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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Jennifer Colt is the author of the comedic McAfee Twins Minor Mercies & Big-Ass Miracles - Kindle edition by Jennifer Colt. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
Table of contents
- Jennifer Colt (Author of The Butcher of Beverly Hills)
- First Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards
- EXAMPLES OF Miracles of Gods Mercies to His CHILDREN.
Complained of, Iob The Corinthian, 1 Cor. Julius Caesar was a great adulterer, defiling many [ 2] of the chief Senators wives, for which, amongst other things, he was murther'd in the Senate-house. The like adulterer was Tiberius, and most of the Romane Emperours. He committed Incest with his own sisters and then banished them. Messalina the wife of Cladius the Emperour: She had a chamber in her palace, wherein her selfe with many of the Noble women of Rome did commonly prostitute themselves: For which at the complaint of the Nobles she was put to death.
But these were her childish whoredomes: Being come to the place where Anthony was, he, to keep the Roman gravity, sat in the Tribunal with the Officers and people about him, and sends for her thither: So that being left alone, he returnes to his quarters, and sends to invite her to supper: She refuses, and excuseth herself: Anthony could no longer forbear, but goes to her, sups with her, eates and drinks in love: Anthony being thus taken, forgets his Warres his wives, and all relations: Anthoninus the Philosopher [ 11] was insatiable in her lusts: She used to prostitute herself in the stews, in the baths, in the Theaters: She used to frequent the places where naked men strove for masteries, and there noting those that were greatest of flesh, would send for them to commit filthinesse with her: She prefered to the Empire Commodus one of her adulterers, and the sonne of a sword-player, which ruined the Empire.
In France there was one Fredegundis, a famous whore, [ 12] who for her beauty was entertained by Chilperic King of France, whom she caused to banish his Queen Andovera, and his other wife called Galsuinda she caused to be murthered, that she might enjoy the King alone; yet neither was she faithful to him, but prostituted her body to Landric, Master of the Kings horse.
The King went softly behinde her, and with his wand in sport struck her behinde: She thinking it had been her Landric, said: What doest thou do, my Landric? It's the part of a good Knight to charge a Lady before, and not behinde: The King by this means finding her falshood, went his wayes on hunting, and she finding her self discovered, sent for Landric: Semiramis sought out men to satisfie her brutish [ 13] lust, whom shortly after she used to slay.
And at last she grew to that abominable impudence, that she drew her own sonne to lie with her; and to cover her filthinesse, enacted a law: That propinquity of blood should not hinder marriage. Whereupon he married her, and afterwards he married another of his sisters also. Solon made a law amongst the Athenians, that it [ 16] might be lawful for any man to kill an adulterer, taking him in the fact. Nerva the Romane Emperour made a law, that no [ 17] man should marry his neece, or brothers daughter.
And he that violated a free woman had his privy members cut off. Paris by his adultery with Helena, stirred up warres [ 24] between the Grecians and Trojans, which lasted ten yeares, and ended in the ruines of that famous City and Kingdome of Troy: Sextus Tarquinius, sonne to Superbus the last King [ 25] of the Romanes, by ravishing Lucretia the wife of Collatinus, was the author of manifold mischiefs: For Lucretia slew her self in the presence of her husband and kinsfolk: The like he would have done to his wife, but that she was with childe.
But by the meanes of his wife this wickednesse was discovered to the Emperour: A Noble man in Thuringia being taken in adultery, [ 35] the husband of the adulteresse took him, bound him hand and foot, and cast him into prison, and to quench his lust he kept him fasting; and the more to augment his paine, he daily set dishes of hot meat before him, that the sight and smell might the more provoke his appetite: In this torture the Lecher continued till he gnawed off the flesh from his own shoulders, and so the eleventh day after his imprisonment ended his wretched life.
Kenulphus King of the West-Saxons, as he usually [ 37] frequented the company of a whore that he kept at Merton, was slaine by Clito the kinsman of the late King called Sigebert. This indignity did so exasperate Pausanias, that he complained to King Philip of the wrong; who entertained him with scoffs, and scornes in stead of punishing the offender: That it had been well for the world, if his father Domitian had had such a wife.
THe way to heaven is up the hill all the way, and the uncleane adulterer with his rotten Lungs, and wasted Loines cannot climbe up it. Virgins which are not defiled with women, are they which follow the Lambe in white whithersoever he goes. The frequency of the sinne of uncleannesse amongst Christians, brings dishonour to God, scandal to their profession, and a wound to their own souls, and many of the Heathen will rise up in judgement in the last day against such: Scriptural Examples, Isaac, Gen. Sophocles, a Governour must not onely have his hands, but also his eyes chaste, and clean.
Agesilaus King of Sparta was a great lover of [ 2] chastity, and as he was a great conquerer of others, so also he conquerred his own lusts: In his journey he would never lodge in private houses where he might have the company of women but ever lodged either in the Temples, or in the open fields, making all men the witnesses of his modesty, and chastity. Persides oculorum dolores esse: That the Persian women were a disease of the eyes: This was a means to preserve chastity, and modesty amongst them Plut. Cassander sending some to murther Olympias the [ 7] mother of Alexander M.
In the time when the barbarous and bloody Danes [ 10] raged here in England, they coming to Coldingham, a Nunnery on the hither part of Scotland: AS Husbandmen cast some of their Corne back into a fruitful soile, whereby in due time they receive it back again with increase: So should we do with worldly blessings, sowe them in the bowels, and on the backs of poor members of Christ, and in the day of harvest we shall finde great increase: For we make God our debtour, who is a sure paymaster, Prov.
Charity justifieth our faith, as faith doth our persons, James 2. But yet we must look to our affections and ends in giving, We must not draw forth our sheaves onely, but our souls also, Esay Or like the fat hog, that yields no profit till he comes to the knife. But that we may be the more quickened to that lovely grace of Charity, observe these texts and examples following. It must be with compassion, Job Philemon, Verse 5, 7.
