprehend, they burnt, amongst whom was Jeffery Varnegle Minister of Angrogne, Anno 1557. by whose death the people that were present were much edified, seeing his constancy of invocating God to the last.

The Protestant Princes of Germany hearing of this great Persecuti­on, interceded in their behalf to King Henry the second of France. The German Prince inter­ceds for them. Who promised to have regard to this request of theirs, and indeed they enjoyed peace afterwards, till the peace was concluded betwixt the Kings of France and Spain, and that the Duke of Savoy was resto­red to his Estate, which was Anno 1559. The year after, the Popes Nuntio reproved the Duke, for that with all his power he had not per­secuted the Waldenses, and that if he did not now endeavour to reduce them to the Romish Church, or to root them out, his Holinesse should have cause to suspect that he was a favourer of them.Popish malice. Hereupon the Duke presently commanded them to go to Mass, upon the pain of their [Page 120] lives: But the not obeying him he set upon them by open force, and yet at the same time,A great perse­cution. he caused them to be pursued by the Monks Inquisitors also: So that a great Persecution was raised against the poor Christians: Some were taken and burnt, who shewed invincible constancy in all their torments and death.

To recite all the outrages, cruelties and villanies practised against them, would be too tedious: Many fled, and their houses and goods were ransacked and spoiled: One of their Ministers was apprehended, and put to a shamefull and cruell death, but he shewed such admirable patience therein, as astonished his very adversaries. Some also were taken and sent to be Gally-slaves: Yet some, through weakness, yeelded to the adversaries, and were more cruelly handled then those that re­mained constant in the truth.Humane infir­mity.

Three of the most cruel persecutors of these faithfull servants of Jesus Christ, were, first Thomas Jacomel a Monk, an Apostate, that had renounced the known truth, and persecuted mortally and maliciously the poor Christians against his own conscience: he was a whoremon­ger, and given over to all villanies, and filthy living, a Sodomite, &c. his delight was to spoil, rob, and torment the captives of these Walden­ses. The second was a collaterall, called Corbis, who in the examination of the prisoners was very rigorous, and burnt many of them: but in the end feeling a remorse in his conscience, he protested that he would meddle with them no more: The third was the Provest of Justice, who lay in wait in the high waies to apprehend them when they went abroad in the morning, or as they went to the Market.

The Monks also of Pignorol vexed the Churches near about them grievously,Popish malice. some they took prisoners, and kept them in their Abbies: then they assembled a company of Ruffians, sending them to spoil the Churches, and to take prisoners, men, women, and childen; of whom some by torments they forced to abjure, others they sent to the Galleys others they burnt.

The gentlemen of the valley of S. Martin vexed their tenants grie­vously: spoiling some of their goods, imprisoning others, and vexing them by all means: Two of those gentlemen getting some Ruffians to them in the night time, set upon a village called Renclaret, which the Inhabitants perceiving, fled into the mountains covered with snow, naked, and without victuals: in the morning these villains took a Mi­nister of that Valley, who was coming to visit these people of Renclaret, and burnt him: but three nights after they of Pragela, pitying their friends of Renclaret, A speciall pro­vidence. sent four hundred men against the Ruffians, who fought with them, and without the losse of one man, put them to flight, and restored their friends to their houses.

A year after, one of these gentlemen called Truchet, with a company of Ruffians, arrested the Minister of Renclaret, as he was at his sermon: but the people were so moved at his outragious dealing, especially the women, that they had almost strangled Truchet, and so canvased the rest of his company, that they had no minde to come any more.

[Page 121] Shortly after they took another Minister as he was going to preach in a parish a mile from his house, but the people hearing of it, speedi­ly pursued them, and recovered their Minister again; but when the vil­lains saw that they were like to lose their prey, they so wounded him, that they left him for dead.Treachery.

The Monks of Pignerol sent some Ruffians by night to the Ministers house of S. Germain, who were conducted by a Traitor that knew the house, and formerly had frequented it; this fellow knocking at the door, and the Minister knowing his voice, opened the door, but per­ceiving himself to be betrayed, he fled at a back-door, yet was quickly taken, and sorely wounded, notwithstanding which, they pricked him with halberds to hasten his pace, as they carried him away: they also slew and hurt many others: The Minister, after sore imprisonment,Prodigious vil­lany. en­dured a cruel death with much constancy: at his death the Inquisitors caused two poor women that they kept in prison, to carry faggots to burn him, and to say to him their Pastor, Take this, thou wicked Heretick▪ in recompence of that naughty Doctrine that thou hast taught us: To whom he replied, A [...] good women, I have taught you well, but you have learn­ed ill.

In brief, they so persecuted these poor people, that they forced them to forsake their houses, and to fly into the mountains, loosing all their estates, so that many that had lived well, and relieved others, were now fain to crave relief and succour of others.

The Monks with their Troops of Ruffians continued thus to molest and persecute these poor people, They asked of their Ministers, Whether it were not lawfull for them to defend themselves against such violence? The Ministers answered, that it was, only they advised them to avoid blood-shed as much as might be. This question being resolved, they of Luserne and Angrogne sent some to aid their friends of St. Germain against the Monks.

In June, divers of these Waldenses went out into the country to reap their harvest, and in sundry places were all taken prisoners,A miracle of Mercy. not know­ing of each others calamity, but God so wrought, that miraculously they all escaped out of prison, to the great astonishment of their ad­versaries. At the same time also, others who had been long in pri­son, and longed for nothing but death, through Gods providence, were delivered after a wonderful sort.

In July, they of Angrogne being at their harvest on the hill side of St. Germaine, perceived a company of souldiers that were spoiling the inhabitants of St. Germain; whereupon they made an out-cry, upon which the people of Angrogne ran presently thither-ward, some by the valley, others over the mountain: they which went by the valley being above fifty men, met with the spoilers, who were a hundred and twenty men well appointed, with whom they fought, and gave them a great overthrow; some were hurt, others drowned,A special pro­vidence. and but few hardly escaped; not one of Angrogne being hurt in the fight.

The Monks were so affrighted with this defeat, that they ran away [Page 122] from their Abbey to Pignerol, to save their Reliques and Images, which they carried thither; and if the Ministers would have suffered their people to have attempted it, they might easily have freed their brethren which were imprisoned in the Abbey.Popish subtilty.

After this these Monks, being assisted by a Captain, took many of the inhabitants of the valley of Luserne prisoners, spoiling their goods, driving away their Cattel; and in the end ransomed them for great summs of money.

About this time a Gentleman of Campillan promised his Neighbours that if they would give him thirty Crowns,Popish dissi­mulation and perfidiousness. he would secure them against trouble; but when he had got the money, he caused some soul­diers to come to his house, and in the night sending for the poor men which suspected no danger, he trayterously endeavoured to deliver them into the hands of their mortal enemies: but God, who succours his in their greatest necessity, discovered to one of them the danger they were in, whereby they all fled, and escaped.

Then were strict commands sent through all the Country to banish all the Waldenses, together with the Gospel, out of the mountains and vallies of Piedmount; but the people still desired that they might have leave to serve God purely according to the Rules of the Word.

In the end of October, a rumour was spread abroad, that an Army was raising wholly to destroy them: yea, and such malefactors as were in prisons or banished, were pardoned, upon condition that they should take arms to destroy the Waldenses: Hereupon the Ministers met toge­ther to consult what was to be done in so great an extremity. And first they enjoyed a general and publick Fast to seek unto God for Di­rection,Fasting and Prayer. and in the end concluded that they should not defend them­selves by arms, but that forsaking their houses, and taking their best movables with them, they should retire unto the high mountains, but if their enemies pursued them thither, that then they should take such advise as God should please to give them.

This Counsel all the people submitted to, and for eight days space, were as busie as Ants in summer, to remove their goods and provisi­ons, which though they did in great danger, yet with great courage and alacrity, praising God and singing Psalms, every one cheering up another. But other Ministers hearing of this resolution, wrote to them that they thought it strange that in such an extream necessity, they should not rather resolve to defend themselves against violence, pro­ving that it was lawfull for them so to do, to defend the true Religion, and the lives of themselves, wives and children, knowing thar it was not the Duke, but the Pope that thus stirred him up against them.

During this time, their Adversaries cryed nothing, but To the fire with them, to the fire with them, and presently by proclamations set up every where, Angrogne was exposed to the fire and sword: The Army also approached to their borders, and the people retired into the mountains: But when they saw some horse-men not only spoiling their goods, but taking some of their brethren prisoners, they came [Page 123] back, and set upon them, in which bickering some of the enemies were slain, and the rest retired to their camp; not one of the Waldenses was slain or hurt. But two of these horsemen that fled, galloping away before the rest, when they came neer to the Army, cryed out, They come, they come: Whereupon the whole Army was so astonished,A special pro­vidence. that every man fled away, none pursuing, and the Captain could not all that day get them into order again.

The next day the Army under the Lord of Trinity, was mustered in a meddow, near to Angrogne; They of the Town had sent some to stop the passages that the Army should not enter, and in the mean time they retired into the meddow of Toure, not expecting the Army so soon, so that there were but few that kept the Passages, but when those few perceived their enemies preparing themselves to fight, they all fell down upon their knees, praying earnestly unto God to pity them, and not to look on their sins,Power of Prayer. but on the cause that they main­tained, to turn the hearts of their enemies, and so to worke that there might be no effusion of bloud, but if it were his will to take them, their wives and infants out of this world, that it would please him mercifully to receive them into his Kingdome. Their prayers being ended, they perceived their enemies to come through the Vines to win the top of the mountain: Whereupon the combat began in divers places, and continued untill night: The poor Waldenses being but few, and only armed with slings and cross-bows, were much oppressed by the multitudes of their enemies, so that at last they retired to the top of the mountain, where they defended themselves till night. But having found a place where they might withstand their enemies, they turned again and slew divers of them.

At Even the enemies began to encamp themselves, which the Wal­denses perceiving, they fell to prayer, desiring God to assist and suc­cour them, for which the enemies flouted and laughed them to scorn.Profaneness. The poor people devised to send a Drum into a valley hard by; and as they were at prayer, the Drum beat up in the valley; whereupon the Lord of Trinity caused his souldiers to retreat, which was a great ad­vantage to the Waldenses, who were weary, thirsty,A special pro­vidence▪ and in great pe­rill if God by this meanes had not given them some rest: Of the Wal­denses there were but three slain, but many of their enemies, and more hurt, of whom few recovered.

This combat much encouraged the Waldenses, and as much terrified their enemies, who in their retreat, burnt many houses, and destroyed the Wines that were in the Presse.

Then did the Lord of Trinity encamp in the vally of Luserne, by a Village, the people whereof had alwaies hated the Waldenses, and much rejoyced at this hurt that was now done to them, but they were paid back in their own coyn, being all destroyed by the Army.A just reward.

Then did the Lord of Trinity place four Garisons in four severall Fortresses, so that the poor Waldenses found themselves in a sea of troubles: Whereupon they first betook themselves to prayer,Prayer. then [Page 124] sent to their friends for aid, who sent them all that they could make. Then did the Lord of Trinity send his Army to Villars and Tailleret: The lesser part went towards Villars; the people seeing their enemies approaching, called upon God with fervent prayer, then set upon their enemies, slew some, hurt others, and the rest fled. The other company going towards Tailleret, they of that place were but few in number, yet making their prayers to God, and commending their cause to him, they set valiantly upon their enemies; during which bickering, they of Villars, encouraged by their late success, came to help their friends, and set so lustily upon their enemies, that they put them to flight: but in the pursuit of them they fell into an ambush, and were environed by their enemies, yet, through Gods mercy, they all escaped without the losse of one man;A speciall pro­vidence. on the enemies side there were so many slain, that they were laid together by whole Cart-loads.

Another party of the enemies going to spoil a rich mans house, some of his neighbours, not being above seventy, set upon them, put them to flight, took away their Drum, and recovered their booty from them.

Then did the Lord of Trinity send to them, telling them how much the Duke and his Dutchesse favoured them,Popish subtilty and promised him­selfe to mediate for them that they might live in peace: But whilest by these pretences, he sought to make them secure, he sent part of his Army to get the hill of Tailleret, and another part had already gotten the way that led to the meddow of Tour, whereby the Angrognians might have been easily enclosed; but they perceiving it, immediatly sent some to encounter with their enemies, who gat the victory, pursu­ed them to their camp, and slew very many of them, without the losse of one man.

The Lord of Trinity cunningly excused this attempt, and sent to them to draw up a supplication to the Duke, which was accordingly done, wherein they promised to render all honour and reverence unto God, according to his Word, and all due obedience to the Duk, &c. But in the mean time Trinity grievously vexed them of Tailleret, Perfidiousness, upon pretence that they had not presented themselves to treat of this agree­ment, taking their arms from them, and causing them to ask pardon on their knees.

But presently after news was brought them, that the enemies had gotten to the top of the mountaine, and had taken all the passages, whereat they were sore amazed, and ran with all speed to defend their wives and children: some they saved, but the most of their goods were already in the enemies hands, who at this time did them much mischiefe.

Yet after this, the Lord of Trinity sent word again to them that were fled, that if they would return, he would receive them to mercy: The poor people most of them trusting to his promise, returned, but the next morning the enemies came to apprehend them and their Mi­nisters,Papist trechery [Page 125] besetting the place on every side: Then they that were swift of foot, escaped, all the rest were taken; yet God miraculously de­livered them: for an old man that could not run so fast as the other, was espied by a souldier,A notable story. who ran with a naked sword to have slain him, the old man seeing the iminent danger, caught him by the legs, overthrew him, and drew him by the heels down the hill; the souldier cryed, Help, help, this villain will kill me;A speciall pro­vidence. hereupon his fel­lows ran to his rescue; but in the mean time the old man escaped; and the rest seeing what the old man had done, though they had lost their weapons, yet took heart of grass, and with stones and slings, drave away their enemies, and thereby they all escaped.

The next day the souldiers went again to Tailleret, robbing, spoil­ing, and carrying away all that they could find, but most of the peo­ple were retired towards Villars; Then did the souldiers range all about, and took divers prisoners, whom they used cruelly,Barbarous cru­elty. and one souldier bit off one of their ears, saying, I will carry the flesh of this wicked Heretick with me into my Country: They found also two women, the mother and the daughter, in a cave, whom they wounded to death: and in another cave, an old man of an hundred years old, with his grand-daughter of eighteen years old that fed him; the man they slew, the maid they would have ravished, who flying from them, tumbled down the mountains, and died.

About the same time there was one John Martin that made his boasts every where, that if he could meet with the Minister of Angrogne. he would slit his nose; but shortly after a wolf met him, and setting upon him, bit off his nose, whereupon he ran mad, and died mi­serably.

A certain souldier promised the Lord of Trinity to bring to him the Minister of Tailleret, and accordingly never ceased till he found him,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. but as he was pursuing of him, some out of the mountains rescued the Minister, and slew the souldier with stones.

These souldiers were so extream abusive to women, that many Pa­pists that lived by,Uncleannesse. sent their daughters into the mountains to the Wal­denses to preserve their chastity.

Then did the Lord of Trinity promise, that if they would pay him eight thousand Crowns, he would with-draw his Army, and be gone; They being desirous of Peace, sold their Cattel to raise the money,Popish Perfidiousness. but when he had received it, he continued his Army there still.

Then did the Lord of Trinity require them to send away their Mi­nisters till the matter were determined before the Duke, or else by his Army he would force them to it; whereupon by mutual consent they agreed, that the Ministers should with-draw for the present,Their Mini­sters sent away. till the Army was retired, which was not done without great sighs, and lamen­tations and tears. At that time there fell an extraordinary snow, so that the people with great difficulty, were fain to make way for their Ministers to pass. But the Army hearing that the Ministers were gathered together, they sent out a company of harquebushers to ap­prehend [Page 126] them, who came but one hour too late to have taken them: Then did they search every cave, house and chest, to seek them; where­by they robbed the poor people of all their best things. Then did they beset the Ministers house of Angrogne, to whom the Lord of Trinity had promised safety, but it pleased God that he escaped; the souldiers pursued him into the mountains, but could not overtake him; whereupon they plundred his house, burnt his books and writings, and so returned.

The next morning command was given to the Rulers of Angrogne within twenty four hours to deliver up their Minister, or else Angrogne should be put to fire and sword; They answered that they knew not where he was, for the souldiers had driven him over the mountains. Then did the souldiers burn houses, break the mils, spoil the people, and do all the mischief they could, and so departed.

The Lord of Trinity left Garisons in the Fortresses, and caused the poor Waldenses to maintain them, who, not content with their wages, pillaged and robbed all about them; and having taken fourteen men, they bound them, and were leading them away prisoners, but their wives and children pursued them so fiercely with stones,Cruelty. that they were glad to let their prisoners go, and had much ado to save them­selves. Two others that they caught, they hung up by the heels and hands, and having tormented them almost to death, at last released them for a great sum of money. Another Garison in the night went to Tailleret, brake in at the windows and tops of houses, spoiling all, and took also fourteen prisoners, whom they bound two and two together, and were carrying them to the Fortress, but two of them getting loose, so valiantly assaulted the souldiers, and beat them with stones, that they forced them to let go their other prisoners. Yet two others they took, and carried them to the Fort; one was but a child, whom the Captain strangled with his own hands; the other was sixty years old,Barbarous cru­elty. whom they bound, and took a crature that lives in horse-dung, and put into his navel, covering them with a dish, which in a short space did eat into his belly, and killed him.

The Waldenses were in great perplexity, by reason of these Garisons, but especially for the want of their Ministers: whereupon they resol­ved to call them back, yet to have preaching only in private, because they would not imbitter the souldiers, till their messengers returned from the Duke. These messengers were cruelly handled at the Court, and at last sent back with a command that they should entertain Priests to say Mass, &c. When this Report was made to their brethren that sent them, there was wonderfull lamentation, weeping and mourning. Then did they send two of their Ministers to the Church of Pragela, to shew them of the pitifull condition of the Churches in Piedmont, and to ask their advice, how to prevent the danger: and in the next place they all fell to prayer,Prayer in dan­ger. and having long called upon God for counsel and direction in so great a strait; they resolved upon debate, that the people in Piedmont and Dauphine should joyn in a League toge­ther, [Page 127] wherein they promised, through Gods grace and assistance, to maintain the pure preaching of the Gospel, and administring the holy Sacraments, to yeeld obedience to their superior, so farre as they were commanded by the Word of God, and one to be aiding and assisting to the other; that none should conclude any thing touch­ing the estate of Religion,A League. without the consent of the rest of the Vallies.

During this Treaty, all the housholders were required to be present at Masse, and such as would do it, should live in peace, but such as re­fused should be condemned to be burnt, or sent to the Gallies, so that the people were constrained to fly, die, or renounce the Gospel: The first they would have chosen, but could not do it by reason of the great snow; Whereupon they exhorted one another saying, We shall be all called for to morrow, to renounce God, and to return to Idolatry, let us therefore make a solemn protestation, that we will live and die in the confession of Gods holy Word; let us in the morning hear a sermon, and then cast down to the ground, all the Idols and Altars:A good reso­lution. and to this all agreed.

In the morning they put their resolutions into execution, beating down the Images, and casting down the Altars: Then they went to Villars to do the like there; but by the way they encountred with a band of souldiers, who where going to spoil a village,Images demo­lished. and to fetch away the inhabitants prisoners: These souldiers seeing them so ill provided, mocked them, and discharged their guns at them; but they taking courage, with stones beat the souldiers, pursuing them to the Fortresse. Then did they go to Villars, and having destroyed the Idols and Altars there, they returned to besiege the fortresse, demanding the prisoners that were therein.

The Judge, with many Gentlemen, came that day to enroll their names that would go to Masse, but se [...]ing the resolution of the people, they fled into the Castle, where they were besieged for ten daies: Then did the Captain of To [...]r go with a company of souldiers, think­ing to raise the siege; but by those which kept the passages, some of them were slain, the rest were driven back again: Then came they back with three bands, which caused a furious fight, wherein ma­ny of the souldiers were slain and hurt, and not one of the besiegers was hurt.A speciall pro­vidence.

The Waldenses attempted often to have taken the Fortresse; but without Ordinance it was impossible: also the Lord of Trinity was come back with his army, and the next day would have raised the siege: But it pleased God that very night that the souldiers in the Cast­le, desired leave to depart, with bag and baggage, which was easily granted to them: and the souldiers whi [...]h before had so cruelly persecu- the Ministers, were now fain to request them to protect their lives, and to conduct them to a place of safty, which the Ministers did willingly, and the souldiers were very thankfull for it: that night the Fort was razed to the ground.

[Page 128] The next day the Lord of Trinity cunningly sent to them of An­grogne, Popish subtilty. that if they would not aid the other, they should be gently dealt with, but they knowing his fraud, agreed with the rest to de­fend their Religion with their lives, and that no one should make an agreement with out the consent of the rest. Then did the Lord of Tri­nity assay with his Army to enter into the borders of Angrogne by certaine streights, but the people having raised up some breast-works, valiantly defended themselves and offended their enemies. Trinities souldiers being weary, fresh ones were brought in their stead, so that the fight endured untill night, wherein many of the enemies were slain, more hurt, and but two of the Waldenses; and so the battell ceased for the present.

The next day the Army marched towards Angrogne five severall waies, and there were none to resist, but only a few that kept the Watch, who valiantly fought for a space, but seeing themselves in dan­ger to be inclosed, they retreated to an high place, where the combate was renued with greater fiercenesse then before: The Lord of Trinity seeing the losse of many of his men, sounded a retreat, and went to Angrogne, but the people were fled into the medow of Tour; therefore he burned and spoiled all before him: He also oft set fire upon the two Churches, where the word used to be preached,A special pro­vidence. but could not burne them, and so he did to the Ministers house, and yet it remained whole.

Amongst them of Angrogne, there were but two that were enemies to the word of God, and they were both slain that day.

Then did the Lord of Trinity send some to burn Rosa; but the soul­diers were driven back four daies together, by them that kept the pas­sages; whereupon he sent his whole Army, yet they valiantly with­stood them from morning till night; At last a party gat behinde them, over a mountaine, so that the poor people seeing themselves environed, saved themselves by running through the midst of their enemies, and others of them gat into the rocks. The enemies being entred Rosa de­stroyed all with fire and sword: The people fled by secret waies toward Luserne, wandring all night upon the mountains full of snow, laden with their stuff, carrying their infants in their arms, and leading others by the hand with great pain and travell:Gods Provi­dence. They of Luserne seeing them, ran to them, praising God for their deliverance; and they all were very chearfull, notwithstanding their extremities.

Shortly after the Lord of Trinity went to Luserne by three waies; they which kept the passages resisted their enemies valiantly, but when they saw themselves assaulted on every side, they fled into the moun­tains. Then did the souldiers sack and burn the houses, staying all they could finde: When they which were fled to the mountains saw their houses on fire,Joy in tribula­tions. they praised God, and gave him thanks, that thus accounted them worthy to suffer for his Name: Then did the souldiers pursue them to the mountains, but after they had called upon God, a few of them beat back their enemies, whereupon the Army retired.

[Page 129] They in the meddow of Tour, perceiving a company of souldiers burning the rest of the houses in Angrogne, they sent six harque-bushiers against them, who from the higher ground, discharging all their guns together, the souldiers ran all away, when none pursued them.

Shortly after, as the Watch was hearing a Sermon, they spied a company of souldeirs marching up the hill, whereupon they ran to encounter them, and easily discomfited them: But whilest they pur­sued the chase, some cried to them, that another company was entred into the meddow, whereupon they left the chase: or else not one of their enemies had escaped.

Presently other companies came other waies, which the Ministers and people seeing, were much discouraged, and therefore they fell to prayer, and ardently called upon God, with sighs and teares untill night. And whereas seven spies were sent before the souldiers,Prayer in dan­ger. there went out five of the Waldenses against them, and took some, and chased the rest: Then went out eight more against the whole company, and pursued them with an undaunted courage from rock to rock, and from hill to hill, and then went out twelve more, who joining with the other, made a great slaughter of their enemies.

Another company from Luserne, having a Minister with them, as they used alwaies to have; after they had made their prayers to God, set upon another company of souldiers, whose hearts were so taken from them, that they presently fled: One of the Waldenses, a very young man, carried a greate staff in his hand,Speciall pro­vidences. with which he laid so lustily at his enemies, that he brake his staff, and slew many of them, he also brake four of their own swords, in pursuing of them: Also, a boy of eighteen years old, slew the Lord of Monteil, Master of the Camp, which much dismaid the enemies: Another threw down Charles Truchet, and then leaped upon him, and slew him with his own sword; upon which all the rest fled, and were pursued till night hindred.

The Minister seeing the great effusion of bloud, and the enemies fly­ing, cried to the people that it was enough, and so exhorted them to praise God: They that heard him obeyed, and fell to prayer. In this battell they gat much armour, which was a great advantage to them af­terwards. Thanks were returned unto God in every place, every one sa­ying, Who sees not evidently that God fighteth for us. Thanksgiving▪

Presently after, the Lord of Trinity returned to burn the Villages, but especially to pursue the poor people in the mountains. And one com­pany with many horsemen ascended the mountain of Comb by an un­suspected way, where were no Warders; but they which were next, seeing them, called upon God for aid, and though they were but thirty in number, yet they valiantly beat them back twice; many of the enemies were slain, and not one of the Waldenses. Trinity seeing his men thus beaten back, sent out most of his Army to assist them,A speciall pro­vidence. which were about one thousand five hundred men: And there came [Page 130] about a hundred to help the Warders: The combat was very cruel; at last the poor men were fain to retreat with the losse of two of their men; at this the enemies exceedingly rejoyced, blowing their trum­pets and triumphing: but the people crying all together to the Lord, returned again, with greater violence, assaulting them with their slings; So that the enemies being weary, rested themselves, and the while the Waldenses betook themselves to prayer, which more affrighted their ene­mies then any thing else.Prayer.

Then did the souldiers charge again furiously, but by the hands of a few they were driven back; yea little children, fervently calling upon God, threw stones at their enemies, as also did the women: Such as were unfit for war kneeled on the ground with their faces towards heaven, crying,The enemies every where beaten. Lord help us. Then came one running that brought word, that the Angrognians were coming to help them, which the enemies hearing, pre­sently retreated.

Another party of the Army of an hundred and fourty, went ano­ther way; but by seven men they were strongly resisted and driven back: A third party was met by the Angrognians and driven back.

The Lord of Trinity intending to be revenged upon them in the med­dow of Tour, assembled all the Gentlemen of the country, and an Army of about seven thousand: and when the poor people saw them coming, glittering in their harnesse, and so many in number, they were at first astonished, but pouring out their prayers unto God to succour them,Prayer in dan­ger. and to have regard to the glory of his Name, &c. They marched to encounter with their enemies, and seasonably by the way, they met with some aid that was coming to them from Luserne, so that uniting themselves, they soon discomfited their enemies.

The Captain of the enemies had in the morning promised to do great matters that day, but in the evening he was carried back, weak and wounded, and not like to live: Whereupon a Papist said to him, Mon­sieur, there religion is beter then ours.

Another part of the Army set upon an house in a passe, wherein were but five men, yet they lustily defended it, drave out their enemies that had entred, and kept the place, till some of their friends came to relieve them.

Another half of the Army, assaulted another Bulwork on the side of the mountaine; And they within suffered them to come very near, but then with slings and guns, they slew many of them, others rouled down great stones, which killed divers, so that when they had attempted all waies to take it, they were forced to retire; the Lord of Trinity weeping to see his men slain so fast, and at last, having lost very many of his men, he was forced to retreate; many of the Army crying out, God fight­eth for them, and we do them wrong.

In all that conflict there were but two of the Waldenses slain, and two hurt;A speciall pro­vidence. whereas they never shot at their enemies but they killed some, and sometimes two at one shot: The souldiers confessed that they [Page 131] were so astonished that they could not fight: Others said, that the Ministers by their prayers, conjured and bewitched them. It was a wonderfull work of God, that shepherds and cowherds should en­counter with so mighty a power of strong and brave souldiers▪ well furnished with ammunition, and themselves having nothing but slings, stones, and a few harquebushes, and yet should beat them, and in all those fights, they lost not above fourteen men.

Shortly after a company of souldiers went to Angrogne to destroy the Vines, &c. and mocking the Waldenses, they said,Scorners puni­shed. that they were valiant men behinde their bulworks, but if they came into the plain, how they would beat them: Then came thirty of the Waldenses, and set upon them in the plain, and fought with them a long time, hand to hand, slew many of them, and at last forced them to run away, and that with the losse of one only man of their own.

The night after, some thought that it would have been an easie mat­ter to take the Lord of Trinity, and to have spoiled his whole Army, but the Waldenses would not do it, least they should offend God, and passe the bounds of their vocation, intending only to defend them­selves.

Then did Trinity betake himself to his old shifts of entertaining a treaty for agreement; but in the Interim, Subtilty. Per [...]idiousnesse. he sent a company of Spani­ards one way, and other companies other waies, to surprise the meddow of Tour. The Spaniards were entred the meddow, before they were perceived: but when the people spied them,The Spaniards [...]epulsed. they betook themselves to prayer, then winded their horns, and so prepared for resistance: The first that opposed themselves were but twelve men, who yet stop­ed them in a Passe, and others rolled down stones from the mountains upon them, whereby many of the Spaniards were slain, the rest were forced to retreat.

Shortly after the Ministers and chief Rulers of the Waldenses, re­quested the Lord of Raconis to deliver a petition, which they had drawn up to the Dutches of Savoy, wherein they declared the equity of their cause, protesting all due obedience, &c. ▪ and at last, through Gods mercy, they came to a good agreement, and according to the promise of God, all things turned to the best to those that feared him, that were called according to his purpose.

After the death of the Duke and Dutchesse of Savoy, Charles Em­manuel their son succeeded,Peace obtained who maintained them in peace according to the treaty formerly made: Yet the Inquisitors were alwaies watch­full to apprehend one or other of them: and amongst others, one Bartholmew Copin of Luserne, being at Ast in Piedmont, with his Merchandize, and at evening supping with some other company,Bar. Copin one began to speak much to the disgrace of the Waldenses for their Religion. Copin thought that he was bound not to be silent when he heard such blasphemies: Whereupon he began to argue in their defence. Are you then a Waldensian, said the other to him? he answered, Yea. Zeal. And do you not beleeve that God is in the Host? No, said Copin[Page 132] Fie upon you, said the other, what a false Religion is yours? My Religion, said Copin, is as true, as it's true that God is God, &c. The next morning Copin was called before the Bishop of Ast, who told him, that he must either recant the opinions he held over night, or be punished: Copin said, he had been provoked to that discourse; yet he said nothing but what he would maintaine with his life: Adding that he had some goods, and a wife and children, yet he had lost the affe­ctions that he bare unto those things,Christ best of all. neither were they dear to him, to the prejudice of his conscience. Yet said, that behaving himself ho­nestly, he ought not to be molested▪ when he came about his merchandize, the Turks and Jews being permit [...]ed to come to Fairs without molestation. Notwithstanding which the Bishop presently sent him to prison. The next day the Bishops Secretary went to him, professing great love, and telling him, that except he acknowledged his fault, he was in great danger of his life: Copin answered, That his life was in the hands of God, and he desired not to preserve it to the prejudice of his glory; and having but a few paces to walk in his journey to heaven, his hearty prayer to God was, to give him grace not to turn back.

Some few daies after he was examined by an Inquisitor in the pre­sence of the Bishop, who exceedingly tormented him with sweet and gentle perswasions,Tentation. by fair words seeking to draw him to an abjurati­on: But Copin alwaies convinced him by the word of God: alleadging that if he should be ashamed of,Constancy. or deny Christ before men, Christ would be ashamed of, and deny him before his heavenly Father. Then said the Monk, Go thy waies thou cursed Heretick to all the devils in hell, and when thou shalt be there tormented by them, thou wilt remember this good and holy counsel that we have given thee, &c.

After many violent encounters, they caused his wife and son to come to him, promising if he would confesse his fault, he should have liber­ty to depart with them; They suffered them also to sup together, which time he spent in exhorting them to patience,His exhortati­on to his wife and children telling them that God would be more then a husband and father to them: for his own part he was not bounde to love wife or childe more then Christ; and that they should esteem it their happiness, that God was pleased to do him the honour to be a witnesse to his truth, with the losse of his life, &c. He enjoyned his wife to bring up his children in the fear of God: his son he commanded to obey his mother, he desired them to pray for him, that God would strengthen him against all tentations, and so taking leave of his wife, and blessing his son, he dismissed them, his wife and son shedding fountains of tears, and crying out in so lamentable a man­ner as would have moved the hardest hart to compassion.

The Bishop knew not well what to do with him: If he let him go, he feared a scandall, and that many would be encouraged by his im­punity: If he punished him, he offended against the agreement be­twixt the Duke and the Waldenses. And thereupon he sent his indict­ment to the Pope, to know his pleasure. Shortly after Copin was found dead in prison,Copin mur­thered it appearing manifestly that he was strangled: [Page 133] and after his death, he was condemned to be burnt, which was accord­ingly executed.

CHAP. XXII. The Persecution, of the VValdenses in Ca­labria.

ANno Christi 1370. The Waldenses of Pragela and Dauphine grew so numerous, that they sent their younger people to seek some other country to inhabit. In their travell, they found in Calabria, some wast and untilled lands: yet seeming very fertil,Gods provi­dence. fit for corn wine, oyl and chestnuts, and that the hils were fit for cattel, and to fur­nish them with fuell and timber; they came therefore to the Lords of those places to treate with them touching their abode there.

The Lords received them lovingly, agreed to orders much for the advantage of these new inhabitants; agreed about rents, tenths, tolls, penalties, &c. and so assigned to them certain parts of the Countrey. Then did they return to their parents, shewing how it fared with them, and so receive what they pleased to bestow upon them, and many of them marrying, they returned into Calabria, where they built some Towns and Cities, as St Xist, la Garde, &c.

The Lords of those Countries thought themselves happy in that they had met with such good subjects as peopled their waste lands,Their holy lives. and made them to abound with all manner of fruits; but principally be­cause they were honest men, and of good conscience, yeelding all those duties and honours which they could expect from good subjects. Only the Priests complained of them, that they lived not after their religion, made not their children Priests and Nuns; loved not Tapers, Masses, &c. that they adorned not their Churches with Images, went not on Pilgrimage, &c.

Hereupon the Lords feared, that if the Pope should take notice, that so near his Seat, there were people that contemned his Laws, they might chance to lose their subiects: They therefore perswaded the Priest to be silent, since in other things they shewed themselves ho­nest men, inriched the Country, yea and the Priests themselves, by their Tithes. These Lords also stopped the mouths of their neigh­bours, who exceedingly murmured, because by no means they could draw them into alliance with them, and because all that they had,Their godly conversation▪ prospered exceedingly: They were wise and temperate, not given to drinking, dancing, swearing, &c. and living in a Country, where the inhabitants were given to all manner of wickednesse, they were as pre­cious stones in a common sink.

Thus they were preserved in peace by their Lords, till Anno 1560. [Page 134] At which time these Waldenses resolving to make a publick profession of their Religion; sent for two Ministers from Geneva, who did much establish the exercise of Religion amongst them.

The Pope per­secutes them.Pope Pius the fourth hearing of this, presently concluded their utter ruine and extirpation, giving the same in charge to Cardinal Alexandrino, a violent man, who chose two Monks Inquisitors of his own humour, and sent them, first to begin with the inhabitants of St. Xist; There they assembled the people, gave them good words, promising that they should receive no violence, if they would accept of such Teachers as the Bishops should appoint, which if they refus­ed, they would lose their lives, goods and honors, and would be con­demned for Hereticks: And further to prove them, they appointed a Mass to be sung: but the people with their wives and children, pre­sently quit their houses, and fled into the woods.

From thence the Monks went to la Garde, where they caused the Town-gates to be locked, and the people to be assembled, telling them that they of St. Xist had adjured their Religion,Popish lies. and went to Mass, &c. promising that if they would do the like, no man should injure them. These poor people, believing what was told them, were content to do what they would have them; but when they heard that their friends of St. Xist refused to go to Mass,Humane frailty and were fled into the woods, they were exceedingly grieved at their own revolt, and re­solved with their wives and children, to go to their brethren.

