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" from the pope, and to acknowledge the supremacy of the latter. This “innovation, however, did not take place without great opposition.“ Several of the most powerful lords, and a majority of the people, who
professed the primitive Christianity established in Abyssinia, took up
arms, in their defence, against the emperor. Thus, by the artifices of “ the court of Rome and its emissaries, the whole empire was thrown “ into commotion, and a war commenced, which was carried on through “the reigns of many emperors, and which ceased not for above a cen
tury. All this time the Roman Catholics were strengthened by the
power of the court, by means of which conjunction the primitive “ Christians of Abyssinia were severely persecuted, and multitudes “ perished by the hands of their inhuman enemies."
We have just quoted an editor of this famous, or rather most infamous, Book of Martyrs, who says the Japanese were induced to embrace Christianity, by comparing the beauties of that system to the deformity of Paganism. We beg the reader will follow the example and compare the account given by the “ few plain Christians” in their edition of this book of the introduction of Christianity into China and Japan, and the propagation of the Roman Catholic doctrines in Abyssinia. The time selected is much about the same; the introduction of Christianity into China being stated at the coinmencement of the sirteenth century by Italian missionaries; that of Japan about the middle of the same century, by Portuguese missionaries; and of the Roman Catholic doctrines about the end of the fifteenth century, by Portuguese missionaries. The Portuguese, as we have before státed, were all Catholics, and can it be supposed then that the doctrines which the Portuguese missionaries carried into Japan and the doctrines which other Portuguese missionaries carried into Abyssinia a few years previous were not one and the same. How then came the doctrines in Abyssinia to lead to such bad consequences, and the doctrines in Japan to be so fertile in good works? This is a strange contradiction which the short-sighted
plain Christians” in their hurry to diffuse this work among their “ fellow-believers," overlooked, and which they will find difficult to explaih. We will, however, endeavour to set the reader right, and leave him then to form his own conclusions of Fox and the “plain Christians.”
It is admitted by Fox that the missionaries gained an ascendency over the Christianity of the Abyssinians and that the emperor consented to abolish the established rites of the Ethiopian church and admit those of Rome; that this innovation, as he calls it, did not take place without great opposition, and that a majority of the people who professed the primitive Christianity established in Abyssinia TOOK UP ARMS IN THEÍR DEFENCE AGAINST THE EMPEROR, Observe ye this, reader. Men taking up arms against their sovereign, because he thought fit to embrace the Catholic faith. What were these pretended prímitive Christians Orangemen, like the bigotted and half-loyal Orangemen of Ireland, who swear allegiance to the king of England so long as he shall continue a Protestant, and no longer. But why did these Abyssinian primitive Orange Christians—bless their Christianity! why did they take up arms ? Could they not reason and convince their adversaries, without having recourse to force ? they were in error, as we shall presently prove; and error, you
can never stand a fair contest with truth. It is clear from Fox's account that the Catholic missionaries had not recourse to force; that the mock primitive Christians did take to arms, and rebelled against their sovereigns ; and that the empire was thrown into confusion and civil war by this rebellion. But then he attributes this state of things to the artifices of the court of Rome and its emissaries, who were strengthened,
by the power of the court, and by means of this junction " the primitive Christians were persecuted." What artifices the court of Rome could practice in such a distant empire we are at a loss to conjecture, nor can we perceive what advantage the pope could derive from them. But it is time the reader should see another side of the question, and we beg his earnest attention to it.
The Abyssinians or Ethiopians received the first light of Christianity, according to the testimony of Eusebius, from the eunuch of their queen, who was baptized by St. Philip the deacon, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter viii, verse 7. They were not grounded in their faith, nor wholly converted, however, till the fourth century, when St. Frumentius gained them over to the Catholic faith by his preachings and miracles. Subsequently to this, that is, in the fifth century, the Abyssinians engaged in the Eutychian heresy, which heresy was condemned by the council of Chalcedon as contrary to the doctrines of the apostles.Eutychianism acknowledged only one nature in Jesus Christ, whereas the Catholic doctrine declares there are two, the divine and the human. Thus then it turns out that the primitive Christianity of the Abyssinians was a heresy, afterwards called Demi-Eutychianism or Monothelism, and was justly condemned by pope Martin, according to Fox's account of the martyrdom of that holy bishop. (See our Review, p. 178.) Here is another contradiction on the part of John Fox. In his relation of the death of pope Martin in the seventh century, he praises the head of. the Catholic church for condemning the Monothelites, who were, he said, heretics; and now, in the sixteenth century he is representing this same condemned heresy as pure primitive Christianity. The Abyssinians still adhere to this heresy, for which they took up arms in 1604, and slew their emperor Zadenghel in battle. But no persecution did they suffer, on the contrary, these Eutychians banished the missionaries and persecuted the converts to Catholicism till they eradicated that primitive faith. Still the reader must understand that the Abyssinians, though they deny more than one nature in Christ, yet they hold many of the doctrines of the Catholic church which Protestants deny.
