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his judges was betrayed by the chief of his associates. That the council did not wish to act harshly towards Huss is clearly manifested by their soliciting the emperor to allow him a stipend on his making a retractation, and consenting to banish himself from Bohemia. But snch is the force of prejudice, and such the bane of a corrupted mind, that an act of pure justice is perverted into tyranny, and a measure of selfdefence converted into persecution. Another circumstance related by Fox will shew the accuracy of these observations. He says, “ As soon
as the faggots were lighted, the heroic martyr sung a hymn, with so “ loud and cheerful a voice, that he was heard through all the cracklings
of the combustibles, and noise of the multitude. At length his voice was interrupted by the flames, which soon put an end to his life." Well said, John Fox, and if Baron Munchausen beats this tale, he certainly may be crowned the emperor of liars. Huss must have had an excellent pipe to have made himself heard in spite of the cracklings and bellowings. Believe it who can :--but credulous must he be who can take this for granted. The fact is, according to Mr. Earbery, who is corroborated by Mr. Reeve, in his History of the Christian Church, Hnss was suffocated by the smoke as soon as the pile was fired, and never spoke a word after,
Before we quit Huss, we must be allowed to say another word in defence of the council of Constance, which has been charged with holding the maxim, “Faith is not to be kept with heretics”. This unjust charge is not confined to the Book of Martyrs, but the historian Hume, and other infidel and reformed writers, represent the fathers of Constance as guilty of this doctrine, and having acted upon it towards Huss. Hume says, the act of executing Huss “proves this melancholy truth, “that toleration is none of the virtues of priests in any form of ecclesi“astical government." This is a sweeping condemnation it must be allowed, and is evidently made without reflection, though the writer knew it would go down in this country, where the people are so little given to reflection and so much to credulity when the Catholic religion is concerned. Now the fact is, the council had as little to do with the execution of John Huss, as it had with the death of Wat Tyler. The council had authority to decide on the merits of the doctrines taught by Huss, and, on mature deliberation, it did decree that what he taught was erroneous, and ordered him to be stripped of his priestly dignity; but having fulfilled this duty, it resolved as follows: “This sacred “synod of Constance, considering that the church of Christ has nothing “ farther that it can do, decrees to leave John Huss to the judgment of “ the STATE.”
Thus it is plain, and beyond contradiction, that Huss was not put to death for conscience sake, but for the many crimes he had committed against the authority of the temporal power, and the peace of society. He suffered, in fact, for offences comunitted, and not for opinions held. Huss had free liberty to urge whatever he pleased in defence of his cause, which it appears, from the public journals, has not been allowed in this Protestant country to offenders charged with vending Deistical works and professing Deism. He was not stopped in his defence by the fathers of the council, as judges are reported to have stopped the advocates of Deism on their trials; therefore a greater toleration was granted to Huss in the fifteenth century,
by a Catholic council than is allowed to infidel pleaders in the present age by Protestant criminal courts of justice. This being the fact, we think the writers against Catholicism might be a little more moderate with their insinuations against the intolerance of the church of Rome.
With regard to the maxiin, that "Faith is not to be kept with here
tics," the council of Constance condemned the doctrine instead of enforcing it. About the latter end of the thirteenth century a sect sprung up, to which the name of Flagellants were given. Among other errors taught by this sect was the following :-" That all oaths, after “what manner so ever taken, were prohibited, yet it was better the
Flagellants should be sworn and fore-sworn before the inquisition,
than that they should betray themselves and their brethren, seeing “ that perjury might be expiated by flagellation." This error accords with that charged to the account of Huss by Mr. Earbery, namely, that those who suffered punishment for their crimes in this life would not suffer in the next; a doctrine that evidently struck at the system of morality; for if a man imagined he could expiate perjury by merely flogging his body, or believed his salvation sure if he were deprived of his pleasures here, what 'reliance could be placed on his words or actions ? Who would believe him? Who could trust him? To'stem this evil a bull was published by the authority of the council of Constance, and sent to all the countries infested with this heresy, which document is to be found in the acts of this council, published at Hagueman, in the year 1500, and hears this title: "The errors of Wickliff of England, " and of John Huss of Bohemia, condemned in the general council of “ Constance." Among the questions put to suspected persons, under this bull are these : “Whether he believes it is not lawful to swear in
any case? Whether he does not think that all wilful perjury com“mitted upon any occasion whatsoever for the preservation of one's “ Jife, or another man's, or even for the sake of faith, is a mortal sin?" From these queries it is evident that the Flagellant heretics were the teachers of that impious doctrine, that "faith is not to be kept” with Catholics; and that the Catholic council of Constance condemned the doctrine as erroneous and mischievous, and made it a test of Catholic communion that men must not perjure themselves even for the sake of religion. What stronger evidence can be produced to shew the falsity of the charge made by Fox, that the council of Constance taught that “ faith is not to be kept with heretics.”
