Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Fox Book of Martyrs

https://www.biblestudytools.com/history/foxs-book-of-martyrs/

Edited by William Byron Forbush This is a book that will never die — one of the great English classics. . . . Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when “a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid,” “climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain.” “After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.”

Fox’s Book of Martyrs is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Persecution Under Julian the Apostate

Julian the Apostate
This emperor was the son of Julius Constantius, and the nephew of Constantine the Great. He studied the rudiments of grammar under the inspection of Mardonius, a eunuch, and a heathen of Constantinople. His father sent him some time after to Nicomedia, to be instructed in the Christian religion, by the bishop of Eusebius, his kinsman, but his principles were corrupted by the pernicious doctrines of Ecebolius the rhetorician, and Maximus the magician.
Constantius, dying the year 361, Julian succeeded him, and had no sooner attained the imperial dignity than he renounced Christianity and embraced paganism, which had for some years fallen into great disrepute. Though he restored the idolatrous worship, he made no public edicts against Christianity. He recalled all banished pagans, allowed the free exercise of religion to every sect, but deprived all Christians of offices at court, in the magistracy, or in the army. He was chaste, temperate, vigilant, laborious, and pious; yet he prohibited any Christian from keeping a school or public seminary of learning, and deprived all the Christian clergy of the privileges granted them by Constantine the Great.
Biship Basil made himself first famous by his opposition to Arianism, which brought upon him the vengeance of the Arian bishop of Constantinople; he equally opposed paganism. The emperor’s agents in vain tampered with Basil by means of promises, threats, and racks, he was firm in the faith, and remained in prison to undergo some other sufferings, when the emperor came accidentally to Ancyra. Julian determined to examine Basil himself, when that holy man being brought before him, the emperor did every thing in his power to dissuade him from persevering in the faith. Basil not only continued as firm as ever, but, with a prophetic spirit foretold the death of the emperor, and that he should be tormented in the other life. Enraged at what he heard, Julian commanded that the body of Basil should be torn every day in seven different parts, until his skin and flesh were entirely mangled. This inhuman sentence was executed with rigor, and the martyr expired under its severities, on June 28, A.D. 362.
Donatus, bishop of Arezzo, and Hilarinus, a hermit, suffered about the same time; also Gordian, a Roman magistrate. Artemius, commander in chief of the Roman forces in Egypt, being a Christian, was deprived of his commission, then of his estate, and lastly of his head.
The persecution raged dreadfully about the latter end of the year 363; but, as many of the particulars have not been handed down to us, it is necessary to remark in general, that in Palestine many were burnt alive, others were dragged by their feet through the streets naked until they expired; some were scalded to death, many stoned, and great numbers had their brains beaten out with clubs. In Alexandria, innumerable were the martyrs who suffered by the sword, burning, crucifixion and stoning. In Arethusa, several were ripped open, and corn being put into their bellies, swine were brought to feed therein, which, in devouring the grain, likewise devoured the entrails of the martyrs, and in Thrace, Emilianus was burnt at a stake; and Domitius murdered in a cave, whither he had fled for refuge.
The emperor, Julian the apostate, died of a wound which he received in his Persian expedition, A.D. 363, and even while expiring, uttered the most horrid blasphemies. He was succeeded by Jovian, who restored peace to the Church.
After the decease of Jovian, Valentinian succeeded to the empire, and associated to himself Valens, who had the command in the east, and was an Arian and of an unrelenting and persecuting disposition.

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131 Christians Everyone Should Know

131Christians

Teresa of Avila

Carmelite mystic and feisty administrator

1515-1582

Teresa of Avila

“Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good. There is nothing here to fear but only something to desire.”

The first 40 years of Teresa’s life gave no clue to the rich depth and productivity of the second half of her life. Born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada in central Spain, she spent her early years with her family, giving herself to the duties of extended family life. At age 21, against her father’s wishes, she professed vows as a Carmelite at the Spanish Convent of the Incarnation in Avila.

Still, according to her own account, she waffled spiritually. The convent was known for its leniency, for example, permitting relationships with those outside the convent and allowing worldly possessions within. Teresa, enjoying the convent’s indulgences, waned in her devotion. Then a serious, prolonged illness (and partial paralysis from an attempted cure) forced her to spend three years in relative quiet, during which time she read books on the spiritual life. When she recovered and returned to the convent she resumed what to her later seemed only a half-hearted spirituality. Of these years, she wrote in her Autobiography, “I voyaged on this tempestuous sea for almost 20 years with these fallings and risings.”

Then one day while walking down a hallway in the convent, her glance fell on a statue of the wounded Christ, and the vision of his constant love throughout her inconstancy pierced her heart. Gently but powerfully, she said Jesus began to break down her defenses and reveal to her the cause of her spiritual exhaustion: her dalliance with the delights of sin.

She immediately broke with her past, undergoing a final conversion. After this, she began experiencing profound mystical raptures, though these soon passed. For the rest of her life, she gave herself completely to her spiritual growth and the renewal of the Carmelite monasteries.