Saint Augustine was of so charirable a disposition, [ 1] that wanting of his own wherewith to do it, he caused the ornaments of the Church to be sold, and imployed the money for the redeeming of Captives, and maintaining the poore. He lay also hard upon straw, with new course canvas sheets, which when ever he changed, he gave away to the poor. See his Life in my General Martyrology. Giles of Bruxels Martyr, gave to the poore all that [ 5] he had, that necessity could spare, and lived by his trade, which was of a Cutler: See his life in my first Part.
Whence Gorgias Leontinus used to say, That Cimon so possessed his riches, as one that knew how to use them: For, saith he, the true use of riches is, so to imploy them, as may be for the owners honour. Nerva the Romane Emperour, though a heathen, was [ 8] very charitable: To poor Citizens whom he knew to be in want, he gave possessions which he purchased with his own money.
King Edward the sixth was as truly charitable in [ 10] granting Bridewel for the punishment of sturdy Rogues, as in giving Saint Thomas hospital for the relief of the poore. Fox never denied to give to any one that asked [ 11] for Jesus sake: Hooper Bishop of Worcester used every day at [ 12] dinner, to have a certaine number of the poore of the City by course, where they were served by four at a Messe, with whole, and wholesome meat, before himselfe would go to dinner.
See his Life in my first Part. Queen Anne Bullen ever used to carry a little purse [ 14] about her for the poore: See his life in my second Part. Ah, said the Bishop, what wrong hast thou done both me and thy self? Our General Norris never thought that he had that [ 20] thing that he did not give.
The Emperour Tiberius the second being a valiant, [ 21] godly, and liberal Prince, the more bountiful that he was to the poor, the more his riches encreased; so that he had such quantities of gold, silver, and precious things, as none of his Predecessors attained the like. King of Sodom, Gen. Queen of Sheba, 1 King. Princes of Ephraim, 2 Chron.
Artaxerxes was so taken herewith, that he gave the fellow a golden platter, and a thousand pieces of gold besides. He wrote to Phocion that he would make use of his friendship no more, is he refused his gifts: Forsooth, saith Serapion, because you asked it not: Alexander laughing at the jest, sent him a liberal gift. If thou comest for riches, if I have more then thou, I will give thee part of mine; if thou hast more then I, I will not refuse to receive part of thine. So God gives liberally like himself. Complained of by God, Mic. It's the root of all evil, 1 Tim.
Covetous persons are deceivers, Amos 8. Can never be satisfied, Eccles. Trouble their own house, Prov. Are very fooles, Eccles. Desire their own hurt, Eccles. It comes from the heart. Scriptural examples, Achan, Jos. Ananias, and Saphira, Act. See some examples of the danger of covetousnesse in my first Part of the Marrow of Eccles. Tiberius Caesar was so overcome by covetousnesse, [ 2] that when Cn. Lentulus, a worthy Senatour, had in his will declared him to be his heire; he sent, and killed him, that so he might have present possession of his goods.
He sold also the servants, and houshold-stuffe, Jewels, and ornaments of his sisters, taking the price of them to himself. Nero that monster of men, when by his profusenesse, [ 4] and Luxury, he had wasted the Imperial treasures, fell to such covetousnesse that he imposed new tributes on his subjects: Injuriously seized upon many rich mens estates, and often put the owners to death: Sergius Galba, to satisfie his covetousnesse, imposed [ 5] great fines upon divers Cities in Spaine, and France: Took away from the Image of Jupiter a crown of gold that weighed fifteen pound weight: Vespasian, though he be reckoned amongst the good [ 6] Emperours: He answered, that he used them but as spunges to squeese them when they were full.
Titus smelling, told him that he found no ill savour in it: The smell of gaine is sweet out of any thing: He also grievously oppressed his Subjects, especially the inhabitants of Sicily, whereby many parents were forced to sell their own children, which made him so hateful to all, that his own souldiers rose up against him, and slew him.
Cardinal Angelot was so basely covetous, that by a [ 9] private way he used to go into the stable, and steale the oats from his horses: A certain young man in Lacedaemon having bought [ 10] an house and land at a very under rate: Semiramis caused to be ingraven upon her sepulchre: Except thou wert a wicked man, and basely covetous, thou wouldest never have broken open the sepulchres of the dead.
What mean you saith he when you have these and such like buildings of your own, to covet our small cottages? Thira a Dane, wife to Godwin Earle of Kent, used [ 15] to make Merchandise of Englands beateous Virgins, by selling them at a deare rate into Denmark, seeking thereby to satisfie her own covetousnesse, and the Danes lusts: One of these loaves turned into stone is kept in an iron grate in Saint Pancratius Church in the same City of Leyden.
A begging Philosopher asking a groat of a certaine [ 18] King: But God in giving spiritual mercies regards not what is fit for us to ask, or expect, but what stands with his greatnesse, and goodnesse to bestow. Cecilius, a Senatour of Rome, though he [ 21] lost much in the Civil Warre, yet when he died, he left four thousand one hundred and sixteen Bondmen: Three thousand six hundred yoke of Oxen: Condemned, and threatened, Mal.
Such as eat holy things through simplicity, Levit. His servants slew him, 2 King. Shishak took the treasures out of the house of the Lord: Himself with all his posterity was ruined, 2. Caepio, a Romane Consul, besieging the City [ 4] of Tholouse in France, at length took it by storme, and the souldiers finding the Temples very rich, took out all the gold and silver out of them: The Phocians who were the keepers of Apollo's [ 5] Temple at Delphos, being straightned for want of mony in a time of warer, despoiled the Temple of the riches which had been bestowed upon it.
This is somewhat larger before. William the Conquerer took away land both from [ 6] God and men, to dedicate the same to wild beasts, and dogs game; for in the space of thirty miles in compasse he threw down thirty six mother-Churches, and drave all the people thereto belonging quire away, which place is now called the New Forrest in Hantshire: Likewise Henry his grand-childe by Robert his eldest sonne, whil'st he hotly pursued his game in this Chase, was hanged amongst the boughs, and so died.
