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testimony of their sufferings. He had some time before A. D. 395. been ordained 'Bishop of Brescia by St. Ambrose, upon the death of St. Philastrius. He was elected in his absence, being gone to Jerusalem; and the people bound themselves by an oath to have no other Bishop; this obliged St. Ambrose, and the Bishops of the province, to write to him by the deputies that were sent by the people, requiring him to return upon pain of disobedience and excommunication, even by the Eastern Bishops. Upon this he returned, and though he pleaded his youth and incapacity, he was, notwithstanding his opposition, ordained Bishop. These particulars we learn from a sermon preached by himself at his ordination'. In · S. Gaud. another sermono he says, that in his journey to Jerusalem, in he went into Cappadocia, and, being at Cæsarea, found some Ser
"p. 90. D. women, who were sisters, devoted to the service of God, and (p. 340.] who had the government of a monastery of holy Virgins. They were nieces to St. Basil, from whom they had formerly received some relics of the Forty Martyrs P, which they gave to St. Gaudentius, protesting that they had always begged of God to leave this precious treasure to some person who would honour them as much as they had done. St. Gaudentius brought these relics into Italy, and placed them in his church
We have seventeen of his sermons, of which the first ten prosper were preached to the newly-baptized during Easter week; colendas.
; p. 341.] and St. Gaudentius afterwards committed them to writing, at the request of Benevolus, who was so weakened by a severe fit of sickness that he could not be present. This Benevolus is the same that was disgraced by the Empress Justina, for refusing to draw up an edict in favour of the Arians'. He had retired to Brescia, his native place, and Supra, bk.
, 18. ch. 43. was the greatest ornament of that Church". In the second : s. Gaud. sermon which he made for the Neophytes, at their coming Præf.
The words of respect refused by St. Jerome, with respect to Reliques, are used of them by Conc. Rom. A. D. 993. (Harduin. 6. p. 727. D.) in an honorary and relalive sense, (see supra, bk. 19. ch. 31. note k.); and hence the Council of Trent, on the authority of Conc. Nicæn. II. c. 7. condemns those who deny veneration and honour to Holy Re
liques, (Sess. 25. de Invoc. &c. A.D. 1563).
Supra, bk. 10. ch. 22. These were forty Christian soldiers, who suffered martyrdom at Sebaste during the persecution of Licinius, about A. D. 320. There is an Oration by St. Basil to their honour. Hom. 19. in xl. Mart. tom. 2. p. 149.
A. D. 395. out of the fonts, St. Gaudentius explains to them the mys
teries which he could not explain in presence of the Cate['p. 239.] chumens, and said' to them ; “In the shadow of the legal
“ Passover not one but many lambs were sacrificed, in every “ house one; for one alone could not be sufficient for all; “ but in the Truth with which we are now enlightened, One
“ hath died for all; and is the Same Which in every house ['mysterio] “ of the Churches in the Sacramento of bread and wine,
“ being immolated, refresheth; being believed on, giveth life;
« Blood.” [p. 253.] In these sermons he exhorts: the Neophytes to lead hence
forth a truly Christian life, and to renounce idolatry in all [“ suballi- its parts, its enchantments, amulets', auguries, lots, observagaturæ]
tion of dreams, and funeral festivities. “On the contrary," • Serm. 4. says he', “be sober, take heed to assemble together at Ip. 254.) "church, give yourselves watchfully, with us, to prayer,
“ psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Be these the employ• Serm. 8. “ments of your leisure.” He advisesø married persons to 1271-272.] perfect continence, declaring however that it is permitted
them to use the married state. He recommends them to avoid drunkenness, and dissolute feastings accompanied with dancings and instruments of music. “ Wretched are those “ houses,” says he," that differ in nothing from theatres : let
“ the house of the Christian be free from any thing which is [’ a choro “ found in the train' of the devil ; let courtesy and hospitality diaboli]
“ be practised in it, but let it be always sanctified by con“stant prayer, psalms, and spiritual songs. Let the Word “ of God, and the sign of Christ, be in your hearts, in your “ mouths, on your forehead, at table, in the bath, in your “going out, and in your coming in, in joy and in sorrow."
To these ten sermons at the time of Easter, St. Gaudentius • Præfat. added four on different subjects out of the Gospel, and a [p. 220.)
fifth on the Maccabees, which Benevolus had heard, but nevertheless requested of him.
p. 59. D.
The Emperor Honorius being Consul in the year 396, en- A. D. 396. tertained the people at Milan with a public show of some XV.
St. AmAfrican wild beasts. A criminal named Cresconius having brose saves taken sanctuary in the church, the people assembled in the amphitheatre obtained leave of Stilicho to force him out with criminals. a band of soldiers; for Stilicho had the sole authority during the minority of the Emperor. Cresconius fled' to the altar, ' Paulin.
Vit. s. and St. Ambrose and the Clergy who were present, gathered Amb."$ 34. round to defend him; but the soldiers, who were numerous, and their officers, Arians, prevailed. They seized on Cresconius, and carried him off in triumph to the amphitheatre. Those who were in the church were much troubled ; and St. Ambrose continued a long time weeping, and prostrate before the altar; but when the soldiers had returned, and made their report, two leopards that were let loose, leaped suddenly into the place where those who had triumphed over the Church were seated, and left them severely wounded. Stilicho was much moved at this, and repented of the violence he had done to the Church. He made satisfaction to St. Ambrose by penance for many days, and set Cresconius at liberty; but as he was guilty of very great crimes, he sent him into banishment, from which, however, he was soon after recalled.
