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Table of Contents


CHAPTER I - History of Christian Martyrs to. PAGEREF _Toc254363171 \h 1

The First General Persecutions under Nero. PAGEREF _Toc254363172 \h 1

I. St. Stephen. PAGEREF _Toc254363173 \h 1

II. James the Great PAGEREF _Toc254363174 \h 2

III. Philip. PAGEREF _Toc254363175 \h 2

IV. Matthew.. PAGEREF _Toc254363176 \h 2

V. James the Less. PAGEREF _Toc254363177 \h 2

VI. Matthias. PAGEREF _Toc254363178 \h 2

VII. Andrew.. PAGEREF _Toc254363179 \h 2

VIII. St. Mark. PAGEREF _Toc254363180 \h 2

IX. Peter. PAGEREF _Toc254363181 \h 2

X. Paul PAGEREF _Toc254363182 \h 3

XI. Jude. PAGEREF _Toc254363183 \h 3

XII. Bartholomew.. PAGEREF _Toc254363184 \h 3

XIII. Thomas. PAGEREF _Toc254363185 \h 3

XIV. Luke. PAGEREF _Toc254363186 \h 3

XV. Simon. PAGEREF _Toc254363187 \h 3

XVI. John. PAGEREF _Toc254363188 \h 3

XVII. Barnabas. PAGEREF _Toc254363189 \h 3

CHAPTER II - The Ten Primitive. PAGEREF _Toc254363190 \h 4

Persecutions. PAGEREF _Toc254363191 \h 4

The First Persecution, Under Nero, A.D. 67. PAGEREF _Toc254363192 \h 4

The Second Persecution, Under Domitian, A.D. 81 PAGEREF _Toc254363193 \h 4

The Third Persecution, Under Trajan, A.D. 108. PAGEREF _Toc254363194 \h 5

The Fourth Persecution, Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, PAGEREF _Toc254363195 \h 5

A.D. 162. PAGEREF _Toc254363196 \h 5

The Fifth Persecution, Commencing with Severus, A.D. 192. PAGEREF _Toc254363197 \h 7

The Sixth Persecution, Under Maximus, A.D. 235. PAGEREF _Toc254363198 \h 8

The Seventh Persecution, Under Decius, A.D. 249. PAGEREF _Toc254363199 \h 9

The Eighth Persecution, Under Valerian, A.D. 257. PAGEREF _Toc254363200 \h 11

The Ninth Persecution Under Aurelian, A.D. 274. PAGEREF _Toc254363201 \h 13

The Tenth Persecution, Under Diocletian, A.D. 303. PAGEREF _Toc254363202 \h 14

CHAPTER III - Persecutions of the Christians in Persia. PAGEREF _Toc254363203 \h 19

. PAGEREF _Toc254363204 \h 19

Persecutions Under the Arian Heretics. PAGEREF _Toc254363205 \h 19

Persecution Under Julian the Apostate. PAGEREF _Toc254363206 \h 20

Persecution of the Christians by the Goths and Vandals. PAGEREF _Toc254363207 \h 20

The Last Roman "Triumph" PAGEREF _Toc254363208 \h 20

Persecutions from About the Middle of the Fifth, to the. PAGEREF _Toc254363209 \h 21

Conclusion of the Seventh Century. PAGEREF _Toc254363210 \h 21

Persecutions from the Early Part of the Eighth, to Near the. PAGEREF _Toc254363211 \h 22

Conclusion. PAGEREF _Toc254363212 \h 22

of the Tenth Century. PAGEREF _Toc254363213 \h 22

Persecutions in the Eleventh Century. PAGEREF _Toc254363214 \h 23

CHAPTER IV - Papal Persecutions. PAGEREF _Toc254363215 \h 24

Persecution of the Waldenses in France. PAGEREF _Toc254363216 \h 25

Persecutions of the Albigenses. PAGEREF _Toc254363217 \h 26

The Bartholomew Massacre at Paris, etc. PAGEREF _Toc254363218 \h 27

From the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, to the French. PAGEREF _Toc254363219 \h 30

Revolution, in 1789. PAGEREF _Toc254363220 \h 30

Martyrdom of John Calas. PAGEREF _Toc254363221 \h 32

CHAPTER V - An Account of the Inquisition. PAGEREF _Toc254363222 \h 34

The Persecution of Dr. Aegidio. PAGEREF _Toc254363223 \h 41

The Persecution of Dr. Constantine. PAGEREF _Toc254363224 \h 41

The Life of William Gardiner. PAGEREF _Toc254363225 \h 42

The Story of Galileo. PAGEREF _Toc254363226 \h 48

Summary of the Inquisition. PAGEREF _Toc254363227 \h 48

CHAPTER VI - An Account of the Persecutions in Italy, Under the Papacy. PAGEREF _Toc254363229 \h 49

Account of the Persecutions in the Valleys of Piedmont PAGEREF _Toc254363230 \h 53

An Account of the Persecutions in Venice. PAGEREF _Toc254363231 \h 57

An Account of Several Remarkable Individuals, Who Were. PAGEREF _Toc254363232 \h 58

Martyred in Different PAGEREF _Toc254363233 \h 58

Parts of Italy, on Account of Their Religion. PAGEREF _Toc254363234 \h 58

An Account of the Persecutions in the Marquisate of Saluces. PAGEREF _Toc254363235 \h 59

An Account of the Persecutions in the Valleys of Piedmont, in. PAGEREF _Toc254363236 \h 60

the Seventeenth. PAGEREF _Toc254363237 \h 60

Century. PAGEREF _Toc254363238 \h 60

Further Persecutions in the Valleys of Piedmont, in the. PAGEREF _Toc254363239 \h 62

Seventeenth Century. PAGEREF _Toc254363240 \h 62

A Narrative of the Piedmontese War. PAGEREF _Toc254363241 \h 67

To the Obstinate Heretics Inhabiting Roras. PAGEREF _Toc254363242 \h 68

An Account of the Persecutions of Michael de Molinos, a. PAGEREF _Toc254363243 \h 73

Native of Spain. PAGEREF _Toc254363244 \h 73

CHAPTER VII - An Account of the Life and. PAGEREF _Toc254363245 \h 76

Persecutions of John Wickliffe. PAGEREF _Toc254363246 \h 76

John Wickliffe. PAGEREF _Toc254363247 \h 76

CHAPTER VIII - An Account of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363248 \h 79

Persecutions in Bohemia Under the Papacy. PAGEREF _Toc254363249 \h 79

Persecution of John Huss. PAGEREF _Toc254363250 \h 79

Persecution of Jerome of Prague. PAGEREF _Toc254363251 \h 81

Persecution of Zisca. PAGEREF _Toc254363252 \h 82

CHAPTER IX - An Account of the Life and. PAGEREF _Toc254363253 \h 89

Persecutions of Martin Luther. PAGEREF _Toc254363254 \h 89

CHAPTER X - General Persecutions in. PAGEREF _Toc254363255 \h 93

Germany. PAGEREF _Toc254363256 \h 93

CHAPTER XI - An Account of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363257 \h 97

Persecutions in the Netherlands. PAGEREF _Toc254363258 \h 97

CHAPTER XII - The Life and Story of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363259 \h 99

True Servant and Martyr of God, PAGEREF _Toc254363260 \h 99

William Tyndale. PAGEREF _Toc254363261 \h 99

CHAPTER XIII - An Account of the Life of PAGEREF _Toc254363262 \h 104

John Calvin. PAGEREF _Toc254363263 \h 104

Calvin as a Friend of Civil Liberty. PAGEREF _Toc254363264 \h 106

CHAPTER XIV - An Account of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363265 \h 106

Persecutions in Great Britain and Ireland, PAGEREF _Toc254363266 \h 106

Prior to the Reign of Queen Mary I PAGEREF _Toc254363267 \h 106

CHAPTER XV - An Account of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363268 \h 110

Persecutions in Scotland During the Reign of PAGEREF _Toc254363269 \h 110

King Henry VIII PAGEREF _Toc254363270 \h 110

An Account of the Life, Sufferings, and Death of Mr. George. PAGEREF _Toc254363271 \h 112

Wishart, Who Was Strangled and Afterward Burned, in. PAGEREF _Toc254363272 \h 112

Scotland, for. PAGEREF _Toc254363273 \h 112

Professing the Truth of the Gospel PAGEREF _Toc254363274 \h 112

FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS. PAGEREF _Toc254363275 \h 115

CHAPTER XVI - Persecutions in England. PAGEREF _Toc254363276 \h 115

During the Reign of Queen Mary. PAGEREF _Toc254363277 \h 115

The Words and Behavior of the Lady Jane upon the Scaffold. PAGEREF _Toc254363278 \h 116

John Rogers, Vicar of St. Sepulchre's, and Reader of St. PAGEREF _Toc254363279 \h 117

Paul's, London. PAGEREF _Toc254363280 \h 117

The Rev. Lawrence Saunders. PAGEREF _Toc254363281 \h 118

The History, Imprisonment, and Examination of Mr. John. PAGEREF _Toc254363282 \h 119

Hooper, PAGEREF _Toc254363283 \h 119

Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester. PAGEREF _Toc254363284 \h 119

The Life and Conduct of Dr. Rowland Taylor of Hadley. PAGEREF _Toc254363285 \h 121

Martyrdom of William Hunter. PAGEREF _Toc254363286 \h 123

Dr. Robert Farrar. PAGEREF _Toc254363287 \h 123

Martyrdom of Rawlins White. PAGEREF _Toc254363288 \h 124

The Rev. George Marsh. PAGEREF _Toc254363289 \h 125

William Flower. PAGEREF _Toc254363290 \h 126

The Rev. John Cardmaker and John Warne. PAGEREF _Toc254363291 \h 126

John Simpson and John Ardeley. PAGEREF _Toc254363292 \h 127

Thomas Haukes, Thomas Watts, and Anne Askew.. PAGEREF _Toc254363293 \h 127

Rev. John Bradford, and John Leaf, an Apprentice. PAGEREF _Toc254363294 \h 128

Rev. John Bland, Rev. John Frankesh, Nicholas Shetterden, PAGEREF _Toc254363295 \h 129

and. PAGEREF _Toc254363296 \h 129

Humphrey Middleton. PAGEREF _Toc254363297 \h 129

Dirick Carver and John Launder. PAGEREF _Toc254363298 \h 129

John Denley, John Newman, and Patrick Packingham.. PAGEREF _Toc254363299 \h 129

W. Coker, W. Hooper, H. Laurence, R. Colliar, R. Wright and. PAGEREF _Toc254363300 \h 130

W. PAGEREF _Toc254363301 \h 130

Stere. PAGEREF _Toc254363302 \h 130

The Rev. Robert Samuel PAGEREF _Toc254363303 \h 130

Bishop Ridley and Bishop Latimer. PAGEREF _Toc254363304 \h 130

Mr. John Philpot PAGEREF _Toc254363305 \h 133

John Lomas, Agnes Snoth, Anne Wright, Joan Sole, and Joan. PAGEREF _Toc254363306 \h 134

Catmer. PAGEREF _Toc254363307 \h 134

Archbishop Cranmer. PAGEREF _Toc254363308 \h 135

The Vision of Three Ladders. PAGEREF _Toc254363309 \h 140

Hugh Laverick and John Aprice. PAGEREF _Toc254363310 \h 141

Preservation of George Crow and His Testament PAGEREF _Toc254363311 \h 141

Executions at Stratford-le-Bow.. PAGEREF _Toc254363312 \h 141

Rev. Julius Palmer. PAGEREF _Toc254363313 \h 141

Sir Richard: "How may that be?" PAGEREF _Toc254363314 \h 142

Joan Waste and Others. PAGEREF _Toc254363315 \h 142

Persecutions in the Diocese of Canterbury. PAGEREF _Toc254363316 \h 143

Rev. John Hullier. PAGEREF _Toc254363317 \h 145

Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper. PAGEREF _Toc254363318 \h 145

Executions at Colchester. PAGEREF _Toc254363319 \h 145

Mrs. Joyce Lewes. PAGEREF _Toc254363320 \h 146

Executions at Islington. PAGEREF _Toc254363321 \h 147

"RICHARD ROTH." PAGEREF _Toc254363322 \h 148

Mrs. Cicely Ormes. PAGEREF _Toc254363323 \h 148

Rev. John Rough. PAGEREF _Toc254363324 \h 148

Cuthbert Symson. PAGEREF _Toc254363325 \h 149

Thomas Hudson, Thomas Carman, and William Seamen. PAGEREF _Toc254363326 \h 150

The Story of Roger Holland. PAGEREF _Toc254363327 \h 150

Flagellations by Bonner. PAGEREF _Toc254363328 \h 151

Rev. Richard Yeoman. PAGEREF _Toc254363329 \h 152

Thomas Benbridge. PAGEREF _Toc254363330 \h 153

Mrs. Prest PAGEREF _Toc254363331 \h 154

Richard Sharpe, Thomas Banion, and Thomas Hale. PAGEREF _Toc254363332 \h 156

J. Corneford, of Wortham; C. Browne, of Maidstone; J. Herst, PAGEREF _Toc254363333 \h 156

of Ashford; Alice Snoth, and Catharine Knight, an Aged. PAGEREF _Toc254363334 \h 156

Woman. PAGEREF _Toc254363335 \h 156

Deliverance of Dr. Sands. PAGEREF _Toc254363336 \h 159

Queen Mary's Treatment of Her Sister, the Princess Elizabeth. PAGEREF _Toc254363337 \h 161

