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Many others imprisoned. Many others were committed to the same prison, in reality for their religious opinions, though, as yet, this was not openly avowed; but other pretexts were, in general, alleged. They were, however, called heretics; and about ten days after Mountain was sent to the prison, the bishop's almoner brought a basket of provisions, but with a strict charge to the keeper, that the
should not have a scrap! As the almoner left the prison, he saw a text of scripture which had been painted over the door, during king Edward's reign. • What have we here?” said he to the keeper; a piece of heresy! I command you, in my Lord's name, that it be put out before I come again.'
Thus closed the first year after the accession of queen Mary. It was, indeed, a day of darkness and of gloomi. ness, a day of clouds and of thick darkness." A time of sifting evidently was at hand, and the faithful followers of Christ earnestly sought to be strengthened with might, by his Spirit, in the inner man, that they might “ be able to withstand in the evil day; and having done all, to stand :"
THE DAYS OF QUEEN MARY.
The Death of Lady Jane Grey, and further proceedings
against the Protestants.
A Romish Procession—the People bowing down to the Host.
The proceedings at the commencement of 1554 were very similar to those at the conclusion of the preceding year. Dr. Crome, and many other persons, both clergy and laity, were committed to prison, because they refused to comply with the recent changes in religion. But Gardiner and the Queen clearly saw that the nation could not be brought back to the Pope's authority, nor the superstitions of the Church of Rome be fully established, without the assistance of foreign power; and the treaty of marriage with Philip, Prince of Spain, was earnestly promoted. This excited much discontent throughout the nation; many who desired the restoration of the Romish religion, were very averse to coming under the authority of Philip. They shuddered at
Wyat's Insurrection. the recollection of the Spanish cruelties in America, and were unwilling that the Inquisition should be established in England. Several of the nobility and gentry, planned insurrections to prevent the nation from falling under the Spanish yoke, but only one was carried into effect. Sir Thomas Wyat, and others, assembled at Maidstone, from whence they marched to London, and, at one time were near the palace; but Wyat does not appear to have intended any personal injury to the Queen. He had been one of the first that declared for her in Kent, the preceding year. This hasty and ill-concerted rising was soon suppressed. The Romanists have accused the Protestants of being promoters and main actors in this affair; but the charge is false, and easily disproved. Wyat himself was a Romanist; none of his proceedings were at all connected with religion ; and in the Queen's proclamation against him, no mention is made of the Gospellers. The particulars, therefore, may be left to the secular historian ; only observing, that when Wyat was in possession of Southwark, he offered to release Mountain and his fellow-prisoners, who were confined in the Marshalsea for heresy, but they refused the liberty offered in such a manner, thus plainly shewing they had no concern in the rebellion. Some who were charged with heresy, even came forward to defend their Queen; among these, the yeomen of her guard were the most active, a large proportion of whom were favourers of the Reformation. But when the insurrection was quelled, Mary, and her counsellors, determined to avail themselves of what had passed, as a pretext for fresh severities against the Protestants. The rebels, taken in arms, however, first felt her displeasure. On the Sunday after the insurrection was over, (Feb. 11.) Gardiner preached at Court, and exhorted the Queen to use no mercy, but to act with the extremity of justice towards these unhappy men. Gallows were set up at all the gates, in Cheapside, and in other principal parts of London; and, on the Wednesday following, forty-eight of the rebels were executed, and several of them quartered in the public streets. On these proceedings, Knox writes, “ I find that Jezebel, that cursed idolatress, caused the blood of the prophets of God to be shed, and Naboth to be martyred unjustly for his own vineyard; but I think she never erected half so many gallows in all Israel, as Mary hath done in London alone!
