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the officers of the archbishop seized upon his person, though lie soon let them see by experience, how skilful faithful he was in opening the prison doors. Besides the plentiful entertainments he required in prison, and the pleasure he took in eating and drinking more than was necessary and decent, marked well that his repentance was not sincere, from whence the prolocutor concluded, that lie ought to be reduced to bread and water, and if he did not retract in another manner, be put to the torturc.
“The council shewed no regard to his conclusions, either because they looked upon them as too severe, or that they thought indulgence was to be used, they only ordained, that Je. rome of Prague should appear before a great assembly on the last day of April, 1416, to bę there convicted. Accordingly he was brought before them, and the witnesses having face to face persisted in their accusation, the patriarch of Constantinople pressed him sincerely to clear himself of heresy.
“ It is impossible to know whether a conjuncture of such importance, the criminal being ashamed again to retract his opinions, or his fear of being condemned, even though lie should make a disavowal thereof, cast him into despair, and threw him into obduracy and impenitence; but sure it is, that he made a public profession of the articles of Wickliffe; instead of condemning them; that he satirically reproached the cardinals with their luxury and effeminacy; that he accused the bishops and doctors of Germany with arrogance that he endeavoured to revive the natural antipatlıy which was betwixt them and those of Bohemia, to the end that he might set them at variance one against another; that he boasted of being the principal instrument of the revolution which happened in the university of Prague; that the dread of the flames had before prevailed with him to retract, and that now he was overjoyed to expiate by the same punishment the fault he had fallen into. In fịne, he spoke as one transported with rage and passion, except that lie declared to per. severe in the 'common faith as to the eucharist.
“The next thing therefore was to deliver him over to the secular power; yet the council deferred that till the opening of the twenty-fifth session, upon the 30th of May, at which time the bishop of Lody made a long reprimand to the criminal, for that he had resolved more obstinately than ever to maintain the errors of Wickliffe and Huss, those only excepted which respected the holy sacrament, and indulgences for which reasons he was condemned and delivered over to the punishment of the magistrate, who conducted him to the pile, where he expired repeating the apostles' creed, with a very intelligible voice. There are some authors who relate that he prophesied that out of his ashes would arise, an: hundred years after his death, a man who should revive his doctrine, and who should not. be so imprudent as to throw himself into the hands of lis enemies. This the same authors. have interpreted of Luther, from the number of years and conformity of his sentiments. But as the accounts of his death which are given us, both by the council and the gentlemen of Bohemia, who were his friends, are wholly silent in this matter, we cannot but look upon it as falsehood and fable.”
From this account, which carries with it the mark of verity, and is. founded on the authority of the best writers of that age, it is clear that. Jerome of Prague was a restless and daring aspirant, impelled by hu-, man ambition and careless of truth. A despot when in possession of power, he paid no regard to justice or the sufferings of others; and when in custody, he made no scruple to lie and forswear himself to ohtain his liberty. As he himself and his followers had set the example, of persecuting the Catholic clergy, by driving them from their churches and scourging them, it was not to be supposed that he was to come off scot free when the civil magistrates, who were Catholicș, got hold of his person. We are not going to justify the execution of Jerome of Prague ; all we shall say on his execution is, that the civil authorities considered him a dangerous character, a violater of the public peace, a preacher of sedition, and a fomenter of tumults, and therefore they had as much right to put the laws in force on Jerome, as the English minis, try have to make it death to pass forged notes, and execute individuals
who trespass against the law. In conclusion, we beg the reader to compare the two accounts we have given of Jerome's life and character; to weigh well the charges made and proved against him by the council, and then say whether this unprincipled man is deserving of the title of a martyr for religion, which Fox has given him, when his whole conduct was a disgrace and scandal to that sacred name. In Fox's account Jerome is represented to have been nearly starved to death, but the counter statements represent him to have been a glutton, and for his intemperance he was put on bread and water, which is the prison diet of this Protestant land, we believe. It is also stated by Fox, that Jerome, in his defence, spoke “ in such an exalted strain, and continued “ in such a torrent of elocution, that the most obdurate heart was melted." Mr. Earbery however says, that " he spoke as one transported “ with rage and passion;" a feeling very unfit for " a godly martyr." With these remarks we leave the character of these two notorious violaters of the public peace to the judgment of the reader, and proceed to another era of imputed persecution.