We have mentioned an accomplice of Huss, named Jacobel, and as this man was a chief of the Hussite party, we will here state some of his proceedings after the death of Huss, in order that the reader may see the effects produced by the doctrines of Wickliffe and Huss, which are so much extolled by John Fox, that in his original work, he dates the visibility of his church from the time of Wickliffe. We shall have occasion to speak of the disorders which took place in this country, in consequence of the licentiousness of Wickliffe's notions at a future period; we therefore request the reader's serious perusal of the following extract from the life of Jacobel, in Mr. Earbery's Fanatic Martyrology :-“ Jacobel had remained at Prague,” writes Mr. E. “when “ John Huss and Jerome of Prague went to the council at Constance, " and understanding that Huss had been there burnt for his heresies
"and prevarications, he apprehended that the same would be his lót, " if he did not secure bimself against the punishment due to his past “ erimés by committing greater. Hereupon, conspiring with others “ who were under the same circumstances, it was agreed, that the only
way to provide for their own safety was to raise a rebellion. Accord“ingly they lost no time, but assembling the Hussites together the
same night in the most considerable place of the city of Prague, after having invoked their prophet Huss, whom they looked upon as a
martyr, they divided themselves into several troops, to revenge his " death upon those of the clergy, whom they suspected to have pro“ cured it. They surrounded the houses of those persons' and broke "them open. It was to no effect to offer them money, or to expose the “ most valuable goods to their discrétion, they said they were come “ neither for money nor goods. The most secret places were searched “ for those whom they had doomed to die, till they had found them " and glutted their rage upon them, by depriving them of life, and dis
figuring their bodies after a thousand extravagant manners. Then
they dragged them into the river Molde, and plunged them into “ those places where the course of the water was most rapid, under “pretence of preventing their being made relics. But their principal “ effort was against the house of the archbishop, about which the great
est number of the Hussites was got together. The obstinate resist
ance of that prelate's domestics could not prevent the breaking open “ of the house, and only served to give their master the opportunity of "escaping through a back-door. The magistrates finding themselves “ unable to quell this tumu waited till it should calm itself; an the “ Hussites convinced of their power by that connivånce, grew more in" solent. Hence' ensued all the desolation of the kingdom of Bohemia, “ but what farther part this Jacobel had in it I have not yet found."
Is this the spirit of religion? or rather is it not the spirit of diabolism?.. To say that these men were the friends of religion ; that they were the reformers of Popery: why could Popery, were it as bad as it is represented to be by “Protestant-ascendency," produce greater evils, more horrid outrages, or savage barbarities, than are here stated to have been committed by the dear friends and auxiliaries of the “ few
plain Christians,” the disciples of Huss? Besides this Jacobel, another ringleader of the name of Zisca, was equally conspicuous for the ferocity of his temper and the atrociousness of his cruelties. He sought to establish the errors of Huss by force of arms: and commenced an unprovoked rebellion against his lawful sovereign. To instigate his followers to pursue the same unlawful course of sedition and robbery, and murder, he directed in his will, that after his death his skin should be converted into parchment, of which a drum should be made to rouse the Bohemian boors to arms against the Catholic princes. Thus we see in every instance where error is obstinately pursued, and truth is disregarded, those under the former impression have recourse to force to propagate their opinion and extend their power. But what can we think of men, who, at this period, pretend to be the most enlightened of human beings; what, we say, can we think of men who' profess to teach the ignorant the path of knowledge, yet are here convicted of falsifying the plainest historical fact, and represent
ing thie most diabolical wretches as sufferers in the cause of religion. Alas! how depraved; how blind; how infatuated; bow bloated in error, and how averse to truth are the modern editors of John Fox's Book of Martyrs, alias of freebooters, murderers, and rebels.
SECTION III. "Life, SUFFBRINGS, AND MARTYRDOMS OF JEROME OF PRAGUE." Another section is devoted to the account of this ringleader of error and disorder in Bohemia. As we intend to deal fairly with John Fox, we shall here give his relation in his own words, as we did in the case with John Huss :
“ This hero in the cause of truth, was born at Prague, and educated in its university, where he soon became distinguished for his learning and eloquence. llaving completed his studies, he travelled over great part of Europe, and visited many of the seats of learning, particularly the universities of Paris, Heidelburgh, Cologne, and Oxford. At the lat. ter be became acquainted with the works of Wickliffe, and translated many of them into his own language.