God's Punishment upon Some of the Persecutors of His People. PAGEREF _Toc254363338 \h 164

in. PAGEREF _Toc254363339 \h 164

Mary's Reign. PAGEREF _Toc254363340 \h 164

CHAPTER XVII - Rise and Progress of the. PAGEREF _Toc254363341 \h 166

Protestant Religion in Ireland; with an. PAGEREF _Toc254363342 \h 166

Account of the Barbarous Massacre of 1641 PAGEREF _Toc254363343 \h 166

CHAPTER XVIII - The Rise, Progress, PAGEREF _Toc254363344 \h 176

Persecutions, and Sufferings of the Quakers. PAGEREF _Toc254363345 \h 176

An Account of the Persecutions of Friends, Commonly Called. PAGEREF _Toc254363346 \h 179

Quakers, in the United States. PAGEREF _Toc254363347 \h 179

CHAPTER XIX - An Account of the Life and. PAGEREF _Toc254363348 \h 183

Persecutions of John Bunyan. PAGEREF _Toc254363349 \h 183

CHAPTER XX - An Account of the Life of PAGEREF _Toc254363350 \h 184

John Wesley. PAGEREF _Toc254363351 \h 184

CHAPTER XXI - Persecutions of the French. PAGEREF _Toc254363352 \h 185

Protestants in the South of France, PAGEREF _Toc254363353 \h 185

During the Years 1814 and 1820. PAGEREF _Toc254363354 \h 185

The History of the Silver Child. PAGEREF _Toc254363355 \h 186

The Catholic Arms at Beaucaire. PAGEREF _Toc254363356 \h 187

Massacre and Pillage at Nismes. PAGEREF _Toc254363357 \h 187

Royal Decree in Favour of the Persecuted. PAGEREF _Toc254363358 \h 188

Petition of the Protestant Refugees. PAGEREF _Toc254363359 \h 189

Monstrous Outrage Upon Females. PAGEREF _Toc254363360 \h 190

Further Account of the Proceedings of the Catholics at Nismes. PAGEREF _Toc254363361 \h 191

Attack Upon the Protestant Churches. PAGEREF _Toc254363362 \h 192

Murder of General La Garde. PAGEREF _Toc254363363 \h 193

Interference of the British Government PAGEREF _Toc254363364 \h 193

Ultimate Resolution of the Proestants at Nismes. PAGEREF _Toc254363365 \h 194

CHAPTER XXII - The Beginnings of PAGEREF _Toc254363366 \h 195

American Foreign Missions. PAGEREF _Toc254363367 \h 195

The Persecution of Doctor Judson. PAGEREF _Toc254363368 \h 195

Removal of the Prisoners to Oung-pen-la-Mrs. Judson Follows. PAGEREF _Toc254363369 \h 200

Them.. PAGEREF _Toc254363370 \h 200

Missionary Beginnings. PAGEREF _Toc254363371 \h 206

Epilogue to the Original Edition. PAGEREF _Toc254363372 \h 206



CHAPTER I - History of Christian Martyrs to

The First General Persecutions under Nero


Christ our Saviour, in the Gospel of St. Matthew, hearing the confession of Simon Peter, who, first of all

other, openly acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, and perceiving the secret hand of His Father therein,

called him (alluding to his name) a rock, upon which rock He would build His Church so strong that the

gates of hell should not prevail against it. In which words three things are to be noted: First, that Christ will

have a Church in this world. Secondly, that the same Church should mightily be impugned, not only by the

world, but also by the uttermost strength and powers of all hell. And, thirdly, that the same Church,

notwithstanding the uttermost of the devil and all his malice, should continue.

Which prophecy of Christ we see wonderfully to be verified, insomuch that the whole course of the Church

to this day may seem nothing else but a verifying of the said prophecy. First, that Christ hath set up a

Church, needeth no declaration. Secondly, what force of princes, kings, monarchs, governors, and rulers of

this world, with their subjects, publicly and privately, with all their strength and cunning, have bent

themselves against this Church! And, thirdly, how the said Church, all this notwithstanding, hath yet endured

and holden its own! What storms and tempests it hath overpast, wondrous it is to behold: for the more

evident declaration whereof, I have addressed this present history, to the end, first, that the wonderful works

of God in His Church might appear to His glory; also that, the continuance and proceedings of the Church,

from time to time, being set forth, more knowledge and experience may redound thereby, to the profit of the

reader and edification of Christian faith.

As it is not our business to enlarge upon our Saviour's history, either before or after His crucifixion, we shall

only find it necessary to remind our readers of the discomfiture of the Jews by His subsequent resurrection.

Although one apostle had betrayed Him; although another had denied Him, under the solemn sanction of an

oath; and although the rest had forsaken Him, unless we may except "the disciple who was known unto the

high-priest"; the history of His resurrection gave a new direction to all their hearts, and, after the mission of

the Holy Spirit, imparted new confidence to their minds. The powers with which they were endued

emboldened them to proclaim His name, to the confusion of the Jewish rulers, and the astonishment of

Gentile proselytes.

I. St. Stephen

St. Stephen suffered the next in order. His death was occasioned by the faithful manner in which he

preached the Gospel to the betrayers and murderers of Christ. To such a degree of madness were

they excited, that they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. The time when he suffered

is generally supposed to have been at the passover which succeeded to that of our Lord's

crucifixion, and to the era of his ascension, in the following spring.

Upon this a great persecution was raised against all who professed their belief in Christ as the Messiah, or as

a prophet. We are immediately told by St. Luke, that "there was a great persecution against the church which

was at Jerusalem;" and that "they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria,

except the apostles."

About two thousand Christians, with Nicanor, one of the seven deacons, suffered martyrdom during the

"persecution that arose about Stephen."

II. James the Great

The next martyr we meet with, according to St. Luke, in the History of the Apsotles' Acts, was

James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord; for his mother

Salome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. It was not until ten years after the death of Stephen

that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor

of Judea, than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the

Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow, by striking at their leaders. The account

given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as

James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the

apostle's extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon,

professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom

alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr

cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Saviour he was ready to drink.

Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other in

Macedonia. These events took place A.D. 44.

III. Philip

Was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee and was first called by the name of "disciple." He labored

diligently in Upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged,

thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54.

IV. Matthew

Whose occupation was that of a toll-gatherer, was born at Nazareth. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew,

which was afterwards translated into Greek by James the Less. The scene of his labors was Parthia,

and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city

of Nadabah, A.D. 60.

V. James the Less

Is supposed by some to have been the brother of our Lord, by a former wife of Joseph. This is very doubtful,

and accords too much with the Catholic superstition, that Mary never had any other children except our

Saviour. He was elected to the oversight of the churches of Jerusalem; and was the author of the Epistle

ascribed to James in the sacred canon. At the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and

finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller's club.

VI. Matthias

Of whom less is known than of most of the other disciples, was elected to fill the vacant place of Judas. He

was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.

VII. Andrew

Was the brother of Peter. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations; but on his arrival at Edessa he was

taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground. Hence the

derivation of the term, St. Andrew's Cross.

VIII. St. Mark

Was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by

Peter, whom he served as an amanuensis, and under whose inspection he wrote his Gospel in the Greek

language. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their

idol, ending his life under their merciless hands.

IX. Peter

Among many other saints, the blessed apostle Peter was condemned to death, and crucified, as some do

write, at Rome; albeit some others, and not without cause, do doubt thereof. Hegesippus saith that Nero

sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter with

much ado that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to

avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said,

"Lord, whither dost Thou go?" To whom He answered and said, "I am come again to be crucified." By this,

Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his

head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be

crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.

X. Paul

Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in

promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth

that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of

his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might

believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptised at His sepulcher. This

done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his

prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.

XI. Jude

The brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72.

XII. Bartholomew

Preached in several countries, and having translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of

India, he propagated it in that country. He was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the

impatient idolaters.

XIII. Thomas

Called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan

priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.

XIV. Luke

The evangelist, was the author of the Gospel which goes under his name. He travelled with Paul through

various countries, and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece.

XV. Simon

Surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter

country he was crucified, A.D. 74.

XVI. John

The "beloved disciple," was brother to James the Great. The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis,

Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, were founded by him. From Ephesus he was ordered to be

sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle,

without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of

Revelation. Nerva, the successor of Domitian, recalled him. He was the only apostle who escaped a

violent death.

XVII. Barnabas

Was of Cyprus, but of Jewish descent, his death is supposed to have taken place about A.D. 73.

And yet, notwithstanding all these continual persecutions and horrible punishments, the Church daily

increased, deeply rooted in the doctrine of the apostles and of men apostolical, and watered plentously with

the blood of saints.

CHAPTER II - The Ten Primitive


The First Persecution, Under Nero, A.D. 67

The first persecution of the Church took place in the year 67, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. This

monarch reigned for the space of five years, with tolerable credit to himself, but then gave way to the

greatest extravagancy of temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among other diabolical whims, he

ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire, which order was executed by his officers, guards, and

servants. While the imperial city was in flames, he went up to the tower of Macaenas, played upon his harp,

sung the song of the burning of Troy, and openly declared that 'he wished the ruin of all things before his

death.' Besides the noble pile, called the Circus, many other palaces and houses were consumed; several

thousands perished in the flames, were smothered in the smoke, or buried beneath the ruins.

This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed,

and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse

himself, and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first

persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of

the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the

Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of

wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax,

fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution was general

throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the

course of it, St. Paul and St. Peter were martyred.

To their names may be added, Erastus, chamberlain of Corinth; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, and

Trophimus, an Ephesians, converted by St. Paul, and fellow-laborer with him, Joseph, commonly called

Barsabas, and Ananias, bishop of Damascus; each of the Seventy.

The Second Persecution, Under Domitian, A.D. 81

The emperor Domitian, who was naturally inclined to cruelty, first slew his brother, and then raised the

second persecution against the Christians. In his rage he put to death some of the Roman senators, some

through malice; and others to confiscate their estates. He then commanded all the lineage of David be put to


Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who

was crucified; and St. John, who was boiled in oil, and afterward banished to Patmos. Flavia, the daughter of

a Roman senator, was likewise banished to Pontus; and a law was made, "That no Christian, once brought

before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion."

A variety of fabricated tales were, during this reign, composed in order to injure the Christians. Such was the

infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it

was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers

and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent.

Another hardship was, that, when any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was

proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed

themselves Christians, the sentence was the same.

The following were the most remarkable among the numerous martyrs who suffered during this persecution.

Dionysius, the Areopagite, was an Athenian by birth, and educated in all the useful and ornamental literature

of Greece. He then travelled to Egypt to study astronomy, and made very particular observations on the great

and supernatural eclipse, which happened at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion.

The sanctity of his conversation and the purity of his manners recommended him so strongly to the

Christians in general, that he was appointed bishop of Athens.

Nicodemus, a benevolent Christian of some distinction, suffered at Rome during the rage of Domitian's


Protasius and Gervasius were martyred at Milan.

Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the

Church until A.D. 97. At this period, as the pagans were about to celebrate a feast called Catagogion,

Timothy, meeting the procession, severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated

the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of

the bruises two days later.

The Third Persecution, Under Trajan, A.D. 108

In the third persecution Pliny the Second, a man learned and famous, seeing the lamentable slaughter of

Christians, and moved therewith to pity, wrote to Trajan, certifying him that there were many thousands of

them daily put to death, of which none did any thing contrary to the Roman laws worthy of persecution. "The

whole account they gave of their crime or error (whichever it is to be called) amounted only to this-viz. that

they were accustomed on a stated day to meet before daylight, and to repeat together a set form of prayer to

Christ as a God, and to bind themselves by an obligation-not indeed to commit wickedness; but, on the

contrary-never to commit theft, robbery, or adultery, never to falsify their word, never to defraud any man:

after which it was their custom to separate, and reassemble to partake in common of a harmless meal."

In this persecution suffered the blessed martyr, Ignatius, who is held in famous reverence among very many.

This Ignatius was appointed to the bishopric of Antioch next after Peter in succession. Some do say, that he,

being sent from Syria to Rome, because he professed Christ, was given to the wild beasts to be devoured. It

is also said of him, that when he passed through Asia, being under the most strict custody of his keepers, he

strengthened and confirmed the churches through all the cities as he went, both with his exhortations and

preaching of the Word of God. Accordingly, having come to Smyrna, he wrote to the Church at Rome,

exhorting them not to use means for his deliverance from martyrdom, lest they should deprive him of that

which he most longed and hoped for. "Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible

things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of

bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me;

be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!" And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the beasts, such as

the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake, what time he heard the lions roaring, saying: "I am the

wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread."

Trajan being succeeded by Adrian, the latter continued this third persecution with as much severity as his

predecessor. About this time Alexander, bishop of Rome, with his two deacons, were martyred; as were

Quirinus and Hernes, with their families;

Zenon, a Roman nobleman, and about ten thousand other Christians.

In Mount Ararat many were crucified, crowned with thorns, and spears run into their sides, in imitation of

Christ's passion. Eustachius, a brave and successful Roman commander, was by the emperor ordered to join

in an idolatrous sacrifice to celebrate some of his own victories; but his faith (being a Christian in his heart)

was so much greater than his vanity, that he nobly refused it. Enraged at the denial, the ungrateful emperor

forgot the service of this skilful commander, and ordered him and his whole family to be martyred.

At the martyrdom of Faustines and Jovita, brothers and citizens of Brescia, their torments were so many, and

their patience so great, that Calocerius, a pagan, beholding them, was struck with admiration, and exclaimed

in a kind of ecstasy, "Great is the God of the Christians!" for which he was apprehended, and suffered a

similar fate.