A spiritual legacy

Teresa dreamed of establishing convents where young women could pursue deep lives of deep prayer and devotion. She once wrote, “Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good. There is nothing here to fear but only something to desire.” Teresa spent days on end traveling the countryside establishing reformed (or “Discalced,” meaning “unshod,” that is, more simple) Carmelite convents. She convinced John of the Cross to join her in this work.

Her success as an administrator and reformer (she founded 14 monasteries) was due in part to her natural leadership gifts, her tenacity in the face of adversity (especially from older Carmelites who resented her reforms), and a keen sense of humor. Once when praying about her many trials and sufferings, she thought she heard God say, “But this is how I treat my friends.” Teresa replied, “No wonder you have so few friends.”

Yet it is her gift of spiritual direction, practiced personally with nuns and publicly in her writings, for which she is known today.

She was hesitant to put her insights to paper and had to be ordered by her superiors to do so. Thankfully for later generations, she obeyed: her three works, Autobiography, Way of Perfection, and Interior Castle, contain some of the most profound insights into the spiritual life ever written.

To take one example, considered by many her masterpiece: Interior Castle describes the soul as a “castle made entirely of diamond or of a very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms.” Some are above, some below, some to the sides, “and in the very center and middle is the main dwelling place where the very secret exchanges between God and the soul take place.” Teresa wanted to teach her readers how to enter this castle, that is, how to pray, so that they might commune more intimately with God.

For Teresa, prayer is the source of Christian life and the wellspring of all moral virtues. Prayer is not everything, but without prayer, nothing else is possible. By prayer does the soul enter the Castle, and by prayer does the soul continue the journey. Under this umbrella of prayer, God works, in mysterious, often unpredictable ways, and the soul works strongly. Without the soul’s active compliance, God will not move (though human effort cannot do what God alone must do).

From the First Dwelling Place, where the soul begins to pray, to the Seventh Dwelling Place, where the soul, united to God, finds both perfect peace and deepest suffering, the person builds on prayer and the progressive disengagement from the things of this world. But unlike her partner in reform, John of the Cross, Teresa’s understanding of disengagement is not ascetic. On the contrary, for Teresa true suffering comes from being in the world and serving others. Spiritual progress is measured neither by self-imposed penance nor by the sweetest pleasures of mystical experiences but by growth in constant love for others and an increasing desire within for the will of God.

This love for her sisters and brothers and this union with the will of God compelled Teresa onward in constant efforts. To someone who encouraged her to rest, she once said, “Rest, indeed! I need no rest; what I need is crosses.” In her last years, her health suffered, as did her reputation with church authorities, who sought to restrict her influence. On yet another mission of service, her body exhausted, Teresa died reciting verses from the Song of Songs.

131 Christians Everyone Should Know.

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Daily Bible Reading 4 June 2019

Bible Reading Enhances Any Day (BREAD)
Bread-Scali
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 22, 2 Kings 1, Romans 16
1 Kings 21:25-26 (NKJV) But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
Book: 2 Kings
Author: Not stated and unknown; one early tradition claimed Jeremiah wrote 1 and 2 Kings.
Date: Covering about 300 years from the 800 BCs on, 2 Kings was probably written sometime after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
In ten words or less: Both Jewish nations are destroyed for their disobedience to God.
“From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission”
2 Kings 1:1-4 (NKJV) Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria, and was injured; so he sent messengers and said to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore, thus says the LORD: ‘You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” So Elijah departed.
Romans 16:25-27 (NKJV) Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith– to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
romans16_25

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Today’s Theme Song: History

“History”

Matthew West 

It’s been a bad day 
You’ve been looking back 
And all you can see is everything you wish you could take back 
All your mistakes 
A world of regrets 
All of those moments you would rather forget 
I know it’s hard to believe Let me refresh your memory [CHORUS]
Yesterday is history And history is miles away 
So, leave it all behind you 
But let it always remind you of the day 
The day that love made history 

You know you can’t stay right where you fell 
The hardest part is forgiving yourself 
But let’s take a walk into today 
And don’t let your past get in the way 

Would you believe that you are history in the making, in the making? 
Every choice that you are making 
Every step that you are taking 
Every chain that you are breaking 
History is in the making 
Every word that you are saying 
Every prayer that you are praying 
Every chain that you are breaking 
History is in the making 
History is in the making 
History is in the making

Writer(s): MATTHEW WEST 

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Daily Bible Verse

Verse of the Day

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:3 ASV

  • genesis1_3

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Good Morning From #Guam

Good Morning

Psalm 143:8 (ESV) Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 90:14 (ESV) Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psalm 57:7-9 (NKJV) My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.

Psalm 59:16 (NKJV) But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.

good-morning-god-bless-you-1

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Good Night from #Guam

Good Night

May your sleep be undisturbed as you rest in the arms of the One who made you.

Psalm 4:8 (ESV) In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 3:5 (ESV)  I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

Shalom

Think Goodness Good night

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Christian Biography – William Seymour

Christian history in every generation, has been marked by humble men and women whom God raises up and use for a special work. William J. Seymour was such a man.