In the meane time the Monks sent two companies of souldiers after them of St. Xist, Popish cruelty. who ran after them as after wilde beasts, crying, kill, kill, and so slew divers: but such as could get to the top of the moun­tain, called to the souldiers, beseeched them to have pity on them, their wives and children, telling them that they had been inoffensive in their conversations, &c. yet if they would not suffer them to continue in their habitations, that at least they would license them to depart, either by sea or land, that they might retire themselves whether the Lord should be pleased to conduct them, beseeching them also, for Gods sake, not to force them to defend themselves-

But this more enraged the souldiers, who presently violently assaul­ted them: Then did they so defend themselves, that by Gods assi­stance,A speciall pro­vidence. they slew the greatest part of the souldiers, and put the rest to flight. Hereupon the Inquisitors wrote to the Viceroy of Naples, speedily to send some Companies of souldiers to apprehend the Hereticks of St. Xist and la Garde, whereby he should do a work very pleasing to the Pope, and meritorious for himself.

Then did the Viceroy come himself with his Troops, in the mean time the Waldensian women came home to seek for food for their hus­bands and children that were in the woods-

The Viceroy proclaimed through all Naples, that all such banished persons as would come to fight against the Hereticks of St. Xist, should be pardoned all their offences: Whereupon great numbers resorted to him, and were conducted to the woods, where they chased these [Page 135] poor people, slaying some, wounding others, the rest fled into caves,Barbarous cru­elty. where most of them died of famine.

Then were they of la Garde cited before the Inquisitor, and many fair Promises were made unto them if they would appeare; but con­trary thereunto, thirty of them were apprehended, and put to the rack.

One Charlin was racked with such violence, that his bowels brake out of his belly, and all to extort from him a confession, that in the night, the candles being put out, they committed whoredome, and abominable incest, yet would he never confesse any such wick­ednesse.

Another with extreame pain upon the rack, promised to go to Masse, the Inquisitor seeing that he had shewed such weaknesse,Prodigious wickednesse. urged him to confesse the forementioned wickednesse, which, because he refused, he left him eight hours together upon the rack, yet could he not get from his mouth so foul a slander.

Another was stripped stark naked, whipt with rods of iron, drawn through the streets, and burnt with firebrands: One of his sons was killed with knives: Another thrown down from an high Tower, be­cause he would not kisse a Crucifix: Another was condemned to be burnt alive, and as he went to the fire, he threw to the ground a Crucifix, which the executioner had fastened to his hands,Zeal. where­upon they covered him all over with pitch, and so burnt him.

The Inquisitor Panza cut the throats of eighty,Horrible cru­elties. as butchers do their sheep's; then causing them to be divided into four quarters, he set up stakes for the space of thirty miles, and appointed a quarter to be fast­ned to every stake. Four of the principall men of la Gard he caused to be hanged. Another young man, because he would not confesse himself to a Priest, was thrown from an high tower.

The Vice-roy passing by before he was dead, and hearing him implore Gods mercy, kickt him on the head, saying, Is this dog yet living? take him and cast him to the hogs. Sixtly women were racked so violently, that the cords pierced into their arms and legs, and being then cast into prison, they died there, only nine of the handsomest be­ing delievered to the fathers of the Inquisition, were never heard off after.

Many others were delivered to the secular power to be burnt,Their totall extirpation. and if any interceded for them, he was presently put on the rack as a favourer of Hereticks.

Pope Pius the fourth sent the Marquesse of Butiane, promising that if he would wholly cleare Calabria of these Waldenses, he would make his son a Cardinall: But he was put to no great pains to do it, for the In­quisitors and the Vice-roy of Naples had by sundry deaths killed all the men, women and children that they could light of.

One of their Ministers was famished in prison: Another was carri­ed to Rome, where he was condemned to be burnt; The Pope and his Cardinals would needs see that pleasing spectacle: But the Minister [Page 136] spake so many things out of Gods Word, against the Pope, that the Pope gnashed his teeth for anger, wishing that he had been some where else. And thus were these godly people wholly rooted out of Calabria.

CHAP. XXIII. The Persecutions of the Waldenses in Pro­vence.

THese came from Piedmont, when their vallies were over-peopled. The country of Provence, at their first arrival, was a de­sert, but within few years, by Gods blessing upon their labours, it-abounded with Corn, Wine, Oil, Chesnuts, and other fruites.

There Habitations being near to Avignion (many times the Popes seat) they were exposed to sundry persecutions, as Anno 1380. and at other times: but the greatest of all began about the year 1360. in the time of King Lewis the twelfth; who being informed that in Provence was a certain kind of people that lived not according to the Laws of the Church of Rome, but were an accursed people, committing all kindes of wickednesse and villanies:Devilish slan­ders. He gave Commission to his Par­liament in Provence to take cognizance of it, and to punish them accord­ing to their demerits.

The Court prosecuting this order with rigour; and the King hearing that diverse innocent persons were put to death, he sent his Master of Requests, and Confessor into Provence, to finde out what kinde of per­sons these were, who at their return, certified him that all the former suggestions were untrue, that they were neither Socerers, nor Whore­mongers, but lived honestly, did hurt to none; caused their children, to be Baptized, taught them their Belief, and the ten Commandments and that they carefully kept the Lords day, and had the Word of God purely expounded to them: Whereupon the King swore an oath, That they were honester then himself, and his Catholik subjects. Upon this in­formation he sent and sta [...]ed the Persecution.Note.

Then did the Waldenses send two of their Ministers [George Morrell and Peter Masson] to Oecolampadius, Capito, B [...]cer and Haller, to confer with them about matters of Religion, and to have there advice in many things.

In their return, Masson was apprehended at Dijon; where he was condemned and put to death for a Lutheran. P. Masson mar­tyred. Morrell escaped with his Letters and Papers, and came safe to Provence, where he much com­forted and confirmed the Churches. Yet all this while did the Parlia­ment of Aix apprehend one or other of them, condemning some to the fire, others to the gibbet; they which scaped best, returned with marks in their forheads.

[Page 137] Anno Christi 1540. The inhabitants of Merindoll were summoned, and some of the chief appearing for the rest, they were all con­demned to be burned alive, their children and families to be out­lawed, and that the place of their habitation should be laid waste,A cruel decree. the woods cut down two hundred paces round about, and so left desolate.

The King being informed of the rigour of this Edict,K. Francis the first. and of the in­nocency of the people, countermanded the execution of it: but his Letters were suppressed, and the Cardinall of Tournon obtained for a great some of money, the revocation of them.

Anno 1545. The President of Opede proclaimed war against them both at Aix and Marseilles: Divers companies of souldiers were listed,Called Mi [...]irs and five bands of the old souldiers of Piedmont were joyned with them, and presently they began to set fire on the Villages of Cabrieres, Pepin, &c. The poor people without any resistance were slain, women and their daughters ravished, some great with child murthered;Barbarous cru­elty. the breasts of many women were cut off, after whose death their poor infants di­ed of famine.

Opede also proclaimed, that on pain of death no man should give any relief or sustenance to them. All their habitations were pillaged, sacked and burnt, and none of their persons spared, but such as were re­served for the Gallies.

Opede comming to Merindol, found none there but one simple lad, who had yielded himselfe prisoner to a souldier, and promised two Crowns for his ransom; but Opede paid the money to the souldier, and caused the lad to be shot to death; then he utterly razed the Town, and laid it levell with the ground.

Then did he march against Cabrieres, and with the Cannon battered the wals: There was within only about sixty poor sick Pesants, who sent him word that he needed not to spend powder to batter the wals, for they were ready to open the gates, and quit the Country, if they might but have leave with their wives and children to go to Geneva, or Germany ▪ and to leave all their goods behinde them▪

Opede entring the Town,Prodigious cruelty. caused all the men to be brought into a field, and to be cut in pieces, the souldiers striving who should shew the best manhood in cutting off heads, arms and legs: The women he caus­ed to be locked in a barn with much straw, and so put fire to it, where many women great with childe were burnt: One souldier moved with pity, opening a hole in the wall, that some of them might come out; but Opede made them to be beaten back againe into the fire with Pikes and Halberts. Some of them that came forth he slew with his own hands, ripping open their bellies, so that their children came forth, whom he trod under his feet: many were fled into cellers and caves, whom he caused to be dragged out, had into the field, stripped stark naked, and then slain. Others were bound by two and two together, and slain by the Captains, who rejoyced in their bloudy butchery.

Then did this Tyrant (worse then Herod) command one of his [Page 138] Captaines to go into Church, into which many women, children and infants were fled; and to kill them all, which the Captain at first refused, saying, that it was a cruelty unbeseeming men of warre: Whereat Miniers being displeased, charged him upon pain of rebelli­on against the King to do it. The Captain fearing what might be the issue, entred with his souldiers and destroyed them all, sparing neither young nor old. Other souldiers that ransacked the houses, found ma­ny poor persons who had hid themselves in secret places, whom they flew upon, crying, Kill, kill, the souldiers without the Town killed all they could meet with, so that above a thousand men, women and chil­dren were slain in this place.

Many persons which were escaped into the mountains, sent by some that had most interest in Miniers, to desire him to give them leave to go whither the Lord should please to leade them, with their wives and children, though they had nothing but the shirts on their backs: to whom he answered, tha [...] he knew what he had to do, he would send them to dwell in hell amongst the devils.

A bloody speech.Then did he send part of his Army unto Costa, which they over­came, and committed there great slaughter: Many of the inhabitants fled into an Orchard, where the souldiers ravished many women and maidens, and having kept them there a day and a night, they used them so beastly, that the women with childe, and younger maidens died presently after.

Many of these Merindolians hid themselves in rocks and dark caves, where some were famished, others were choaked with fire and smoak set to their caves mouths. Many more were the outrages and cruelties which this wicked Opede committed: but the Lord found him out at last,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. striking him with a strang kinde of bleeding at the lower parts, neither was he able to void any urine, so that by degrees his guts rot­ted within him: No remedy could be found for this terrible disease, worms bred in his bowels, which continually gnawed him. Then did he send to Arles for a famous Chyrurgion, who cured him of his difficulty to make water, after which, desiring all to depart the room, the chyrurgion in private exhorted him to repent of his former cruelty and bloud-shed, telling him that this his strange bleeding was Gods just hand upon him for shedding so much innocent bloud: But these words pierced the impure conscience of this wicked wretch, and more trou­bled him then the torments of his disease, so that he cryed out to lay hands on the Chirurgion as an Heretick: Whereupon he conveyed himself away, and returned to Arles.

Miniers his horrible death.Yet not long after he was sent for again, and great promises were made for his security: But when he came back, he found Miniers past cure, raging and casting out most horrible & blasphemous words, feel­ing a fire within him which burnt him from the navel upwards, which was accompanied with extream stink of his lower parts, and so he end­ed his wretched life.

In the beginning of this Persecution, there was one John de Rom [...], a [Page 139] Monk, who gat a Commission to examine those whom he suspected to be Hereticks; whereupon he afflicted the faithfull with all kindes of cru­elty: Amongst other horrible torments that he used, this was one; he filled boots with boiling grease, and put them upon their legs, tying them backwards over a form, and their legs hanging down over a soft fire: Thus he tormented very many, and in the end most cruelly put them to death.

Francis the French King being informed of the hellish cruelty of this wicked Monk, sent to his Parliament at Provence that they should ap­prehend and condemn him: but he being informed of it, fled to Avig­nion, where he hoped to enjoy all that wealth which so mercilesly and unjustly he had extorted from the poor Christians: But shortly after he was robbed of all that he had, by his own servants; and then he fell sick of a most horrible and strange disease unknown to the Physi­tians: He was intollerably tormented with pains all over his body, so that no means could give him ease for one minute of an hour;Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. neither was their any man that could tarry near him, no not of his nearest friends; so great was the stink that came from him: Then was he re­moved to an Hospital: but the stink and infection so encreased, that no man durst come near him no; nor he himself was able to abide the horrible stink of his own body, full of ulcers and sores, and smarwing with vermine, and so rotten, that the flesh fell from the bones by piece-meal. In these torments he often cried out in great rage. O who will deliver me? VVho will kill and rid me out of these intollerable paines, which I know I suffer for the oppressions which I did to the poor men? Oft-times he himself endeavoured to destroy himself; but he had not the power. In this horrible anguish, and fearful despair he miserably ended his ac­cursed life.

When he was dead no man would come near to bury him; till at last a young novice caught hold of his stinking carcase with an iron hook, and so dragged him into an hole that was made for him.

In the time of this Persecution the Bishop of Aix, with some other Bishops and their courtizans, walking along the streets of Avignion, Popish un­cleannesse. saw a man selling baudy Images and Pictures, with filthy rimes and ballades annexed to them: All these goodly Pictures the Bishops bought up. When they had gon a little further, there was a Book-seller that had set to sale certain Bibles in French ▪ which the Prelates were greatly moved at, saying to him, Dar'st thou be so bold as to sell such merchandise in this Town? The Book-seller replied, Is not the holy Bi­ble as good as these goodly Pictures that you have bought for these gentle-women? Then said the Bishop of Aix, I renounce my part in Paradise, if this fellow be not a Lutheran, take him away to prison.Profanenesse. Then did his attendants cry out, A Lutheran, a Lutheran, To the fire with him, to the fire with him; and one gave him a blow with his fist, ano­ther pulled him by the hair, another by the beard,A godly Book-seller burnt. so that the poor man was all imbrued in bloud, before he came to prison. The next day he was brought before the Judge, where, by the instigation of [Page 140] the Bishops, he was condemned to be burned the same day, and so was carried to the fire with two Bibles about his neck, one before, and another behinde, where he made a most Christian end.

The Waldenses were dispersed also into several other Countries, as Bohemia, Austria▪ Germany, Flanders, England, Poland, Italy, Spain, Dalmatia, Croatia, Sclavonia, Grecia, Philadelphia, Livonia, Sarmatia, Bulgaria, &c. In all which places at one time or other they suffered per­secutions; concerning which there is not much left upon Record, and something will be spoken again of it in other places of this book, and therefore this may suffice for the present.

CHAP. XXIV. The Persecution of the Albingenses.

THese were the same with the Waldenses, differing only in name from their habitation in the Country of Albi. Divers of Waldo's disciples going into this Country, and amongst them one Arnold (from whom they were called Arnoldists) laboured with so good successe, that in a short time there was scarce any found that would go to Masse.

Pope Alexander the third was much moved to anger, when he saw many great Provinces to shake off his Antichristan yoak, and there­fore he condemned them for Hereticks in the Councel of Lateran: Yet did they so multiply, that Anno 1200. they possessed many and great Cities; yea, they had many great Lords that took part with them, as Earl Remund of Tholouse, Remund Earl of Foix, the Vicount of Bezieres, &c. Pope Innocent the third pretended a great desire to re­claime them by preaching and conference; and thereupon there was a famous Disputation at Montreall, wherein the Popish Doctors were shamefully baffled by Arnold: But the Popes pollicy was thus to rock them asleep whilest he raised Armies against them to destroy them:Popish subtlity The pretended occasion whereof was this; There was one Frier Peter that was slain in the dominions of the Earl of Tholouse; whereupon the Pope sent preachers abroad through all Europe to assemble men to­gether to take vengeance on the Hereticks, for the innocent bloud of Friar Peter, slain amongst them; promising Paradise to all that would come to this warre, and bear arms for fourty daies. This he called the holy warre, and gave the same Pardons and Indulgences to those that came to this war, as to those which went into the Holy land against the Saracens.

Then did he thunder against Earl Remund, charging all Arch-bishops and Bishops through their Diocesse to pronounce him accursed and excommunicated,Popes rage a­gainst Earl Remund. and that with the sound of a Bell, and extinction of Candles every Sabbath and festivall day, for murthering of a good servant of God▪ He also absolved all his subjects from their oaths of [Page 141] allegiance to him; commanding every good Catholike to pursue his person, and to take and possesse his land, &c. He also wrote to all Chri­stian Princes to stirre them up to get this pardon, rather by fighting against these Albingenses, then by going against the Turks. Earl Re­mund hearing of all these preparations against him, sent to the Pope, humbly beseeching him not to condemn him before he was heard, assuring him that he was no way guilty of the death of Frier Peter, but that he was slain by a Gentleman, who immediatly fled out of his Country, otherwise he would have severely punished him for it. But all was in vain, for presently came Armies of crossed souldiers to pour down their vengeance on him and his lands.

Amongst these were many noble men, and Ecclesiasticall persons, Arch-bishops, Bishops, Abbots, &c. to all which the Pope promised Paradise, but gave them not a peny.

The Earl of Tholouse perceived that he must either prepare for de­fence, or submit; the latter he thought the safer, and therefore he went presently to the Popes Legate at Valance; to whom he began to say,He goes to the Popes Legate. that he thought it strange that so many armed men should be brought against him, who used no other arms for his defence but his own inno­cency: And that concerning the death of the Frier, they should first have enquired the truth of the fact, before they thus moved heaven and earth against him; yea, if he had been guilty, yet there was an ordinary course of justice to be used against him, and not to wreak their anger on his innocent Subjects: and therefore Sir (said he) since I come voluntarily to you, armed only with the testimony of a good conscience, what further use is there of these armed Pilgrims? pray you therefore counte [...]mand these souldiers before they go to make any fur­ther spoil in my territories: for my own person may serve for a sufficient pledge, &c.

The Legate answered, that he had done well in coming to him, yet could he not send back the souldiers, except he would put seven of his best castles into his hands, which should serve for a hostage; Now did the Earl when it was too late see his own folly in putting himself into the Legates hands, and thereby making himself a prisoner, but there was no remedy, now he must take Laws from him that had him in his power, and therefore be told him that both his person and pos­sessions were at his disposall, beseeching him that his Subjects might receive no more damage by the Souldiers.

The Legate presently sent to put Garisons in those seven Castles, commanding all the Consuls of every City presently to appear before him: and when they were come, he told them that Earl Remund had delivered up his Castles to the Pope, and therefore they were to take notice of it, that so they might acknowledge themselves lawfull Sub­jects to his Holinesse, in case the Earl should falsifie his Oath to the Pope.

The Consuls were much astonished thus to see their Lord devested of all his possessions: but that which most afflicted them was, to see him [Page 142] led to S. Giles to be reconciled to the Church, where the Legate com­manded the Earl to strip himself stark naked all but his linnen draw­ers:The Earl whipt naked. then did he put a cord about his neck, whereby he led him nine times about the grave of Frier Peter, scourging him with rods all the while: The Earl demanded satisfaction for so sharp a penance seeing he was not guilty of the fact: the Legate answered, that he must submit if he would be reconciled to the Pope, yea, he must be thus scourged before the Earls, Barons, Marquesses, Prelates, and all the people: he made him also to swear to be obedient all his life to the Pope and Church of Rome: and to make irreconcileable warre against the Albingen­ses, &c,

Then did the Legate make him General of the crossed Souldiers for the seige of Beziers: The Earl knew not what to do: For to conduct an Army to fight against the Albingenses, was to sin against his conscience, and if he should fly away, it would furnis [...] them with new matter of persecution against him and his subjects.

In this extremity he stayed in the Army a few daies, and then went towards Rome to reconcile himself to the Pope.

Then did the Army come before the City of Beziers, and provided all manner of Engines for battery,Beziers besie­ged. reared up ladders for a general Es­calado: this the Earl of Beziers beholding, and judging it impossible to defend the City, he went out: and cast himself down at the Legates feet, beseeching him not to punish the innocent with the nocent, which must needs be, if the Town were taken by storm: he told him, that there were in the City great numbers of good Catholicks, which would be subject to the same ruine with the Albingenses: he desired him also to commiserate him now in his minority that was a most obedient servant to the Pope, and had been brought up in the Romish Church, in which he would live and die: The Legate told him that all his ex­cuses prevailed nothing, and that he must do as he may: The Earl re­turned into the City, assembled the people, and told them that he could obtain no mercy from the Legat, except all the Albingenses would come and abjure their religion, and promise to live according to the Laws of the Church of Rome: The Popish party requested the Albin­genses to yield to this, but the Albingenses answered, that they would not forsake their religion for the base price of their frail life: that God was able, if he pleased, to defend them, but if he would be glorified by the confession of their faith▪ Faith and cou­rage. it should be a great honour to them to die for his sake: that they had rather displease the Pope, who could but kill their bodies, then God, who could cast both body and soul in­to hell, &c.

Then did the Popish party send their Bishop to the Legate, beseech­ing him not to include them in the chastisement of the Albingenses: and that the best way to win the others was by gentle means, not by rigour: the Legate grew into great choler at this, swearing that if all the City di [...] not acknowledg their fault, they should all taste of one cup without distinction of religion, sex or age: and accordingly he summoned the [Page 143] City presently to yield to his discretion, which they refusing, he caused that his Engines should play, and that a generall assault should be given.

It was impossible for them within the City to resist so great violence,Beziers storm­ed. being assaulted by above an hundred thousand Pilgrims: so that the e­nemies entred, and slew a great multitude, and set the City on fire,Barbarous cru­elty. and burnt it to ashes: When the City was first taken, the Priests and Monks came forth of the great Church with Banners and Crosses, singing, Te Deum laudamus; but the Souldiers, who were commanded by the Le­gate to kill all, ran upon them, made their heads and arms to fly about the streets, so that they were all cut in pieces.

In this City of Beziers they slew sixty thousand persons, the Popes Legate saying to the Captains and souldiers, Caedite eos omnes, novit enim Dominus qui sunt ejus, Kill them all] Catholicks and Hereticks] for the Lord knoweth who are his.

Then were these Pilgrims presently conducted to Carcasson before the fourty daies of service, which they had vowed to the Church of Rome, were expired.

The Earl of Beziers when he saw that he could obtain no favour of the Legate, before the City was taken, left his charge to the Bishop, and went to Carcasson, endeavouring to prepare and furnish it for a long siege: but the Legates Army followed him presently, unto which there came a new supply of crossed souldiers out of sundry Countries, so that his Army now consisted of three hundred thousand fighting men.

Near to the City of Carcasson was a Town of the same name: the City was seated on an hill, and fenced with a double wall; yet the Pil­grims thought to take it at the first sight,Carcasson be­sieged. and therefore ran with great violence upon the first Rampier, filling the ditch with fagots, but they were beaten back with such courage, that the ground was covered with their dead bodies: The young Earl of Beziers won much honor in this first encounter, encouraging his men, and telling them, that it was bet­ter to die fighting, then to fal into the hands of such cruel and merciless enemies, &c. The Albingenses much encouraged hereby, swore to him that they would spend their lives for the preservation of the City.

The next morning the Legate commanded a general assault to be made upon the Town of Carcasson which was two miles from the City: & The people valiantly defended themselves, but being oppressed with multitudes, the souldiers entred the Town,Popish cruelty. putting all to the sword and fire, as they had done at Beziers.

Then came the King of Arragon to the Camp, and told the Legate that he understood that his kinsman the Earl of Beziers was in the City, and that with his leave, he would go to him, not doubting but that he should prevail with him to do his duty to the Pope and Church: The Legate gave him leave, and the King approaching to the Rampier, cal­led for the Earl, who came to him: then said the King, that he desired [Page 144] to know of him what moved him to shut up himself in that City a­gainst so great an Army of Pilgrims? the Earl answered, that it was to defend his life, goods and Subjects: that he knew well that the Pope, under the pretence of religion, resolved to destroy his Uncle Remund, and himselfe: that he saw the cruelty which they had used at Beziers even against the Priests themselves: adding also what they had done to the Town of Carcasson, and that they must look for no mercy from the Legate or his Army: and that therefore he rather chose to die, de­fending himself with his subjects, then to fall into the hands of so in­exorable an enemy as the Legate was: that though he had in his City some that were of another religion, yet they were such as had wrong­ed none, and were come to his succour in his greatest extremity, and for their good service he was resolved not to abandon them, and that his trust was in God the defender of the oppressed, that he would as­sist them against that world of ill advised men,A brave speech who forsook their own houses to burn, sack, and ransack, and kill in their houses other men without reason, judgement, or mercy.

The King returning to the Legate, told him, that his cozen was much discontented with his former dealings against his Subjects of Be­ziers & Carcasson, that he believed, seeing they spared not the Romish Priests, their war was not for Religion, but a kinde of theevery: that he would not yield himselfe to the descretion of such mercilesse men, &c.

The Legate, after some debate, told the King, that for his sake he would receive the Earl of Beziers to mercy,Popish cruelty, and unlean­nesse. and that with him, twelve more might come out with bag and baggage, but for the rest he would have them wholly at his discretion, and that they should all come forth stark naked, men, women, maids, and children, without shirts, smocks, or other covering, and that then they might hope well of his mercy, he being the Popes Legate, &c.

The King much distasted this propositions, yet reported it to the Earl of Beziers, Carcasson stor­med. who returned answer, that he would not come forth upon such unreasonable and unjust propositions, but would defend himself and his Subjects, as God should enable him.

Then did the Legate cause all his Engines to play, commanding, that they should take the City by storm,The Pilgrims repulsed with great losse. but he was little pleased when he saw the losse of a great number of his Pilgrims: for they in the City threw down stones, fire, pitch, brimstone, and boiling water, where­with they so galled the assailants, that the earth [...] [...]s covered, and the ditches filled with their deads bodies, which [...] a wondrous noy­som stink both in the City an Camp.

This overthrow caused divers of the crossed souldiers, having ac­complished their fourty daies service, and thereby gained Paradise, to refuse to conquer more after so faire a purchase, and therefore they returned home.

The Legate being much troubled to see his Army so decreased, thought of this Stratagem, he sent for a gentleman, telling him that he might do a piece of service, whereby he might not only merit heaven, [Page 145] but gain a great reward here: which was by going to the Earl of Be­zires, endeavouring to put him into great fears, and then to perswade him to have recourse to the Legates mercy, and withall that he should perswade him with great Oaths and Execrations (whereof he could absolve him at his pleasure) to come with him to the Legate,Popish Pro­faanenesse and perfidiousness. with as­surance that he should be dismissed safe and sound.

This Gentleman plaied his part so well, that he brought the young Earl with him: The Legate presently told him, that he was now his prisoner till Carcasson was taken, and till his Subjects had better learn­ed their duty: the Earl astonished hereat,The Earl made a prisoner. cried out that he was betrai­ed, and that faith was violated with him, &c. but this nothing prevail­ed, for he was presently committed to the guard and custody of the Duke of Burgonne.

The inhabitants of Carcasson understanding this,A speciall pro­vidence. brake forth into tears, and were so astonished, that they now thought of nothing but how by flight to escape the danger, but that seemed impossible, being environed with such an Army: at last one told them, that he heard some old men say, that there was a certain vault under ground, great and large, which went to the Castle of Cameret three leagues off: Then were all the Citizens imploied to search for this vault, and having at last found it, they began their flight in the evening, with their wives and children, carrying with them only some victuals for a few daies. This departure was accompanied with much sorrow thus to leave all their worldly enjoyments: The next morning they came to the Castle, and from thence dispersed themselves, some to Arragon, others to Ca­talonia, others to Tholouse, whether it pleased God to conduct them.Carcasson taken

In the morning the Pilgrims were strangely astonished, hearing no noise nor seeing any man stirring in the City, yet they approached the wals with much fear, lest it should be but a stratagem to endanger them, but finding no opposition, they mounted the wals, crying out, that the Albingenses were fled, and thus was the City with all the spoils tak­en,Simon of Mont­fort made Ge­nerall. and the Earl of Beziers committed to prison in one of the strongest Towers of Carcasson.

Then did the Legate call all the Prelates, and great Lords of his Ar­my together, telling them, that though it was requisite that there should be alwaies a Legate in the Army, yet it was likewise necessary that there should be a secular General, wise and valiant, to command in all their affairs, &c. This charge was first proffered to the Duke of Bur­gonne, then to the Earl of Ennevers, and to the Earl of S. Paul: but they all refused it: Lastly, it was proffered to Earl Simon of Montfort, who after some excuses, accepted of it.

The Earl being made general, settled himself at Carcasson with four thousand Pilgrims, all the remainders of that huge Army.

After this Earl Remund of Tholouse, went to the French King for his Letters of commendation to the Pope, to be by him fully cleared from the death of Frier Peter, and the Pope thereupon received him courte­ously, [Page 146] gave him full remission and absolution, and thereby declared him sufficiently justified.

Shortly after the Earl of Beziers died in prison, and Earl Simon was put into possession of his lands,Eearl of Bezi­ers dieth. whereupon all that bordered upon him began to fear him, for that he gave it out that the Spring follow­ing he would have a great Army of Pilgrims, wherewith he would chastise those that had not acknowledged his authority given him by the Church. Upon this occasion Castris sent unto him the keys of their City; the Castle of Pinies yielded to him, and so did all round about Carcasson: But the King of Arragon secretly encouraged the Gentle­men of the Vicounty of Beziers, The King of Arragon en­courageth the Albingenses. telling them that his Pilgrims would be uncertain, and would not stay long with him, and that if in the mean time they would but keep themselves in their Garisons, when he was weak by the departure of his Pilgrims, they might then set upon him, and reduce him to reason.

These messages gave such encouragement to the Gentry, that the Earl Simon being gone to Montpelliar, they took arms to shake off his yoak, besieging some of his souldiers in a Tower near to Carcasson: the Earl hearing of it presently returned to succor them, but the Tower was taken before he came, which affront brought him into some con­tempt: Then Captain Boucard belonging to Earl Simon, attempted to surprise the strong Castle of Cabe [...]et, making his approach thereto as secretly as he could: Captain Roger commanding therein for Earl Re­mund, was come forth with eighty horse to forrage: Boucard on the sudden charged him: but Roger doubled the charge in so furious a man­ner, that he overcame Boucards party, and brought him prisoner into that Castle that he came to surprise.

Gerad of Pepios took part with the Albingenses, so that the warre grew hot:Earl Simons pride abated. but all the men that Earl Simon took, he caused a great fire to be made, and cast them into it: neither did his men escape scot-free, when they fell into their enemies hands.

The City of Carcasson was hereupon stricken with great fear, ha­ving little hope to defend themselves, but by flight, being environed on all sides by their enemies. About this time Earl Simon wrote to all the Prelates through Europe, that if in the Spring following they did not send him good store of Pilgrims,Prodigious cruelty. he could hold out no longer against his enemies, having since the last departure of his Pilgrims, lost above fourty Towns and Castles; And whilest that he waited for these new succours, he surprised the Castle of Beron, where he pulled out the eyes of above a hundred Albingenses, and cut off their noses, leaving only one with one eye to guide the rest to Cabaret.

Anno 1210. Earl Simon being shut up in Carcasson for want of soul­diers, heard that his wife was comming from France with many Pil­grims, whereupon he went out to meet her: These Pilgrims he im­ployed against the Castle of Menerbe, Menerbe taken. which at last was yielded up to him for want of water. This Castle was defended by Remund, Lord of Termes, and was scituated in Narbonne: one argument which Earl [Page 147] Simon used to stirre up his crossed souldiers to fight manfully against it, was, For (that saith he,) there hath been no Masse sung in it since the yeare 1180. which is now thirty years, Upon the surrender of the Castle they laboured to draw this noble Lord to recant his religion, and turne Papist; but finding him immovable, they shut him up in a straight prison, where shortly after he died: they also took his wife, sister, and daughter, who was a maid, and other Noble women, with whom they laboured to withdraw them from the truth both by flattery and frowns, by faire speeches, and cruell threats, but when they saw that nothing would prevaile, they made an huge fire, casting them into the same, and burning them: God fridi Annales. Also af­ter his taking of the said Castle, he caused a Frier to preach to the people, and to exhort them to acknowledge the Pope and Church of Rome: but they not staying till he had done▪ cried out,Courage and constancy. We will not for­sake our faith, you labour but in vain, for neither life nor death shall make us abandon our beliefe. Then did the Earl and Legate cause a great fire to be made, and cast into it a hundred and fourscore men and wo­men, who went in with joy, giving God thanks for that he was plea­sed so to honour them, as to die for his Names sake: They also told Earl Simon that he would one day pay dear for his cruelties. All that saw their valour, and constancy were much amazed at it.

Then did the Earl besiege the Castle of Termes, which also at last was taken for want of water; yet they within the Castle,The Castle of Termes taken. when they perceived that they could hold out no longer, one night quit the place and passed away undiscovered. The Castle de la Vaur, was also be­sieged, in which there were many godly people: Thither came ma­ny Pilgrims to the Legate, from all Countries; and amongst others,Six thousand Pilgrims slain. six thousand Germanes, of whose coming the Earl of Foix hearing, he laid an ambush for them, overthrew and slew them all, not one e­scaping but an Earl that carried the news to Earl Simon. After six moneths siege the Castle of Vaur was taken by assault,Horrible cruel­ty. where all the souldiers were put to the sword save eighty Gentlemen, whom Earl Simon caused to be hanged, and the Lord Aimeri on a gibbet higher then all the rest, the Lady his sister was called Girauda, was cast into a ditch, and there covered with stones.

And for the rest of the people a very great fire was made, and they were put to their choise, whether they would forsake their opinions, or perish by the flames: There were scarce any of them found that would doe the first, but exhorting one another, they went into the kindled fire of their own accord, saith Altisiodore, but more probably they were forced into the same, where joyfully they resigned up their spirits unto God: Some say that they were about foure hundred persons that thus perished by fire.

After the return of the Earl Remund from the Pope, the Legate still fought to entrap him,Popish subtilty but the Earl would not come againe within his reach. Then did the Legate send the Bishop of Tholouse to him, who pretended a great deal of love and friendship to the Earl, and by his [Page 148] subtilty at last prevailed with him to profer his strong Castle of Nar­bonnes to them to lodge in as they passed that way: but as soon as the Legate and his company were entred, they seised upon it, and put into it a garison, which was a continuall vexation to all his subjects.

Then did the Legate resolve upon the utter extirpation of Earl Remund, The Legate dies. and all his house, as the head of the Albingenses; but presently after this Legate dying, Earl Simon was frustrated of this hope.

About this time the English who now possessed Guienne, which bor­dereth upon the Earldom of Tholouse began to help the Albingenses, be­ing stirred up thereto by Reinard Lollard, The English help the Albin­genses. a godly, and learned man, who by his powerfull preaching converted many to the truth, and defended the faith of the Albingenses; for which they were so eager­ly pursued, and constantly suffered Martyrdom: And this they did the rather, not only for their neighbour-hoods sake, or for that Simon Earl of Lecester was a rebell, and traitour to their King, but because this Remund Earl of Tholouse, whom they so cruelly whipped, and o­ther wise abused, and had now also excommunicated, was brother in law to King John. For his former wife was Joane sometimes Queene of Sicilie, which Joane was K [...]ng Johns sister, and bare to the Earl of Tholouse, Remund, who succeeded his father both in the Earldome, and in his troubles. John le Maier much commendeth this Lol­lard, saying that he foretold many things by Divine Revelation, which (saith he) came to passe in my time, and therefore he putteth him into the rank of holy prophets: And for his learning it is evident by his comment upon the Revelation, where he setteth forth many things that are spoken of the Roman Antichrist. This worthy man was afterwards apprehended in Germany; and being delivered to the secular power, was burnt at Collen.

Anno 1211. A new Legate called Theodosius was appointed to suc­ceed who excommunicated Earl Remund, Popish pride and the Bishop of Tholouse thereupon sent the Earl word that he must depart out of the City, for that he could not say Masse whilest an excommunicated person was in the City: The Earl returned this answer, being netled at his in­solency,Popish hypo­crisie. that he (the Bishop) should presently depart out of his Ter­ritories, and that upon pain of his life: accordingly the Bishop de­parted, and took with him the Canons of the Cathedrall Church, with the Crosse, Banner, and Host, and all of them barefooted in Procession: Coming thus to the Legates Army, they were received as persecuted Martyrs, with the teares of the Pilgrims, and generall applause of all.

Then the Legate thought that he had suffici [...]nt cause to prosecute Earl Remund, as a relapsed and impenitent man; but first he sought by craft to get him into his power, and with his fair flatering letters, he at last drew him once again to Arles: The Earl had requested the King of Arragon to meet him there. When they were both come, the [Page 149] Legate commanded them upon the pain of his high indignation, that they should not depart, but with his leave: Whilest they were there, the Earl was privately shewed by a friend, The Articles of the Legate to which he would enforce him to subscrib,Articles a­gainst Earl Remund. which were these.

1. That the Earl of Tholouse should presently dismiss, and cashiere all his men at Armes, not restraining one.

2. That he shall be obedient, and subject to the Church: and re­paire all the costs, and damages which the Church hath been at.