The next head is “ PERSECUTIONS IN TURKEY," which commences with an account of Mahomet, and ends with a victory of the Christians over the sultan Solyman, who besieged the city of Vienna in the year 1529. In the detail of this victory we have not a single name besides that of Solyman, any more than we have in his account of the siege of Vienna. Who the generals were not a word is said to throw the least light upon the circumstance, and the whole is a jumble of facts from which nothing accurate can be drawn. Were it not for his mentioning the name of Solyman, we should not have been able to distinguish which siege of Vienna Fox alluded to, as that city sustained two desperate attacks from the Turks, and by the bravery of the besieged saved Christendom from being overrun by the barbarian hordes of Mahomet
ans. In these times Protestantism was unknown. There were only two classes of Christians, namely, the Catholics who adhered to the faith of the apostles and acknowledged the bishop of Rome as the supreme head of the church; and the Greeks, who differed in the article of the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, and refused obedience to the pope as head of the church. Several attempts were made to reconcile the Greeks to the centre of unity without effect. The eastern empire had long suffered from the ravages of the Mahometan power. Province after province was wrested from it, and Constantinople, the seat of the empire, had been several times attacked. During these misfortunes the Greeks were several times warned of the impending vengeance of the Divine arm, for their obstinate resistance to the truth, without effect. At length, in 1453, Mahomet II. laid siege to the city of Constantinople with an army of 300,000 men, and above 100 gallies, with 130 smaller vessels. After sustaining a siege of some continuance with much bravery, on the 29th of May the Ottoman commander made dispositions for a general assault both by sea and land. The Turks advanced with great bravery and were met by the Greeks with an equal resistance, but the fate of the latter was sealed. They had too long set the commands of God at nought, and he withdrew his protection from them, leaving them to the mercy of their enemies. Notwithstanding the desperation of the Greeks, the victory was obtained by the Turks, the city was given up to slaughter and pillage, and it is reckoned that there perished in this sacking of Constantinople, forty thousand Greeks, and sixty thousand were sold for slaves. By this annihilation of the Greek empire in 1453, it is clear that the opponents of the Mahometans in 1529 were Catholics. The persecutions therefore of the Turks were levelled against the professors of the Catholic faith, as we have shewn the persecutions in every age and nation to have been invariably inflicted on that class of Christians.
We are now led into Georgia and Mingrelia, where the persecutors are the Turks and Persians, and then we are carried to the states of Barbary of which nothing need be said here, the conduct of these barbarians being familiar to every one, and every body knows they are not Catholics. From Barbary we are taken to Calabria, to which country, we are told, a great many Waldenses of Pragela and Dauphiny emigrated, having received permission to settle in some waste lands, which they soon, it is asserted, converted into “regions of beauty and fertility.' Then follows an account of pope Pius the fourth meditating the destruction of these Waldenses, and sending a cardinal Alexandrino, a man of violent temper and a furious bigot, to act as inquisitor, and put the pope's determination into effect. The detail then goes on in the usual way, with the refusal of the Waldenses to comply with the request of the inquisitors, and the soldiers being sent to massacre them, and hunt them down like wild beasts. This account occupies more than two pages, and throughout the whole there is not a single date or authority. The Waldenses are said to have emigrated about the fourteenth century, and Pius the fourth did not fill the papal chair till the middle of the sixteenth century, The Waldenses are said to have built the town of St. Xist, but we should like to know how they came to name it after a suint who must have been a Roman Catholic, for we have no saints of any other religion. Besides a glance of the map will show that Calabria is the furthermost point of Italy, and forms part of the kingdom of Naples, the inhabitants of which, we believe, were all Catholics. One of the merits of the Waldenses, be it observed, was that of fighting for their faith, not of suffering for it, as the primitive Christians did, and the Catholics now do, for conscience sake. From Calabria we come back to Piedmont, which occupies six pages, but of such ridiculous rodomontade as we think unnecessary to notice. We are next carried to Venice, where we are told a great many Protestants fixed their residence, before the terrors of the inquisition were known in that city, and many converts were made“ by the purity of their doctrines and the inoffensiveness of “their conversation. The pope, (it is added,) no sooner learned the great
increase of Protestantism, than he, in the year 1542, sent inquisitors “ to Venice to apprehend such as they might deem obnoxious. Here then was not to be a total extermination; only the obnoxious few were to be selected. The pope is also made paramount here, but it is to be remarked that Venice was an independent republic, governed by its own laws, and the authorities, though Catholics, were extremely jealous of his holiness. It is therefore more than improbable that they permitted him to interfere with their jurisdiction. Be it observed too, that here is a date, namely 1542, at which time Protestantism may be said to have been in its cradle. Next we have, “ Martyrdoms in various parts of Italy, in the same loose and unauthenticated style. Pope Pius the fourth is represented as commencing a general persecution of the Protestants throughout the Italian states, sparing neither age nor sex.Now it so happens that this pope was the opposite of a persecutor, and the modern editors seem so convinced of this, that they have declined giving a single fact relating to this pretended persecution, but have contented themselves with inserting an anonymous letter, evidently fabricated, purporting to come from a learned and humane Roman Catholic to a nobleman. A small space is apportioned to “ Persecutions in the marquisate of Saluces,” of which neither ends nor sides can be made, and then we have eleven pages filled with “ Persecutions in Piedmont, in the seventeenth century.
