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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 68

A.D. 605.] DELIVERANCE OP TRAJAN'S SOUL. 63 prince with very fair edifices, he recalled to mind that remarkable judgment of his, by which he had comforted a widow. Moved by the emperor's exceeding grace, he straightway hastened to the church of St. Peter the apostle, where he is said to have wept so long over the unbelief and error of that benignant prince, that in the following night he received an answer, assuring him that he had been heard on Trajan's behalf, but only on the condition that he should never again offer prayers for any pagan. Believe, therefore, that the soul of Trajan is delivered from the pains of hell in such sort that, though placed in hell, yet, by the mercy of God, it does not feel the torment thereof; for one and the same fire of hell, although it can equally hold many sinners, yet, by the justice of God, cannot torment all with the like degree of punishment ; for the souls in hell feel the suffering according to the degree of their guilt. The work of piety by which Trajan moved God and the blessed father Gregory to compassion, was as follows :—Once, while Trajan was with vehement haste preparing himself for Avar, a widow, the poorest of her sex, approached him, dissolved in tears, and said, "M y son has, whilst thou art emperor, been put to death though innocent ; I beseech thee, since thou canst not restore him to me, that thou wilt deign to avenge his death according to law." On his promising to do so in case he returned alive from the war, she said, " But if thou shalt die in battle, who shall then do me justice ?" Trajan replied, " He who shall reign after me;" whereupon she asked, " What will it profit thee if another shall do me justice?" To which Trajan answered, " Nothing at all." " Is it not, then, better for thee," said the widow, "that thou do me justice, and receive thy reward for it, than that thou suffer a stranger to have it ? " Feeling the force of her remark, and moved with compassion for her, Trajan dismounted from his horse and delayed his departure until he had pronounced judgment for the widow, and commanded the sentence to be executed. By his humility in thus doing justice, he obtained, through the tears of the blessed father Gregory, deliverance from the pains of hell five hundred years and more after his decease. The same lather Gregory was the first who, in the commencement of his epistles, before health, grace, and blessing, styled himself servant of the servants of God ; thus giving a form of

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