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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 198



described as having been of an angehc aspect, elegant in his discourse, holy in his works, great in counsel, a catholic in faith, most patient in hope, Uberai in charity, the comfort of orphans and widows, the support of the monks and clergy, the defence of laymen and poor men, the succour of matrons and virgins. His therefore being adorned by such eminent and great virtues, was accounted honourable before God and before man. A.D. 316. The before-mentioned Octavius, being anxious on account of the kingdom that he had lost, issued an edict to his friends, to endeavour with all their efforts to kill Trahernius. At last, when, one day, Trahernius was leaving the city of London, a certain count laid wait for him in one of the suburbs in a valley, and slew him. But*Octavius returned into Britain, and having routed the Romans, occupied the kingdom, and governed it peaceably many years. A.D. 317· Saint Silvester, fleeing from the persecution of the emperor Constantine, lay hid in Mount Seraphus. A.D. 318. After Constantine Augustus had made a great slaughter of the Christians, he was violently attacked with leprosy. And as he was advised to make himself a bath of the blood of innocent children, three thousand were brought to him. But their mothers, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, prostrated themselves before him, groaning and howling, and caused great alarm to him and his nobles. Then the emperor, abhorring such a crime, ordered the children to be restored to their mothers with ample presents, in order that they who had come weeping might return rejoicing. God having regard for this pious action, the next night sent to him the Apostles Peter and Paul, who addressed him in the following manner: " Since, Constantine, you have abhorred the effusion o f innocent blood, we are sent by God to give you salutary advice with reference to the recovery of your health ; send, therefore, to Silvester, the bishop of the city of Rome, who is lying hid in Mount Seraphus, by whose means, when you have believed in the one God, and have been baptised in the' font in the baptismal water, you shall be cleansed from all contagion of leprosy." The emperor therefore, rising up, caused Silvester to come to him, and carefully related to him all that had been said to, and seen by him. Then the holy Silvester baptized him,


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