See in my General Martirolygie, p. Many men when they grow great in the world, are so puft up with pride, that they scarce know themselves; which is, as if the silly Ant the higher that she gets upon her hill, the bigger she should conceit her selfe to be: It is the devils last stratagem, if he cannot beat us down to sinne, he will labour to blow us up with pride; and yet there is nothing that the Lord doth more hate, for he beholds the proud afar off, as if he were not fit to be touched with a paire of tongs: Besides, men by pride do but hasten their own ruine, —Tolluntur in altum Ut lapsu graviore ruant—.
Solomon assuring us, that Pride goeth before destruction, and an high minde before a fall: Forbidden by God, Gal. The evils of it, Job. Threatened by God, Levit. Mourned for, 2 Chron. Abimeleck, Absalom, Adoniah, Athaliah, for their ambition were slaine.
The two Captaines, 2. Rabshakeh, 2 Kings Rehoboam, 1 Kings Menecrates the Physician, because he had cured [ 6] some dangerous, and desperate diseases, assumed to himselfe the name of Iupiter, the chiefest of the gods. Empedocles the Philosopher, having cured one of a [ 7] dangerous disease, and seeing that the people almost deified him for the same: Cyrus the first King of the Persians suffered himself to [ 8] be worshipped with divine honours.
Antiochus King of Syria would needs be called [ 9] god, and have divine worship given unto him. Caligula the Emperour commanded that he should [ 10] be worshipped as a god: He used to sit in the midst of the Images of the gods, and caused the most costly fowles; and birds to be sacrificed to him: He caused the heads of most of the Idols in Rome to be broken off, and his own to be set in their roomes: Sometimes he would sit with a golden beard, and a thunder-bolt in his hand, like Iupiter: Domitian the Emperour boasted that he had given [ 11] the Empire both to his father, and brother, and that they did but restore his own to him again.
Dioclesian also caused himself to be called god. Sapor King of Persia, writing to Constantine the [ 15] great, stiled himself, Brother to the Sun, and moon, and partner with the starres. Anitus was the first amongst the Athenians, that [ 16] by heaping up riches, ambitiously bribed the people to choose him a Magistrate.
For this Herod murthered the babes of Bethlehem. Archelaus King of Macedon had a concubine called [ 20] Cratevas who out of an ambitious desire after the Kingdome slew Archelaus, but within three or four dayes after her selfe was slaine AElian: Phraates sonne to Orodes King of Parthia, to make [ 21] way for his own coming to the Crown, slew his father, and all his brethren.
This set Caesar, and Pompey together by the ears: Tiberius Caesar, fearing to be deprived of the [ 24] Empire, caused many to be put to death, especially such as excelled in estate, and vertues. Pompey the Great, when he heard that Iu. Caesar [ 28] was coming with his army towards Rome, boasted in the Senate, that if he did but stamp with his foot, he could fill Italy with Armies; yet presently after when he heard that Caesar had passed the river Rubicon, he fled from Italy into Epyrus.
Daemaratus the Lacedemonian, being at the King of [ 33] Persia 's Court, and in favour with him, the King bid him ask what he would of him: Daemaratus desired him to give him leave to go up and down the City of Sardis with his Royal hat on his head, as the Kings of Persia used. Camillus the Romane General, having after ten years [ 34] siege, taken the strong and rich City of Veia, grew very proud upon his successe, and was more puffed up by reason of the praises of the people, so that he rode through Rome in a triumphant Chariot, drawn by four white horses, which was judged a solemnity only meet for the father, and chief of the gods.
But they answered, that the onely thing that they feared was, lest the heavens should fall upon their heads. Darius King of Persia hearing that Alexander M. Darius King of Persia being overcome in a second [ 38] battel by Alexander M. I would do what he desires if he would be my inferiour, but not if he would be my equal: See the example of S. Julius Caesar earnestly affecting the office of High [ 40] Priest, wherein he had Quintus Catulus, a worthy man for his competitour, said unto his mother when they were going to the choice: O mother, this day you shall have your son either High Priest or an exile.
Phidias that made a curious shield for Minerva, was [ 42] so ambitiously desirous of glory thereby, that he so wrought in his own name, that it could not be defaced without spoiling the shield. Themistocles was so ambitious of honour, as that he [ 43] could not sleep in the night: And being asked in the Theater whose voice pleased him best?
Of them that most sing my praise. Wo is me, that have not yet gotten the dominion of one of them. And after his great victories against the Persians he went to the Oympick Games, where all the people gave over beholding the sports that they might look upon him, which so pleased his ambitious humour that he said to his friends, That now he reaped the fruit of all the dangers, and labours that he had gone throw for the safety of Greece.
Ea tibi accipe, tu enim non es Themistocles: Take thou those things, for thou art not Themistocles. King Henry the second of England, AnnoChristi Whereupon the Arch-bishop of York said pleasantly unto him: To whom the young King scornefully answered: Why do ye wonder? My father doth not think that he doth more then what becomes him. The Great Cham of Tartary had wont when he had [ 50] dined to cause his trumpeters to sound their trumpets before his palace-gates, thereby to give notice to all the Kings in the world that now the great Cham had dined they might take leave to go to dinner.
A poor Spanish Cobler lying on his death-bed, [ 51] his eldest sonne came to him for his last blessing: A Spanish Cavalier for some faults by him committed [ 52] was whipped thorow the principal streets of Paris: The Spaniard begs in this Method: If it be but a penny or so, he casts it contemptibly into the donors face: Eunomius the Heretick proudly boasting that he [ 56] knew God, and his Divinity: Basil to convince him of his ignorance, and folly, gravelled him in twenty one questions about the body of a Pismire.
You cannot saith he see your shadow one jot longer, after this great victory then it was before. The one for nourishing their horrid bushes of vanity: Rhodophe, a famous strumpet in Egypt, having gotten [ 2] a vast some of money by her whoredomes; to get her self a great name, built a Pyramis, though lesse then the other, yet of farre more curious workmanship. Promises made to it, Prov. Contrary complained of, Jer. Scriptural examples, Abram, Gen. Mardonius the Persian General being beaten by the [ 3] Grecians, and his army routed, himself with most of the Persian Nobility fled into the City of Thebes: See the example of Aristides in Constancy, and in Moderation.