Many other similar cruelties and rigors were exercised against the Christians, until Quadratus, bishop of

Athens, made a learned apology in their favour before the emperor, who happened to be there and Aristides, a

philosopher of the same city, wrote an elegant epistle, which caused Adrian to relax in his severities, and

relent in their favour.

Adrian dying A.D. 138, was succeeded by Antoninus Pius, one of the most amiable monarchs that ever

reigned, and who stayed the persecutions against the Christians.

The Fourth Persecution, Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus,

A.D. 162

Marcus Aurelius, followed about the year of our Lord 161, a man of nature more stern and severe; and,

although in study of philosophy and in civil government no less commendable, yet, toward the Christians

sharp and fierce; by whom was moved the fourth persecution.

The cruelties used in this persecution were such that many of the spectators shuddered with horror at the

sight, and were astonished at the intrepidity of the sufferers. Some of the martyrs were obliged to pass, with

their already wounded feet, over thorns, nails, sharp shells, etc. upon their points, others were scourged until

their sinews and veins lay bare, and after suffering the most excruciating tortures that could be devised, they

were destroyed by the most terrible deaths.

Germanicus, a young man, but a true Christian, being delivered to the wild beasts on account of his faith,

behaved with such astonishing courage that several pagans became converts to a faith which inspired such


Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna, hearing that persons were seeking for him, escaped, but was

discovered by a child. After feasting the guards who apprehended him, he desired an hour in prayer, which

being allowed, he prayed with such fervency, that his guards repented that they had been instrumental in

taking him. He was, however, carried before the proconsul, condemned, and burnt in the market place.

The proconsul then urged him, saying, "Swear, and I will release thee;--reproach Christ."

Polycarp answered, "Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me; how then shall

I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?" At the stake to which he was only tied, but not nailed as usual,

as he assured them he should stand immovable, the flames, on their kindling the fagots, encircled his body,

like an arch, without touching him; and the executioner, on seeing this, was ordered to pierce him with a

sword, when so great a quantity of blood flowed out as extinguished the fire. But his body, at the instigation

of the enemies of the Gospel, especially Jews, was ordered to be consumed in the pile, and the request of his

friends, who wished to give it Christian burial, rejected. They nevertheless collected his bones and as much

of his remains as possible, and caused them to be decently interred.

Metrodorus, a minister, who preached boldly, and Pionius, who made some excellent apologies for the

Christian faith, were likewise burnt. Carpus and Papilus, two worthy Christians, and Agatonica, a pious

woman, suffered martyrdom at Pergamopolis, in Asia.

Felicitatis, an illustrious Roman lady, of a considerable family, and the most shining virtues, was a devout

Christian. She had seven sons, whom she had educated with the most exemplary piety.

Januarius, the eldest, was scourged, and pressed to death with weights; Felix and Philip, the two next had

their brains dashed out with clubs; Silvanus, the fourth, was murdered by being thrown from a precipice; and

the three younger sons, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martial, were beheaded. The mother was beheaded with the

same sword as the three latter.

Justin, the celebrated philosopher, fell a martyr in this persecution. He was a native of Neapolis, in Samaria,

and was born A.D. 103. Justin was a great lover of truth, and a universal scholar; he investigated the Stoic

and Peripatetic philosophy, and attempted the Pythagorean; but the behavior of our of its professors

disgusting him, he applied himself to the Platonic, in which he took great delight. About the year 133, when

he was thirty years of age, he became a convert to Christianity, and then, for the first time, perceived the real

nature of truth.

He wrote an elegant epistle to the Gentiles, and employed his talents in convincing the Jews of the truth of

the Christian rites; spending a great deal of time in travelling, until he took up his abode in Rome, and fixed

his habitation upon the Viminal mount.

He kept a public school, taught many who afterward became great men, and wrote a treatise to confuse

heresies of all kinds. As the pagans began to treat the Christians with great severity, Justin wrote his first

apology in their favour. This piece displays great learning and genius, and occasioned the emperor to publish

an edict in favour of the Christians.

Soon after, he entered into frequent contests with Crescens, a person of a vicious life and conversation, but a

celebrated cynic philosopher; and his arguments appeared so powerful, yet disgusting to the cynic, that he

resolved on, and in the sequel accomplished, his destruction.

The second apology of Justin, upon certain severities, gave Crescens the cynic an opportunity of prejudicing

the emperor against the writer of it; upon which Justin, and six of his companions, were apprehended. Being

commanded to sacrifice to the pagan idols, they refused, and were condemned to be scourged, and then

beheaded; which sentence was executed with all imaginable severity.

Several were beheaded for refusing to sacrifice to the image of Jupiter; in particular Concordus, a deacon of

the city of Spolito.

Some of the restless northern nations having risen in arms against Rome, the emperor marched to encounter

them. He was, however, drawn into an ambuscade, and dreaded the loss of his whole army. Enveloped with

mountains, surrounded by enemies, and perishing with thirst, the pagan deities were invoked in vain; when

the men belonging to the militine, or thundering legion, who were all Christians, were commanded to call

upon their God for succor. A miraculous deliverance immediately ensued; a prodigious quantity of rain fell,

which, being caught by the men, and filling their dykes, afforded a sudden and astonishing relief. It appears

that the storm which miraculously flashed in the face of the enemy so intimidated them, that part deserted to

the Roman army; the rest were defeated, and the revolted provinces entirely recovered.

This affair occasioned the persecution to subside for some time, at least in those parts immediately under the

inspection of the emperor; but we find that it soon after raged in France, particularly at Lyons, where the

tortures to which many of the Christians were put, almost exceed the powers of description.

The principal of these martyrs were Vetius Agathus, a young man; Blandina, a Christian lady, of a weak

constitution; Sanctus, a deacon of Vienna; red hot plates of brass were placed upon the tenderest parts of his

body; Biblias, a weak woman, once an apostate. Attalus, of Pergamus; and Pothinus, the venerable bishop of

Lyons, who was ninety years of age. Blandina, on the day when she and the three other champions were first

brought into the amphitheater, she was suspended on a piece of wood fixed in the ground, and exposed as

food for the wild beasts; at which time, by her earnest prayers, she encouraged others. But none of the wild

beasts would touch her, so that she was remanded to prison. When she was again produced for the third and

last time, she was accompanied by Ponticus, a youth of fifteen, and the constancy of their faith so enraged

the multitude that neither the sex of the one nor the youth of the other were respected, being exposed to all

manner of punishments and tortures. Being strengthened by Blandina, he persevered unto death; and she,

after enduring all the torments heretofore mentioned, was at length slain with the sword.

When the Christians, upon these occasions, received martyrdom, they were ornamented, and crowned with

garlands of flowers; for which they, in heaven, received eternal crowns of glory.

It has been said that the lives of the early Christians consisted of "persecution above ground and prayer

below ground." Their lives are expressed by the Coliseum and the catacombs. Beneath Rome are the

excavations which we call the catacombs, whivch were at once temples and tombs. The early Church of

Rome might well be called the Church of the Catacombs. There are some sixty catacombs near Rome, in

which some six hundred miles of galleries have been traced, and these are not all. These galleries are about

eight feet high and from three to five feet wide, containing on either side several rows of long, low,

horizontal recesses, one above another like berths in a ship. In these the dead bodies were placed and the

front closed, either by a single marble slab or several great tiles laid in mortar. On these slabs or tiles,

epitaphs or symbols are graved or painted. Both pagans and Christians buried their dead in these catacombs.

When the Christian graves have been opened the skeletons tell their own terrible tale. Heads are found

severed from the body, ribs and shoulder blades are broken, bones are often calcined from fire. But despite

the awful story of persecution that we may read here, the inscriptions breathe forth peace and joy and

triumph. Here are a few:

"Here lies Marcia, put to rest in a dream of peace."

"Lawrence to his sweetest son, borne away of angels."

"Victorious in peace and in Christ."

"Being called away, he went in peace."

Remember when reading these inscriptions the story the skeletons tell of persecution, of torture, and of fire.

But the full force of these epitaphs is seen when we contrast them with the pagan epitaphs, such as:

"Live for the present hour, since we are sure of nothing else."

"I lift my hands against the gods who took me away at the age of twenty though I had done no harm."

"Once I was not. Now I am not. I know nothing about it, and it is no concern of mine."

"Traveler, curse me not as you pass, for I am in darkness and cannot answer."

The most frequent Christian symbols on the walls of the catacombs, are, the good shepherd with the lamb on

his shoulder, a ship under full sail, harps, anchors, crowns, vines, and above all the fish.

The Fifth Persecution, Commencing with Severus, A.D. 192

Severus, having been recovered from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, became a great favourer of the

Christians in general; but the prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude prevailing, obsolete laws were put

in execution against the Christians. The progress of Christianity alarmed the pagans, and they revived the

stale calumny of placing accidental misfortunes to the account of its professors, A.D. 192.

But, though persecuting malice raged, yet the Gospel shone with resplendent brightness; and, firm as an

impregnable rock, withstood the attacks of its boisterous enemies with success. Tertullian, who lived in this

age, informs us that if the Christians had collectively withdrawn themselves from the Roman territories, the

empire would have been greatly depopulated.

Victor, bishop of Rome, suffered martyrdom in the first year of the third century, A.D. 201. Leonidus, the

father of the celebrated Origen, was beheaded for being a Christian. Many of Origen's hearers likewise

suffered martyrdom; particularly two brothers, named Plutarchus and Serenus; another Serenus, Heron, and

Heraclides, were beheaded. Rhais had boiled pitch poured upon her head, and was then burnt, as was

Marcella her mother. Potainiena, the sister of Rhais, was executed in the same manner as Rhais had been; but

Basilides, an officer belonging to the army, and ordered to attend her execution, became her convert.

Basilides being, as an officer, required to take a certain oath, refused, saying, that he could not swear by the

Roman idols, as he was a Christian. Struck with surpsie, the people could not, at first, believe what they

heard; but he had no sooner confirmed the same, than he was dragged before the judge, committed to prison,

and speedily afterward beheaded.

Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, was born in Greece, and received both a polite and a Christian education. It is

generally supposed that the account of the persecutions at Lyons was written by himself. He succeeded the

martyr Pothinus as bishop of Lyons, and ruled his diocese with great propriety; he was a zealous opposer of

heresies in general, and, about A.D. 187, he wrote a celebrated tract against heresy. Victor, the bishop of

Rome, wanting to impose the keeping of Easter there, in preference to other places, it occasioned some

disorders among the Christians. In particular, Irenaeus wrote him a synodical epistle, in the name of the

Gallic churches. This zeal, in favour of Christianity, pointed him out as an object of resentment to the

emperor; and in A.D. 202, he was beheaded.

The persecutions now extending to Africa, many were martyred in that quarter of the globe; the most

particular of whom we shall mention.

Perpetua, a married lady, of about twenty-two years. Those who suffered with her were, Felicitas, a married

lady, big with child at the time of her being apprehended, and Revocatus, catechumen of Carthage, and a

slave. The names of the other prisoners, destined to suffer upon this occasion, were Saturninus, Secundulus,

and Satur. On the day appointed for their execution, they were led to the amphitheater. Satur, Saturninus, and

Revocatus were ordered to run the gauntlet between the hunters, or such as had the care of the wild beasts.

The hunters being drawn up in two ranks, they ran between, and were severely lashed as they passed.

Felicitas and Perpetua were stripped, in order to be thrown to a mad bull, which made his first attack upon

Perpetua, and stunned her; he then darted at Felicitas, and gored her dreadfully; but not killing them, the

executioner did that office with a sword. Revocatus and Satur were destroyed by wild beasts; Saturninus was

beheaded; and Secundulus died in prison. These executions were in the 205, on the eighth day of March.

Speratus and twelve others were likewise beheaded; as was Andocles in France. Asclepiades, bishop of

Antioch, suffered many tortures, but his life was spared.

Cecilia, a young lady of good family in Rome, was married to a gentleman named Valerian. She converted

her husband and brother, who were beheaded; and the maximus, or officer, who led them to execution,

becoming their convert, suffered the same fate. The lady was placed naked in a scalding bath, and having

continued there a considerable time, her head was struck off with a sword, A.D. 222.

Calistus, bishop of Rome, was martyred, A.D. 224; but the manner of his death is not recorded; and Urban,

bishop of Rome, met the same fate A.D. 232.

The Sixth Persecution, Under Maximus, A.D. 235

A.D. 235, was in the time of Maximinus. In Cappadocia, the president, Seremianus, did all he could to

exterminate the Christians from that province.

The principal persons who perished under this reign were Pontianus, bishop of Rome; Anteros, a Grecian, his

successor, who gave offence to the government by collecting the acts of the martyrs, Pammachius and

Quiritus, Roman senators, with all their families, and many other Christians; Simplicius, senator;

Calepodius, a Christian minister, thrown into the Tyber; Martina, a noble and beautiful virgin; and

Hippolitus, a Christian prelate, tied to a wild horse, and dragged until he expired.

During this persecution, raised by Maximinus, numberless Christians were slain without trial, and buried

indiscriminately in heaps, sometimes fifty or sixty being cast into a pit together, without the least decency.

The tyrant Maximinus dying, A.D. 238, was succeeded by Gordian, during whose reign, and that of his

successor Philip, the Church was free from persecution for the space of more than ten years; but in A.D. 249,

a violent persecution broke out in Alexandria, at the instigation of a pagan priest, without the knowledge of

the emperor.

