Imatges de pàgina

and the same belief. These were the chief motives which moved the Catholic church, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, from her first foundation to the present hour, to celebrate the memories and feasts of the saints and martyrs, and keep a Calendar and Martyrology of their dying days. Accordingly, we find St. Gregory in the fifth century writing thus,"We have, in our church, the names of almost all martyrs gathered together in one book, and their passions and martyrdomis distinguished, according to the days of each month, and every day, in veneration of them, we do use to say solemn masses.'

(Greg. l. vii. Registr. ep. 22. ad Eulog.)

In proportion, however, to the vigilance of the Catholic church in preserving the true history and orthodoxy of her martyrs, the children of error were as assiduous in corrupting or ridiculing their histories ; and, in many cases, they opposed martyrs to martyrs, in order to deceive the ignorant. For example, Appollinaris, bishop of Hieropolis, is cited by Eusebius, as complaining that the Marcionists, Montanists, and Cataphrygians did boast of their martyrs against Catholics ; so also we have John Fox expunging all the ancient saints and martyrs of the Catholic church who had been held in veneration and respect, some of them for the space of fifteen hundred years, to give room for a motley crew of pretended reformers, whose exploits, as we shall shew, ought to raise a blush on the cheek of every Protestant for the honoor of his church. In point of faith and religion many of them were Wickliffites or Hussites; others Waldenses or Albigenses ; others Lollards or Lutherans ; some were Zuinglians, Calvinists, Puritans, Anabaptists, and any thing but members of the true church. In point of morality, some of them were thieves and murderers, others were traitors and rebels; some were condemned for witchcraft; and others were prostitutes and adulterers ; as will be proved in our examination. To class such characters in a Calendar as Saints and Martyrs evinces no great regard for truth and morality, and Fox himself does not presume to think his martyrs worthy that honour which Catholics shew to those who have laid down their lives in defence of the true and apostolic faith. In the acts recorded of the saints and martyrs of the Catholic calendar, we find them eminent for great virtues, holiness of life, and gift of miracles ; whereas John Fox, Bale, Hall, Holinshed, and other of our historians, speak of no such merits pertaining to the saints and martyrs in the Protestant calendar. On the contrary we find, that those who rank the highest, such as Luther, Bucer, Peter Martyr, Crapmer, Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, Rogers, Ferrar, Taylor, Tindall, and the like, were al married priests and friars ; men who had broken their vows of celibacy, to give way to the sensualities of the Aesh, and indulge in those pleasures which the religion of Christ exhorts us to restrain and mortify.

In the succeeding pages we shall give the calendar of Fox which he prefixed to his original work, and instead of the Calendar of Saints used by the Catholic church, we shall place parallel with Fox's list, a catalogue of the Catholic martyrs, Bishops, Priests, Religious, Nobility, Gentry, and Commonalty, who suffered for the old religion, from the suppression of the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, by Henry VIII. to the end of the reign of Charles the second. Attached to the Calendar, we

shall, under each month, give a biographical and critical sketch of the respective sufferers, whereby the reader will be able to discover the real merits of the parties, and learn to whom respect and veneration is due. It is not, nor was it ever our intention to justify the many executions that occurred in the reign of queen Mary; but the circumstances under which they took place, and those which led to the punishments inflicted on the Catholics, are so very dissimilar, that we should not do justice to the cause of Truth were we omit pointing them out to the reader. The principal number of the martyrs of Fox suffered under an act passed in the reign of Henry IV. wbich was enacted to restrain the tumultuous and seditious preachings of the disciples of Wickliffe. This law invented no new species of crime, but empowered the dignitaries of the church to apprehend and examine those who were guilty or suspected of teaching erroneous doctrine and stirring up the ignorant people to acts of outrage'and rebellion. Now, if the reader will lay aside all prejudice, and take a clear view of the case, such an act will appear consistent with common sense, and absolutely necessary to the existence of good order and regularity in the community. If it is the duty of a teacher of youth to see that the children placed under his charge follow the right system of education, and if it is allowable that he should punish the obstinate and refractory, it will not surely be denied that the teachers of religion are in duty bound to preserve the true principles of the gospel, and the rulers of the state to maintain the security of property and guard the safety of the person of every individual of the community. Now, previous to the dogmatizing of Wickliffe, the people of England were all of one faith, which faith had been held from the time of its first introduction and triumph over Paganism in the sixth century. It had been preserved by the vigilance of its preachers, nor had any innovation been attempted till Wickliffe, from disappointment and pride, began to sap the pillar of truth, and engraft the subtle poison of error. Evermindful of their sacred charge, the guardians of truth denounced him as an impostor, and used those means only which had been granted them by divine authority, to preserve the deposit placed under their care. The heresiarch himself remained unmolested. In the course of time the poisonous seeds he had sown made their appearance in open tumult and defiance of the laws. The civil power was threatened with destruction, property was insecure, and therefore to quell the rising storm before the nation should be overwhelmed in ruin, the writ de Hæretico comburendo was passed by the legislature, granting new powers to the bishops, not as members of the church, but as the most competent members of the state, to examine and reclaim those who were infected with WRONG NOTIONS, and in case of obstinacy, to turn them over to the civil magistrate to be dealt with according to LAW. This law, passed in the year 1400, enacts,—“The Catholic faith, and the holy ó church amongst all the kingdoms in the world hath been most de