Before the battel of Marathon the Tagaeatae strove [ 5] with the Athenians about the chiefest place in the Army: The place doth neither give, uor take away valour: After the death of Romulus, the Romanes chose [ 7] Numa Pompilius, a Sabine of the City Cures for their King, and sent Ambassadours to him to acquaint him with their choice, and to desire his present repaire to their City: The Ambassadours thought that few words would have prevailed with him to accept of it: But he being a prudent, and humble man, answered them, that change, and alteration of a mans life.
Certaine fishermen of the Isle of Co, casting their [ 8] net into the sea, some strangers that were passing by, would needs buy their draught at an adventure, and when they drew up their net, there came up in it a three-footed stoole of massie gold: But the Oracle at Delphos being consulted with, commanded them to give the stoole to the wisest man that then was: But Thales sent the stoole to Bias, judging him a wiser man then himself: He again sent it to another as a wiser man then himself: Solon was earnestly solicited by the Athenians to take [ 9] upon him the sovereignty of the City, and countrey: His friends also much pressed him to it, telling him that he was no better then a beast, if for fear of the name of a Tyrant, he should refuse the Kingdome, which is the most just and honourable estate if it be undertaken by an honest man: On a time he sent word to a Citizen of Megara, that he would come and sup with him: I am well enough served, for coming in such mean apparel.
But he said unto them, Can your countrimen make gods of men? Well then, said Agesilaus, let them first make themselves gods, and then I will believe that they can make me one. Claudius the Romane Emperour, was so humble, that [ 14] he would not suffer any to give him divine worship as his predecessour had done: When he chose any to publick offices, he would not suffer them to returne him thanks in the Senate, as had been used: I have not done this for my self: It was a custome amongst the Romanes, that when [ 16] they had gotten any notable victory the General used to send letters decked with Laurel to the Consuls at Rome, and to desire them Decernere supplicationes: The Emperour Frederick, after his victory over the [ 19] Gunzians in Hungary, said thus to his souldiers: We have done a great work, my souldiers: Anger is sometimes lawfull, yea a duty, when a man is angry at his own sinnes, or others, or at whatsoever hindreth the glory of God: Elijah, 1 Kings The evils of it, Prov.
It's condemned, and threatened, Gen. Examples of it out of Scripture: Simeon, and Levi, Gen. Iames, and Iohn, Luk. Paul, and Barnabas, Act. Examples out of other Authors: Athenodorus, the [ 1] Philosopher when he went to take his leave of Augustus Caesar, left him this rule: O Caesar, saith he, remember that when thou art angry, thou neither speakest, nor doest ought till thou hast repeated over destinctly the Greek Alphabet.
Because knowing that I am soon angry, I may prevent being angry with those that might hereafter break them. Semiramis as she was dressing her head, newes [ 7] being brought that Babylon rebelled against her: Tomyris Queen of Scythia, having overcome, and [ 8] taken Cyrus King of Persia, caused his head to be cut off, and thrown into a bowle of blood, bidding him to drink his fill, for that he had so much thirsted after blood, and had slaine her sonne in the Warres: Alexander suspecting that he spake against him, asked what he said? This Clitus had formerly saved the Kings life in the battel against Darius: He was an old souldier of King Philips, and had performed many excellent exploits.
So that Alexander when the heat of his anger was over, was so enraged against himselfe for this murther, that he was about with the same lance to have murthered himself, if he had not been violently restrained by his servants. Caius Caligula was of a most malicious disposition, [ 11] for which end he kept two books, which he called his sword and dagger, wherein he wrote the names of all such as he had appointed to death.
He had such a chest of all sorts of the most exquisite poisons, that when afterwards it was thrown into the sea by his successor Claudius, it poisoned a great multitude of fishes. King Edward the first of England going against Bruce [ 13] King of Scotland, caused his eldest sonne, and all his Nobles to swear, that if he died in his journey, they should carry his corps about Scotland with them, and not suffer it to be interred till they had vanquished the Scots, and subdued the whole Kingdom.
Master, remember the Athenians. And indeed it is that that gives a great lustre to all the rest: It puts, and keeps a man in possession of his soul, Luk. Moses his meeknesse, and Jobs patience are exemplary, and so held forth in the Scripture: And these which follow also may be useful to quicken us to an earnest pursuit after this so excellent a vertue. Lycurgus took him home with him to his house, spake never a soule word to him, only commanded him to waite upon him: The young man, now sensible of his fault willingly obeyed him, and observing his strict life, and his constancy in enduring labour, he began first to reverence, and then to love him with this heart, so that of a fierce, rash, and ill conditioned youth, he became a grave, and wise man.
Strike me if thou wilt, said Themistocles, so thou wilt but heare me: So we should say to God, Strike us if thou wilt but hear our prayers. Acertaine Lacedemonian speaking many things freely [ 4] against Artaxerxes M. Alexander in his younger dayes, was of a very milde, [ 7] and patient spirit insomuch as being told that some of his friends used in secret to detract from him, he bore it patiently saying: It's a Kingly thing to hear ill, when one doth well.
Tell him, said he, that I command him never to think upon this injury which the Athenians do me: As long as I do nothing that deserves reproach, I care not for lies. If we be wise, let us lay aside our former youthly, and vaine contentions, and let us now strive who shall do most for the publick good of our countrey, thou by thy valour, and I by my counsel, and undergoing the office of a servant to thee.
Beza with some other of his Colleagues disputing [ 12] with some Jesuits about the Eucharist: Cranmers gentlenesse in pardoning wrongs [ 13] was so great, that it grew into a Proverb, Do my Lord of Canterbury a shrewd turn, and then you shall be sure to have him your friend whilest he liveth.
The Pythagoreans, if at any time through anger [ 14] they brake forth into evil speaking, yet before the Sun-setting by giving their hands each to other, they renewed their friendship again. See Ambrose his Life in my first Part. Socrates an Heathen, when one gave him a box of [ 16] the eare, onely said, What an ill thing is it that men cannot foresee when they should put on an helmet before they go abroad?
