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to be mortal, by one of the party, but whether the duke or the cardinal we cannot discover. Being called a seducer, he denies the insinuation, and declares himself to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So do many a tinker and cobbler at this day, and like them this minister does not tell us what doctrines he preached, but contents himself with saying he is a preacher. This arswer makes the duke ashamed of himself, the story tells us, and in a passion he charges the minister with preaching sedition, and orders him to be hanged. This done, two pages get hold of the minister, and the women, Papist women, pelt him with dirt. While this is going on, the duke is conveyed into the barn, though we might have supposed that what with the killing and slaying, and with the destruction of the roof to escape, the barn must have been choked up with rubbish and dead bodies. However, the duke goes into the barn, and there, reader, he is presented with A BIBLE, used for the service of God. How this bible came to escape the fury of the Papists is more than wonderful, and what is still more wonderful, the two brothers, the duke and cardinal, though stanch Papists, quarrel about this book; the cardinal saying there is nothing but good in it, and the duke flying into a rage to hear his brother say so. The rage of the duke displeases the cardinal, and the latter is heard to mutter, An unworthy brother!!!” Was ever such nonsense dressed up in any other country but England to tickle the prejudices of the poor ignorant people ?
Well, reader; you have now seen how much has been done by these unbridled bloody Papists. They assault the barn, they detroy the people in it, and make them break through the roof of the barn; they cause the people to jump over high walls, hunt them out of the vineyards, amuse themselves by shooting at the Hugonots on the house tops, and how long do you 'suppose this dreadful massacre lasted? Why the relater says, just ONE HOUR-only sixty minutes, by his watch, “ the duke's trumpeters sounding the while two several times.” Then again look at the number of the slain, notwithstanding the desperate fury said to have been displayed by the Papists, there were just threescore died within a few days, so that there were scarcely any slain outright, though such terrible havock is stated to have been made among the Hugonots. Then there were two hundred and fifty wounded whereof many died ; so that here is a double return of killed and wounded for a single massacre; and to make the measure of iniquity more full, these rascally Papist murderers run away with the poor box of their own church; notwithstanding it was fastened with two iron hooks; and though it was never restored, John Fox or his modern editors received information that there were exactly twelve pounds in cash therein, though the French reckon their sums by francs. Who will hereafter give credit to this tale? Is there an individual that will believe this random story now we have dissected it? Why Tom Thumb and Jack the Giantkiller carry more probability in the incidents related of these heroes than the tale of the massacre of Vassy by John Fox.
But, reader, what will you say to the impudence, the shameless effrontery, to the barefaced deception of the relaters of this pretended massacre, which is placed in this Book of Martyrs as arising out of the massacre of Paris--as subsequent to the latter deed; what, we say, will you think of these “ few plain Christians," who have published this book for the pretended purpose of enlightening their readers ;—what will you think of their pretensions to honesty and veracity, when we tell you that the event thus related by Fox or his editors with such flourishing imagery, is no other than the affair mentioned by us in page 303, orinating in a scuffle between the duke of Guise's servants and some hotheaded Hugonots, and taking place some ten years previous to the Paris slaughter. This very circumstance, too, which is here made a matter of cruelty and bloodthirstiness against the Catholics, is stated by Dr. Heylin to have been purely accidental, and was made a pretence by the Hugonots to fill the kingdom of France with blood and rapine, the pollution of churches, defacing of altars and images, and the destruction of monasteries. So dexterous are the calumniators of Catholics in turning their own cruelties and outrages on their adversaries. Siinilarly fictitious and absurd are the rest of the tales related under this section; and one in particular, detailing the pretended martyrdom of a woman, the wife of a jeweller, named Philip le Doux, of what town or city no one knoweth, is so shockingly indecent and improbable, that we cannot soil our pages with the recital. This woman is represented as on the point of child-birth; the midwife is in attendance, a knocking is heard at the door, and entrance demanded in the king's name; the wife of the jeweller, not the midwife, reader, goes to open the door; “ the furies," as the story terms them, enter, stab the husband, and prepare to serve the wife the same, but the midwife entreats them to stay till the child is born. In spite of the midwife's entreaties, they thurst a dagger into the wife's body up to the hilt, and in this state, finding she is mortally wounded; who would not suppose her to have been killed outright?-in this state she runs into a hay-loft to give birth to the infant, followed by “the furies," who again stab her in the belly, and throw her out of the window into the street, the fall from which gives birth to the child, " to the great astonishment and confusion of “the Papists”!!! Astonishment and confusion, indeed! Not, reader, at the deed detailed, because it is palpably forged and fictitious; but at the impudence of those who could attempt to palm such a lie upon the people of England, and the stupidity of that people in giving credit to such a barefaced improbable falsehood.
