Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

26 October 312 A.D. Constantine and Troops Five Miles North of Rome Readying for Battle Against Maxentius

26 October 312 A.D.  Constantine and Troops Five Miles North of Rome Readying for Battle Against Maxentius.

Constantine’s full name was Forius Valerius Constantius.  He was the son of Constantius Chlorus, western emperor of the Roman Empire. His father died in 306. Constantine was declared Emperor by his father’s army.

Meanwhile back in Rome, the Praetorian Guard proclaimed Maxentius as the Emperor.

On 26 October 312, Constantine was closing in on Rome, five miles north of the city.

According to Eusebius, the church historian, Constantine claims to have seen a “flaming cross in the sky” that evening with the Greek words Х and Р, or, χ and ρ, or, the first two Greek characters for Christos or Christ. Allegedly, reportedly, Constantine was reassured with the term “In this sign, conquer.” Allegedly, Mr. Constantine told his troops to affix the XP symbol on shields, an alleged encouragement for the Christians in his army.

Maxentius, the same night before the battle, was engaged in divinizations and sacrifices to Roman deities. Maxentius decided to fight on the Tiber River with the Milvian Bridge behind him.  Maxentius and troops lost their lives and the battle.  Maxentius’s body was found in the Tiber the next day.

Of note, the following year, 313, Mr. Constantine granted religious freedom to Christians and pagans alike.  Religious worship was now legal. Confiscated church properties were ordered for restoration. He allowed bishops to now settle civil suits. He closed workshops and courts on the Lord’s Day.  He banned gladiatorial games. He played a major role in summoning the Nicene Council of 325 A.D. But, questions remain.

He had a darker side. His wife, sister of Maxentius and son were murdered under questionable circumstances. He never relinquished his title as the chief priest of the Roman state religion.  His coins affirmed allegiance to the Sun god. He delayed the sign and seal of grace in baptism till near death.


  1. Which volumes should be consulted for an academic review of Constantine? Eusebius’s memorial, of course, is somewhat hagiographic.
  2. How should Constantine be weight….good and bad…benefits and drawbacks?
  3. Given the Article in the Thirty-nine Articles on state religion, given the US Constitution and given Dr. Abraham Kuyper’s relation to the state church, what scholarly volumes exist on church-state relations?


Durant. Caesar and Christ. 653-64.

“Constantine the Great.” EC. 3: 155-6.

Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History. 9:9.

Frend. The Rise of Christianity. 473-515.

Hicks, C. “Constantine the Great.” WWCH. 172-3.

Wordworth, J. “Constantius 1.” DCB. 203-12.

Wright, D.F. “Constantine the Great (c. 274-337).” NIDCC. 255-6.

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