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punished on account of their religion, (What a perversion of terms!) the government would immediately see all the churches in Brussels fired, the priests murdered, and the governors imprisoned. Nor were they backward in fulfilling, in some measure, their threats; for, in a short time after, the reformed party seized some churches in Mechlin, Antwerp, Tournay, and Utrecht; and to complete their insolencies and violations, a tumult was raised at Amsterdam, “where some of the re“ formed rabble” Dr. Heylin writes, “broke into a monastery of the “ Franciscans, defaced all consecrated things, beat and stoned out the
religious persons, and wounded some of the principal senators who
opposed their doings.” Provoked at these indignities and sacrileges, the government resolved at last to bring the reformers to obedience by force of arms; the covenanters prepared to resist, and hence arose a long and bloody civil war, in which excesses were committed by both parties disgraceful to the character of Christians. The modern editors of Fox may falsely represent these proceedings as persecutions, but the unprejudiced man will always regard them as the contentions of human ambition for temporal power and interest. The unbiassed man will not fail to see the baseness of bloated bigotry, in perverting historical facts to lead the unthinking into error, and excite hatred and animosity under the pretence of diffusing “a knowledge and love of the
genuine principles of Christianity." For example; Dr. Heylin states, that when the Prince of Orange, of whom we shall have something to say soon, took Dendermond and Oudenard by storm, the soldiers there and in all places "made spoil of churches, and, in some places, tyrannized
over the dead, whose monuments they robbed and pillaged. But
none (he adds) fared worse than the poor priests, whom, out of hate “ to their religion, they did not only put to death, but put to death “ with tortures; and, in some places which fell under the power of the " Baron of Lume, hanged up their mangled limbs or quarters, as but“chers do their small meats in common shambles; which spoils and “ cruelties so alienated the affections of all the people, that his power “in those parts was not like to continue long."
Here the reader will further see by what means “the glorious light of “ the gospel” was spread over the Netherlands by Protestant pretended reformers. The Book of Martyrs talk of the many thousands that fell
martyrs to superstitious malice and barbarous bigotry," but we hear not a word of the cruel barbarities and sacrilegious injustices practised by these pretended martyrs wherever they got the ascendancy over the Catholics. We have here, however, torn the mask aside, and displayed the origin of the reformation, so called, in all its terrific deformity. Nor was the conduct of their leaders less base than cruel, for the same historian relates, that when Amsterdam was constrained to yield to the rebel reformers, after an almost miraculous resistance on the part of the people in favour of their old religion, they yielded on condition of enjoying the free exercise of their ancient faith, and of having the town garrisoned by native citizens. “But (writes Dr. Heylin) when they “had yielded up the town, they were not only forced to admit garri
son, but to behold their churches spoiled, their priests ejected, “ and such new teachers thrust upon them as they most abominated.
But liberty of religion being first admitted, a confused liberty of
" opinions followed shortly after, till, in the end, that town became the
common sink of all sects and sectaries which hitherto have disturbed “ the church, and proved the greatest scandal and dishonour of the “reformation." What a scene of perfidy, villany, and impiety is here disclosed; and this is what the “few plain Christians” call spreading “the glorious light of the gospel!!!"-Oh! shame, where is thy blush!
We will quote another passage from this Protestant historian and divine, who wrote when the circumstances he recorded were fresh upon the mind of every intelligent person, to shew the irreligious and blasphemous pretensions of those religion-menders, and the stupid credulity of the people in listening to and following the depraved and fanatical impostors that were daily starting up to spread "the glorious “ light of the gospel," and chase from the continent “the dark night of “ ignorance." “Holland had lately,” continues Dr. Heylin, “ been too
fruitful of this viperous brood, but never more unfortunate than in pro“ ducing David George of Delft, and Henry Nicholas of Leyden, the “ two great monsters of that age: but the impieties of the first were “ too gross and horrid to find any followers; the latter was so smoothed
over as to gain on many, whom the impostor had seduced. The
Anabaptists out of Westphalia had found shelter here in the beginning “ of the tumults; and possibly might contribute both their hearts and “ hands to the committing of those spoils and outrages before remem“ bered. In imitation of whose counterfeit piety and pretended single
ness of heart, there started up another sect as dangerous and destruc“ tive to human society as the former were; for, by insinuating them“selves into the heart of the ignorant multitude, under a shew of
singular sanctity and integrity, they did afterwards infect their minds “ with damnable heresies, openly repugnant to the Christian faith. In
ordinary speech they used new and monstrous kinds of expressions, to “ which the ears of men brought up in the Christian church had not “ been accustomed, and all men rather wondered at than understood. " To difference themselves from the rest of mankind, they called their “ sect by the name of the Family of Love, and laboured to persuade “ their hearers, that those only were elected unto life eternal which
were by them adopted children of that Holy Family; and that all * others were but reprobates and damned persons.
