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fore the papists must bear it with an in- christ, whom here Paul so accurately different mind if we call the pope Anti- describes." christ."
Melancthon—"Since it is most certain
that the pontiffs and monks have forbidTESTIMONY OF Foreign REFORMERS.
den marriage, it is most manifest, and
without any doubt true, that the Roman Luther—“Whosoever is seriously af- pontiff, with his whole order and kingfected with piety will fly most swiftly dom, is the very Antichrist." from that Babylon, and will dread even Calvin—" The papists have imagined hearing the name of the papacy. For an Antichrist who would harass the so greai is its impiety and abomination, church for three years and a half. But that no one can reckon it up in words, all the notes by which the Spirit of God nor can it be seen but with spiritual designates Antichrist clearly appear in eyes.
the pope; but that three years Antichrist "The vicar is in the place of an absent keeps the foolish papists engaged, lest chief, --what is such a vicar but Anti- seeing they should see.” christ.
Ecolampadius—"God is jealous and "I know and am certain that the suffers not that his servants should draw papacy is the kingdom of Babylon." in the yoke with Antichrist. He has no
Zuinglius, on 2 Thess. ii. (answering part with Belial and with darkness. Now the papal application of it to the Protes- we learn that through fear of persecution, tants,) says—“Let our doctrine be ex- you so dissemble your faith and conceal amined, and it will appear that they are it, as to communicate with the unbelievers, false. We preach Jesus Christ and him and to partake in the abominations of the crucified, and that he is the only Recon- masses, in which you are aware that the ciler and the only succour of man, but death and passion of Christ are blasthe papists preach the pope, the Anti- phemed."
THE MARTYR LAMBERT.
THE ROMISH SYSTEM OF PERSECUTION.
BI GEORGE FIXCH.
In the Jewish dispensation a most sub- Mosaic system "the ministry of conlime revelation was made of the ineffable demnation;" and, in perfect unison with holiness of God, and of his awful judg- its spirit and design, the Jews were emments against sinners; and the thunder. ployed by God as the instruments of his ings and lightnings on Mount Sinai vengeance upon idolatrous nations, whilst figuratively represented the terror of his the severest penalties were enacted in justice, and the tremendous penalties their own laws against those Jews who which menaced the transgressors of his were guilty of sacrilege or idolatry. perfect law. Salvation by faith in the The main object of the Christian disLamb of God, who was to take away the pensation was the revelation of the unutsins of the world, was typically repre- terable grace of God to perishing sinners; sented in the sacrifices instituted by the manifestation of his infinite pity and Moses, so as to be intelligible to all goodness. By Christ, and in Christ, spiritual believers; but the grand charac. God is made known to man as the God teristics of the Jewish economy were the of Love; and the apostle John designates law and its denunciations, and these him as being "love" itself. In complete operated as a schoolmaster to conduct harmony with this design is the whole of true believers to Christ. Hence the the Christian economy. Jesus was meek apostle Paul did not hesitate to style the and lowly; he came to bless, to suffer, to redeem, and not to punish. He published victed of having acted in direct violation the grace of God; through the gospel was of the spirit and essence of the reformed preached forgiveness of sins to the most faith. It must, on the other hand, be the guilty; God was exhibited as reconciled source of deep regret and of heartfelt misto al who should repent and believe in giving to enlightened Roman catholics to his dear Son; the apostles were sent forth find that the punishment of heretics is so to entreat sinners to be reconciled 10 God; bound up with the infallibility the their ministry was termed the ministry of church of Rome that no true friend of reconciliation; as a pledge that God was religious liberty and of freedom of conpacified, the gift of the Holy Spirit was science can consistently remain a memimparted; in contrast to the ministry of ber of the Roman catholic communion. condemnation, the Christian system was Aware how pre-eminently calculated termed the ministration of the Spirit; and the knowledge of the persecuting docalthough there was a time predicted in trines of the Romish church was to prewhich God's vengeance was to be poured judice the political claims of British and forth upon guilty nations, that day was Irish Roman catholics, and to prevent the not to arrive till the days of grace were reception of Romish principles by British fulfilled. Well would it have been for Protestants, the Romish prelates who the character of the primitive church in were examined by the parliamentary comthe fourth and fifth centuries-for the mittee in 1825, and the Irish prelates reputation of reformed catholic statesmen, who published authoritative expositions parliaments, and churchmen of various of Romish principles, left no means unsects in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and tried of misstating the Roman catholic eighteenth centuries—and, most of all, for doctrine upon this head. Unwilling 10 that murderess of the saints, the church believe that men occupying such responof Rome, if the sweet and mercisul and sible offices in the church of Rome, and lovely spirit of Christianity had been assuming for themselves the episcopal more clearly perceived and practised.. dignity, could, in the face of earth and