And at another time being kicked by one: If an Asse should kick me said he should I spurne him again? And when another had wronged him, he said, I would have smitten thee but that I am angry. The son calling to them desired them to let his father alone, saying, he had power over him to do in that kinde what he pleased: Remember then, said Aristippus that although I be the elder, and better man, yet I sought first unto thee: Augustus Caesar was also of the same disposition: For Augustus had bred him up: King Henry the sixth was of that meek disposition, [ 21] that being wounded in the side by a Ruffian, whilest he was a prisoner in the Tower: Look said he how much they blame my fault, so much I commend, and praise my Phisician.
A fellow objecting to Beza his youthly Poems: They had a name only that they lived, but were dead, Rev. It's sometimes partial, as Peters, Mat. Aarons, and the Israelites, Exod. Rehoboams, and Judah, 2 Chron. Hymeneus, and Alexander, 1 Tim. Hymeneus, and Philetus, 2 Tim. But not taking warning hereby, shortly after the Lord struck his sonne Abijah with siknesse, whereof he died, 1 Kings After which the Lord smote him with an incurable disease in his bowels, so that after he had lived two yeers in grievous torments, his guts fell out of his belly, and he died, 2 Chron.
An ancient woman who had revolted from the [ 12] truth, and denied her profession, yet thrust her selfe into the Assembly of the Faithful, and received the Sacrament of the Lords Supper with them: One Henry Smith, a Lawyer of [ 15] the middle Temple, who made a zealous profession of the truth, afterwards by the seducement of one of his friends, turned Papist, for which being stricken with terrors of conscience, he hanged himselfe in his own chamber. If he kept not his Faith to God, what duty in conscience can a man expect from him, Euseb.
See the Life of Beza in my first Part. Petrus Caroli, an odious Apostate, and tronbler of [ 21] the Church. See the life of Calvin in my first Part. See my English Martyrologie. Stephen Gardiner Bishop of Winchester cried out on [ 26] his death-bed that he had denied his Master with Peter, but not repented with Peter, and so stinking above ground ended his wretched life.
See my English Martyrolgy. Master West, Chaplaine to Bishop Ridley, and a [ 27] Preacher, and Professour of the truth in King Edward the sixths dayes, afterwards in Queen Maries time he turned Papist, forsook his Master, and said Masse though it were against his conscience: As also divers other examples in my Martyrologies. But not long after he died miserably in Constantinople. But after they came to their Kingly dignities they renounced Christ, and returned to the service of their filthy Idols: Whereupon as they forsook Christ, he forsook them, and within one yeares space, both of them were slaine by Cedwalla, King of the Britanes.
Peter Castellan Bishop of Maston, who sometimes [ 34] had been a forward professour of the truth: So that feeling Gods heavy vengeance upon him he began to despaire of mercy, and resolved to pine himself, which purpose the lice seemed to further, for they clustered so many in his throat as almost choaked him and when some of his friends pittying his condition set open his mouth with a gag to poure in broth, the lice went down with it, and choaked him: King Henry the fourth of France, who had all his [ 37] life-time before been a Protestant: You have denied God with your tongue, and have received a wound in the same, take heed of denying him with your heart, lest you receive a wound in that also: To whom the Smith answered that his cause was good, and he might with comfort suffer for it: O unhappy, and more then miserable man!
Is it possible that to save your life for a few dayes you should so deny the truth? And accordingly as he went out of the prison two Gentlemen that had a former quarrel to him, met him and slew him.
That there are such, See Job. Such are they that are spoken of, Job The rich glutton, Luk. Aristotle reading the history of the creation, in [ 4] Genesis, said: You speak of strange matters, Sir Moses, but how do you prove them? Caligula the Romane Emperour fancied himselfe a [ 6] god, and would needs finde out a way to imitate Ioves thunder: He commanded himselfe to be worshipped, and set up his Images every where: He dedicated the Temple at Hierusalem to his own worship: But when the true God gave forth his voice of Majesty from heaven, he that before was so high, was now as low, and of a poor spirit, covering his eyes with his cap, running under a bed, or creeping into a bench-hole for safety: Daphida the Sophister, going to Apollo's Oracle at [ 8] Delphos, enquired whether he should finde his horse or no, whereas he had no horse: Heliog abalus forced a Vest all Virgin to marry him, [ 10] made warre against all the gods, and contemned all religious serving of them, for which he was slaine by his own horsemen, his body being dragged up, and down the streets, and at last thrown into Tyber.
It was an Atheistical speech of Statius the Poet, [ 13] Primus in or be deos fecit Timor, that fear first made gods in the world, and that all opinions of a Deity were frivolous, being devised by wise men to keep the people in awe, and order. O what profit hath this fable of Christ brought unto us? Francis Ribelius was so profane that he made a mock [ 18] at all Religion, counting it a thing to be laughed at: And it came to passe that whil'st the Bishops Lawyer was opening these things against him, the house where they were, began to tremble very much, so that a stone from the roofe fell down amongst them, but without hurt to any, yet were they so affrighted, that all departed for that time: For which himselfe, with his books were burnt in Holland.
Gods Justice notably appearing, in that his own hand that had written those blasphemies, was an instrument to wound his head that had devised them. He was a notorious whoremaster, and so addicted to swearing, that he could scarce speak without an oath: And I perswade my selfe that in these wicked times wherein Atheisme doth so much abound, many like examples of Gods judgements might be observed if they were but taken notice of, and recorded for Gods glory, and caution to others.
IT's a great sinne, Mat. To Blaspheme men, forbidden, Tit. It ought to be carefully avoided, Col. Sennacherib, and Rabshakeh, 2 King. Scribes, and Pharisees, Mat. Unrepentant under plagues, Rev. Falsly charged on Naboth, 1 King. King Lewis of France caused a Noble man to have [ 2] his lips slit with an hot iron for blaspheming the Name of God.
Another of his officers called Felix seeing the holy [ 5] vessels which belonged to the Church, said in scorne: See what precious vessels Maries Sonne is here served withal: He is quoth the other making a Coffin for such a blasphemer as thou art, to carry thee to the grave: One said he was a good old Father: Moses, Christ, and Mahomet.
