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thou art worthy of being a teacher; and I know, and have experienced the truth of thy doctrines. Raca, said the rabbi; thou wouldst not believe, unless thou shouldst see."-Had the beginnings of evil been deemed thus censurable, the more gross vices, and enormous crimes, would not have been. as they were, excused, or even justified.

"But whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of,-obnoxious to,-hell fire."

The term fool here, does not designate one merely void of understanding. It implies, abandoned to vice-reprobate. It refers to the spiritual state of him to whom it is applied. It is, in the worst sense, a condemnatory appellation. The term Raca, expresses reproach, contempt, and disgust; but Thou fool, an anticipation of the final judgment of God against him, to whom it is addressed.

The word which is here translated hell fire, is derived from Gi Hinnom, the hebrew words which denote the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews had burnt their sons and their daughters in the fire. This

place Josiah defiled. The filth and carcases cast into it, were first a prey to worms, and then to fire. It was the general receptacle of polluting substances from the city, and a continual fire was kept in it to consume them. This valley, in the time of our Saviour, was called Geenna; but it is not called by this name, in the canonical scriptures of the Old Testament. Tophet,* a place in the valley, is however repeatedly mentioned. Our Saviour expressed the state of the blessed, by sensible images; such as paradise, and Abraham's bosom; and in like manner, the place of future punishment, by Geenna. These emblematical images, expressing heaven and hell, were in use among the Jews, before the time of our Saviour; and he used them, in compliance with their notions. The Chaldee paraphrast on Isaiah xxx. 33, renders everlasting or continual burnings, by "the Geenna of everlasting fire." I believe that the only places in which the word occurs in the New Testament are, Matth. v. 22, 29, 30. ch. x. 28. ch. xviii. 9. ch. xxiii. 15, 33. Mark ix. 43--45-47. Luke xii. 5. James iii. 6.


THE reign of Henry VIII. commenced 1509 and ended 1547. He was an arbitrary, vindictive

and bloody character. His opinions were a motley compound of popery and protestantism, and of

The place, it is supposed, derived its name from the noise of drums; (Toph signifying a drum,) a noise made to drown the cries of the infants, which were sacrificed to Moloch. [Lightfoot on the text. Campbell's Diss. 6. p. 2. Josephy Mede, p. 31. Lowth's Isaiah, p.p. 307 and 405. Boston Ed. Lardner, v. 1. p. 37. Newcome on our Lord. p. 14.]

opinions opposed to both. He wrote against Luther, rejected the supremacy of the Roman pontiff, and assumed to himself the supremacy of the church in England and Ireland.

fire, and to the same forfeitures as in cases of treason; and admitted not the privilege of abjurationan unheard-of severity-and unknown to the inquisition itself. The denial of any of the other five articles, even though recanted, was punishable by the forfeiture of goods and chattels, and imprisonment during the king's pleasure. An obstinate adherence to error, or a relapse, was adjudged to be felony and punishable with death. The marriage of the priests was subjected to the same punishment. Their commerce with women was, on the first offence, forfeiture and imprisonment-on the second, death. The abstaining from confession, and from receiv

The clergy were much divided in opinion. And the king taking a kind of middle ground, each party was induced to court his favor, and each felt the weight of his tyrannical and overbearing disposition. As he agreed with neither, some of both parties were executed for their religious opinions; and he became a terror both to the clergy and the parliament. Still as he ventured to set up his own claims in opposition to the infallibility and supremacy of the pope, the course he pursued exciting the eucharist at the accustomed inquiry and discussion, and fi nally operated in favor of the reformation.

A convocation was called to decide on articles of faith. "They determined the standard of faith to consist in the scriptures and the three creeds, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian." This was considered as a victory on the part of the reformers, as many things were omitted of the popish creed.

But after this, 66 a bill of six articles"-which the protestants termed "the bloody bill"-passed both houses of parliament. "In this bill the doctrine of the real presence," or transubstantiation, "was established,the communion in one kind, the perpetual obligation of vows of chastity, the utility of private masses, the celibacy of the clergy and auricular confession. The denial of the first article subjected the person to death by

ed time, subjected the person to fine and to imprisonment during the king's pleasure; and i the criminal persevered after convic tion, he was punishable by death and forfeiture, as in cases of felony."

Such a law, if fully executed in our country, would probably sweep off nineteen twentieths of all the adult inhabitants. Yet such a law existed among our ancestors within less than three hundred years, and received the approbation of the majority in both houses of parliament.

After passing this "bloody bill" the king" appointed a commission consisting of the two archbishops and several bishops of both provinces, together with a considerable number of doctors of divinity; and by virtue of his ecclesiastical supremacy he had given them in charge to choose a religion for his people. Before the commissioners

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A. D. 1544 "An act passed declaring that the king's usual style should be-"King of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, and on earth the supreme head of the church of England and Ireland !"

"The prisoners in the kingdom, for debts and crimes are asserted in an act of parliament to be above 60,000 persons. Harrison asserts that 72,000 criminals were executed during this reign for theft and robbery, which would amount nearly to 2,000 a year. He adds, that in the latter end of Elizabeth's reign, there were not punished capitally 400 a year. It appears that in all England there are not at present 50 executed for those crimes. If these facts be just, says Hume, there has been a great improvement in morals since the reign of Henry VIII."

It would be easy to collect a much greater number of facts from the history of this reign, as proof that the people of England at that period were very far from being in general, either an enlightened or a very virtuous people. A spirit of inquiry was however in some measure excited; the eyes of many were partially opened, so that they saw men as trees walking." But the sanguinary laws, and the multitude of executions, are undeniable proofs of awful depravity and delusion.