The first persecutions were perpetrated heaven, be guilty of such heinous falseby the heathen governments against the hood, the honest, honourable, and ignorant church of Christ; the next persecutions simplicity of British statesmen, and legiswere those so fiercely pursued by the lators, and of a large portion of the popuArians against orthodox believers. 'l'hese lation of Great Britain, was utterly dewere followed, in due course of time, by ceived. The exterminating principles of the penal code of Theodosius, which was the fourth council of Lateran were supenacted in accordance with the views and posed to be unauthentic, by reason of the interests of the Nicene church. The solemn disavowal of them by Romish example of the primitive church was not churchmen. It was urged, that in the lost upon the church of Rome. In the Mazarine manuscript, which was incommiddle ages, borrowing authority from plete, only the beginning and conclusion Augustine and Jerome, and the fathers of of the canon were in esse. The council Chalcedon, she unsheathed the sword of of Constance had indeed pronounced vengeance, and the slaughter of her un- sentence against Huss and Jerome as inhappy victims inundated, with its crim- corrigible heretics, and delivered them son tide, the south of France, and exhi- over to the secular arm; but their deaths bited the Romish apostasy as literally were solely attributable, it was contended, drunken with the blood of the saints. It to the sanguinary edicts of the imperial is consolatory to enl ghtened members of law. Miserable sophistry! only suffithe reformed catholic church to find that cient, one should have thought, to have no principles of persecution are discover- blinded those predetermined to be conable in their creeds; that private judg- vinced, if experience had not instructed ment is proclaimed by the reformed reli- us that sound sense and senatorial elogion to be at once a common privilege, a quence are not unfrequently as widely dury, and a birthright; and that those distant as the poles. To prove the perProtestants who have persecuted are con- secuting spirit of the church of Rome, we are not necessitated to run over the whole by one of the enactments of these laws, of her history; her motto is “ semper as they are set forth at large in Pope Ineadem.” If we can show that any tenet nocent IV.'s bull, it was decreed that has once been received by her, her infal- heretics should be publicly burnt alive: libility eternally forbids iis renunciation. “ut vivi in conspectu hominum combuHer assumed infallibility is, in point of rantur, flammarum commissi judicio." fact, the power which binds together her in the year 1258, Pope Alexander IV. unsightly system; and if this were aban- confirmed the same laws. In the year doned by her, the whole of that system 1262, Pope Urban IV., in a public bull, would fly to pieces. It will suffice, there- directed the inquisitors to exterminate fore, to establish the fact, that she cherish- the hereties, (vulpeculis exterminatis.) ed the doctrine of persecution in the thir. In the prefatory remarks to the insertion teenth century, in order to convict her of of the bull of Pope Innocent IV., the being a persecuting church for ever. “Bullarium Magnum" informs us, that
In the year 1215, the fourth Lateran Pope Clement IV., on the 22d day of council was held, in which Pope Inno- October, 1265, confirmed the same extercent III. proposed certain articles, which, minating laws of Frederic II. In the although some of them appeared repulsive year 1280, Pope Nicolas III. issued a to certain members, received the tacit as- bull of excommunication against heretics, sent of the council and of the universal which decreed that those who were conchurch. These, therefore, are as true demned by the church should be left to and holy as Romish infallibility can make the secular judgment to be duly punished, them, and as such, are binding upon the and that even those who were willing to consciences of all Roman Catholics. perform condign repentance should be Among these articles is the well-known perpetually imprisoned. In the prefatory canon which sanctions the extirpation of remarks to the introduction of the bull of heretics. Of this fact, called in question Pope Honorius III., to which we have as it has been by interested parties, there already referred, we are told that Pope can be no reasonable doubt. About Boniface VIII., who occupied the papal twenty years after the holding of the chair in the year 1295, confirmed ihe abovementioned council, Pope Gregory same laws of Frederic II.; and lastly, if IX.