One of their para'" doxes was (and a safe one too) that it was lawful for them to deny upon oath whatsoever they pleased, before any magistrate, or any
other “ whomsoever that was not of the same family or society with them. “Some books they had, in which their dotages were contained and
propagated; first writ in Dutch, and afterwards translated into other
languages as tended most to their advantage; that is to say, The Gos“ pel of the Kingdom; The Lord's Sentences; The Prophesy of the Spirit
of the Lord; The Publication of Peace upon Earth, by the author H. N. “ But who this H. N. was, those of the Family could by no fair means "be induced or inforced by threatenings to reveal. But after it was
found to be this Henry Nicholas of Leyden, whom before we spake of,
who, being emulous of the glories of king Jobn of Leyden, that most “ infamous botcher, had most blasphemously preached unto all his “ followers, that he was partaker of the divinity of God, as God was of his « human nature."
Here we shall close our remarks on the method taken to spread the light of the gospel" in the Netherlands, and the impious fruits this pretended light produced ; before however we quit this section we shall take leave to expose a gross perversion of history for the purpose of delusion. The account of the assassination of the prince of Orange is thus stated :-“ Balthazar Gerard, a native of Franche Comté, a
bigotted and furious Roman Catholic, thinking to advance his own for“ tune and the popish cause by one desperate act, resolved upon the as“sassination of the prince of Orange. Having provided hiniself with
fire-arms, he watched the prince as he passed through the great hall “of his palace to dinner, and demanded a passport. The princess of
Orange, observing in his tone of voice and manner something con“ fused and singular, asked who he was, saying she did not like his
countenance. The prince answered, it was one that demanded a passport, which he should have presently. Nothing farther trans
pired until after dinner, when on the return of the prince and princess " through the same hall, the assassin, from behind one of the pillars, “ fired at the prince; the balls entering at the left side, and passing
through the right, wounded in their passage the stomach and vital
parts. The prince had only power to say, 'Lord have mercy upon " my soul, and upon this poor people,' and immediately expired.
The death of this virtuous prince, who was considered as the “ father of his people, spread universal sorrow throughout the United “ Provinces. The assassin was immediately taken, and received sen“ tence to be put to death in the most exemplary manner; yet such "! was his enthusiasm and blindness for his crime, that while suffering “ for it, he coolly said, 'Were I at liberty I would repeat the same.
This is the statement in the Book of Martyrs, and we might suppose by it that this “ virtuous prince," this looked-upon “ father of his
people,” was the paragon of governors and the most faithful of Christians. Other writers, however, give a different colour of his character, and represent him as a dissembler, a cheat, and an oppressor; and differ from Fox as to the manner of his assassination. Dr. Heylin writes, in his history aforesaid, that as there was no hopes of reducing Holland and Zealand to the king of Spain's subjection, while the prince of Orange remained at the head of the insurgents, and as there was no chance of overcoming the prince by open force, it was resolved to take his life by treachery. This was an unjustifiable determination, and it is evident that religion had no more to do with it, than it had with the horrible massacre of Glencowe by the prince of Orange of England. However the decision was made and acted upon. The first who made the attempt was a young fellow, who discharged a pistol in his face when he was attending on the duke of Anjou at Antwerp, but without effect. Being recovered of that blow," says Dr. Heylin, “he was not long after shot with three poisoned bullets, by
one Balthasar Gerard, a Burgundian born, whom he had lately taken “ into his service : which murder was committed at Delph, in Holland,
the 10th of June, 1584, when he had lived but fifty years and some months over.” Here then we have a different relation of this transaction. Heylin says the assassin was a servant of the prince, and being such, we may suppose he was not a Catholic, his master being,
like the "few plain Christians," a Catholic-hater. The assassin, we are told by Fox, was put to death in the most exemplary manner,” but what kind of death he suffered we are not informed, though we are told it was worthy of imitation. Fox represents this leader of armed spreaders of "the light of the gospel,” to be a “virtuous
prince ; but Dr. Heylin gives a different account of him. The doctor says, "For compassing his designs he made use of that religion which “ best served his turn: being bred a Lutheran by his father, he professed " himself a Romanist under Charles the fifth; and after finding the “ Calvinians the more likely men to advance his purposes, he declared " himself chiefly in their favour, though he permitted other sects and “ sectaries to grow up with them ; in which respect he openly op"posed all treaties, overtures, and propositions, looking towards a
peace, which might not come accompanied with such a liberty of conscience, both in doctrine and worship, as he knew well could never be admitted by the ministers of the Catholic king.” That the prince has occasion to exclaim “Lord have mercy upon
