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he burst into tears, entreating them to remember themselves, &c: but not prevailing, he read at last the condemnation over them in tears, and so delivered them to secular power.” John alias William Slesh, martyr, follows on the twenty second: he was an artificer, and committed to the King's Bench prison for his heterodox opinion, where he died, and was buried in Saint Georges Fields: this happened in the reign of queen Mary. William Morant and Stephen Gratwick, martyrs, succeed each other on the twenty third and twenty fourth.
The first was condemned by the bishops of Winchester and Rochester, for holding sundry erroneous opinions; and the latter was sentenced to suffer death by the bishop of Winchester, for the same reason: we learn from his examination, that he was in the habit of frequenting different churches for the purpose of contradicting the bishop and others, while preaching: he behaved both before and after his condemnation in a very turbulent maạner. They were both executed in Saint Georges Fields. The next upon the list, John Thurstone, confessor, is stated to have held the same opinions as the two last; for this, he was put into Colchester Castle, where he died. What these opinions were, we are not told; perhaps Fox himself was ashamed of them. On the twenty sixth, --seventh,—and eighth, come William Leaman, Thomas Carman, and Thomas Hudson, martyrs; all three tried, condemned and executed at Norwich, for holding Calvanistic opinions, to which Hudson added some of his own,
“Where ever he was, there was the church.” The first was a husbandman the second an artizan, and the third was a glover of Alesham, in Norfolk; this poor man seems to have been a mad enthusiast; he learned to read that he might be enabled to preach, and leaving his family, led for a time a wandering life about the county of Suffolk, he afterwards returned to his family,"and understanding he was sought after, made himself” says Fox "a lodge to ly in among fagots, for the day time, where he stayed for half a year, reading and praying continually. And his wife, like an honest woman, being careful for him, used herself faithfully and diligently towards him, &c. At the last he walked abroad certain days openly in the town, crying out continually against the Mass and all her trumpery.
And in the end, coming home to his house, he sat himself down upon his knees, having his book by him, reading and singing psalms continually without ceasing for three days and three nights together, refusing meat and other talk, to the great wonder of many. At what time John Crowch, his neighbour, called the constable to apprehend him : whom, when Hudson saw come in, he said, now my hour is come, welcome friends, welcome, 8c.” The last three martyrs for this month are William Harries, Richard Day and Christian George, The two men were both poor and ignorant; the last was the second wife of a man, whose first wife also appears to have been one among the number of Fox's martyrs; they were all of Essex, and suffered for their opinions at Colchester, but no other particulars relating to them are known.
The list of this month presents a greater number of what are termed Queen Mary's martyrs than were to be met with on any former month. They were all poor illiterate persons generally taken from the lowest classes of society, with perhaps the exception of Cardmaker : in their examinations, they exhibited the strongest marks of pride and presumption, which throughout each month, seems to be the case in proportion to the ignorance of the parties: their judges pitied them, and would have saved their lives had it been in their power. The laws were not made by them, but by their ancestors, and as judges they were bound to give judgement according to the laws as they found them. In fact these laws were made years previously to Mary's exaltation to the throne, and were acted upon during the reigns of her pious brother King Edward the Sixth and of her reforming father King Henry the Eighth, and have found their apologists even among protestant divines and protestant lawyers. Doctor Fiddes, in his life of Cardinal Wolsey, says "I am not afraid to make these remarks in defence of certain of our English prelates before the Reformation, who were many of them pious and good men, though obliged, as they conceived, to execute the penal laws against the Lollards and followers of Wickliffe at that time, as maintaining principles derogatory to the rights and injurious to human society.” And Sir Edward Coke writes,
“ the reason why heresy is so extremely and fearfully punished, is, for that gravius est æternam quam temporalem lædere majestatem et hæresis est lepra animæ. The party duly convicted of heresy may recall and abjure his opinions, and thereby save his life; but a relapse is fatal: as that of the body, so of the soul ;and as he that is a leper of body, is to be removed from the society of men lest he should infect them, by the king's writ De leproso amovendo ; so he that has lepram animæ, that is to be convicted of heresy, shall be cut off, lest he should poison others, by the king's writ De heretico comburendo.” How different was the conduct of the tender hearted Elizabeth ; for she enacted law upon law against her Catholic subjects, and spared not the anabaptist, although Fox himself wrote to her majesty a pathetic and subtle letter in their behalf.