* in his decretals inserted the canon at it were possible that any doubt could refull length, and referred to Pope Innocent main in the mind of any sane man respectIII. in a general council, which could ing the fact that not only the persecution, only be the fourth council of Lateran, for but the extermination, of heretics was its authority. A better attested fact can approved of and enforced by the church scarcely be discovered in history. In the of Rome in the thirteenth century, that year 1220,+ Pope Honorius III., in a doubt would be utterly cancelled by the public bull, confirmed the laws of Frede- declaration of the learned Thomas Aquiric II. of Germany, and inserted them nas, who wrote in the latter half of the verbatim in his bull; these laws enjoined thirteenth century, and who declared that the extermination of heretics. In about the church consigned relapsed heretics to the year 1235, Pope Gregory IX., as we the secular judgment, to be exterminated have already seen, introduced the exter- by death from the world. (Sec. sec. part. minating deeree of the fourth council of sum. theol. S. Thom. Aquin. Quæs. xi. Lateran into his decretals, which are part art. 3. “Et ulterius relinquit cum judicio of the common law of the church of Rome. seculari a mundo exterminandum per In the year 1243, Pope Innocent IV., in mortem.") To deny, therefore, that the a public bull, confirmed the abovemen- extermination of heretics has had the tioned laws of Frederic II., and thus en sanction and been enforced by the infalforced the extermination of heretics; and lible authority of the church of Rome,
would be as rash as it would be to deny Decretalium Gregorii, lib. v., de heretico,
the existence of the sun, moon, and stars, tit. vii.
or of the church of Rome herself. † Bullarium Magnum, Hon. III.
Of this persecuting system many of the
holiest saints of God have been the vic- dering troops to mount the breach in tims; and of all of that murdered band, person, clad in armour. Alexander VI. who obtained the victory by their faith, was graphically described by Guicciarno one perhaps is better entitled to the dini as a serpent, who, by his pestiferous sympathy and affection of reformed catho- wickedness, had poisoned the whole lics, or has more glorified the grace of world. If the head was thus defiled and God, shan Lambert, a schoolmaster in deformed, the body of the church was in London. The bare mention of his name a state of almost equal demoralization, revives the reminiscence of the era of the In the council of Pisa, anno 1409, Gerson, Reformation, and the heart of every true the chancellor of Paris, delivered a serbeliever overflows with gratitude to his mon before Pope Alexander, in which he God when he calls to mind the deliver- gave a most lamentable account of the ance of his church and country from pa- wide-spread corruption, and intimated pal bondage and corruption. By the that all the evils had sprung from the foul most mereiless cruelties, the bishops of pollutions of the clergy, (ex fædis inquiRome had attained for a time the triumph namentis clericorum.) In the filth coun. over all opposition. The Waldenses had cil of Lateran, Anthony Pucci, clerk of been scattered, and constrained to conceal the apostolic chamber, described the themselves in Languedoc, the north of church as being in a deserted and filthy Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland. The state, and the shepherds of the flock as great western schism, however, intro- slaying rather than saving. At the counduced such intolerable evils, and such cil of Trent, Paganus, à minorite, in a irremediable confusion and indiscipline, sermon which he delivered to the counat the close of the fourteenth century, that cil, went so far as to state that "every the papal power received a shock from Christian was without religion!” The which it never recovered. The court of revival of literature had already set men's Rome and the Romish prelates and clergy minds in motion; the invention of printlost all hold on the respect of the people ing facilitated the diffusion of knowledge; at large, and the demand for a moral re- and a sense of the need of a moral reformformation of the church in her head and alion in the church of Rome pervaded members became almost universal. Si. all classes of men. At this time, under Bridget, in her revelations, which were the direction of divine Providence, the recognized by the councils of Constance desire for a moral reformation was superand Basil, and by Popes Urban VI., seded by the still more irrepressible longMartin V., and Paul V. (edit. Coloniæ, ing for a doctrinal reformation. Many 1629, book i. c. 41), described the pope had been the frauds of monks and priests as being worse than Lucifer, more unjust which had provoked disgust, but no abuse than Pilate, more merciless than Juilas, equalled that which prevailed in the disand more abominable than the Jews. tribution of indulgences. By an indulShe gave also a most appalling picture of gence is meant, in the language of Rome, priestly and monkish profligacy; and the remission, either in whole or in part, portrayed the prelates of the church as of the temporal punishment which is rebeing filled with pride and covetousness served by God in this world, or in purand the putridity of corporeal enjoyments. gatory, for those