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fore the papists must bear it with an indifferent mind if we call the pope Antichrist."


Luther "Whosoever is seriously affected with piety will fly most swiftly from that Babylon, and will dread even hearing the name of the papacy. For so great is its impiety and abomination, that no one can reckon it up in words, nor can it be seen but with spiritual eyes.

"The vicar is in the place of an absent chief,-what is such a vicar but Antichrist.

"I know and am certain that the papacy is the kingdom of Babylon."

Zuinglius, on 2 Thess. ii. (answering the papal application of it to the Protestants,) says "Let our doctrine be examined, and it will appear that they are false. We preach Jesus Christ and him crucified, and that he is the only Reconciler and the only succour of man, but the papists preach the pope, the Anti

christ, whom here Paul so accurately describes."

Melancthon-"Since it is most certain that the pontiffs and monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and without any doubt true, that the Roman pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is the very Antichrist."

Calvin "The papists have imagined an Antichrist who would harass the church for three years and a half. But all the notes by which the Spirit of God designates Antichrist clearly appear in the pope; but that three years Antichrist keeps the foolish papists engaged, lest seeing they should see."

Ecolampadius-"God is jealous and suffers not that his servants should draw in the yoke with Antichrist. He has no part with Belial and with darkness. Now we learn that through fear of persecution, you so dissemble your faith and conceal it, as to communicate with the unbelievers, and to partake in the abominations of the masses, in which you are aware that the death and passion of Christ are blasphemed."



In the Jewish dispensation a most sublime revelation was made of the ineffable holiness of God, and of his awful judgments against sinners; and the thunderings and lightnings on Mount Sinai figuratively represented the terror of his justice, and the tremendous penalties which menaced the transgressors of his perfect law. Salvation by faith in the Lamb of God, who was to take away the sins of the world, was typically represented in the sacrifices instituted by Moses, so as to be intelligible to all spiritual believers; but the grand characteristics of the Jewish economy were the law and its denunciations, and these operated as a schoolmaster to conduct true believers to Christ. Hence the apostle Paul did not hesitate to style the

Mosaic system "the ministry of condemnation;" and, in perfect unison with its spirit and design, the Jews were employed by God as the instruments of his vengeance upon idolatrous nations, whilst the severest penalties were enacted in their own laws against those Jews who were guilty of sacrilege or idolatry.

The main object of the Christian dispensation was the revelation of the unutterable grace of God to perishing sinners; the manifestation of his infinite pity and goodness. By Christ, and in Christ, God is made known to man as the God of Love; and the apostle John designates him as being "love" itself. In complete harmony with this design is the whole of the Christian economy. Jesus was meek and lowly; he came to bless, to suffer, to

redeem, and not to punish. He published the grace of God; through the gospel was preached forgiveness of sins to the most guilty; God was exhibited as reconciled to all who should repent and believe in his dear Son; the apostles were sent forth to entreat sinners to be reconciled to God; their ministry was termed the ministry of reconciliation; as a pledge that God was pacified, the gift of the Holy Spirit was imparted; in contrast to the ministry of condemnation, the Christian system was termed the ministration of the Spirit; and although there was a time predicted in which God's vengeance was to be poured forth upon guilty nations, that day was not to arrive till the days of grace were fulfilled. Well would it have been for the character of the primitive church in the fourth and fifth centuries-for the reputation of reformed catholic statesmen, parliaments, and churchmen of various sects in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries-and, most of all, for that murderess of the saints, the church of Rome, if the sweet and merciful and lovely spirit of Christianity had been more clearly perceived and practised.

The first persecutions were perpetrated by the heathen governments against the church of Christ; the next persecutions were those so fiercely pursued by the Arians against orthodox believers. These were followed, in due course of time, by the penal code of Theodosius, which was enacted in accordance with the views and interests of the Nicene church. The example of the primitive church was not lost upon the church of Rome. In the middle ages, borrowing authority from Augustine and Jerome, and the fathers of Chalcedon, she unsheathed the sword of vengeance, and the slaughter of her unhappy victims inundated, with its crimson tide, the south of France, and exhibited the Romish apostasy as literally drunken with the blood of the saints. It is consolatory to enl ghtened members of the reformed catholic church to find that no principles of persecution are discoverable in their creeds; that private judgment is proclaimed by the reformed religion to be at once a common privilege, a duty, and a birthright; and that those Protestants who have persecuted are con

victed of having acted in direct violation of the spirit and essence of the reformed faith. It must, on the other hand, be the source of deep regret and of heartfelt misgiving to enlightened Roman catholics to find that the punishment of heretics is so bound up with the infallibility of the church of Rome that no true friend of religious liberty and of freedom of conscience can consistently remain a member of the Roman catholic communion.

