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greatly afflicted to see many christians, through fear, submit to the idolatrous mandate, and deny their faith to preserve their existence. Whilst censuring some for their conduct he was informed against to the emperor, and soon after apprehended. Being brought to the tribunal, he confessed himself a christian, and said he was willing to suffer anything he pleased to inflict on him for his confession. When condemned for his faith, he was scourged, put to the rack, his body torn with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scarified, his teeth knocked from their sockets, and his hair plucked out by the roots.
Thus cruelly mangled, he turned to the governor and thanked him for what he had done, and for having opened so many mouths to preach the doctrines of christianity; “for,” said he, “ every wound is a mouth to sing the praises of the Lord.” On this occasion Romanus offered to leave the equity of his cause to the judgment of a child, whose years were to be free from malice. A child of about seven years of age was accordingly called out from amongst the crowd; and being asked whether he thought it to be true, that men ought to worship one God in Christ, or to worship many Gods? he answered, that whatsoever men affirm to be God, must be but one, and as this one is Christ, he must be God;
“ for that there are many Gods” continued the boy, we children cannot believe.” The governor, amazed at this, was highly enraged, and calling him a little villain, and a traitor, asked him who taught him that lesson? “My mother," replied the boy, 66 with whose milk I sucked in the lesson that I must believe in Christ.” This so incensed the governor
that he ordered the child to be severely whipped, insomuch that the beholders could not refrain from tears, the mother only excepted, who chid him for asking for a draughtof water, telling him to thirst for that which the infants of Bethlehem drank of. While the mother was giving her son this lesson, the executioner plucked the skin and hair from the crown of the child's head; his mother all the while saying to him “ although you suffer here, my child, you shall shortly be with him who shall adorn thy naked head with a crown of glory.” Upon which the child smiled on her and his executioners, and bore the stripes with silent fortitude. The undoubting Romanus was soon after ordered to be strangled, and the no less faithful child to be beheaded; which sentences were executed on the 17th November, A.D. 303.
This story may appear incredible to some; but let such remember, that he who created man from the dust of the earth and set the human tongue upon its hinges, has also ordained that out of the mouths of babes and sucklings shall be perfected praise.
LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF BISHOP
BEDELL. WILLIAM BEDELL, the subject of this memoir, was born at Black Notley, in Essex, in the year 1570, of an ancient family of that county. After he had passed through the minor courses of education he was sent to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, under the care of Dr. Chadderton, and while there obtained an eminent character both for learning and piety; so much
so that appeals were often made to him when differences or controversies arose in the University. He was ordained by the suffragan bishop of Colchester; and when complaints were made to the bishop of the diocese that he had ordained too many persons, he replied that he had ordained a better man than any the bishop had ever ordained, naming Mr. Bedell.
Having been chosen fellow of his college in 1593, and taken the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1599, he removed from the University to the town of St. Edmondsbury, in Suffolk, where he served some time in the gospel with great success.
In 1606 he was appointed chaplain to Sir Henry Wotton, the king's ambassador at the court of Venice, where he remained eight years. About this time Mr. Wadsworth, his fellow student, who was also beneficed in the same diocese, was sent into Spain, and while there, was prevailed on to renounce his religion and adopt the faith of the church of Rome. This circumstance was the cause of much grief to his warm friend, Mr. Bedell; but his friendship for him never abated, as is evident from their correspondence, much of which has been preserved.
During Mr. Bedell's residence in Italy a circumstance occurred, remarkable not so much on account of its importance, as the excitement it created. There came to Venice a Jesuit, Thomas Maria Caraffa, who printed a thousand theses of philosophy and divinity, which he dedicated to the Pope, with this extravagant inscription, “Paulo V. Vice-Deo, Christianæ Reipublicæ Monarche invictissimo, et Pontificia Omnipotentiæ conservatori acerrimo.” To Paul the fifth, the ViceGod, the most invincible monarch of the christian commonwealth, and the most zealous assertor of the Papal omnipotency. On seeing this title, Mr. Bedell observed that the numeral letters of the first words, Paulo V. Vice-Deo,* being put together, made exactly 666, the number of the beast in the Revelation. This was received with enthusiasm almost as though it had come from heaven; and it was soon publicly rumoured as a certain evidence that the Pope was Antichrist; so much so, that the Pope caused his emissaries to report, “ that Antichrist was born at Babylon, descended of the tribe of Dan, and was gathering a vast army with which he intended to destroy all Christendom,”+ which news after a while subdued the former
* The mode of computing this is by extracting all the numerical letters of the words, and adding the numbers for which they stand ;
thusU stands for .... 5
A stands for 30 L 50
1 V 5 Also the Greek T
300 V 5 word Λατεινού ε
5 I 1 (Roman), givasi
10 с 100 the same number, v
50 D 500 thus :
200 Making a total of 666
Making a total of 666 The Hebrew word pronounced Romiith (Roman beast), gives the same number; which, perhaps, no other word will do in both languages. It has been said, from good authority, thạt it was Mr. Bedell who first dicovered this.
† An opinion very similar to this prevails at present among some Protestants, who believe that Antichrist, instead of being the Papacy, will be one individual, who is to reign, not at Babylon, but Jerusalem.
While Mr. Bedell was at Venice he formed an inti. macy
with father Paul Sarpi, a man who would have done honour to a better cause than that of the church of Rome; and so great was his affection for Mr. Bedell that he would have gone with him when he left, had it been in his power. On parting he gave him his portrait, a Hebrew Bible without points, a little Hebrew Psalter, and the manuscript of the History of the Council of Trent, together with some other important papers which were unfortunately lost. After eight years' residence in Venice, he returned to England, and entered on his ministerial labours at St. Edmondsbury, in comparative obscurity, “He had,” says his biographer, "a soul of too glorious a composition to stoop to those servile compliances that are often expected by those that have the distribution of preferments in their power. He thought that was an abjectness of spirit that became not christian philosopher, much less a clergyman."
In 1615 he was presented by Sir Thomas Jermyn to the rectory of Horingsheath, near Bury : when the bishop of Norwich demanded large fees for his induction, Mr. Bedell refused to pay more than was a sufficient remuneration for the writings, the parchment, and the wax; saying he would rather lose his presentation, than purchase his title to it by doing that which he thought contrary to the command of Christ, who said to his apostles “ Freely ye have received, and freely give.” He went home, but after a few days the bishop sent for him and gave him his titles without any
fees. Here he lived twelve years, an ornament to the church and a pattern to all