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Careless dies in Prison, 242–His Letters, 242,3,4,5,6,7,8
-Clement and Agnes Wardail, 249– Three Women and a
Our fathers were well acquainted with the cruel sufferings of their Protestant ancestors during the reign of Queen Mary. They had heard from their parents the narratives of the days when the Church of Rome possessed full power in this land, and they had perused " THE ACTS AND MONUMENTS,” * recording the sufferings of the Martyrs, which were placed in the different Parishes throughout England, so as to be accessible to every one who was able to read. If a Romish advocate acted according to the usual practice of his Church, and sought to disparage that which he could not refute, it was not difficult to reply; the facts were well known, and the simple statement of the truth, such as is given in the answer of Bishop Jewel to Harding, could not be denied :-"Ye have imprisoned
your brethren; ye have stripped them naked; ye have scourged them with rods; ye have burned their hands and
arms with flaming torches ; ye have famished them; ye “ have drowned them ; ye have summoned them, being dead, “ to appear before you; ye have taken up their buried carcases;
ye have burned them; ye have thrown them out into the
dunghill; ye took a poor babe, newly-born, and, in most cruel “ and barbarous manner, threw him into the fire-all these
things are true; they are no lies. The eyes and consciences of thousands can witness to your doings : Ye slew
your brethren so cruelly, not for murder or robbery, or any “ other grievous crime they had committed, but only for “ that they trusted in the living God !” Nor was his declaration concerning the Christian fortitude of the Martyrs
* In “ THỂ LOLLARDS," the reader will find several testimonies to the accuracy of Fox's work :-the following may be added.
" He was a person of indefatigable labour and industry, and an exile for religion in Queen Mary's days; he spent all his time abroad in compiling the Acts and Monuments, which were published first in Latin, and afterwards when he returned to his native country, in English, with enlargements: vast was the pains he took in searching records and collecting materials for his work, and such was its esteem, that it was ordered to be set up in all the Parish Churches in England.”—Neal's History of the Puritans.
+ Jewel's “Defence of the Apology," p. 31. This work, and his “ Reply to Harding," contain a most complete exposure of the errors and false doctrines of the Church of Rome.
PREFACE. less decided In another place,* after describing their sufferings in similar terms to those already given, Jewel says, “ Ye did “ with them whatsoever your pleasure was. The worst word “ that proceeded from them was, O Lord, forgive them, they “ know not what they do; Lord Jesus receive my spirit. In “ the meanwhile ye stood by, and delighted your eyes with the “ sight. 0, Mr. Harding, your conscience knoweth these be no “ lies. They are written in the eyes and hearts of many thou“ sands. These be the marks of your religion. Oh, what
reckoning will ye yield, when so much innocent blood shall “ be required at your hand !”
Such was the decided manner in which our forefathers could point to the fruits of that doctrine of the Church of Rome, which directs that no toleration shall be given to those who differ from her in any respect.+
Nor were lengthened arguments requisite as to the other doctrines and practices of Romanism. Many remembered the public burnings of the Scriptures in the English language, and that the possession of a copy, at once condemned its owner to the flames! They had read the books sanctioned by the Romish prelates, which detailed the grossest fabulous legends respecting their saints, as matters of faith. They could point out friends and neighbours who had actually gone upon pilgrimnages to Thomas à Becket and other saints, or to the various images of the Virgin; having been told, by their priests, that by so doing they would procure the pardon of their sins! They and their fathers had seen “the churches full of images wonderfully decked “ and adorned with precious stones; their dead and still bodies “ clothed with garments stiff with gold;" while multitudes bowed down and worshipped them. They had beheld “the “ priests themselves with a solemn pace pass forth before these
golden puppets, and fall down to the ground on their knees “ before these idols, and then rising up again, offer up odours
* See a Reply unto Mr. Harding's Answer, p. 574. The reader may wish to know what sort of arguments were used by Harding; the follow, ing is a specimen :-" There have not so many thousands of your brethren been burned for Heresy in these last twenty years as ye pretend; and this is the chief argument ye make in all that huge dunghill of your stinking Martyrs, which ye have entitled Acts and Monuments." The reader will observe the similarity between this language and that used by certain modern writers in behalf of Romanism !
+ This intolerance is carried even further. One of the Papal Deeretals orders, that if any one merely suspected of heresy refuses to answer as to his faith, and continues to do so for a whole year, he is to be condemned as a heretic, although he makes no open declaration of dissent. Another forbids the Laity from disputing about the Catholic faith, either in public or private. Those who had once been forgiven were to be refused mercy if they again departed from the Romish faith, or if they spoke with heretics on these subjects, although they afterwards offered to return ! -- Lib. V. Decretalium per Bonifacium VIII, in Consilio Lugdunensi Editus.