Aware how pre-eminently calculated the knowledge of the persecuting doctrines of the Romish church was to prejudice the political claims of British and Irish Roman catholics, and to prevent the reception of Romish principles by British Protestants, the Romish prelates who were examined by the parliamentary committee in 1825, and the Irish prelates who published authoritative expositions of Romish principles, left no means untried of misstating the Roman catholic doctrine upon this head. Unwilling to believe that men occupying such responsible offices in the church of Rome, and assuming for themselves the episcopal dignity, could, in the face of earth and heaven, be guilty of such heinous falsehood, the honest, honourable, and ignorant simplicity of British statesmen, and legislators, and of a large portion of the population of Great Britain, was utterly deceived. The exterminating principles of the fourth council of Lateran were sup posed to be unauthentic, by reason of the solemn disavowal of them by Romish churchmen. It was urged, that in the Mazarine manuscript, which was incomplete, only the beginning and conclusion. of the canon were in esse. The council of Constance had indeed pronounced sentence against Huss and Jerome as incorrigible heretics, and delivered them over to the secular arm; but their deaths were solely attributable, it was contended, to the sanguinary edicts of the imperial law. Miserable sophistry! only sufficient, one should have thought, to have blinded those predetermined to be convinced, if experience had not instructed us that sound sense and senatorial eloquence are not unfrequently as widely distant as the poles. To prove the persecuting spirit of the church of Rome, we

are not necessitated to run over the whole of her history; her motto is "semper eadem." If we can show that any tenet has once been received by her, her infallibility eternally forbids its renunciation. Her assumed infallibility is, in point of fact, the power which binds together her unsightly system; and if this were abandoned by her, the whole of that system would fly to pieces. It will suffice, therefore, to establish the fact, that she cherished the doctrine of persecution in the thirteenth century, in order to convict her of being a persecuting church for ever.

In the year 1215, the fourth Lateran council was held, in which Pope Innocent III. proposed certain articles, which, although some of them appeared repulsive to certain members, received the tacit assent of the council and of the universal church. These, therefore, are as true and holy as Romish infallibility can make them, and as such, are binding upon the consciences of all Roman catholics. Among these articles is the well-known canon which sanctions the extirpation of heretics. Of this fact, called in question as it has been by interested parties, there ean be no reasonable doubt. About twenty years after the holding of the abovementioned council, Pope Gregory IX.* in his decretals inserted the canon at full length, and referred to Pope Innocent III. in a general council, which could only be the fourth council of Lateran, for its authority. A better attested fact can scarcely be discovered in history. In the year 1220,† Pope Honorius III., in a public bull, confirmed the laws of Frederic II. of Germany, and inserted them. verbatim in his bull; these laws enjoined the extermination of heretics. In about the year 1235, Pope Gregory IX., as we have already seen, introduced the exterminating decree of the fourth council of Lateran into his decretals, which are part of the common law of the church of Rome. In the year 1243, Pope Innocent IV., in a public bull, confirmed the abovementioned laws of Frederic II., and thus enforced the extermination of heretics; and