In the time of the Emperor Gratian, St. Ambrose had saved the life of another condemned person?. He was a' Soz. 7. pagan, who had held the greatest stations, and had spoken contemptuously of Gratian, saying, that he was unworthy of his father; and being accused of this, was condemned to die. As they were carrying him to execution, St. Ambrose 9 went to the palace, to petition for his pardon; but the enemies of the criminal had contrived to amuse the Emperor with the combats of beasts in his palace, so that none of those who attended at the gate would inform the Emperor of his being there, pretending that he came at an improper time. He therefore retired; but went unperceived to the door through which the beasts were brought in, and entered with those that led them; nor did he leave the Emperor till he had obtained pardon for the criminal.
9 On the custom of Bishops interceding for criminals, see Bingham, bk. 2. ch. 8. § 1, 2, 3.
po fors. Pose
A. D. 396. St. Ambrose was no less zealous in securing any deposits i Ofic. 2. committed in trust to the Church'; and he frequently opc. 29. $ 150
109 posed the royal orders for taking them away'. A certain
e person having procured a rescript from the Emperor to have of the per- something delivered to him, that had been deposited by a secution by
widow in the church of Pavia, the clergy at length forbore Ch?"42.9. to make any farther resistance; the magistrates and officers
charged with the execution of the rescript, insisted that the order was not to be opposed; and the Emperor's agent
pressed it. But the Bishop of Pavia, by the advice of St. [8 obsedit Ambrose, so well secured the entrance into the place where
the thing was deposited, that they could not get it away, but [* sub chi- were contented with an acknowledgment in writing that it
was in his hands, by virtue of which, and a new order from
the Emperor, they returned again. The Bishop still refused; 6 2 Macc. he caused the history of Heliodoruss to be read, who was 3. 24, &c.
so severely punished for attempting to take away what had been for sacred purposes deposited in the temple; and at last, with much difficulty, he brought the Emperor to a
better mind. XVI. A Bishop named Marcellus, had a sister who was a widow,
ciand a brother called Lætus“. Marcellus gave his sister some sions of St. land that belonged to him, on condition, that at her death, Ambrose. o Ep. S. she should leave it to the poor, and to the Church of which al.149: Cad he was Bishop. Lætus disputed this grant, which occasioned Marcell.] a considerable law-suit between them. After the cause had
been pending a long time, with great expense, and great
animosities and reproaches on both sides, they desired it $ 2. might be determined by St. Ambrose , and procured it to be
referred to him by the Prætorian Præfect. St. Ambrose would not judge according to the strictness of the law, but as an arbitrator to accommodate the difference, and reconcile
the parties. He accordingly brought them to this agree$ 8. ment; that Lætus should have the land, on condition, that
he paid his sister annually, during her life, a certain quantity of corn, wine, and oil, and that on her death, Lætus should be liable to no demand, either in behalf of the Bishop Marcellus or the Church. St. Ambrose affirmed that, by this
" See bk. 19. ch. 38. note z.
decision, all parties' had gained their cause: Lætus, because A. D. 396. he was made master of the land; his sister, by being made ' $ 9. sure of an income, without a law-suit, without trouble, or hazard of bad years; and Marcellus, because he had contented both his brother and sister, and because this expedient had been put in practice according to his own proposal. The Church only seemed to be the loser ; but St. Ambrose maintained that the Church was a sufficient gainer by the charity ' § 10. which was preserved, by the virtues of its Bishop, and the good example given by him on this occasion.
There was a virgin at Verona named Indicia, whom Zeno Bishop of that city had consecrated to God, after a probation of several years'. She had lived at Rome with St. Marcel- ' Ep. 5.
al. 46. ad lina', in the house of St. Ambrose, and had gained a great Syagr. esteem for her virtue. At her return to Verona, she dwelt LA
d olt (A.D.380.] with her sister, who was married to one Maximus; always ' $ 21. leading so retired a life, that some took offence because she did not return the visits of their wives'. A report was 5 § 16. spread that Indicia had been delivered of a child, and had murdered it®. Maximus, her brother-in-law, applying to • ş 19. Syagrius, then Bishop of Verona, became the informer; and was so earnest with the Bishop, that he cited the witnesses to the church. Three women who were said to be the authors of this report did not appear, but only two men who said that they heard the story from these women; and who were themselves men of an ill character. However, upon this evidence, the Bishop Syagrius, without hearing Indicia's defence, or advising with his brethren the other Bishops, ordered that she should be examined by matrons.
She complained to St. Ambrose, and Maximus too came to Milan to support the sentence of Syagrius. St. Ambrose, to proceed regularly, required that some person should appear as accuser"; but Maximus would not declare himself to be? $ 4. so, though he acted as such in every respect. The three women whom they pretended to be their chief witnesses, ' g 20. and whose names were Mercuria, Lea, and Theodule, had disappeared, though they had been brought to Milan. The two men, named Renatus and Leontius, who had made their depositions on the report of these women, were examined by St. Ambrose, but did not agree in their testimony. St. Am- $ 19.