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congregation. Then was he tied to the stake; about it a great quantity of coal, wood, and other combustible matter was heaped, whereof he seemed to have no fear, but seriously commending his soul into the hands of God, held his eyes fixed towards heaven. The executioner firing the powder that was laid to kindle the wood, his left hand and the side of his face were a little scorched therewith, yet the fire did not kindle. Whereupon some were sent to the castle to bring more powder; whilst this was bringing, he uttered divers comfortable speeches to them that stood by: the friars all that time molesting him with their cries, bidding him convert, pray to our lady, and say Salve Regina : amongst them none was more troublesome than friar Alexander Campbell, who, as we said, kept company with him, at his first coming to the city. Often he besought him to depart, and not to vex him ; but when he would not cease his crying, he said, Wicked man, thou knowest that I am not a heretic, and that it is the truth of God for which I now suffer; so much thou didst confess to me in private, and, therefore, I appeal thee to answer before the judgment-seat of Christ.
“The powder by this time was brought, and the fire kindled, after which, with a loud voice he was heard to say, How long, O Lord, shall darkness oppress this realm ? how long wilt thou suffer this tyranny of men ? and then closed his speeches with these words, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. His body was quickly consumed, for the fire was vehement, but the patience and constancy he showed in his dying stirred up such compassion in the beholders, as many of them doubted not to say that he suffered an innocent, and was indeed a martyr of Christ."
It became, however, a capital crime to say that Patrick Hamilton died a martyr, and some suffered death for it. According to Spotswood, “one Henry Forrest was delated for saying that Mr. Patrick Hamilton died a martyr, and thereupon was brought to St. Andrew's; but, because the probation was not clear enough, friar Walter Lainge was appointed to confess him. The simple man that feared no harm, being asked by the friar, what was his judgment of Mr. Patrick, answered, that he esteemed him to be a good man, and that the articles for which he was condemned, might well be defended. This confession, revealed by the friar, was taken for sufficient evidence, and the poor man was condemned to be burnt as a heretic. As he was lead. ing out to be degraded, he complained grievously of the friar who had betrayed him, crying out, Fie on falsehood, fie on false friars, revealers of confession. Never let any man trust them after me. They are despisers of God, and deceivers of men. And when they were taking from him his orders, (for he was of the order of Bennet and Collet, as they used then to speak) he cried aloud, Take not only your orders from me, but your baptism also. So being carried to the place of execution, (which was appointed to be at the north stile of the Abbey, to the end the heretics of Angus might see the fire,) he suffered death most constantly. Whilst they were consulting upon the manner of his execution, one John Lindsay, a plain and simple man who attended the bishop, gave advice to burn him in some hollow cellar; for the smoke, saith he, of Mr. Patrick Hamilton hath infected all those on whom it blew.
“ Yet the persecution still proceeding, divers were cited to appear at Halirudhouse, by James Hay, bishop of Ross, who sat as commissioner for the archbishop of St. Andrews; amongst others, James Hamilton, of Livingston, brother-german to Master Patrick, with Catha. rine Hamilton, his sister. The gentleman was advised by the king, secretly, (for he loved the man,) not to appear, and was for his contumacy condemned. His sister appearing, and questioned upon the point of justification by works, answered simply, that she believed no person could be saved by their works. Master John Spence, the lawyer, held a long discourse with her about that purpose, telling her that there were different sorts of works, works of congruity, and works of condignity, in the application whereof, he consumed a long time. The woman growing thereupon into a chafe, cried out, “Work here, work there, what kind of working is all this? I know perfectly, that no works can save me but the work of Christ my Saviour. The king was present all the time, and laughed heartily at the answer, yet, taking the gentlewoman aside, he moved her to recant her opinions, and by her example divers others at the same time abjured their profession.” How honourably would this lady have appeared in history, had she been burnt at the stake as her brother was, instead of being prevailed upon by the king to make shipwreck of the faith..