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by one of the enactments of these laws, as they are set forth at large in Pope Innocent IV.'s bull, it was decreed that heretics should be publicly burnt alive: "ut vivi in conspectu hominum comburantur, flammarum commissi judicio." In the year 1258, Pope Alexander IV. confirmed the same laws. In the year 1262, Pope Urban IV., in a public bull, directed the inquisitors to exterminate the heretics, (vulpeculis exterminatis.) In the prefatory remarks to the insertion of the bull of Pope Innocent IV., the "Bullarium Magnum" informs us, that Pope Clement IV., on the 22d day of October, 1265, confirmed the same exterminating laws of Frederic II. In the year 1280, Pope Nicolas III. issued a bull of excommunication against heretics, which decreed that those who were condemned by the church should be left to the secular judgment to be duly punished, and that even those who were willing to perform condign repentance should be perpetually imprisoned. In the prefatory remarks to the introduction of the bull of Pope Honorius III., to which we have already referred, we are told that Pope Boniface VIII., who occupied the papal chair in the year 1295, confirmed the same laws of Frederic II.; and lastly, if it were possible that any doubt could remain in the mind of any sane man respecting the fact that not only the persecution, but the extermination, of heretics was approved of and enforced by the church of Rome in the thirteenth century, that doubt would be utterly cancelled by the declaration of the learned Thomas Aquinas, who wrote in the latter half of the thirteenth century, and who declared that the church consigned relapsed heretics to the secular judgment, to be exterminated by death from the world. (Sec. sec. part. sum. theol. S. Thom. Aquin. Quæs. xi. art. 3. "Et ulterius relinquit cum judicio seculari a mundo exterminandum per mortem.") To deny, therefore, that the extermination of heretics has had the sanction and been enforced by the infallible authority of the church of Rome, would be as rash as it would be to deny the existence of the sun, moon, and stars, or of the church of Rome herself.

Of this persecuting system many of the

holiest saints of God have been the victims; and of all of that murdered band, who obtained the victory by their faith, no one perhaps is better entitled to the sympathy and affection of reformed catholics, or has more glorified the grace of God, than Lambert, a schoolmaster in London. The bare mention of his name revives the reminiscence of the era of the Reformation, and the heart of every true believer overflows with gratitude to his God when he calls to mind the deliverance of his church and country from papal bondage and corruption. By the most merciless cruelties, the bishops of Rome had attained for a time the triumph over all opposition. The Waldenses had been scattered, and constrained to conceal themselves in Languedoc, the north of Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland. The great western schism, however, introduced such intolerable evils, and such irremediable confusion and indiscipline, at the close of the fourteenth century, that the papal power received a shock from which it never recovered. The court of Rome and the Romish prelates and clergy lost all hold on the respect of the people at large, and the demand for a moral reformation of the church in her head and members became almost universal. St. Bridget, in her revelations, which were recognized by the councils of Constance and Basil, and by Popes Urban VI., Martin V., and Paul V. (edit. Coloniæ, 1629, book i. c. 41), described the pope as being worse than Lucifer, more unjust than Pilate, more merciless than Judas, and more abominable than the Jews. She gave also a most appalling picture of priestly and monkish profligacy; and portrayed the prelates of the church as being filled with pride and covetousness and the putridity of corporeal enjoyments. By their secret intrigues and overt opposition the popes baffled the desire for reformation, but Europe was more and more scandalized by their worldlymindedness and vices. Pope Sixtus IV. was accused, upon the strongest grounds, of being involved in the conspiracy of the Pazzi at Florence, and stained with the blood of the assassinated Julian de Medici. At the siege of Mirandola, Julius II., impatient of delay, was seen by his won

dering troops to mount the breach in person, clad in armour. Alexander VI. was graphically described by Guicciardini as a serpent, who, by his pestiferous wickedness, had poisoned the whole world. If the head was thus defiled and deformed, the body of the church was in a state of almost equal demoralization. In the council of Pisa, anno 1409, Gerson, the chancellor of Paris, delivered a sermon before Pope Alexander, in which he gave a most lamentable account of the wide-spread corruption, and intimated that all the evils had sprung from the foul pollutions of the clergy, (ex fœdis inquinamentis clericorum.) In the fifth council of Lateran, Anthony Pucci, clerk of the apostolic chamber, described the church as being in a deserted and filthy state, and the shepherds of the flock as slaying rather than saving. At the council of Trent, Paganus, a minorite, in a sermon which he delivered to the council, went so far as to state that "every Christian was without religion!" The revival of literature had already set men's minds in motion; the invention of printing facilitated the diffusion of knowledge; and a sense of the need of a moral reformation in the church of Rome pervaded all classes of men. At this time, under the direction of divine Providence, the desire for a moral reformation was superseded by the still more irrepressible longing for a doctrinal reformation. Many had been the frauds of monks and priests which had provoked disgust, but no abuse equalled that which prevailed in the distribution of indulgences. By an indulgence is meant, in the language of Rome, the remission, either in whole or in part, of the temporal punishment which is reserved by God in this world, or in purgatory, for those sins of which the eternal punishment has been remitted. The distribution of indulgences had long been most profane and irrational. In one of the most authoritative books of Roman devotion in use in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in England, we find that the recital of a few prayers, or the performance of a few devotional services, was rewarded by the popes by indulgences for eleven thousand, and even sixty thousand years. Under the pon