* On his return to Prague he openly professed the doctrines of Wickliffe, and finding that they had made a considerable progress in Bohemia, from the industry and zeal of Huss, he became an assistant to him in the great work of reformation. *
« On the 4th of April, 1415, Jerome went to Constance. This was about three months before the death of Huss. He entered the town privately and consulting with some of the leaders of his party, was easily convinced that he could render his friend no service.
• Finding that his arrival at Constance was publicly known, and that the council intended to seize hiin, he retired, and went to Iberling, an imperial town, a short distance from Constance. While here, he wrote to the emperor, and declared his readiness to appear before the council, if a safe-conduct were granted to him; this, however, was refused.
“ After this, he caused papers to be put up in all the public places in Constance, particularly on the doors of the cardinals' houses. In these he professed his willingness to appear at Constance in the defence of his character and doctrine, both which, he said, had been greatly falsified. He farther declared, that if any error should be proved against him, he would retract it; desiring only that the faith of the council might be given for his security.
“Receiving no answer to these papers, be set out on his return to Bohemia, taking the precaution to carry with him a certificate, signed by several of the Bohemian nobility then at Constance, testifying that he had used every prudent means in his power to procure au audience.
“ He was, however, notwithstanding this, seized on his way without any authority at Hirsaw, by an officer belonging to the duke of Sultzback, who hoped thereby to receive commendations from the council for so acceptable a service.
“ The duke of Sultzback inınıediately wrote to the council, informing them what he had done, and asking directions how to proceed with Jeronie. The council, after expressing their obligations to the duke, desired him to send the prisoner immediately to Constance. He was, accordingly, conveyed thither in irons, and on bis way was met by the elector palatine, who caused a long chain to be fastened to him, by which he was dragged, like a wild beast, to the cloister, whence, after an examination, he was conveyed to a tower and fastened to a block, with his legs in stocks. In this manner he remained eleven days and nights, till becoming dangerously ill in consequence, his persecutors, in order to gratify their malice still farther, relieved him froin that painful state.
“ He remained confined till the nartyrdom of his friend Huss; after which he was brought forth and threatened with immediate torments and death if he remained obstinate, Terrified at the preparations which he beheld, he, in a moment of weakness, forgot his resolution, abjured his doctrines, and confessed that Huss merited his fate, and that both he and Wickliffe were heretics. In consequence of this his chains were taken off, and he was treated more kindly; he was, however, still confined, but in hopes of liberation. But his eneinies suspecting his sincerity, proposed another form of recantation to be drawn up and
For's Book of Martyrs,
CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL.
No. 23. Printed and Published by, W. E. Andrews, 3, Chapter- Pricc 3d.
house-court, St. Paul's Churchyard, London,
EXPLANATION OF THE ENGRAVING: A Priest, named 0
Octavian Ronier, having fallen into the hands of the savaye Hugonots, the sanguinary monsters, after applying to him various kinds of torture, fastened horse shoes to his feet with nails, and finally drugged him to a tree, to which they bound him with cords, and shot him dead, Vide Theatruin Crudelitatum Hæreticorum, Antwerp, 1592.
CONTINUATION OF THE REVIEW, proposed to him. To this, however, he refused to answer, except in public, and was, accordingly, brought before the council, when, to the astonishment of his auditors, and to the glory of truth, he renounced his recantation, and requested permission to plead his own cause, which was refused ; and the charges against him were read, in which he was accused of being a derider of the papal dignity, an opposer of the pope, an enemy to the cardinals, a persecutor of the prelates, and a hater of the Christian religion.
“To these charges Jerome answered with an amazing force of elocution, and strength of argument. After which he was remanded to his prison.
“The third day from this, his trial was brought on, and witnesses were examined. He was prepared for his defence, although he had been nearly a year shut up in loathsome prisons, deprived of the light of day, and almost starved for want of common necessaries. But his spirit soared above these disadvantages.
“The most bigotted of the assembly were unwilling he should be heard, dreading the effects of eloquence in the cause of truth, on the minds of the most prejudiced. At length however, it was carried by the majority, that he should have liberty to proceed in his defence; which he began in such an exalted strain, and continued in such a torrent of elocution, that the most obdurate heart was melted, and the mind of superstition seemed to admit a ray of conviction.
“ Bigotry however prevailed, and liis trial being ended, he received the same sentence as had boon passed apon his martyred countryman, and was, in the usaul style of Popish dus