Another instance of falsehood dressed to please the taste of credulity and diabolical bigotry is thus related : many
months after, “when these tragedies were ended, the pope sent cardinal Ursin, as “ legate to the king, who was received with great solemnity at Ly
On his return from St. John's church, where he had been to “ hear mass, a great number of persons presented themselves before
him, at the door, and kneeled down for his absolution. But the legate not knowing the reason of it, one of the leaders told him, they
were those who had been the actors in the massacre. On which "the cardinal immediately absolved them all.” The subject of absolution has been a fertile source of slander and misrepresentation on the part of bigotry to malign the Catholic religion, and we wonder that Fox and the “ few plain Christians” have not availed them., selves more frequently on this point. Absolution is an essential part of the sacrament of penance, and is of divine institution. The re
formation, as it is called, abrogated penitential works, and made the road to heaven as smooth and as easy as the most voluptuous epicurean could wish; while the Catholic church, ever guided by the Holy Spirit and unalterable in her doctrine, continued, and still continues, to hold fast what she has received from her Divine Founder through the apostles. The church of England as by law established, rejected the sacrament of penance, but she retains the form of absolution in her ritual, and acknowledges that Christ has “ left power to his church to “ absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him.” So believes the Catholic. He admits the power of the church to absolve from sin, but the church enacts certain conditions before she consents to confer this grace. These conditions are, a hearty and sincere sorrow for the offence committed, a firm resolution of amendment of life, and a pledge to perform such religious acts as the absolver shall require. On these conditions absolution is given, and without this necessary disposition every Catholic knows the absolution would be null and void. But here, in this relation, the people are represented as kneeling down for absolution as a matter of course, and to a person too who is ignorant of what is craved. Then one of the leaders whispers into the ears of the cardinal that the humble petitioners were no other characters than the murderers of the Hugonots, and immediately the boon is granted without any further formality. There is one thing, how. ever, in this statement, which Fox and his editors have overlooked. We have contended, that persecution never was a principle of Catholic faith, and that it is not, we think, is clearly shewn in this relation of the Book of Martyrs. Were it a principle of Catholic doctrine to persecute and murder heretics or Hugonots or Protestants, or any that differ from the church in faith, such deeds must be considered meritorious, and therefore not requiring absolution, which is only given to sinners; consequently, these "actors in the massacre" must have been conscious that they had not only transgressed the laws of God, but had placed themselves under the bans of the church, or why require an acquital or discharge for the offence from a minister of the church? Had indeed the editors said they asked the cardinal for his blessing instead of absolution, the statement might have passed off without detection, though we can never be brought to believe that such a sanction would ever be given by a minister of the Catholic church to murder in any shape, much so by wholesale; but by enlarging too much, the
plain Christians' have clearly convicted themselves of falsehood; they have placed themselves in a dilemma out of which they will find it difficult to get extricated.
Of the sufferers stated to have been put to death in this pretended persecution, we do not find that many of them made a profession of their faith, and therefore it is difficult to know what they believed. It is true, some of them are charged with absenting themselves from mass, and others for singing psalms, but in general the charges are so vague and confused, as to render it extremely difficult to learn, as we just observed, whether they belonged to any church or no church. To us, supposing them to be real characters, they appear to be a set of ignorant fanatics and extravagant enthusiasts, incapable of defining what they professed, and professing the wildest notions that ever disturbed the brain of man. We find, however, that the whole of them are represented by the Book of Martyrs to have been deeply learned in the scriptures, which must have been by inspiration, as the editions of the scriptures at that time, in the vulgar tongue, were all incorrect, and it is a matter of great doubt whether many of these gospel martyrs could read at all. To shew the skill of these reformers in biblical lore, we will here cite a passage from the relation of the burning of “Robert Oguier, his wife, and two sons,” at Lisle, in the year 1556.The provost of Lisle, with his sergeants, we are told, armed themselves on the 6th of March, in that year, at ten o'clock at night, (see how exact our martyrologists can be to time) to make a search after Protestants, but none were assembled at their houses. They came, However, to the house of Robert Oguier, which house we are further informed "