SECTION IV. GENERAL PorSECUTIONS IN GERMANY." This is the title selected for the fourth section of this book, and the period is a most interesting one. Fox ushers in his pretended persecutions with the following prefatory remarks :-"Martin Luther, by “unmasking Popery, and by the vigour with which he prosecuted his
doctrines, caused the papal throne to shake to its foundation. So ter“ rified was the pope at his rapid success, that he determined, in orde, " to stop his career, to engage the emperor, Charles V. in his scheme " of utterly extirpating all who had embraced the reformation. To accom
plish which, he gave the emperor 200,000 crowns; promised to “ maintain 12,000 foot, and 5,000 horse, for six months, or during a
campaign; allowed the emperor to receive one half of the revenues " of the clergy in Germany during the war; and permitted him to "pledge the abbey-lands for 500,000 crowns, to assist in carrying on " hostilities. Thus prompted and supported, the emperor, with a heart
eager, both from interest and prejudice, for the cause, undertook the
extirpation of the Protestants: and, for this purpose, raised a formida" ble army in Germany, Spain, and Italy. The Protestant princes, in “ the mean time, were not idle; but formed a powerful confederacy, “ in order to repel the impending blow. A great army was raised, and “ the command given to the elector of Saxony, and the landgrave of “ Hesse. The imperial forces were commanded by the emperor
person, and all Europe waited in anxious suspense the event of the war. “ At length the armies met, and a desperate engagement ensued, in “ which the Protestants were defeated, and the elector of Saxony and
landgrave of Hesse both taken prisoners. This calamitous stroke was “ succeeded by a persecution, in which the most horrible cruelties
were inflicted on the Protestants, and suffered by them with a forti"tude which only religion can impart." The editors then proceed to enumerate some supposed cruelties, said to have been practised by count Tilly, who is represented to be a sanguinary monster, because he bappened to be a Catholic commander, while the Protestants are, gentle
creatures, stated to have acted only on the defensive. There are, however, two ways in telling a tale, though there can be only one that is right and true. The reader has seen that told by Fox, it will now be our duty to give a brief but correct description of the transactions arising out of this reformation, so called. As to Luther's unmasking Popery, by which term Catholicism is called by the “few plain Christians," it had never been concealed or obscured, and therefore could not stand in need of being unmasked. That Luther prosecuted his doctrines with vigour, and that these doctrines threatened destruction to religion and morality, we readily admit, for certainly Luther and his associates were the cause of the most horrible outrages and most bloody struggles that stain the annals of Christian states. The pope had no occasion to engage Charles the fifth in a scheme of utter extirpation of the reformers, for Charles found himself under the necessity of assuming a warlike attitude to prevent the Catholics and himself from being utterly extirpated; for we shall make it clear that these innocent reformers, (as Fox would make them appear) meditated and were bent upon the extinction of every thing that savoured of Catholicism.
We have detailed some of the outrages committed by the Hugonots of France, under pretence of serving religion; the same conduct and ferocious disposition marked the progress of the reformation so called every where. We refer the reader to page 297 of this Review for a specimen of some of the doctrines taught by Luther and Calvin, which doctrines could not fail to be productive of the evils which ensued. By an attention to dates, it will be found that the Protestants had entered into confederacies against Charles before that monarch had recourse to arms against them. It must also be mentioned that the empire was threatened at this time with irruptions from the Turks, so that, in fact, Charles had other occupation for his arms than contending against his own rebellious subjects. We must here also observe, that the name first assumed by the reformers of these days was that of Evangelists or Gospellers; till the year 1529, when they took the name of Protestants. Luther threw off his monastic habit in 1524, after having created a tumult in Germany, which made it necessary for him to flee to a place of safety. In consequence he retreated to a castle belonging to the duke of Saxony who became his protector. His next step was to marry a nun, who, like himself, was bound by solemn vows to lead a life of chastity and virtue. This step put Luther's friends into some confusion, but he knew too well what the influence of love and pleasure would have upon the human frame, when not guarded by the evangelical virtues of self-denial, prayer, fasting, temperance, continence and sobriety, and he soon gained an ascendency over the corrupt and vicious part of mankind. To gain the civil power on his side, he proposed to the princes of the empire to take into their possession the rich abbeys, bishoprics, and church lands. The proposition was no sooner made than it was acceeded to by several of the chief magistrates and princes of Germany. Dr. Heylin a Protestant divine, in his Cosmography, p. 106, edit. London, 1612, says, that Frederick I, having deposed his nephew Christiern II, seized on the throne of Denmark, and introduced the Lutheran doctrines into that kingdom. This change he effected by removing all the old bishops, not one of whom could he
persuade to the introduction of a new faith, and substituting others in their places, shorn of a great part of their revenues, and deprived of a great part of their power. In the year following Gustavus Ericus expelled Christiern from the throne of Sweden, and began his reign over that kingdom by the introduction of Lutheranism, to which he was chiefly moved " by a desire to appropriate to himself the goods of the “ church. And this appears to have had some strong influence on him “ in it, that he presently seized upon what he pleased, and made a law " that bishops should enjoy no more than the king thought fit." Cosmog. p. 120. In the kingdom of Poland similar scenes were carried on, with this difference only, that in the two former kingdoms the spoliations were committed by the magistrates, but here the change and outrages originated with a fanatic rabble. "Dantzick," writes Heylin,
was the first town in the kingdom of Poland, which gave entrance to “the doctrines of Luther, anno 1525, but in so tumultuous a manner, " that they that favoured his opinions, deposed the old common-coun
men, and created new ones of their own, profaned the churches, “ robbed them of their ornaments, and shamefully abused the priests “ and religious persons, abolished the mass, and altered all things at " their pleasure. But by the coming of the king they grew somewhat
quieter, leaving one convent of black friars, and two of nuns, who still enjoy the exercise of their religion.”-Ibid. p. 148..