3. That in his lands, no man should eat of more then two sorts of flesh.

4. That he shall expell out of his territories all the Hereticks, and their allies.

5. That he shall deliver into the hands of the Legate, and of Earl Simon, all those persons that shall be named unto him.

6. That no man in his lands whether noble, or ignoble, shall were any costly apparell, but black course clokes.

7. That All his Castles of defence shall be razed to the ground.

8. That no Gentlemen of his shall live in any City, or Castle, but in country houses, or villages only.

9. That he shall not levie in his land any taxes, or tolls, but such as in old time were accustomed.

10. That every Master of a family shall pay yearly four Tholousian pence to the Legate.

11. That when Earl Simon shall passe through his countries, he shall beare their charges.

12. That after his performances of these things, he shall go into the Holy land to fight against the Turke, and never return againe into his owne country, but by the leave of the Pope, or his Legate.

Remund having read over these Articles shewed them to the King, who advised him presently to mount on horseback, least seising upon him, they might the better become masters of all his e­state which accordingly he did. The Legate was much troubled that he had thus lost his prey, and despairing to do any more by subtilty, he resolved to set upon him by force: and thereupon he besieged the Castle of Montferrand, where Baldwin, Earl Remund in danger. the brother of the Earl of Tholouse was governour: Baldwin, at least pretending inability to de­fend the place, yielded it up, and abjuring his opinions turned Papist.

The Earl of Tholouse seeing himselfe thus betrayed by his brother, lamented exceedingly:His brother betrays him. but a greater mischiefe soone after befell him: For the Legate, and Earl Simon wonne from him by their subtilty, the King of Arragon, his only prop under God: and that by this meanes they agreed that the King of Arragons daughter should be married to Earl Simon's eldest son, in consideration whereof the King of Arragon invested Simon in the Earldom of Beziers: and now they intend jointly to besieg Tholouse: For which end the Bishop [Page 150] of Tholouse was sent to levy souldiers in France, and at his returne hasted to Tholouse: which Earl Remund hearing of, sallyed out of the City with five hundred horse, and some foot, marching to the bridg which goeth over the river of Garenne not far from Tholouse, Tholouse be­sieged. hoping either to gaine it, or to breake it down: but being overpowered by multitude, he was forced to make a retreat, and the enemie pursued him to the very gates of Tholouse: But Earl Remund seeing their insolency, sal­lyed out againe with a greater strength, and charged them so gal­lantly, that he beat them back to the bridge, which being but nar­row, he slew almost all of them there: and took prisoner a­mongst them,The Pilgrims beaten. Aimery the son of Earl Simon. Earl Simon hearing of this loss, hasted with all his army to the City, and gave a furious assault to it, but the ditches were soone filled with the dead bodies of the e­nemie beaten from their scaling laddars: and the Earl himselfe was beaten from his horse. In the middest of this assault, came the Earl of Campeigne soon enough to be well beaten for his welcome,The siege rais­ed. Earl Simon finding such stout resistance from the Citizens, caused his Pilgrimes to spoil the Orchards, Gardens, and Vineyards about the city, which being perceived; the President of Argeves issued out of the City suddenly, and slew a number of the Pilgrims, and on another part, the Earl of Foix slew as many as he could meet with.

The Earl of Bar seeing the disorder of the Popish Army cried out a Bar, a Bar, but the Citizens of Tholouse charged him so bravely, that being dis­comfited, he was faigne to fly amongst the rest. After this victory Earl Remund returning to Tholouse caused publike, and solemne thanks to be returned unto God, for the same.

Earl Simon after this lead his Army into the country of the Earl of Foix, who was now sick, where he took some townes: also the Legat with another part of the army went to Roquemaur, and in his way took the To­wer of Cassas;Popish perfidi­ousness [...], and cruelty. and caused above an hundred men that were found there­in most cruelly to be burned alive, and levelled the Tower to the earth.

Earl Remund being much afflicted for the loss, and alienation of his an­cient friend the King of Arragon, studied how he might regaine him, and for that end propounded a match betweene his only son, and heire, and the King of Arragons daughter, which motion the King readily im­braced, and so their amity was againe revived.

Not long after the King of Arragon sent a letter of defiance to Earl Simon, who sent the same all over Christendom to stir up Pilgrims to assist him for the destruction of the King who (as he said) was now be­come the Captaine of the Albingenses: and in the meane time the Popes Legate raising an army in France, went speedily into the Earl­dome of Foix, and took some Towns, putting all to the sword without distinction of sex or age, and taking also St. Anthonies, he caused thirty of the principall men to be hanged in cold blood, after he had granted them their lives.

Anno Christi 1213. Peter King of Arragon with a great army of Ar­ragonois, and Tholousians besieged Muret, a strong Towne scituated [Page 151] upon the river Garronne near unto Tholouse: There was in his Army the Earls of Tholouse: Comminges, and of Foix; but the night following, the Popish Bishops sent two Friers to him, desiring him to take pitty on the Church: and not to undertake the defence of the Hereticks, but they laboured in vaine, for the King would not desert them, where­upon they prepared the next day to give him battle, and whilest Si­mon Montfort was encouraging his souldiers, the Bishop of Tholouse carryed a crucifix in his hand, whereupon the Captains a lighting, ado­red it with and humble kiss. Then the Bishop of Comminges, getting upon an high place took the crosse in his hand, and blessed the Army with it, promising forgivenesse of all sins to all that dyed in that quarrell: Hereupon Simon divided his army into three Bat­talia's in the name of the Trinity, and so joyning battle, they fought very gallantly on both sides▪ till at length the King of Arragon was slaine, and so God (who doth not alwayes prosper the best cause) gave the victory to the Popelings, and they were slaine in the fight, and pursute about two millions of the Albingenses, as their enemies re­ported. The Albingenses attributed this loss to Gods judgement up­on the humane confidence of the King, who trusted too much in his great numbers, and was feasting whilest his enemies were plotting,

After this victory the Popes agents sent abroad their letters into divers countries for a new supply of Pilgrims utterly to root out the Hereticks.

With this victory Earl Simon was so puffed up, that he sum­moned the Earls of Tholouse, Foix and Comminges, and the Prince of Bearn, to deliver to him the keyes of those Cities and Castles which they possessed: They returned no answer, but each of them be­tooke himself to his own Territories, to provide the best they could for their affairs.

Earl Remund retired to M [...]ntalbon, writing to them at Tholo [...]se, that understanding that the Bishop of Arras was coming with a great Army of Pilgrims against them, and that he was altogether disabled to defend their City, he had advised them therefore that they should make the best terms they could for themselves with Earl Simon, yet de­sired them to reserve their hearts for him, till God should give him meanes to free them from those miseries. In the interim, the Earls of Foix, Comminges, and the Prince of Bearn did what they could to infest the enemies Armies.

Upon the former advice the Citizens of Tholouse sent some Deputies to Earl Simon, to profer him the keyes of their City,Popish perfidi­ousnesse. whom he received honourably, and presently wrote to Lewis son of King Philip, that the City of Tholouse was offered to him, but his desire was that he should come and have the honour of taking it: The Prince went thither im­mediately, and had Tholouse delivered to him: Yet the Legate re­solved that the pillage of it should be given to his Pilgrims, and the City dismantled, which was presently executed, though contrary to the promise made to the Citizens, that no wrong should be done to the City.

[Page 152] Then came there a new Legate of the Popes called Bonaventure with those that had taken on them the Crosse. Viz. the Earle of Saint Paul, the Earle of Savoy, the Earle of Alenzon, the vicount of Melun, Mathew de Montmorency, Subtilty and other great Lords. The Legate seeing so many Pil­grims, feared least Prince Lewis should take upon him to dispose of divers places held by the Albingenses, to the prejudice of the Church: Where­upon he presently sent to all those places Absolution and protection, so that when the Prince came against them, they shewed that they were un­der the protection of the Church: Yea the Legate told the Prince, that since he had taken upon him the Crosse, he was to be subject to his com­mands; because he presented the person of the Pope, whose Pardons (saith he) you come to obtaine by obeying the Church, and not by com­manding as the son of a King. The Prince dissembled his displeasure at this audaciousnesse; and the poore Albingenses were so op­pressed by new Armies of Pilgrims, that they sunk under the burthen of it.

Prince Lewis retires.The Prince, when his fourty daies service were expired, retired him­self, being much discontented to see so much tyranny exercised against the Albingenses.

Then did Earl Simon besieg the Castle of Foix, but having lain ten dayes before it, he found to his cost that the place was not to be won by him: For where as Earl Simons brother quartered at varilles, the Earl of Foix dislodged him, and slew him with his launce, putting to flight all his men. News hereof being brought to Earl Simon he swore that he would drive the Earl of Foix behinde the Pyrenaean Mountaines:Earl Simon beaten. but presently he had intelligence that a great Army of the Arrogonois, and Catalunians were come into the Earldom of Beziers, threatning to be revenged on him for the death of their good King, where upon he levied his siege in hast, and marched thitherwards: But the Earle of Foix, who knew the passages better then he, lay in ambush for him in a place fit for his turne, and suddenly setting upon his Pilgrims, slew a great number of them: only Earl Simon with a few others escaped, and went to Carcasson: but before he came thither, the Arrogonois were gone, else might they easily have discomfited him, yet shortly after they returned again, and Earle Simon was foundly beaten by them, so that he was forced▪ to shut himself up in Carcasson till he had a new supply of Pilgrims.

Shortly after came Remund the son of Earl Remund out of England, where he had been bred under his uncle King John,Young Re­munds successe. with an Army, and quickly made himself Master of the City of Beaucaire, and almost famish­ed them that held the Castle, so that they yeelded it up to depart with their baggage. There Earl Simon lost a hundred Gentlemen that he had laid in ambush neer unto the City, whom young Remund in a sally cut in pieces.

Earl Simon ho­noured. Anno 1214. The Legate called a Councel at Montpelier, for renuing of the Army of the Church, and to confirm the authority of Earle Simon; where they declared him to be Prince of all the Countries conquer­ed [Page 153] from the Albingenses, which title was confirmed to him by the Pope also. Who stiled him the active and dexterous soldier of Jesus Christ, and the invincible defender of the Catholick Faith. But whilest Earl Simon was in the Council receiving this his new honour, a great ru­mour was heard in the City, and a messenger brought word that the peo­ple, hearing that Earl Simon was there, betook themselves to their Arms, purposing to kill him; whereupon he stole away by the walls of the City on foot, without any company, and so escap­ed; so that in one houre he saw himself honoured as a God, and flying disguised, hiding himself like a base scoundrell,And disgraced. for feare of the rascall multitude.A Council a­gainst the Al­bingenses.

Anno Christi 1215. Their was a Councill held by the Pope at Lateran, where they gave the Inquisitors such power against the Gospellers, that poor people were every where horribly tortured that were but suspected for Heresie, and (as Tritemius saith) Frier Conradus of Marpurg, Popish cruelty the Popes Inquisitor, if he but suspected any as guilty of Heresie, vsed to trie them by the judgment of red hot irons, and such as were burned by the irons he delivered as Hereticks, to the secular power, to be bur­ned in the flames: whereupon most of those that were accused were by him condemned to be burnt, few escaping the hot irons: In so much as Noble, Ignoble, Clerks, Monks, Nuns, Burgesses, Citizens, and countrymen were under the name of Heresie (by too headlong a sentence of the Inquisitor on the same day where on they were accused) cast into the cruell flames, no refuge of appeale or defence doing them any good▪

By the same Lateran Councill, Earle Simon had the forementioned lands of the Albingenses confirmed to him, and thereupon he hastened to the King of France to receive investiture, and as he went (saith the Monk of Sernay) in every City and towne the Popish Clergy, and people met him, crying, Blessed is he that commeth to us in the name of the Lord, and every man thought himself happy that could but touch the hem of his garment.

When he had recived his Investiture from the King of France, being attended with an hundred Bishops that had preached the Crosse in their Diocess, and with an exceding great Army of Pilgrims he hasted to make himself Lord of all those countries, which the Pope had given him. So that all men trembled at his reproach, and with this great Army of Pilgrims he took in divers places, using great cruelty,A new Army of Pilgrims. putting men women and children to the sword. Then was he marching to Tholouse, purposing to pillage and raze it to the ground:Cruelty. But by the way his wife sent him word that he must speedily come to her relief, being besieged in the Castle of Narbonnes, by the Earl of Tholouse; but by this time many of his Pilgrims were returned into France.

Yet Earl Simon hasted to the relief of his wife, and being come be­fore Tholouse, the people by their frequent sallies made that place too hot for his abode.A popish brag. The Legate perceiving that he was much astonish­ed at it, said unto him; Fear nothing, we shall quickly recover the City, [Page 154] and then we will destroy all the inhabitants; and if any of our Pilgrims are in the fight, they shall, as Martyrs, immediately passe to Paradise. here­upon one of Earl Simons great Captains said, Monsieur Cardinall, you talke with great assurance, but if the Earl believe you, it will be little for his profit, for you, and other Prelates have been the causers of all this evil, and will be of more, if he believe you. Then was it resolved that the City should be besieged on the side of Gascon, but the Citizens made such a blunt salley, that they put their enemies to flight; and presently the Earl of Foix coming with new supplies, fell upon Earl Simon ▪ chased him to the river Garonne, E. S [...]mon bea [...]en where many of his Pilgrims were drowned, and the Earle with his horse fell into the river, and hardly escaped.

The Earl Remund caused publick thanksgiving to God for this happy victory.Thanksgiving.

Earl Simon being in great perplexity, a Bishop bid him be of good comfort, for that the Cardinal had sent messengers throughout the world to raise him succours, and so he was inforced to wait, with much impatiency, the coming of these new supplies,

Anno 1218. There came to him a hundred thousand Pilgrims, and he was resolved that they should earn their pardons, knowing that at the end of fourty daies they would vanish: Whereupon the next morning they were ordered to give a generall assault to Tholouse: But Earl Remund perceiving in the night that they were very secure, be­cause of their great multitude, he sallied out upon them, and that with so good successe, that ere morning all the field was covered with their dead bodies,Many Pilgrims slaine. and the Earl with his men being weary with killing, re­turned into the City to give thanks unto God for his assistance.

Then did Earl Simon enter into the Castle of Narbonnes to see if he could discerne any way to enter into the City, but finding none, it much troubled him, whereupon two Lords gave him Coun­sell to come to some honourable agreement: yet the Cardinal Be­trand told him that there was no need for him so to do; To whom one of them answered, Monsieur Cardinal, pray you where finde you that you should take from Earl Remund, and his son that which belongs unto them: If I had known as much as I know now, I had never taken upon me this business.

After nine moneths siege the Citizens of Tholouse made another sally, killing as many of the crossed souldiers as they encountered with; and Earl Simon coming in to the reliefe of his men, had his horse shot in the head with an arrow, which caused him to run away with him, which one of the Albingenses seeing, with his Cross-bow he shot him thorow the thigh;E. Simon slain by a woman. Simon perceiving that he lost much bloud, was la­bouring to get out of the presse, but just at that present, a woman discharging an engine from the walls of Tholouse, a stone parted his head from his shoulders; and thus by Gods just judgement, he that had been the deflourer and murtherer of many women, was himselfe slaine by a woman.

[Page 155] Upon his death, the Legate and all the Bishops fled, never staying till they came to Carcasson, the Pilgrims disbanded and returned to their homes, and Earl Remund caused a publick Thanksgiving to be returned to Almighty God for this so signall a deliverance.

Afterwatds, at the instigation of the Pope, Prince Lewis of France went, and besieged Tholouse, but finding the business too hot for him, he returned without doing any thing of note:Prince Lewis his cruelty. yet in this iourney he tooke the towne of Miromand, wherein he cruelly put to the sword men, women, and children to the number of five thousand.

Upon his returne the Legat Bertrand being weary of these warres, wrote to Pope Honorius the 3. desiring to be recalled because of his age: yet with all, he signified a necessity of continuing these warrs Otherwise (saith he) not only the lands of the Albingenses wilbe lost, but the Church of Rome itself will be ruined, the Doctrin of the Al­bingenses shaking the authority of the Popes themselves: And (saith he) this war hath cost us very deare, for within less then fifteene years there hath dyed above three hundred thousand Crossed soldiers: and therefore all wilbe lost, except these Hereticks be utterly de­stroyed.

This occasioned the Pope to send a new Legat [Conradus Bishop of Portua] Also he granted to all Crossed soldiers that fought against the Albingenses the same in dulgences as to those that went to fight against the Saracens in the Holy land: Moreover he tooke King, Philip of France into his protection, and made peace betwixt him, and young King Henry the third of England: so that Philip wholly bent himself to roote out the Gospellers.

Anno Christi 1220. Earl Guido of Monfort, son,Earl Guido slaine. and heire to Earl Simon went against the Albingenses, but was soone after slaine by the E. of Sant Giles as he besieged a Castle in Tholouse: Then did his brother Almerick besieg the same Castle, and swore that he would never depart from it till he had taken it: But after a while, his hoped-for aides fail­ing him, he was faigne to leave the siege and depart. After whose departure the Albingenses recovered many places.

Anno Christi 1221. the young Emperor Frederick, by the instiga­tion of the Pope, published a cruell,The Empe­rours cruell edict against them and bloody Edict against the Gos­pellers with in his Dominions, where in he damned them with perpetuall ignominy, and declared them publick enemies: Commanding their goods to be confiscated, without redemption; and their sons to be disinherited. As also that all of them that were apprehended by the Inquisitors or others, should be kept in Prison, till they were kil­led with an abomminable death: The like punishment he commanded to be inflicted on all such as should aide, or assist them. Also he tooke away all benefit of appeale from such as were receivers, or favourers of them. And further he commanded that their houses, and the houses of such as should receive, defend, or favour them, either where they have taught, or where they have laid on hands, should [Page 156] be plucked downe,The Gospellers dispersed and never more repaired.

Also the same yeare some of these Albingenses going into Bosina and Dalmatia drew many of the people to imbrace their faith, whereupon the Bishop of Collen was sent thither by Pope Honorius as his Legate, and required to force them to returne to the Catholick faith (as they called it) either by perswasion, or by the arms of the Crossed soul­diers, but where neither prevailed, he being a weary of the work, left it to the Frier predicants to see if by arguments they could convince and convert them,Persecuted. Columminus the King assisting them: and (saith mine Author) when they had got footing, they burnt with fires those that were obstinate in their Heresies, and purged the Churches which were defiled by them: Leander de viris illust. ordinis praedica­torum.

Anno Christi 1223. Bartholmew, the Bishop of the Albingenses of Tholouse, The Gospellers encrease. ordeined a Bishop for Bulgary, Croatia, and Dalmatia, where their faith spread so fast, that Bishops themselves were drawn to be of their opinion, whereupon Conradius Bishop of Portua, the Popes Legate wrote to the Arch-Bishop of Roan, and his Suffragan Bishops, to meet, with others Bishops at a Councill to be held at Sens against the said Bartholmew: who (saith the Legate) in his letters, stiles himself servant of the servants of God: and runs about, Creating Bishops, and endeavoring perfidiously to gather Churches. Mathew Paris.

Anno Christi 1226. (saith the same Author) the Crosse was preached all over France by Romanus the Popes Legate,The King of France against them. against the Albingenses, where in he commanded all that were able to beare arms to signe them selves with the signe of the Crosse against the Earl of Tholouse, and his people: and at his preaching, a great multitude of Prelates, and Lay men tooke upon them the signe of the Crosse, yet more for fear of the King of France, and for favour of the Legate, then induced by the justness of the cause. But the King of France being signed with the Crosse, would not take upon him the expedition, unlesse the Pope would forbid the King of England under paine of excommu­nication to move war against him for any land that he possessed at that present, either iustly or unjustly: which accordingly the Pope did, and our King Henry the third upon receipt of the Popes letters assembled his Nobles to consult with them what he should do upon this inhibition, at which time their was present one Mr William Perepund, skilfull in Astronomy, who constantly affirmed before the King; That if the King of France took upon him this expedition, he should either never returne alive, or else should meet with as greate confusion as might be, both of his person, estate, and followers.

The King of France having thus settled his affaires at home, he to­gether with the Legate, appointed a Peremptory day for the Crossed-souldiers to come to a rendevous with their horses, and Arms at Lyons, from which at the time appointed he began his expidition with an huge Army which was accounted Invincible, whom the Legate [Page 157] followed with Arch-Bishops; Bishops &c. In the Army there were reckoned to be fifty thousand Knights, and men at Arms on horsback, besides an innumerable company of footmen; and then did the Le­gate publickly excommunicate the Earl of Tholouse, putting all his favourers, and lands under Interdict.

The King thus marching with his glittering Arms; and terrible Army on Whitson-Eve came to Avignion, the first City in Tholouse, pur­posing to destroy the whole land of the Earl, from one end to the other, and utterly to root out the Inhabitants thereof: yet very cunningly the King and the Legate sent to the Citizens, only desiring passage through the City, that they might follow their iourney the neerest way; The Citi­zens consulting together, returned answer, That they suspected fraud, nei­ther would they admit them into the City, where upon the King in a great rage, swore that he would not depart thence till he had taken the City.

The Citizens valiantly defended themselves so that the sieg lasted long, and the Earl of Tholouse being a skilfull warrior,Avignion be­sieged. before the comming of the French Army, had withdrawne all kind of victualls together with the women, children, and cattell into places of safety: Hereupon the Kings Army fell into great wants, so that multitudes perished by famine: Their horses and beasts also were starved; for the Earl had caused all the meddowes to be plowed up in the whole country so that they had no fodder but what was brought out of France: And their wants daily increasing, many Legions went out of the Kings Camp to seek for food, and fodder,A Famine in the Kings Ar­my. but the Earl of Tholouse with a flying Army, many times lay in am­bush for them, and cut off multitudes of them. They also that lay in the siege before the City were miserably wasted by darts, and stones shot in ingines from the walls by the Citizens valiantly de­fending themselves; and a generall famine overspread all, but it raged most amongst the poorer sort, who had neither food nor money: Also out of the dead carkasses of men, and beasts their bred certaine great, and blackflies,A dreadfull Judgement which comming into there tents by swarms with an horible humming, infected their meat, and drink, and when they were not able to drive them from their cupps, and dishes, many of the Pilgrims perished suddenly by their meanes. But the King and Legate were especially troubled, and confounded to think what reproach it would be to them, and to the Church of Rome, that so gallant, and numerous an Army should vndertake such an expedi­tion, and be able to effect nothing: Then the chiefe Princes, and Cap­tains being weary of the long siege amongst so many deaths, sollicit that a generall storme might be given to the City, hoping by their multitudes to oppresse the Citizens, which being resolved upon, such a great multitude of Armed men thronged upon the bridge that goes over the river of Rhodanus, that the bridge breaking under them, three thousand of them were drowned in that swift river.Many of them drowned.

Presently after as the French were one day at dinner the Citizens dis­covering there carlesness, suddenly sallied forth,The French beaten. & violently setting upon [Page 158] them, suddenly slew Twenty thousand of them with out any losse to themselves, and so retired: and the King of France commanded the dead bodies to be throwne into the River affording them no other buriall:The K [...]ng removes further from the City. Then did he also remove his sieg to afarther distance, and to prevent the like attempts, caused a great ditch to be cast up between the City and his camp: and the Legate with his Prelates not knowing how otherwise to reveng themselves, Anathematized the Earl of Tholou­se, and all the subjects: But whom they cursed, the Lord blessed: For shortly after he sent a very great plague into the French campe, so that king Lewis, to escape the same, retired himself into the neighbouring Abbey of Monpensier, where he resolved to remain till the City should be taken unto whom came Henry, A plague in the French Cam [...] Earl of Compaigne, desiring to be dismissed, having now sereved his fourty daies: but the King denyed his request. To whom the Earl said, that having performead what was injoyned, he neither might nor would be staid any longer: The King being very angry hereat, swore that if he departed, he would wast his whole land with fire, and sword: yet the Earl, according to his former resolution, went his waies: and shortly after the Lord struck the King with sickness whereof he dy­ed:The King of France dyeth. The Legate, and great Captaines concealed his death for a month together, and in the interim sent messengers laboring to draw the Citizens to a composition, and Commissioners, being sent to the Camp, the Legate perswaded them to resigne up their City to him upon promise, that they should injoy their lives estates, and liberties in a better manner then they had formerly: but they answered, that they would not live under the power of the Frenchmen, whose pride, and insolency they had often tryed.

After along Parlee the Legate desired that himself and the Praelates, might be admitted into the City, swearing with a great oath that he had continued the sieg so long only that he might seek the salvation of their souls. The Citizens giving credit to his promise, not suspecting his treachery, after mutuall Oaths given on either side, admitted him with the Praelates, and their followers into the City: but contrary to their oaths the Frenchmen followed, violently rushing into the City when the Gates were open,Av [...]gnion ta­ken by treache­ry. and seizing upon the Citizens they bound them, plundered their houses, and slew many; and having thus by treachery made themselves Masters of the City, they brake downe the walls, and the strong towers of that noble City.

During this sieg their perished more then 22000. of the Pilgrims, by famine, sword, pestilence, and other waies: and so the rest returned to their owne homes.

Anno Christi 1228. The Pope [now Gregory] being implacably bent to rout out the Albingenses, stirred up the young King of France against them, who sent a great Army into Provence vtterly to destroy them, which Army hearing that the Earle of Tholouse was in the castle called Saracen, The young [...]ing of France persecuts them. they purposed to besieg him as being there shut up: But the Earl having notice of their intent, with strong troopes he lay in ambush in a wood through which they were to passe: & when they were come to the place, he gallantly assaulted them & after a bloudy fight, slew many, took two hundred Knights,His armies bea­ [...]en. & about two thousand men at Arms: The Knights [Page 159] he imprisoned: but of the other he caused some of their eyes to be pulled out, others to have their noses cut off and so dismissed them. That summer the King of France sent three Armies against them, all which were either put to flight or taken, and imprisoned by the said Earl. Mathew Paris.

Yet the same yeare, Imbert of Beavim went against them with a great Army of Crossed souldiers, amongst whom were three Arch-bi­shops, every one with the Pilgrimes of his Jurisdiction: And the Earl of Tholouse (being as it s [...]emes unprovided) was faigne to shut up him­selfe within the wals of Tholouse, Tholouse besieg­ed. where he was strongly besieged by the Pilgrimes, who also wasted, and spoiled his country, and har­vest, far and nere on every side: And the siege continuing, the Ci­tizens suffered great Famine, and when they were brought to this ex­tremity the Abbat of Grandsylue went from the Popes Legate to offer peace to Earl Remund, and the Tholousians:A great Famine Some of the Earls Cap­tains disswaded him from it, knowing the perfidiousnesse of the Papists, but the cries of the hunger starved multitude prevailed, so that a Truce was agreed upon for certaine daies, and Earl Remund upon the day appointed went to the place where the peace should be con­cluded. But when he came thither, the Abbat perswaded him that it was necessary that the agreement should be perfected in the pre­sence of the Queen Mothers, who was regent of France, Popish treache­ry. and pawn­ed his faith to him, that if he would go to her, she should go; and re­turne in safety. The Earl overcome by these promises assented, and Meaux was the place chosen by the Queen for their meeting. But as soone as Earl Remund came thither, contrary to all oaths, and en­gagements, he was made a prisoner, and had a guard set upon him that he might not start aside; and instead of a treaty, he must submit to whatsoever should be enjoyned▪

It was a lamentable thing (saith the Historiographer of Languedock) to see so brave a man, that for so long a time was able to resist the whole power of France, to come in his shirt, and linnen breeches bare­foot, and bare-leged to the Altar in the presence of the Cardinals, and their to accept of such hard, and unreasonable conditions as they were pleased to impose upon him: Amongst which these were some:Unreasonable terms put upon the Earl of Tholouse. that he should abjure the Heresie which hitherto he had defended; That for the future he should be subject to the Church of Rome. That he should cast all the Hereticks out of his dominions: That he should give his only daughter Joane in marriage to one of the King of France his brethren: That he should pay a yearly stipend to six Popish Professors of the liberall Arts, and to two Grammarians at Tholouse: That he should take upon him the Crosse, and for five years wage warre against the Sa­racens, and other enemies of the Faith, and Church: And lastly, that he should levell with the ground the walls of the City of Tholouse, and the walls of 30. other Cities, and Castles at the appointment of the Legate, and fill up their ditches, and so remaine a prisoner in the Louver at Paris, till his daughter Joane was discovered to the Kings messengers at Carcasson.

[Page 160] Pope Gregories Counsells a­gainst them. Anno Christi. 1229. diverse Councils were held against the Albin­genses: One at Tholouse, the Acts whereof were proclaimed in that City by Romanus, the Popes Legate, another at Narbonne, where more, and more cruell decrees were made against them. A third at Beziers exceeding in rigour both the former: and amongst the rest an oath of abjuration, whereby all persons, Males at fourteen yeares old, Fe­males at twelve yeares old, were to abjure all Heresie as they called it, and to swear that they would keep the Faith, and defend the Ca­tholike Church, and persecute all the opposers of the same: and that all that took not this oath within fifteen daeis, should be held sus­pected of Heresie, and proceeded against accordingly: also another Article was in these words: Item we forbid the use of the Old, and New Testament to the Lay people: Forbidding expressely that they have not the said books turned into the vulgar tongue. Also the same yeare on Munday, Thursday, Pope Gregory proclaimed Ecclesastical censures against them, and sent the prime Inquisitors of Dominicks order into France to put the same in execution, he wrote also to Lewis King of France to cast all those Hereticks out of France, and to cause the Earl of Tholouse to do the like in his Dominions, and to place new counsel­lors about him that might instruct him in the Catholike Faith, and Man­ners, and to cast all such from about him as might corrupt him.

And whereas the Kingdom of Arragon was infected with Here­sie, Pope Gregory gave the Arch-Bishop thereof, and his Suffragans power to erect an inquisition against them.

Anno Christi. 1232. Died Fulco Arch-Bishop of Tholouse, who had labored twenty six years in extinguishing the Gospellers whom, Remund of Fulgaerio succeeded,Persecution continued. and so manfully behaved himself, that in his first year he caused nineteen of the Albingenses to be apprehended and put to cruell deaths within his Diocess.

Anno Christi. 1233. Queen Blanch, and the Popes Legate, so o­ver awed the Earl of Tholouse, that they caused him to make cruell edicts against his owne subjects of the Albingensian Religion:A cruell Edict against them. That they should be persecuted, searched out, and taken: That whoso­ever could apprehend any one of them, should have a Mark for each of them so taken: that all that were suspected to be of their Religion should be excluded from office bearing, that all houses should be pul­led downe, wherein any of them should be found, that all their goods and inheritances should be confiiscated: That the like should be done to all that should aid or abett them, or that should hinder, or not assist the Inquisitors in the execution of their office: That whoso­ever should be suspected of their Heresie, should have an oath given him to keep the peace, and the Catholike Faith: That the houses of such as should be detected of Heresie after their death should be pul­led downe. That whosoever should refuse to weare the Cross should have his goods seized on. &c.

The bones of one of them burnt.The same year the Inquisitors were informed that in the territories of Brixia there had lately lived one Guido de Lacha, who was much [Page 161] honoured for his austerity, and integrity of life, but that he dyed out of the communion of the Church of Rome, having been infected with Heresie, whereupon they ordered his bones to be digged up, and burned.

The Earl of Foix, and Comminges, and the Prince of Bearne yet re­mained to be conquered: and the Popes Legate thought that the Earl of Tholouse was the fittest person to deale with them,A brave answer where­upon he caused him to write to them to perswade them to embrace the Catholike Faith, &c. But the Earl of Foix returned answer; That he could not forsake his faith in such a time wherein men might think that he did it rather out of feare then from any good grounds, and that it was fitter for them to convince him of the truth of their way then to allure him by promises, or force him thereto by Armes: And that if they brought that world of Pilgrims against him which they threatned, he trusted in God that he should make them know the Justice of his cause, and repent of the rashnesse of their vow. But the Earls subjects fearing that their Lord, being aged, and without wife and children, should leave them to the mercy of the first Con­queror, intreated him to come to a composition with the Legat, where­upon he began to treat, and at last yielded up diverse Castles into the hands of the King of France, upon promise that he would rule with justice and equity.

Anno Christi. 1234. the opinions of the Albingenses were much spread abroad in the parts of Spai [...], and other adjacent countries:Albingenses in Spaine. and they had Bishops among them who boldly preached against the Romish errors, and especially against Transubstantiation: where­upon a Croisado was preached against them, and a very great Army of Pilgrims being assembled together were by Pope Gregory sent a­gainst them, who slew them all with their Bishops,Persecuted and destroyed. seized of their City and plundered them, whereby (saith Mathew Paris) they re­turned rich, and joyfully into their own countries.

Also about the same time another Army of these Pilgrims went a­gainst others of them on the borders of Germany, who retiring into a Fenny place for there security, were their all slaine.

But the same yeare the Lord raised up Trancavel, the natural son of the Earl of Beziers deceased, who was encouraged,Trancavell and others defend them. and assisted by a number of valiant Captaines, as Oliver de Fumes, Bertrand Hugon de Serrelong, Bertrand de villenense, & Jordaine de Satiat, who told him that they would assist him to revenge the outrages done to his father, who was deprived of his land, betrayed, imprisoned, and poiso­ned, whereupon he resolved to recover by the sword what was so unjustly taken from him: and before the enemies had notice of his designe, he took in diverse strong Castles, so that the Popes Legate, and Bishop of Tholouse were much astonished to see these men stand up for the Albingenses, whom they supposed to have been utterly suppressed.

Then did the Popes agents cause the cross to be preach­ed, and the Bishop of Narbonne animated the people of his [Page 162] Diocess to go against them, and to make an end of the poor remain­der of the Albingenses.

An army being raised, the Popes Legate led it to Tholouse, and when the Citizens appeared upon their ramparts, he told them that he was come thither for their preservation: They thanked him, but withall told him, that if he did not instantly retire himselfe, they would give him the chase.He prevailes exceedingly. And presently came Trancavell, who so bravely, and valiantly set upon the Legates Troops, that he quick­ly overthrew them, and chased them to the very gates of Carcasson, and the Legate had much adoe to save himselfe, but that which most angered the Legate was, that Trancavell found intertainement in some part of Carcasson, so that the Pilgrims durst hardly peep out of the City gates: and when he heard of any more Pilgrims com­ming to the Legate, he used to meet them, to lay Ambushes for them, so that usually overthrowing them, their designes were marred.

This man kept the field till the year 1242. and still prevailed a­gainst all the crossed souldiers that came against him, whereupon Ame­line the Popes Legate wrote to the Pope, that if he caused not the cross to be preached in many parts of Europe, the Church was like to sustain much damage by this enemy: For (saith he) he is more cruell, and subtile, then any before him.

But a little before the Bishop of Tholouse was informed of a certain Matron, who having her children, brethren, and friends about her, was dying an Heretick, whereupon he ran to her, and found it even so by the confession of the woman her selfe: who desired to die in the faith of the Albingenses, and doubted not to be saved: then did the Bishop condemne her, and delivered her to the secular power, who presently carried her forth in the bed wherein she lay sick,A dying wo­man burnt. and burn­ed her.

Anno Christi. 1235. Earl Remund getting from Paris, returned in­to his owne country, and forbad the Citizens of Tholouse to company with the Friers predicant, and shortly after expelled them the City: And the Monastery of Narbonne belonging to the same order of Friers was pulled down by the Albingenses. Earl Remund escapes. And in June following Pope Gregory the ninth made new Inquisitors against the Albingenses in Arra­gon, and France.

Anno Christi. 1236. King Lewis of France wrote to the Pope that Earl Remund had violated the Covenants which he had made with the Church: and had cast the Bishops Clergy, and Friers out of Tho­louse, He is forced to submit. and brought Hereticks into their roomes, whereupon he desired that he might be reduced into order &c. And indeed by the power of the Pope, and King, he was forced to recall the Popish Clergy, and to banish the Albingenses, and to take upon him the signe of the Cross for the aid of the Holy land, by way of Penance for his former deeds.

The same year many imbracing the faith of the Albingenses be­beyond [Page 163] the Alps, Inquisitors were sent against them; especially one Frier Robert, who caused many of both sexes to be apprehended, and when they continued constant in the true faith,Persecution in Italy. and would not renounce the same, in the space of two or three moneths, he caused fifty of them (saith Mathew Paris) either to be burnt, or burned alive.

