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brethren and sisters resided, gave them particular marks of favour and protection, on account of their great uses fulness to the sick and needy. They were thus supported against their malignant rivals, and obtained many papal constitutions, by which their institute was confirmed, their persons exempted from the cognizance of the inquisitor, and subjected entirely to the jurisdiction of the bishops ; but as these measures were insufficient to secure them from molestation, Charles, duke of Burgundy, in the year 1472, obtained a solemn bull from Sextus IV., ordering that the Cellites or Lollards should be ranked among the religious orders, and delivered from the jurisdiction of the bishops. And
Julius H., granted them still greater privileges, in the year 1506. Mosheim informs us that many societies of this kind are still subsisting at Cologne, and in the cities of Flanders, though they have evidently departed from their ancient rules.
Lollard and his followers rejected the sacrifice of the mass, extreme unction, and penances for sin; arguing that Christ's sufferings were sufficient. He is said, likewise, to have set aside baptism, as a thing of no effect; and repentance as not absolutely necessary, &c. In England, the followers of Wickliffe were called, by way of reproach, Lollards, from the supposition that there was some affinity between some of their tenets ; though others are of opinion that the English Lollards came from Germany.--Buck's Theological Dictionary.
50. JOHN OLDCASTLE, OR LORD, COBHAM. ABOUT 1413, during the reign of Henry V., a unia versal synod of all the bishops and clergy of England was collected by archbishop Arundel, in St. Paul's church, London. The principal object of this assembly was to repress the growing sect of reformers, and as sir John Oldcastle (lord Cobham) had on all oecasions discovered a partiality for this sect, the resent
ment of the archbishop, and of the whole body of the clergy, was particularly levelled at this nobleman. Certainly, at that time, no man in England was more obnoxious to the ecclesiastics; for he made no secret of his opinions. He had very much distinguished himself in opposing the abuses of popery. At a great expense he had collected, transcribed, and dispersed the works of Wickliffe among the common people, without reserve; and it is well known that he maintained a great number of itinerant preachers in many parts of the country. This nobleman was arrested by the king's order, and lodged in the tower of London. On the day appointed for his trial, Thomas Arundel, the archbishop, sitting in Caiaphas' room, in the chapterhouse at St. Paul's,” with the bishops of London and Winchester, sir Robert Morley brought personally before him lord Cobham, and left him there for the time. “Sir," said the primate, “you stand here both detected of heresies and also excommunicated for contumacy. Notwithstanding we have, as yet, neither shown ourselves unwilling to give you absolution, nor yet do at this hour, provided you would meekly ask for it."
Lord Cobham took no notice of this offer, but desired permission to read an account of his faith, which had long been settled, and which he intended to stand to. He then took out of his bosom a certain writing respecting the articles whereof he was accused, and when he had read it, he delivered the same to the archbishop.
“I never trespassed against you,” said this intrepid servant of God; " and therefore I do not feel the want of your absolution.” He then kneeled down on the pavement, and lifting up his hands to heaven, he said, “I confess myself here unto thee, my eternal living God, that I have been a grievous sinner. How often in my past youth have I offended thee by ungoverned passions, pride, concupiscence, intemperance! How often have I been drawn into horrible sin by anger, and how many of my fellow subjects have I injured
from this cause ! Good Lord, I humbly ask thy mercy; here I need absolution."
With tears in his eyes, he then stood up, and with a loud voice cried out, “ Lo! these are your guides, good people. Take notice ; for the violation of God's holy laws and his great commandments they never cursed me; but for their own arbitrary appointments and traditions they most cruelly beat me and other men. Let them, however, remember, that Christ's denunciations against the Pharisees shall all be fulfilled.”