About the year Mr Hauks being convented before Bishop Bonner [ 15] for refusing to have his childe baptized, the Bishop asked him the reason of it?
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You are too curious, you will have nothing but your little pretty Gods Book. Truly thou hast marred a good old song. The Emperour on the contrary called the Bishop Blinde fool, blasphemously adding. Thy God of Galilee will not restore thy sight to thee again: Maris replied, I thank my God for making me blinde, that I might not behold so ungracious a face as thine is. Now my horse is one of the communicants in both kindes. Why do you not now sing, The Lord reigneth?
Let us see thou lewd Heretick, if thy God can deliver thee out of my hand. At Angiers in France the Papists burnt many Bibles, [ 22] and meeting with one faire gilt one, they hung it on an halbard, carried it in procession, saying: Behold, truth is hanged, the truth of the Huguenotes, the truth of all the devils: Behold, the mighty God: At Orleance as they murthered the Protestants, they [ 25] cried out: Where is now your God?
Let your God that you called upon, save you if he can. Others sang in scorne, Judge, and revenge my cause, O Lord: See many more in my General Martyr. THe Apostle Peter, 2 Pet. Ishmael was a scoffer in Abrahams family, and the Church hath alwayes been pestered with some of his brood: They are wicked persons, Prov. Men of Judah, 2 Chron. Jobs friends, Iob Little children, 2 King. Some others, Job Mockeries fit to be used towards a Leaden, but not towards the ever-living God.
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Help us now O Lord, for it is time: Where is now John Knox his God? My God is now stronger then his, yea even in Fife: See Master Knox his Life in my first Part. Castle where she was, burst out into a great laughter, saying: Now will I go to Masse, and praise God for that which mine eyes have seen. And when the French had stripped the slaine, and laid the naked bodies along the walls, the Queen looking on them, said scoffingly, Yonder are the fairest Tapestries that ever mine eyes beheld: I would that the whole fields which are betwixt Leith, and this place were all strewed with the same stuffe.
But this joy lasted not long: For presently after a fire kindled in Leith, which burnt up their store-houses, and provision for the Army: When Christians complained to Julian the Apostate [ 7] of the abuse, and wrongs which his officers did to them: It's your part when you are injured to take it patiently; for so your God commandeth you: It's a great sinne, 1 Tim. Scriptural examples, Princes, and people, Jer. Tissaphernes, desired to know the reason of his coming, Agesilaus answered, that it was to let the Grecian Cities free: Agesilaus consented, and so a truce was made, with solemne oaths on both sides; but Tissaphernes dealt deceitfully, and sent to the King for a great Army.
Hereupon most treacherously they ran upon Eumenes, took away his sword, and bound his hands behinde him, so that he could scarce get leave to speake before they carried him away, but at last having obtained leave, he thus spake: And so being delivered to Antigonus, he was shortly after murthered by him: But withal he so hated these perjured Silver shields, that he burned one of their Colonells, and slew the other, the rest of them he sent into remote Countreys, and put them upon such desperate services, that by degrees they were all cut off, and never any one of them, returned into his own Countrey againe.
But so soon as King Henry was dead in Normandy, Stephen hasted into England, and by the help especially of the Bishops, was made King, and the Emperesse put by: But shortly after one of them with his whole family, and substance was burnt with fire: The Arians hired a woman to accuse Eustatius a [ 7] godly Bishop of committing whoredome with her, thereby procuring his banishment: The Emperour Albert, having made a truce with [ 8] the great Turke, and solemnly sworne to the same: Pope Eugenius the fourth sent him a dispensation from his oath, and excited him to renew the warre against them: The Egyptians reputed perjury so capital a crime, [ 10] that whosoever was convinced thereof was punished with death.
He had no sooner made an end of his oath, but being suddenly stricken with an Apoplexie, he never spake word more till he died. But the Argive women, their husbands being slaine, took up armes, like so many Amazones, and repelled Cleomenes: If thou be a God, as they say thou art, and as we dream, revenge the wrong now done unto thy Name, and me, and shew thy power upon thy perjured people, who in their deeds deny thee their God: Henry Falmer being accused by his own brother of [ 17] Heresie, as they call it, suffered Martyrdome for the same: And his Emperesse became a dishonour also to the royal place which she held, and so Gods judgements justly followed him for his perjury.
Elfred a Nobleman in the dayes of King Ethelstane [ 19] of England, conspiring against his Sovereigne intended at Winchester to have pulled out his eyes: Goodwin Earle of Kent, Anno A certain Inne-Keeper in the town of Rutlinguen, [ 22] receiving a Budget of money from a passenger, to keep for him, forswore the same before the Judge, giving himself to the devil if he swore falsly, and was by two that testified against him which indeed were two Fiends of Hell presently in the presence of the Judge, hoisted up into the aire, where he vanished away with them, and was never found after.
A rich young maide in Saxony promised marriage [ 24] to a proper young man, but poore: He fore-seeing that wealth and inconstancy might alter her minde, freely disclosed his thoughts to her: At dinner two men on horseback came to the house, and were entertained at the feast: Philip King of Macedonia was a great contemner of [ 25] all oaths, and held the religious observation of them as a vaine thing, for which cause the vengeance of God followed him, and all his posterity: Arideus one of his sons was slaine by Olympias his wife: Another son that he had by Cleopatra, was by his mother tormented to death in a brazen vessel compassed about with fire: A certain maid in London that had stolen many [ 26] things from her Mistris, being examined, forswore them, wishing that she might rot if ever she touched them, or knew of them: BIshop Ridly in a Sermon at Pauls Crosse related a [ 1] story of a young Gentleman of Cornwall in the dayes of King Edward the sixth, who riding in the company of other Gentlemen began to swear, and swagger, and being reproved for it he swore the more, and raged worse: Well, said the other, amend, for death gives no warning: Horse, and man, and all to the devil.