The Seventh Persecution, Under Decius, A.D. 249

This was occasioned partly by the hatred he bore to his predecessor Philip, who was deemed a Christian and

was partly by his jealousy concerning the amazing increase of Christianity; for the heathen temples began to

be forsaken, and the Christian churches thronged.

These reasons stimulated Decius to attempt the very extirpation of the name of Christian; and it was

unfortunate for the Gospel, that many errors had, about this time, crept into the Church: the Christians were

at variance with each other; self-interest divided those whom social love ought to have united; and the

virulence of pride occasioned a variety of factions.

The heathens in general were ambitious to enforce the imperial decrees upon this occasion, and looked upon

the murder of a Christian as a merit to themselves. The martyrs, upon this occasion, were innumerable; but

the principal we shall give some account of.

Fabian, the bishop of Rome, was the first person of eminence who felt the severity of this persecution. The

deceased emperor, Philip, had, on account of his integrity, committed his treasure to the care of this good

man. But Decius, not finding as much as his avarice made him expect, determined to wreak his vengeance on

the good prelate. He was accordingly seized; and on January 20, A.D. 250, he suffered decapitation.

Julian, a native of Cilicia, as we are informed by St.

Chrysostom, was seized upon for being a Christian. He was put into a leather bag, together with a number of

serpents and scorpions, and in that condition thrown into the sea.

Peter, a young man, amiable for the superior qualities of his body and mind, was beheaded for refusing to

sacrifice to Venus. He said, "I am astonished you should sacrifice to an infamous woman, whose

debaucheries even your own historians record, and whose life consisted of such actions as your laws would

punish. No, I shall offer the true God the acceptable sacrifice of praises and prayers." Optimus, the proconsul

of Asia, on hearing this, ordered the prisoner to be stretched upon a wheel, by which all his bones were

broken, and then he was sent to be beheaded.

Nichomachus, being brought before the proconsul as a Christian, was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan idols.

Nichomachus replied, "I cannot pay that respect to devils, which is only due to the Almighty." This speech

so much enraged the proconsul that Nichomachus was put to the rack. After enduring the torments for a time,

he recanted; but scarcely had he given this proof of his frailty, than he fell into the greatest agonies, dropped

down on the ground, and expired immediately.

Denisa, a young woman of only sixteen years of age, who beheld this terrible judgment, suddenly exclaimed,

"O unhappy wretch, why would you buy a moment's ease at the expense of a miserable eternity!" Optimus,

hearing this, called to her, and Denisa avowing herself to be a Christian, she was beheaded, by his order,

soon after.

Andrew and Paul, two companions of Nichomachus, the martyr, A.D. 251, suffered martyrdom by stoning,

and expired, calling on their blessed Redeemer.

Alexander and Epimachus, of Alexandria, were apprehended for being Christians: and, confessing the

accusation, were beat with staves, torn with hooks, and at length burnt in the fire; and we are informed, in a

fragment preserved by Eusebius, that four female martyrs suffered on the same day, and at the same place,

but not in the same manner; for these were beheaded.

Lucian and Marcian, two wicked pagans, though skilful magicians, becoming converts to Christianity, to

make amends for their former errors, lived the lives of hermits, and subsisted upon bread and water only.

After some time spent in this manner, they became zealous preachers, and made many converts. The

persecution, however, raging at this time, they were seized upon, and carried before Sabinus, the governor of

Bithynia. On being asked by what authority they took upon themselves to preach, Lucian answered, 'That the

laws of charity and humanity obliged all men to endeavour the conversion of their neighbours, and to do

everything in their power to rescue them from the snares of the devil.'

Lucian having answered in this manner, Marcian said, "Their conversion was by the same grace which was

given to St. Paul, who, from a zealous persecutor of the Church, became a preacher of the Gospel."

The proconsul, finding that he could not prevail with them to renounce their faith, condemned them to be

burnt alive, which sentence was soon after executed.

Trypho and Respicius, two eminent men, were seized as Christians, and imprisoned at Nice. Their feet were

pierced with nails; they were dragged through the streets, scourged, torn with iron hooks, scorched with

lighted torches, and at length beheaded, February 1, A.D. 251.

Agatha, a Sicilian lady, was not more remarkable for her personal and acquired endowments, than her piety;

her beauty was such, that Quintian, governor of Sicily, became enamored of her, and made many attempts

upon her chastity without success. In order to gratify his passions with the greater conveniency, he put the

virtuous lady into the hands of Aphrodica, a very infamous and licentious woman. This wretch tried every

artifice to win her to the desired prostitution; but found all her efforts were vain; for her chastity was

impregnable, and she well knew that virtue alone could procure true happiness. Aphrodica acquainted

Quintian with the inefficacy of her endeavours, who, enaged to be foiled in his designs, changed his lust into

resentment. On her confessing that she was a Christian, he determined to gratify his revenge, as he could not

his passion. Pursuant to his orders, she was scourged, burnt with red-hot irons, and torn with sharp hooks.

Having borne these torments with admirable fortitude, she was next laid naked upon live coals, intermingled

with glass, and then being carried back to prison, she there expired on February 5, 251.

Cyril, bishop of Gortyna, was seized by order of Lucius, the governor of that place, who, nevertheless,

exhorted him to obey the imperial mandate, perform the sacrifices, and save his venerable person from

destruction; for he was now eighty-four years of age. The good prelate replied that as he had long taught

others to save their souls, he should only think now of his own salvation. The worthy prelate heard his fiery

sentence without emotion, walked cheerfully to the place of execution, and underwent his martyrdom with

great fortitude.

The persecution raged in no place more than the Island of Crete; for the governor, being exceedingly active

in executing the imperial decrees, that place streamed with pious blood.

Babylas, a Christian of a liberal education, became bishop of Antioch, A.D. 237, on the demise of Zebinus.

He acted with inimitable zeal, and governed the Church with admirable prudence during the most

tempestuous times.

The first misfortune that happened to Antioch during his mission, was the siege of it by Sapor, king of

Persia; who, having overrun all Syria, took and plundered this city among others, and used the Christian

inhabitants with greater severity than the rest, but was soon totally defeated by Gordian.

After Gordian's death, in the reign of Decius, that emperor came to Antioch, where, having a desire to visit

an assembly of Christians, Babylas opposed him, and absolutely refused to let him come in. The emperor

dissembled his anger at that time; but soon sending for the bishop, he sharply reproved him for his insolence,

and then ordered him to sacrifice to the pagan deities as an expiation for his ofence. This being refused, he

was committed to prison, loaded with chains, treated with great severities, and then beheaded, together with

three young men who had been his pupils. A.D. 251.

Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, about this time was cast into prison on account of his religion, where he

died through the severity of his confinement.

Julianus, an old man, lame with the gout, and Cronion, another Christian, were bound on the backs of

camels, severely scourged, and then thrown into a fire and consumed. Also forty virgins, at Antioch, after

being imprisoned, and scourged, were burnt.

In the year of our Lord 251, the emperor Decius having erected a pagan temple at Ephesus, he commanded

all who were in that city to sacrifice to the idols. This order was nobly refused by seven of his own soldiers,

viz. Maximianus, Martianus, Joannes, Malchus, Dionysius, Seraion, and Constantinus. The emperor wishing

to win these soldiers to renounce their faith by his entreaties and lenity, gave them a considerable respite

until he returned from an expedition. During the emperor's absence, they escaped, and hid themselves in a

cavern; which the emperor being informed of at his return, the mouth of the cave was closed up, and they all

perished with hunger.

Theodora, a beautiful young lady of Antioch, on refusing to sacrifice to the Roman idols, was condemned to

the stews, that her virtue might be sacrificed to the brutality of lust. Didymus, a Christian, disguised himself

in the habit of a Roman soldier, went to the house, informed Theodora who he was, and advised her to make

her escape in his clothes. This being effected, and a man found in the brothel instead of a beautiful lady,

Didymus was taken before the president, to whom confessing the truth, and owning that he was a Christian

the sentence of death was immediately pronounced against him. Theodora, hearing that her deliverer was

likely to suffer, came to the judge, threw herself at his feet, and begged that the sentence might fall on her as

the guilty person; but, deaf to the cries of the innocent, and insensible to the calls of justice, the inflexible

judge condemned both; when they were executed accordingly, being first beheaded, and their bodies

afterward burnt.

Secundianus, having been accused as a Christian, was conveyed to prison by some soldiers. On the way,

Verianus and Marcellinus said, "Where are you carrying the innocent?" This interrogatory occasioned them

to be seized, and all three, after having been tortured, were hanged and decapitated.

Origen, the celebrated presbyter and catechist of Alexandria, at the age of sixty-four, was seized, thrown into

a loathsome prison, laden with fetters, his feet placed in the stocks, and his legs extended to the utmost for

several successive days. He was threatened with fire, and tormented by every lingering means the most

infernal imaginations could suggest. During this cruel temporizing, the emperor Decius died, and Gallus,

who succeeded him, engaging in a war with the Goths, the Christians met with a respite. In this interim,

Origen obtained his enlargement, and, retiring to Tyre, he there remained until his death, which happened

when he was in the sixty-ninth year of his age.

Gallus, the emperor, having concluded his wars, a plague broke out in the empire: sacrifices to the pagan

deities were ordered by the emperor, and persecutions spread from the interior to the extreme parts of the

empire, and many fell martyrs to the impetuosity of the rabble, as well as the prejudice of the magistrates.

Among these were Cornelius, the Christian bishop of Rome, and Lucius, his successor, in 253.

Most of the errors which crept into the Church at this time arose from placing human reason in competition

with revelation; but the fallacy of such arguments being proved by the most able divines, the opinions they

had created vanished away like the stars before the sun.

The Eighth Persecution, Under Valerian, A.D. 257

Began under Valerian, in the month of April, 257, and continued for three years and six months. The martyrs

that fell in this persecution were innumerable, and their tortures and deaths as various and painful. The most

eminent martyrs were the following, though neither rank, sex, nor age were regarded.

Rufina and Secunda were two beautiful and accomplished ladies, daughters of Asterius, a gentleman of

eminence in Rome. Rufina, the elder, was designed in marriage for Armentarius, a young nobleman;

Secunda, the younger, for Verinus, a person of rank and opulence. The suitors, at the time of the

persecution's commencing, were both Christians; but when danger appeared, to save their fortunes, they

renounced their faith. They took great pains to persuade the ladies to do the same, but, disappointed in their

purpose, the lovers were base enough to inform against the ladies, who, being apprehended as Christians,

were brought before Junius Donatus, governor of Rome, where, A.D. 257, they sealed their martyrdom with

their blood.

Stephen, bishop of Rome, was beheaded in the same year, and about that time Saturninus, the pious orthodox

bishop of Toulouse, refusing to sacrifice to idols, was treated with all the barbarous indignities imaginable,

and fastened by the feet to the tail of a bull. Upon a signal given, the enraged animal was driven down the

steps of the temple, by which the worthy martyr's brains were dashed out.

Sextus succeeded Stephen as bishop of Rome. He is supposed to have been a Greek by birth or by extraction,

and had for some time served in the capacity of a deacon under Stephen. His great fidelity, singular wisdom,

and uncommon courage distinguished him upon many occasions; and the happy conclusion of a controversy

with some heretics is generally ascribed to his piety and prudence. In the year 258, Marcianus, who had the

management of the Roman government, procured an order from the emperor Valerian, to put to death all the

Christian clergy in Rome, and hence the bishop with six of his deacons, suffered martyrdom in 258.

Let us draw near to the fire of martyred Lawrence, that our cold hearts may be warmed thereby. The

merciless tyrant, understanding him to be not only a minister of the sacraments, but a distributor also of the

Church riches, promised to himself a double prey, by the apprehension of one soul. First, with the rake of

avarice to scrape to himself the treasure of poor Christians; then with the fiery fork of tyranny, so to toss and

turmoil them, that they should wax weary of their profession. With furious face and cruel countenance, the

greedy wolf demanded where this Lawrence had bestowed the substance of the Church: who, craving three

days' respite, promised to declare where the treasure might be had. In the meantime, he caused a good

number of poor Christians to be congregated. So, when the day of his answer was come, the persecutor

strictly charged him to stand to his promise. Then valiant Lawrence, stretching out his arms over the poor,

said: "These are the precious treasure of the Church; these are the treasure indeed, in whom the faith of

Christ reigneth, in whom Jesus Christ hath His mansion-place. What more precious jewels can Christ have,

than those in whom He hath promised to dwell? For so it is written, 'I was an hungered, and ye gave me

meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.' And again, 'Inasmuch as ye

have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' What greater riches can

Christ our Master possess, than the poor people in whom He loveth to be seen?"

O, what tongue is able to express the fury and madness of the tyrant's heart! Now he stamped, he stared, he

ramped, he fared as one out of his wits: his eyes like fire glowed, his mouth like a boar formed, his teeth like

a hellhound grinned. Now, not a reasonable man, but a roaring lion, he might be called.

"Kindle the fire (he cried)--of wood make no spare. Hath this villain deluded the emperor? Away with him,

away with him: whip him with scourges, jerk him with rods, buffet him with fists, brain him with clubs.

Jesteth the traitor with the emperor? Pinch him with fiery tongs, gird him with burning plates, bring out the

strongest chains, and the fire-forks, and the grated bed of iron: on the fire with it; bind the rebel hand and

foot; and when the bed is fire-hot, on with him: roast him, broil him, toss him, turn him: on pain of our high

displeasure do every man his office, O ye tormentors."

The word was no sooner spoken, but all was done. After many cruel handlings, this meek lamb was laid, I

will not say on his fiery bed of iron, but on his soft bed of down. So mightily God wrought with his martyr

Lawrence, so miraculously God tempered His element the fire; that it became not a bed of consuming pain,

but a pallet of nourishing rest.