The dignity of his manner, and the vehemence of his expression, threw the court into some confusion. After the primate had recovered himself, he proceeded to examine the prisoner respecting the doctrine of transubstantiation. “Do you believe that after the words of consecration there remains any material bread ?"-"The Scriptures,” said Cobham, “make no mention of material bread; I believe that Christ's body remains in the form of bread. In the sacrament there is both Christ's body and the bread; the bread is the thing that we see with our eyes ; but the body of Christ is hid, and only to be seen by faith.” Upon this, with one voice, they cried “ Heresy! heresy!" One of the bishops in particular said, “ That it was foul heresy to call it bread.” Cobham answered smartly, “St. Paul, the apostle, was as wise a man as you, and perhaps as good a Christian ; and yet he calls it bread. The bread, saith he, that we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? To be short with you, I believe the Scriptures most cordially, but I have no belief in your lordly laws and idle determinations ; ye are no part of Christ's holy
deeds do plainly show." Doctor Walden, the prior of the Carmelites, and Wickliffe's great enemy, now lost all patience, and exclaimed, “What rash and desperate people are these followers of Wickliffe !"_“Before God and man,” replied Cobham, “I solemnly here profess, that till I knew Wickliffe, whose judgment ye so highly disdain, I never abstained from sin; but after I became acquainted with that virtuous man, and his despised dootrines, it bath been otherwise
church, as your
with me; so much grace could I never find in all your pompous instructions.'
• It were hard,” said Walden, is that in an age of so many learned instructors you should have had no grace to amend your life till you heard the devil preach.”—“Your fathers," said Cobham, “ the old Pharisees, ascribe Christ's miracles to Beelzebub, and his doctrines to the devil. Go on; and, like thein, ascribe every good thing to the devil ; go on, and pronounce every man a heretic who rebukes your vicious lives. Pray what warrant have
from Scripture for this very act you are now about? Where is it written in all God's laws, that you may thus sit in judgment upon the life of man? Hold-perhaps you will quote Annas and Caiaphas, who sat upon Christ and his apostles ?”—“ Yes, sir,” said one of the doctors of law, “and Christ, too, for he judged Judas.”-“I never heard that he did,” said lord Cobham " Judas judged himself, and thereupon went out and hanged himself. Indeed, Christ pronounced a wo against him for his covetousness, as he does still against you, who follow Judas's steps.'
Some of the last questions which were put to him respected the worship of the cross; and his answers prove that neither the acuteness of his genius was blunted, nor the solidity of his judgment impaired.
One of the friars asked him whether he was ready to worship the cross upon which Christ died. “ Where is it?" said lord Cobham. “But suppose it was here at this moment ?" said the friar. « À wise man, indeed, to put me such a question,” said Cobham ; " and yet he himself does not know where the thing is ! But,
I pray, what sort of worship do I owe to it?" One of the conclave answered, “Such worship as St. Paul speaks of, when he says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' -“Right,” replied Cobham, and stretched out his arms
" that is the true and the very cross--far better than your cross of wood.”—“Sir,” said the bishop of London, " you know very well that Christ died upon a material cross.”—“True," said Cobham;
" and I know also that our salvation did not come by that material cross, but by him who died thereupon. Further, I know well, that St. Paul rejoiced in no other cross, but in Christ's passion and death only, and in his own sufferings and persecutions, for the same truth which Christ had died for before."
He was then sent back to the tower, where he remained for some weeks, and then made his escape ; but in the year 1417 was again apprehended, and brought to London.
His fate was soon determined. He was dragged into St. Giles's fields with all the insult and barbarity of enraged superstition; and there, both as a traitor and a heretic, he was suspended alive in chains upon a gallows, and burnt to death.
This exemplary knight appears to have possessed the humility of a Christian, as well as the spirit of a soldier; for he not only protested faithfully against the idolatry of the times, the fictitious absolutions, and various corruptions of popery, by which the creatures of the
pope extorted the greatest part of the wealth of the kingdom; but he also openly made such penitential declarations and affecting acknowledgments of having personally broken God's commandments, as imply much salutary self-knowledge and self-abasement, strong convictions of sin, and bitter sorrow for the same, together with a firm reliance on the mercy of God, through the mediation of Jesus Christ.
51. JOHN HUSS AND JEROME OF PRAGUE. John Huss was born about the year 1380, in a village in Bohemia, called Hussenits, and lived at Prague in the highest reputation, both on account of the sanctity of his manners and the purity of his doctrines. He performed in that city, at the same time, both the offices of professor of divinity in the university, and of a pastor in the church of that city.
He adopted the ntiments of Wi and the Waldenses; and, in the year 1407, began openly to