Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

68 Hooper, Coverdale, Bradford and others trusting to be present with Him in heaven, for whose presence on the Altar I am thus condemned.”

Ridley observed, “ Although I am not of your company, yet I doubt not but my name is written in another place, whither this sentence will send us sooner than we should come by the course of nature.”

Latimer added, “ I thank God most heartily that he hath prolonged my life unto this end, that I may in this case glorify God by that kind of death.”

Awful to say, Weston then recorded his own condemnation by exclaiming, “ If you go to heaven in this faith, I am persuaded I shall never come thither!"

After the sentence was pronounced, a solemn procession took place to commemorate this victory. Weston carried the Host under a canopy; and the crowd were obliged to bow before their breaden God, as is still required in Romish countries. The three prisoners were sent for, to behold the triumph; and then carried back to their respective prisons, where they suffered much, and were supported by the contributions of the followers of the Gospel, and at the expense of the Bailiffs of the city. Cranmer wrote a memorial to the Council, stating the unfair manner in which the dispute had been conducted, and the refusal to allow him to advance the arguments he had ready. Weston undertook to be the bearer of this letter; but while on the road he opened it, and not liking the contents, sent it back to Cranmer.

The Romanists boasted much of the result of this disputation, and resolved to have a similar exhibition at Cambridge. For this purpose they intended to send down some others of the faithful ministers of the truth then in prison, who were quickly informed of the design. Such of them as were not yet closely confined, found means to communicate their opinions to each other, and published a declaration of their sentiments. In this they stated, that being prisoners, not as rebels, or transgressors of the laws, but only for their conscience towards God and his most holy word and truth, they were informed that it was determined they should be sent to dispute before the Universities, and that they had resolved as follows: To dispute publicly if required, provided it were before the Queen and her Council, or the Houses of Parliament, but not before the Doctors of the Universities alone, since they had already stated their determinations upon the points to be disputed; and those who were to

1554 ]

publish a Declaration of their Faith. 69 decide did not desire to find out the truth, but only sought their destruction. They also objected, because they had not been allowed the use of books for many months, and these were not permitted in the disputation at Oxford, so that they should be unable to detect the false quotations of their adversaries. Also, because as at Oxford, they would be interrupted in their arguments; and the notaries who took down the proceedings would all be appointed by their enemies, and no copies allowed to go forth, except such as passed through their hands. For these reasons, they would only dispute in writing with the Romish Clergy, if alone. This they desired to do, and added, “ If they will write, we will answer; and by writing confirm, out of the infallible verity, even the very word of God, and by the testimony of the good and most ancient Fathers in Christ's church, this our faith, which we now write and send abroad purposely that our good brethren and sisters in the Lord may know it; and to seal the same, we are ready, through God's help and grace, to give our lives to the halter, or fire, or otherwise, as God shall appoint. Humbly requiring, and by our Lord Jesus Christ beseeching all that fear God to behave themselves as obedient subjects to the Queen, and the superior powers which are ordained of God under her; and rather, after our example, to give their heads to the block, than in any point to rebel, or once to mutter against the Lord's anointed, we mean our Sovereign Lady Queen Mary, into whose heart we beseech the Lord of Mercy plentifully to pour the wisdom and grace of his Holy Spirit now and for ever."*

A confession or statement of faith was then added. In this the prisoners declared, 1. They believed the Bible to be the true word of God, and to be written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and therefore to be taken to decide in all controversies and matters of religion. 2. That the Catholict Church embraced and followed the doctrines of the Scriptures in all matters of Religion. 3. They believed the doctrines and articles of faith set forth in the Apostle's Creed, and the Nicene and other similar professions of faith. 4. They believed

* This latter clause is given ạt length, to shew the falsity of the Romish accusation of rebellion against these men. It is necessary to call the reader's attention to this, as their principal authors at the present day do not scruple to represent the writers of this de. claration as " breaking their allegiance to her!" Let the sentiments here expressed, be compared with the language lately (1826) used by the leading Romish advocates !

+ Not the Roman Catholic.

IS

DO

70

Romish Processions and Ceremonies. concerning Justification, “that as it cometh only from God's mercy through Christ, so it is perceived and had of none which be of years of discretion, otherwise than by faith only, which faith is not an opinion, but a certain persuasion wrought by the Holy Ghost in the mind and heart of man, whereby the mind is illuminated, and the heart is suppled to submit itself to the will of God unfeignedly, and so sheweth forth an inherent righteousness, which is to be discerned in the article of Justification from the righteousness which God endueth us withal, justifying us, although inseparably they go together. And this we do not for curiosity or contention sake, but for conscience sake, that it might be quiet, which it never can be, if we confound, without distinction, forgiveness of sins and Christ's righteousness imputed to us, with regeneration and inherent righteousness. By this we disallow the papistical doctrine of free will, of works of supererogation, of merits, of the necessity of auricular confession, and satisfaction towards God.”

This article is here given at length, as it shews that the main difference between the Romanists and the Protestants was on the all-important question, “ How shall man be just with God ?