was a LITTLE CHURCH, where both rich and poor were 'familiarly INSTRUCTED in the scriptures." From this statement we may infer that self-interpretation had not then been discovered, since it is here avowed that the rich and poor were equally and freely instructed, that is, taught to understand the scriptures. Now whether Robert Oguier was the teacher of the rich and poor, as well as the owner of the house-church, or church-house, which you like, we are not told; but we do hope that the “few plain Christians," and their fellowlabourers in the work of deception, the bible-distributors, will no longer be angry with, and abuse the Catholic clergy for familiarly instructing the rich and poor of their church in the scriptures. If the gospel-reformers were at liberty to instruct the rich and poor of their sect, in 1556, surely the priests of the Catholic church ought to have the same freedom of action now as they had before the period named, notwithstanding the parsons of another church established by law, and the preachers of divers sects established by folly, have got it into their heads that the people ought to interpret the bible themselves, and pay them at the same time to do it. But to proceed. When the provost and his sergeants entered Oguier's house, they found certain books which they carried away, but the principal person they wanted, that is Robert Oguier's son, was not in the way, he being
gone abroad to commune and talk of the work of God with some of • his brethren." Yet, strange to tell, he came home just in the nick of time to be caught, and so foolish was this wiseacre in scripture divination, that though his brother Martin (not Luther, reader) watched his return to warn him of his fate, he was bent on destruction, and got it into his head that his brother nistook him for some one else. So in he went, and fell into the hands of the sergeants. Thus obtaining the principal object of their search, they laid hold of the whole of the family in the emperor's name; however they left the two daughters to look to the house," which was very kind of them; the rest were taken to prison. What was afterwards done we must give in the martyrologist's own words. “ A few days after, the prisoners were " brought before the magistrates, and examined concerning their
course of life. They first charged Robert Oguier with not only
absenting himself from the celebration of mass, but with dissuading “ others from attending it, and maintaining conventicles' in his
house. He confessed the first charge, and justified his conduct by
proving from the scriptures that the saying of muss was contrary to “ the ordinances of Jesus Christ, and a mere human institution ; and be “defended the religious meetings in his house by showing that they
were authorized and commanded by our blessed Saviour himself.”. Thus then it appears the gospel-reformers of those days, like the bibledistributors in our own, objected to the sacrifice of the mass, as an. human institution, and they shewed, it is said, from scripture that they were authorized and commanded by our Saviour himself to hold religious meetings in their houses. What wonderful scripturists the pretended reformation has produced. They are so deeply versed in the art of interpretation, that they can shew us what is not to be seen, and make that of human origin which was instituted by God himself.
Well here we have something in the shape of doctrine. The mass is proved from scripture by these reformers and martyrs to be contrary to the ordinances of Jesus Christ. But how then came the primitive martyrs to believe and prove from scripture that the mass was an ordinance of Christ, and enforced by his apostles. By referring to page 40 of our Review, it will be seen that St. Ignatius, recorded by Fox as a holy martyr, held the doctrine of the mass as of divine institution. St. Justin, martyr, did the same, see pages 49, 50. St. Irenæus, described by Fox as a“ zealous opposer of heresies in general” maintained the same faith regarding the mass as Catholics did in the sixteenth century and now do in the eighteenth, see page 71, and gave proofs from scripture for the same. Now we must suppose that a saint so learned as St. Irenæus was, ought to know the sense of scripture as well as Robert Oguier and his sons, and as the former was a “ lous opposer of heresies in general,” and held the doctrine of the mass, master Oguier must have been in error, for it is effrontery in the extreme to say that two opposite doctrines are to be proved from scripture at two distant periods. What was the word of God in the time of St. Irenæus was the word of God in the time of Robert Oguier, because God is Truth itself and is unchangeable. Therefore since Fox says that St. Irenæus was a zealous opposer of heresies in ge
neral," and it is proved from his writings that he was a strenuous advocate for the divine institution of the mass, the doctrine of the modern editors of Fox, that the mass is of human institution is FALSE and HERETICAL, and poor Robert Oguier and his sons were false teachers. It is very easy for John Fox or his modern editors. to assert that Robert Oguier, in the year 1556, proved from scripture that the " mass was contrary to the ordinances of Jesus Christ “and a mere human institution;" but the man of common sense will very aptly inquire, If this be the case,-how came the primitive Christians to believe this ceremony of the mass to be of divine institution, received from the apostles? How came it about that every nation, on embracing Christianity, embraced the doctrine of the mass at the same time, as an ordinancee of Christ? And if the mass be of mere human invention, why not tell us by whom it was first invented, in what age, and in what country? These questions the “few plain Christians”. will find very difficult to answer; but answer them they must, before they can overthrow the Catholic doctrine of the mass.
Besides the testimonies before referred to, there are many others who