William Seymour, The Catalyst of Pentecost and The Man Behind Azuza Street Revival
William Seymour, The Catalyst of Pentecost and The Man Behind Azuza Street Revival

Biography, Life and Ministry of William Seymour, The Catalyst of Pentecost and The Man Behind Azuza Street Revival

An African American, holiness preacher who initiated the Azusa Street Revival, an influential event in the rise of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Seymour was the second of eight children born May 2, 1870, in Centerville, Louisiana, to former slaves Simon and Phillis Seymour, and was raised in extreme poverty.

pats continued working on a plantation, even after being freed, and Seymour spent much time while growing up doing the same. Lacking formal education, Seymour taught himself, mainly through reading the Bible.

Fleeing the poverty and oppression of life in southern Louisiana, Seymour left his home in early adulthood. He traveled and worked in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and other states possibly including Missouri and Tennessee. He often worked as a waiter in big city hotels.

Recommended: Biography, Life and Ministry Of Hudson Taylor, The Man Who Brought The Gospel To China

In Indianapolis, Seymour was converted in a Methodist Church. Soon, however, he joined the Church of God Reformation movement in Anderson, Indiana. At the time, the group was called “The Evening Light Saints.” While with this conservative Holiness group, Seymour was sanctified and called to preach.

In Cincinnati, Ohio after a near fatal bout with smallpox, Seymour yielded to the call to ministry. The illness left him blind in one eye and scarred his face. For the rest of his life he wore a beard to hide the scars.

In 1905, Seymour was in Houston, Texas where he heard the Pentecostal message for the first time. He attended a Bible school conducted by Charles F. Parham. Parham was the founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement, and is the father of the modern Pentecostal/Charismatic revival.

The social climate of America at that time was highly prejudiced and black people were largely segregated from much of mainstream American society.

He attended the Houston Bible school, but when the head of the school prayed for the students to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Seymour was forced to sit outside the class room in the hall way– because he was black.

Biography, Life and Ministry of Charles G. Finney, The Father of Modern Revivalism

Even though he missed the prayer meeting, he took the message of Pentecost to a small church in Los Angeles. After his first fiery sermon on healing and prayer languages, he was locked out of the church and told not to come back.

So Seymour joined a small prayer group at 312 Bonnie Bray Street. As he preached the message there, the fire of the Holy Spirit came down. People spoke in tongues and were healed.

The prayer meeting became the famous Azusa Street Revival, and from this humble location, the message of Pentecost was spread around the world.

Over the next few days huge crowds gathered for interracial services, in spite of segregation laws. Many received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, including Seymour himself.

Biography, Life and Ministry Of Maria Woodworth-Etter: “Grandmother of the Pentecostal Movement”

In fact, so many were drawn to the powerful meetings the front porch collapsed under the weight of all the people.

The Azusa Street Revival

The meetings were filled with prayer, testimonies, worship and supernatural phenomena. As excitement increased about the events taking place at North Bonnie Brae, more and more people came to witness the meetings, and the Asberry home quickly became too small to accommodate the services. Seymour moved the congregation into an unused church on Azusa Street.

The building, located at 312 Azusa Street and situated in the business district, measured 40 by 60 feet. It had once housed the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but it was now being used as a warehouse and livery stable. Seymour’s integrated congregation cleaned out the building and then filled the interior with makeshift church furnishings. The pulpit was made of two boxes nailed together and pews were made from planks nailed to empty barrels. Seymour made his home on the floor above the church and began holding services three times a day, seven days a week. A diverse volunteer staff, including blacks and whites and men and women, assisted Seymour in holding the services.

List Of Books By William Seymour

The dilapidated building would quickly gain national attention as the Azusa Street Revival.

Services ran constantly for three years, from 1906 to 1909. As people from around the world came to hear Seymour’s messages, the modern Pentecostal movement quickly went global. It was a huge catalyst for the expansion of the Pentecostal movement, which in subsequent years, grew to include 20 million U.S. members and more than 200 million international members.

Recommended: Biography, Life and Ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman, A Healing Evangelist

By 1907, missionaries from Azusa Street had reached Mexico, Canada, Western Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, and parts of Asia.

The leaders of the Apostolic Faith Mission. Seymour is front row, second from the right; Jennie is back row, third from left.
The leaders of the Apostolic Faith Mission. Seymour is front row, second from the right; Jennie is back row, third from left.

A tremendous revival had broken out and there was seemingly no end to the testimonies, healings and supernatural phenomena. Meetings were sustained by God and the revival ran for years.

The Ministry, Life and Biography Of Dwight L. Moody, America’s Great Evangelist.

Seymour was described as “humble,” “quiet” and “soft spoken.” William Durham said of him: He walks and talks with God. His power is in his weakness. He seems to maintain a helpless dependence on God and is as simple-hearted as a child, and at the same time is so filled with God that you feel the love and power every time you get near him.1

Seymour loved the Scriptures and spoke especially from the Gospels, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Hebrews and the book of Revelation.

Seymour gave leadership to the Azusa Mission for many years, up until the time of his death. At times, he would accept invitations to speak in other locations. He saw Azusa at its highest peak times and he persevered through some lean years as well. Seymour died on September 28, 1922, from a heart attack. The leadership of Azusa was then given to his wife, Jeanne Evans Seymour

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