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The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book One, Chapter Eight

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter VIII

The Persecution ceasing, the Church of Britian enjoys peace for a short time, till it is again disturbed by the outrages of the Arian sect.

As soon as the storm of this persecution was blown over, the faithful of Christ, coming out of the woods, and deserts, and caves, in which they had concealed themselves during the danger, hastened to re-build the churches which had been levelled with the ground, and to lay the foundations of new ones, in honour of the martyrs, which they, by degrees, erected and completed; thus displaying every where their victorious banners, celebrating the festivals, and performing the sacred rites with a pure conscience. This peace continued in the Christian church of Britian, till the Arian heresy, after infecting the rest of the world, passed over also into this remote island, and contaminated it with the poison of its errors. And having thus made its way across the ocean, the pestilence of every heresy was imediately spread over the island, which was always ready to hearken to any thing new, and never stedfastly held any certain doctrine. About this time, Constantius, who, as long as Diocletian lived, governed Gaul and Spain, and was a person of uncommon meekness and urbanity, died in Britain. He left Constantine, his son, by his consort Helen, Emperor of the Gauls, after raising him to that dignity. But Eutropius writes, that Constantine, having been created Emperor in Britain, succeeded his father in the empire, during whose reign arose, as we just now observed, the Arian heresy; which, though it was soon after exposed and condemmed by the general council of Nice, yet it scattered the venom of its pestiferous falsehood, not only over the other parts of the world, but even over the remotest islands.

Chapter Nine

Maximus, being proclaimed Emperor in Britain during the reign of Gratian, returns into Gaul with a great army.

Gratian, having, after the death of Valens, being made the 40th Emperor from Augustus, A.D. 377, retained the imperial diadem six years: though it may be truly said, that he began to reign long before, with his uncle Valens, and his brother Valentinian. Finding at his accession to the throne, the strength of the republic much impaired, and almost exhausted, he gave the purple to Theodosius, a Spaniard, at Sirmich, (in Pannonia), and made him Emperor of the East, and of Thrace; judging this a necessary measure for the recovery of the state. At the same time, Maximus, whose valour and probity would have rendered him worthy of being an emperor, if he had not sullied these virtues by tyrannically usurping sovereign power in Britain, contrary to his oath, having been in some measure compelled by his army to assume the sovereignty, passed over into Gaul, and fraudulently circumventing the Emperor Gratian, (who had no idea of such an attack, but was thinking of marching into Italy,) put him to death. Then proceeding into Italy, he expelled Valentinian, his brother; who, retiring into the East, was received by Theodosius with a truly paternal affection, who soon afterwards restored him to his empire; after he had shut up the tyrant Maximus within the walls of Aquileia, and taken and put him to death.

The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book I, Chapter X

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter Ten

Pelagius, a Briton, in the reign of Arcadius, proudly denies the necessity of God's Grace in the performance of good works.

Arcadius, the son of Theodosius, the 43rd from Augustus, undertaking the government of the empire with his brother Honorius, A.D. 394, held it for thirteen years; during whose reign Pelagius, a Briton, spread far and near his perfidious doctrine against the assistance of the divine grace; making use, as an associate, of Julianus of Campania, who, having been lately disappointed in his ambitious views of being appointed to fill a vacant see, was much dissatisfied. St. Augustine, and the rest of the orthodox fathers then living, answered them in a most ample manner. But, according to the doctrine of the Catholic church, they would not correct their senseless errors. On the contrary, the more they were contradicted and convicted, the more obstinately they persisted in defending them; which Prosper the poet, has elegantly expressed in the following verses,:

Contra Augustinum narratur serpere quidam
Scriptor, quem, dudum livor adurit edax.
Qui caput obscuris contectum utcunque cavernis
Tollere humo miserum protulit anguiculum.
Aut hunc fruge sua æquorici pavere Britanni,
Aut huic Campano gramine corda tument.

[An insect scribbler durst 'gainst Austin write, Whose very heart was scorch'd with hellish spite. Presumptuous serpent! from what midnight den Durst thou to crawl on earth and look at men? Sure thou at first wast fed on Britain's plains, Or in thy breast Vesuvian sulphur reigns!


The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book One, Chapter Eleven

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter XI

Gratian and Constantine, having been elevated to the Sovereign Power in Britain, in the reign of Honorius, the former is soon after assassinated in Britain, and the latter in Gaul.

Honorius, the son of Theodosius the younger, was created the 44th Emperor from Augustus, in the year 407 of the Christian era; and two years before Rome was assaulted by Alaric, king of the Goths, when the nations of the Alans, Suavians, Vandals, and many others with them, having conquered the Franks and passed the Rhine, ravaged all Gaul. About this time, Gratian, who enjoyed the privileges of a Roman citizen in Britain, was no sooner raised to the imperial power, than he was privately murdered by an assassin. In whose place, Constantine, a common soldier, without any merit to commend him, was chosen, on account of his name only, which was thought to be a good omen. He immediately afterwards went into Gaul, where, by his imprudent conduct, he occasioned a great detriment to the state; having been frequently deluded by the false promises and treaties of the enemy. Upon this, Honorius dispatched Constantius, the Tribune, into Gaul with an army, with which he besieged the town of Arles, where Constantine then was, and took him, and put him to death: and, at the same time, Gerontius, a person of high rank, marched to Vienna, took his son Constans, who of a monk had been created Caesar, and put him to death also.

At this period, viz. 1164 years from its being built, Rome was taken, and destroyed by the Goths; after which, the Romans ceased to govern Britain, being almost four hundred and seventy years after Caius Julius Cæsar had first entered the island. They resided on the South side of the trench and rampart, which, as we before mentioned, Severus had made across the island, as the cities, temples, bridges, and causeways, testify to this day; but they had a right of dominion over the farther parts of Britain, as also over the islands that lie beyond yet.