Imatges de pàgina

small sum of money amongst the poorer sort of catholics, the saint himself, giving to the hangman two shillings and sixpence, which is, said he, For thy good office thou art to do me; and looking about him a little, he espied the carman who had driven the hurdle to the gallows, and gave him two shillings, which is, said he, For thy pains too, though thou be no catholic ; this done, he threw an inkhorn, and handkerchief, and some other things left in his pocket, amongst the people ; and then immediately composed himself to die, recommending his soul to his blessed Saviour, and crying out in these word, Josul, Jesu, Jesu, receive my soul, he ended this life. He hung till he was dead, because they stript him hanging, then cut him down, dragged him by the heels, on his back to the fire, there dismembered and beheaded him, ript up his belly, plucked out his heart and his bowels, and cast them into the fire, &c., setting up his head and quarters upon several gates and places of the city ; but by God's special providence, the heart of this glorious martyr was preserved from the fire, by reason it slid down upon the edge of a sloping stick, and so fell into the embers, where it was rather covered than consumed, and by this accident, was found.

•A person of great quality, Count Egmond by name, hearing by a servant of his, who was present at the action, that an holy priest had suffered martyrdom that morning, “ being the 26th of July, 1641," asked his servant, if he had brought any relic of the martyr away with him ; who told him yes, and gave him, (as he said,) the very handkerchief which the saint had cast out of his pocket. The count, taking it with reverence, kissed it; but finding no blood upon the same, gave ihe servant his own handkerchief, commanding him to run back instantly to the place of execution, and to dip that in some of the martyr's blood, if he could find any. The servant posting away, came back to the gallows, made diligent search for some of the blood, but finding it was all scraped up by the zeal of other pious catholics, who had been before him, takes his stick, and rubbing up the ashes where the bowels of the martyr had been burnt, finds a lump of flesh all parched and singed by the fiery embers, wherein it lay covered, and hastily wrapped up what he had found, in the handkerchief, which his lord had given him, not having time to shake off the fiery coals or hot ashes, by reason that some malicious persons who stood by, and saw this fellow stooping, and taking somewhat out of the fire, demanded of him what he took thence; The man nimbly slipped over a park pale, and run from them, who would have laid hands on him ; whereupon, divers horsemen passing that way, and hearing a great number of foot cry stop, stop, stop, (as the ill custom of our nation is, every man making himself an officer, and hangman, rather than fail,) out of officious curiosity in such cases, rode hard round the park pale, hoping at the next gate to encounter with this poor man, who was pursued by a clamorous and still increasing company of footmen, who continually kept sight of him. The man perceiving himself so beset on all sides, and pursued, resolved not to lose the relic, whatever became of himself, dropped it as he ran, in a bush, and took special mark upon the bush with his eye, where he left it, resolving to come another time and fetch what now he could not safely carry any farther; and this he did with such dexterity, making no stop at all, but feigning a small trip or stumble, and yet seeming suddenly to recover himself, ran on, drawing his pursuers after him, to delude them, and thereby to save the relic. In brief, this poor man recovered the skirts of the town ere he was overtaken, and there being apprehended, was carried before officers, yet by the power of his lord was fetched off, upon security given that he should be forthcoming ; and so went early next morning to the place where he had dropped the relic, and found it in the handkerchief which he had wrapped it in, and in the same place where he had left it ; in which circumstance it is remarkable, that the handkerchief was not burnt by any of the fiery coals or hot ashes which might hang upon the flesh when he took it out of the fire ; and bringing this home to his lord, upon diligent search what it should be, they found, by incision, it was the very heart of the holy martyr, and it remained fifteen days untainted ; after which time, the count, who keeps it as his greatest jewel, caused it to be embalmed; not that he did it to preserve it from corruption, which it seemed no way to incline to, but for reverence and religion to so rich a relic : Quia pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors sanctorum ejus.

• And it may serve for an example to all good christians, that their special devotions and duties to their particular patrons, are exercises not only pleasing to God and his saints, but infinitely profitable to souls ; for whereas this man of God was ever singularly devoted to St. Ann, the mother of the blessed virgin Mary, keeping her feast every year, with more than ordinary solemnity, and this commonly in the houses of some of his penitents, virtuous women, who bore that name: see the high reward he received of this his devotion, that Almighty God bestowed the crown of martyrdom upon him on the feast of St. Ann, the 26th of July, 1641 ! as if that blessed saint had been ambitious to wait upon God's martyr, and put the triumphant crown upon his head with her own hands, who had so devoutly, and so constantly, for many years together, on this, her festival day, solemnized her praises.' So far the manuscript.