Michael a Jewish Rabbin, as he was swearing, and [ 3] blaspheming the Name of Iesus, fell down, and brake his neck. One who for twelve or sixteen years together used [ 5] to sweare by Gods Armes: In the end his own arme being hurt with a knife, could not be healed by any means, but wrankled, and festered from day to day, and at last so rotted, that it fell away peece-meale, and himself through anguish, and paine thereof died. I my selfe saith a godly Divine, that wrote lately [ 6] knew two most notorious swearers, that brake their necks, the one with a fall down a paire of staires, the other from his horse.
At a Village called Benevides in Spaine, two young [ 8] men being together in the field, there suddenly arose a terrible tempest, and withal so violent a whirlewinde, that it amazed the beholders: Charilaus a Pagan being asked why the Images of [ 12] the gods in Sparta were armed? To the end, saith he, that men may fear to blaspheme the gods, knowing that are armed to take vengeance upon their enemies.
Chrysostome whilest he was at Antioch spent most of his Sermons against swearing that if not the fear of God, yet his importunity might make them a weary of that sin. Philip King of France ordained that whosoever by [ 13] swearing blasphemed God, though in a Tavern, yet he should be straightway drowned. Maximilian the Emperour decreed that every vain [ 14] swearer should pay thirteen shillings and four pence, which who so refused to pay, and repented not of his wickednesse, should lose his head. God damn me, if it be as deep as hell I will go into it: O Paul, Paul, if thy Doctrine touching the receiving of the Sacrament in both kindes be true, and if it be a wicked thing to receive it otherwise, then let the devil take me: In Helvetia, Anno Henry Earle of Schwartburg used commonly to wish [ 4] that he might be drowned in a Privy.
Luther on 1 Cor. If it be not true, let God send a visible confusion upon me: At Wittenberg, before Martin Luther and others; [ 10] a woman whose daughter was possessed with a spirit, confessed that, being angry she bid the devil take her, and that she had no sooner spoken the word, but she was possessed after a strange sort. In a towne in Misnia, Sep. But yet the Lord doth seldome suffer the Authors, and chiefe fomentors of Heresies, and Schismes even in this world to go unpunished, as will fully appear in these ensuing examples.
An heretick is one that erres in a necessary doctrine of faith, and being sufficiently admonished, wilfully persists therein, Tit. Seducing spirits, 1 Tim. Teachers of perverse things, Act. Heresie is called Leaven, Luk. Damnable Doctrine, 2 Pet. Mystery of iniquity, 2 Thes. Contrary to sound Doctrine, 1 Tim. Doctrine of devils, 1 Tim. Doctrine of men, Col. Erring from the truth, 2 Tim. Root of bitternesse, Heb. Doctrine of Balaam, and Nicholaitans, Rev. Scriptural examples, Ahab, and Zedekiah, Jer. Zedekiah, 1 Kings Scribes and Pharisees, Mat. Phygellus and Hermogenes, 2 Tim. Manas, or Manicheus, the Heretick, denied the [ 5] Old Testament, called himselfe the holy Spirit, and professed that he had power to work miracles: Gerinthus the heretick, being in a Bath at Ephesus, [ 9] the Apostle John seeing him, said to those that were with him, Let us depart, lest the house wherein the Lords enemy is, should fall upon our heads: Montanus who denied the Divinity of Christ, and [ 10] called himselfe the Comforter, or holy Spirit, that was to come into the world: And his two wives, Priscilla and Maxilla, he named his Prophetesses: Constantius the Emperour, a great favourer, and [ 13] supporter of the Arian Heresie, died suddenly of an Apoplexie.
Help thou me to root out them, and I shall help thee to overcome thine enemies: He cut out all the contents of the Chapters, through the whole Bible: Himself upon the breaking open of this door presently took his bed, refusing to speak to, or converse with any: He died in the said town of Basil, Anno Christ my predecessour to shew his power rose again the third day: At Boston in New England the seventeenth of Octob.
It was of the female Sexe; both the father and mother of it were great Familists: The midwife one Hawkins wife of St. Most of the women who were present at this womans travel, were suddenly taken with such a violent vomiting, and purging, without eating, or drinking any thing, that they were forced to go home: Also about the same time, and in the same place one [ 20] Mistris Hutchinson, who held about thirty monstrous, and Heretical opinions, whereof you have a Catalogue set down by the same Author, Pag. Quaecunque humani fuerant, jurisque sacrati, In dubium veniunt cuncta vocante Scoto.
No marvel that to doubtful tearmes of life himself was brought, Whil'st with like wile, and subtile trick, death on his body wrought. When as her stroke to kill outright she would not him vouchsafe, Until that man a pitious case was buried quick in grave. With the Manichees he affirmed that there were but two persons in the Deity. With Macedonius he said that the Holy Ghost was a Creature: But when he had lived in wickednesse about fourty years, God cut him off by the falling sicknesse, which of a long time having been troubled with, he told his seduced disciples that at those times the Angel Gabriel appeared to him, whose brightnesse he could not behold.
Then Coppinger asked, what his pleasure was to command them? Go saith he and proclaime in the City, that Jesus Christ is come with his fan in his hand to judge the earth: Coppinger answered, that it should be done: They also called themselves his Prophets, one of Justice, the other of Mercy. Coppinger died the next day in Bridewel, and Arthington was kept in prison upon the hope of repentance. Some Donatists which cast the holy elements of [ 26] the Lords Supper to dogs, were themselves devoured by dogs.
In the year Yea, said Policarp, I know thee for the first-begotten of Satan. Donatus the father of the Donatists, about the year [ 31] The will of the Lord is fulfilled. But one of his fifteen wives for so many he had somewhat more consciencious then the rest, said, That she thought God was not well pleased with their feasting, and rioting, when the other people pined with hunger, and so were famished to death in the streets: This mock-King, being told of this speech of hers, brought her into the market-place with other of his wives, and making her kneel down, cut off her head, commanding his other wives to sing, and give praise for it to their heavenly Father.