51 This black week began with a still more painful tragedy. The reader will remember how unwillingly LADY JANE Grey suffered herself to be proclaimed Queen, and how gladly she resigned the crown. It was so notorious, that she acted merely in obedience to others; and her excellent character, and her youth, pleaded so strongly in her behalf, that even bloody Mary could not, at first, resolve to order the sentence against her to be executed. But she had always disliked Lady Jane, especially for her religion ;* and the present occasion seemed a fit opportunity for putting her to death, although Wyat had not made any tion of restoring her authority, his only design being to prevent the marriage of the Queen with the Prince of Spain. It should also be noticed, that Lady Jane was not beheaded until after Wyat's insurrection was entirely quelled. To the pious sufferer, it was rather a relief than otherwise, for she had lain under sentence of death for upwards of six months, well knowing that the first occasion would be taken against her. Under these feelings she wrote to her father, the Duke of Suffolk, who was condemned to suffer for attempting an insurrection in Warwickshire. Instead of
upbraiding him with being the cause of her death through his ambitious projects, she intreated him to moderate his grief, and added, “Though I must needs acknowledge, that being constrained, and, as you well know, continually persuaded, I seemed to consent, and therein grievously offended the Queen, and her laws.” She concludes, “Ănd thus, good father, I have opened unto you the state wherein I at present stand: whose death, at hand, although to you, perhaps, it may seem right woful; to me, there is nothing that can be more welcome, than from this vale of misery to aspire to that heavenly throne of all joy and pleasure, with Christ our Saviour. In whose stedfast faith, (if it be lawful for the daughter so to write to the father,) may the Lord, that
* Fox, and others, relate, that Lady Jane, when very young, was at New-hall, in Essex, where Queen Mary (the Princess) resided. One day, passing through the Chapel, with Lady Ann Wharton, that lady made an obeisance to the consecrated wafer, hanging, as usual, io a box over the altar. Lady Jane, seeing this, wondered, and asked, if the Princess was coming. Her companion replied, “ No;" and said, she made the obeisance “ to Him that made us all.” “Why," said the Lady Jane,“ how can that be he that made us all, for the baker made him?" This being told to the Princess Mary, “ she did never love her after!”
Lady Jane Grey is beheaded. hitherto hath strengthened you, so continue you, that, at the last, we may meet in Heaven.”
When we consider the circumstances under which this letter was written, we cannot but be deeply impressed with the christian spirit of Lady Jane Grey. In fact, she may be considered as falling a sacrifice to her own religious principles, as well as to the ambitious views of her relatives, On Monday, February the 12th, her husband Lord Guildford Dudley, a youth of nineteen, was beheaded upon Towerhill; and within an hour afterwards she suffered, in the same manner, within the Tower.
The hard fate of Lady Jane Grey was universally lamented: the more so, from the general estimation in which she was held for her fervent piety and superior abilities. People spoke their opinions the more strongly, as they could not but see that several of the nobility, who had been the most active in proclaiming her as Queen, were now in authority, professing the Romish religion, and secretly promoting, if not urging, her death! It was noticed, that several persons
who advised her execution came to an untimely end; among these was Judge Morgan, who pronounced sentence of death upon her. Shortly afterwards he became raving mad, in which state he died, calling incessantly to have the Lady Jane taken away from his sight.
Many particulars are recorded, which shew that she was a Christian indeed, not in name only :—the following will interest the reader.
A Prayer made by the Lady June, in the time of her trouble. “O Lord, thou God and father of my life, hear me, a poor and desolate woman, who takes refuge with thee only, in all troubles and miseries. Thou, Lord, art the only defender and deliverer of those that put their trust in thee; and therefore I, being defiled with sin, incumbered with affliction, and disquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, overwhelmed with miseries, vexed with temptations, and grievously tormented with the long imprisonment of this vile mass of clay, my sinful body, do come unto thee, O merciful Saviour, craving thy mercy and help, without which, so little hope of deliverance is left, that I may utterly despair.
Is Albeit it is expedient that, seeing our life is full of trials, we should be visited with some adversity, whereby we might both be tried whether we are of thy flock or no, and also kuow thee and ourselves the better; yet thou that saidst thou wouldest not suffer us to be tempted above onr power, be merciful unto me now, miserable wretch. I beseech thee, and, with Solomon, do cry unto thee, humbly desiring, that I may neither be too much puffed up with prosperity, nor be too much pressed down with adversity ;