EDWARD Barlow, called in religion father Ambrose, was born at Manchester, in 1585, of pious and catholic parents, of the ancient family of Barlow of Barlow. His father was that constant confessor of Christ, Alexander Barlow, Esq., who made it his care to give this his son, a catholic and liberal education. By these means his tender mind which had already a happy sweetness of temper, and an inclina. tion to piety and learning, was improved, and strongly established in the true faith and the love of God. When he was twelve years old he was taken from school to be page to a relation, a person of quality. But as

* From two manuscript relations, kept by the English benedictines at Douay, one of them being a letter of his brother, É. Rudesind Barlow, to the abbot and monks of Cellanova, dated January 1, 1642.

he grew up, and considered the emptiness and vanity of the transitory toys of this life, and the greatness of things eternal, he took a resolution to withdraw himself from the world, and to go abroad, in order to procure those helps of virtue and learning, which might qualify him for the priesthood, and enable him to be of some assistance to his native country.

The place he made choice of for his studies was the university of Douay, which had been recommended to him by fame, and by the testimony of many learned and pious priests who studied there. Here, meeting with two other young gentlemen of equal age, and of the same inclinations, he chose them for his chamber fellows, and with them frequented the humanity schools at Anchin college, under the fathers of the society, as the alumni of the English seminary all did during Dr. Worthington's presidency. When he had finished his humanity, he was sent by the aforesaid Dr. Worthington, “ August 23, 1610," from the English college of Douay to that of Valladolid; where he went through his course of philosophy, and part of his divinity : for before he had finished the latter, he followed his brother, Dr. Rudesind Barlow, to Douay, where he received the habit of St. Bennet; and after making his noviceship at a house then belonging to the English congregation, near St. Malo, in Litile Brittany, he was professed at Douay, in 1615. And being now thirty years old, and otherwise well qualified by virtue and learning for the apostolic calling, he was presented by his superiors, not long after his profession, to the holy order of priesthood, and sent upon the English mission, to which he found himself strongly invited by an inward


The seat of his missionary labours was his native country of Lancashire, " where, says Mr. Knaresborough,* his memory is held in great esteem to this day, by the catholics of that county, for his great zeal in the conversion of souls, and the exemplary piety of his life and conversation.” 'Tis scarce to be expressed what wonderful blessings the Almighty gave to the labours of this his faithful servant, who made it his constant business to join the care of his own soul with that of his flock, and to preach full as much by example as by words. Such was the fervour of his zeal, that, as my author says, he thought the day lost, in which he had not done some notable thing for the salvation of souls. Night and day he was ever ready to lay hold of all occasions of reclaiming any one from error; and whatever time he could spare from his devotions, he employed in seeking after the lost sheep, and in exhorting, instructing, and correcting sinners; and omitted no opportunity of preaching the word of God. But then he never neglected the care of his own sanctification : he celebrated mass, and recited the office with great reverence and devotion ; had his fixed hours for mental prayer, which he never omited ; and found so much pleasure in this inward conversation with God, (from which he received that constant supply of heavenly light and strength,) that when the time came on, which he had devoted

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to this holy exercise, he was affected with a sensible joy, as much as worldlings would be when going to a seast. He had also a great devotion to the rosary, which he daily recited, and recommended much to his penitents ; and was very tenderly affected with the sacred mysteries of the incarnation, passion, and resurrection of the son of God, (which he there contemplated,) and was much devoted to his blessed mother. He ofien meditated on the sufferings of his Redeemer, with his arms extended in the form of a cross, and these meditations enkindled in his soul a desire of suffering for Christ, a happiness for which he daily prayed.