voutly observed in England, and endowed, which hath not been “ troubled with heresy, and therefore none shall preach without license “ of the diocesan of the same place : none shall preach or write any “ book, contrary to the Catholic faith, or the determination of the holy “ church :'none such make any conventicles of such sect, and WICKED DOCTRINE, nor shall favour such preacher. Every ordinary may

“ convent before him, and imprison any person suspected of heresy :

an obstinate heretic shall be burned before the people.” Fourteen years after, namely in the second year of Henry V. another statute was passed, which declared as follows:--" The intent of the heretics, called

Lollards, was to subvert the Christian faith, the Law of God, the “ CHURCH and the REALM. All officers of government shall be sworn " to assist the ordinaries in extirpating heresies. A heretic convict shall forfeit all his fee simple lands, goods, chattels; they which be in“dicted of heresy shall be delivered to the ordinaries.”

Here then was no invasion of the liberty of the subject, no intrenchment of the right of conscience; the object of the act was to secure the rights of the people from the invasion of lawless power, and protect the right of conscience from being forced by ignorance and innovation. When Mary came to the crown, she restored the nation to the faith of her forefathers; she abrogated the new laws of Henry and Edward, her father and brother, which we shall have occasion to notice by and by; and she proclaimed freedom of conscience to all her subjects, enjoining at the same time a due regard for the laws and a peaceable demeanour towards society. The turbulent spirit, however, of those who became infected with the gospel notions of evangelical liberty, would not allow them to be quiet; they gave proofs of their disposition to outrage by several acts of violence, and it was fonnd necessary to adopt some steps to prevent a recurrence of similar offences against the peace of the kingdom. Unwilling to make new laws, or invent new crimes, the old writ de Hæretico comburendo was revived, it having been abolished by Edward the sixth to make way for a modern and more arbitrary law, namely, to compel persons to embrace a new doctrine in preference to the true and ancient belief of the Christian world. Such then was the law under which Fox's martyrs suffered, who were for the most part apostate monks, friars and priests, shoemakers, sawyers, weavers, smiths, curriers, &c. besides public malefactors, condemned as such by the laws in those cases made and provided.

We have now to notice the other side of the case. It has been shewn, we think demonstratively, that the motive which produced the writ de hæretico comburendo was a strict adherence to truth in religion and a regard for the old laws and customs of the land. This, however, was not the motive which influenced the fautors and abettors of the Refor. mation, so called, who, while they raised the cry of evangelical liberty, proved themselves the greatest tyrannizers over conscience ever heard of. When Henry the eighth assumed the supremacy of the church as well as the kingdom of England, he was so conscious of the utter inability to reconcile his usurpation to reason and antiquity, that he obtained a law from his corrupt and obsequious parliament, making it high TREASON to deny his right to the same. Here then was a new law and a new offence coined, hitherto unknown to the people of England, and as it affected conscience, mén of probity and honour could not yield obedience to it, while the unprincipled villain yielded a ready submission to the will of the tyrant. Consequently the honest man suffered the penalties of the law, and the ready slave rioted on the fallen liberties of the people. Of the laws of Edward we shall say nothing, but those of Elizabeth, who succeeded her sister Mary, exceeded in barbarity the decrees of the Roman heathen

persecutors of the primitive church. On her coming to the throne, she solemnly swore to preserve the Catholic religion as it had been restored by Mary, her predecessor. She, however, thought proper not only to violate her solemn engagement, but passed laws to harass and persecute her subjects who adhered to the ancient faith, with a fiendish malignity unequalled by a Nero or a Domitian. Having determined on setting herself up as the head of the church, she displaced the bishops and clergy, turned them out of the universities and colleges, and cast oumbers of them into prison. Others tied beyond the seas, and to prevent the people from being without teachers of the truth, a seminary was established at Douay in 1508, for the purpose of educating English students for the priesthood, that they might return to their native country, and labour in the same cause which had induced St. Austin, in the sixth century, to visit this island.