Anno Christi 1239. the King of France having garisoned divers Castles within the country of Albingenses who greatly oppressed them, they betook themselves to Armes, besieging those Garisons, where­upon they sent to the King of France, craving that present aid might be sent to them.1240. Then did the King of France send the Lord Iohn of Bellemont, with a great Army to aid them, who,Earl Remund prospers. comming into that Country, besieged the strong Castle of Mont-reall, and at last took it, together with divers others belonging to the Albingenses, whereby the were suppressed for that [...]ime. But the year after the Earl of Tholouse took Armes againe, and assaulted the Earl of Provence, who presently sent to the French King for aid: and the French that were about Avignion hasted to the reliefe of the Earl of Provence, which the Earl of Tholouse hearing of, he lay in Ambush in their way,Persecution in Millan. and sud­denly setting upon them, slew many, and dispersed the rest, and the war so prospered in his hand, that in a short space he recovered to his former dominion above 20. Castles from the French, and Earl of Provence, and sharply punished his Rebels.Earl of Pro­vence beaten

About the same time the Citizens of Millan, being provoked there­unto by the Pope, and Emperor: burnt many of the Albingenses, who were their fellow-Citizens.

Anno Christi 1241. The Earl of Tholouse continuing his warrs against the Earl of Provence, almost beat him out of his country,A great Perse­cution. so that the Earl of Provence was feigne to send to the Kings of England and France (who had married his second daughters) to mediate for him, and they writing to the Earl of Tholouse, obtained peace for their Father in law.

Anno Christi. 1242. the Bishops of Narbonne, and Albium, and the Seneschall of Carcasson apprehended two hundred of the Albingen­ses in a certaine Castle of Tholouse, who had Bernard Martine of Cathavell, and Raimund Agulbuerus, for their Pastors, and Ministers: All these up­on examination, adhering constantly to the true faith without wa­vering, were cruelly burnt in the flames. Vignier, Hist. Eccles. And the year following there were 224. more of them burnt likewise.Pope Urban Persecutes them▪

Shortly after, it pleased God, that great contentions arose between the Pope, and Emperor, whereby the Gospellers enjoyed some breath­ing time from their former miseries: yet, Anno Christi. 1262. Pope Vrban hearing that through that peace their Doctrine was spread exceeding­ly, he made a Decree in this tenour. Albeit we be bound by our of­fice alwaies to endeavour the rooting out the deadly poison of Hereticall pra­vity from all parts in the Christian world, yet now in a speciall manner this duty is incumbent upon us, when we perceive this plague to be growne up [Page 164] in our neighborhood through the iniquity of the times to the detriment of the Catho-Faith. That therefore the office of the Inquisition may be the more effectually ex­ecuted against the Hereticks in the province of Lombardy: and parts adja­cent, we enjoyne you, upon remission of your sins, that you doe your uttermost en­deavours for the extirpation of it, and that you see that all Papall and Imperi­all Lawes be executed against them: and for my owne part I will implore the aid of Christian Kings, and Princes, that Heaven, and Earth may be moved a­gainst them.

Anno Christi 1270 Petrus Cadarita, and Gulielmus Calonicus, were sent as Inquisitors from the Pope into the Kingdom of Arragon, Another Perse­cution. severely to punish those that had imbraced the Faith of the Albingenses, and a­mongst others they condemned Arnaldus Castlebonius the viscount, and his daughter Ermesenda, Countess of Foix: They also decreed their me­mory to be detestable, commanding their bones to be digged out of their graves, and to be burned: They also called Roger the nephew of Ermesenda, into judgement for the same crime.

Anno Christi. 1281. There was a great persecution raised against the Gospellers in the Country of Albi, by one William de gurdon, Captain and president of Carcasson under Phillip the French King, who by a procla­mation commanded all the Albingenses to be extirpated, and search­ed out of their dens and lurking holes,A cruel Edict. and all such as favoured them to be utterly rooted out, as also that the innumerable company of their children, which would not be reduced to the Catholike faith, and unity of the Church of Rome, should not be admitted unto the City of Realmont, or the territory thereof, nor to the place of any honour or of­fice: That such likewise as favoured or concealed any of them, should be banished forever from the City of Realmont, and their goods wholly confiscated, and their children be excluded from all honours and dig­nities. Yet notwithstanding the severity of this Edict, God hid and pre­served many of them even in Realmont it selfe, as Diamonds in dung­hils, though many of them fled into Arragon, and Sicily, where they might enjoy more freedom of Conscience.They increase, and are perse­cuted.

Anno Christi. 1285. Gareldus and Segarellus of Parma, and Dulcinus of Noudria, preached and spread the Doctrine of the Albingenses in Par­ma, and in many cities of Lumbardy; whereupon Pope Honorius by a pub­lick Edict condemned their Doctrine, and commanded them to be rooted out. Bzorius.

Anno Christi. 1300. Pope Boniface commanded Guido, the Inquisitor, to dig up the bodie of Hermanus (one of the Albingenses) and to con­demne and burn it in Ferrara twenty yeares after his death.

Anno Christi 1315 The Friers Inquisitors raised a great persecution against the Gospellers in Passaw in Austria, and burned many of them; who continued very constant in the faith, & took their death very chere­fully: Amongst the rest one of them that was burnt at Vienna, confessed that their were eighty thousand of them in Bohemia, and Austria at that time, their cheifest Ministers were Bartholomew Faustus, Iames Iustus, Bononatus, William, and Gilbert: of whom James was murthered between [Page 165] two walls by the Mercilesse Inquisitors; Bononatus was burned alive, and William, Gilbert, and Bartholomew were condemned after their death, the house where they used to preach was pulled to the ground, and all that adhered to them were Anathematized.

Anno Christi. 1322. Lollard Walterus (from whom our English pro­fessors were called Lollards) was taken at Collen, where he had private­ly preached,Lollard. and through Gods blessings drawne many from ignorance and errors to imbrace the truth, & persisting constantly in his opinions, he was condemned, and burned alive.

Yet notwithstanding all cruelties used against them, their enemies could never prevail to a totall extirpation of them, but they still lay hid like sparkles under the ashes, desiring and longing to see that, wich now through Gods grace their posterity do injoy, viz. The liberty to call upon God in purity of conscience, without being inforced to any superstition and idolatry: and so instructing their children in the ser­vice of God, the Lord was pleased to preserve a Church amongst them, in the middest of the Romish corruptions, as a Diamond in a dung­hil, as wheat amongst chaff, as gold in the fire, till it pleased God to disperse the Gospell in a more generall and publick way, by the Mi­nistry of Luther, and his associates and fellow-labourers in the Lord, at which time these Albingenses received with greediness the Doctrine of the Gospel, and so became more eminent in their profession of piety then they were formerly.

Laus Deo.

Collected out of a Book called Luthers Forerunners, and out of Cades Justification of the Church of England, and diverse other Authors.

[Page 166] Here place the sixth Figure.

CHAP. XXV. The Persecution of the Church of God in Bohemia, which began Anno Christi 894.

THe Bohemians were Heathens and Idolaters, till their Duke or Captain Borivoius going into Moravia, Anno Cristi 894. by a strange providence of God was converted to the knowledge and faith of Christ, whereupon he together with thirty other Palatines was baptized; At his return into Bohemia, he took along with him Methudius Bishop of Moravia, by whose Ministry,Christianity brought into Bohemia. Ludomilla the Dukes wife was converted and baptized.

Borivoius, busying himself in erecting divers Schooles and Churches, it pleased God that in a short time a great harvest was gathered, many of the Nobility and Commons being daily converted and baptized: but Satan envying the progresse of the Gospel, presently raised up persecu­tion against the Professors of it: For first of all Borivoius was banished by the wicked faction of the Idolaters, and then compelled to resign his Dominion to his Eldest Son, who being dead, his younger son Borati­slaus succeeded,Persecution begun. who was a very holy man yet was drawn to marry Dra­homira, famous for nobility and beauty, but a Heathen: yet she promised, after instruction, to be baptized, and during her husbands life she cunning­ly concealed her hatred against Christians, but he being dead, the grandmother Ludomilla educated the elder son Wenceslaus, and Draho­mira took the younger, Bolislaus, and usurped the government, com­manding the Christian Churches to be shut up,Tyranny. the exercises of their worship to cease, prohibiting Ministers from instructing the people, and Schoolemasters from teaching youth: such as disobeyed were imprisoned, banished, and put to death.

At Prague, the Magistrates were changed,Persecution in Prague. and cruell Idolaters substi­tuted in the rooms of Christians, by whose incitements the poor Christi­ans were secretly, openly, and unworthily murthered and abused: whilest the murtherers went away with impunity: but if any Christian killed a Heathen though in his own defence, ten Christians were massacred for that one. Yet the insatiable cruelty of Drahomira was not satisfied herewith, but that she might destroy all the Christians, she dealt with one Balloius, a cruell wretch, whom she had set over the City of Prague, ear­nestly entreating him by fraud or force to effect it, promising him a great reward if he did it. He thereupon arms six hundred Conspirators at his own house,A speciall pro­vidence. with whom he hastens to those that were designed for slaughter: but the plot, through Gods mercy,The Christians prevaile. being discovered to the Christians, four hundred of them met to defend their own lives: the issue of the fight was victory to the Christians,Subtilty. the streets being polluted with the bloud of eight hundred that were slain. Then did Drahomira [Page 168] pretend that she was much displeased with the tumult, commanding that the Arms of both parties should be brought in to the City magazine, severely forbidding any man to walk with dart or sword: the Christians, though suspecting her fraud, yet that they might not seem disobedient, brought their arms to the Magazine, the enemies pretending also to do the like.300. Christi­ans slain. This being done, Drahomira imploies her cut-throats in the night to set upon the unarmed Christians, whereby above three hun­dred of them were slain in one night; This Drahomira much rejoyceth at, but yet not satisfied, she commands the Major of Prague to destroy all the Christians: whereupon he besets all the streets, and passages, and slaies all that he meets withall: till the Christians gathering them­selves together, encounter with him, put him to flight, and in the pur­suit slew this wicked person.Gods judge­ment on per­secutors. This so enraged Drahomira, that she com­manded the two Churches to be burnt down, in one of which her hus­band was interred. Whilest she thus raged against the Christians, Wenceslaus now grown to years, by the advice of his grand-mother, and the Christian Nobility,Wenceslaus reigns took upon him the government, and the better to establish peace, he assigned the City of Bolislavia, and the ad­jacent parts to his mother, and younger brother.

Drahomira yet laid not aside her hatred and bloudy designs against the Christians, which she first shewed against holy Ludumella, substi­tuting two wicked villains in the night to murther her, these fellows finding her at her prayers in her Oratory, strangled her: Some there were that much provoked Wenceslaus to revenge that wicked act,Ludomilla mur­thered. which he refused, because he judged it contrary to that duty which he owed to a mother, and to the modesty and patience of a Christian. But he was shortly after ill requited by this unnaturall monster, who affecting domination, began to defame Wenceslaus as sluggish and unfit for go­vernment, but when she perceived that his subjects loved him excee­dingly, she waited a fitter opportunity, which thus fell out.

Bolislaus having a son, she invited Wenceslaus to the baptising of this his Nephew at Bolislavia, he going thither, she entertained him with much dissembled love: but in the night as he was making his prayers to God: His brother Bolislaus assaults him, and beeing assisted with some other cut-throats slew him,Wenceslaus murthered. Anno 929. Bolislaus having by this fratricide obtained the government, threatned imprisonment and death to all the Ministers and Christians if they did not presently depart Bohemia: his mother added, that their dead bodies should not be bu­ried: Hereupon many fled, others were seized on, and tormented to death diverse waies▪ but God suffered not Drahomira to escape his reven­ging hand,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. for in that place, where the ministers bones lay unburied, the earth opened of it self, and swallowed her up alive with her Chariot, and all that were in it, which place is to be seen before the Castle of Prague to this day.

Others also who were her instruments in massacring the innocent Christians, some of them ran mad, and threw themselves down from high places, others slew themselves with their own swords, where­with [Page 169] they had murthered the innocent men, and the place where Wen­ceslaus blood was shed, could never be washed off, but remained as a perpetuall witnesse of that villany.

These things so affrighted Bolislaus, that he became more milde to the Chistians.

Anno. 970. Woytich the second Bishop of Prague, labouring seri­ously in converting the reliques of the Gentiles, Woytich ba­nished. and reforming their wicked lives: they raised so great a sedition against him, as enforced Woytich to a voluntary banishment: Then did the Pagans rise up against his brethren, and murthered five of them, and then conspired against their prince, but were overcome in battel, &c.

Not long after the Pope having usurped domination over other Churches, sought to obtrude his superstitions upon the Bohemians also: but especially he commanded that all their sacred service should be in the Latine tongue and that they should not have the cup in the Sacra­ment: the Bohemians sent two Ministers, and four others to Rome, The Pope u­surps over the Bohemians. Anno 977. to the Pope, desiring to be eased of these grievances, and at last obtained their request.

Yet afterwards they were againe inhibited the use of their own lan­guage in holy services, whereupon Urateslaus Duke of Bohemia (who shortly after for his valiant service to the Roman Empire, was created King) sent Embassadors to Rome, requesting a confirmation of the Liberties formerly granted to them; but the Pope [Hildebrand] abso­lutely refused it.

Anno 1197. Pope Celestine sent a Cardinall into Bohemia, to inhibit Ministers marriage, and to divorce such as were married, but the Bi­shop and Ministers almost stoned him to death.

Also when afterwards the cup was taken away in the Sacrament, there were many that opposed that sacriledg, and amongst the rest John Melicius of a noble family and fervent spirit, much honoured for his rare learning and holinesse of life;John Melicius. in his ministry he earnestly exhorted his auditors to a frequent communicating in both kindes: at last he was much moved in spirit to go to Rome, and there to testifie that the great Antichrist was come, and did then reign.

He prayed unto God, with fasting and teares,The Pope An­tichrist. desiring that unlesse these thoughts came from Gods Spirit, he might be delivered from them: but when yet he could finde no inward quiet, he went to Rome, and wrote upon the Cardinals doors, Antichrist is come, and sitteth in the Church. He also in his conferences with many, asserted the same: For this the Pope imprisoned him, and excommunicated both him, and his auditors.Melicius im­prisoned.

Mr. Mathias of Prague also, was a zealous defender of the Commu­nion in both kindes. Anno 1375.M. Mathias He with some other learned men went to King Charles that then raigned, requested him to call a Oecu­menicall Counsel, for the reformation of the Church. Charles sending to the Pope about it, he was so incensed at the message, that he com­manded the King to punish those rash and Hereticall men: Whereupon [Page 170] Mathias was banished the Kingdom;Mathias ba­nished. and then was the use of the Sa­crament in both kindes prohibited through all Bohemia: so that the godly could not administer and receive it but in private houses, in woods and caves, and yet neither so, but with the hazard of their lives: for they were set upon in the high-waies, plundred, beaten, and drown­ed in rivers, so that at last they were necessitated to go together in companies, and armed: and this continued to the daies of John Husse. Concerning the persecution of John Husse, John Husse, Jerome [...] Prague. and Jerome of Prague, See in my first part their lives: But when these holy men of God were so unjustly burned at Constance: the adversaries were not satisfied with their bloud, but took further counsell for the destruction of the whole Nation: for when fifty eight of the chief Nobles of Bohemia, in the name of all the Commons, Anno 1416. had sent Letters from Prague to the Council, complaining that their Pastor, an innocent and holy man, and faithful teacher of the truth was unjustly condemned: the Council instead of answering them, wrote their Letters to some violent Papists who were in authority, to assist their Legate in oppressing the Hereticks.

Thus the Bohemians were incited more and more to mutuall conten­tions: the Priests daily from the Pulpits divulged their excomunica­tions and execrations against the Hussites, and to stir up the greater ha­tred against them, they used lying signs; for, putting dirt about the wicks of their Tapers, when the flame had burned the wax to the dirt, the Taper went out:Popish malice, and subtilty. Then cried they out, That God by miracles de­clared his hatred of those wicked Hereticks, who were unworthy to enjoy the light: and thereupon they persecuted them all manner of waies, and they used such violence, as raised a tumult at Prague Anno 1419. wherein the enraged multitude threw twelve Senators of Prague with the Maior, out of the windows of the Senate-house, who fell up­on the points of spears.

After this the Pope publikely excommunicated the Bohemians at Flo­rence, The Pope ex­communicates the Bohemians. exciting the Emperour, Kings, Princes, Dukes, &c. to take up Arms against them, entreating them by the wounds of Christ, and their own salvation, unanimously to fall upon them, utterly to extir­pate that cursed generation, promising universal remission of sins to the most wicked person, if he did but kill one Bohemian: Hereupon great wars were raised against them but it pleased God still to give them the victory under that brave Captain Zisca: Whereof see more in my second Part, in Zisca's Life.

Yet still as the Popish party prevailed at any time, they exercised all manner of cruelty upon the poor servants of Christ, insomuch that at Cuttenburg, where were deep mettall-mines, Anno 1420. they threw into one of them a thousand and seven hundred persons,Multitudes martyred. and into ano­ther a thousand thirty eight, and into a third a thousand three hundred thirty four persons.

Also a Merchant of Prague coming to Preslaw in Silesia, the Empe­rour and Popes Legate being their, was in his Inne drawn into dis­course, where pleading for Husse, and the Sacrament in both kindes, he [Page 171] was cast into prison, the next day a Student of Prague was cast into the same prison: The Merchant exceedingly encouraged him, saying, Oh my Brother! What an honour is it, that we are called thus to bear witness to the Lord Jesus? Let us undergo the trouble with cheerfullnesse; Encouragment. the fight is but short, the reward is eternall: Let us remember the Lord, what a cruel death he under went for us, and with what guiltlesse bloud we are redeemed, and what torments the Martyrs have patiently endured, &c. But when they were brought to execution, and the ropes by which the horses were to drag them through the streets, were fastened to their feet; the Student affrighted with the terrors of death,Apostacy. and allured by the fair promises of the Legate, recanted: But the Merchant, like an unshaken rock, told them, that their hopes of any recantation from him were but vain; I am ready to die (saith he) for the Gospell of the Lord Jesus: And so being drawne slowly through the streets,Constancy. he was brought to the place of execution, and there burnt, Anno 2420.

Pichel the chief Magistrate of the City of Litomeritia, having taken twenty four of the chief Citizens, and amongst them his son in law, put them in an high Tower, and at last he brought them out, half dead with hunger and cold, and adjudged them to be drowned. When they came to the river Albis, their wives, children, and friends great­ly mourning; the Majors own daughter came wringing her hands, and falling at her fathers feet, beseeched him to save her husbands life; but he, harder then a rock, bad her give over, saying, What? can you not have a worthier husband then this? Unnaturall cruelty. To whom she answered seeing his inexorablenesse, You shall never more espouse me to any; and so beating her breast, and tearing her hair, she followed amongst the rest. When the Martyrs came to the river, whilest Ferries were preparing, they with loude voices call heaven and earth to witnesse their innocency, and so taking their leave of their wives, children and friends, exhort­ing them to constancy and zeal for the truth:Many drowned they were carried and cast into the middest of the river, with their hands and feet bound together and so drowned; and if any were driven to the banks, they were stab­bed with iron forks and pikes. The Majors daughter seeing her hus­band thrown into the river, leaped in to him, caught him about the middle, but being unable to draw him forth, they were both drowned;A loving wife. the next day they were found embracing one another, and were both buried in one grave, Anno 1421.

About the same time a company of souldiers going towards Prague, seized upon a godly Minister, and four other men, and four boys, the eldest not being aboue eleven years old, for administring, and receiving the Sacarament in both kindes, and carried them to their Colonel, the Colonel sent them to the Bishop who required, them to abjure, or else he would burn them; the Minister stoutly answered, But the Gospel teacheth otherwise, so that you must either approve what we do, or blot it out of your Bible. Hereupon one of the troopers smote him so violently on the face with his gantlet, that the bloud ran out of his mouth and nose.Cruelty. The Bishop made this Minister the subject of his mirth and scorn all [Page 172] that night,A Minister and others burned. and the next day being the Sabbath, he burned them all in one fire; and when the Bishop would have perswaded them to ab­jure the Cup in the Sacrament, the Minister answered, That he would rather suffer a thousand deaths, then deny a truth so clearly revealed in the Gospel.

Another Captain violently entring into a Church where many god­ly people were met together, he killed some, and took others priso­ners; and going to the Communion Table, he took the Cup, being full of wine,Profanenesse and blasphemy. and drunk to his horse, who having pledged him, he said, his horse was now one of the communicants in both kindes.

About the same time also a Godly Tayler was burned at Prague. Also one Martin Loquis should have suffered the like death, but his life was begged by the Thaborites. Martin Loquis. Afterwards, taking another associate with him, he was travelling towards Moravia, but by the way, they were taken by a Captain, who manacling them with irons, examined them about the Sacrament: Martin answered, The body of Christ is in heaven, and he hath but one, not many bodies: Hereupon the Captain gave him a box on the ear, as not enduring such blasphemy, and would have had him presently burned. Then did a Priest beg him to see if he could convert him: but when that succeeded not, he thrust them into a dark, stinking dungeon for two moneths: Then did he torment them with fire,Prodigious cruelty. till their bowels came forth, to extort from them who were their companions: Afterwards they were both shut up in a tub, and so burned Anno 1421.

A godly and eloquent Preacher in Prague, was, together with twelve more,Some beheaded. apprehended by a Captain, carried into the common-hall, and there privately beheaded, but their bloud running out, caused a great tumult in the City, wherein some of the Senators were slain, and others saved themselves by flight.

Not long after there sprung up a Schism amongst those that were called Hussites, Schism. for some of them began in other things to comply with the Pope, only they insisted upon the Cup in the Sacrament, whence they were called Calixtines:Calixtines. Others of them stuck close to Husse his doctrine, and cried down all superstition: And this contention was cun­ningly fomented and increased by some that sought thereby the ad­vancement of the Pope and Emperour: And to make the professors of the pure Doctrine odious,Popish subtilty. they branded them with the hatefull name of Piccards, by which name the Waldenses in Piccardy were called. Yet both these parties, when they were assaulted by the Emperour, joyned together in opposing him, and obtained many great victories against him: Yet Anno 1444. the Thaborites were utterly oppressed by fraud and force.Thaborites de­stroyed.

Anno 1459. There were divers godly people in Bohemia, Mini­sters, Nobles and Commons, who being much pressed in conscience about the superstitions in the Church of Rome, Reformation begun. obtained of their King [George Pogiebracius,] a place in the hilly Countrey near to Silesia to in­habit, where throwing off all superstious practices, they applied [Page 173] themselves to the form of the Primitive simplicity, calling them­selves Brethren and Sisters.

The beginning of this Church displeased the Devil, and therefore he raised a sudden and violent tempest to overthrow it:Popish malice. For the same of it being spread abroad, the Priests in every pulpit stirred up the ha­tred of the people against them, crying out, Blow out these sparks, blow them out before they grow into a flame.

Anno 1461. One of their Ministers with some others of them com­ing to Prague, to visit their friends, were betrayed, and some Officers coming to apprehend them, said to them, All that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution, therefore come forth, and follow us to prison, which they did. The King believing the slanders that were raised against them, as that they were attempting some sedi­tion, &c. he commanded the aged Minister to be tortured,A Minister racked. but he fal­ling into an extasie, felt no pain at all; the tormentors supposing him to be dead, took him down from the rack, but after some hours, he came to himselfe, and by the intercession of a friend, was dis­missed.

Presently after their came forth from the King an Edict,A wicked Edict. forbidding all Pastors to administer holy services without ceremonies: and with­all, threatning death to those that should administer to the brethren, called now by the hateful name of Piccards. The brethren hereupon were brought into great extremity, being like sheep destitute of shep­herds. Yet presently came forth a new Edict that none of them should be suffered to live either in Bohemia, or Moravia. Hereupon they were dispersed amongst the woods and mountains, dwelling in caves;Popish cruelty. where yet they were scarce safe, so that they were forced to make no fire, nor dresse any meat, but in the night time, least the smoak should betray them. In the cold winter nights, sitting by the fire, they ap­plied themselves to the reading of the Bible, and holy discourses. When in the snow they went ab [...]ad to provide them necessaries, they went close together, and lest their foot-steps should betray them, the hindermost of them did draw after him a great bough, to cover the prints which their feet had made.

These brethren chose by suffrage, certain Elders,Elders chosen. to whom they promised obedience: and by the advice of these Elders, the chiefest of the brethen in Bohemia and Moravia, were called together in a Sy­nod, in the mountaines to ordain Ecclesiastical Laws, whereby they should be governed;A Synod. they appointed also sundry daies of Fasting and Prayer for themselves, and their dispersed friends; taking counsell from Gods Word, concerning those things which were required to the fuller Reformation, both of life and doctrine. That which most afflicted them was for want of Pastors, not knowing where they should have new ones, after those were dead, who then lived with them; but after debate, they resolved, that Christ had given this au­thority to his Church, that such as were ordained themselves, might ordain others: Yet some scruple arose, whether such as were but [Page 174] Presbyters, might ordaine without a Bishop: For which cause they met together, and with fasting, prayers and teares, they sought unto God to reveal his will to them in this difficulty; and afterwards ma­king a scrutiny by lot,Ordination of Ministers. the Lord answered them, that it was lawfull for Presbyters to ordain Presbyters, which occasioned great joy unto them.

Then did these Brethren deliberate among themselves, whether they should joyn with the Waldenses in Moravia and Austria;The Waldenses· and so be one people with them, and one Church: The purity of their Do­ctrine and Christian Conversation did much please; but again, it much displeased them, that they concealed the truth, not openly professing it as they ought, but to avoid persecution, they frequented the Churches of the Papists, and so communicated with Idolaters. There­fore they concluded to admonish them of this evil; and for this end they sent some able men to them,Admonition. to acquaint them with it: The Waldenses answered, that to be in unity with them was very gratefull, and for the evils objected against them, they were not ignorant of them, nor would defend them, but rather would labour to amend them: Concluding that they desired to have a sixt day of meeting with the Brethren, in which they would take some further order about this businesse.

The Waldenses persecuted.But before the time came, the Papists having some intelligence of it, raged so violently against the Waldenses, that they burnt one of the chiefest of them at Vienna, and so persecuted the rest, that they were fain to provide for their own safety by flight.

Anno 1468. There came out a new Decree against these Brethren, requiring all the Nobles of Bohemia, within their severall jurisdi­ctions, to apprehend as many as they could, and to proceed against them.

Many therefore were apprehended and put into prison, where they were kept for a long time:The Church increaseth. But thr [...]gh the wonderfull working of God, the more the enemies laboured to put out this spark, the more it brake forth into a great flame, for many of their Peers submitted to the Discipline of the Brethren, building Churches for them in their Towns and Villages, so that Anno 1500. they had in Bohemia, and Mo­ravia about two hundred Churches.

After the death of Pogiebracius, Uladislaus, a Polonian succeeded in the Kingdom, to whom the Brethren wrote an Apology, by reason of many foul accusations that were carried to him against them: This so exasperated their enemies, that they endeavoured by a most impu­dent invention, to stir up the hatred of all men against them. The way they used was this.Popish subtilty. They suborned a wicked villain, to say that he came from amongst them, and that he had been an Elder, but had therefore forsaken them, because in their meetings they used to blas­pheme God, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints, to traduce the Sacra­ments,Slanders. to mingle themselves incestuously, after the manner of the Adamites, to commit murther▪ and practise witchcraft, &c. This [Page 175] man they led through the Townes and Cities as a spectacle; they brought him to their Church, where he must abjure his errors, and be­seech the people to pray for him, a most miserable sinner, and to take heed, by his example, of the wicked Piccards. They also published his confession in writing, being confirmed with the seals and subscrip [...]ons of some Deans and Priests, causing them to be read in the Churches to the people.

But the devil was befooled herein, for the Brethren, by publick writings did confute these lies;Confession. and the villain trembling so often to forswear himself in the sight of the people, confessed at last that he was suborned to do what he did, and that he knew not any of the Pic­cards: Yet thus far it made for good, that some to make experience of so great villanies, began privately and disguised, to frequent the Assemblies of the Brethren, and finding it to be farre other wise then it was reported, did associate themselves with them, as with true Christians.

Anno 1488. Mathias King of Hungary, The Brethren banished. banished the Brethren from Moravia, which caused some hundreds of them, taking a Minister along with them, to go into Moldavia; Whereupon the Brethren in Bohemia sent one of their Elders to them, to exhort them unto patience under this persecution, which was for the truth.

Shortly after the restless enemies of God and his Church,Persecution. raised another persecution against the Brethren in Bohemia; for some Bishops consulting together, suborned the Queen, great with childe, so that they conceived that the King would deny her nothing in that state, to request of him, that he would severely punish the Piccards: The King displeased at her request, only nodded his head, but gave no answer at all: Yet the Bishops, in his presence, began to draw up the Edict.Popish malice. The King going into his chamber, fell down on his knees, and with tears besought God to forgive the guilt of those bloudy counsels, and to grant no successe to them: and God heard his prayers, and shewed some examples of his severe judgements on the Authors of this con­spiracy.

The Queen who proposed to her fancy,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. what gratefull spectacles she should have in seeing the Piccards brought to Prague, and there, some burnt, some beheaded, and others drowned in the water, pre­sently fell in travell, and when she was not able to bring forth, the Physitians advised that the childe should be cut out of the mothers womb, which was accordingly done, whereby the childe lived, but the mother died.

Two years after, the Bishops by their importunity prevailed with the King that sharp remedies should be used against those growing evils, as they were pleased to call them;Anno 1510. A cruel Edict. whereupon an Edict was sent forth that all the Piccards, without distinction of sex, age or quality, should be slain. This Mandate was brought to the Assembly of States at Prague, by two Bishops, but divers of the chiefest Nobles opposed it, so that eighteen moneths were spent in debate, before any thing [Page 176] was done; but at last, by the cunning artifice of the Chancellor, and his bloudy associates, it was confirmed by the greatest part of the Nobility, in the presence of the King; and a mutuall confederacy was entred into,Devillish wickednesse. that it should be prosecuted with an armed power, but God following some of the chiefe contrivers of it with sundry judgements, it almost came to nothing.

Yet in these troubles most of the Ministers were turned out of their places, so that they durst not preach nor pray, but in private. And a certaine Noble man, having apprehended six of the Brethren, cast them into prison, and when they were brought forth to be burnt, they went chearfully to the fire; and when the chief officer, taking affection to one of them, offered him his life, if he would recant his error, pro­fering him withall to give him a years time to consider of it; he paw­sed a while,Tentation re­sisted. but by and by answered, It is too much by such a delay, to lose my Brethrens company, and so going along with them, they were burned together.

Shortly after the Chancellor that had procured the passing of the Edict against the Brethren, as he returned from the Parliament, visit­ing a certaine Noble man by the way, he with great pleasure reported to him what was agreed upon against the brethren: The Noble man having a servant by, that was much edicted to the discipline of the Brethren, asked him how he liked it; the servant answered, that all were not agreed: The Chancellor suspecting some new conspiracy, asked him who durst oppose the States of the Kingdom, &c? the ser­vant said,Gods judge­ment on per­secu [...]ors. In heaven there is one, who if he were not present at your counsels, you have consulted in vain: The Chancellor replied, Thou knave, thou shalt finde that as well as the rest: And rising up in fury, immediately a Carbuncle rose upon his foot, which turned to a disease, called Ignis sacer, whereof he died miserably.

Another of the great sticklers in this businesse, returning home­wards, as he was a lighting out of his Chariot to make water, he struck his member on a sharp nail that was in the boot, whereby he drew out his entrails with him, and not long after he gave up the ghost.

Also D· Augustine, who by slanderous libels had endeavoured to stirre up the King against the Brethren, died suddenly as he was at supper.

Another Noble man of these persecutors, as he was hunting, his horse threw him, and his arrow ran into his thigh, and came out at his loins, whereby he died a most paineful death.

Many others of them felt the like judgements of God; so that it grew into a proverbe amongst them: If you be weary of your life, attempt something against the Piccards, and you shall not escape a year to an end.

About this time God stirred up in Germany, undaunted Luther, the thunderbolt against the Pope,Anno. 1523. Luther which occasioned many of the Calix­tines to resolve to embrace the purer Doctrine of the Gospel, and to seek for the Ordination of their Ministers from Wittenberg, rather then [Page 177] from Rome. But amongst these there was one Zahere, an Apostate,Zahere an A­postate. who to ingratiate himselfe with the King and Pope, would enforce the Pastors and Citizens of Prague to subscribe to sundry Articles, or else they must be proscribed. And first of all six Pastors were ba­nished, then sixty five of the chiefest Citizens: Then to colour greater cruelty, a rumour was spread abroad of a conspiracy made by the Brethren against the Calixtines; and to extort a confession hereof, three Citizens were brought to the rack, who rather chose to suffer all torments, then falsly to accuse the innocent:Popish lies and slanderous. Yet divers were per­secuted: Amongst others, a Cutler that had found an Orthodox Book about the Sacraments, was whipped openly in the market-place, and banished: Another was branded in the forehead; a third was thrust in­to prison, and there murthered.

Then in the Assembly of Estates it was decreed,Persecution. that the Mandate of the King should be put in execution against the Piccards: Where­upon a new persecution was raised against the Brethren, their Churches being shut up, and their Exercises forbidden.

Anno 1526. A godly and learned man, together with his Hostesse with whom he lodged, a widow of sixty years old,Two burnt. were both burnt in the fire for Picardism, together with the books that were found a­bout them.

Another godly woman being brought before the Magistrate, made a hold profession of her faith, and then being required to prepare her garments to be burnt in, she answered, They are ready, leade me away when you please. The Crier declaring openly that she had bla [...]ph [...]med,A godly wo­man burnt. she with a loud voice denied it, saying, It is false, I am condemned because I deny the Reall presence of Christ in the Sacrament; give no credit to these Priests, they are dissembling Hyp [...]crites, Adulterers, Sodomites, Epicures, &c. Being commanded to pray to the Crucifix, she turned her back to it, and lifting up her eyes to heaven she said, There is our God, thither we must look, and so chearfully mounting the pile, she was burned, Anno Christi 1527.

The year after two German tradesmen were caught at Prague, ac­cused by the Monks of Lutheranism, and condemned to be burnt:Two godly men burnt. As they went to execution, such gracious words proceeded out of their mouths, as drew tears from the spectators eyes: When they came to the pile, they exceedingly encouraged one another; on [...] of them say­ing, Since our Lord Christ hath suffered such grievous things for us, let us chearfully suffer for him, Comfort in death. and rejoyce that we have found so much favour with him, that we are counted worthy to die for the Law of God: The other said, I in the day of my marriage found not so much inward joy as I do now. When fire was put to them, with a loud voice they said, Lord Jesus, thou in thy sufferings prayedst for thine enemies, therefore we also do the like. Forgive the King, the men of Prague, and the Clergy, for they know not what they do, and their hands are full of bloud; and so they slept in the Lord. But one of their chief persecutors,Gods judge­ment on per­secutors. who wish­ed that all the Piccards were hanged, beheaded or burnt by his own [Page 178] hands, had all these befall himself by Gods just judgement: For being much in debt, he hanged himself, and when his friends had privately buried him; the common people hearing of it, digged up his carcasse, and cast it away, which by the Magistrates command was ordered to be burnt; but when the woodstack was consumed, and the carcasse only scorched, his head was stricken off.

Zahera the Apostate, when under colour of an Inquisition against the Piccards, he raised up civil commotions, was by the King ba­nished, where he died miserably: The like befell another of those cruel persecutors.

Anno 1535. Ferdinand the first succeeding in the Kingdom, the Popish party cunningly stirred up the Calixtines to persecute the Bre­thren:A new persecu­tion. Whereupon, they suffering many grievous things sent a peti­tion, together with a confession of their Faith to Ferdinand at Vienna, subscribed by twelve Barons and thirty three Knights, complaining how unjustly they were accused by their enemies, and that the Priests ordinarily cried out that the Piccards might be slain without controul, and that a lesse sin was thereby committed,Popish malice. than if one killed a dog, Ferdinand returned answer, that he had not leisure to consider of their Papers, yet promised that nothing should be done either against law or equity, till he had further knowledge of the cause.

