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name, as you know, by which we are called now. But, though, I say, the Protestant Religion was not established in England till the reign of Henry the Eighth, yet there were some good men who endeavoured to enlighten the minds of the people long before that time. So early as the reign of Richard the Second, Wickliff translated the Bible into English ; but this gave great offence, and people were forbidden to read it; and many were actually put to death, because they wished to read the Bible.
There was a great nobleman, in particular, Lord Cobham, who was very desirous of bringing about a reformation ; and he encouraged the people to read Wickliff's Bible. For this he was seized, and sent a prisoner to the Tower; and, some time afterwards, he was put to death in the most cruel and dreadful manner that can be conceived. They applied all sorts of tortures to him; and, at last, they fastened a chain round his body, and actually roasted him alive over a slow fire.
It was by such cruelties as these, that the enemies of Religion endeavoured to keep down the knowledge of the truth ; and, as we go on in our history, we shall see a great deal more about these dreadful persecutions,
These cruelties could not, however, put a stop to the progress of Religion; on the contrary, they were the means of giving strength to the cause. They proved bow little of true Christianity these persecutors had, and thus made the real Christians more anxious for a Reformation. The patience, too, with which the Protestant martyrs bore their sufferings, was a convincing proof that they felt their cause to be good; and they were supported under their trials by the almigbty power of God. The Pas pists did indeed persecute the Protestants in a most dreadful manner, and inflicted every torture that their malice could invent. It is true, that cruelties were
practised on both sides; and indeed, where there is a want of the true spirit of Christ's Religion, whats. ever a man may be called, he will be ready for any kind of wickedness to which he may be tempted. We shall, however, see more about these things, when we get to the time of the Reformation in the reign of Henry the Eighth ; and more still, when we look at the cruelties in the time of his daughter, the bloody Queen Mary. But I think, that, even at the time we are writing about, we can see something like the beginning of the Reformation; and we can see why Wickliff is sometimes called the Father of the Reformation.
It seems, that King Henry the Fifth, of whose reign we are now treating, was desirous of putting a stop to these dreadful persecutions; and that he thought the most likely way of doing so was to turn the minds of the people to foreign wars.
He therefore made war against the French, and attempted to get the crown from their king, declaring that he himself was their proper king. He went over to France, with as large an army as be could muster; determined, if possible, to gain the kingdom.
At first, every thing appeared to go wrong with him. A dreadful sickness prevailed in his army, and he lost a great number of his men; and he was, moreover, hemmed in, in a place where he had no means of escaping; and he was obliged to come to an engagement, although it is said, that the enemy had ten times as large an army as his own. This was the famous battle of Agincourt, where, notwithstanding the smallness and the sickness of his army, he gained a complete victory over the French. After this, the French were glad to make peace; and it was agreed that King Henry should marry the daughter of the King of France, and that he should have the crown of France after the death of the present king.
This being settled, Henry determined to live at
Paris (the capital town of France), and there he had a grand court, and lived in much greater state than the French king bimself. One day, the two kings and their two queens dined together in state, with their crowns on their heads ; but the poor king of France received very little respect, and all the honour was bestowed upon King Henry. This was, indeed a grand and proud day for Henry ;-but pride was not made for man ;-and there is always enough in this world to remind the rich, as well as the poor, of the vanity of all earthly things. King Henry was seized with a dangerous and painful illness, which soon put a stop to all his earthly greatness, and brought him to his grave at the early age of thirty-four. This king was one of the greatest warriors that we read of, but his glory was soon at an end. He died in the
1422. How much may we learn from history of the vanity of all worldly ambition :--may this teach us to
set our affections on things above.” And when we see that troubles belong to the great, as well as to the small, may this teach us to be contented in the station in which Providence has placed us, and make us anxious to perform the duties of our calling with cheerfulness and Christian thankfulness.
T.S, April 6, 1823.
CHARACTER OF HENRY THE FIFTH. HENRY. was tall and slender, with a long neck, and engaging countenance, and limbs of the most elegant form. He excelled all the young men of that age in activity and the exercise of arms. He was hardy, patient, and laborious, and more capable of enduring cold, hunger, and fatigue than any soldier in his army. His bravery was such as no danger could startle, and no difficulty oppose. He was chaste, temperate, moderate, and devout, exact and just in his conduot, and striet in the discipline of his army, on which he knew that his glory and success in a great measure depended. He was perhaps never equalled in the arts of war and of government. We cannot help seeing, however, that like many other great warriors, he was ambitious and sometimes cruel, We must however acknowledge, that he was one of the greatest soldiers recorded in history.
WICKLIFF. WICKLIFF was born in 1324 and died in 1384.. He was a strong opposer of the corruptions and usurpations of the Church of Rome; and from him we are to date the dawn of the Reformation in this kingdom. He published a translation of the whole Bible in the English language then spoken; but not being sufficiently acquainted with the Hebrew and Greek languages to translate from the originals, he made his translations from the Latin Bibles, which were at that time read in the Churches. So offensive was this translation of the Bible to those who were for taking away the key of knowledge, that a bill was brought into the House of Lords, in the 13th year of Richard the Second, A.D. 1390 for the purpose of putting it down ; on which the Duke of Lancaster, the king's uncle, is reported to have spoken to this effect: “We will not be the dregs of all, seeing other nations have the law of God, which is the law of our faith, written in their own language.” At the same time he declared, in a 'very solemn manner, “ That he would mântain our having this law in our own tongue against those, whoever they should be, who brought in this bill *.”
* Lewis's History of the Translations of the Bible.
The bill, through the influence of the duke, was rejected ; and this success gave encouragement to some of Wickliff's followers to publish another, and more correct translation of the Bible. But in the year 1408, it was decreed,
“ That no one should thereafter translate any text of the Holy Scripture into English, by way of a book, or little book, or tract; and that no book of this kind should be read, that was composed lately in the time of John Wickliff, or since his death.” This led the way to great persecution ; and many persons were punished severely, and some even with death, for reading the Scriptures in English.
LADY JANE GRAY'S LETTER TO HER SISTER.
LADY JANE GRAY was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, in the reign of Edward the 6th, and she was persuaded, by the ambitious family of her husband, to lay claim to the crown, after the death of the King. She was an excellent lady, pious and learned; she had, herself, no wish to be Queen; but she was told that the crown, of right, belonged to her, and, her fault was, as she said of herself, “ the not rejecting it with sufficient firmness.” She and her husband were beheaded, in the Tower, on the same day, in the reign of Queen Mary. The night before her death, she “ took a fair New Testament in Greek ;" after reading in it, she found, at the end, some few leaves of clean paper unwritten on. and ink ; and, on these waste leaves, she wrote the following exhortation, and delivered the book to a servant to carry to her sister, the Lady Catherine,
the last token of her love and remembrance. An exhortation written by the Lady Jane Dudley, the night before her death, in the end of the New
She took pen