In the first year of Elizabeth's reign it was made HIGH TREASON TO deny her right to the spiritual supremacy of the church, though such a right had never been before known to be claimed by a woman, nor by man either, till old Harry the eighth took a liking to Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyne.--In the same year a fine of twenty pounds a month was adjudged against those who should absent themselves from their parish church to hear the new-fangled service. These laws soon filled the prisons with Catholics. It was subsequently enacted, that to be reconciled to the Catholic church, or to persuade any one to be of that religion, or to be otherwise instrumental in the reconciling any one, was a TREASONABLE offence, and subjected the party offending to be hanged, cut down alive, his bowels to be immediately ripped up and thrown into a fire, and his body chopped up into four quarters, to be at the disposal of the queen. It was also made #IGH TREASON to procure, publish, or put in use any bull, writing, or instrument from the bishop of Rome. The same dreadful punishment was also awarded to such Catholic priests as should remain in the kingdom; and felony for any one to harbour, relieve, or assist them.

These were only a part of the NEW offences made by Elizabeth and her councillors to persecute and destroy the professors of that faith, under which the most equitable laws and free institutions had been established, and the people had become the most renowned throughout the whole of Christendom.--Under the modern diabolical laws some of the most

learned and eminent characters were put to death, and numerous priests underwent tortures and privations, from motives of conscience only. The doctrines which they held were uniform, and the same as were held by the apostles of Christ and by the founders of the English monarchy. Hence it is clear, that the martyrs of Fox were individuals seduced from the paths of truth and morality, and acting froui the impulse of their unruly passions, while the offences for which they were arraigned were of long standing, and enacted to preserve truth and social order; whereas the sufferers under the code of Protestantism, which we shall contrast with Fox's list, will be found to have been influenced solely by a tender regard for truth and conscience, without the least attempt to violate the laws of society or trespass on the rights of others,

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Year. Day.

Year. Day. i Circumcision.

1593 7 Edward Waterson, priest, mart. 1387 2 John Wickliffe, preucher, mart. 1584 11 William Carter, printer, martyr. 1382 3 John Ashtou, confessor. 1600 19 Bennet Canfield, priest and con1400 4 William Sawtree, priest, martyr.

fessor, and several compa1401 5 William Swinderby, priest, mart.

nions, priests, banished. 6 Epiphanie.

1586 21 Edward Strancham, priest, mart. 1413 7 Sir Roger Action, knt. martyr.

Nicholas Wood, priest, martyr. 1413 8 John Browne, gent. martyr.

1585 Twenty Jesuits and one secular 1413 9 John Beverley, preacher, mart.

priest and one layman, trans1413 10 Richard Silbeck, martyr.

ported. 1521 11 John Castellane, doctor, mart. 1642 Thomas Green, priest, martyr. 1525 12 Thomas Whittle, minister, mart.

Bartholomew Roe, priest, mart. 1556 13 Bártlett Greene, gent. martyr. 1646 Thos. Vaughan, priest and conf. 1556 14 John Tudson, martyr.

1591 22 William Patenson, priest, mart, 1556 15 Thomas Went, martyr.

1679 24 Wm Ireland, priest, S. J. mart. 1556 16 Thomas Browne, martyr.

John Grove, layman, mart. 1556 17 Isabel Foster, martyr.

Francis Nevill, priest and conf. 1556 18 Joan Warne alias Lashford, and 1606 47 priests sent into banishment. John Lomas, martyrs.

1679 Plaudus Adelham, O.S.B. priest 1556 19 Anne Alebright alias Champnes,

and confessor. martyr.

1680 And. Bromwich, priest and con. 1556 20 Joan Catmer and Agnes Snoth, Richard Birkett, priest and conf. martyrs.

Richard Fletcher, priest and conf. 1556 21 William Waterer and Joan Sole, John Penketh, pr. conf. and Jesuit. martyrs.

George Buby, ditto. 22 Conversion of St. Paul.

James Corker, O.S.B. priest and 1557 23 Stephen Kempe, martyr.

conf. William Hay, martyr.

William Nappier, priest and conf. 25 Thomas Hudson, martyr.

Charles Parry, ditto. 26 William Lowick, martyr.

Henry Starkey, ditto. 27 William Prowting, martyr.

Lionel Anderson, ditto.
28 Nicolas Final, martyr.

Wilian Wall, ditto.
29 Matthew Bradbridge, martyr.' Andrew Lumsden, ditto.
30 John Piilpot, martyr.

James Barker, ditto."
31 Thomas Stephens, martyr.

William Allison, ditto.
Bennet Constable, ditto.



January 2. John Wickliffe, Preacher, Martyr.
THE first martyr which John Fox has selected to grace his calen-

dar never was put to death, nor yet so much as imprisoned for his religious opinions ; for he died in his bed, at his benefice of LutterWorth, in Lincolnshire.—This is an unfortunate circumstance for John Fox's veracity, and it is not a little singular that he should be guilty of a lie in recording his premier saint, who died on the 31st of December, in the year 1384, though Fox has placed him in his calendar on the 2d

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