I shall, at present, give only one instance more of popish cruelty and intolerance. It happened in our own city, in 1538: “This year, in Glasgow," says Spotswood, “Hieronymus Russel, of the order of Grey Friars, and one Kennedy, a young man of Ayr, not passed eighteen years of age, were accused likewise of heresy, but because the archbishop, Mr. Gavin Dumbar, was esteemed somewhat cold in these businesses, Master John Lawder, Master Andrew Oliphant, and Friar Maltman, were sent from Edinburgh to assist in the trial.” “The friar reasoned long and learnedly against his accusers, and, being answered only with railings and bitter speeches, said, 'This is your hour and power of darkness; now you sit as judges, and we stand wrongfully condemned, but the day cometh which will show our innocency, and you shall see your own blindness, to your everlasting confusion; go on, and fulfil the measure of your iniquity. At which words the archbishop was greatly moved, affirming that these rigorous executions did hurt the cause of the church more than could well be thought of, and therefore he declared that, in his opinion, it should be best to save the lives of the men, and take some other course with them: but these others, who were sent to assist, told him expressly, that, if he followed any milder course than that which had been kept at Edinburgh, they could not esteem him the church's friend; whereupon he was compelled to give way to their cruelty, and thus these innocents were condemned to be burnt alive.” “When they were brought to the place of their suffering, they used not many words, but, commending their souls to God, after they were tied to the stake, endured the fire constantly, without expressing any loken of fear or amazement."
I could give a much more detailed account of the preaching and sufferings of Hamilton and others, from other historians; but I prefer giving that of Archbishop Spotswood, lord primate of all Scotland, because his word will go farther with Papists than that of a meaner man, especially as he was, as his titlepage bears, “Privy counsellor to King Charles the first, that most religious and blessed
After saying so much of the severity of popish persecutions, it may be interesting to know something of the manner in which Protestants persecute Papists. One instance, at present, shall suffice. It is reported of a late popish priest, in a neighbouring town, that he complained much of being persecuted. The good people, his neighbours, could not think what he meant, for he seemed to be living in as much peace and comfort as any of themselves. On inquiry, it turned out that, when he had gone into a cotton mill to inquire about some of his people, the children whispered to one another, that is the popish priest. This was his persecution!
If it be objected, that this is only an instance which has occurred in modern times, while my instances of popish persecution are of an old date, I answer, that the older a doctrine or practice is, Papists like it the better; that popery is always the same: that the practice of their church in former days is her practice still, wherever she has the power and the opportunity of doing what she formerly did; whereas Protestants acknowledge their former imperfections, are thankful for any improvement they have made, and they hope to improve still farther.
POPERY IN THE NETHERLANDS. OPPOSITION OF THE PRIESTS TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.
THEIR COMPLAINTS OP PERSECUTION BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT UNREASONABLE AND INCONSISTENT. PAPISTS LOUD IN THE COMMENDATION OF THEIR CHURCH. HOW LITTLE SHE DESERVES THE CHARACTER OF A HOLY CHURCH, PROVED BY SOME FACTS OF A MOST DISGRACEFUL CHARACTER. MORALS IN FRANCE.
SATURDAY, October 24th, 1818. I hope the facts given in my two last numbers will be considered by my readers as sufficient to fix the charge of intolerance upon Papists themselves. Popery is avowedly an exclusive system. I have shown that it was so in ages past; and I have now to show that it is so still. In doing this, I shall not rest my proof on the recent persecutions in France, but on a document published in the Orthodox Journal of last month.
It is the misfortune of the king of the Netherlands, that, in the greater part of his kingdom, the Romish religion prevails, while he is a Protestant, and is desirous that all his subjects should enjoy equal liberty. The constitution of the kingdom, indeed, provides for unlimited freedom in religious worship, by all denominations who shall live peaceably; nay, more, "all the subjects of the king, without distinction of religious belief, enjoy the same civil and political rights, and are eligible to all dignities and employments whatsoever." On this very account, the new constitution is condemned by the popish bishops; and they refuse taking the oath prescribed by law. They declare, in effect, that Jesus Christ has given to each of them a certain portion of the surface of the globe, which is called a diocess.
" The power,” they say, “which bishops have to watch over the teaching of Christian faith and morality, through the whole extent of their dioceses, like that of fulfilling all the other functions of the ministry, emanates from the will and authority of Jesus Christ." Hence, they will not allow the sovereign so much as the power of regulating public instruction in the schools; and they will not suffer that any faith but that of Rome shall be taught or professed in those parts of the globe which Christ has given them. I should give the document entire were it not too long. It is entitled, “DoctrinAL DECISION of the bishops of the kingdom of the Netherlands, on the oath prescribed by the new constitution.” After stating the duties of bishops as guar. dians and deposits of the faith and morality of the gospel, they say, “It is to them therefore, that are particularly addressed these words of the Holy Ghost:— Even unto death fight for justice, and God will overthrow thy enemies for thee." These, by the by, are no more the words of the Holy Ghost, than those of the Orthodox Journal are, but merely those of an apocryphal writer, (Ecclesiasticus iv. 28, which the bishops quote, Eccl. iv. 33; which, with an ignorant reader, may pass for the acknowledged canonical book, Ecclesiastes. These bishops declare that they cannot take the prescribed oaths, because, say they, “ In fact, they bind themselves by the said oaths, to observe and maintain all the articles of the new constitution, and, consequently, those which are opposed to the spirit and maxims of the Catholic religion, or which evidently tend to oppress and enslave the church of Jesus Christ. Now, such are the following articles:-Art. 190. Liberty of religious opinions is guaranteed to all. Art. 191. Equal protection is granted to all the religious communions which exist in the kingdom. Art. 192. All the subjects of the king, without distinction of religious belief, enjoy the same civil and political rights, and are eligible to all dignities and employments whatsoever. Art. 193. The public exercise of any form of worship cannot be prevented, except it be liable to trouble the public order and tranquillity. Art. 196. The king takes care that all worshippers keep themselves within the obedience due to the laws of the state.”
