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156 [143]

thy Emperour he prescribed a certayne forme of praier in stede of a Catechisme for euerye man to haue, and to learne how to praye and to inuocate God. The which forme of prayer is recited in the fourth booke of Eusebius De vita Constantini, in wordes as foloweth.

Marginalia The forme of prayer apoynted by Constantine for hys soldiours.Te solum nouimus Deum, te regem cognoscimus, te adiutorē inuocamus, abs te victorias reserimus, per te victorias inimicorum constituimus, tibi præsentium bonorū gratiam acceptam ferimus, et per te futura quoque speramus, tibi supplices sumus omnes: Imperatorē nostrum Constantinum, ac pientissimos eius filios, in longissima vita incolumes nobis ac victores custodire supplices oramus, per Christum dominum nostrum. Amen. In english

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Marginalia The souldiors prayer.We knowledge thee onelye to be our God, we confesse thee onely to be our king, we inuocate and cal vpō thee our onely helper, by thee we obtayne our victories, by thee we vanquishe and subdue our enemies, to thee we attribute what soeuer present commodities we enioy, and by thee we hope for good thinges to come, vnto thee we direct al our sute and peticions: most humbly beseching thee to conserue Constantine our Emperour, and his noble children in long lyfe to continue, and to geue them victory ouer al their enemies, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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In his owne palace, he set vp an house peculiar for prayer and doctryne, vsynge also to praye and synge wyth hys people. Also in his warres he wente not without his tabernacle apointed for the same. Marginalia The sōday appoynted to be kepte holy.The sondaye he commaunded to be kept holy of all men, and free frō al iudiciarie causes, from markets, martes, fayres, and all other manual labours, onely husbandry excepted: especially charging that no images or monumentes of idolatry should be set vp.

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Marginalia Liberties & priuileges graūted to the clergy.Men of the Clergie and of the ministery in al places he indued with speciall priuilegies and immunities, so that if any were brought before the ciuil Magistrate, & listed to appeale to the sentence of his bishop, it shoulde be lawful for him so to do: and that the sentence of the bishop should stand in as great force as if the magistrate or the Emperour himselfe had pronoūced it.

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¶ But here is to be obserued and noted by the way, that the Clerkes and Ministers then newlye creepyng out of persecution, were in those dayes, neither in number so great, nor in order of lyfe, of lyke disposition to these in our dayes now liuing.

Marginalia The prouision & liberalitie of Constant. in maynteyning scholes.No lesse care and prouision the sayde Constantinus also had to the mayntenance of scholes pertaynyng to the church, and to the nourishing of good artes and liberall sciences, especially of Diuinitie: not onelye wyth stipendes and subsidies furnishing them, but also wyth large priuilegies and exemptions defending the same, as by the wordes of hys own law is to be seene and red as followeth: Medicos, gramaticos, et alios professores literarū & doctores legū, cum vxoribus et liberis. &c. Marginalia The priuilege graunted by Constantinus to vniuersities and scholes.In english, Phisiciōs, Gramarians, & al other professors of liberal artes, and Doctors of the law, with their wiues and children, and al other their possessions, whych they haue in cities: we commaund to be freed from all ciuil charges and functions, neither to receaue foren straungers in prouincies, nor to be burdened with anye publike administration, nor to be cited vp to ciuil iudgemēt, nor to be drawen out, or oppressed with any iniury. And if any man shal vexe them, he shal incurre such punishment, as the Iudge at his discretion shall awarde hym. Their stipendes moreouer and salaries, we commaund truly to be payde them, wherby they may more freelye instruct other in artes and sciences. &c.

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Marginalia The prouident care of Constant. to haue the scripture in churches.Ouer and besyde this, so farre did his godlye zeale and princely care and prouision extende to the church of Christ, that he commaunded and prouided bookes and volumes of the scripture, diligentlye and playnlye to be written and copied out, to remayne in publike chur-ches to the vse of posteritie. Whereuppon writing to Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia in a special letter (recorded in the fourth booke of Eusebius De vita Constant) Marginalia Ex Euseb. 4 de vita Constant.he wylleth him with al diligēce to procure. 50. volumes of partchment well bounde and compacted: wherein he should cause to be written out of the scripture in a faire legible hand, such thinges as he thought necessarye and profitable for the instruction of the church. And alloweth hym for that busines two publike Ministers. Also writeth concerning the same, to the general of hys armye, to supporte and further him with suche necessaries, as therunto should appertayne. &c.

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Marginalia A wishe of the autor admonitory to princes.¶ In vewing, perusing, and wryting thys story, and in considering the Christian zeale of thys Emperour, I wysh that eyther thys our printing and plenty of bokes had bene in his dayes: or that thys so heroycall hart toward Christes religion, as was in this so excellent Monarche, might somthing appeare in inferiour Princes raygning in these our printing dayes. &c.

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Marginalia The liberalitye of Constantine towardes the poore & nedy.The liberal hand of thys Emperour, borne to do all men good, was no lesse also open and ready toward the needy pouertie of such, whych either by losse of parents, or other occasions were not able to helpe them selues: to whom he commaunded and prouided dewe subuention both of corne and rayment to be ministred oute of hys owne cofers, to the necessarye reliefe of the poore men, women, children, orphanes, and wydowes, Euseb. de vita Constant. lib. 4.

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Marginalia Constantine remitteth the fourth parte of his rentes and reuenewes.Finally, among al þe other monuments of his singular clemencie and munificence, this is not to be pretermitted: that through all the Empire of Rome and prouinces belonging to the same, not onelye he deminished such taxes, reuenues, & impostes, as publickly were cōming to hym, but also clearly remitted & released to the contributers, the fourth part of the same.

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Marginalia Donation of Constantine.This present place woulde requyre somethyng to be sayd of the Donation of Constantine: wherevpon as vpon their chiefest anchor holde, the bishops of Rome doo groūd their supreme dominion & right, ouer al the political gouernment of the west partes, and the spiritual gouernment of all the other seas and partes of the world. Which donatiō to be falsely fayned and forged, and not to procede from Constantine, many arguments myght here be inferred, if laysure from other matters woulde suffer mee.

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Marginalia Reasons & argumentes prouing the donation of Constātine to be falsefied.1. First, for that no auncient historye, nor yet Doctor maketh any mencion thereof.

2. Nauclerus reporteth it is to be affirmed in the history of Isidorus: but in the old copies of Isidorus no such thing is to be found.

Marginalia 3.3. Gracianus the compiler of the decrees, reciteth that decree, not vpon any auncient autority, but onely vnder the title of Palea.

Marginalia 4.4. Gelasius is sayd to geue some testimony thereof, in Dist. 15. Sancta Romana, but that clause of the sayde distinction touching þe matter, in the old auncient bookes is not extant.

Marginalia 5.5. Otho Phrysingensis, who was about the tyme of Gracian, after he hath declared the opinion of the fauourers of the papacie: affirming this donation to bee geuen of Constantine, to siluester the Pope: induceth cōsequently, the opinion of them that fauour the Empire, affirming the contrary.

Marginalia 6.6. How doth this agree, that Constantine did yeld vp to Siluester all the politicall dominion ouer the west, when as the sayd Constantine at his death, diuiding the Empire to his three sonnes, gaue the west part of the Empire to one, the East part to the second, the myddle part to the thyrd?

Marginalia 7.7. How is it like that Theodosius after them, being a iust and a religious prince, would or coulde haue occupied the Citie of Rome, if it had not bene hys ryght, but

had