tificate of Leo X., the profligate sale of indulgences awakened the zeal of Luther; and as the divine truth gradually revealed itself to his soul, he subsequently denounced, in succession, the main doctrinal corruptions of the Romish church. The blessed principles of everlasting truth, which had long been cherished by the followers of Wickliffe, now obtained entrance into many English hearts; and vainly did the tyrant Henry VIII. endeavour to extinguish the sacred fire. The schoolmaster Lambert was a man of ardent temperament, and was animated by an evangelical detestation of error. He was, in fine, so "illiberal" as to detest soul-destroying doctrines; and so "fanatical" as to desire to purify the poisoned fountains of truth. He loved his God; he cherished God's blessed promises; he contended earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints; and he opposed those deadly errors which degraded and ruined his fellow men. The uncompromising publication of his sentiments led to his imprisonment by Archbishop Watham, at whose death he was released. Subsequently hearing Doctor Taylor, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, preach in favour of transubstantiation, he declared to him his dissent from that doctrine. For this offence he was summoned before certain of the bishops, who vainly endeavoured to persuade him to retract. He appealed to the king himself; the appeal was accepted by his sovereign, who was proud of his learning, and insolent in his pomp and power, and a disputation occurred which terminated in the bodily destruction of the champion of truth. To some the weakness of Lambert's understanding may appear to be evidenced by his zealous hostility to a doctrine represented by many as only mysterious and speculative. But the martyr had truer views of the dignity of truth, and of the melancholy results of doctrinal error. He doubtless perceived that from, the doctrine of transubstantiation resulted priestly pride, the degrada tion of the laity, insult to the Saviour, gross idolatry, and that false propitiatory sacrifice which is termed the mass. The priests were described as miraculously converting, whenever they intended to do

so, the wafer-which they pronounced to be the body of Christ-into his body, blood, soul, and divinity—and thus working a greater miracle than any which were wrought by Moses or Joshua. The consecrated wafer was worshipped by the priests and people as very Christ, with the adoration of latria, which, according to the Romish church, is due to Jehovah only; and the offering of this sacrifice was declared to be propitiatory for the sins of the quick and the dead. Such fearful errors naturally filled the minds of pious Christians with awe and detestation; and those whose eyes had been opened to a perception of delusion were most anxious to rescue from it their

fellow-citizens, who were the abject slaves of a pretended infallibility. In proportion as the doctrine tended to elevate the priestly office was the eagerness of the Romish clergy to uphold it; and in proportion as it was unscriptural and irrational, Romish policy prescribed the employment of the greatest severities in its defence. However much we may be disgusted with Henry VIII.'s pedantic pride; however justly, on other occasions, we may abhor his regal tyranny; in the cruelties with which he visited Lambert's opposition to transubstantiation, he only proved himself to be a faithful disciple of Thomas Aquinas, and an obedient member of the Roman Catholie church. Lambert, as we have already stated, appealed to the king. But why did he select for his antagonist the wearer of the British crown? His true motive for so doing is known with certainty to Him only to whom the secrets of all hearts are open. We can only presume what the springs of his conduct were; and such presumptions must not war against charity. Our knowledge of the infirmities of human nature, nevertheless, and of the defects which accompany the conduct of the best of men, cannot but lead us to presume that some feeling of vanity may have been mixed up with purer motives, when he singled out the king of England as the person to whose judgment he appealed, and in whose presence he would contend against the ablest defenders of the Romish doctrine. If any sentiment of self-sufficiency insti

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