In the mean time the Brethren being much encouraged by letters from Luther, Bucer and Capito, went on constantly, and through Gods mercy, a great nummber was added to the Church, till that fatal year 1547.Charles the fifth warres a­gainst the Pro­testants. At which time Charles the fifth putting in execution the decrees of the Counsell of Trent, raised warres against the Protestant Princes in Germany: At which time his brother Ferdinand sollicited the Bohemians for aid, but they refused it in regard of their ancient league with the house of Saxony. But the German Protestants being overcome in warre,A great perse­cution. Ferdinand entred Bohemia with an Army, seizeth on Prague, imprisoneth the principall Nobles, Barons, and Citizens, some he scourged, some he beheaded, and upon others he laid grie­vous Fines, and of others he sequestred all their Estates: Also he disarm­ed the City of Prague, took away their privileges, banishing some, whilst others went into voluntary exile.

Then did the Devil raise up some to lay all the blame upon the Bre­thren, to which malicious suggestions the King giving heed, first by open Proclamation commanded all their Churches to be shut up, and then he took away their Peers, and banished them all out of his Realms. When this Thunderbolt came abroad, the brethren agreed amongst themselves that they would be more faithfull to God and their consci­ences then they had been:Persecution causeth re­formation. and so by common consent, dividing them­selves into three companies, they went into Poland: and all of them had experience of an admirable divine protection in their journey: escaping some that might, and would have robbed them, but that they were re­strained by God:A speciall pro­vidence. as also in most places where they came, they found Christian commiseration and liberality of men towards them, and [Page 179] courteous entertainment in Poland, though most of them were Papists▪ Yet not long after the Bishop of that part where they were, got a Man­date from the King to drive them away: Then were they forced to goe into the farthest parts of Prusia, Popish malice. whereby D. Albert Brandenburg they had a place of habitation alloted to them, and one Paul Speratus, a Pro­testant Bishop, having conferred with them about their faith, was ve­ry courteous and charitable to them.

The next Edict that Ferdinand set forth against the brethren, was for the apprehending of all their Ministers,Ministers per­secuted. whereupon some of them re­tired into Moravia, others, that they might be near their flocks, hid themselves in private places, & in the night-time they visited the faith­full, which continued for some years,A speciall pro­vidence. but at last three of them fell into their enemies hands: yet one of them, through the admirable provi­dence of God, escaped out of a deep dungeon in the Castle of Prague, and fled to his brethren in Borussia, and he sometimes passing through Polonia, and preaching the Gospel, through Gods mercy,Conversion. many of the Nobility, and others were converted by his Ministry: so that in a few years he erected twenty Churches in Poland. John Augusta.

The enemies having imprisoned John Augusta, they much rejoyced at it, because he was a chief Minister amongst the Brethren, and as Lu­ther in Germany against the Pope, so he, both by his Ministry and wri­tings had mightily confuted the Calixtines, and thereupon they laid to his charge his refusall to raise Forces for the assistance of Ferdinand, and intentions of bringing in John Frederick, Popish lies and slanders. Elector of Saxony to be King in Bohemia, and for the discovery of this pretended conspiracy he was cruelly racked three times, but when they could draw nothing from him, they yet kept him in prison seventeen years.

Anno 1549. Ferdinand published another decree for the extirpating both of the brethren, and Lutherans:A wicked Edict. Two hundred Ministers ba­nished. and the Ministers that had recei­ved Ordination in Germany, or that were married, were banished out of the Kingdom to the number of about two hundred.

Also the Baron of Schanow, a man of much experience and learning, being apprehended under the pretence of some conspiracy against Fer­dinand, was imprisoned, examined, and then laid on the rack:The Baron of Schanow. he with an heroical indignation cut out his tongue, and cast it away, and being asked why he did it, he wrote on the wall, I did it because I would not by any tortures be brought to say any thing falsly against my selfe or others. He also in a writing taxed the Tyrannical proceedings against himselfe and other innocents, citing the King and his Counsellors to appear and answer it before the Tribunall of God, and so shortly after died.

About that time Ferdinand brought Jesuites into Prague, Jesuites first brought into Prague. and built a stately College for them, who sought by all means to overthrow the Church of Christ, and added fuell to the fire of persecution.

After the death of Ferdinand Maximilian succeeded Anno 1562. who being of a peaceable disposition could by no means be induced that any should suffer for their faith.Maximilian Emperour.

[Page 180] Rodulphus Em­perour.After him Rodulphus succeeded, Anno 1676. who treading in his Fa­ther steps, the Church of Christ enjoyed peace under him, yea, pure religion so flourished through the whole Kingdom, that there was scarce one amongst an hundred that did not professe the Reformed Re­ligion: But alas! with liberty of Religion, by little and little men be­gan to be licentious in their lives,Sin the fore­runner of per­secution. and carnal security so encreased, that some began to presage that an horrible tempest should again over­whelm them.

After the death of Rodulphus succeeded Mathias, who comming into Bohemia, Anno 1617. he called an Assembly of the States, but it being harvest time,Mathias Em­perour. few appeared: To them that did appear, Mathias, com­plained, that since he had no issue he would adopt Ferdinand for his son, commendeth his vertues, and desires that he may be crowned: The Orders assembled, affirmed, that a matter of that consequence could not be done in the absence of the united Provinces: Caesar urged, that what Bohemia should do would be confirmed by all the rest, that he grew faint, and it could not be deferred till another time. In brief, the Oorders protested, that the Term of Receiving him King, was new, that he ought first to be chosen, and then received: and some perceiving that there was no place for a free voice,Ferdinand for­cibly made King of Bohe­mia. departed: others, partly allu­red by promises, and partly deterred by threats, staid, and were present at the Cronation of Ferdinand, after which he presently went into Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia, requesting to be received for their King.

The Persecution of the Church in Bohemia, which began Anno Christi, 1617.

FErdinand the second Emperour of Germany, being thus obtruded upon the Bohemians for their King, contrary to the ancient constitu­tions and customes of the Kingdom, and not lawfully elected thereun­to,Ferdinand a Usurper. as he ought to have been, retired presently into Germany: And thereupon the enemies of the truth began to crow, and openly to threa­ten the Protestants: and it appeared sufficiently that Ferdinand sware to the Orders with his mouth, but in his heart to the Pope, and present­ly after his departure, the popish Bishops, Clergy, and Nobles, began to vex his Subjects for Religion, contrary to that assurance which the King had given to them: They attempted also the like in Prague, the Jesuites daily threatning that their Liberty in Religion should not last long.Popish malice. The first Arti­fice. Then did they strictly prohibit the Protestants from printing any thing unlesse licensed by the Chancellor of the Kingdom, themselves in the mean time divulging their own slanderous pamphlets and dan­gerous writings against the Protestants.The second Artifice.

Then instructions were given to the Captains and Judges that they [Page 181] should suffer no meetings in Churches except themselves were present, and except they had a Popish Priest to administer only in one kinde.

Then the Burgrave, who had the custody of the Crown,The third Artifice. and privi­ledges of the Kingdom, was apprehended; because in the late Parlia­ment he had stood for the free election of a King, and delivered priso­ner to one of the bitterest enemies of the Protestants.

In other places they destroyed the Churches of the Protestants.

In the begining of the year 1618 The Governors of the Univer­sity and Consistory met together,The fourth Artifice. having formerly had power given them so to do, and choosing six persons, two Barons, two Knights, and two Citizens: to consult what was best to be done in this time of their enemies insolency; there presently came an injunction in Caesars name to inhibit them to call any together, and that if any man was called, he should not dare to appear upon the pain of high Treason.The States in­hibited their meeting.

Notwithstanding which, the major part of the States met, and when as new prohibitions and threats were spread abroad, and the States were informed that those thunderbolts came not from the King, but from the castle of Prague, their abused patience was turned into seve­rity, and being guarded with a great Troop, they went to the Castle, and apprehended two of the chief Authors of these troubles, and threw them headlong out of the Castle windows, together with their Secre­tary that was privy to all their designs: but God intending to preserve them to be the Bohemians scourges, they caught no hurt in the fall, fal­ling upon the grasse, and greate store of papers.

Hereupon a great tumult was raised in Prague, The Jesuites banished by the States. but the States appeas­sed it; & the first thing they did was to banish the Jesuits out of Bohemia, as the chief contrivers of these mischiefs: then did they write to Caesar, that they had no intention against his Royall Majesty, but only to bring to punishment the disturbers of the publick peace, being authorized thereto by his Majesties Letter, and bound by their protestation: yet he resolved to revenge this Treason (as he called it) by force of Arms, and the Bohemians on the other side resolved to defend themselves, and for that end they chose thirty Directors,An Army rais­ed against the Bohemians. and the Moravians and Silesians resolved to joyn with them, when they perceived Religion to be the cause of the quarrell. And indeed this was that which the enemies aim­ed at, and therefore they provoked the Bohemians by all waies, that so they might make a conquest of Bohemia, and for this end an Imperial Army presently entred the Kingdom under Dampier, and a Spanish Ar­my under Bucquoy.

In the mean time the States resolved not to admit Ferdinand to be their King, who was so open an enemy both to their Religion and Li­berties, and who was obtruded upon them without a due election: They sent also Embassadors to Franckford, where the Electors were met to­gether to choose a new Emperour, desiring that Ferdinand might not be admitted amongst them as King of Bohemia, notwithstanding which, [Page 182] he was admitted and chosen Emperour: The Bohemians in the mean time choosing Frederick Elector Palatine,Frederick cho­sen King of Bohemia. for their King; This more en­raged their enemies, so that, they sent another Army under Maximilian of Bavarie, which took two Protestant Towns by storm, and put all to the sword, and every where made great slaughter of the Protestants: Then the Imperiall Armies came to Prague, which being struck with a Pannick fear, the Protestant Army being overthrown in a set battell under the wals, and their new King fled, they delivered up the City to them,Anno 1620. Novemb. 8▪ Prague taken. the Conqueror promising to keep Articles agreed upon, but per­forming nothing lesse. For they did more mischief to the Church of Christ by their subtile and slow proceedings, then lately by their out­ragious fury, when the sword fire, and wheel were the instruments of their rage against the faithfull.

For a little before, when it was debated at Rome how they should deal with the Bohemians, and Germans after the Conquest; it was agreed, that seeing their former strong purges which they had used to expell Hereti­call humours,Anno 16 [...]7. Popish subtilty had not proved effectuall: they therefore resolved not to put them to death wherein they did glory as in Martyrdom, but ra­ther to weary them and to change the hatefull name of Inquisition into the milder name of Reformation.The fifth Ar­tifice.

And whereas there was a debate amongst the Imperialists at Prague, whether all the protestants should be presently banished, the negative was resolved on, because they would then carry much away with them, and so spoil the Province,The sixth Ar­tifice. and indure their banishment with greater ease, & therefore they concluded that they must first be squeezed, and depriv­ed of their goods: and for this end the souldiers at Prague were author­rized to plunder the houses of Noblemen and Citizens, yet this was done at several seasons,The seventh Artifice. and mostly in the night, by which meanes, as the ene­mies boasted, they took from the Protestants some millions of gold: For indeed hither were all their riches brought in the time of war, as to a place of the greatest security: But as this fell to the Commanders shares, so the neighbouring places were exposed to the fury of the rest, the com­mon souldiers robbing and spoyling Villages,Plundering. Towns, and Churches, burning and killing without any restraint: The souldiers that were pla­ced in Garrisons would not only have Free-quarter, but extorted mony from their Landlords every day.

The eight Ar­tifice.Then were Comissions sent abroad, promising security to those Noblemen, Knights, Corporations, and Ministers, that would bring in a good Sum of money to pay the Army, which yet they would not receive as a free gift, but only desired to borrow it. Caesars protection was also promised to those that were liberall, the rest were threatned to be plundred by the souldiers.

They set down also what sums they expected from every one within such a time:The ninth Ar­tifice. they promised also that when that was paid, the Souldiers should be removed, which made every one to bring in their Plate, Mo­ney, and Jewels the more willingly.

The tenth Ar­tifice.Then were Commissioners sent to require certain Cities, that belong­ed [Page 183] to the Protestant Noblemen, to mantaine the standing Forces of the Kingdome, and to contribute corn for their publicke granaries: but whilest they were fed with a vaine hope of lessening and removing the souldiers, there were more listed, which raised the taxes so high as was impossible for the people to pay:Apostacy re­warded. and where as some were allured to de­ny the truth that they might be eased of taxes, and quarterings of soul­diers, this was not performed, whereupon they complained that pro­mise was broken with them, but the Jesuits answered them, that they had no cause to complain, for they had provided for their souls, and therefore they ought cheerfully to help the King by contributions and quarterings of souldiers, and that Hereticks must be dealt with, Popish perfi­diousness. as mad men and children, from whom [...]f you desire to get a knife, you must shew them some­thing else, though you never intend to give it them.

Thus the Kingdom being emptied of gold and silver,The eleventh Artifice. counterfeit and adulterate money was coined in great abundance, that so the com­mon people might rejoyce in their plenty; but in the mean time the soul­diers would rec [...]ive none but good money.

Gold and silver also was raised to ten times the price of it, and on a sudden the Emperour diminished the value;The twelfth. Artifice. making every piece of mo­ney to be worth but the tenth part: whereby the Bohemians were more impoverished suddenly, then if they had lain under the burden of an Army ten years.

Then was it ordered that the creditor should lose all the money that he had lent in the time of the rebellion, as they called it,The thirteenth Artifice. And thus they were first impoverished, after which the enemies insulted over them by infa­mous books, insolent pictures, and proud words.

Then did they send abroad their Commissioners of Reformation,The four­teenth Artifice. who in every Town and Village endeavored to bring Protestantism in­to disgrace, and highly to magnifie and set abroad their owne cause: The most eminent men for honour and estates are invited to Apostasie, the inferiour sort are either fooled by their examples, or compelled by thre [...]tnings.

Then was there an High-Court of reformers set up,The fifteenth Artifice. from which there was no appeal

In the next place the souldiers exercised barbarous Tyranny against the Ministers of Jesus Christ. One aged minister lying sick in his bed,The sixteenth Artifice. they shot him to death as he lay: The next day they robbed and murther­ed another; Another as he was preaching to his people,Ministers per­secuted. they came into the Church; and shot him to death. Another Nobleman, and a Minister hearing of souldiers that were coming that way, conveighed them­selves away into a place of safety the souldiers when they came, caught a Schoolmaster, and binding him in cords, examined him where the Lord of that place, and the Minister were, and where they had hid their treasure; he professed, that he knew neither the one nor the other, whereupon they beat him, first with their fists, then with cudgels,Barbarous cru­elty. then stripping him naked, they so extreamly singed him with fire, that at last he promised to bring them where the treasure was, shewing them [Page 184] a ditch full of stones, which for greediness of gold they emptied, but finding nothing, they beat him afresh, and when he professed that he knew of no treasure, though through pain he had said so much, they cud­gelled him, and with clods beat him into the ditch, and buried him un­der the stones.

Presently after they lighted on another godly Minister, whom they so miserably tortured that he [...]ied within five daies, shamefully abusing his daughters also whom they led away with them.

Another godly Minister for a moneth together they excruciated with new invented mockeries: they spit in his face, buffeted him with their fists, exposed him to be beaten by every vile rascall: They with a knot­ [...]y cord twisten about his forehead, with a stick so strained his head, that his very eyes were ready to start out: Then they let loose a wilde horse upon him, which yet leaped quite over him, and did him no harm: at last,Gods provi­dence. with much adoe he redeemed himself with five hundred Flo­rences.

Another Pastor they lighted on, and because he had a better estate then the former, they tormented him more, sometimes covering him over with hot burning coals, sometimes with Ice, till they had forced him to pay a thousand five hundred Florences for his ransome, though shortly after through extremity of the pain, he died.

Another Minister they fetched from his house, and miserably tortu­red him by twisting a cord about his head, then tied they his hands be­hinde him, and his legs with a small cord, intending the next morning to torture him with fire, but in the night time as he was earnest at his prayers, repeating those words, In thee O Lord is my trust, he percei­ved his hands and feet miraculously to be loosned,A speciall pro­vidence. Whereupon get­ting up, he went to the gate, where were three Watchmen, one of them standing with his hand on his sword, yet he passed by them undiscover­ed: When he came to the Town-gate, he was known by the Souldier that stood Sentinell, but he, being a Bohemian, was overcome by entrea­ty,Cruelty to Mi­nisters. and let him passe over the bridge, whereby he escaped. Another Mi­nister together with his wife they cruelly burnt: Another was hanged upon a crosse-beam, and making a fire under him, they broiled him to death: Another they cut into small peeces: Another Minister they sought for, but he being escaped, they took a young man in his house, laid him on his back,Prodigious cruelty. filled his mouth with gunpowder, which set­ting fire to, they miserably tore his jaws in pieces, and then killed him.

When some souldiers came to the house of another, he entertain­ed them courteously, and made good provision for them, but when they knew he was a Minister,Ingratitude. they first beat him cruelly, then killed him, stripped, and plundered his house; they also burnt his Library, and would not suffer his body to be buried for seven weeks, during their abode there.

Another aged Minister and his wife, were so sorely burned by a souldier that demanded money of them, that presently after they died. [Page 185] Another was hung up by the privy members, being seventy years old, and his own books burnt under him, and at last was shot through, and slain.

Another was first assessed at seven hundred florences, then had his house plundred, and lastly himself was murthered. Another they caught and wounded, cutting his neck half through: but being after­wards carried by some friends to a Chirurgion, he lived about two years, but in much pain and torment.

Another being above seventy years old, they carried into the mar­ket-place, where laying him upon a fire, they burnt him to death: An­other was beaten so, that he died three daies after.Anno 1622.

The Jesuites laid wait for one Pescinus, a man eminent for learning and piety, at last they suborned an Apostate to betray him,Pescinus▪ who dis­covering him as he rode in a Coach with a Nobleman, fourty horse­men came suddenly, and took him away: but by the importunity of some Noblemen, he was ransomed for four thousand Florences, and ended his life in banishment. Another being bound to a Tree, was made a mark for the Musquetiers to shoot at, and though they did not hit him, yet by reason of the affrightment he died within three daies.

Another being met by a notable Papist, was ran thorow with a spear: But all this was done through military licentiousnesse; Now we come to what was acted by processe of Law.

Anno 1621.The seven­teenth Artifice Six Articles were exhibited to the Protestant Congre­gations in Prague. 1. That they should lend some thousands of pounds to Caesar for the paiment of his Army. 2. That they should publick­ly renounce the coming in of Frederick. 3. That they should bring into the Church the Popish Rites and Ceremonies. 4. That their Ministers should be ordained anew. 5. That the Ministers should leave their wives, or get a dispensation from the Archbishop. 6. That such as would renounce their Ecclesiasticall functions, should have publick promotions, and the favour of Caesar. But they answered unanimously, that they would doe nothing against their consci­ences.

Then came forth an Edict,Ministers charged with treason. wherein the blame of all the former re­bellion (as they called it) was laid upon the Ministers of Prague, because they had stired up, by their seditious and lying Sermons (as they pleased to stile them) and by their writings, not only the com­mon people, but the Nobles also against Caesar; and that they were the authors of the choice of Frederick, and that they still laboured to stirre up in the people an hatred against Caesar. Thereupon all the Mini­sters within Prague, were required within three daies to depart out of Prague, and within eight daies to depart out of all the Kingdom, and the Provinces belonging thereto, and never to return again; and if any under what pretence soever, should stay or returne again,Ministers ba­nished. or if any should pre­sume to harbour or conceal any of them, that both the one and the other should suffer death: this was Anno 1621.

[Page 186] Then were their Churches in Prague given to the Jesuits. It can not be expressed what lamentations and mournings there were amongst the people,The eighteenth Artifice. when thus they must leave their Pastors, and that for ever. Yet the German Ministers, whereof there were two, were suf­fered to continue in favour to the Duke of Saxony. Then did as many as understood Dutch, flock to their Congregations, which so vexed the Jesuits,The German Ministers ba­nished. that they obtained, not a banishment, but a gracious dis­mission of them as they would have it called. Multitudes of people fol­lowed them, with great lamentations and tears, and in the field they heard their farewell sermon.

The next design was, to remove the Ministers out of other free Ci­ties, and the Commissioners of Reformation were imployed herein: One of them with a Troop of horse coming to Slana, and going to Church, the Minister (a godly and learned man) was reading the Gospel: The Commissioner sent a souldiers to him to bid him give over, but the Minister still going on, himself went to him with his sword drawn,Blasp [...]emy. crying out, Thou foolish Preacher, leave off thy babling, and withall he dashed the Bible out of his hand with his sword: The Mini­ster with eies, hands, and voice lift up to heaven, repeated often, Woe, woe unto you, you enter not into heaven your selves, and forbid them that would; Woe, woe, woe unto you. But they mocking at these words, presently laid hands on him, justling him to and fro, whereupon he said, I for the name of my Lord Jesus Christ am ready to suffer all this, and what else you shall impose. The people were much affrighted, but the chief Magistrates and many good women interceding for him, he was at last dismissed, provided that he should depart the City with­in three daies; and thus was this faithfull shepherd, not without the greate lamentations of his people, banished, where, about three years after he died.

In a neighbouring City, the Minister for fear of these barbarous pro­ceedings, went a way of himself, yet the Commissioners extorted a great summe of money from his Church, and banished him in his absence. In another place they commanded the Minister to depart from his Parish within three daies, and from the City within eight daies; he modestly asking the reason of his banishment, they told him Caesar by conquest was Master of all the Churches, and that therefore he would put into them whom he pleased.

But, into the rooms of these godly Preachers, were put in unclean men,Illiterate per­sons put into the places of Christs Mini­sters. wicked, blasphemers, and men illiterate, and of no worth; and yet they could not provide for all places: so that one of their hirelings supplied divers Churches, and in stead of the wholesome food of Gods Word, he fed them with poison. Then brought the ignorant Monks out of Poland, unprofitable burthens to the earth, yet fit enough to be scourges to unprofitable and common Gospellers.

Then a Commissioner, with some Troops of horse, entring into Ctutenburg, a place famous for maintaining the Orthodox Faith, cals before him the Ministers, casts them out of their places, and puts Je­suits [Page 187] into their Churches: And these Jesuits urging it, the Ministers were commanded to depart out of the City gates before break of day, and out of the Kingdom within eight daies: Hereby were twenty one Ministers driven away, many Citizens accompanying them:Twenty one Ministers ba­nished. One of them at the parting, preached upon that Text, They shall cast you out of the Synagogues; exhorting them to perseverance. All the multitude much bewailed their losse, and with great lamentations, wailing and kissing each other, they recommended themselves to the blessing and protecti­on of the Almighty.

In every place the Ministers were cast out of their livings, some im­prisonned, and after a while dismissed, and all commanded to depart the Kingdom, upon pain of death. Some were stifled with stink whilest they lay in prison.

At last, Anno 1624. an other Decree came forth from the King, whereby all the Ministers of the Gospel were commanded to depart the Kingdom, by a peremptory day prefixed, because, as was alledged,Ministers charged with sedition. they were seditious men, and seducers of the people: Yet herein they used this Artifice, that in most places this Edict was concealed, till the time was almost or altogether elapsed, so that by this means the Mini­sters not having time to communicate their counsels together, went into severall Provinces, and some were faigne to hide themselves in caves & dens, and those either returned privately, and visited their auditors, or comforted such as came to them in the mountains and woods, preach­ing and administring the Sacraments to them.

But as soon as the enemies understood it, they presently published a new decree, wherein a punishment was preposed to those that should conceal the Ministers, and a rewarde to such as should betray them: Whereupon some of the Ministers were taken and cast into prison: Then by the Jesuits were they by all waies sollicited to Apostacy; and fear of death, hunger, cold,Tentation. the stink of the prison &c. prevailed with some to renounce their Ministery: But most bore up couragi­ously against all storms, and at last some by paying great fines,Constancy. others by giving it under their hands, that they would never returne into Bohe­mia, were dismissed.

One godly Minister was examined by tortures, when, where,A Minister Martyred. and to whom he had administred the Sacraments of Baptism or the Lords Supper, &c. he answered, that he had neither laide down, nor slacked his Ministry, which he received from Christ, and not from Caesar: Being profferred life if he would change his Religion he answered, This body of mine is subject to corruption, and now it begins to decay already, Why Would you have me hinder it? Being brought forth to execution, the Crier with a loud voice proclaimed that he was guilty of sedition: But he with a loud voice said, I suffer for the truth of Christ. None of the Citizens were suffered to accompany him, yea they were threatned to be shot, if they did but look out at their windows: And that his voice might not be heard, the Drums and Trumpets sounded conti­nually. As he was passing on, he chearfully said: This day shall my [Page 188] soul be with Christ: The Captain said, With the devil in hell: The Martyr replied, But you with your impious crew will run headlong thither, except ye repent. Then was his right hand cut off, wherewith he gave the Cup in the Sacrament: Then was his head cut off, his bowels taken forth, and wrapped in his shirt, his quarters set upon four stakes, and his head upon the fifth.Popish cruelty.

Then did the Commissioners go into Moravia, to a Noble Baron called Charles de Zerotina, a man for wisdom and vertue famous through all Europe, a constant professor of Religion, and one who maintained twenty four Ministers of the Brethren within his jurisdicti­on: They told him that they had an express command from Cardinall Ditrichsteine to expell all those Ministers out of the Country:The Vice-roy. He an­swered, That in matters of Religion he ought not to be subject to the Cardinall▪ and therefore from him he appeals to Caesar. Then did they grant him fourteen daies to prosecute his appeale, but the Baron being not in health; could not go in that time to Caesar, Then they came again to him, an told him that it should be in his choice whether he would send them a way himself,Courage and Constancy. or suffer them to do it; the Baron answered, that he could not banish those whom he knew to be the servants of Jesus Christ, nor could consent that they should do it: Yet that night they sent abroad their citations to require all the inhabitants of that Village to appear before them the next morning, at which time the Minister and people came; then did they read to them Caesars Edict, asking them if they would submit to it; they answered that they wholly relied upon the will of God, whom they served in the Gospell of his Son, and therefore they were resolued to undergo what punish­ment they should inflict, seeing they suffered only for the Name of Jesus Christ, and not for any ill deeds: Then they demanded of them, whether the would forsake their heresie, and returne to the Catholick Church; which they unanimously denied. The Commissioners would have given them time to consider of it, but they all answered, that in so religious a cause as this,Cou [...]age, and Constancy. they needed no deliberations; Hereupon in Caesars name they banished them, commanding them to depart within eight daies: These godly persons obeyed, and by the Baron, at his own charge they were conveyed into Hungary. The like they did in other places, so that the Ministers of the Gospel through all Bohemia and Moravia, were thrust out, and ignorant and illiterate per­sons set in their rooms.

The nineteenth Artifice. Summa Papa­vera. The chiefest Nobles impri­soned.The next design of the enemies was against the Nobles: The crime was for taking up arms for Frederick their lawfull King, against an Usurper: For though hope of pardon was granted, if laying down arms they would submit to Caesars mercy, yet divers of them were ap­prehended: And first they seized upon some that were of the rank of Defenders of the Kingdoms Liberties, and then all those whom they knew to have done any thing for the common good of Religion and Liberty; or feared that they might be able to do for the time to come, and all such as feared to break their faith given to Frederick. These [Page 189] were about the number of fifty men, famous for learning, skill in mili­tary affairs, and prudence in government, who were the light, delight and safeguard of their Countrey.

All of these in one night, and at one hour, were apprehended in their houses, when they suspected no danger, and by the Captains were commanded to get up into Wagons, and so some of them were carri­ed to the Castle of Prague, others to the Majors house. The next day Proclamation were issued out, requiring all those that had hid them­selves, or departed the Kingdom, to appear within six weeks; but they not appearing, sentence was pronounced, that all such as were guilty of Treason, should forfeit Goods, Honours and Lives, and then their names were set upon the Gallows: The next day sentence was pronounced against their Heirs, that all their Goods should be con­fiscate to the King.

Then did they proceed to the triall of the Noble men whom they had taken:The Nobles examined. Two Appostate Civilians were appointed to examine them, with some of the Nobility, who tired them out with a thou­sand impertinent questions, labouring to extort that from them where­of they were never guilty: Which one of them not able to endure, renting his garments, and opening his breasts, said, Tear into a thou­sand pieces this body, and search into my heart, and you shall finde nothing there but what is expressed in my Apology. A brave speech The love of Religion and Liberty made us unsheath our swords; but seeing God would have Caesar prevail, and hath delivered us into your hand, his will be done. Others of them also stoutly maintained that their cause was not the worse, because of the successe.Success no sign of a good cause

After some time when none of these Noble men would yeild, or acknowledge themselves in an errour, or sue unto them for mercy, they proceed to execution; their judgements were committed to such as were sworn enemies to the Gospel.

After sentence was passed, it was sent to Caesar to consider of it: And he was so troubled, that he slept not that night, and the next morning calling his Confessor, he said to him, I adjure thee upon thy conscience to tell me whether I may with a safe conscience pardon these that are con­demned, or whether I should suffer execution to passe on them? The Con­fessor answered, O Caesar, both are in thy power. Then did he with his pen pardon some, and left others to execution, with a great addition of shame and ignominy.

Presently after they were brought out singly to hear their sentence, wherein some were condemned to death,Their con­demnation. others to perpetuall impri­sonment, others to banishment, and some were reserved to Caesars fur­ther pleasure.

Then were each sort of prisoners carried to their severall prisons; the Noble men into the inward prison of the Castle, the Citizens to the Majors house; and as they went,Profane blas­phemy. some villains were suborned to insult over them, saying, Why doe they not now sing, The Lord reigneth?

[Page 190] Then did the wives, children and kinsfolk of the condemned per­sons, humbly petition for their lives; but answer was made, that all the favour which could now be granted to them, was, that they should have leave to bury the corps of their friends.

In the evening, the condemned men, which were twenty seven in number, had notice given them of the day wherein they were to suf­fer; and therefor [...] they were advised to send for Jesuits, or Capuchins, or a Minister of the Augustine Confession, for the good of their souls; but they must expect no Minister of the Brethren, for that would not be granted to them. The Jesuits and Capuchins not staying till they were called for,Tenta [...]t [...]n re­sisted. flocked to them, using many perswasions, promising life, &c. if they would turn; but God so strengthened them, that all those endeavours of Satans imps were in vaine. Then were some Mi­nisters of the Augustine Confession sent for, who spent that time which remained in Religious exercises, conferences, prayer, and singing of Psalms, and lastly by administring the Sacrament to them.

They which were of the Brethren, willingly admitted these Mi­nisters, protesting that they acknowledged them for Brethren, though they differed from them in some things; only two of them did not partake of the Sacrament for fear of some false accusati­on, comforting themselves with that saying, Beleeve, and thou hast eaten. Crede quod habes & habes.

They which were prisoners in the Majors house, being called to supper, the night before they were to suffer, comforted themselves, say­ing, that this was their last supper on earth, but to morrow they should feast with Christ in his Kingdom; whereupon a great Papist flouted, say­ing, Hath Christ Cooks for you in heaven?

Blasphemy.When it was told them that the Noble men were coming to the Scaffold in the Market place, where they were to suffer, they hasted to the windows, and entertained their fellow Martyrs, with singing the 44. Psalm. The night after they spent in Psalms, prayer, godly discourse,Joy in tribula­tion. and mutuall exhortations, that since it pleased God to call them before others, to this honour of Martyrdom, they hoped by their constancy to confound the world, to glorifie Christ, and to leave a good example to others; and singing the 68. Psalm, where in Da­vid praies to God, to shew some token of good upon him; one of them said, Shew therefore some token of good upon us O God, whereby we thy servants may be strengthened by thy goodnes [...]e, and our enemies con­founded: And being full of faith, he said further, Be of good chear, for even in this God hath hard your voice, and to morrow he will shew some wonderfull signe, Faith. whereby he will witnesse that we suffer for his cause.

Early in the morning they washed their faces, and put on clean clothes, as if they had been going to a wedding; and cut off the collars of their dublets, that when they came to the Scaffold, there should need no new making ready. Then did they earnestly pray to [Page 191] God,Prayer. that he would be pleased to confirm and strengthen both them­selves and the people concerning their innocency.

Presently after the sun rising, a beautifull bow appeared, and com­passed the heavens, the Ministers, souldiers, and many others looking upon it: The Martyrs looked out at the window, and saw a Rainbow of an unusuall colour, the heavens being very clear, and no rain of two daies before, whereupon falling upon their knees, they lifted up their voices and hands, praising God for this sign that he shewed from heaven. Then presently was a Gun discharged, which was a warning for their bringing forth to execution; whereupon those Champions of Christ encouraged one another,Courage. praying that each of them might be strengthened, &c. Then Troops of horse and foot came to fetch them, the streets, market-place and houses, being filled with multitudes of spectators.

The Martyrs being called forth one by one, went to their death with and undaunted courage, hasting as if they had been going to a banquet: When one was called for, he thus took his leave of the rest, Farwell most loving friends, God give you the comforts of his Spirit, pa­tience and courage, that what formerly with your mouths you have professed, The Martyrs mutual far­well. you may confirm by your glorious death: Behold I go before, that I may see the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ; you will follow me that we may together see the face of our heavenly Father. At this houre all sorrow departs from me, and joyfull eternity shall succeed it. Then did the rest answer, God above to whom you are going, prosper your journey, and grant that you may passe happily from this vale of misery, unto that heavenly Country; The Lord Jesus send his Angeles to meet you: Go, dear brother, into thine and our Fathers house, and we will follow after, presently we shall meet in the hea­venly glory, and this we are confident of through him in whom we have be­leeved.

The first was the Lord Schlik, a man of admirable parts, about fifty years old: When he was condemned to be quartered,The L. Schlik. and his parts to be scattered here and there; he said, The loss of a sepulchre is easie: Being exhorted by a Minister to courage, he said, I have Gods favour so; that no fear of death doth trouble me; His faith and courage. I have formerly dared to oppose An­tichrist, and I dare now die for Christ. The Jesuites troubling him when he came to the Scaffold, he shaked them off, and seeing the sun shining bright, he said, Christ thou Son of righteousness, grant that through the darknesse of death, I may passe into eternall light; and so having end­ed his prayers he constantly received the stroak:His Martyr­dom. His right hand and head were hung on the high Tower upon the Bridge.

The Lord Wenceslaus was next, about seventy years old,The L. Wen­ceslaus. famous for Learning, Religion, and his travels through divers countries: His house was formerly plundered, even to his wearing apparell, he only saying, The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away. Being asked why he would engage himselfe in Fredericks cause, he said, My conscience pressed me to do what I did; I am here, my God, His patience. dispose of me thy servant as seems good in thine eyes; I am full of years, take me out of this life, [Page 192] that I may not see that evill that is coming on my Country. Afterwards holding forth his Bible, he said, Behold my Paradise, it never yeelded me so much Nectar and Ambrosia as now. When he was sentenced, he said to the Judges,Psal. 119.92. You have a long time thirsted after my bloud, but know withall, you will finde God a revenger of innocent bloud, for whose cause we suffer. A Frier saying to him, You are deceived in your opinion, he answered, I rely not on opinion, but on the infallible truth of God, for I have no other way but him who said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. On the Scaffold, stroaking his long beard, he said, My gray hairs, be­hold what honour remains for you, that you should be crowned with Martyr­dom: And so praying for the Church, his Country, his enemies, and commending his soul to Christ,His Martyr­dom. his head was cut off, and set on the Tower.

The next was the Lord Harant, a man that had gained much expe­rience by his travels in Asia, Africa, The L. Harant and Europe; his crime was that he had taken an oath to be true to Frederick, and durst not violate it. As he was going to suffer, he called the Minister to him, and told him that he much feared his wives inconstancy in Religion,His message to his wife. and therefore desired him to exhort her to constancy, and not to suffer her self to be drawn from her Religion by any allurements, assuring her that it is the infallible way to salvation. Then to exhort her to use more cle­mency to his subjects, rather easing then over-charging them with burthens. Lastly to require her to have a care of his children, and to bring them up in the pure Religion, &c. Being called to execution, he said, I have travelled through many Countries, through many barbarous Nations, escaped many perils by sea and land, and now suffer innocently in my own Countrey, and by them for whose sake I, and my forefathers have spent our Estates and Lives; Father forgive them. Then he said, In thee O Lord have I hoped, let me not be confounded. On the Scaffold he said, Into thy hands O Lord I commend my spirit: In the O Lord have I trusted from my youth; I am confident that I shall be accepted by that igno­minious death of my Saviour; and falling upon his knees, he said, To thee O Lord I commend my spirit, for thou O God, just and true, hast redeemed me:His Martyr­dom. and so he received the fatall stroke with the sword.