my soul, and upon this poor people," we verily believe; for, in the first place he was the cause of nuch blood being shed, and, in the second, he took care to fleece the “poor people" pretty closely to carry on his ambitious designs. In concluding his account of “their “ (the Presbyterians) positions and proceedings in the higher Ger
many; their dangerous doctrines and seditions ; their innovations in “ the Church, and alteration of the civil government of the Belgic “provinces from the year 1559 to the year 1585," Dr. Heylin records the successful artifice practised to cheat the clergy of the tithes, and transfer them to the coffers of this“ virtuous prince.”—This trick is so curious that we shall give it in the doctor's words, to shew how easily a bewildered and fanatic people can be cheated out of their faith and property. “They," (the Calvinist declaimers) he writes, “had " besides, so often preached down tithes as a Jewish maintenance im
proper and unfit for ministers of the holy gospel, when they were paid unto the clergy of the church of Rome, that at the last the people took them at their word, believe them to be so indeed, and are
spurred on the faster to a change of religion, in which they saw some “ glimmering of a present profit. Of these mistakes the prince of
Orange was too wise not to make advantage ; giving assurance to “the land-holders and country villagers, that if they stood to him in
the wars against the Spaniard, they should from thenceforth pay no " tithes unto their ministers, as before they did. The tithes in the
mean time to be brought into the common treasury toward the charges " of the war, the ministers to be maintained by contributions at an easy
rate. But when the war was come to so fair an issue, that they
thought to be exempted from the payment of tithes, answer was made “ that they should pay none to the ministers, as they had done for
merly, whereby their ministers in effect were become their masters ; “but that the tithes were so considerable a revenue to the common
wealth, that the state could not possibly subsist without them; that “ therefore they must be content to pay them to the state's commis“sioners, as they had done hitherto; and that the state would take
due care to m aintain a ministry. By means.whereof they do not only
“pay the tithes as in former times; but seeing how much the public al" lowance of the state doth come short of a competency (though by " that name they please to call it) they are constrained, as it were, “out of common charity, if not compelled thereto by order, to con“ tribute over and above with the rest of the people, for the improve“ment and increase of the ministers' maintenance. But as they bake, “ (observes the doctor) so let them brew, to make good the proverb. So say we, and here we may safely leave the persecutions in the Netherlands to the judgment of the reader.
« SECTION VI.
PERSECUTIONS IN LITHUANIA.” The country here selected is a large portion of Europe now forming part of the kingdom of Poland, with the title of a grand duchy. The following is the account given by the Book of Martyrs of the pretended persecutions in this country :-" The persecutions in Lithuania “ began in 1648, and were carried on with great severity by the Cos“ sacks and Tartars. The cruelty of the former was such, that even “the Tartars, at last, revolted from it, and rescued some of the in“ tended victims from their hands.
“ The Russians perceiving the devastations which had been made in " the country, and its incapability of defence, entered it with a consi“ derable army, and carried ruin wherever they went. Fvery thing
they met with was devoted to destruction. The ministers of the
gospel were peculiarly singled out as the objects of their hatred, " while every Christian was liable to their barbarity.
" Lithuania no sooner recovered itself from one persecution, than "succeeding enemies again reduced it. The Swedes, the Prussians, " and the Courlanders, carried fire and sword through it, and continual
calamities, for some years, attended that unhappy district. It was s afterwards attacked by the prince of Transylvania, at the head of an " ariny of barbarians, who wasted the country, destroyed the churches, “ burnt the houses, plundered the inhabitants, murdered the infirm, " and enslaved the healthy.
“ In no part of the world have the followers of Christ been exempt “ from the rage and bitterness of their enimies; and well have they
experienced the force of those scripture truths, that they who live
godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution, and those who are born af:« ter the flesh have always been enemies to such as are born after :“ the spirit: accordingly the Protestants of Poland suffered in a dread-"ful manner. The ministers in particular were treated with the most
unexampled barbarity; some having their tongues cut out, because they had preached the gospel truths; others being deprived of their
sight on account of having read the bible; and great numbers were “ cut to pieces for not recanting. Several private persons were put to .“ death by the most cruel means. Women were murdered without the " least regard to their sex; and the persecutors even went so far as to “ cut off the heads of sucking babes, and fasten them to the breasts of " their unfortunate mothers !
“ Even the silent habitations of the dead escaped not the malice of