Foxe structures the narrative to set the early church as running parallel with the reformation era church. Foxe sees the the one thousand intervening years as years of prosperity and peace and growth for the Christian Church. It was the early church, the first three centuries of the Church that was the crucible out of which sprung the glorious period of medieval Christendom, or something along those lines. The parallels of course are striking: the obvious circumstances of persecution and martyrdom are easy to see, but there are others. First, Foxe clearly sees the origin of persecution as the same: the city of Rome. In the early Church it was Imperial Rome perpetrating the injustices, in the reformation era, it is the Papal Rome carrying on this tradition of bloodshed. This creates a running commentary then on both persecutors and the persecuted. The Popes are Diocletians and Neros, and the Reformers are Peters and Polycarps. This perhaps also sheds light on the routine reformation era ascription of the Pope as Anti-Christ. If any of the apocalyptic literature of the New Testament is dealing with the persecutions that Christians faced from Rome and Imperial collaborators (i.e. Revelation), then it becomes easier to see how the Reformers made such a connection (exegetically). But the narratival parallels also imply an eschatological outlook. If the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, Foxe has every expectation that the period of persecution he is witnessing will likewise break out into a purified, glorified, and growing Christian Church just as it had centuries before.