Sir Casper Kaplitz.The next was Casper Kaplitz a Knight, of eighty six years old: When the Minister came to him after his condemnation, he said, See me a miserable old man, who have often intreated my God that he would have mercy upon me, and take me out of this miserable life, but have not obtained it, for God hath reserved me to be a spectacle to the world, and a sacrifice to himselfe, Gods will be done: My death indeed is disgracefull in the eyes of men, but glorious in the sight of God; for God will account that death precious in his sight, which I suffer for his glory and truth: And when it was told him that he might have his life, if he would ask pardon; he answered,His courage and constancy. That he would ask pardon of him against whom he had committed many sins all his life, but he never offended the Prince, and therefore would not give occasion to suspect that he had committed [Page 193] some crime, for which he had deserved death, &c. God forbid therefore, said he, that I should be separated from this holy company of Martyrs. As he was going to the Scaffold, being feeble with age, he said, Oh my God strengthen me, lest I fall down, and become matter of scorn to the enemies. Being crooked with age, and hanging down his head, the executioner could not well come at his neck, whereupon the Minister said to him, My noble Lord, as you ha [...]e commended your soul to Christ, so now offer up your heavy head chearfully to God, and lift up your sel [...]e towards heaven. Then lifting up his head as well as he could, he said, Lord Jesus into thy hand I commend my spirit, His Martyr­ [...]m. and so is head was cut off.

The next was Procopius Dorzecki, [...]ro [...]p [...]us Dor­zecki. who after his condemnation said to the Minister, I ha [...]e had a great contention all night with old Adam, so that it made me sweat againe; but thanks be to my God, by whom my soul hath overcome all tentations: saying further, O Almighty God, strengthen thy servant that I may not be made a derision to mine enemies by any fear of death; and as thou wa [...] wont to encourage thy holy Martyrs, His prayer and [...]. so I [...]trongly belee [...]e thou wilt comfort me. When he was called forth to execution, he said, Thanks be to my God, who doth now call me to himselfe, to him I have lived, and for him I will die; for my Saviour hath therefore died and risen again, that he might be Lord both of the living and the dead: I know that my soul shall li [...]e, and my body shall be raised like to his glorious body. Upon the Scaffold he said to the Imperi [...]ll judges, Tell Caesar that we are now under his [...]udgement, bu [...] he shall undergoe a more grievous, yet just judgement of God: And seeing a gold Medal hanging about his neck, wherein was ingraven the Coronation of Frederick, he delivered it to one that stood by, saying, I require [...]hee, His fi [...]elity to h [...]s P [...]ince. that when my dear King Frede­rick shall recover the Throne of this Kingdom, thou deliver him this, and tell him, that for his sake I wore it till my death, His Martyr­dom. and that now I lay down my life willingly, for God and my King, and so presently after he lost his head.

The next was the L. Frederick de Bile, L Frederick de Bile. who suffered death likewise patiently and piously.

The next was the L. Hen. Otto. a man of great judgment, who having received the sentence of condemn [...]tion, said, O Caesar, do you indeed e­stablish your Throne by our bloud? L. Hen. Otto. but what account will you make to God of it in the day of judgement? &c. kill my body disp [...]se my members whi­ther you please: yet d [...] I belee [...]e [...]hat my Saviour will gather them together againe, and clothe [...] so that with th [...]s [...] eyes I shall see h [...]m, His [...]aith. with these ears I shall hear him, with [...]his to [...]gue I shall praise him, and re­joyce with this heart f [...]re [...]er. Afterwards when the Minister came to him, amongst other [...] he sai [...], I was [...]roubled, but now I feel a won­derfull refreshing in m [...] heart, adding, with his hands lift up to hea­ven, I give thee thanks O most mercifull Saviour, Joy unspeaka­ble. who hast be [...]n pleased to fill me with so much [...] now I fear death no longer, I will die with joy: As he was going to the [...]ca [...]fold he said to the Minist [...]r, I am sure that Christ Jesus will meet my soul with his Angels, that he may bring it [Page 194] to an everlasting marriage, where I shall drink of a new cup, a cup of joy for ever: This death I know shall not separate me from him: Up­on the Scaffold lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Behold I see the Heavens open, pointing with his hand to the place, where others also observed a certain brightnesse which dazled their eyes: after he had prayed silently,His martyr­dom. he said, Into thy hands O Lord God I commend my spirit, have pitty on me through Jesus Christ, and receive me that I may see thy glory: and so he received the stroak of the sword.

The next was Dionysius Zervius formerly a Papist, but being told of the promises made to the people of God concerning the pardon of sins,Dion. Zervius. and assurance of salvation to those that believe in Christ, he struck his breast, and with tears in his eyes, cried out, This is my faith, and in this I die, I rest in the grace of Christ, and I trust in my God, that he will graciously accept my contrite spirit: When upon the Scaffold the Jesuites exhorted him, he listned not to them, but turned from the Crucifix, and falling down on his knees he prayed softly: Then look­ing up towards heaven, he cried, They can take away the body, but they cannot take away the soul: O Lord Jesus I commend that unto thee: and so he ended his life being fifty six years old.His Martyr­dom.

The next was an aged man about seventy years old, that had been long lame:An aged man. his crime was that he had assisted Frederick with his coun­sel and wealth: at the time of his death, he said, O Lord Jesus, who being in­nocent didst undergo death, His martyr­dom. grant that I may die the death of the righteous, and receive my soul into thy hands.

The Lord of RugeniaThe next was the Lord of Rugenia, a man of excellent parts, and full of zeal for God; when he was iudged to die, he said, that it was more welcome to him then if the Emperour had given him life, and restored him to his estate with addition of more: afterwards he said to the Mi­nister:His excellent speech. God is our witnesse, that we fought for nothing but the Liberty of Re­ligion: and in that we are overcome and condemned to die, we acknowledge, and finde that God will not have his truth defended by our swords, but by our bloud, &c. When he saw divers called out before him, he said, What is the matter my God? thou knowest that I resign my self wholly unto thee: Ah do not despise thy servant, but make haste to take me away: and when the Sheriff came for him, he rejoyced, and said, Praised be my God, that I shall now be taken out of the world, that I may be with Christ: and so he went to meet him:His martyr­dom. On the Scaffold he comforted himself with that promise, Father, I will, that where I am, my servants may also be, to behold that glory which thou gavest me: Therefore (said he) I make haste to die that I may be with Christ, and see his glory, and so he suffered Mar­tyrdom couragiously.

Val. Cockan.The next was Valentine Cockan of about sixty years old: During his imprisonment, he was full of heavenly discourse, and at the Scaffold he said, Grant me O God to passe through this valley of death, that I may pre­sently see thee, for thou knowest my God that I have loved thy word, bring me O God through the paths of life, His Martyr­dom. that I may see fulnesse of joy in thy presence: and kneeling down, he said, into thy hands O Lord I commend my spirit, and so holily ended his life.

[Page 195] The next was Toby Steffick a man of a composed temper,Toby Steffick. and sincere in Religion: he spent most of the time of his imprisonment in silent sighs and tears: Before his Execution he said,His prayer. I have received many good things of the Lord all my life long, shall I not therefore receive this cup of affliction? I imbrace the will of God, who by this ignominious death makes me conformable to his son, and by a narrow way brings me to his hea­venly Kingdom: I praise God who hath joyned me undeservedly to these ex­cellent men, that I might receive with them the crown of martyrdom: When he was called to die, he said: My Saviour being about to die, said, Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt: thy will be done. Shall I there­fore who am but a worm, yea, dust, and a shadow contradict his will? far be it from me: yea, I come willingly my God, only have mercy on me, and cleanse me from my sins, that no spot or rinckle may appear in me, but that I may appear pure in thy sight, and so he lifted up himself full of sighs, yet full of hope,His Martyr­dom. and as he was praying he rendered up his spirit unto God.

Then was Jessenius, a Doctor of Phisick, called forth,D. Jessenius. a man famous for piety and learning all over Europe: Having hard his sentence, he said, You use us too cruelly and disgracefully: but know, A Prophecy. that our heads shall be buried, which you ignominiously expose for a spectacle: which after­wards came to passe, Anno 1631. when the King of Sweden with his Army took prague, and caused the Martyrs heads to be taken from the Tower, and solemnly and honourably buried. When the Hangman required his tongue to cut it off, he willingly put it out, and falling up­on his knees, as he was praying, his head was cut off,His Martyr­dom. his body quar­tered and set upon four stakes.

The next was Christopher Chober who much encouraged his fellow-Martyrs, and then cited the words of Ignatius, I am Gods corn, Christ [...] ▪ Chober. and shall be ground with the teeth of wilde beasts: So we (saith he) are Gods corn, sown in the field of the Church,His excellent speech. and that we may be for our Masters use, we are now to be torn by beasts: but be of good chear, the Church is founded in bloud, and hath ever encreased by bloud: God is able to raise up a thousand worshippers of himself out of every drop of our bloud: for though truth now suffers violence, yet Christ reigns, and no man shall throw him from his Throne: Being called to execution, he said, I come in the name of my God, neither am I ashamed to suffer these things for his glory, for I know whom I have beleeved: I have fought the good fight of faith, and finished my course, &c. then praying, into thy hands Lord I commend my spirit, His Martyr­dom. he received the Crown of Mar­tyrdom.

John Shultis was next, who on the Scaffold, said, Why art thou so sad O my soul? Hope thou in God for thou shalt yet praise him: &c.John Shultis. The righteous seem to die in the eyes of fools, but indeed they go to their rest: Lord Jesus thou hast promised that whoso comes to thee, thou willt not cast off: Behold I now come, look on me, pity me, pardon my sins, and receive my soul, to thy self: then kneeling down, he said, Come come, Lord Jesus, and doe not tarry, and so he was he headed.His Martyr­dom.

[Page 196] Maxim. Hosti­alic [...]The next was Maximillian Hostialick, a learned, and pious man: after his condemnation he was sadder then the rest, and being asked by the Minister the reason of it, he said, The sins of my youth doe now come into my minde: for though I know that nothing remains to condemn them which are in Christ Jesus: yet I know that God exer­ciseth justice as well as mercy towards his own: Being called to death, he said, Look upon me O Lord my God, and lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; and lest mine enemies say, We have prevailed. Afterward repeating the words of Simeon, Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, he was beheaded.

The next was John Kutnaur, who when the Jesuites began to speak to them,His Martyr­dom. John Kutnaur. H [...]s speech to the Jesuits. said, Pray you trouble not our consciences; we are suffici­ently furnished against the fear of death, we need none of your help: and when they would have proceeded, he said, Why do you create unprofitable labour to your selves, and trouble to us? Then said they one to another, they are hard rocks, and will not suffer themselves to be removed: to whom he answered, You sa [...] true, Christ is an hard rock, and we are firmly fixed on him. Afterwards he said to his fellow-Mar­tyrs, I understand that I must be hanged, but whether by the neck, middle or feet, I know not, nor ca [...]e not; this only is my grief, that my bloud may not be mingled with yours, that we might be made one sa­crifice to God: When he was called forth to execution, he was be­sprinckled with the tears of his friends, to whom he said, Play the men, brethren, and refrain fron weeping, I go before, but it is but a short time and we shall meet in the heavenly glory; When he was upon the ladder, he said,His speech at death. I have plotted no Treason, committed no murder, I have done nothing worthy of death; but I die because I have been faithfull to the Gospel, and my country? O God pardon my enemies, for they know not what they do: but thou O Christ have pity on me, for I commit my soul unto thee,His Martyr­dom. Sim. Sussickey. and so he slept in the Lord.

The next was Simeon Sussickey, who when he saw the Jesuites com­ming, he said to his companions: These birds of prey are flying hi­ther, but they shall not feed on these carcasses, but return hungry; For God hath promised to perserve his own as the apple of his eye, and therefore he will not suffer us to be seduced. The last night he had a great conflict with the flesh, because the Scripture saith, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:Tentation. but when the Minister told him that that curse was taken away by the death of Christ, he was well satisfied: He went to his death praying and singing, and being hanged next to Kut­naur which was his son in law,His Martyr­dom. after he was dead, he turned towards him, and so near that their mouths touched each other: so that their enemies said, These were such obstinate Rebels that they cease not to plot after death.

The next was Nathaneel Wodnianskey, who when the Jesuites solli­cited him to Apostacy,Nath. Wodni­anskey. His speech to the J [...]su [...]es. he said to them: You take away our lives under pretence of Rebellion, and not content with that, you seek to destroy our souls? Glut your selues with sight of our bloud, and be satisfied with that, [Page 197] but we shall leave a sting in your consciences: Afterwards his own son say­ing to him, My Father, if hope of life should be proffered you, upon condition of Apostacy, I pray you be mindefull of keeping your faith to Christ: He an­swered, It is very acceptable to me my son, His counsel to his son. to be exhorted to constancy by you, but what makes you to suspect me? I rather advise and exhort you to fol­low your fathers steps, and to exhort your brethren, sisters, and children, His Martyr­dom. to that constancy whereof I shall leave you an example: and so he patiently ended his life upon the Gallows.

The next was Wenceslaus Gisbitzky, Wen. Gesbitzky to whom were given great hopes of life: but the Minister fearing Satans stratagems, advised him to take heed of security, and to prepare himself for the encounter of death: Upon the Scaffold, seeing his hopes frustrate, he fell on his knees, and said: We are prostrate before thee, O eternal Father, do not forsake us,His prayer. have pity on us through Jesus Christ: We would say more, but we are not able to expresse it: Into thy hands doe we commend our souls, perfect that which thou hast begun to work in us. Render to us our in­heritance that we may sing Holy, Holy, Holy, His martyr­dom. &c. and so in the midst of his prayers he ended his life.

There was also one Martin Fruin, an eminent Citizen of P [...]ague, Martin Fruin. who being taken in his own house, was scoffed at by the souldiers, bea­ten with their fists, and afterward cruelly tortured, and so burnt in the privy parts, that for six moneths he was troubled with most grievous pain: he was shut up in prison from all company,He is murther­ed. and at last was found dead in the Castle ditch under the Tower.

Presently after the execution of these holy Martyrs, all their goods were confiscated, as also of those that were driven into banishment.Their goods con [...]scated. Then was a Proclamation published, wherein a generall pardon of all crimes was offered to all the Inhabitants of the Kingdom, only their goods were confiscated, either in whole or in part, which must be brought into his Majesties Treasury, to pay his debts which were con­tracted by this necessary war: besides which, they were to make a con­fession of their faults in a form prescribed before Cardinall Lichtenstein, who was Caesars Viceroy, and if any did not appear,Recantation prescribed. he should lose this favour.

Hence it was that the enemies publikely boasted that none were pu­nished but such as were convicted by their own confession. Then by Edict all were forbidden to diminish, or waste their goods,The twentieth Artifice. by selling them, or conveying them over to others: and if any man should send away his goods to another place, all should be lost: and whoso­ever received such goods, should pay so much of his own to the Em­perour.

Yet the merry Judges turned all this to a jest, saying to divers that pleaded their innocency from having any hand in bringing in Frederick, That though they had not actuall sins, yet they were infected with the Original sin of heresie and wealth, and therefore could not be exempted from pu­nishment.

Then did they proceed to take from the Protestants all their Castles,The Prote­stants beggered. [Page 198] Towns, and Villages, whereby they were deprived of their liveli­hoods, and driven into strange places: Some were forced to cast them­selves upon their Popish friends, others to become servants to their own destroyers.

Afterwards all their personall Estates were sequestred, scarce leav­ing so much as a garment for them wherewith to cover their nakedness:Their debts and money seized on. And lest any man should should have money at use, they commanded all to bring in all their bonds, upon pain of losing all their debts, if they concealed the least: And when any considerable sum was brought in, the Kings Treasurers were at hand, who protesting that the Emperour had need of it to defray his charges of war, took it away, giving to the party a note that so much was due to him from the Emperour, which yet was never repaied.

And thus the Protestants being commanded to depart the Kingdom, the Popish party divided their confiscated goods and lands amongst themselves:The s [...]uldiers get most. and as it lay commodious for any of them, they added this or that Village, Town, Castle, or Lordship to their own, but the greatest part fell to strangers shares, Spaniards, Italians, or Germans which were Commanders in the Imperiall Army, instead of their pay. If any widows or Orphans had lands or goods not taken away, their popish neighbours would either circumvent them by craft, or weary them▪ out by quartering souldiers upon them, and so enforced them to sell them their lands, at what prices themselves listed to make thereof, and yet afterwards not paying that neither.

The one and twentieth Ar­tifice. Charles de Zerotine. Another Obe­di [...].Then did the Emperour call for the ancient Charters of the King­dom, which he immediately rent, and threw into the fire.

The Ministers being all banished, the noble Lord Charles de Zerotine did yet not onely retain his houshold-Chaplaine; but he sustained also many others privately in their Caves with bread and water; and not fearing man, he did not only give liberty to his own subjects, but to divers others in neighbouring places to resort to the holy exercises which were performed in his Castle.

The two and twentieth Artifice. Protestant Tutors ba­nishedThen did the enemies by a new Edict publish, that all such Barons, Noblemen, and Citizens, as kept any Protestant Tutor for their chil­dren, should presently dismisse him: otherwise he should be taken and punished.

Then by another Edict all the Protestants were cast out of protecti­on of the Laws, and were to have no benefit by them.

The enemies being every day puffed up with their successes and vi­ctories, made a Decree that all the Protestant Noblemen should pre­sently depart out of the Kingdom,Successe makes the enemies proud. and the Emperour published a Pro­clamation, that to prevent all divisions which were dangerous to the Kingdom and Magistrates, therefore he was resolved no longer to tollerate any of the inferiour, much lesse of the superiour estates of ei­ther sex, who was infected with hereticall errours: And withall he granted to the superiour States the term of six moneths, to learn the holy Roman Catholick faith: and for that end he appointed Commis­sioners [Page 199] of Reformation to instruct them requiring them, to be obedient to his will, and to be diligently instructed by them, otherwise they should not be suffered to stay in the Kingdom, much less to possesse their goods: and therefore he required all those which at the end of that term of six moneths did not turn Catholicks, The Prote­stants all ba­ni [...]ed. immediately to depart the Kingdom and never to returne again.

Hereupon they which loved Religion at their hearts, did presently separate themselves by banishment: Others sollicited Caesar by petiti­ons, either to change the decree, or to grant them a longer time: Others there were that thinking to deceive the Emperour and Pope, did buy false testimonies of the Priests, that they had been at Confessi­on, and communicated in one kind,False testimo­nies bought. and so made shew of a dissembled Apostacy, thereby to avoid banishment.

Then was the fore-named Act extended unto widows, and the Pro­testants children were commanded to be delivered to the care and in­struction of Chatholicks, or else to be shut up in Monasteries:Protestants chi [...]dren taken from them. and this caused extream grief and groanes, when Noble-mens sons, and daugh­ters, even maids that were marriageable, were pulled from their pa­rents, and friends, and thrust into Jesuites Colleges, or Monks Cels: their Goods being taken also from them, and committed to Pa­pists.

The cunning craftinesse of those seducing Reformers, deceived many unwary persons, whilest they told them that they might hold their for­mer opinions;Popish subtilty only for order sake they must acknowledge the Roman Bishop to be the visible head of the Church: Hereby the simpler sort, thinking that they were not constrained to any other faith, but what they had formerly learned, thought that they might with a safe consci­ence promise that outward obedience. And if these seducers saw any one of more Nobility then ordinary, they presently suggested to them how much it grieved Caesar that those ancient families which had formerly been the ornaments and props of the Kingdom, should cast themselves out into banishment through there unadvisedness,Tentation. Many seduced. when they might remaine and flourish under the favour both of God and Caesar: and this ruined many of the Protestants Nobility, who preferred their earthly, before the heavenly country.

Yet above a hundred Families, leaving their inheritances, and all their possessions, went away: Amongst these was the Lord de Zerotine, Lord de Zero­tine goeth into exile. who might have lived in his countrey if he would have deprived him­self of the worship of God, by the losse of his Minister, or if he would have used it covertly, yet he rather chose to suffer affliction with the peo­ple of God, then to continue the enjoyments of his earthly posses­sions.

And whereas many of these Protestants were gone into Silesia, and Lusatia, the Emperour set forth a Proclamation, wherein he protested, that it was not his intention to remove them out of Bohemia and Mora­via, and to suffer them in the incorporated Provinces,A cruel Ed [...]ct. and therefore he commanded them to depart from thence also, or else they should be [Page 200] brought to punishment: requiring them also to send back their children which they had carried with them, upon penalty of losing all the goods which any of them could demand in his countrey.

Presently after he published another Edict wherein he required all the Protestant wives of the Catholicks, either to reform, or to go into banishment: But when many of the chief Officers of the Kingdom had Protestant wives,Protestants wives b [...]nished from their hus­bands. and they would not indure that they should be thus divorced from them, he set forth another Edict, whereby they were tolerated till the death of their husbands, and then they should be excluded from their inheritances, and sent into banishment: And requi­red that in the mean time they should absent themselves from all festivall and nuptiall solemnities, or else should take the lowest places af­ter the Catholicks.

The exiles sought after.And whereas some of the Protestants did privately teturn, or stay to make the best of that little that did remain unto them: Proclamation was sent out that all such should be apprehended and imprisoned: and to warn all such as had harboured any of them, upon their allegiance, to appear before the chief Officers in the Castle of Prague: requiring that if any knew where any of them lay hid, they should secretly and sud­denly attach them, and bring them to prison.

The three and twentieth Artifice. Laws repealedThen did the Emperour repeal, and disannull diverse of the ancient Statutes of the Kingdom, that made most for the peoples Liberties, as concerning their free Election of a King, &c. that he might the better every where oppresse them.

The four and twentieth Ar­tifice.Then in all the free Cities men of base and mean quality were ap­pointed to determine a [...]l businesse, and to be the chief Officers, and to these were added some of the chief of the souldiery, the better to pro­cure subjection.

These Cities also they impoverished by taxes and contributions, which continued divers years, and were extorted by the Souldiers power.Apostates pro [...]moted.

Then Masse-Priests were put into the places of godly Ministers, and people were compelled to frequent the Masse: Marriages were forbid­den, except amongst the Catholicks: Such as turned Apostates were promoted to all places of Magistracy in the Cities, though men of no judgement, nor experience.

Then were these Articles given to the Captains of Distresses.

The five and twentieth Ar­tifice.1. That whosoever is not of the Kings Religion, all traffick and com­merce shall be debarred him.

2. Whosoever shall suffer private Preaching, Baptism, or Matrimo­ny in his house, shall pay a great Fine, or suffer six moneths impri­sonment: but if he harbour a Preacher, he shall lose goods and Life.

3. If any shall work upon Catholick holidaies, he shall be imprisoned, and pay ten Florences.

4. It shall not be lawfull for any Non-Catholick to make a Will: if he do, it shall be null.

[Page 201] 5. No youth shall be bound Apprentice, or learn any Art or Trade, unlesse he learn the Catholick Religion.

6. The poor people in Hospitals, except they be converted by such a day, shall be turned out, &c.

After the taking of the City of Prague, Papists were examined upon oath to declare what they knew or heard that the Protestants had spo­ken or done against Caesar. Then was an Act published to the rest of the Citizens, that though they had forfeited their whole estates, yet they should not be wholly sequestred, but every one should contribute part of his Estate to support the Army: all men also were required up­on oath to discover what their Estates were: according to which they were injoyned to pay a ransome to obtain a pardon: yea all trading inhibited to such as were not Catholicks.

In the City of Kutterberg were abundance of silver mines, and the In­habitants generally were zealous professors: hereupon so soon as they began to be molested for Religion, the Kings Revenue began to dimi­nish, most of the workmen giving over the work: The King seeing this, he farms his Revenues to the Citizens for ten years,The Prote­stants in the silve [...] Mines had a promise of favour. Popish perfi­diousness. promising that in the interim they should not be troubled with souldiers, nor for their Religion: and hereto he set his hand and seal: But Satan envying their place and liberties, stirs up the Jesuits, to move the King to break his Covenant within four mouths after: and the souldiers were sent thither again, and they began again to be questioned about their religi­on: The Citizens astonished at this manifest breach of Covenant, hum­bly petition that no violence might be offered to them, which would overthrow the mettall-works: But instead of answer,Souldiers quartered upon them. the Major and chief Aldermen had twenty Musquetiers apiece put into their houses upon free quarter, till they had shriven themselves to a Priest: the Soul­diers domineered exceedingly, wasting these mens estates by their pro­fuseness, and abusing them divers other waies at their pleasure: yet the patience of the one, overcame the tyranicall behaviour of the other: These godly men so long as they had it, provided for the souldiers, but when all was gone, some of them withdrew themselves from danger by flight; others resigned their houses and goods to these domineering villains: delivering the keys to them, and so departing.

When yet this prevailed not,Don Martins cruelty. the task of reforming that City was committed to Don Martin, who accompanied with a Troop of Curi­assiers, and himself brandishing a naked sword, entred into the City, the Citizens trembling at his coming, hearing of the cruelty which he had exercised in other places, whereupon that very night multitudes of them betook themselves to flight, thinking to hide themselves in neigh­bouring villages, this caused Don Martin to get an Edict that none should harbour exiles upon a great penalty.

The year after a Senate at Kutterberg was elected out of the Apo­states: the Major being a base and illiterate person, so that all the Ci­tizens being still oppressed with the souldiers, either fled with their wives and children, leaving all behinde them, or else were fain to [Page 202] submit their necks to the Antichristian yoke.

The Bolislavi­ans persecuted.The next City whither these reformers went, was Bolislavia, where the Orthodox Religion had continued for two hundred years, and it was the Principall seat of the brethren. The Ministers being ejected, they placed in their rooms two crafty Friers, that by all means sought to pervert the people, but when this prevailed not, they brought in three companies of souldiers to quarter upon them. Then were some of the Citizens banished, others cast into prison, and three of the principal was sequestered to strike a terror into the rest; the cause pretended was, because they said, as was alledged, That none had power to command their consciences, &c. But when yet the Citizens remained constant,Constancy. they were all warned to appear in the Court, and being come, they were shut up in severall rooms, and called out and exami­ned one by one. The first was the Town-clerk, a weak and timorous man, and therefore they had set a Ruffian in a corner, with a sword in his hand, whom the fearfull man seeing, was so terrified, that he pro­mised to turn Catholick;Apostacy. they so rejoyced at this beginning, that they dismissed all the rest, bad them consider of it, and do as the Town-clerk had set them an example.

Amongst these there were two Burgomasters, learned men, who exhorted their fellow Citizens not to be affrighted with these imagina­ry terrors.

Afterwards one of them being called for, was partly with threats, & partly with flatteries so wearied out, that at last he tooke time to consid­er of it: The other being called for, & an old man proposing the others example to him, he spit in his face, saying, Traytor is this your constancy? And so both he,Constancy. and the rest of the Citizens remained as unmoveable as a Rock. The first Burgomaster considering what he had done, and be­ing ashamed of it,Recovery. came and gave them such a positive answer, as that with the rest he was sent to prison.

One Bartholomew Lang told them to their faces, that he had rather die by the sword, then deny his faith; whereupon with divers others he was thrust into a stinking dungeon, where they kept them prisoners for seventeen weeks, their houses in the meane time being possessed by the barbarous souldiers.

One of these godly persons died in prison: And about that time Bethlem Gabor warring with the Emperour, and Count Mansfield en­tring Silesia, Bethlem Gabor. with the King of Denmarks Army, these Tyrants were struck with such a terrour, that presently Proclamations came forth, that it was not his Majesties pleasure that any man should be forced to the faith, by violent meanes;Gods provi­dence. by which Proclamation the inhabitans of Bolislavia had some respit.

But the year after, when Gabor was retired, and the King of Den­mark beaten out of Silesia, their tyranny againe revived and a new Pro­clamation came forth to inhibit the Protestants all Trade and Com­merce▪ and to command them to abjure their Heresies under pain of the severest and inevitable punishment. Hereupon some were banished, [Page 203] others voluntarily went into exile, others were denied traffique,A new perse­cution. the Friers taking away such commodities as they set to sale, so that the Ci­tizens which stayed, were forced to take the mark of the Beast, that they might buy and sell.

In the City of Litomericia, Anno 1517. there was an unanimous a­greement amongst the Citizens,In Litomeric. that none should be made free amongst them, but such as professed the reformed Religion: and that whoso­ever should move for the nulling of this act should be disfranchised; This continued inviolate for a hundred years till two Jesuites sued to be made free men of the City, which being denied, they entred their complaint in the Chancery, whether some of the principall Aldermen were summoned, and kept for nine weeks space, till by threats they had obtained from them to make these two men free.Popish subtilty Five moneths after one of them is made an Alderman, that so they might have their spies in every place; there were also cunning seducers sent thither to withdraw the people from their Religion.

But when this prevailed not, Anno 1625. they took the names of every Citizen, commanding them constantly to come to the Masse, and every one to s [...]ew his name to the Sexton, that they might know that all were there present, or else for every omission they should for­feit five pound.

Then bringing in more souldiers, they commanded all the inhabi­tants to be present at their idolatrous Procession, and because the Re­corder came not, they sent a whole company of souldiers to plunder his house, who also abused and threatned his wife.

The year after they brought more in souldiers, quartering them in the principall mens houses, in some ten, in some twenty, and in others thirty, who abused them fearefully, but, through Gods assistance,Patience in persecution. they bore it with such admirable patience that the enemies were weary with plaguing them, and began to be more moderate; yet they pub­lished an order, that whosoever would not turn Catholick, should, with their wives and children, depart the City & Kingdom by a certain day, wherevpon many of them removed into Misnia.

At the City of Radecium they drave away the Ministers,In Radecium. and placed there a merry Archdeacon, who protested that all violent means were displeasing to him, and therefore he entertained the Citizens with jests and merry speeches, and would draw them to Taverns and Game­ing houses: But when after four years triall,Tentation re­sisted. he found that he had not converted any one of them by these means, he brought in souldiers for his help: Then did he assemble the people, requiring them to go in Procession with him, but when none would follow, the souldiers rushed in amongst them with their drawn swords; whereupon the people ran, some one way, some another,Popish cruelty▪ others were forced to fol­low the Procession whether they would or no, and some for refusing were slain.

Then was a whole Regiment of souldiers sent thither, with expresse charge not to depart, till the City was reformed. The Archdeacon [Page 204] taking some of these, went to a Physitian that had been lame for some years, and asketh him whether he would become a Catholick? which he stoutly refused,Constancy. saying, that he had rather his half rotten carkasse should be drawn through the fields, and torn in pieces, then to do any thing against his conscience. Then were all the inhabitants called to­gether: the City gates shut, and the people grievously threatned if they would not turn, and such as refused, were thrust into prisons, and souldiers were sent to their houses, who raged and domineered over their wives and children; wherupon they ran to their husbands with tears and intreaties,Humane infir­mity. and prevailed with many of them to desire time to be given them to learn the Romish religion, only twenty eight of them, together with their wives and children forsook their earthly Estate,Constancy. and went into banishment to preserve their consciences clear.

At Bidsove. Don Martin went also to Bidsove, ten-miles from Prague, attended with his souldiers, and assembling the Citizens, he made an Oration to them to turn Catholicks, they answered, that they could not un­learn that in an hour, which they had been learning all their life, this so enraged Martin, that he assaulted the man that answered for all the rest,Popish cruelty. with a club, beating him extreamly, and then he commanded the chief Officer to carry him out of the City, not suffering him so much as to visit his house before his departure: This so terrified the rest, that they promised to be taught within a certaine time; and where­as some of them thought to save themselves by flight, sending their wives and some of their goods privately before, with whom went also some godly widows; Martin having intelligence of it, sent some soul­diers after them, that stript them of their goods, and brought them back and cast them into fetters, refusing to release them, till both they and their husbands turned Catholicks.

At Zaticum.At Zaticum, another City, famous for religion, the Minister being banished, Friers were put into his place, who being assisted with soul­diers used to cane those that would not bow to the Host, and because the Major and some of the Aldermen were absent at a solemn Pro­cession, they sined them. Then came thither Don Martin, and pro­claimed,Bibles burnt. that whosoever had any Bibles, or other Evangelicall bookes; if they brought them not in [...], they should be fined at a hun­dred florences, or suffer five weeks imprisonment. As also whoso­ever refused to come to Masse, should pay five Florences, and three pounds of wax: All the books that were so brought, he burnt them without the wals; and for such as still stood out, he quartered Troop­ers upon them, which extorted mony from them day by day: Here­upon many forsook their houses, and betook themselves to the hard­ship of a banished life. Then did he proclaim that without his leave none should go out of the gates upon pain of death: The next day he arrested the Major, and would not release him, but upon the promise of Apostacy. Two of the Aldermen he bound with iron chains for refusing to adore the Host,Don Martins cruelty. and for fourteen daies together tormented [Page 205] them grievously, till he had forced their consent to the like Apostacy. Then assembling the whole Senate, he commands them presently to submit to Caesars will, to go to auricular confession, and to commu­nicate in one kinde, promising that such as obeyed should be eased of souldiers, that the others should have their burthens doubled, requi­ring every one in order to answer for himselfe, whether he would pro­mise to perform this within three weeks: One of them modestly pleading to be excused, in regard of his conscience: the furious beast fell upon him, beat him about the head, and abused him with cursed words, saying, Thou art an unworthy knave to be in this place, I will have thee bound hand and foot, and cast into a deep dungeon, and when thou hast vomited out thy wicked soul, I will deliver thee to the hangman to be buried, &c. Then he cals to his souldiers for chains and fetters, with which they bound his hands and feet, and put an iron coller about his neck, with a thick chaine, and so brought him to the Dungeon, where he was tormented for three weeks, neither wife nor children being suffered to come to him, and fed with bread and water; the Je­suites also were daily molesting him: Then was he sentenced to death, which he chose before Apostacy. Then said one of the Jesuites, he is possessed with the devil, & therefore he commanded him to be bound more straitely, whereby at last he was forced to go to auricular con­fession, but by that means getting out of the Prison, he fled into Misnia to escape their tyranny.

All the best Citizens did desire banishment,Exile denied to the Prote­stants. but the City gates were kept strictly, least any should get out, or carry out their housholdstuff; whereupon many escaped by the mines of the wall, and among these, a Lords wife, leaving all her rich housholdstuff behinde her, crept out at the common sewer, to follow her husband into banish­ment.

Many of the exiles in Misnia, having spent all that little which they carried with them, were forced to seek alms in Bohemia, where being betrayed, they were cast into prison, and so tormented, till some of them were almost distracted, and then they were sent away to other places; some of these were persons of good quality.

At Tusta a chief Officer of the Kingdome sollicited the Citizens to turn Catholicks, which they refusing to do,At Tusta. he complained of it to the Je­suites at Prague, whereupon Don Martin is sent thither, who entring the City, sends his souldiers into the Senators houses, licensing them to abuse them at their pleasure, so that in a short time many were forced to Apostasie. Then did that other Officer set a great fine upon the City,Apostacy. because they turned Catholicks for another mans sake, and would not do it for his: And thus the poor Protestants were abused on every hand to satisfie the lusts of these Tyrants.

Then did another Noble man, with a band of souldiers, go to the City of Rokizan, and tyrannically abuse them for their Religion, for­bearing no kinde of insolency that they could think of:At Rokizan. Amongst other projects this was one; He caused all the Citizens to write their names [Page 206] in three books:Popish subtilty In the first such as were already Catholicks (which were but six late Apostates) In the second the names of such as would become Apostates within a fortnight, which were very few: In the third such as absolutely refused, and so were opposite to God and Caesar, and in this were almost all the names, which so enraged him, that he re­solved to use all manner of cruelties,Constancy. saying, that they deserved the crosse, the wheel, yea and hell it self.

Then did he command all the Citizens to come to the Church the next day, to receive the Sacrament in one kinde; but when, coming himself to Church, he found few or none there, he runs through the streets, and into the houses, driving all that he met with to the Church with his stick. When he came thither again, he espied one John Foe­lix, John Foelix. Barbarous cru­elty. a chief Citizen, but a Calvinist, he therefore fell upon him with a knotty club, beating him about the head, shoulders and hands, till he was all gore bloud, and then he said to him, Get thee hence thou beast, with thy cursed Calvin-bloud. Then did he rage against the other Citizens cursing them, beating some, and spitted in the faces of others: and from one of the grave Citizens he pulled off his beard, and strewed it on the floor.