In Africa the persecution raged with peculiar violence; many thousands received the crown of martyrdom,

among whom the following were the most distinguished characters:

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, an eminent prelate, and a pious ornament of the Church. The brightness of his

genius was tempered by the solidity of his judgment; and with all the accomplishments of the gentleman, he

blended the virtues of a Christian. His doctrines were orthodox and pure; his language easy and elegant; and

his manners graceful and winning: in fine, he was both the pious and polite preacher. In his youth he was

educated in the principles of Gentilism, and having a considerable fortune, he lived in the very extravagance

of splendor, and all the dignity of pomp.

About the year 246, Coecilius, a Christian minister of Carthage, became the happy instrument of Cyprian's

conversion: on which account, and for the great love that he always afterward bore for the author of his

conversion, he was termed Coecilius Cyprian. Previous to his baptism, he studied the Scriptures with care

and being struck with the beauties of the truths they contained, he determined to practise the virtues therein

recommended. Subsequent to his baptism, he sold his estate, distributed the money among the poor, dressed

himself in plain attire, and commenced a life of austerity. He was soon after made a presbyter; and, being

greatly admired for his virtues and works, on the death of Donatus, in A.D. 248, he was almost unanimously

elected bishop of Carthage.

Cyprian's care not only extended over Carthage, but to Numidia and Mauritania. In all his transactions he

took great care to ask the advice of his clergy, knowing that unanimity alone could be of service to the

Church, this being one of his maxims, "That the bishop was in the church, and the church in the bishop; so

that unity can only be preserved by a close connexion between the pastor and his flock."

In A.D. 250, Cyprian was publicly proscribed by the emperor Decius, under the appellation of Coecilius

Cyprian, bishop of the Christrians; and the universal cry of the pagans was, "Cyprian to the lions, Cyprian to

the beasts." The bishop, however, withdrew from the rage of the populace, and his effects were immediately

confiscated. During his retirement, he wrote thirty pious and elegant letters to his flock; but several schisms

that then crept into the Church, gave him great uneasiness. The rigor of the persecution abating, he returned

to Carthage, and did everything in his power to expunge erroneous opinions. A terrible plague breaking out

in Carthage, it was as usual, laid to the charge of the Christians; and the magistrates began to persecute

accordingly, which occasioned an epistle from them to Cyprian, in answer to which he vindicates the cause

of Christianity. A.D. 257, Cyprian was brought before the proconsul Aspasius Paturnus, who exiled him to a

little city on the Lybian sea. On the death of this proconsul, he returned to Carthage, but was soon after

seized, and carried before the new governor, who condemned him to be beheaded; which sentence was

executed on the fourteenth of September, A.D. 258.

The disciples of Cyprian, martyred in this persecution, were Lucius, Flavian, Victoricus, Remus, Montanus,

Julian, Primelus, and Donatian.

At Utica, a most terrible tragedy was exhibited: three hundred Christians were, by the orders of the

proconsul, placed round a burning limekiln. A pan of coals and incense being prepared, they were

commanded either to sacrifice to Jupiter, or to be thrown into the kiln. Unanimously refusing, they bravely

jumped into the pit, and were immediately suffocated.

Fructuosus, bishop of Tarragon, in Spain, and his two deacons, Augurius and Eulogius, were burnt for being


Alexander, Malchus, and Priscus, three Christians of Palestine, with a woman of the same place, voluntarily

accused themselves of being Christians; on which account they were sentenced to be devoured by tigers,

which sentence was executed accordingly.

Maxima, Donatilla, and Secunda, three virgins of Tuburga, had gall and vinegar given them to drink, were

then severely scourged, tormented on a gibbet, rubbed with lime, scorched on a gridiron, worried by wild

beasts, and at length beheaded.

It is here proper to take notice of the singular but miserable fate of the emperor Valerian, who had so long

and so terribly persecuted the Christians. This tyrant, by a stretagem, was taken prisoner by Sapor, emperor

of Persia, who carried him into his own country, and there treated him with the most unexampled indignity,

making him kneel down as the meanest slave, and treading upon him as a footstool when he mounted his

horse. After having kept him for the space of seven years in this abject state of slavery, he caused his eyes to

be put out, though he was then eighty-three years of age. This not satiating his desire of revenge, he soon

after ordered his body to be flayed alive, and rubbed with salt, under which torments he expired; and thus fell

one of the most tyrannical emperors of Rome, and one of the greatest persecutors of the Christians.

A.D. 260, Gallienus, the son of Valerian, succeeded him, and during his reign (a few martyrs excepted) the

Church enjoyed peace for some years.

The Ninth Persecution Under Aurelian, A.D. 274

The principal sufferers were: Felix, bishop of Rome. This prelate was advanced to the Roman see in 274. He

was the first martyr to Aurelian's petulancy, being beheaded on the twenty-second of December, in the same


Agapetus, a young gentleman, who sold his estate, and gave the money to the poor, was seized as a

Christian, tortured, and then beheaded at Praeneste, a city within a day's journey of Rome.

These are the only martyrs left upon record during this reign, as it was soon put to a stop by the emperor's

being murdered by his own domestics, at Byzantium.

Aurelian was succeeded by Tacitus, who was followed by Probus, as the latter was by Carus: this emperor

being killed by a thunder storm, his sons, Carnious and Numerian, succeeded him, and during all these reigns

the Church had peace.

Diocletian mounted the imperial throne, A.D. 284; at first he showed great favour to the Christians. In the year

286, he associated Maximian with him in the empire; and some Christians were put to death before any

general persecution broke out. Among these were Felician and Primus, two brothers.

Marcus and Marcellianus were twins, natives of Rome, and of noble descent. Their parents were heathens,

but the tutors, to whom the education of the children was intrusted, brought them up as Christians. Their

constancy at length subdued those who wished them to become pagans, and their parents and whole family

became converts to a faith they had before reprobated. They were martyred by being tied to posts, and

having their feet pierced with nails. After remaining in this situation for a day and a night, their sufferings

were put an end to by thrusting lances through their bodies.

Zoe, the wife of the jailer, who had the care of the before-mentioned martyrs, was also converted by them,

and hung upon a tree, with a fire of straw lighted under her. When her body was taken down, it was thrown

into a river, with a large stone tied to it, in order to sink it.

In the year of Christ 286, a most remarkable affair occurred; a legion of soldiers, consisting of six thousand

six hundred and sixty-six men, contained none but Christians. This legion was called the Theban Legion,

because the men had been raised in Thebias: they were quartered in the east until the emperor Maximian

ordered them to march to Gaul, to assist him against the rebels of Burgundy. They passed the Alps into Gaul,

under the command of Mauritius, Candidus, and Exupernis, their worthy commanders, and at length joined

the emperor. Maximian, about this time, ordered a general sacrifice, at which the whole army was to assist;

and likewise he commanded that they should take the oath of allegiance and swear, at the saame time, to

assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul. Alarmed at these orders, each individual of the Theban

Legion absolutely refused either to sacrifice or take the oaths prescribed. This so greatly enraged Maximian,

that he ordered the legion to be decimated, that is, every tenth man to be selected from the rest, and put to the

sword. This bloody order having been put in execution, those who remained alive were still inflexible, when

a second decimation took place, and every tenth man of those living was put to death. This second severity

made no more impression than the first had done; the soldiers preserved their fortitude and their principles,

but by the advice of their officers they drew up a loyal remonstrance to the emperor. This, it might have been

presumed, would have softened the emperor, but it had a contrary effect: for, enraged at their perseverance

and unanimity, he commanded that the whole legion should be put to death, which was accordingly executed

by the other troops, who cut them to pieces with their swords, September 22, 286.

Alban, from whom St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire, received its name, was the first British martyr. Great Britain

had received the Gospel of Christ from Lucius, the first Christian king, but did not suffer from the rage of

persecution for many years after. He was originally a pagan, but converted by a Christian ecclesiastic, named

Amphibalus, whom he sheltered on account of his religion. The enemies of Amphibalus, having intelligence

of the place where he was secreted, came to the house of Alban; in order to facilitate his escape, when the

soldiers came, he offered himself up as the person they were seeking for. The deceit being detected, the

governor ordered him to be scourged, and then he was sentenced to be beheaded, June 22, A.D. 287.

The venerable Bede assures us, that, upon this occasion, the executioner suddenly became a convert to

Christianity, and entreated permission to die for Alban, or with him. Obtaining the latter request, they were

beheaded by a soldier, who voluntarily undertook the task of executioner. This happened on the twentysecond

of June, A.D. 287, at Verulam, now St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire, where a magnificent church was

erected to his memory about the time of Constantine the Great. The edifice, being destroyed in the Saxon

wars, was rebuilt by Offa, king of Mercia, and a monastery erected adjoining to it, some remains of which

are still visible, and the church is a noble Gothic structure.

Faith, a Christian female, of Acquitain, in France, was ordered to be broiled upon a gridiron, and then

beheaded; A.D. 287.

Quintin was a Christian, and a native of Rome, but determined to attempt the propagation of the Gospel in

Gaul, with one Lucian, they preached together in Amiens; after which Lucian went to Beaumaris, where he

was martyred. Quintin remained in Picardy, and was very zealous in his ministry. Being seized upon as a

Christian, he was stretched with pullies until his joints were dislocated; his body was then torn with wire

scourges, and boiling oil and pitch poured on his naked flesh; lighted torches were applied to his sides and

armpits; and after he had been thus tortured, he was remanded back to prison, and died of the barbarities he

had suffered, October 31, A.D. 287. His body was sunk in the Somme.

The Tenth Persecution, Under Diocletian, A.D. 303

Under the Roman emperors, commonly called the Era of the Martyrs, was occasioned partly by the

increasing number and luxury of the Christians, and the hatred of Galerius, the adopted son of Diocletian,

who, being stimulated by his mother, a bigoted pagan, never ceased persuading the emperor to enter upon the

persecution, until he had accomplished his purpose.

The fatal day fixed upon to commence the bloody work, was the twenty-third of February, A.D. 303, that

being the day in which the Terminalia were celebrated, and on which, as the cruel pagans boasted, they

hoped to put a termination to Christianity. On the appointed day, the persecution began in Nicomedia, on the

morning of which the prefect of that city repaired, with a great number of officers and assistants, to the

church of the Christians, where, having forced open the doors, they seized upon all the sacred books, and

committed them to the flames.

The whole of this transaction was in the presence of Diocletian and Galerius, who, not contented with

burning the books, had the church levelled with the ground. This was followed by a severe edict,

commanding the destruction of all other Christian churches and books; and an order soon succeeded, to

render Christians of all denomination outlaws.

The publication of this edict occasioned an immediate martyrdom, for a bold Christian not only tore it down

from the place to which it was affixed, but execrated the name of the emperor for his injustice. A provocation

like this was sufficient to call down pagan vengeance upon his head; he was accordingly seized, severely

tortured, and then burned alive.

All the Christians were apprehended and imprisoned; and Galerius privately ordered the imperial palace to

be set on fire, that the Christians might be charged as the incendiaries, and a plausible pretence given for

carrying on the persecution with the greater severities. A general sacrifice was commenced, which

occasioned various martyrdoms. No distinction was made of age or sex; the name of Christian was so

obnoxious to the pagans that all indiscriminately fell sacrifices to their opinions. Many houses were set on

fire, and whole Christian families perished in the flames; and others had stones fastened about their necks,

and being tied together were driven into the sea. The persecution became general in all the Roman provinces,

but more particularly in the east; and as it lasted ten years, it is impossible to ascertain the numbers martyred,

or to enumerate the various modes of martyrdom.

Racks, scourges, swords, daggers, crosses, poison, and famine, were made use of in various parts to dispatch

the Christians; and invention was exhausted to devise tortures against such as had no crime, but thinking

differently from the votaries of superstition.

A city of Phrygia, consisting entirely of Christians, was burnt, and all the inhabitants perished in the flames.

Tired with slaughter, at length, several governors of provinces represented to the imperial court, the

impropriety of such conduct. Hence many were respited from execution, but, though they were not put to

death, as much as possible was done to render their lives miserable, many of them having their ears cut off,

their noses slit, their right eyes put out, their limbs rendered useless by dreadful dislocations, and their flesh

seared in conspicuous places with red-hot irons.

It is necessary now to particularize the most conspicious persons who laid down their lives in martyrdom in

this bloody persecution.

Sebastian, a celebrated martyr, was born at Narbonne, in Gaul, instructed in the principles of Christianity at

Milan, and afterward became an officer of the emperor's guard at Rome. He remained a true Christian in the

midst of idolatry; unallured by the splendors of a court, untained by evil examples, and uncontaminated by

the hopes of preferment. Refusing to be a pagan, the emperor ordered him to be taken to a field near the city,

termed the Campus Martius, and there to be shot to death with arrows; which sentence was executed

accordingly. Some pious Christians coming to the place of execution, in order to give his body burial,

perceived signs of life in him, and immediately moving him to a place of security, they, in a short time

effected his recovery, and prepared him for a second martyrdom; for, as soon as he was able to go out, he

placed himself intentionally in the emperor's way as he was going to the temple, and reprehended him for his

various cruelties and unreasonable prejudices against Christianity. As soon as Diocletian had overcome his

surprise, he ordered Sebastian to be seized, and carried to a place near the palace, and beaten to death; and,

that the Christians should not either use means again to recover or bury his body, he ordered that it should be

thrown into the common sewer. Nevertheless, a Christian lady named Lucina, found means to remove it from

the sewer, and bury it in the catacombs, or repositories of the dead.