Such are the laws in the new kingdom of the Netherlands, with regard to religious freedom, and it is difficult to conceive any thing more liberal, where there are laws about religion, and, indeed, the house of Orange have been for ages distinguished as the friends of religious liberty. But the Romish bishops will not consent to such articles: they abhor such liberal ideas. As to Arts. 190 and 191, they say:-"1st. To swear to maintain the liberty of religious opinions, and the equal protection granted to all forms of worship, what else is it but to swear to maintain to protect error as well as truth; to favour the progress of anticatholic doctrines; to sow, as much as in us lies, the tares and poison which are to infect the present and future generations: to contribute thus, and it cannot be done more effectually, to extinguish gradually, in these fine countries, the torch of the true faith? The Catholic church, which has ever rejected error and heresy from her bosom, could not regard as her true children, those who would dare to swear to maintain that which she has never ceased to condemn."
“ Art. 192.—2d. To swear to maintain the observance of a law, which
renders all the subjects of the king, of whatsoever religious belief they may be, capable of maintaining all dignities and employments whatsoever, would be to justify beforehand and to sanction the measures which may be taken to confide the interests of our holy religion, in these provinces so eminently catholic, to Protestant functionaries."
I have not been an opposer 10 what is called Catholic emancipation, on the liberal ground of emancipating all dissenters alike, and putting them all, if good subjects, upon an equal footing with regard to civil privileges; but, supposing I were an opposer, I could not use a stronger argument than that furnished by these Belgian bishops. If all the subjects of the king are eligible to public offices, then they contemplate great danger to their holy religion, from the appointment of Protestant functionaries in their provinces so eminently Catholic. I am sure, the argument applies with double force to our country, so eminently Protestant;-if all shall be equally eligible to public offices -if we shall thereby come under the government of popish functionaries, there will be more danger to Protestantism in Britain, than to popery in Belgium, in proportion as Papists are more zealous than Protestants, in propagating their peculiar tenets.
The declaration of these Belgian bishops is given in the Orthodox Journal, without animadversion, and, I believe, with approbation, as it seems to accord with the general spirit of the editor and his correspondents. With what face then can they cry out against our government for refusing them here, what they will not grant to Protestants in the Netherlands? They are continually railing against the British government for refusing them their just rights,—their undoubted rights,their unalienable rights, of which, they say, they have been unjustly deprived by the intolerance of the British government. Will they grant that the rights of Protestants in the Netherlands, and in Spain, are as just, and undoubted, and unalienable, as theirs are in Britain and Ireland ? I am sure they will not; and if they possessed a particle of modesty or discretion, they would forbear making such an outcry about their deprivations, and their rights, till they had prevailed with their ghostly father at Rome, to command their dear sons, the kings of Spain and Portugal, and the Belgian bishops, to grant as much liberty to Protestants in their dominions and dioceses, as Papists already have in Britain and Ireland. They cannot reasonably complain, if they receive as much as they would give; and they have received a great deal more.
But, let any one ask Papists to say plainly what they mean by their just rights? and, if they are candid, they will answer, the entire possession of the kingdom, and all things in it. This, they say, they formerly possessed, and they complain of having been unjustly deprived of it, by the violence of Knox and others, at the reformation. Let things be restored to the condition in which they stood before that period, and they will have obtained their just rights; then, if any Protestant shall remain in the country, they may have the choice which Henry VIII gave to his heretical subjects, "turn or burn."
To come nearer our own door, popery is proved to be intolerant by a furious philippic against The PROTESTANT, in the chapel in Clyde street, on Sabbath, the 4th of this present month. The unhappy individual, who writes these pages, was as good as excommunicated, after