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the worshipping of the cross, the power of the keys; and asserted that the pope was Antichrist and the head of that body, the bishops were the members, and the friars the hinder parts of the antichristian society. He was therefore pronounced a heretic convert, and delivered over to the secular power. But before the day fixed for his execution, he escaped out of prison; and being charged by his enemies with endeavouring to make an insurrection, he was outlawed for high treason; and being taken afterwards, he was hanged as a traitor, and burnt hanging as a heretic, being the first nobleman in England who suffered death for the cause of religion was the great blot and stain of Henry the fifth's reign and character, that while he was carrying the glory of the English arms abroad, ne was still persecuting the poor Lollards at home. But notwithstanding these persecutions, and the severest laws and proclamations against them, their numbers still increased, not only among the people, but even in parliament, not only in England, but even in foreign countries, and especially in Bohemia. For there John Huss and Jerome of Prague, having received Wickliff's books, advanced and propagated the same doctrines; for which they were both condemned to the flames, and suffered death with the most heroic fortitude.* It was a most unjust sentence, contrary to all faith, and the solemn engagement of a safe conduct, and drew after it the most fatal consequences. For out of their ashes a civil war was kindled; the Bohemians revolted against the emperor, and maintained and defended their opinions by arms as well as by argaments. What the opinions generally received among the Bohemians were, we may learn with some exactness from one, who had opportunities of being well informed by living and conversing some time among them, and was far from being prejudiced in their favor, Æneas Sylvius, who being afterwards chosen pope, assumed the name of Pius II. These then were their opinions according to him, who, we may be certain, would not represent them better, if he would not represent them worse, than they were in reality.+
*Spanhemii Hist. Chrstiian. Sæc. xv. cap. 6 et 7, Dupin. Siecle xv. chap. 7, Lenfant, Hist. Conc. Pis. et Constance.
+ Usser, de Christian. Eccles, successione et statu, cap. 6, sect. 16. Allix's Remarks upon the ancient church of Piedmont. chup. 22 Eneas Sylv. Hist. Bohem. cap. 35.
Romanum præsulem reliquis episcopis parem esse.
later sacerdotes nullum discrimem; presbyterum non dignitatem, sed vitæ meritum efficere potiorem.
Animas e corporibus excedentes, aut in æternas e vestigio pœnas mergi, aut perpetua consequi gaudia
"The pope of Rome is equal with other bishops.
"Among priests there is no difference; not dignity, but merit giveth the preference.
"Souls departing out of bodies, are immediately either plunged .nto eternal punishment, or attain eternal joys.
"There is no purgatory fire.
"It is vain to pray for the dead, and an invention of priestly co
"The images of God and the saints ought to be destroyed. "The blessing of water and palm branches is ridiculous.
"The religion of the mendicants was invented by evil demous. "Priests ought to be poor, content with alms alone.
Every one hath free liberty to preach the word of God.
'No capital sin ought to be tolerated, although for the sake of avoiding a greater evil.
"He who is guilty of mortal sin ought not to enjoy any secuiar or ecclesiastical dignity, nor is he to be obeyed.
Purgatorium ignem nultum inveniri.
Vanum esse orare pro mortuis, et avaritiæ sacerdotalis inventum.
Aquarum palmarumque benedictiones irridendas.
Mendicantium religiones malos dæmonas invenisse.
Sacerdotes pauperes esse debere, sola contentos eleemosyna.
Liberam cuique prædicationem verbi Dei patere.
Nullum capitale peccatum, quantumvis majoris mali vitandi gratia, tolerandum, Qui mortalis culpæ reus sit, eum neque seculari, neque ecclesiasticâ dignitate potiri, neque parendum ei.
Confirmationem, quam chrismate pontifices inducunt, et extremam unctionem inter ecclesiæ sacramenta minime contineri.
Auricularem confessionem nugacem esse; sufficere sua quemque Leo in cubili suo conqueri peccata
Baptisma fluvialis undæ, nulla interjecta sacri olei mixtura recipiendum.
Comiteriorum inanem usum, quæstus causa repertum: quacunque tegantur teliure humana corpora, nihil distare
Templum Dei late patentis ipsum mundum esse; coarctare majestatem ejus qui ecclesias, monasteria, oratoriaque construunt tanquam propitior in eis divina bonitas inveniatur.
Sacerdotales vestes, altarium ornamenta, pallas, corporalia, calices, patinas vasaque hujusmodi nil habere momenti,
Sacerdotem quocunque loco, quocunque tempore sacrum Christi corpus conficere posse, petentibusque ministrare; sufficere, si verba sacramentatis tantum dicat.
Suffragia sanctorum in cælis cum Christo regnantium frustra imperari, quæ juvare non possunt.
In canonicis horis cantandis dicendisque frustra tempus teri.
Nalla die ab opere cessandum, nisi quæ Dominica nunc appellatur.
Celebritates sanctorum prorsus rejiciendas.
Jejuniis quoque ab ecclesiis institutis, nihil inesse meriti. [Translated in the toxi.]
"Confirmation, which the bishops celebrate with anointing, and extreme unction, are by no means contained among the sacraments of the church.
"Auricular confession is trifling; it is sufficient for every one in nis chamber to confess his sins unto God.
Baptism ought to be celebrated without any mixture of holy
"The use of church-yards is vain, invented for the sake of gain; in whatsoever ground human bodies are buried, it maketh no difference.
The temple of the great God is the whole world; they confine his majesty, who built churches, monasteries, and oratories, as if the divine goodness would be found more propitious in them.