The remaining articles stated their firm belief that public worship should be in a language which the people could understand. That God only by Christ Jesus was to be prayed unto, therefore they disallowed Prayers to Saints. They also denied Purgatory, Masses for the Dead, the Romish Sacraments, the Adoration of the Host, the prohibiting the Marriage of Priests, and the considering the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice.

These doctrines they offered to maintain before the Queen, or the Parliament, believing that by them they should be heard with some fairness; or they offered to argue in their defence, by writing; and they concluded by stating their determination to act as obedient subjects; and again entreated all others to do the same. This declaration was dated May 8, 1554, and signed by Bishops Farrar, Hooper, and Coverdale, also by Dr. Taylor, Philpot, Bradford, Crome, Rogers, Saunders and others. The month of May was remarkable for many Romish

processions; and on the 10th, royal dirges, or services for the souls of deceased monarchs, were performed at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. On this occasion the nobility gave money to pay for Masses to be said for the souls of King

1554.]
The Inquisition.

71 Henry VII. and his Queen, King Henry VIII. and Queen Catherine of Arragon, and also for King Edward VI.! Reader, observe this. The Romanists then held out that Henry the Eighth was in purgatory, and could be prayed into heaven; for doing this they received money! Surely, upon their own shewing, it would be fair to conclude either that Henry the Eighth is in heaven, or that the Romish Priests receive money for what in reality is a mere pretence! Let the Romanist of the present day say which of these he will admit.*

On the 23d of May, a woman was put in the pillory in Cheapside. A few days afterwards, two more women and three men suffered the same punishment. They probably were punished, to check the public expressions of discontent at the Queen's marriage with the King of Spain, which excited much alarm, owing to the bigoted character of that monarch, and the cruelties he exercised upon his Protestant subjects. It was naturally apprehended that similar proceedings would be adopted in England, and that the Inquisition would be established.

THE INQUISITION.–At this name every Protestant shudders. The atrocities perpetrated by that horrid tribunal have been so repeatedly stated, that they have not fallen into oblivion, like many of the leading errors and practices of Romanism. To relate minute particulars of the rise and progress of the Inquisition, therefore, is not necessary in this place.

It was established at the latter end of the twelfth century, taking its rise from the persecutions of the Church of Rome against the Albigenses, which were speedily brought into

* As one of these processions passed through Smithfield, John Street, a joiner, was passing by, and, in his haste, went under the canopy carried over the Priest, who, being frightened at the man's presumption, let the pix or box fall, in which was the consecrated wafer. For this, Street was taken to the compter, aud carried before the council, before whom the Priest accused him of knocking the Sacrament out of his hand, and designing to kill him. Street was then sent to Newgate, chained to a post in a dungeon,

and treated so cruelly, that he lost bis senses, and was removed to Bed. lam. The Romanists gave out, not only that he intended to kill the Priest, but also that he only pretended to be mad. Fox, therefore, personally investigated the particulars, and found then as abové mentioned.

+ In Jones's “ History of the Waldenses,” the reader will find an interesting account of these persecutions. Particulars respect, ing the Inquisition are given at length, by Limborch, Dellon, Gavin, and other writers, who themselves were originally Roman. ists, See also “ The Protestant.”

72

Remarks. a regular system, and placed under the authority of Dominic de Guzman, commonly called St. Dominic, the founder of a monastic order. But the direction of the Inquisition was not confined to the Dominicans. All the monastic orders, as well as the clergy, both secular and regular, have taken a full share in conducting its proceedings. The chief honour certainly belongs to Dominic, who was created a saint for the pre-eminent ability he displayed in organizing this cruel Institution; to use the expression of one of his biographers, “ he was all eyes for the faith!” It gradually extended its influence over most of the countries where Romanism prevailed, but reigned with the most cruel sway in Spain. It is calculated that more than a million of victims have been sacrificed by this bloody tribunal !

The system upon which it proceeded is well known. Parents and children of every rank were taken from their homes in the dead of the night. No one dared to resist; and Gavin, who was himself connected with the Inquisition at Saragossa, relates, that if a friend or relative called the next day, and found the family in grief, and was informed that the father or mother, or a son or daughter was missing, he dared ask no further, nor make any remark, lest he should be overheard by some of the numerous spies of the Inquisition, and be himself carried away the next night! During the period under our consideration, the Inquisition in Spain was proceeding with the utmost severity against all who were suspected of heresy; and English Protestants might well tremble at the idea of the introduction of that horrid tribunal into our land.

Strange to tell, this dread machinery of Rome has found advocates in England, even in our own day! Llorente states, that within the last ten years,

“ he has heard Roman Catholics in London declare, that the Spanish Inquisition had been useful in preserving the (Roman) Catholic faith, and that it would be advantageous to France to possess a similar Institution !"* Would these Romanists wish to see England also partake its blessings? There are individuals now in our country, who witnessed the public burning of the victims of the Inquisition in Spain, before it was finally restricted to secret punishments, as well as secret arrests and secret judgments. We shall have occasion to notice this subject again.

* See his “ Histoire de l'Inquisition.”

« AnteriorContinuar »