He had a great contempt of the world, and its vanities ; and a very humble opinion of hiniself, joined with a great esteem, love, and veneration for the virtue of others. He was always afraid of honours and preferments, and had a horror of vain glory, which he used to call ihe worm or moth of virtues ; and which he never failed to correct in others, and sometimes in a jocose way, at others seriously, according to the temper of the persons. He industriously avoided feasts and assenıblies, and all meetings for merry making ; as liable to dangers of excess, idle talk and detraction. He had no regard for temporal interest; and refused, (though desired by many,) to live in great families, where he might be well accommodated with all things ; choosing rather to live in a private country-house, where the poor, to wliom he had chiefly devoted his labours, might have, at all times, free access to him : 10 whom also he plentifully imparted both spiritual and corporal alms, according to his ability. He would never have a servant, till forced to it by sickness ; never used a horse, but made his pastoral visits always on foot. His apparel was mean; neither would he ever wear a sword, or carry a watch. He allowed himself no manner of play or pastime ; and avoided all superfluous talk and conversation ; more especially with those of the fair sex, how virtuous or qualified soever: and when the business of his calling obliged him to make any stay in such company, he kept his eyes fixed on the ground, and would not look them in the face. Being asked one day by a lady of quality, why he so much avoided the company of women, since he himself was born of a woman? He replied; for that very reason 1 avoid the company of women, because I was born of a woman : signifying that the corruption of concupiscence, which from our very birth is entailed upon us by original sin, was what made him louk upon himself obliged to use those precautions.

He boarded with an honest country farmer, where his diet was chiefly whitemeals and garden stuff'; for he seldom eat flesh, unless by occasion of company that came to visit him. He drank only small beer, and that very sparingly; and always abstained from wine : being asked the reason why he did so ? he alledged the saying of the wise man, Wine and women make the wise apostatise. He was never idle, but was always either praying, studying, preaching, adminisering the sacraments, or (which he used sometimes to divert himself with.) painting pictures of Christ or his blessed mother. He was sometimes applied to, to exorcise persons possess ed by the devil, which he did with good success. He had a great talent in composing of differences, and recon

ciling such as were at variance; and was consulted as an oracle by the catholics of that country in all their doubts and difficulties. He feared no dangers, when God's honour, and the salvation of souls called him forth : and has sometimes, when engaged in such expeditions, passed, even at noon day, through the midst of enemies, without apprehension. And when some people would desire him to be inore cautious, he would turn them off with a joke ; for he was usually very cheerful and pleasant in conversation ; so that they who knew him best, thought he was, in this regard, not unlike the celebrated Sir Thomas More. Yet he was very severe in rebuking sin, so that obstinate and impenitent sinners were afraid of coming near him. Nothing more sensibly afflicted him, than when he saw any one going astray from the right path of virtue and truth, more especially if it were a person of whom he had conceived a good opinion, or had great hopes : upon these occasions he would, at first, be almost oppressed with melancholy, till recollecting himself in God, and submitting to his wise providence, justly pernitting evil, to draw greater good out of it, he recovered again his usual peace and serenity,

Some months before his last apprehension, (for he was several times a prisoner,) hearing that some persons, whom he loved as his own soul, were in a resolution of doing something very wicked, which was like to be the ruin of many souls, he was so strongly, on a sudden, affected with it, that it flung him into a fit of the dead palsy, which took away the use of one side, and put him in danger of his life : what added very much to his cross, was, the fear lest his poor children, whom he had begotten to Christ, should now be left destitute of spiritual assistance. And, whereas, his convulsions and pains seemned to have brought him to death's door, he had this additional affliction, that no priest could be found to administer the holy sacraments to himn. In these extremities, God Almighty was pleased to comfort him; and being in a manner out of himself, he broke forth into these words : • Lord, thy will be done ; a due conformity of our will to thine, is to be preferred to the use of the sacraments, and even to martyrdom itself. I reverence, and earnestly desire thy sacraments ; and I have often wished to lay down my life for thee, in the profession of my faith : but if it be pleasing to thy infinile wisdom, by this illness, to take me out of the prison of this body, half dead already, thy will be done.' Whilst in these dispositions, God was pleased to send hiin a priest of the Society of Jesus to assist him ; as he himself had, twelve years before, exercised the same charity to F. Arrowsmith, in prison, before his last conflict : at which time, that confessor of Christ is said to have foretold, that he should be the next to follow him. At least this is certain, by the testimony of Mr. Barlow himself, in a letter to his brother Rudesind, (who quotes it in his manuscript relation,) dated out of prison, May 17, 1641, that F. Arrowsmith

the night before he suffered, when as yet, Mr. Barlow had not heard of his suffering, came to his bedside, and told him ; I have already suffered: you shall also suffer ; speak but little, for they will be upon the watch to catch you in your words.'

On the eves before the principal festivals of the year, whilst Mr. Barlow was in health, the catholics resorted to him from distant places,

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