Under this head we will select one bale, which we think will suffice as a sample of the rest. “ Some of the “ Irish troops having taken eleven men of Garcigliana prisoners, they “ heated a furnace red hot, and forced them to push each other in till
they came to the last man, whom they themselves pushed in.” No doubt, supposing the tale to be true, the man could not push himself in, but we think the “few plain Christians," when their hand was in, might have made these Irish troopers raise the deyil to do their persecuting work. The next persecutions are those of Michael de Molinos, and the Quietists. Michael was a Spanish priest, and had a mind to be thought clever. He broached some new doctrines, and as a matter of course they were condemned by the pope, not for being true, but for being new, such as were not heard of before, and therefore could not be those God had revealed to his apostles. Michael was obstinate and got into the inquisition, and no more was heard of the Molinists. As for the Quietists, no one would have known about this sect, had not Fox brought the professors from their graves, where they were quiet enough. The “plain Christians” say, the Quietists were so terrified by
the sufferings of their leader, that the greater part of them abjured his mode, and remained quiet; while the assiduity of the Jesuits totally extirpated Quietism. From this admission it is clear that Quietism was not true Christianism, because Christ said the latter should last till the end of the world, whereas the former evaporated like a cloud of smoke. The tenth section closes the book, and contains the pretended martyrdom of a John Calas of Thoulouse, which, like the rest of the tales, is unauthenticated and exaggerated. We pass it over, therefore, to notice more particularly the ninth section, which purports to give the “ PERSECUTIONS OF THE PROTESTANTS IN FRANCE DURING THE SIX
TEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES. The account admits that Henry III. of France favoured the Protestants, though it is insinuated that it was more from policy than religion. Henry IV. succeeded. He was a Protestant, but afterwards became a Catholic from conviction. This was a sad blow to the Protestants; our editors lament the fact, but still they are compelled to admit that in all other respects he was entitled to the appellation of Great. Henry, it is stated, applied himself to the cultivation of the arts of peace, and by an edict issued in 1598, called the Edict of Nantes, he granted to his Protestant subjects a full toleration and protection of the exercise of their religious opinions. All this was as it should be. He did what every Catholic king should do, and what every Catholic king would do, when his subjects deserved such toleration by their peaceable behaviour. Henry was also a great favourer of the Jesuits, which the modern editors should have noticed, as they allow him to be worthy the title of Great. Thus, then, Henry IV. was the protector and friend of the Jesuits and the Protestants, and we applaud him for it. This king was the first of the Bourbon family that now fills the throne of France, and gives protection to the Protestants of that kingdom, while the Catholics of England and Ireland are still excluded from their civil rights. In
consequence of this edict, the modern editors say, "the true church “ of Christ abode in peace during many years, and flourished exceed
ingly.” We cannot refrain from smiling at this statement, as the " few plain Christians," would make us believe that the Hugonots of France, who had deluged their country with blood and pillage; who had, as far they were able, sold her to foreign mercenaries, to revenge themselves of their religious adversaries, were the sons of the true Church of Christ, though the Divine Founder had more than once, or twice, or thrice, assured his disciples that this true Church should embrace all the nations of the world, and in fact has been spread in every nation in the globe by Catholic missionaries, receiving their commission from the supreme head, the pope of Rome.
This state of peace was however soon broken, for, we are told, “ Henry was at length assassinated in 1610, by Ravaillac, a Jesuit, “ filled with that frantic bigotry which the Roman Catholic religion “has so peculiar a tendency to inspire and cherish." That Henry was assassinated by Ravaillae is but too true; and - notwithstanding the “ frantic bigotry” which our modern editors say “the Roman Catholic
religion has a peculiar tendency to inspire and cherish," there is not a Roman Catholic that does not lament the fate of this great and good