"The art of reading made a very slow progress. To encour age that art in England, the capital punishments for murder was remitted if the criminal could read, which in law language is called benefit of clergy. One would imagine that the art must have made a rapid progress when so greatly favored; but there is a signal proof of the contrary; for so small an edition of the Bible as six hundred copies, translated into English in the reign of Henry VIII. was not wholly sold off in three years." Sketches of the History of Man, vol. I. p. 182.

Compare these facts with what was done by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1813-14 and 15, and what must be said of the complaint of degeneracy!

Henry VIII. died 1547, having assigned the crown to his son Edward VI. who was then in his tenth year. The duke of Somerset was appointed protector during the king's minority. He favored the protestant cause. Many of the doctrines and rites of popery were suppressed; but the most exceptionable parts of popery, the principle and spirit of intolerance and persecution were retained. "Though the protestant divines ventured to renounce opinions deemed certain during many ages, they regarded in their turn the new system as so certain that they would suffer no contradiction with regard to it; and they were ready to burn in the same flames from which they themselves had so narrowly escaped, every one who had the assurance to differ from them. A commission by act of council was granted to the primate

and some others, to examine and search after all anabaptists, heretics, or contemners of the book of common prayer."

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In consequence of this bloody commission Joan of Kent and Van Paris were burat alive. Cranmer, who was probably one of the best men in the kingdom, was the primate who was at the head of these black proceedings; but it was not long before he in his turn shared a similar fate under the reign of Mary. The delusive opinion that it is right to put men to death for heresy, was in that age common to both papists and protestants; and as each regarded the other as heretical, which ever party was in power the other was sure to be persecuted.

During the minority and life of Edward VI. considerable blood was shed both on account of politics and religion, by public executions, as well as by insurrection. The protector himself was finally degraded and beheaded by the violence of his rivals. But the ourse of heaven seemed to follow the principal agents in these sau guinary measures, whether of the nobility or the clergy:-And the denunciation, "Whoso sheddeth mau's blood by man shall his blood be shed," was remarkably verified in a multitude of instances.

The law of the "six articles," passed in the reign of Henry VIII. was abolished in the time of Edward VI.

In 1553 Edward VI. died, and Mary ascended the throne. She wss a papist, aud as such she retaliated with seven-fold vengeance the wrongs done to her party in the preceding reign. The protes

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tant clergy were made to feel the evil of that intolerant spirit, which they had indulged while the pow er was in their hands. The law of the "six articles" was revived, and much was done to reestablish popery in Great Britain. "It is computed that in that time 277 persons were brought to the stake, besides those who were punished by imprisonment, fines and confis cations. Among those who suffered by fire were 5 bishops, 21 clergymen, 8 lay gentlemen, 84 tradesmen, 100 husbandmen, ser vants and laborers, and 4 children."

The reign of Mary was short and terrible. She was raised up as a scourge to chastise a bloody and wicked people, and to try the faith and patience of the real friends of God. Having answered these purposes, God in mercy removed her from the world. She reigned five years and four months, and died Nov. 17th, 1558.

Queen Elizabeth succeeded Mary. She favored the protestant cause in opposition to that of the papists; but like her father, Henry VIII. she assumed the supremacy of the church of England, and in many respects, acted the part of a pontiff. Mr. Hume regarded her as one of the most accomplished sovereigns that ever reigned in England. She had unquestionably remarkable talents for government, and as she favored the protestant cause, she has been made the subject of extravagant eulogies and panegyrics. Many things in her administration were commendable. There were also some things deserving of the severest censure. She possessed

the spirit and adopted the principle of persecution, but in a less degree than her bloody predecessor. Elizabeth "pretended that in quality of supreme head or governor of the church, she was fully empowered, by her prerogative alone, to decide all questions which might arise with regard to doctrine, discipline or worship; and she never would allow her parliament so much as to take these points into consideration."

This queen had the address to obtain a remarkable ascendancy over the minds of the parliament, and to keep them in a state of subjection to her own will. As a specimen of the submissive character of the parliament in 1601, an instance may be mentioned. On the queen's giving information to the speaker that she would cancel a patent which was very grievous to the people, and which was then under discussion in the House of Commons, he with the other members were admitted to the presence of the queen. "They all flung themselves on their knees, and remained in this posture a consider able time, till she thought proper to express her desire that they should rise." The speaker then expressed the gratitude of the House of Commons, and acknowledged that "her preventing grace and all-deserving goodness watched over them for good"-that she was" more ready to give than they

could desire, much less deserve." He added in conclusion-Neither do we present our thanks in words or any outward sign, which can be no sufficient retribution for SO great goodness; but in all duty aud thankfuluess, prostrate at your feet, and present our most loyal and thankful hearts, even the last drop of blood in our hearts, and the last spirit of breath in our nostrils, to be poured out, to be breathed up for your safety." What would be thought of the British parliament at this day, if they should thus deify a woman!

It will however be admitted that the state of society in England was considerably improved during the long reign of Elizabeth; and there was doubtless a considerable number of men of that age who were eminent for talents, virtue and piety. But it may be presumed that this was not the age in which those ancestors lived, in comparison with whom the present race may be called degenerate.

Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, in the 70th year of her age and 45th of her reign. We have therefore but two centuries more to examine prior to the present. In the two remaining centuries, we may hope to find more to commend, if not less to censure, than in those which have already been examined.


THERE is one Almighty Being at the head of the universe, who is incomparably the most im

portant object which can employ our thoughts or interest our affections. In comparison with him

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