I am, your's, &c.
A CATHOLIC. 12th March, 1824.
Mr. EDITOR,—It is no uncommon occurrence when people meet together in this country, for them to enquire of each other what religion they are of; and it is very amusing sometimes to reflect a little on the answers that are given. For instance, when a person tells us he is a member of the Church of England, or, in other words, a Church of England-man, we generally find him a man of no religion at all—or, at least, the whole of his religion consists in going to church on a Sunday, and to communion, perhaps, two or three times in the year. When a person tells us, he is a dissenter-we generally find him full of scripture phrases-- long demure countenance-talking of the interior comforts of the holy ghost, describing himself as a precious vessel - sanctified by faith-condemning all around who are not of the same sentiments—and staunchly upholding the glorious prerogative of interpreting the scripture any way most congenial to the individual. - In a quaker we find a vast deal of silence and sighing—most curious mode of expression -great peculiarity of the cut of the coat and shape of the bat --and a most inveterate hatred to any form of religion. The religion of a socinian consists in approximating as much as possible to the Judaic system, and blaspheming with all his might the adorable Son of God. The God they worship, to be sure, is not like an indian idol, made of brass or stone, but is nevertheless one of their own moulding; whose attributes and character are the productions of their whim. To go through all the beliefs of sectarians would only be to wade through all the gradations of folly, ignorance, pride and presumption: I shall therefore content myself by merely contrasting the conduct of the Catholic with them. The Catholic is a firm believer in all the church proposes to his belief; he is as certain of the truth of what he believes as he is of his own existence; because the author and giver of his existence has declared, that his church should be the pillar and ground of truth; and, like his own divine being, the same yesterday, to-day, and for eyer. He approaches the blessed sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, because he is assured that “ he who eats of this bread shall live for ever ;' and“ unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” St. John vi. 54. and he complies with the conditions which the church enjoias, before he approaches the sacred banquet, because he is again assured by the same inspired and unerring authority that, “ he who eateth or drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, not discerning the Lord's body." He is desirous at his last hours of receiving the extreme unction, because he is assured the prayer of faith will save his soul. He is most particular that his children should be baptized, because he is aware that unless they are born again of water and the Holy Ghost, they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Thus all the duties and occurrences of life are offered up to Almighty God in a true and proper spirit, not with the canting, whiņing, and grimace of a puritan, but with the honest sincerity of conviction and truth. When we compare the success of the Catholic missions with the Protestant, we must surely exclaim, the finger of God is here! It is a fact not unworthy of remark or attention, that the only parts of the habitable globe where the Protestant religion has got footing and increased, are those parts to which felons, forgers and thieves
of all descriptions have been sent, in punishment for their crimes. We could pursue the subject much further, but I am afraid I shall exhaust the patience of your readers. I will therefore resume the subject next month.
NEW SCIENCE OF PHRENOLOGY.
MR. EDITOR,—It may appear surprizing to many, that a Catholic publication should be fixed on as the vehicle for any animadversions on a system like Phrenology; and I confess it would be very improper, if it was merely an anatomical or physical question ; but when the cause of religion, the interests of society, the principles of morality, are shook from their very foundation by a set of wild speculators and visionary theorists, it is a duty, however incompetent I really may be to the task, at least to endeavour to point out how many and how great the evils are, that may arise from such wild, such unphilosophical principles. Drs. Galland Spurzheim suppose that the shape of the skull indicates the law by which, not the actual character, but the original tendencies and dispositions as given by Almighty God to man, are determined; and that these dispositions and tendencies can be discerned and ascertained by contemplating the shape of the skull. They divide the skull into so many organs, and according to the greater or less size of the protuberances which are to be found in those parts, so they are led to consider the man as a murderer or a saint; or the same man having both these organs, may be both the one and the other. There is not a portion of the brain but wbat at various times, has been impaired or destroyed; and that too, without any corresponding change of the intellectual or moral faculties. Now, it is very evident, that if the substance of the brain, the seat of these organs perish, the powers, dispositions, and tendencies, which have their seat in those parts, must be destroyed. The contrary, however, is constantly the case, and prove how idle and how foolish these speculations are. Disease will however, not only affect the brain, but not unfrequently the internal