After this he again sent word to Foelix, that except he changed his minde by the morrow,Foelix escapes. he would act a new tragedy with him, but that night he escaped, leaving behinde him his dear wife and children, and an aged mother of eighty years old. Then did the Earl imprison his wife, and sequestred his estate, and enforced the rest of the Citizens to subscribe that they did freely, and with all readinesse of minde, imbrace the Catholick religion.

One Martinitz was appointed to reforme the City of Slana, who substituted one Hansbursky, At Slana. an Apostate, to see this work done. This man that he might ingratiate himself with the Jesuites, appointed a solemn Procession, and either by fraud or force, brought to it most of the Citizens:John Blyssa. Amongst others, he required one John Blyssa to ac­company him, but he refused, saying, As oft as I have received the Lords Supper, so oft have I obliged my self to God, and against these abomina­tions: Then said the other, Thou shalt not resist the Emperours plea­sure: But said he, In those things which belong to Caesar, I will not, but here Gods business is in hand: Then said the other, Thou shalt be forced to it: God, replied he, seeks willing, not forced worshippers; whereupon he was presently committed to prison, for nine weeks and so was another godly Citizen,Banished. and fined, and then together with his wife, driven out of the City.

Afterwards also was Blyssa and his wife banished, for procuring his childe to be Baptized by a Protestant Minister privately, and his estate was sequestred, having nothing left him to support him in his banish­ment.

Then by divers kindes of torments he compelled some to a forced obedience; as he did fifty men whom he shut up in a narrow room, where they could neither stand, sit, nor lie, nor have leave to go forth [Page 207] to ease nature: So that after three daies enduring of this pain and stink, they were forced to promise to learn the Roman religion.

The like dealing he used to divers women in his own chamber: but so soon as they could, most of them went into voluntary ba­nishment.

The City of Prachatice they entred by force, and slew the Major, who was bringing to them the keys,At Prachatice. Prodigious cruelties. together with a thousand six hun­dred men, women and children, sparing none but such as fled, or hid themselves in secret places: The karcasses they left unburied for divers daies, all dirty, and shamefully naked. Afterwards when the City began again to be inhabited, the Commissioners of Reformation came thither, promising them that if they would turn Catholicks, they should have their Liberties restored to them, but if they refused, they should be restrained from all trading, and when this prevailed not, they thrust men and women, young and old into prisons, where they miserably a­fflicted them for four whole moneths.

The like cruely they used to all other Cities, where they shewed and used all manner of impostures, deceits, tyrannies and impudent practices, till they had rooted out the reformed Religion, and set up their idolatrous and superstitious worship in the stead of it.

The godly Ministers being generally removed,The twenty sixth Artifice. the next design of the enemies was to take all Bibles, and other profitable books out of the peo­ples hands, that so the heat of Religion might in time grow cold: The Friers also which were placed in the Churches: did not presently thunder, but dealt fairly, beseeching and confirming the truth of their Religion with oaths, and dreadfull cursing of themselves,Popish subtilty promi­sing also the Emperours favour, and easing of their burthens; yea they sought by works of charity to oblige the poorer sort to them.

One Frier promised a bushell of Wheat to every one that would come to Confession; but when his Garners began to waste, he gave but half the measure, whereupon one flang away in anger, saying, What, is my soul viler then the rest? But when they perceived that they gained but few by their Fox-like subtilty, they returned to their Wol­vish cruelty, compelling men to come to Masse, and taking the names of all such as absented themselves; and if any went to private religious meetings, they were fined, imprisoned and whipt.

Some godly persons being met together with a Minister, in a private Chappel, two Colonels, with some troops came upon them, encom­passed the Church, rusht in with their drawn swords, took the Mini­ster from the Communion-table, stript off his cloaths,Popish pro­fanenesse. Christians stript. and sent him away to prison, then they cast the bread upon the earth, poured out the wine, and trampled upon it: Then they fell upon the people, stripping men and women naked, it being f [...]st and snow, so that many of them died; some were wounded, others so affrighted that they fell in­to diseases: Modestly forbids to tell how they used the women,Popish un­cleannesse. even in the Church.

[Page 208] Then came out an Edict that whosever refused to turn Papist, whe­ther men or women, young or old; bond or free, their names should be returned to the Council of State, who would give instructions what should be done with their persons and estates.

Marriage, Buriall and Baptism were forbidden to the Protestants, and if any did it privately,The twenty se­venth Artifice. they were imprisoned, and not dismissed without Apostasie, or a great fine. Then was all trading inhibited, or means of getting their living, and at last buying of food, so that the poor people being oppressed with hunger and want, were either forced to fly, or to Apostatize.

The countrymen they fetched out of their houses, yea out of their beds,Prodigious cruelties. by troopes of souldiers, driving them like beasts before them in the sharpest cold, and filled the common prisons, towers, cellers, sta­bles, yea and hogsties with them, where they were killed with hunger, cold and thirst.

A godly Chirurgion, with others, was cast into a place full of snakes. Another company was thrust into a stable, and all the windows stopt up, that the were almost stifled for want of breath. In some places they shut them up in privies, that they might be poisoned with the stink. In some places they mad holes, and knockt them full of iron spikes, wherein those that were shut, could neither sit nor stand, but bending and crooked: It was not possible that any man could endure this posture above two or three hours, their sinews in the mean time trembling and their members quivering, and their▪ hearts ready to faint with anguish; so that some were forced to promise to turn Catholiks, others that refused were brought back to torture.

Then the devised a prison upon the water, very narow, and not a­bove a cubit and an half in length, wherein the prisoner could by no meanes lay himself at length, and if he turned himself unawares, he must fall into the water.

The twenty eighth Artifice.Another design was, first to assault men of greatest authority, to make them an example to the rest.

In the town of Minion the Commissioner demanded of the people a positive answer,At Minion. whether they would turn Catholicks: And one of them in the name of the rest saying, that conscience neither would nor could be forced, he was presently laid upon the ground and beaten, and still denying to turn Catholick, when he could hardly speak, he was torn in pieces; The rest affrighted at this terrible spectacle promis­ed obedience if time were given them.

In another place the Senator refusing to turn Apostates, the cheifest of them was made to ride the wooden horse, in the market-place, for six hours space, though he was very ancient, so that he was lame and half dead, when he was taken off.

Popish malice.When any desired to die, ra [...]her then to forsake their Religion, it was answered: that the Emperour did not thirst after their bloud, but rather after the welfare of their souls:Death denied them. To others they said, Oh, you affect the glory of Martyrdom, but you are base knaves, and are [Page 209] unworthy to have any thing to glory in.

There were many who would have died in the maintenance of their Christian faith, but there were none that would inflict death upon them; for these cruel Tyrants brought up in the devils school,Prodigious▪ wickednesse. would not kill the body but the soul, and therefore they sought by lingring and continual punishments to bring them first to stagger, and then to deny the truth.

When any man desired to be convinced by Scripture,Blasphemy. they answer­ed with scoffs and jears, accusing the Scripture of imperfection, of obscurity, of ambiguity, saying that it was the Fountain of Heresie, the Sanctuary of Hereticks, and that Laymen had nothing to do with it: They called the Bible Wiblia, which in the Bohemian language, signifies vomit. They took away all Orthodox books from the people, that thereby they might be the more easily led into error.

In some places they shut up the people in the Church and forced them to receive in one kinde;Prodigious wickedness. and if they would not fall down to the Host, they used to beat their legs with clubs, till they fell down: Some they imprisoned and racked severall times to force them to auricular confession. Of others they set open their mouths with gags, and thrust the Host down their throates. In other places they forced the people, not only to abjure the Cup, but to throw it down, and to spit upon it, and tread it under [...]oot.

If any to avoid this Tyranny fled into the woods and secret places hunger drave them out again, whereby they became a prey to their, adversaries; if they went to neighbouring places, some or other would betray them.

Edicts also were published, forbidding all to entertain such as fled upon pain of forfeiting a hundred pieces of silver for every nights en­tertainment. Yet these miserable people could not go out of the Kingdom, not being acquainted with any other language: besides, they were told that ere long the like tragedy should be acted every where

Four men of Kossenberg continuing constant after long imprison­ment, they were first exposed to cold for five weeks together in the depth of winter: Then for nine daies they were pined with hunger, they having only a small portion of bread that kept life and soul toge­ther, and drinking their own urine, and when they were threatned harder usage, if they turned not, they answered, We willingly imbrace all afflictions of famin, hanging, burning, or any thing, rather then we would sin against God. Thereupon,Constancy. only twice a week there was given them a mouthfull of bread, and a draught of water. Then were they parted asunder, one thrust into the sink of the prison, another into a furnace; and none permited to visit them; and when nothing would prevail, they set a fine upon them, and banished them.

Others were kept in prisons and bonds till they died. One was kept in a filthy prison till his feet rotted off, and yet he passed away the time with singing of Psalms, as if he injoyed all manner of deligths.Comfort in [...]fflictions.

[Page 210] Another man being tired out with imprisonement, promised to turn Catholick, and was released, but presently (as himself wrote after­wards) God chastened him for this his fault, holding his conscience captive for an whole year together,Danger of Apostacy. so that he could have no hope in Gods mercy: Yet he recalled to minde former sinners, who upon their repentance obtained mercy of God: Thereupon he cried unto God a whole year together, night and day watering his bed with his tears, because he thought himself damned; but at last God (saith he) sent his Angel to me, and I saw this glory brighter then the sun, and I had gods Spirit bestowed upon me, &c. After which he was appre­hended, beheaded and quartered.

Bibles burnt.The pictures of John Husse and Jerom of Prague they defaced; all the Bibles that they could meet with, they burned; the graves of the Mini­sters they opened, took out their bones and burnt them.

The Statutes of King Frederick they beat in pieces, and trampled them under their feet. One man they fined at five hundred Dollars, for giving his son the name of Frederick,

Before these calamities befell the Bohemians, God gave them warn­ing by sundry Prodigies.Prodiges. In severall places divers Suns were seen to­gether. At Prague the Sun seemed to dart out bals of fire: Also a fly­ing Dragon, flaming horribly, was seen throughout all Bohemia and Silesia. Also a spring flowed with bloud for an whole moneth toge­ther. In another place a Fish-pond was wholly turned into bloud for the space of three daies.

A great flock of Crows and Daws, fought together for a whole daies space, whereby multitudes of them were slain.

At Prague it rained brimstone, and the Image of the crucifix being set up, was struck down with a thunderbolt. The gates of some Ci­ties opened of their own accord. Many Bibles being thrown into a great fire, were untouched, only the margin a little scorched.

Gods judg­ment on Apo­states.Many Apostates tormented by the sting of conscience, cried out, They were damned. Some to avoid these terrors hanged themselves; others drowned themselves. Some died in fearfull despaire, others died suddenly▪ One as he was about to abjure, was stricken dumb, and being carried home was possessed with a great trembling all over, and gnawing his own tongue, he died miserably.

Dr Knapper a great persecutor was slain by the appointment of his wife an adultresse,Gods judge­ment on perse­cutors. for which she was afterwards hanged. Another vomited out his ungodly soul with bloud. Another ran mad, and cast him self down from the top of his house, and so roaring fearful­ly he breathed his last. Another shot himself to death with his own Pistoll. Another ran mad, fell into such a disease, that none could come near him for stink, and at last was choaked with vomiting up abundance of bloud. Another being taken with a sudden disease, waxed as black as a cole, uttered his speech like the barking of a dog, and within three daies died with terrible pains. Another, by the break­ing of a great gun, was torn all to pieces. Another had a terrible dis­ease [Page 211] in his throat, his tongue rotted, many holes were eaten in his throat, whereout his food and medicines came, so that he died my­serably.

Collected out of a Book called Historia Persecutionum Ecclesiae Bohem. written by some Bohemian exiles.

HAving thus given you a brief Narrative of the Persecutions of the Church in Bohemia, from the first planting of the Gospel amongst them, to our present times: Before I proceed any further, let us a little look back to see how God fought for them, against their Popish adversaries, and thereby after a wonderfull manner plagued their persecutors. Much may be read hereof in my second Part, in the Life of Zisca; but after his death, there was a great fear, and sorrow seized on his Army, and the souldiers being divided amongst themselves, one part of them chose for their Captain Procopius Magnus, who still retained the name of Thaborites. The other part, thinking none wor­thy to succeed Zisca, named themselves the Orphanes, by reason of the losse of their Captain; yet whensoever their Popish adversaries came against them, they both joyned together to defend themselves, and the liberty of the Gospel in Bohemia.

About this time Pope Martin perceiving the Gospel and the Pro­fessors of it to increase daily in Bohemia, The Pope stirs up persecution. he sent the Cardinall of Win­chester an English man, into Germany, to stirre up the Emperour and German Princes to make war against the Bohemians. Hereupon three Armies were levied, one under the Duke of Saxony; the second under the Marquesse of Brandenburg, the third under Otho Archbishop of Trevers: These three Armies entred Bohemia three waies, and at last joyning all into one, besieged the City of Misna, which but the night before was won from the Papists by one Prichicho, a learned and zea­lous Protestant, and therefore the Popish Armies resolved to take that place before they marched any further:Gods judge­ments on per­secutors. The Popish Army flies. But so soon as news came that the Protestants had raised an Army, and were hasting to the relief of Misna, they speedily fled before they ever saw an enemy, leaving all their Engines of warre, and a great booty behinde them.

The Cardinall meeting them in their flight, used all the arguments that possibly he could to the Nobles and Captains, to turn them back again, magnifying their number and prowesse, and vilifying their ene­mies, but when nothing would prevail, himselfe was fain to accom­pany them in the flight. Presently the Bohemians pursuing, fell upon their rereward, which made their flight much more fearfull and dis­ordered then it was before, neither did they leave flying till the Bohe­mians left pursuing of them.

[Page 212] The Emperour hearing of this shamefull flight, went to Noremberg and by the assistance of the Cardinall, a new Army was raised under the Command of Frederick Marquesse of Brandenburg, which entred Bohemia one way,A new Army raised. and another great Army under Albert Arch-Duke of Austria, which entred another way. In these two Armies were all the chiefest Nobles and Bishops in Germany, being above fourty thou­sand horsemen, besides foot.

The Bohemians as soon as they heard of their enemies approach, ga­thered their Host with all speed to encounter them: But God marvel­lously fought for them, for before the Bohemians came near them, the Popish Army was struck with such a marvellous sudden fear, that they began most shamefully to run away;They fly when none pursues. the Cardinall wondering at it, went up and down to the Captains, exhorting and encouraging of them, telling them that they were to fight for their Lives, Honour, Religion, and the salvation of souls, &c. but notwithstanding all that he could say and do, the Ensignes were suddenly snatched up, and every man ran headlong away, so that the Cardinall was forced to do the like: The Protestants encouraged hereby, speedily pursued them, and obtained a very great booty. This so astonished both the Pope and Emperour, that afterwards they sought rather by subtilty to entrap them, then by force to compell them to forsake their religion, as we have seen in the foregoing story.

CHAP. XXVI. The Persecution of the Church in Spaine, which be­gan Anno Christi, 1540.

ANno 1540. there was one Francis Romane, F. Romanes Conversion. sent by the Spanish Mer­chants of Antwerp, to Breme to take up some money that was due to them; where, being at a Sermon (through the marvelous working of Gods Spirit) he was so effectually wrought upon, that after the Sermon he went to the Preacher, and repeated the contents of his whole Sermon to him, and then betaking himself to the searching of the Scriptures, and conferring with learned men, in a short space he had attained to a great measure of knowledge in the Word of life; which the Minister observing, and withal finding him of a fervent spirit, he directed and exhorted him to circumspection in his carriage, more and more instruct­ing him in the knowledge of the Gospel, which he so greedily received as one that could never be satisfied. This made him give over seeking af­ter temporal treasure, and instead thereof he bought good books, by reading of which, and conference with the Minister, he much impro­ved his knowledge in all the chief Articles of Religion. Then did he write letters to his countrey-men at Antwerp, wherein he first gave thanks to God for revealing his truth to him;Zeale. then did he bewaile the grosse ig­norance of his countrey-men, beseeching God to open their eyes to un­derstand the word of salvation, and so promised shortly to returne to them to conferre with them about the grace of God, which he had recei­ved; and lastly he declared his purpose of going into Spaine to acquaint his parents and friends with that wholesome Doctrine which God had communicated to him.

Then wrote he other letters also to the Emperour Charles the fifth, o­pening to him the miserable state of Christs Church, desiring him to ten­der the good thereof; especially to reforme the grosse corruptions of the Church of Spaine; he wrote also a Catechisme, and some other Treati­ses in the Spanish tongue.

The Merchants at Antwerp having received his Letters, sent for him, pretending much good will, but secretly practising his destruction: For against his coming, they suborned some Friers, who so soon as he was a­lighted from his horse, seized upon him, rifled his books,Subtilty. and carrying him into a Merchants house, examined him;Treachery. But he mightily confuting them, they bound him hand and foot, calling him Lutheran; they also burnt his books before his face, threatning to burn him likewise. Then was he sent Prisoner to a Tower six miles from Antwerp, and cast into a deep dungeon, where he endured much misery for eight moneths, at the end whereof, the Merchants, supposing that he would be better advised for the time to come, released him. Then did he go to Lovain, where he had much conference with Driander, who advised him to continue in his cal­ling [Page 234] of a Merchant,Good counsel. wherein he might have many opportunities of doing good; and for Religion, that he should do nothing for favour of men, whereby the glory of God should be diminished. He advised him also to take heed of inconsiderate zeal, lest he should do as some, who going be­yond the bounds of their vocation, thinking to do good, and to edifie, they destroy and do harme. For said he, it is God that takes care of his Church, and will raise up faithful Ministers for the same: neither doth he approve such as rashly intrude themselves into that function without any calling thereto.Note.

This advice Francis willingly hearkned unto, promising to follow the same. Not long after going to Ratisbone, where the Emperial Diet was held,He goeth to the Emperour. having opportunity, he boldly stept to the Emperour, beseeching him to deliver his countrey and subjects of Spaine from false Religion, and to restore them to the sincerity of Christs doctrine, protesting that the Protestants of Germany were in the truth; and that the Religion of Spaine was greatly dissonant to the Word of God, &c. The Emperour all this while heard him gently, promising him to consider of the matter, and so to do therein as he trusted should be for the best.

Francis being encouraged with this answer, went again to the Empe­rour a second and third time, and still received a quiet answer as before; yet not satisfied herewith, he went a fourth time, but was repulsed by some Spaniards about the Emperour, who were so incensed against him, that immediately they would have thrown him headlong into the river Danu­bius, if the Emperour had not restrained them, willing that he should be judged by the Lawes of the Empire: Then was he cast into prison, till the Emperours voyage into Africk, Is imprisoned. Carried into Spaine. at which time he, with some other Captives, was carried into Spaine, and there delivered unto the Inquisi­tors, who cast him into a dark prison under ground; He was oft examined, loaden with many reproaches and contumelies, yet ever remained firme and unmovable, so that at last they condemned him to be burnt for an he­retick.Condemned by the Inquisitors. As he was led to the place of execution, they put upon him a Miter of paper, painted all over with ugly Devils; as he passed by a wood­den crosse, they required him to worship it, to which he answered, that the manner of Christians was not to worship wood: Being laid upon the pile of wood, when he first felt the fire, he lifted up his head towards heaven; whereupon the Inquisitors thinking that he would recant,Burned. caused him to be taken down, but when they found his constancy, they threw him on a­gain, where he slept in the Lord. Then did the Inquisitors proclaime that he was damned, and that none should pray for him, and that they were hereticks whosoever doubted of his damnation.

There was also dwelling at Saint Luca [...] in Spaine one Rochus, a skilful graver of images:Rochus. but the Lord pleasing to enlighten him with the sa­ving knowledge of his truth, he gave over making of idolatrous images, and imployed himself in making of seals: only he kept standing on his stall an image of the Virgin Mary, artificially graven for a signe of his oc­cupation.

An Inquisitor passing by, and liking the image, asked the price of it: [Page 235] Rochus set him a price, but was not willing to sell it: the Inquisitor bade him half so much: the other answered that he could not afford it so, and that he had rather break it than sell it; yea, said the Inquisitor, let me see that if thou darest? with that Rochus with a Chisel cut off the nose of the image; whereupon the Inquisitor presently commanded him to prison, and within three dayes he was condemned to be burnt. At the place of execution he poured out his fervent prayers to Almighty God,Condemned. and so made a blessed end, Anno 1545.

Divers other godly persons being by the Inquisitors cast into loath­some dungeons, ended their lives there.

Anno 1550. At Validolid, the Inquisitors brought forth thirty priso­ners together, of high and low estate, as also the Coffin of a certain noble woman with her picture lying upon it, she being dead long before, to e­ceive judgement and sentence: for the solemnities whereof they had erect­ed three great stages; the first for the Kings sister, the Lady Jane, and his eldest sonne Prince Philip, with other States: The second for the Fa­thers Inquisitors: And the third for the Prisoners. Multitudes of people being assembled together, these dear servants of Jesus Christ, clothed with Sambito's, a yellow cloth hanging down before and behind,Thi [...]ty Chri­stians condem­ned. powdred with red crosses, and having burning tapers in their hands, and Miters up­on their heads painted with Devils, were placed in their rankes: Then was a Sermon preached, after which an Oath was administred to the Princes and Nobles by the Inquisitors, that they should favour the holy Inquisition, and consent to the same, and that they should employ their uttermost endeavour to see all them executed which should swerve from the Church of Rome, and adhere to the Lutherans, without respect of per­sons, of what degree, quality, or condition soever;A wicked Oath. and that they should compel their subjects to submit to the Church of Rome, and to obey all its lawes, &c. Then was Doctor Cacalla called forth, a man of excellent learning, who had often preached before the Emperour whilst he was a Friar;Cacalla con­demned. but being now accounted to be the Standard-bearer to the Luthe­rans, he was called forth to hear his sentence, which was, that he should be degraded, and presently burnt, and his goods confiscated.

The like sentence of condemnation was pronounced upon his brother Francis, a Preacher also, who having spoken boldly against the Inquisi­tion, they so stopt his mouth that he could not speak a word. Then Blanch their sister received the like sentence, and so did most of the other, only some few of them were condemned to some years imprisonment, and to wear their Sambito's all their life time, &c.

Then was the Coffin of the dead Lady with her picture it upon con­demned likewise to be burnt. This good woman, whilst she lived, was a worthy maintainer of the Gospel, of great integrity of life, and one that had divers assemblies in her house for the true preaching of the Word of God; wherefore her house was also sentenced to be razed down,Popish malice. and a Pillar to be set up in the place thereof, with an inscription shewing the cause.

Then were all these that were sentenced to death,Malice. together with the [Page 236] Coffin, delivered to the secular Magistrate, and so every one of them be­ing set upon an Asse with their faces towards his taile, they were guarded by many souldiers to the place of execution: at which place there was for each of them a stake set up,Many burnt together. to which every of them were bound, and so they were first strangled, and then burnt to ashes; only one of them, who had been most vehement against them, was burnt alive, and his mouth stopped that he should not speak to the people. All men marvelled at their constancy and quiet end.

At the same time also there were in prison at Validolid thirty seven o­thers, which were reserved for another Tragedy and Spectacle of the bloody Inquisition. But seeing much mention is made of the Spanish Inquisition, and of the cruelty exercised thereby against the poor servants of Jesus Christ, I shall here set down the first Original, and Progresse thereof, as hereafter followeth.

CHAP. XXVII. The Original, Progresse, and Practice of the Spanish Inquisition.

WHen King Ferdinand and Isabel had expelled the Turks out of the City and Territories of Granata, The Spanish Inquisition. and other places of Spaine, who had lived there seven hundred, seventy, and eight years, they set upon the Reformation of Religion; and granted the conquered Moors liberty to stay, & to enjoy all their goods, provided that they would turn Christians; and whereas also there were very many Jews, who had continued there since Titus conquered Jerusalem, they gave them leave to stay upon the same condition; but all such as refused, were commanded presently to de­part out of Spaine. Yet afterwards, finding that those Persons were only Christians in name, and had submitted only to save their estates, instead of providing godly Ministers with meeknesse to instruct them, and to draw them from their errours;Invented by Dominicans. (by the advice of the Dominican Friers) they erected the Inquisition; wherein the poor wretches in stead of in­structions, were robbed of all their estates, and either put to most cruel deaths, or else suffered most intolerable torments by whipping, &c. and leading the rest of their lives in ignominy and poverty; Neither was this only inflicted upon such as blasphemed Christ, but for the observation of the least Jewish, or Moorish ceremony, or the smallest errour in the Chri­stian Religion. But this Inquisition at first erected against Jews and Moors, was afterwards turned against the faithful servants of Jesus Christ, and for the suppressing of the Gospel, and the Profession of it; and thus briefly you have the Original of it; let us now see what their practice and exer­cise is.

As soone as information is given in against any one, though but for a very small matter, they do not presently cite the person to appear before [Page 237] them, but they suborn one of their Officers, called a Familiar, to insinu­ate himself into his company, who taking occasion to meet the pa [...]ty accused, uses thus to greet him; Sir, I was yesterday by accident at my Lords Inquisitors, who said that they had occasion to speak with you about certain of their affairs, and therefore they commanded me to sum­mon you to appear before them to morrow at such an hour: The party not daring to refuse, goes to the place, sends in word that he is come to attend them, and so when he is called in, they ask him what suit he hath to them? and when he answers, that he comes upon summons, they enquire his name. For, say they, we know not whether you be the same man or not: but since you are come, if you have any thing to inform this Court of, either concerning your self or any other, you may let us hear it, for the discharge of your own conscience; The Parties safest way is constantly to deny that he hath any thing to declare to them. But if through simplicity he doth accuse himself, or any other they rejoyce, as having attained their desires, and so presently commit him to prison.

If nothing be confessed, they dismisse him, pretending that for the present they know not whether he be the Party or no: after his depar­ture they let him alone for some space, and then send for him again, ex­horting him that if he know, or hath heard any thing that concerns their holy Court, to disclose it to them; For (say they) we know that you have had dealing with some persons suspected in Religion, and therefore remember your self well; if you confesse you shall fare the better,Subtilty. and you shall but do therein as a good Christian ought to do. If still he re­fuse, they threaten, and so dismisse him.

Yet they have alwayes one or other to keep him company, to creep into his bosome, and grope his conscience: who under the colour of friendship shall visit him daily, and have an eye to all his dealings, ob­serve what company he keepeth, with whom he conferres, &c. So that without Gods special assistance, it is not possible to escape their snares; The Inquisitors also if they meet him, speak courteously to him, promise to befriend him, &c. and all to make him more carelesse of himself, that they may undo him before he be aware. But if the Party be a stranger, or one that is like to make an escape;Their dealing with strangers. or that they hope to gain any thing by his confession, they presently clap him up in prison: in which prison great numbers die, either starved with hunger, or by extremity of rack­ing of them, &c.

If any one that is accused chance to make an escape, they have many devices to finde and fetch him again. They have store of searchers, to whom besides the common signes, they give his lively picture, whereby they may easily know him:Their Famili­ars. An Italian at Rome having wounded an Ap­parator, fled to Sivil: the Familiars were sent to seek him, and when they had found him, though they had his counterfeit, yet by reason that he had altered his habit, they were doubtful whether it was he or no, the rather because he had changed his name, whereupon they followed him only upon suspicion: but one day as he was walking, and earnestly [Page 238] talking with some Gentlemen, two of these Familiars suddenly called him by his old name: The Party earnest in talk, and not minding it, look­ed behinde him, and made answer, whereupon they presently apprehen­ded him, clapt him in irons for a long time, then whipt him, and condem­ned him to the Gallies during his life. So soone as any is arrested by the Familiars, they take from him all the keyes of his locks or chests whatso­ever, and then they take an Inventory of all his goods, leaving them with some man that will undertake to be accountable for them: but in the se­questring and rifling the houses, if they have any gold, silver, or Jewels, these Familiars,Sequestration. which usually are bawds, theeves, shifters, and the vilest of people, will be sure to filch some of it; and the reason of this seque­stration is, that if the Party be condemned, the holy Inquisition may en­joy his whole estate.

As soone as the Prisoner is entred within the first gate of the Prison, the Jailor asketh him if he have a knife about him, or money, or ring, or Jewels;Stript of all in prison. and if a woman, whether she hath knives, rings, chains, brace­lets, or other ornaments, and all these the Jailor strips them of as his fee: And this is done that the poor prisoners may have nothing to relieve themselves with, during their imprisonment; They search them also to see whether they have any writing or book about them, which like­wise they take from them: then they shut them up in a Cabin, like to a little-ease, where they have little room for cleanlinesse, and but little light.

Some are thus kept all alone for two or three moneths, some as long as they live, others have company, as the Lords Inquisitors please. When the Party hath been in prison a week or two, the Jailor perswades him to petition for a day of hearing, telling him the sooner the better, and that it will much further his cause,Subtil [...]y. and bring it to some good effect, &c. whereas it were farre better for him to stay till he be called for; for then he hath nothing to do but to answer their objections: But the poor Priso­ner, not knowing this mystery, is usually ruled by his Keeper, intreating him to stand his friend to procure him a day of hearing, whose suit is easi­ly heard, and the Prisoner is brought into the Consistory. Then do the Inquisitors ask him, what is his request? the Prisoner answereth, that he would gladly have his matter heard;How Inquisi­tors deal with the prisoners. then they labour by threatning him with worse usage if he conceal the truth, to cause him to confesse the thing whereof he is accused, and if they can but draw him to this, they have their desires; for usually they draw more from him than they could have proved against him: Then they advise him to let it come from him­self, promising that if he acknowledge his faults, he shall presently be re­leased, and sent home: If yet he stand mute, they then charge him to dis­burthen his conscience, and in the mean time to return to his prison, till he hath better bethought himself, and then he may sue for a new day of hearing, and so they dismisse him.

Then after some dayes they call for him again, asking him he be ye [...] determined to confesse ought? but whether he plead his innocency, or confesse some little, they still urge him to disburthen his conscience, per­swading [Page 239] him that they advise him for the best, and in love and com­passion to him; but if he now refuse the favour proffered, he shall finde them afterwards sharp Justices, &c. and so send him back again to prison.

The third time he is called for, they use the like subtilty to draw him to confession, telling him that if he refuse, they must use extremity, and do what they can by law; by which word they mean extream tormenting and mangling of him; Then if the Party confesse any thing; Nay, say they, we are not yet satisfied, we have not all you can say, you keep back some­thing on purpose, and so they remand him to prison.

Having thus excruciated him day by day, if they can yet get nothing out of him, they then require an oath of him, and hold a Crucifix o [...] Crosse before him, whereby the poor Christian must at last neeeds shew himself: for knowing that he ought to swear by God alone, who hath reserved his honour to himself, he must refuse the oath; which if he do, then they read a large enditement against him, wherein they lay to his charge things that never no man accused him of, and which it may be, him­self never thought of; and this they do to amaze him, and so to try if he will confesse any of these misdemeanours, or if they can trip him in his an­swers, and so catch him in their net. Then they put him to answer to eve­ry article particularly ex tempore, without any time of deliberation: Then they give him pen, ink, and paper, requi [...]ng him to set down his answer in writing, to see if they can find any difference betwixt his former an­swer and this: and if the Partie chance to confesse ought, then th [...]y en­quire of whom he learned it, and whether he hath spoken of it before o­thers, and who they are, and hereby many are brought into trouble; for whether they liked it or not, they are sure to be questioned, because they did not come and declare it to the fathers Inquisitors. Then pretending to shew him favour, they appoint him an Advocate to blind the peoples eyes, as if they proceeded according to the rules of Justice; but this Ad­vocate dares not tell his Client any point of Law, that may do him good, for fear of angring the Inquisitors; neither may he speak privately with his Client, but either before an Inquisitor, or a Notary.

Two or three dayes after the Party hath had the Copy of his accusati­on, he is called into the Court, where his Advocate is, as if he intended to defend his cause; but indeed he dare say nothing to the purpose for fear of angring the Inquisitors; only he chears up his Client, and bids him tell the truth in any case, as the only way to prevail in that Court, and then is the Prisoner sent back again who hopes that now his cause will be heard, and his businesse dispatched, whereas usually these good fathers let him lie, two, three, or four years in prison, without ever calling for him again; and if through loathsomnesse and intolerablenesse of the prison any sue to come to hearing, it may be with much ado he obtains it, but usually that favour is denied him: yet at length when they please, they call for him to hear the depositions of the witnesses against him: which yet is not done till the poor Prisoner by his grievous imprisonment is brought so low, as that they think he will rather choose death than such a life, and [Page 240] therefore will be willing to tell all, that so he may be rid out of his mise­ry. Then between rebuking and a gentle admonition, they tell him, that though he hath stood out so long, yet at length they would have him wiser to confesse the truth; but if he yet refuse to be his own accuser, then the Fiscal produceth the depositions, which are delivered to the Prisoner, but they are drawn up so intricately and ambiguously, that he knows not what to make of them; and this they do to conceal the wit­nesses, lest he should except against them, and to set him on guessing, that so if he chance to reckon up any others to whom he spake any thing a­bout any of those matters, they may thereby get more grists to their mill. For they presently out-law such persons as favourers of hereticks, for suffering an heretick to sow such pestilent seeds amongst them, without complaining thereof to the Inquisitors.

The Keeper of the Prison also is examined what he hath seen and ob­served of him in the Prison, and his testimony is as good as two witnesses to take away the Prisoners life.

They have also Promoters to bring in accusations, who are admit­ted, though frantick Bedlams, or the veriest Varlets that be: and in their informations, if they chance to want words of weight, the Inquisitors will help them out, and prompt them word by word. Then after three or four dayes the Prisoner is called again to put in his answer to the de­positions; but in the interim his Advocate never comes at him to assist or direct him, but he is left to himself without all help, save of God a­lone. His answer being viewed, he is remanded to prison again with this Item, that if he confesse not the truth, they will extort it out of him by extremity.

After two or three moneths more, he is called for once again, and re­quired to speak what he hath for himself, or else they must draw to an end: and if he still shrinks not, but stands firme in his own Justification, they proceed to other dealings, in comparison of which all their former proceedings are not only sufferable, but seeme very reasonable and full of gentlenesse. For their future actions farre exceed all barbarousnesse, the Devil himself being not able to go beyond them in their monstrous ty­ranny: For not long after the Prisoner is called in before the Inquisitors, who tell him that they have deeply considered his whole case, and found out that he doth not declare the whole truth, and therefore they are re­solved that he shall be racked, that by force they may draw from him what by fair means he will not acknowledge: and therefore they advise him rather to do it voluntarily, and thereby to avoid▪ the paine and peril that yet attends him▪ yet whether he confesse or not confesse, all is one, for to the Rack he must go; Then is he led into the place where the Rack standeth,They proceed to the Rack. which is a deep and dark dungeon under ground, with many a door to passe through ere a man come to it, because the shreekes and cries of the tormented should not be heard: then the Inquisitors set themselves upon a scaffold hard by the Rack, and the torches being light­ed, the Executioner comes in, all araied from top to toe in a sute of black canvas, his head is covered with a long black hood that covereth all his [Page 241] face, having only two peep-holes for his eyes: which sight doth more af­fright the poor soul, to see one in the likenesse of the Devil to be his tormentor. The Lords being set in their places, they begin again to exhort him to speak the truth freely and voluntarily: Then with sharp words they command him to be stripped stark naked, yea though the modestest maid, or chasest Matron in the City:Their privy parts a [...]e only covered with linnen. whose grief in regard of the Rack is not half so great as to be seene naked in the presence of such manner of persons: For these wicked villains without any regard of honesty, will not by any Prayers of godly Ma­trons, or chast Maidens forbear one jot of that barbarous impudence: as if a shirt or smock could hinder the violence of the Rack from sufficient­ly tormenting them.

