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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 196



A.D. 313. PERSECUTION CEASES. A.D. 311. Melchiades became pope; he occupied the Roman chair three years, eight months, and eight days. A.D. 312. Maxentius, son of Herculeus Maximian, was called Augustus at Rome. He behaved with great tyranny towards the Roman people, endeavouring to ruin all the most noble men of the city. And as his savageness increased, men quitted their country and fled into Britain to Constantine, and were honourably received by him. At last, as great numbers had come to him, they excited him to hatred of Maxentius, often addressing him in this manner :— " You are the only one of our race ; you, by expelling Maxentius, can restore to us what we have lost, and by our assistance you will be able to obtain the empire of Rome, which is your due. For you have great wealth of gold and silver, and a great number of valiant soldiers." Constantine, therefore, being excited by these and other inducements, prepared a fleet by the advice of the Romans, which he adopted in all particulars. A.D. 313. Constantine, coming to Rome, led with him the three uncles of Helena, his mother, namely, Trahernius, Marius, and Leolinus, and a countless number of soldiers. And when Maxentius the tyrant had been expelled, he restored all whom he had proscribed to their former dignity. He also advanced his three uncles to the rank of senators, and after that he governed the monarchy of the world with tranquillity. The same year, the persecution of the Christians ceased, and peace was given to the churches ; and this persecution had lasted the preceding ten years, or something like it, as Bede relates in the first book and sixth chapter of his History. During which time, Diocletian in the east, and Maximian Herculeue in the west, ordered-the churches to be laid waste, and the Christians to be afflicted and put to death, being the tenth persecution since Nero. But when the whirlwind ot this persecution had, after the lapse of ten years, become calmed, then the faithful in Christ coming forth in public, (men who, during the time of danger, had hidden themselves in remote woods, and desert places, and secret caves,) renewed the churches of the saints which had been thrown to the ground, and founded, and built, and completed temples to the Holy Martyrs, and set them up like victorious standards, and celebrated days of festival, and performed sacrifices. At this time, a temple is founded in honour of the blessed


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