Three hundred Anabaptists that fell upon a Monastery in Friesland, and rifled it, were most of them, either killed by the ruines of the Monastery, or put to death by the hangman. John of Leiden, and their Consul Bernard Knipperdoling, were tied to a stake, and together with their great Prophet had their flesh torne off with hot pinchers, and in the end being slaine, had their bodies put into iron Cages, and hanged on the steeple of Saint Lambert. There was in the yeare At the beginning of the difference between the King, and Parliament, he was chosen Marshal of the City of London, and continued some yeares in that imployment: See more of these in Mr.
The night was a Moonshiny night, and as they expected when an Angel should come to fetch her up in a Chariot, a cloud comes and covers the face of the Moone, whereupon they all cry out, Behold he comes in the clouds: And after a while comes a flock of wilde geese a good way off, whereupon again they cry out, He comes, he comes: Azrael rode on, reading his bible. He could only comprehend them through the bible. It was the way it had always been, and the way it would always be. But he felt whole again now as he turned the pages.
He would have wept, but he was long beyond weeping over anything. After a time he came to the next town. They were cracked open, so Azrael imagined the town had probably once been named Blasted Rock or something like that.
Like the others, this one had been reduced to ash and smoke. Azrael studied the smoke as he rode. He saw the shape it formed. A writhing tower that reminded him of another place. He looked back at the book and rode on. He knew the bible was a gift of some sort from Erafel. Erafel had shaken him off and ripped the wound open with a talon.
Holy fire spilled out of her. It had been enough to fuel his anger for a century. It had been many centuries since Azrael had felt that way. He wondered if the fire still burned within her. On the other side of the town without a name, the road turned to bone. More people were bound to crucifixes on either side, but some of these were alive. The road turned here and there and rose up into the sky at points in bridges over nothing before dropping back down to the earth.
It was the path of a madman and made no sense in this wasteland. But Azrael recognized the road. It rose over streams that had never flowed in this ground. The farther he rode, the more the crosses bore living souls. They wailed and screamed, and the sound reminded him of long-forgotten winds. He knew what he would find in the last town before it even came into view on the horizon. A temple with spires that pointed at the heavens like blades raised to the sky.
The temple itself was made of bodies, some dead but many living. They writhed and cried out in their confines, but they were bound fast to each other with more sinew and bone. Azrael followed the road toward it. He wondered what the men who had hired him would think if they could see this. He went past a sign fallen on the ground. Azrael left the horse beside one of the crucifixes outside the temple and loosened his guns in their holsters before he went in.
He kept the bible in his hands. That he would need for Erafel. He found an empty throne of skulls all branded with her mark, and nothing else. The ceiling and walls of the temple writhed with the souls trapped in them. Hands grabbed at his legs from the floor. Blood dripped down on him from the ceiling.
It was a vision. And now here you are. The smoke drifted to the center of the room and then coalesced into a writhing mess of incomprehensible shapes that eventually resolved themselves into Erafel. She wore the skins of humans over her worn body, but she cast them off and spread her tattered wings around him in a form of embrace. She was as beautiful as he remembered. She ran a talon along the back of his neck, just hard enough to break the skin. Azrael took that to mean Erafel had lost her own bible somewhere. Or perhaps it had been destroyed. Which he figured was probably just as well, given the path she appeared to be walking now.
The streams and the winds. But this is not one of the lost cities of heaven. This is an abomination. She leaned close to him, until their lips almost touched. To remind Azrael of the days when he and Erafel had passed judgment on the mortals side-by-side. So the fire still burned within her. She sprang into the air and hovered there for a second, but her wings were too tattered to support her. She grabbed onto the ceiling and hung from it, and the mortals trapped there screamed again.
Ash drifted down from her onto Azrael. The words sundered the air, and both the living and the dead trapped in the temple walls screamed. Erafel screamed herself, a sound that drowned out the other cries.
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The sound pierced him as sure as any blade, and he staggered. Only the words of his bible protected him. The very air caught fire, and now they were in an inferno. But everything else did.
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Erafel fell out of the flames toward him. She shifted into her true form as she came at him, and he cast his gaze elsewhere. That way lay madness, even for an angel. She tried to knock the bible from his hand, but he was ready for it. He used its words to throw himself up, ripping free of the grasping hands of the floor and shattering the ceiling of bone and flesh above. He rose into the sky that was darkness without stars as she fell to the earth beneath him. He felt all his power coming back now that he had the bible again. He felt whole once more. He felt like an avenging angel once more.
He knew that was what Erafel had wanted. But he knew that whatever he felt, he would never be the seraph he had once been again, no matter how his bible made him feel. He paid them no heed. He hung in the night and looked for Erafel. She rose out of the ruins like the phoenix they had once hunted together, on a column of fire.
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She held in one hand a sword that burned with black fire, and the other she drew back in a gesture Azrael knew far too well. He turned to the last page of his bible and read the words there. He realized as he uttered the words for the first time that he had been right to be cautious. The dead all exploded as the words released their souls. Bones and flesh erupted in all directions and then were consumed by the rising pillar of It was as if the air itself was rent open all the way to the heavens, exposing the very substance of the ether.
There was a sound that may have been thousands of simultaneous screams, or may have just been the howling of the wind. Azrael caught sight of her, for a moment, writhing in the consuming power of the pillar of souls. He saw her smile, and in that instant he knew he had been wrong about everything. She knew better than that. She wanted to be consumed by the heavenly wrath only it could unleash.
And then her body disintegrated into dust, and the pillar burned a hole into the heavens and was gone. Azrael drifted back down into the ruins. Bones crunched under his feet. It was just him and the dead now. And his dead horse. He looked down at the book again and saw the last page was blank now. They were blank as well. He looked up at the hole the pillar had burned in the clouds overhead. It was already closing up again. A shadow passed overhead. He looked up, but it was just the buzzards again.
Azrael gazed around one more time at the ruin that Erafel had wreaked. The same ruin he had once wreaked himself. Then he began to go through the bodies, one by one, looking to see if there were anyone still alive, anyone who needed the only mercy he could deliver. He has published short stories in numerous journals and anthologies, including previously in Beneath Ceaseless Skies , and his last weird western received On Spec 's Best Story of the Year award. He currently lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he is working on a collection of stories about the end of the world.
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