The Party being thus stripped, the Inquisitors signifie to the Tormen­tor▪ how they would have him or her ordered. The first kind of torment is the Jeobit, or Pully; but first one comes behind him, and binds his hands with a cord eight or ten times about, the Inquisitors calling upon him to strain each harder than other; they cause also his thumbs to be bound extream hard with a small line, and so both hands and thumbs are fastened to a Pully, which hangs on the Jeobit:The Jeobit. then they put great and heavy bolts on his heels, and hang upon those bolts, between his feet certain weights of iron, and so hoise him, or her up from the ground; and whilst the poor wretch▪ hangs in this plight, they begin to exhort him a­gain to accuse himself, and as many others as he knows of; Then they command him to be hoised up higher to the very beam till his head touch the Pully. Having hung thus a good while,Inhumane cruelty. they command him to be let down, and twice so much weight to be fastened to his heels, and so hoised up again, and one inch higher if it may be: Then they com­mand the hangman to let him up and down, that the weights of the iron hanging at his heels may rent every joynt in his body asunder. With which intolerable pains if the Party shreek or cry out, they roare out as loud to him to confesse the truth, or else he shall come down with a vengeance. Then they bid the hangman suddenly to slip the rope, that he may fall down with a sway, and in the mid-way to stop; then give him the Strappado, which being as soon done, it rends all his body out of joynt, armes, shoulders, back, legs, &c. by reason of the sudden jerk, and the weights hanging at his legs. If he yet remain con­stant, they adde more weight to his heels the third time, and the poor wretch already half dead is hoisted up the third time, and to encrease his misery, they raile upon him, calling him Dog, and Heretick, telling him that he is like there to make his end.Rail [...]ngs. And if the poore creature in his pangs call upon Christ, intreating that he would vouchsafe to aid and as­sist him, thus miserably tormented for his sake;Scoffs. Then they fall to mock­ing and deriding him, saying, Why callest thou on Jesus Christ? Let Je­sus Christ alone and tell us the truth; what a crying out upon Christ ma­kest thou? &c. But if the Party desire to be let down, promising to tell somewhat, that's the [...]eady way to make him to be worse used, for now they think that he begins only to broach the matter: for when he hath [Page 242] done they command him to be haled up again, and to be let down as be­fore: so that usually these torments▪ are exercised upon him for three hours together. Then they ask the Jailor if his other torments are rea­dy, to affright the poor soul; the Jailor answereth that they are ready, but he hath not brought them with him: Then the Inquisitors bid him to bring them against the morrow; for say they, we will try other ways to get the truth out of this fellow: and so turning to him that lies in mi­serable pain, having all his joynts out; How now, Sirra, say they, how like you this gear? have you enough of it yet? Well, see that you call your wits to you against to morrow, or look to die then; for what you have yet felt is but a flea-biting in comparison of what is behind; and so they depart.Threats.

Then the Jailor plays the bone-setter so well as he can, setting his joynts, and so carries him back to prison, or drags him by the armes or legs most pitifully; If they mean to rack him no more, after two or three dayes they send for him again, and cause him to be brought by the Rack, where the hangman stands in the likenesse of a Devil as be­fore, the more to affright him. When he comes before the Inquisitors, they fall a perswading him to confesse the truth at last: and if he confesse any thing, he may chance to go to the Rack again, whereby they hope to extort more; and when indeed they intend to rack the Party again, then at three dayes end, when the ach in his joynts is most grievous and painful to him, they send for him, requiring him to declare all his here­sies, and to peach all such as he hath had conference with, about them, and all such as he knows to be of that minde: or else he must prepare himself for the Rack; and if he continue constant, he is again stripped of his cloths, and hoisted up with weights at his heels as before, besides which,Another cruel tormen [...]. as he hangs at the Pully, they bind his thighs together, and legs about the calf with a small strong cord, and with a short piece of wood they twist the cord till it be shrunk so deep in the flesh that its past sight, which is an extream and terrible torment, worse than any that he hath yet endured, and in this plight they let the poor soul lie two or three hours: the Inquisitors in the mean time not ceasing to exhort, perswade, threaten and scoffe at him.

Yea sometimes they proceed to another kind of torture called the A­selli, which is after this manner; There is a piece of timber somewhat hollowed on the top like a trough,The trough. about the middle whereof there is a sharp barre going a crosse, whereon a mans back resteth that it cannot go to the bottom: its also placed so that his heels shall lie higher than his head: then is the naked Party laid thereon: his armes, thighs and legs bound with strong small cords, and wrested with short truncheons, till the cords pierce almost to the very bone.Divellish cru­elty. Then they take a thick fine lawn cloth, laying it over the Parties mouth as he lies upright on his back, so that it may stop his nostrils also; then taking a quantity of water, they pour it in a long stream like a threed, which falling from on high, drives the cloth down into his throat, which puts the poor wretch into as great an Agony as any endure in the pains of death, for in this torture he [Page 243] hath not liberty to draw his breath, the water stopping his mouth, and the cloth his nostrils, so that when the cloth is drawn out of the bottome of his throat, it draws forth blood with it, and a man would think that it tore out his very bowels. This is iterated as oft as the Inquisitors please, and yet they threaten him with worse torments if he confesse not; and so he is returned to his prison again.

Yet many times after he hath lain there a moneth or two, he is brought again to the rack and used as before, yea sometimes five or six times, even as oft as they please, for their lust is a law.Torment with fire. And yet they have another torment with fire, which is no whit inferiour to the former; They take a Pan of burning charcole, and set it just over against the soles of the Parties feet, just before he goes to the Rack, and that the fire may have the more force upon them, they bast them with lard or bacon. But if all the extremity of torments wil not force him to confesse what they de­sire, nor to deny the truth, they use other means by subtil interrogatories,Subtilty. and frequent questionings to draw him into some snare or other: Yea, if yet they cannot prevaile, then some one of the Inquisitors comes to him in private, and shews himself much affected with his misery, weeps with him, comforts him, gives him advice, seems to impart such a secret to him as he would scarce impart to his father, or dearest friend alive: and this they use most with women, whereas they are but faire baits upon deadly hooks, whereby they seek to destroy them; whereof we have this example.

At Sivil there were apprehended, a godly Matron, two of her daugh­ters, and her Neece,A woman, and her tow daugh­ters, and neece. who all of them underwent the forementioned torments with manly courage and Christian constancie, because they would not betray each other, nor other godly Persons in that City. Then one of the Inquisitors sent for the youngest maid oft to his cham­ber, pretended much compassion towards her, spake much to comfort her, told her what a grief it was to him to see her torments; then used fa­miliar and pleasant communication to her, then told her that he would advise her the best way to free her self,A Judas. mother and sister from these troubles: That he would undertake the ordering of their businesse; and then perswaded her to disclose the whole truth to him, and he bound himself with an oath that he would stop all further proceedings against them, and procure their dismission. Having thus outwitted the poor maid, who gave too much credit to him, she told him of some points of Religion which they had wont to confer of amongst themselves, and so when he had gotten out of her what possibly he could, like a perfidious Villain, contrary to his vows, promises, and oath,Perjury. he caused her to be racked again to get more out of her, yea they put her also to the intole­rable pain of the trough, and through extremity of pangs and torments they at last extorted from her a betraying of her own Mother, Sisters, and divers others, which were immediately apprehended, tortured, and at last burnt with fire. But when they were brought in great pomp upon the Scaffold, and had the sentence of death passed upon them, this maid went to her Aunt, who had instructed her in the principles of Re­ligion, [Page 244] and boldly without change of countenance, gave her hearty thanks for that great benefit which she had received by her means▪ in­treating her to pardon her for what she had offended her at any time, for that she was now to depart out of this life. Her Aunt comforted her stout­ly, bid her be of good cheere, for that now ere long they should be with Christ. This woman was openly whipt, and kept in prison during her life; the rest were all presently burned.

Another device that they have is this: when they think that Prisoners which are together do talk together of Religion, exhorting and comfort­ing one another as they have occasion or opportunity, the Inquisitors com­mit to prison under a colour,Flie. a crafty knave whom they call a Flie: who after two or three dayes will cunningly insinuate himself into the bosoms of the other Prisoners, and then pretending a great deal of zeal to Religion, he will proffer discourse to them, and by degrees get out of their mouths something whereof he may accuse them. Then doth he move for a day of hearing, and so getting to the Inquisitors, he peaches the Prisoners, who shall be sure afterwards to hear of it to their smart. Yea these Flies, as soone as they are out of one prison, for the hope of gain, will be content presently to be put into another, and then into a third, where they will lie in chains, as the other Prisoners do, enduring hunger, cold, stink, and the loathsomnesse of prison, and all to betray others. And this mans accusation is as strong and valid as the testimony of any other witnesse whatsoever. Other Flies also there be that serve the ho­ly Inquisition abroad, slily insinuating themselves into the companies of the common people, who are suspected to be Lutherans, and when they can pump any thing out of them, they presently be­tray them. They have yet this other device, when they can catch a­ny man that is noted for Religion, or a Minister that hath instructed o­thers, after he hath been in prison awhile, they give it out that upon the Rack he hath discovered all his disciples, and acquaintance, and they suborn others to averr that they heard it, and this they do to draw the simple people to come of their own accord, and to confesse their faults to the Inquisitors, and to crave pardon, whereupon they promise them favour.

The Inquisitors and their Officers use to call their Prisoners Dogs and Hereticks:Their cruel prisons. and indeed they use them much worse than most men do their Dogs. For first, the place where usually each of them is laid, by reason of the straitnesse, ill air, and dampnesse of the earth, is liker a grave than a prison: and if it be a loft, in the hot weather, it is like a hot Oven or Fornace: and in each of these holes usually two or three are thronged together, so that they have no more room than to lie down in; in one corner is a stool of easement, and a pitcher of water to quench their thirsts. In these Cels they have no light, but what comes in at the Key-hole, or some small crany: other some there are much worse, not being long enough for a man to lie in, so that such as are put into them, never likely come out till they be half rotted away▪ or die of a consumption.

[Page 245] Their diet is answerable to their lodging: The rich pay large fees to the holy house, and every Prisoner is rated as the Inquisitors please: but such as are poor, the King allows them three pence a day, out of which the Steward, Landresse, and some other necessary charges are deducted, so that one half of it comes not to the Prisoners share; and if any be moved with compassion to relieve them, it is counted such an hainous offence, that it will cost him a scourging till blood come at least.

It once happened that there was a Keeper appointed for their prison, in the Castle of Triana in Sivil, that was of a courteous disposition by na­ture, who used the Prisoners well, and closely, for fear of the Inquisi­tors, shewed them some favour: at which time there was a godly Ma­tron and her two daughters committed to prison, which being put into several rooms, had a great desire to see each other for their mutual com­fort in their distresses; whereupon they besought the Keeper to suffer them to come together, if it were but for one quarter of an hour: the Keepe yielded, and so they were together about half an hour, and then returned to their former prisons. Within a few dayes after, these women being racked in a terrible manner, the Keeper fearing lest they would con­fesse that little favour which he had shewed them, of his own accord went to the Inquisitors, confessed his fact, and craved pardon; but they deemed this so hainous an offence, that they presently commanded him to be haled to prison, where by reason of the extremity shewed him, he fell mad. Yet this procured him no favour: for after he had been a whole year in a vile prison, they brought him upon their triumphing stage,All pity denied them. with a Sambenito upon him, and a rope about his neck, and there they censu­red him to be whipt about the City, and to have two hundred stripes, and then to serve in the Gallies for six years. The next day one of his mad fits coming upon him, as he was set on an Asses back to be scour­ged, he threw himself off, snatched a sword out of the officers hand, and had slain him, if the people had not immediately laid hold on him; whereupon he was bound faster on the Asses back, had his two hundred stripes, and was for this offence condemned four years longer to the Gallies.

Another Keeper at another time had a maid, who seeing how mise­rably the prisoners were used, pitying their distressed condition, who were hunger-starved, and almost pined, she would sometimes speak to them at the grate, exhort and comfort them as well as she could,A maid whipt for shewing them favour. and sometimes would help them to some good and wholsome food: yea, by her means the Prisoners came to understand one anothers condition, which was a great comfort to them. But this at last coming to the in­quisitors ears, they enjoyned her to wear the Sambenito, to be whipped about the streets, to receive two hundred stripes, and to be banished the City for ten years, with this writing on her head, A favourer, and aider of Hereticks. And whereas all other sort of persons in prison and bon­dage are allowed to recreate and refresh themselves with singing at their pleasure,The prisoners denied leave to sing Psalmes. these poor souls are forbidden this small solace in their great misery: for if any of them sing a Psalm, or openly recite any portion of [Page 246] Scripture, the Inquisitors take it very hainously, and presently send to them, requiring them to be silent, upon the pain of Excommunication: and if the prisoner make light of this warning, he shall have a bit set on his tongue to teach him obedience: and this they do, both to deprive the poor souls of all kind of solace, and to keep other Prisoners from know­ing how their friends do: So that it often falls out that a man and his friend, the Father and Sonne, yea the husband and wife shall be in one prison-house two or three years together, and not know of each others being there till they meet upon the scaffold upon the great day of tri­umph.

By reason of this cruel usage many of the Prisoners die, some, of their torments, others, of the stink of the prison, and others, of diseases contra­cted by hunger, cold, ill diet, &c. They have also an Hospital, unto which they remove such as fall sick in their prisons,Their hospital where yet they are not dealt more gently with in any thing, save that they have Physick al­lowed them for their healths sake: But none are suffered to come to them but the Physician, and the servants of the Hospital: And as soon as the Patient is on the mending hand, he is carried back to the place whence he came.

If the Prisoner be half naked, or want something to lie on, and there­upon pray the Inquisitor that his necessity may be considered▪ The answer which he receives is this, Well, now the weather is warm, you may live full well without either cloaths or couch; And if it be winter time, his answer is: True, it hath been a great frost of late, but now the cold is come down again, and it will be more seasonable weather. Care you for the garments wherewithal you should cloath your soul, Cruel mercy. which consisteth in uttering the truth, and dischar­ging your conscien [...]e before this holy house: And if the Prisoner desire to have some good book, or the holy Bible to enable him to passe that troublesome and careful time to some profit; The Inquisitor answers him, that the true book is to speak the truth, and to discharge his consci­ence to that holy Court, and that he ought to be occupied in laying open his wounds to their Lordships, who are ready to give him a plaister: whereby it appears that all their care and desire is, that the poor Prisoner may have nothing to look on or think on but his present miserable state, that the grief thereof grating upon him, may force him to satisfie their requests.

The last act of the Tragedy remaineth, wherein both Parties are plea­sed and have their desire;Their con­demnation. the Inquisitors in obtaining their prey, the Prisoners in finding some end of their miserable usage; but two or three dayes before the solemnity, they use severally to call before them, all such whose estates are confiscated, examining them what lands or goods they have, where they lie, charging them upon great penalties not to conceal one jot, telling them, that if any thing be afterwards found, felony shall be laid to their charge, and he with whom it is found, shall pay foundly for it, and when all is confessed, they are returned to prison a­gain.

The night before the Festival, they cause all the Prisoners to be [Page 247] brought into a large roome, where they are informed of the several kinds of pennances that they are to do the next day: The next morning very early, the Familiars come and attire the Prisoners in their several habits, in which they are to appear before the people:Their habits. Some in Sambe­nito's, which is a long garment painted all over with ugly devils: on his head he hath an high-crown'd hat whereon a man is painted burning in the fire, with many devils about him, plying him with fire and fagots. Besides, their tongues have a cleft piece of wood put upon them, which nips, and pincheth them that they cannot speak; they have about their necks, cords, and their hands fast bound behind them. On this sort come these constant Martyrs disguised, first to the stage, and then to the stake; and in the like sort do all the rest come forth, arraied as the other, and set forth with the like notes of infamy, either more or lesse, as the Inqui­sitors please to disgrace them in the sight of the people. On each hand of every Prisoner goeth a Familiar, all armed, to guard him: as also two Friars with every one that is to die, who perswade him tooth and nail to deny that doctrine that formerly he hath professed, now at their going out of this world; which wicked importunity is a great grief to the poor servants of Jesus Christ.

The Inquisitors also passe in great pomp from the Castle of Triana to their scaffold: And when all are set in their places, a Sermon begins, framed on purpose in commendations of the holy house, and in confuta­tion of such Heriticks as are presently to suffer: but the greatest part is spent in slanderous reproaches, wherewith they vilifie and disgrace the truth, and the Professors of it. The Sermon being ended, the sentences against the Prisoners are read; First, against such as have easiest punish­ments, and so in order to the greater; Which sentences are commonly these, Death without mercy; Whipping in such extremity that the Persons seldome escape with their lives; Condemnation to the Gally; Forfeiture of all their estates, &c.

Then doth the chief Inquisitor absolve all such as have forsaken Christ, and are come home to the Church of Rome, from all the errours for which they shewed themselves penitent; but though hereby they are absolved from the fault, yet not from the punishment; for notwithstan­ding their Recantation, they must abide the punishment without mercy.

And whereas multitudes of people resort to this spectacle, some co­ming twenty Leagues to see it; The Inquisitors have this trick to up­hold their Kingdome, They cause all the people present,A wicked oath to take an oath to live and die in the service of the Church of Rome, hazarding both life and goods against any that shall oppose it; as also to their power, to up­hold and maintain the holy Inquisition, and to defend all the officers thereof, &c.

Then if there be any amongst the Prisoners to be degraded, they pro­ceed after this manner. First, they apparel him in his massing Robes▪ then they despoil him again of every part thereof; then are his hands,Degradation. lips, and the Crown of his head scraped with a piece of glasse, or a sharp [Page 248] knife till they bleed again, to scrape off the holy oyle, wherewith he was anointed at his ordination. In the end of their sentence which is pronounced upon such as are to be burned, they use this abominable hypocrisie: They bequeath him to the secular power, with this humble request to them,Hypocrisie. to shew the Prisoner as much favour as may be, and neither to break any bone, nor pierce the skin of his body: This shews their great impudence, that having already given sentence on him to be burned, they yet should pretend such mercy and clemency towards him, whom all along themselves have used with such extream cruelty.

They use also this trick further, that in reading the crimes for which he is condemned, they do not only misreport such things as he confessed upon his examination, but they devilishly father upon him such things as he never spake, or thought of in all his life: and this they do to disgrace him, and to make him and his opinions more abhorred of all men, and to encrease their own estimation and credit, as being ne­cessary officers to rid the world of such pestilent persons; and all this while the Prisoners tongue hath a cleft piece of wood upon it to his in­tolerable pain and grief, that he cannot answer for himself, nor gainsay that they charge him with.

All these things being finished, the Magistrate takes them into his hand, and conveys them presently to the place of execution, with divers instruments of Satan about them, calling and crying to them to forsake the truth; and when they cannot prevail, after the Prisoner is tied to the stake, they break his neck in a trice, and then they report amongst the common people that they recanted their heresies at the last houre,Abominable lyes. and so came home to the Church of Rome, and therefore they felt no pain in the fire at all, which made them take it so patiently.

Such as are not condemned to die, are carried back to prison, and the next day brought out to be whipt, after which some of them are sent to the Gallies, others kept in prison all their life time: but all have this special charge given them,Their cruelty concealed. that they never speak of any thing that they have heard, seen, or felt, during their imprisonment in the Inquisition; for if the contrary be ever proved against them, and that they utter any of their secrets, they shall be taken for persons relapsed, and be punished with greatest severity, their judgement being death without Redemption; and hereby they keep in all their Knavery and Tyranny close and se­cret to themselves: And if any of them be released because their faults were but small, they are yet so careful lest their cruelty should come to light, that they inhibit them the company or conference with any other, than such as they shall appoint and allow them; neither will they suffer them to write to any friend, except they first have the perusing of their letters.

Sometimes also, after they have imprisoned men in such a miserable state, for a year or two, and can extort nothing out of them by their tor­ments, nor prove any thing against them by witnesse, so that they must necessarily dismisse them, they then call them into the Court, and begin to flatter them, and tell them what a good opinion they have of them, and [Page 249] that they are resolved to send them home, for the which fatherly favour extended towards them in saving their lives & goods,Flattery. they are to account themselves much beholding to their Lordships, &c. And so at last they dismisse him with special charge of silence: and when he is gone, they have special Spies abroad to see how he takes the matter; and if they find that he complains of his punishments, or discloses their secrets, they pre­sently commence a new suit against him. On a time the Inquisitors at Sivill apprehended a noble Lady; the cause was, for that a Sister of hers,A Lady imprisoned. a very vertuous Virgin, who was afterwards burned for Religion, had confessed in the extremity of her torments, that she had sometimes had conference with this her sister about matters of Religion: This Lady when she was first apprehended, was gone with child about six months, in respect whereof they did not shut her up so close at first, nor deal so se­verely with her as they did with others; But within foure dayes after she was brought to bed, they took the child from her; and the seventh day [...]fter, they shut her up in close prison,Their cr [...]el u­sage o [...] her. and used her in all things as they did other Prisoners; the only worldly comfort that she had in her misery, was, that they lodged her with a vertuous maiden that was her fellow-Prisoner for a time, but afterwards burned at the stake: This maid whilst they were together, was carried to the rack, and so sore strained and torn thereon, that she was almost pulled in pieces, then was she brought back and thrown upon a bed of flags, that served them both to lie on; the good Lady was not able to help her, yet shewed singular tokens of love and compassion towards her.

The maid was scarce recovered when the Lady was carried out to be served with the same sauce, and was so terribly tormented in the trough,They torment her in the trough. that by reason of the strait straining of the strings, piercing to the very bones of her armes, thighs and shins, she was brought back half dead to her prison, the blood gushing out of her mouth abundantly, which shewed that something was broken within her: but after eight dayes the Lord de­livered her from these cruel Tygers by taking her mercifully to himself.She dyed.

Upon one of their dayes of triumph there was brought out one John Pontio, of a noble Family, a zealous Professor of the truth,John Pontio. and one of an holy and blamelesse life, and well learned; he was eminent also in works of charity, in which he had spent a great part of his estate: Being apprehended for the Profession of the Gospel, he was cast into Prison, where he manfully maintained the truth in the midst of all their cruel dealings with him; At last they cast into prison to him one of their flyes, who by his subtilty and craft, so wrought upon him that he drew from him a promise to yield obedience to the Romish Church.Humane frail­ty. But though God suffered him to fall a while to shew him his frailty, yet af­terwards in much mercy he raised him up again with double strength to that which he had before, and before his execution he manfully de­fended the truth against a subtil Friar. The things which he was con­demned for, were these; That he should say,Recovery. that from his heart he ab­horred the idolatry which was committed in worshipping the Host: That he removed his houshold from place to place, that he might shun [Page 250] coming to the Masse: That the Justification of a Christian resteth only in the merits of Jesus Christ apprehended by faith, &c. That there was no Purgatory: That the Popes pardons were of no value, &c. And for my self, His speech at death. (saith he) I am not only willing but desirous to die, and ready to suffer any punishment for the truth which I have professed: I esteem not of this world nor the treasures of it more than for my necessary uses, and the rest to be­stow in the propagation and maintenance of the Gospel: And I beseech God dai­ly upon my knees for my wife and children, that they may all continue in this quarrel even to the death. And when he came to his execution, he pati­ently and comfortably slept in the Lord.

At the same time there was also brought forth one John Gonsalvo, for­merly a Priest,John Gonsalvo. but by his diligent study of the Scripture it pleased God to reveal his truth to him, so that he became a zealous Preacher of it, labouring in all his Sermons to beat into mens minds the true way, and means of our Justification to consist in Christ alone, and in stedfast faith in him:Tormented in prison, for which he was apprehended and cast into prison, where he endured all their cruely with a Christian courage; At last with two of his Sisters he was condemned: His mother and one of his brothers were also imprisoned with him for the truth, and executed shortly after: When he with his sisters went out at the Castle gate, having his tongue at liberty, he began to sing the 106. Psalm before all the People, who had oft heard him make many godly Sermons: He also condemned all hypocrites as the worst sort of People:with a cleft stick. Whereupon they stocked his tongue: Upon the stage he never changed countenance, nor was at all daunted. When they all came to the stake, they had their tongues loosed, and were commanded to say their Creed, which they did chearfully: when they came to those words, The holy Catholick Church, They were commanded to adde, Of Rome, but that they all refused: whereupon their necks were broken in a trice: and then't was noised abroad that they had added those words, and died, confessing the Church of Rome to be the true Catholick Church.

There was in Sivil a private Congregation of Gods people, most of which the Inquisitors consumed in the fire,A Church in Sivil. as they could discover any of them; amongst others that were apprehended, they took four women, famous above the rest for their holy and godly conversation, but especi­ally the youngest of them, who was not above one and twenty years old, who by her diligent and frequent reading of the Scriptures, and by confe­rence with godly and learned men, had attained to a very great measure of knowledge: so that whilst she was in Prison, she non-plus'd and put to shame many of those Friars that came to seduce her.

Another of these women was a grave Matron, whose house was a School of vertue, and a place where the Saints used to meet, & serve God day and night; but the time being come wherein they were ripe for God, they, together with other of their neighbours, were apprehended and cast into prison,Some of them cast into prison where they were kept in dark dungeons, and forced to endure all the cruel and extream torments which are before mention­ed: At last they were condemned, and brought forth to the scaffold a­mongst [Page 251] other Prisoners: The young maid especially came with a mer­ry and cheerful countenance, as it were triumphing over the Inquisitors, and having her tongue at liberty, she began to sing Psalms to God, whereupon the Inquisitors caused her tongue to be nipped by setting a Barnacle upon it: After sentence read,A cleft stick. they were carried to the place of execution, where with much constancy and courage they ended their lives: Yet the Inquisitors not satisfied herewith,Their death▪ caused the house of the Matron where the Church used to meet, to be pulled down, and the ground to be laid waste,Malice. and a pillar to be erected upon it with an inscri­ption shewing the cause. There was also apprehended another worthy member of the same Congregation called Ferdinando;Ferdinando. he was of a fer­vent spirit, and very zealous in doing good: A young man, but for in­tegrity of life very famous: He had spent eight years in educating of youth, and had endeavoured to sow the seeds of Piety in the hearts of his Scholars, as much as lay in him to do in a time of so great persecuti­on and tyranny; being at the last apprehended for a Lutheran, he was cast into prison, and terribly tormented upon the Jeobit, and in the Trough, His torments. whereby he was so shaken in every joynt, that when he was taken down, he was not able to move any part of his body; yet did those cruel tor­mentors draw him by the heels into his prison, as if he had been a dead dog: But notwithstanding all his torments,A special Pro­vidence. he answered the Inquisitors very stoutly, and would not yield to them one jot. During his impri­sonment God used him as an instrument to recal and confirme a Monk, who had been cast into prison for confessing the Gospel openly: But by means of the Inquisitors flatteries and fair promises he had somewhat relented: Gods Providence so ordering it,Humane infir­mity. that Ferdinando was cast in­to the same prison, and finding the Monk wavering, he rebuked him sharply; and afterwards having drawn him to a sight of, and sorrow for his sinne, he at last strengthned him in the promises of free grace and mercy; Hereupon the Monk desired a day of hearing, where, before the Inquisitors, he solemnly renounced his recantation,Recovery. desiring that his for­mer confession might stand, whereupon the sentence of death passed a­gainst them both: after which the Inquisitors asked Ferdinando whe­ther he would revoke his former heresies; to which he answered, That he had professed nothing but what was agreeable to the pure and perfect Word of God, and ought to be the profession of every Christian man, and therefore he would stick to it to the death:Execution. Then did they clap a Barnacle up­on his tongue, and so they were burned together.

There was also one Juliano, called, The little, because he was of a small and weak body, who going into Germany, was there conversant with di­vers learned and godly men,Juliano. by which means he attained to the know­ledge of the truth, and became a zealous Professor of it, and earnestly long­ing after the salvation of his Countreymen,Zeale. he undertook a very dange­rous work, which was to convey two great dry Fats full of Bibles printed in Spanish, into his own Countrey: In this attempt he had much cause of fear, the Inquisitors had so stopped every Port,A special Pro­vidence. and kept such strict watch, to prevent the coming in of all such commodities; but [Page 252] through Gods mighty protection, he brought his burden safely thither, and, which was almost miraculous, he conveyed them safe into Sivil, notwithstanding the busie searchers and catch-poles that watched in e­very corner. These Bibles being dispersed, were most joyfully and thankfully received, and through Gods blessing wrought wonderfully amongst Gods people to ripen them against the time of harvest. But at last the matter broke out by the means of a false brother, who going to the Inquisitors played the Judas, A false brother. and betrayed the whole Church to them. So that there were taken at Sivil at one time, eight hundred Chri­stians,Twenty burnt. whereof twenty of them were afterwards roasted at one fire.

Amongst these, this Juliano was one of the first that was apprehend­ed and sent to prison, where he lay without any company laden with irons above three years; yet was his constancy so great and wonderful, that the tormentors themselves were sooner wearied in inflicting,Juliano's tor­ments and constancy. than he in suffering torments; and notwithstanding his weak and wearyish body, yet he remained undaunted in mind in undergoing all their tyran­nies, so that he never departed from the rack more dejected than he came to it; neither threatnings, nor pains, nor torments made him shrink or yield one jot to them: but when he was drawn back to his prison, he would tell his fellows how he had conquered and confounded his ene­mies, saying, They depart vanquished, they depart vanquished; The wolves flie with shame, they flie with shame.

In the day of their triumph, when he was brought out to be apparel­led (with his other fellow Prisoners) in all their shameful habits, he ex­horted them with a cheerful countenance, saying: My Brethren, be of good cheere, this is the houre wherein we must be faithful witnesses unto God and his truth before men, as becomes the true servants and souldiers of Christ, and ere long we shall have him to witnesse with us again: and within a few houres we shall triumph with him in heaven for ever; But hereupon they presently clap't a Barnacle upon his tongue that he should speak no more, and so he was led to his execution;His death. but though he could not speak, yet by his countenance and gestures he shewed his cheerful and quiet minde: Then kneeling down, he kissed the step whereon he stood, and being tyed to the stake, he endeavoured by his looks and gestures to encourage his fellow Martyrs in their sufferings, and so they quietly and patiently re­signed up their spirits unto God.

There was also John Leon, a Tailor by Trade, who out of a blinde de­votion to serve God,John Leon. resolved to enter into a Monastery, but by Gods Providence it so fell out that he entred into a Cloister at Sivil, wherein most of the Monks were well affected to the true Religion, amongst whom in two or three years space, he was so grounded in the principles of Religion, that he resolved to leave that kinde of life, which according­ly he did, and went into the Countrey, yet after a time he had a great mind to conferre with his former Schoolmasters: but when he came back to the Cloister, he found that they were all fled in [...]o Germany; hereupon he resolved to follow them, and through many dangers and perils, it [Page 253] pleased God at last after a long and tedious journey, to bring him safe to Franckfurt, where he met with some of his old acquaintance, and with them he travelled to Geneva: About which time Queen Mary suddenly dying, and Queen Elizabeth of blessed Memory succeeding her, the English Exiles that lived in those parts were called home: whereupon divers Spaniards that sojourned at Geneva, thinking England a fitter place for their Congregation, resolved to accompany the English men▪ and for this end they dispersed themselves into several companies that they might travel with the more safety: The Inquisitors took the departure of these Monks so ill, that not sparing any cost,Leon goeth to­wa [...]ds England. they sent their Flies a­broad to apprehend them, who way-laid them, especially at Collen, Franckfurt, Antwerp, and in all the ways that led from Geneva. This John Leon had got him a companion, with whom he travelled towards Eng­land, who being discovered at Argentine, were dogged into Zealand, and as they were ready to take ship, they were apprehended. John Leon took his arrest very composedly, never changing countenance at it: They were presently carried back into the Town,Is apprehen­ded. where they were miserably [...]acked to discover their fellows, and not long after were shipped for Spain, having great irons, wrought like a net, that covered both head and face, within which also was another piece of iron made like a tongue, which being thrust into their mouths took away their speech;Sent to Spaine. they were also loaden with other engins and fetters of iron, wherewith they were bound hand and foot, and in these continual pains and torments they lay a ship­board till they came into Spain, and then John Leon was sent to Sivil, and his companion to Validolid, where afterwards in defence of the truth he suffered Martyrdome: But John remained long in prison, where he tasted of the Inquisitors tyranny, suffering both hunger and cold, and en­during all their torments one after another,Tormented. and at last was brought out in their solemn shew, arrayed after their usual manner; It was a sad sight to see such a ghost as he was, his hair so grown, his body so lean, that he had nothing but skin and bones left on him, and his pain much en­creased by having a Barnacle upon his tongue: After sentence of death pronounced upon him, they set his tongue at liberty hoping that he would have recanted, but he made a stout and godly Confession of his faith, and so quietly ended his life in the flames. There was also burned at the same time a godly Virgin, that had formerly been a Nun, but be­ing, through Gods grace, converted, she left her Cloister,Martyred. and joyned her self to the Church of Christ:A ma [...]ds suffer­ings, and mar­tyrdom▪ Being apprehended by the Inquisitors she was intreated as others had been before her: and at last was brought out to the Scaffold, where with a manly courage she put the Inquisitors to a foul foil, not only constantly affirming the truth, but sharply rebu­king those fathers, calling them dumb dogs, a generation of vipers, &c. being brought to the stake, with a cheerful countenance she underwent the pains of death, and so quietly slept in the Lord.

There was also one Christopher Losada, a Physician, a learned man and very well studied in the Scriptures,Christopher Lo­sada. as also of a very holy conversa­tion, insomuch as he was chosen Super-intendent of the Church of Christ [Page 254] in Sivil, which at this time was very great, though dispersed into cor­ners: At last he was apprehended by the Inquisitors, before whom he made a good Confession of his faith, for which he endured ha [...]d and sharp imprisonment, with most cruel torments, and the open infamy of their solemn shew, and lastly was adjudged to the fire: As he stood at the stake, the Barnacle being taken from his tongue, he disputed notably with some Monks that came to seduce him; and when they spake Latin that the common People might not understand them, Losada also began to speak in Latin so copiously and eloquently,His constancy. as was strange to hear that he should have his wits so fresh when he was ready to be burned: af­ter which he patiently resigned up his spirit unto God in the fire.Death.

Arias.There was also in Sivil one Arias, a man of a sharp wit and well-stu­died in Divinity, but withal of a crafty wit and inconstant nature; which vices he yet covered with a cloke of Religion, whereby he de­ceived many: About this time there were also in that City two sorts of Preachers, and both had a great number of Auditors: The one taught School-Divinity, and were continually calling upon their hearers to of­ten fastings, mortification, self-denial, frequency of Prayer, humility, &c. But themselves practised nothing lesse than these things: and in­deed all their Religion consisted in works and bodily exercises, as run­ning to Masses, hallowed places, shrift, &c. The other sort dealt more sincerely with the holy Scriptures: out of which they declared what was true righteousnesse, and perfect holinesse: by means whereof that City above all others in Spain, bore the name for just and true dealing; and it pleased God that the brightnesse of this light did discover all the counterfeit holinesse, and Pharasaical devotion of the other party; The chief Labourers in this harvest were Constantino, Aegidius, and Varquius, all Doctors, and sober, wise, and learned men; who by this kind of preach­ing procured to themselves many enemies; but above all others, Arias was the most spiteful and malicious;He turns perse­cutor. yet he carried it so cunningly, that he still kept up his reputation with these men; but it was not long before he discovered himself: and that upon this occasion; There was one Ruzi­us, a learned man, questioned before the Inquisitors, for something that he had delivered in a Sermon about the Controversies in Religion; The Inquisitors appointed him a day of hearing; and two or three days before, Arias met him, saluted him courteously, and discoursed familiar­ly with him; then did he pump out of him, all those Arguments where­with he intended to defend himself before the Inquisitors: When the day came, and Ruzius appeared, Arias went on that side where his op­ponents were, which much amated Ruzius, and in the disputation, Arias be­ing prepared, did so wittily enervate all his Arguments, that Ruzius had nothing to say for himself, and so was fain to yield the cause, and Arias went away with the honour of the field, though he got it by treachery. Yet did this Arias, being of Saint Isidores Monastery, preach so practical­ly, that a great light began to dawn in that dark place; for the whole scope of his Sermons was to overthrow all their Profession; he taught [Page 255] them that singing and saying of their Prayers day and night was no ser­vice of God, that the holy Scriptures were to be read and studied with diligence, whence alone the true service of God could be drawn, and which alone teach us the true obedience to his Will, to the obtaining whereof we must use Prayer as a means, proceeding as well from a sense and feeling of our own infirmities, as grounded upon a perfect trust and confidence in God.

By laying these foundations, through Gods blessing, he began to make them out of love with their Monkish Superstition, and much provoked them to the study of the holy Scriptures. Besides also his Sermons, he read daily a lecture upon Solomons Proverbs very learnedly, and made ap­plication thereof with good judgement and discretion; also in his pri­vate conf