sins of which the eternal By their secret intrigues and overt-oppo punishment has been remitted. The dissition the popes baffled the desire for re- iribution of indulgences had long been formation, but Europe was more and most profane and irrational. In one of more scandalized by their worldlymind- the most authoritative books of Roman edness and vices. Pope Sixtus IV. was devotion in use in the 6fteenth and sixaccused, upon the strongest grounds, of teenth centuries, in England, we find that being involved in the conspiracy of the the recital of a few prayers, or the perPazzi at Florence, and stained with the formance of a few devotional services, blood of the assassinated Julian de Medici. was rewarded by the popes by indulAt the siege of Mirandola, Julius II., im- gences for eleven thousand, and even patient of delay, was seen by his won- sixty thousand years. Under the pontificate of Leo X., the profligate sale of so, the wafer-which they pronounced to indulgences awakened the zeal of Luther; be the body of Christ-into his body, and as the divine truth gradually revealed blood, soul, and divinity—and thus workitself to his soul, he subsequently de- ing a greater miracle than any which nounced, in succession, the main doctrinal were wrought by Moses or Joshua. The corruptions of the Romish church. The consecrated wafer was worshipped by blessed principles of everlasting truth, the priests and people as very Christ, which had long been cherished by the with the adoration of latria, which, acfollowers of Wickliffe, now obtained en- cording to the Romish church, is due to trance into many English hearts; and Jehovah only; and the offering of this vainly did the tyrant Henry VIII. en- sacrifice was declared to be propitiatory deavour to extinguish the sacred fire. for the sins of the quick and the dead. The schoolmaster Lambert was a man of Such fearsul errors naturally filled the ardent temperament, and was animated minds of pious Christians with awe and by an evangelical detestation of error. detestation; and those whose eyes had He was, in fine, so “illiberal" as to de- been opened to a perception of delusion test soul-destroying doctrines; and so were most anxious to rescue from it their " fanatical" as to desire to purify the fellow-citizens, who were the abject poisoned fountains of truth. He loved slaves of a pretended infallibility. In his God; he cherished God's blessed proportion as the doctrine tended to elepromises; he contended earnesily for the vate the priestly office was the eagerness faith once delivered to the saints; and he of the Romish clergy to uphold it; and opposed those deadly errors which de- in proportion as it was unscriptural and graded and ruined his fellow men. The irrational, Romish policy prescribed the uncompromising publication of his senti- employment of the greatest severities in ments led to his imprisonment by Arch- its defence. However much we may be bishop Watham, at whose death he was disgusted with Henry VIII.'s pedantic released. Subsequently hearing Doctor pride; however justly, on other occaTaylor, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, sions, we may abhor his regal tyranny; preach in favour of transubstantiation, he in the cruelties with which he visited declared to him his dissent from that Lambert's opposition to transubstantiadoctrine. For this offence he was sum- tion, he only proved himself to be a moned before certain of the bishops, who faithful disciple of Thomas Aquinas, and vainly endeavoured to persuade him to an obedient member of the Roman Cathoretract. He appealed to the king him- lic church. Lambert, as we have already self; the appeal was accepted by his stated, appealed to the king. But why sovereign, who was proud of his learning, did he select for his antagonist the wearer and insolent in his pomp and power, and of the British crown? His true motive a disputation occurred which terminated for so doing is known with certainty to in the bodily destruction of the champion Him only to whom the secrets of all of truth. To some the weakness of hearts are open. We can only presume Lambert's understanding may appear 10 what the springs of his conduct were; be evidenced by his zealous hostility to and such presumptions must not war a doctrine represented by many as only against charity. Our knowledge of the mysterious and speculative. But the infirmities of human nature, neverthemartyr had truer views of the dignity of less, and of the defects which accompany truth, and of the melancholy results of the conduct of the best of men, cannot doctrinal error. He doubtless perceived but lead us to presume that some feeling that from the doctrine of transubstantia- of vanity may have been mixed up with tion resulted priestly pride, the degrada- purer motives, when he singled out the tion of the laity, insult to the Saviour, king of England as the person to whose gross idolatry, and that false propitiatory judgment he appealed, and in whose sacrifice which is termed the mass. The presence he would contend against the priests were described as miraculously ablest defenders of the Romish doctrine. converting, whenever they intended to do If any sentiment of self-sufficiency insti