The Christians, about this time, upon mature consideration, thought it unlawful to bear arms under a heathen

emperor. Maximilian, the son of Fabius Victor, was the first beheaded under this regulation.

Vitus, a Sicilian of considerable family, was brought up a Christian; when his virtues increased with his

years, his constancy supported him under all afflictions, and his faith was superior to the most dangerous

perils. His father, Hylas, who was a pagan, finding that he had been instructed in the principles of

Christianity by the nurse who brought him up, used all his endeavours to bring him back to paganism, and at

length sacrificed his son to the idols, June 14, A.D. 303.

Victor was a Christian of a good family at Marseilles, in France; he spent a great part of the night in visiting

the afflicted, and confirming the weak; which pious work he could not, consistently with his own safety,

perform in the daytime; and his fortune he spent in relieving the distresses of poor Christians. He was at

length, however, seized by the emperor Maximian's decree, who ordered him to be bound, and dragged

through the streets. During the execution of this order, he was treated with all manner of cruelties and

indignities by the enraged populace. Remaining still inflexible, his courage was deemed obstinacy. Being by

order stretched upon the rack, he turned his eyes toward heaven, and prayed to God to endue him with

patience, after which he underwent the tortures with most admirable fortitude. After the executioners were

tired with inflicting torments on him, he was conveyed to a dungeon. In his confinement, he converted his

jailers, named Alexander, Felician, and Longinus. This affair coming to the ears of the emperor, he ordered

them immediately to be put to death, and the jailers were accordingly beheaded. Victor was then again put to

the rack, unmercifully beaten with batoons, and again sent to prison. Being a third time examined concerning

his religion, he persevered in his principles; a small altar was then brought, and he was commanded to offer

incense upon it immediately. Fired with indignation at the request, he boldly stepped forward, and with his

foot overthrew both altar and idol. This so enraged the emperor Maximian, who was present, that he ordered

the foot with which he had kicked the altar to be immediately cut off; and Victor was thrown into a mill, and

crushed to pieces with the stones, A.D. 303.

Maximus, governor of Cilicia, being at Tarsus, three Christians were brought before him; their names were

Tarachus, an aged man, Probus, and Andronicus. After repeated tortures and exhortations to recant, they, at

length, were ordered for execution.

Being brought to the amphitheater, several beasts were let loose upon them; but none of the animals, though

hungry, would touch them. The keeper then brought out a large bear, that had that very day destroyed three

men; but this voracious creature and a fierce lioness both refused to touch the prisoners. Finding the design

of destroying them by the means of wild beasts ineffectual, Maximus ordered them to be slain by the sword,

on October 11, A.D. 303.

Romanus, a native of Palestine, was deacon of the church of Caesarea at the time of the commencement of

Diocletian's persecution. Being condemned for his faith at Antioch, he was scourged, put to the rack, his

body torn with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scarified, his teeth beaten from their sockets, and his

hair plucked up by the roots. Soon after he was ordered to be strangled, November 17, A.D. 303.

Susanna, the niece of Caius, bishop of Rome, was pressed by the emperor Diocletian to marry a noble pagan,

who was nearly related to him. Refusing the honor intended her, she was beheaded by the emperor's order.

Dorotheus, the high chamberlain of the household to Diocletian, was a Christian, and took great pains to

make converts. In his religious labors, he was joined by Gorgonius, another Christian, and one belonging to

the palace. They were first tortured and then strangled.

Peter, a eunuch belonging to the emperor, was a Christian of singular modesty and humility. He was laid on

a gridiron, and broiled over a slow fire until he expired.

Cyprian, known by the title of the magician, to distinguish him from Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, was a

native of Natioch. He received a liberal education in his youth, and particularly applied himself to astrology;

after which he traveled for improvement through Greece, Egypt, India, etc. In the course of time he became

acquainted with Justina, a young lady of Antioch, whose birth, beauty, and accomplishments, rendered her

the admiration of all who knew her. A pagan gentleman applied to Cyprian, to promote his suit with the

beautiful Justina; this he undertook, but soon himself became converted, burnt his books of astrology and

magic, received baptism, and felt animated with a powerful spirit of grace. The conversion of Cyprian had a

great effect on the pagan gentleman who paid his addresses to Justina, and he in a short time embraced

Christianity. During the persecutions of Diocletian, Cyprian and Justina were seized upon as Chrisitans, the

former was torn with pincers, and the latter chastised; and, after suffering other torments, both were


Eulalia, a Spanish lady of a Christian family, was remarkable in her youth for sweetness of temper, and

solidity of understanding seldom found in the capriciousness of juvenile years. Being apprehended as a

Christian, the magistrate attempted by the mildest means, to bring her over to paganism, but she ridiculed the

pagan deities with such asperity, that the judge, incensed at her behavior, ordered her to be tortured. Her

sides were accordingly torn by hooks, and her breasts burnt in the most shocking manner, until she expired

by the violence of the flames, December, A.D. 303.

In the year 304, when the persecution reached Spain, Dacian, the governor of Terragona, ordered Valerius

the bishop, and Vincent the deacon, to be seized, loaded with irons, and imprisoned. The prisoners being

firm in their resolution, Valerius was banished, and Vincent was racked, his limbs dislocated, his flesh torn

with hooks, and he was laid on a gridiron, which had not only a fire placed under it, but spikes at the top,

which ran into his flesh. These torments neither destroying him, nor changing his resolutions, he was

remanded to prison, and confined ina small, loathsome, dark dungeon, strewed with sharp flints, and pieces

of broken glass, where he died, January 22, 304. His body was thrown into the river.

The persecution of Diocletian began particularly to rage in A.D. 304, when many Christians were put to

cruel tortures and the most painful and ignominious deaths; the most eminent and paritcular of whom we

shall enumerate.

Saturninus, a priest of Albitina, a town of Africa, after being tortured, was remanded to prison, and there

starved to death. His four children, after being variously tormented, shared the same fate with their father.

Dativas, a noble Roman senator; Thelico, a pious Christian;

Victoria, a young lady of considerable family and fortune, with some others of less consideration, all auditors

of Saturninus, were tortured in a similar manner, and perished by the same means.

Agrape, Chionia, and Irene, three sisters, were seized upon at Thessalonica, when Diocletian's persecution

reached Greece. They were burnt, and received the crown of martyrdom in the flames, March 25, A.D. 304.

The governor, finding that he could make no impression on Irene, ordered her to be exposed naked in the

streets, which shameful order having been executed, a fire was kindled near the city wall, amidst whose

flames her spirit ascended beyond the reach of man's cruelty.

Agatho, a man of a pious turn of mind, with Cassice, Philippa, and Eutychia, were martyred about the same

time; but the particulars have not been transmitted to us.

Marcellinus, bishop of Rome, who succeeded Caius in that see, having strongly opposed paying divine

honors to Diocletian, suffered martyrdom, by a variety of tortures, in the year 324, conforting his soul until

he expired with the prospect of these glorious rewards it would receive by the tortures suffered in the body.

Victorius, Carpophorus, Severus, and Severianus, were brothers, and all four employed in places of great

trust and honor in the city of Rome. Having exclaimed against the worship of idols, they were apprehended,

and scourged, with the plumbetae, or scourges, to the ends of which were fastened leaden balls. This

punishment was exercised with such excess of cruelty that the pious brothers fell martyrs to its severity.

Timothy, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been united together by the bands of wedlock

above three weeks, when they were separated from each other by the persecution. Timothy, being

apprehended, as a Christian, was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who, knowing that he had

the keeping of the Holy Scriptures, commanded him to deliver them up to be burnt; to which he answered,

"Had I children, I would sooner deliver them up to be sacrificed, than part with the Word of God." The

governor being much incensed at this reply, ordered his eyes to be put out, with red-hot irons, saying, "The

books shall at least be useless to you, for you shall not see to read them." His patience under the operation

was so great that the governor grew more exasperated; he, therefore, in order, if possible, to overcome his

fortitude, ordered him to be hung up by the feet, with a weight tied about his neck, and a gag in his mouth. In

this state, Maura his wife, tenderly urged him for her sake to recant; but, when the gag was taken out of his

mouth, instead of consenting to his wife's entreaties, he greatly blamed her mistaken love, and declared his

resolution of dying for the faith. The consequence was, that Maura resolved to imitate his courage and

fidelity and either to accompany or follow him to glory. The governor, after trying in vain to alter her

resolution, ordered her to be tortured, which was executed with great severity. After this, Timothy and Maura

were crucified near each other, A.D. 304.

Sabinus, bishop of Assisium, refusing to sacrifice to Jupiter, and pushing the idol from him, had his hand cut

off by the order of the governor of Tuscany. While in prison, he converted the governor and his family, all of

whom suffered martyrdom for the faith. Soon after their execution, Sabinus himself was scourged to death,

December, A.D. 304.

Tired with the farce of state and public business, the emperor Diocletian resigned the imperial diadem, and

was succeeded by Constantius and Galerius; the former a prince of the most mild and humane disposition

and the latter equally remarkable for his cruelty and tyranny. These divided the empire into two equal

governments, Galerius ruling in the east, and Constantius in the west; and the people in the two governments

felt the effects of the dispositions of the two emperors; for those in the west were governed in the mildest

manner, but such as resided in the east felt all the miseries of oppression and lengthened tortures.

Among the many martyred by the order of Galerius, we shall enumerate the most eminent.

Amphianus was a gentleman of eminence in Lucia, and a scholar of Eusebius; Julitta, a Lycaonian of royal

descent, but more celebrated for her virtues than noble blood. While on the rack, her child was killed before

her face. Julitta, of Cappadocia, was a lady of distinguished capacity, great virtue, and uncommon courage.

To complete the execution, Julitta had boiling pitch poured on her feet, her sides torn with hooks, and

received the conclusion of her martyrdom, by being beheaded, April 16, A.D. 305.

Hermolaus, a venerable and pious Christian, or a great age, and an intimate acquaintance of Panteleon's,

suffered martyrdom for the faith on the same day, and in the same manner as Panteleon.

Eustratius, secretary to the governor of Armina, was thrown into a fiery furnace for exhorting some

Christians who had been apprehended, to persevere in their faith.

Nicander and Marcian, two eminent Roman military officers, were apprehended on account of their faith. As

they were both men of great abilities in their profession, the utmost means were used to induce them to

renounce Christianity; but these endeavours being found ineffectual, they were beheaded.

In the kingdom of Naples, several martyrdoms took place, in particular, Januaries, bishop of Beneventum;

Sosius, deacon of Misene; Proculus, another deacon; Eutyches and Acutius, two laymen; Festus, a deacon;

and Desiderius, a reader; all, on account of being Christians, were condemned by the governor of Campania

to be devoured by the wild beasts. The savage animals, however, would not touch them, and so they were


Quirinus, bishop of Siscia, being carried before Matenius, the governor, was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan

deities, agreeably to the edicts of various Roman emperors. The governor, perceiving his constancy, sent him

to jail, and ordered him to be heavily ironed; flattering himself, that the hardships of a jail, some occasional

tortures and the weight of chains, might overcome his resolution. Being decided in his principles, he was sent

to Amantius, the principal governor of Pannonia, now Hungary, who loaded him with chains, and carried

him through the principal towns of the Danube, exposing him to ridicule wherever he went. Arriving at

length at Sabaria, and finding that Quirinus would not renounce his faith, he ordered him to be cast into a

river, with a stone fastened about his neck. This sentence being put into execution, Quirinus floated about for

some time, and, exhorting the people in the most pious terms, concluded his admonitions with this prayer: "It

is no new thing, O all-powerful Jesus, for Thee to stop the course of rivers, or to cause a man to walk upon

the water, as Thou didst Thy servant Peter; the people have already seen the proof of Thy power in me; grant

me now to lay down my life for Thy sake, O my God." On pronouncing the last words he immediately sank,

and died, June 4, A.D. 308. His body was afterwards taken up, and buried by some pious Christians.

Pamphilus, a native of Phoenicia, of a considerable family, was a man of such extensive learning that he was

called a second Origen. He was received into the body of the clergy at Caesarea, where he established a

public library and spent his time in the practice of every Christian virtue. He copied the greatest part of the

works of Origen with his own hand, and, assisted by Eusebius, gave a correct copy of the Old Testament,

which had suffered greatly by the ignorance or negligence of former transcribers. In the year 307, he was

apprehended, and suffered torture and martyrdom.

Marcellus, bishop of Rome, being banished on account of his faith, fell a martyr to the miseries he suffered

in exile, January 16, A.D. 310.

Peter, the sixteenth bishop of Alexandria, was martyred November 25, A.D. 311, by order of Maximus

Caesar, who reigned in the east.

Agnes, a virgin of only thirteen years of age, was beheaded for being a Christian; as was Serene, the empress

of Diocletian. Valentine, a priest, suffered the same fate at Rome; and Erasmus, a bishop, was martyred in


Soon after this the persecution abated in the middle parts of the empire, as well as in the west; and

Providence at length began to manifest vengeance on the persecutors. Maximian endeavoured to corrupt his

daughter Fausta to murder Constantine her husband; which she discovered, and Constantine forced him to

choose his own death, when he preferred the ignominious death of hanging after being an emperor near

twenty years.

