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lighted, she commended her soul, with the ut- ! most composure, into the hands of her Maker, and, like the great Founder of the religion she professed, expired, praying for her murderers, July 16, 1546, about the 25th year of her age.
" I do not know,” observes a good writer, “ if all circumstances be considered, whether the history of this or any other nation can furnish a more illustrious example than this now related. To her father's will she sacrificed her own inclinations; to a husband, unworthy of her affections, she be. haved with prudence, respect, and obedience. The secrets of her friends, she preserved inviola. ble, even amidst the tortures of the rack. Her constancy in suffering, considering her age and sex, was equal, at least, if not superior, to any thing on record, and her piety was genuine and unuifected, of which she gave the most exalted prooi, in dying a martyr for the cause of her reli. gion and liberty of conscience. But who cau read this example, and not lament and detest that spi. rit of cruelty and inhumanity which are imbibed and cherished in the church of Rome! a spirit repugnant to the feelings of nature, and directly opposite to the conduct and disposition of the Great Author of our religion, who came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”
THE CONVERTED INN-KEEPER.
WHEN the Rev. Mr. went to his living in the country, a very great audience collected from the neighbouring towns and villages, in one of which lived an old inn-keeper, who, having
made free with his ovrn tap, had well carbuncled his nose and face, which bore the visible marks of his profession. He had heard the report of the concourse at this church, as many went from his own town; but he always stoutly swore he would never be found among the fools who were running there : on hearing, however, of the particularly pleasing mode of singing at the church, his curi. osity was a little excited, and he said he did not know but when next P n feast came, which was half way, he might go and hear the singing; but, with some imprecation, that he would never hear a word of the sermon.
He lived about six miles distant, and, when P -n feast came, after dining with a party, instead of staying to drink, he came to the afternoon service, merely to hear the singing at the church, with a full resolution of keeping his vow, and excluding every word of the sermon..
He was a corpulent man, and, as it was a hot summer's day, he came in all of a perspiration, and having with difficulty found admission into a narrow open pew with a lid, as soon as the hymn before sermon was sung, which he heard with great attention, he leaned forward, and, fixing his elbows on the lid, secured both his ears against the sermon with his fore-fingers. He had not been. in this position many minutes before the prayer finished, and the sermon commenced with an awful appeal to the consciences of the hearers, of the necessity of attending to the things which made for their everlasting peace; and the minister ad. dressing them solemnly', " He that hath ears to. hear, let him hear.” Just the moment before these words were pronounced, a fly had fastened on the
carbuncled nose of the inn-keeper, and, stinging him sharply, he drew one of his fingers from his ear, and struck off the painful visitant : at that very moment, the words “ He that hath ears to hear, let him bear," pronounced with great solemnity, entered the ear that was opened as a clap of thunder; it struck him with irresistible force : he kept his hand from returning to his ear, and, feel. ing an impression he had never known before, he presently withdrew the other finger, and hearken. ed with deep attention to the discourse which fol. lowed.
That day was the beginning of days to him; a change was produced upon him, which could not but be noticed by all his former companions. He never from that day returned to any of his former practices, nor ever afterwards was he seen in li. quor, nor heard to swear. He became truly seri. ous, and for many years went all weathers six miles to the church where he first received the knowledge of divine things. After about 18 years. faithful and close walk with God, he died rejoicing in the hope of that glory he now enjoys.
NOTHING can be more contrary to nature, to reason, to religion, than cruelty. Hence an inhuman man is generally considered as a monster. Such monsters, however, have existed; and the heart almost bleeds at the recitals of the cruel acts such have been guilty of. It teaches us, however, what human nature is when left to itself; not only treacherous above all things, but desperately wicked.
Commodus, the Roman emperor, when but twelve years old, gave a shocking instance of his cruelty, when, finding the water in which he bathed somewhat too warm, he commanded the person who attended the bath to be thrown into the furnace, nor was he satisfied till those who were about him pretended to put his order in execu. tion. After his succession to the empire, he equalled, if he did not exceed, in cruelty, Caligula, Domitian, and even Nero himself; playing, we may say, with the blood of his subjects and fellow-creatures, of whom he caused great numbers to be racked and butchered in his presence, merely for his diversion. Historians relate many instances of his cruelty. He caused one to be thrown to wild beasts for reading the life of Caligula, written by Suetonius; because that tyrant and he had been born on the same day of the month, and in many bad qualities resembled each other. See. ing one day a corpulent man pass by, he imme. diately cut him asunder; partly to try his strength, in which he excelled all men, and partly out of curiosity, as himself owned, to see his entrails drop out at once. He took pleasure in cutting off the feet and putting out the eyes of such as he met in his rambles through the city. Some he murdered because they were negligently dressed ; others because they seemed trimmed with too much nicety. He assumed the name and habit of Hercules, appearing publicly in a lion's skin, with a huge club in his hand, and ordering seve
ral persons, though not guilty of any crimes, to ; be be disguised like monsters, that, by knocking
out their brains, he might have a better claim to the title, the great liestroyer of monsters. He however was destroyed in his turn : Murria, one of his concubines, whose death he had prepared, poi. soned him ; but as the poison did not quickly operate, he was strangled by a wrestler in the 31st year of his age.
In Italy, during the greater part of the sixteenth century, assassinations, murders, and even murders under trust, seem to have been almost familiar among the superior ranks of people. Cæ. sar Borgia invited four of the little princes in his neighbourhood, who all possessed sovereignties, and commanded armies of their own, to a friend. ly conference at Senigaglia, where as soon as he arrived he put them all to death.
History records but few characters more cruel than Charles IX. It is said, that when he obser: ved several fugitive Huguenots about his palace, in the morning after the dreadful massacre of 30,000 of their friends, he took a fowling piece, and repeatedly fired at them. That this prince was naturally barbarous, we may learn from the following anecdote : One day, when he amused himself with rabit-hunting," Make them all come out,” said he, “ that I may have the plea. sure of killing them all.”
This sanguinary monarch died very wretched, for he expired bathed in his own blood which burst from his veins, and in his last moments he exclaimed “What blood !-what murders !I know not where I am !-how will all this end? -what shall I do?-I am lost for ever !—I know it !”.