Herod the first King that persecuted the Church, hauing at Hierusalem (when Barnabas and
Saul were there with the collation of the Antiochians) killed Iames the Apostle, 3. & to please
the Iewes imprisoned Peter with the mind to kil him also, but frustrate by an Angel sent of God
at the continual prayers of the Church made for her cheefe Pastour, 19. being puffed vp with such
pride that at Cæsarea he refuseth not to be honoured as God; 23. is miraculously striken of Gods
Angel. 24. And so after the persecutours death, the Churches preaching propereth exceedingly.
1. The Epistle vpon SS. Peters and Paules day Iun. 29. AND at the same time Herod the King set his hands, to afflict certaine of the Church.
2. And he killed Iames the brother of Iohn with the sword.
3. And seing that is pleased the Iewes, he added to apprehend Peter also. And it was the daies of the Azymes.
4. Whom when he had apprehended, he cast into prison, deliuering him to foure As Peters person was more notorious than others, & therfore better garded than other, for feare he should escape; so Gods prouidence in preseruing & deliuering him for the longer gouernement of his Church, is very maruelous. quaternions of souldiars to be kept, meaning after the Pasche to bring him forth to the people.
5. And Peter indeed was kept in prison. But Praier was made.
The Church praied incessantly for her cheefe Pastour, and was heard of God: and al Christian people are warned thereby to pray for their Bishopes and Pastours in prison. praier was made of the Church without intermission vnto God for him.
6. And when Herod would haue brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping betweene two souldiars, bound with Two chaines.
S. Peters chaines.
These chaines are famous for miracles, and were brought from Hierusalem to Rome by Eudoxia the Empresse, wife to Theodosius the yonger, where they were matched & placed with another chaine that the same Apostle was tied with by Nero, & a Church founded therevpon, named Petri ad vincula; where they are religiously kept and reuerenced vntil this day: & there is a Feast in the whole Church for the same, the first of August, which we cal, Lammas Day. two chaines: and the keepers before the doore kept the prison.
7. And behold an Angel of our Lord stood in presence: and light shined in the house: and striking Peters side, he raised him, saying: Arise quickely. And the chaines fel from his handes.
8. And the Angel said to him: Gird thee, and put on thy shoes. And he did so. And he said to him: Put thy garment about thee, & follow me.
9. And going forth he followed him, & he knew not that it was true which was done by the Angel: but he thought that he saw a vision.
10. And passing through the first & the second watch, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the citie, which of it self opened to them. And going out, they went forward one street: and incontinent the Angel departed from him.
11. And Peter returning to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that our Lord hath sent his Angel, and deliuered me out of Herods hand, & from al the expectation of the people of the Iewes.
12. And considering, he came to the It is much for the praise of these good Christians that the assemblie to Gods seruice & praier was kept in their houses in the time of persecution, & that the Apostle came thither straight out of prison, as his first refuge; as now Christian people doe much to their commendation, in places where Heresie doth reigne. house of Marie the mother of Iohn, who was surnamed Marke, where many were gathered and praying.
13. And when he knocked at the doore of the gate, there came forth a wench to see, named Rhode.
14. And as she knew Peters voice, for ioy she opened not the gate, but running in she told that Peter stood before the gate.
15. But they said to her: Thou art mad. But she affirmed that it was so. But they said: It is His Angel.
Patronage of Angels.
If proper Angels (saith St. Chrysostom) be deputed by our Lord to such as haue only charge of their owne life, (as one of the iust said, *The Angel which hath deliuered me from my youth vpward) much more are supernal Spirits at hand to help them vnto whom the charge and burden of the world is committed. Chrys. in laud. Pauli. ho. 7. to. 4.
*Gen. 48,16. his Angel.
16. And Peter continued knocking. And when they had opened, they saw him, & were astonished.
17. And beckning with his hand to them, that they should hold their peace, he told how our Lord had brought him out of prison, & he said: Tel Iames.
Publike praier for S. Peter the Head.
He willeth them to shew this to S. Iames, Bishop of Hierusalem and to the Christians, that they might see the effect of their praiers for him, & giue God thankes. For S. Iames no doubt published common praier for S. Peter. Tel these things to Iames & to the Brethren. And going forth he went Though God had so miraculously deliuered him, yet he would not tempt God by tarying among his persecutours, but according to Christes commandement fled for a time. into another place.
18. And when day was come, there was no litle adoe betweene the souldiars, what was become of Peter.
19. And Herod, when he had sought him, and had not found, making inquisition of the keepers, commanded them to be led away: & going downe from Iewrie into Cæsarea, there he abode.
20. And he was angrie with the Tyrians and the Sidonians. But they with one accord came to him, and persuading Blastus that was cheefe of the Kings chamber, they desired peace, for that their countries were nourished by him.
21. And vpon a day appointed, Herod being araied with kingly attire, sate in the iudgement seate, and made an oration to them.
22. And the people made acclamation, The voices of a God, & not of a man.
23. And forthwith an Angel of our Lord Princes that take delight in the flattery & praises of the people, so much that they forget themselues to be men, & to giue the honour to God, may be warned by this example. strook him, because he had not giuen the honour to God: and being consumed by wormes, he gaue vp the ghost.
24. But the word of our Lord increased and multiplied.
25. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Hierusalem, hauing accomplished their Act. 11,29. ministerie, taking with them Iohn that was surnamed Marke.