Constantine was the good and virtuous child of a good and virtuous father, born in Britain. His mother was

named Helena, daughter of King Coilus. He was a most bountiful and gracious prince, having a desire to

nourish learning and good arts, and did oftentimes use to read, write, and study himself. He had marvellous

good success and prosperous achieving of all things he took in hand, which then was (and truly) supposed to

proceed of this, for that he was so great a favourer of the Christian faith. Which faith when he had once

embraced, he did ever after most devoutly and religiously reverence.

Thus Constantine, sufficiently appointed with strength of men but especially with strength of God, entered

his journey coming towards Italy, which was about the last year of the persecution, A.D. 313. Maxentius,

understanding of the coming of Constantine, and trusting more to his devilish art of magic than to the good

will of his subjects, which he little deserved, durst not show himself out of the city, nor encounter him in the

open field, but with privy garrisons laid wait for him by the way in sundry straits, as he should come; with

whom Constantine had divers skirmishes, and by the power of the Lord did ever vanquish them and put them

to flight.

Notwithstanding, Constantine yet was in no great comfort, but in great care and dread in his mind

(approaching now near unto Rome) for the magical charms and sorceries of Maxentius, wherewith he had

vanquished before Severus, sent by Galerius against him. Wherefore, being in great doubt and perplexity in

himself, and revolving many things in his mind, what help he might have against the operations of his

charming, Constantine, in his journey drawing toward the city, and casting up his eyes many times to heaven,

in the south part, about the going down of the sun, saw a great brightness in heaven, appearing in the

similitude of a cross, giving this inscription, In hoc vince, that is, "In this overcome."

Eusebius Pamphilus doth witness that he had heard the said Constantine himself oftentimes report, and also

to swear this to be true and certain, which he did see with his own eyes in heaven, and also his soldiers about

him. At the sight whereof when he was greatly astonished, and consulting with his men upon the meaning

thereof, behold, in the night season in his sleep, Christ appeared to him with the sign of the same cross which

he had seen before, bidding him to make the figuration thereof, and to carry it in his wars before him, and so

should we have the victory.

Constantine so established the peace of the Church that for the space of a thousand years we read of no set

persecution against the Christians, unto the time of John Wickliffe.

So happy, so glorious was this victory of Constantine, surnamed the Great! For the joy and gladness

whereof, the citizens who had sent for him before, with exceeding triumph brought him into the city of

Rome, where he was most honorably received, and celebrated the space of seven days together; having,

moreover, in the market place, his image set up, holding in his right hand the sign of the cross, with this


"With this wholesome sign, the true token of fortitude, I have rescued and delivered our city from the yoke

of the tyrant."

We shall conclude our account of the tenth and last general persecution with the death of St. George, the

titular saint and patron of England. St. George was born in Cappadocia, of Christian parents; and giving

proofs of his courage, was promoted in the army of the emperor Diocletian. During the persecution, St.

George threw up his command, went boldly to the senate house, and avowed his being a Christian, taking

occasion at the same time to remonstrate against paganism, and point out the absurdity of worshipping idols.

This freedom so greatly provoked the senate that St. George was ordered to be tortured, and by the emperor's

orders was dragged through the streets, and beheaded the next day.

The legend of the dragon, which is associated with this martyr, is usually illustrated by representing St.

George seated upon a charging horse and transfixing the monster with his spear. This fiery dragon

symbolizes the devil, who was vanquished by St. George's steadfast faith in Christ, which remained

unshaken in spite of torture and death.

CHAPTER III - Persecutions of the Christians

in Persia

The Gospel having spread itself into Persia, the pagan priests, who worshipped the sun, were greatly

alarmed, and dreaded the loss of that influence they had hitherto maintained over the people's minds and

properties. Hence they thought it expedient to complain to the emperor that the Christians were enemies to

the state, and held a treasonable correspondence with the Romans, the great enemies of Persia.

The emperor Sapores, being naturally averse to Christianity, easily believed what was said against the

Christians, and gave orders to persecute them in all parts of his empire. On account of this mandate, many

eminent persons in the church and state fell martyrs to the ignorance and ferocity of the pagans.

Constantine the Great being informed of the persecutions in Persia, wrote a long letter to the Persian

monarch, in which he recounts the vengeance that had fallen on persecutors, and the great success that had

attended those who had refrained from persecuting the Christians.

Speaking of his victories over rival emperors of his own time, he said, "I subdued these solely by faith in

Christ; for which God was my helper, who gave me victory in battle, and made me triumph over my

enemies. He hath likewise so enlarged to me the bounds of the Roman Empire, that it extends from the

Western Ocean almost to the uttermost parts of the East: for this domain I neither offered sacrifices to the

ancient deities, nor made use of charm or divination; but only offered up prayers to the Almighty God, and

followed the cross of Christ. Rejoiced should I be if the throne of Persia found glory also, by embracing the

Christians: that so you with me, and they with you, may enjoy all happiness.

In consequence of this appeal, the persecution ended for the time, but it was renewed in later years when

another king succeeded to the throne of Persia.

Persecutions Under the Arian Heretics

The author of the Arian heresy was Arius, a native of Lybia, and a priest of Alexandria, who, in A.D. 318,

began to publish his errors. He was condemned by a council of Lybian and Egyptian bishops, and that

sentence was confirmed by the Council of Nice, A.D. 325. After the death of Constantine the Great, the

Arians found means to ingratiate themselves into the favour of the emperor Constantinus, his son and

successor in the east; and hence a persecution was raised against the orthodox bishops and clergy. The

celebrated Athanasius, and other bishops, were banished, and their sees filled with Arians.

In Egypt and Lybia, thirty bishops were martyred, and many other Christians cruelly tormented; and, A.D.

386, George, the Arian bishop of Alexandria, under the authority of the emperor, began a persecution in that

city and its environs, and carried it on with the most infernal severity. He was assisted in his diabolical

malice by Catophonius, governor of Egypt; Sebastian, general of the Egyptian forces;

Faustinus, the treasurer; and Heraclius, a Roman officer.

The persecutions now raged in such a manner that the clergy were driven from Alexandria, their churches

were shut, and the severities practiced by the Arian heretics were as great as those that had been practiced by

the pagan idolaters. If a man, accused of being a Christian, made his escape, then his whole family were

massacred, and his effects confiscated.

Persecution Under Julian the Apostate

This emperor was the son of Julius Constantius, and the nephew of Constantine the Great. He studied the

rudiments of grammar under the inspection of Mardonius, a eunuch, and a heathen of Constantinople. His

father sent him some time after to Nicomedia, to be instructed in the Christian religion, by the bishop of

Eusebius, his kinsman, but his principles were corrupted by the pernicious doctrines of Ecebolius the

rhetorician, and Maximus the magician.

Constantius, dying the year 361, Julian succeeded him, and had no sooner attained the imperial dignity than

he renounced Christianity and embraced paganism, which had for some years fallen into great disrepute.

Though he restored the idolatrous worship, he made no public edicts against Christianity. He recalled all

banished pagans, allowed the free exercise of religion to every sect, but deprived all Christians of offices at

court, in the magistracy, or in the army. He was chaste, temperate, vigilant, laborious, and pious; yet he

prohibited any Christian from keeping a school or public seminary of learning, and deprived all the Christian

clergy of the privileges granted them by Constantine the Great.

Biship Basil made himself first famous by his opposition to Arianism, which brought upon him the

vengeance of the Arian bishop of Constantinople; he equally opposed paganism. The emperor's agents in

vain tampered with Basil by means of promises, threats, and racks, he was firm in the faith, and remained in

prison to undergo some other sufferings, when the emperor came accidentally to Ancyra. Julian determined

to examine Basil himself, when that holy man being brought before him, the emperor did every thing in his

power to dissuade him from persevering in the faith. Basil not only continued as firm as ever, but, with a

prophetic spirit foretold the death of the emperor, and that he should be tormented in the other life. Enraged

at what he heard, Julian commanded that the body of Basil should be torn every day in seven different parts,

until his skin and flesh were entirely mangled. This inhuman sentence was executed with rigor, and the

martyr expired under its severities, on June 28, A.D. 362.

Donatus, bishop of Arezzo, and Hilarinus, a hermit, suffered about the same time; also Gordian, a Roman

magistrate. Artemius, commander in chief of the Roman forces in Egypt, being a Christian, was deprived of

his commission, then of his estate, and lastly of his head.

The persecution raged dreadfully about the latter end of the year 363; but, as many of the particulars have not

been handed down to us, it is necessary to remark in general, that in Palestine many were burnt alive, others

were dragged by their feet through the streets naked until they expired; some were scalded to death, many

stoned, and great numbers had their brains beaten out with clubs. In Alexandria, innumerable were the

martyrs who suffered by the sword, burning, crucifixion and stoning. In Arethusa, several were ripped open,

and corn being put into their bellies, swine were brought to feed therein, which, in devouring the grain,

likewise devoured the entrails of the martyrs, and in Thrace, Emilianus was burnt at a stake; and Domitius

murdered in a cave, whither he had fled for refuge.

The emperor, Julian the apostate, died of a wound which he received in his Persian expedition, A.D. 363, and

even while expiring, uttered the most horrid blasphemies. He was succeeded by Jovian, who restored peace

to the Church.

After the decease of Jovian, Valentinian succeeded to the empire, and associated to himself Valens, who had

the command in the east, and was an Arian and of an unrelenting and persecuting disposition.

Persecution of the Christians by the Goths and Vandals.

Many Scythian Goths having embraced Christianity about the time of Constantine the Great, the light of the

Gospel spread itself considerably in Scythia, though the two kings who ruled that country, and the majority

of the people continued pagans. Fritegern, king of the West Goths, was an ally to the Romans, but

Athanarich, king of the East Goths, was at war with them. The Christians, in the dominions of the former,

lived unmolested, but the latter, having been defeated by the Romans, wreaked his vengeance on his

Christian subjects, commencing his pagan injunctions in the year 370.

In religion the Goths were Arians, and called themselves Christians; therefore they destroyed all the statues

and temples of the heathen gods, but did no harm to the orthodox Christian churches. Alaric had all the

qualities of a great general. To the wild bravery of the Gothic barbarian he added the courage and skill of the

Roman soldier. He led his forces across the Alps into Italy, and although driven back for the time, returned

afterward with an irresistible force.

The Last Roman "Triumph"

After this fortunate victory over the Goths a "triumph," as it was called, was celebrated at Rome. For

hundreds of years successful generals had been awarded this great honor on their return from a victorious

campaign. Upon such occasions the city was given up for days to the marching of troops laden with spoils,

and who dragged after them prisoners of war, among whom were often captive kings and conquered

generals. This was to be the last Roman triumph, for it celebrated the last Roman victory. Although it had

been won by Stilicho, the general, it was the boy emperor, Honorius, who took the credit, entering Rome in

the car of victory, and driving to the Capitol amid the shouts of the populace. Afterward, as was customary

on such occasions, there were bloody combats in the Colosseum, where gladiators, armed with swords and

spears, fought as furiously as if they were on the field of battle.

The first part of the bloody entertainment was finished; the bodies of the dead were dragged off with hooks,

and the reddened sand covered with a fresh, clean layer. After this had been done the gates in the wall of the

arena were thrown open, and a number of tall, well-formed men in the prime of youth and strength came

forward. Some carried swords, others three-pronged spears and nets. They marched once around the walls,

and stopping before the emperor, held up their weapons at arm's length, and with one voice sounded out their

greeting, Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant! "Hail, Caesar, those about to die salute thee!"

The combats now began again; the glatiators with nets tried to entangle those with swords, and when they

succeeded mercilessly stabbed their antagonists to death with the three-pronged spear. When a glatiator had

wounded his adversary, and had him lying helpless at his feet, he looked up at the eager faces of the

spectators, and cried out, Hoc habet! "He has it!" and awaited the pleasure of the audience to kill or spare.

If the spectators held out their hands toward him, with thumbs upward, the defeated man was taken away, to

recover if possible from his wounds. But if the fatal signal of "thumbs down" was given, the conquered was

to be slain; and if he showed any reluctance to present his neck for the death blow, there was a scornful shout

from the galleries, Recipe ferrum! "Receive the steel!" Privileged persons among the audience would even

descend into the arena, to better witness the death agonies of some unusually brave victim, before his corpse

was dragged out at the death gate.

The show went on; many had been slain, and the people, madly excited by the desperate bravery of those

who continued to fight, shouted their applause. But suddenly there was an interruption. A rudely clad, robed

figure appeared for a moment among the audience, and then boldly leaped down into the arena. He was seen

to be a man of rough but imposing presence, bareheaded and with sun-browned face. Without hesitating an

instant he advanced upon two gladiators engaged in a life-and-death struggle, and laying his hand upon one

of them sternly reproved him for shedding innocent blood, and then, turning toward the thousands of angry

faces ranged around him, called upon them in a solemn, deep-toned voice which resounded through the deep

inclosure. These were his words: "Do not requite God's mercy in turning away the swords of your enemies

by murdering each other!"

Angry shouts and cries at once drowned his voice: "This is no place for preaching!--the old customs of Rome

must be observed!--On, gladiators!" Thrusting aside the stranger, the gladiators would have again attacked

each other, but the man stood between, holding them apart, and trying in vain to be heard. "Sedition!

sedition! down with him!" was then the cry; and the gladiators, enraged at the interference of an outsider

with their chosen vocation, at once stabbed him to death. Stones, or whatever missiles came to hand, also

rained down upon him from the furious people, and thus he perished, in the midst of the arena.