"Sacerdotal vestments, ornaments of altars, palls, corporals, chalices, patins, and vessels of this sort are of no moment.
"A priest in any place, at any time, can consecrate the body of Christ, and administer it to those who desire it; it is sufficient, if he repeat only the sacramental words.
The suffrages of the saints reigning with Christ in heaven are implored in vain, forasmuch as they cannot help us.
The time is consumed in vain in singing and saying the canonical hours.
"We should cease from work on no day, except that which is now called the Lord's day.
"The festivals of saints are altogether to be rejected.
"The fasts also instituted by the church have no merit in them.” These were the opinions of the Bohemians or Hussites, for which they fought as well as disputed against the pope and emperor. At first they were victorious under the conduct of the famous John Ziska; and when they were beaten at last, they retired into the mountains and caves, where they continued distinguished by the name of the Bohemian brethren' till the time of the Reformation. Even in the bosom of the church of Rome there were many good men, who called aloud for a reformation in faith as well as in morals, in doctrine as well as in discipline. One instance is more particularly worthy of our attention. Jeronimo Savonarola was a Dominican, celebrated in all Italy, and especially in Florence, for the great purity and strictness of his life and doctrine. He preached
Spanhem. ibid. cap. 5, sect. 3. H. Wharton in Append. ad Cave, p. 198, &c. Guicciardin, b, 3, towards the end. Phil. de Comines, b. 8, chap. 19. Dupin, ibid. chap. 4. Bayle's Dict. &c. &c.
freely against the vices of the age, the luxury, avarice, and de bauchery of the Roman clergy in general, and the tyranny and wickedness in particular of pope Alexander VI. and his son Cæsar Borgia. In his discourses, sermons, and writings, he pressed the necessity of holding a general council and of making a general reormation; and he wrote particularly a treatise, entitled, “The lamentation of the spouse of Christ against false apostles, or an exhortation to the faithful that they would pray unto the Lord for the renovation of the church."* But what was the fruit and consequence of all his pious zeal? He was excommunicated, he was imprisoned, he was tortured, he was burnt; which he suffered with all possible constancy on the 23rd of May, 1498, and in the 46th year of his age. All persons of any note or eminence bear a double character in the world, and so doth Savonarola, his admirers extolling him as the best of men and the prophet of God, his enemies reviling him as the worst of impostors and hypocrites; but if his works may speak for him, they are, in the opinion of Dupin, “full of grace and maxims of piety; he speaketh freely there against the vices, and teacheth the most pure and the most exalted morality.*
We are now arrived at the sixteenth century, sæculum reformatum as it hath been called, or the age of reformation. The materials had in great measure been collected, and the foundations had been laid deep before, but this age had the happiness of seeing the superstructure raised and completed. All the Christian world almost had groaned earnestly for a reformation: and pope Adrian himself acknowledged the necessity of it, and promised to begin with reforming the court of Rome, as the source and origin of evil.‡ Erasmus and others led the way; and Luther began publicly to preach against the pope's indulgencies in the year 1517, which is usually reckoned the æra of the Reformation.§ So that during all the dark ages of popery, from the first rise of the beast down to the Reformation, there have constantly been some true and faithful witnesses' of Jesus Christ, who, though they may have fallen into some errors and mistakes, (as indeed who is altogether free from them?)
* "Lamentatio Christi sponsæ adversus Pseudapostolos, sive exhortatio ad fideles, nt precentur Dominum pro renovatione ecclesiæ." [Translated in the text.] Venet. 1537, et cum vita Savonarolæ, Paris. 1674. Svo. Wharton. ibid.
+ Les ouvrages de cet auteur sont pleins d'onction et de maximes de pieté ; il y parle librement contre les vices, et y enseigne la morale la plus pure et la plus relevée. [Translated in the text.] Dupin, ibid.
Sleidan's Hist. of the Reformation, b. 4. Father Paul's Hist. of the Council of Trent, b. 1, sect. 60.
Sleidan, b. 1 Father Paul, b. 1, sect. 18, &c
yet it may charitably be presumed, held none which are contrary to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and destructive cf salvation. Many more there were without doubt than have come to our knowledge: many more might have been collected, and this deduction drawn out into a greater length: but I have studied brevity as much as I well could: and they who are desirous of seeing a larger and more particular account of the witnesses' may find it in Flaccius's Illyricus, in the Centuriators of Magdeburg, in Usher, in Allix, in Spanheim, and other authors.* Here only some of the principal instances are selected; but this deduction, short and defective as it is, evidently demonstrates, however, that there hath not been that uninterrupted union and harmony, which the members of the church of Rome pretend and boast to have been before the Reformation: and at the same time it plainly evinces, that they betray great ignorance as well as impertinence, in asking the question-Where was your religion before Luther? Our religion, we see, was in the hearts and lives of many faithful witnesses: but it is sufficient, if it was no where else, that it was always in the Bible. The Bible," as Chillingworth says, "the Bible only is the religion of protestants."+
15. And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16. And the four-and-twenty elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God.
17. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
We are now come to the seventh and last trumpet, or the third woe-trumpet, and the seventh trumpet as well as all the trumpets being comprehended under the seventh seal, and the seventh seal
* Matthias Flaccius in Catalogo testium veritatis. Hist. Ecclesiast. Magdeburg. Usher de Christian. Eccles. successione et statu. Allix's Remarks upon the ancient shurch of Piedmont, and the ancient churches of the Albigenses. Frederici Spanhemi Hist. Christiana et Hist. Imaginum.
+ Chillingworth's Religion of Protestants, chap. 6, sect. 56