Other towns were soon initiated in this work of desolation and insubordination. The same historian says, “ That in the year 1528, re
ligion being altered, in a tumult of the people, in the canton of “ Bern, near adjoining to Geneva, Viret and Farellus, two Zuinglian
preachers, did endeavour it in Geneva also. But, finding that the " bishop and clergy did not like their doings, they screwed themselves “ into the people, and; by their aid in a popular tumult, compelled the * bishop and his clergy to abandon the town. Nor did they only in “ that tumult alter the doctrine and orders of the church before esta, “blished, but changed the government of the state also, disclaiming all
allegiance both to duke and bishop, and standing on their own “ liberty as a free commonwealth. And though all this was done by " Viret and Farellus, before Calvin's coming to that city, which was “not till 1536; yet being come, no man was forwarder than he to approve the action.”-Ibid. p. 136.
Speaking of the means adopted by Calvin and his disciples to propa, gate their errors and discipline, Dr. Heylin, tells us, “That rather " than their discipline should not be admitted, and the episcopal
government destroyed in all the churches of Christ, they were res s solved to depose kings, ruin kingdoms, and to subvert the funda: “mental constitutions of all civil states. And hereunto their own am: “bition gave them spur enough, affecting the supremacy in their seve: “ral parishes ; that they themselves might lord it over God's in"heritance, under the pretence of setting Christ upon his throne. se Upon which love to the pre-eminence they did not only prate against “the bishops with malicious words, &c. but not therewith content, “ neither would they themselves receive them, nor permit them that “ would, casting them out of the church with reproach and infamy:" Which proud ambition in the ordinary parochial minister was cun: " ningly fomented by some great persons, and many lay-patrons in all
places, who underhand aimed at a further end; the one to raise " themselves great fortunes out of bishops' lands; the other to keep “ those tithes themselves, to which by the law they only were to “ nominate some deserving person. Such were the helps by which this “ new device of Calvin was dispersed and propagated." - Ibid. p. 137.
Though Luther stood alone in the beginning of his work of defor: mation, he was not long without helpmates; but as their master built his notions on the false pride of the human heart, so those who became enamoured with his doctrines, soon differed from their leader, and commenced for themselves. Among these was one Nicholas Stork, who; in 1524, conceived that infants could not be justified by baptism, and that rebaptism was necessary to salvation. From him sprung the sect of Anabaptists. This Stork pretended familiarity with God by an angel promising him a kingdom if he would reform the church and destroy the princes that should injure him. Carlostadius, Muncer, and others adopted the notions of Stork, and the Anabaptists became a powerful sect, even in Wirtemberg itself, where Luther had fixed his seat. The grand apostle took the alarm, he thundered from the pulpit against Muncer, Stork, and Carlostadius, but finding he could not make them come into his views, he caused them to be banished from Wirtemberg. Thus Luther became a persecutor of the reformers, as they called themselves, before a Catholic prince raised the sword against them. The events of this period are so strikingly awful and interesting, that we feel ourselves impelled to enter somewhat fully into the details, in order that the reader may be the more able to form a correct conclusion on the transactions of those days, and the spirit which influenced them. Being compelled to quit Wirtemberg, Carlostadius retired to Switzerland, where he became the founder of a new sect, called the Sacramentarians; while Stork and Muncer dogmatised in Suabia, Thuringia, and Franconia, preaching alike against Luther and the pope.
“ Stork and Muncer," writes the Rev. Mr. Bell, in his Wanderings of the Human Intellect, &c. now conceived the design of forming in the “ heart of Germany a new and independent monarchy; while some of “their brethren, of more pacific dispositions, thought it criminal to "stand upon their own defence even against the most wanton and un
provoked attacks of their enemies. The people of Mulhausen re
spected Muncer as a prophet, divinely commissioned to free them “from oppression. They expelled their magistrates, declared all pro
perty to be common stock, and proclaimed Muncer judge of Israel. “ This new Samuel wrote to the sovereigns and various states of Eu
rope, to notify to them that the time was now come when a final pe“riod should be put to the oppression of the people and the tyranny of -“ kings; and that God had commanded him to exterminate the whole
race of tyrants, and to establish over the people men of virtue and - real merit. The flame of sedition quickly spread over the greatest “ part of Germany; and Muncer soon found himself at the head of a “ formidable army; whole districts suddenly rising in rebellion and " lying to his standard. The disorders committed by this religious “banditti, alarmed the princes of the neighbouring states, and forced " them to take the field. At their head was the landgrave of Hesse,