His dress showed him to be one of the hermits who vowed themselves to a holy life of prayer and self-denial,

and who were reverenced by even the thoughtless and combat-loving Romans. The few who knew him told

how he had come from the wilds of Asia on a pilgrimage, to visit the churches and keep his Christmas at

Rome; they knew he was a holy man, and that his name was Telemachus-no more. His spirit had been stirred

by the sight of thousands flocking to see men slaughter one another, and in his simple-hearted zeal he had

tried to convince them of the cruelty and wickedness of their conduct. He had died, but not in vain. His work

was accomplished at the moment he was struck down, for the shock of such a death before their eyes turned

the hearts of the people: they saw the hideous aspects of the favourite vice to which they had blindly

surrendered themselves; and from the day Telemachus fell dead in the Colosseum, no other fight of

gladiators was ever held there.

Persecutions from About the Middle of the Fifth, to the

Conclusion of the Seventh Century

Proterius was made a priest by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, who was well acquainted with his virtues, before

he appointed him to preach. On the death of Cyril, the see of Alexandria was filled by Discorus, an inveterate

enemy to the memory and family of his predecessor. Being condemned by the council of Chalcedon for

having embraced the errors of Eutyches, he was deposed, and Proterius chosen to fill the vacant see, who

was approved of by the emperor. This occasioned a dangerous insurrection, for the city of Alexandria was

divided into two factions; the one to espouse the cause of the old, and the other of the new prelate. In one of

the commotions, the Eutychians determined to wreak their vengeance on Proterius, who fled to the church

for sanctuary: but on Good Friday, A.D. 457, a large body of them rushed into the church, and barbarously

murdered the prelate; after which they dragged the body through the streets, insulted it, cut it to pieces, burnt

it, and scattered the ashes in the air.

Hermenigildus, a Gothic prince, was the eldest son of Leovigildus, a king of the Goths, in Spain. This prince,

who was originally an Arian, became a convert to the orthodox faith, by means of his wife Ingonda. When

the king heard that his son had changed his religious sentiments, he stripped him of the command at Seville,

where he was governor, and threatened to put him to death unless he renounced the faith he had newly

embraced. The prince, in order to prevent the execution of his father's menaces, began to put himself into a

posture of defence; and many of the orthodox persuasion in Spain declared for him. The king, exasperated at

this act of rebellion, began to punish all the orthodox Christians who could be seized by his troops, and thus

a very severe persecution commenced: he likewise marched against his son at the head of a very powerful

army. The prince took refuge in Seville, from which he fled, and was at length besieged and taken at Asieta.

Loaded with chains, he was sent to Seville, and at the feast of Easter refusing to receive the Eucharist from

an Arian bishop, the enraged king ordered his guards to cut the prince to pieces, which they punctually

performed, April 13, A.D. 586.

Martin, bishop of Rome, was born at Todi, in Italy. He was naturally inclined to virtue, and his parents

bestowed on him an admirable education. He opposed the heretics called Monothelites, who were patronized

by the emperor Heraclius. Martin was condemned at Constantinople, where he was exposed in the most

public places to the ridicule of the people, divested of all episcopal marks of distinction, and treated with the

greatest scorn and severity. After lying some months in prison, Martin was sent to an island at some distance,

and there cut to pieces, A.D. 655.

John, bishop of Bergamo, in Lombardy, was a learned man, and a good Christian. He did his utmost

endeavours to clear the Church from the errors of Arianism, and joining in this holy work with John, bishop of

Milan, he was very successful against the heretics, on which account he was assassinated on July 11, A.D.


Killien was born in Ireland, and received from his parents a pious and Christian education. He obtained the

Roman pontiff's license to preach to the pagans in Franconia, in Germany. At Wurtzburg he converted

Gozbert, the governor, whose example was followed by the greater part of the people in two years after.

Persuading Gozbert that his marriage with his brother's widow was sinful, the latter had him beheaded, A.D.


Persecutions from the Early Part of the Eighth, to Near the


of the Tenth Century

Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, and father of the German church, was an Englishman, and is, in

ecclasiastical history, looked upon as one of the brightest ornaments of this nation. Originally his name was

Winfred, or Winfrith, and he was born at Kirton, in Devonshire, then part of the West-Saxon kingdom. When

he was only about six years of age, he began to discover a propensity to reflection, and seemed solicitous to

gain information on religious subjects. Wolfrad, the abbot, finding that he possessed a bright genius, as well

as a strong inclination to study, had him removed to Nutscelle, a seminary of learning in the diocese of

Winchester, where he would have a much greater opportunity of attaining improvements than at Exeter.

After due study, the abbot seeing him qualified for the priesthood, obliged him to receive that holy order

when he was about thirty years old. From which time he began to preach and labor for the salvation of his

fellow creatures; he was released to attend a synod of bishops in the kingdom of West-Saxons. He

afterwards, in 719, went to Rome, where Gregory II who then sat in Peter's chair, received him with great

friendship, and finding him full of all virtues that compose the character of an apostolic missionary,

dismissed him without commission at large to preach the Gospel to the pagans wherever he found them.

Passing through Lombardy and Bavaria, he came to Thuringia, which country had before received the light

of the Gospel, he next visited Utrecht, and then proceeded to Saxony, where he converted some thousands to


During the ministry of this meek prelate, Pepin was declared king of France. It was that prince's ambition to

be crowned by the most holy prelate he could find, and Boniface was pitched on to perform that ceremony,

which he did at Soissons, in 752. The next year, his great age and many infirmities lay so heavy on him, that,

with the consent of the new king, and the bishops of his diocese, he consecrated Lullus, his countryman, and

faithful disciple, and placed him in the see of Mentz. When he had thus eased himself of his charge, he

recommended the church of Mentz to the care of the new bishop in very strong terms, desired he would

finish the church at Fuld, and see him buried in it, for his end was near. Having left these orders, he took boat

to the Rhine, and went to Friesland, where he converted and baptized several thousands of barbarous natives,

demolished the temples, and raised churches on the ruins of those superstitious structures. A day being

appointed for confirming a great number of new converts, he ordered them to assemble in a new open plain,

near the river Bourde. Thither he repaired the day before; and, pitching a tent, determined to remain on the

spot all night, in order to be ready early in the morning. Some pagans, who were his inveterate enemies,

having intelligence of this, poured down upon him and the companions of his mission in the night, and killed

him and fifty-two of his companions and attendants on June 5, A.D. 755. Thus fell the great father of the

Germanic Church, the honor of England, and the glory of the age in which he lived.

Forty-two persons of Armorian in Upper Phyrgia, were martyred in the year 845, by the Saracens, the

circumstances of which transactions are as follows:

In the reign of Theophilus, the Saracens ravaged many parts of the eastern empire, gained several

considerable advantages over the Christians, took the city of Armorian, and numbers suffered martyrdom.

Flora and Mary, two ladies of distinction, suffered martyrdom at the same time.

Perfectus was born at Corduba, in Spain, and brought up in the Christian faith. Having a quick genius, he

made himself master of all the useful and polite literature of that age; and at the same time was not more

celebrated for his abilities than admired for his piety. At length he took priest's orders, and performed the

duties of his office with great assiduity and punctuality. Publicly declaring Mahomet an impostor, he was

sentenced to be beheaded, and was accordingly executed, A.D. 850; after which his body was honorably

interred by the Christians.

Adalbert, bishop of Prague, a Bohemian by birth, after being involved in many troubles, began to direct his

thoughts to the conversion of the infidels, to which end he repaired to Dantzic, where he converted and

baptized many, which so enraged the pagan priests, that they fell upon him, and despatched him with darts,

on April 23, A.D. 997.

Persecutions in the Eleventh Century

Alphage, archbishop of Canterbury, was descended from a considerable family in Gloucestershire, and

received an education suitable to his illustrious birth. His parents were worthy Christians, and Alphage

seemed to inherit their virtues.

The see of Winchester being vacant by the death of Ethelwold, Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, as

primate of all England, consecrated Alphage to the vacant bishopric, to the general satisfaction of all

concerned in the diocese.

Dustain had an extraordinary veneration for Alphage, and, when at the point of death, made it his ardent

request to God that he might succeed him in the see of Canterbury; which accordingly happened, though not

until about eighteen years after Dunstan's death in 1006.

After Alphage had governed the see of Canterbury about four years, with great reputation to himself, and

benefit to his people, the Danes made an incursion into England, and laid siege to Canterbury. When the

design of attacking this city was known, many of the principal people made a flight from it, and would have

persuaded Alphage to follow their example. But he, like a good pastor, would not listen to such a proposal.

While he was employed in assisting and encouraging the people, Canterbury was taken by storm; the enemy

poured into the town, and destroyed all that came in their way by fire and sword. He had the courage to

address the enemy, and offer himself to their swords, as more worthy of their rage than the people: he begged

they might be saved, and that they would discharge their whole fury upon him. They accordingly seized him,

tied his hands, insulted and abused him in a rude and barbarous manner, and obliged him to remain on the

spot until his church was burnt, and the monks massacred. They then decimated all the inhabitants, both

ecclesiastics and laymen, leaving only every tenth person alive; so that they put 7236 persons to death, and

left only four monks and 800 laymen alive, after which they confined the archbishop in a dungeon, where

they kept him close prisoner for several months.

During his confinement they proposed to him to redeem his liberty with the sum of 3000 pounds, and to

persuade the king to purchase their departure out of the kingdom, with a further sum of 10,000 pounds. As

Alphage's circumstances would not allow him to satisfy the exorbitant demand, they bound him, and put him

to severe torments, to oblige him to discover the treasure of the church; upon which they assured him of his

life and liberty, but the prelate piously persisted in refusing to give the pagans any account of it. They

remanded him to prison again, confined him six days longer, and then, taking him prisoner with them to

Greenwich, brought him to trial there. He still remained inflexible with respect to the church treasure; but

exhorted them to forsake their idolatry, and embrace Christianity. This so greatly incensed the Danes, that

the soldiers dragged him out of the camp and beat him unmercifully. One of the soldiers, who had been

converted by him, knowing that his pains would be lingering, as his death was determined on, actuated by a

kind of barbarous compassion, cut off his head, and thus put the finishing stroke to his martyrdom, April 19,

A.D. 1012. This transaction happened on the very spot where the church at Greenwich, which is dedicated to

him, now stands. After his death his body was thrown into the Thames, but being found the next day, it was

buried in the cathedral of St. Paul's by the bishops of London and Lincoln; from whence it was, in 1023,

removed to Canterbury by Ethelmoth, the archbishop of that province.

Gerard, a Venetian, devoted himself to the service of God from his tender years: entered into a religious

house for some time, and then determined to visit the Holy Land. Going into Hungary, he became acquainted

with Stephen, the king of that country, who made him bishop of Chonad.

Ouvo and Peter, successors of Stephen, being deposed, Andrew, son of Ladislaus, cousin-german to Stephen,

had then a tender of the crown made him upon condition that he would employ his authority in extirpating

the Christian religion out of Hungary. The ambitious prince came into the proposal, but Gerard being

informed of his impious bargain, thought it his duty to remonstrate against the enormity of Andrew's crime,

and persuade him to withdraw his promise. In this view he undertook to go to that prince, attended by three

prelates, full of like zeal for religion. The new king was at Alba Regalis, but, as the four bishops were going

to cross the Danube, they were stopped by a party of soldiers posted there. They bore an attack of a shower

of stones patiently, when the soldiers beat them unmercifully, and at length despatched them with lances.

Their martyrdoms happened in the year 1045.

Stanislaus, bishop of Cracow, was descended from an illustrious Polish family. The piety of his parents was

equal to their opulence, and the latter they rendered subservient to all the purposes of charity and

benevolence. Stanislaus remained for some time undetermined whether he should embrace a monastic life, or

engage among the secular clergy. He was at length persuaded to the latter by Lambert Zula, bishop of

Cracow, who gave him holy orders, and made him a canon of his cathedral. Lambert died on November 25,

1071, when all concerned in the choice of a successor declared for Stanislaus, and he succeeded to the


Bolislaus, the second king of Poland, had, by nature, many good qualities, but giving away to his passions,

he ran into many enormities, and at length had the appellation of Cruel bestowed upon him. Stanislaus alone

had the courage to tell him of his faults, when, taking a private opportunity, he freely displayed to him the

enormities of his crimes. The king, greatly exasperated at his repeated freedoms, at length determined, at any

rate, to get the better of a prelate who was so extremely faithful. Hearing one day that the bishop was by

himself, in the chapel of St. Michael, at a small distance from the town, he despatched some soldiers to

murder him. The soldiers readily undertook the bloody task; but, when they came into the presence of

Stanislaus, the venerable aspect of the prelate struck them with such awe that they could not perform what

they had promised. On their return, the king, finding that they had not obeyed his orders, stormed at them

violently, snatched a dagger from one of them, and ran furiously to the chapel, where, finding Stanislaus at

the altar, he plunged the weapon into his heart. The prelate immediately expired on May 8, A.D. 1079.

CHAPTER IV - Papal Persecutions

Thus far our history of persecution has been confined principally to the pagan world. We come now to a

period when persecution, under the guise of Christianity, committed more enormities than ever disgraced the

annals of paganism. Disregarding the maxims and the spirit of the Gospel, the papal Church, arming herself

with the power of the sword, vexed the Church of God and wasted it for several centuries, a period most

appropriately termed in history, the "dark ages." The kings of the earth, gave their power to the "Beast," and

submitted to be trodden on by the miserable vermin that often filled the papal chair, as in the case of Henry,

emperor of Germany. The storm of papal persecution first burst upon the Waldenses in France.

Persecution of the Waldenses in France

Popery having brought various innovations into the Church, and overspread the Christian world with

darkness and superstition, some few, who plainly perceived the pernicious tendency of such errors,

determined to show the light of the Gospel in its real purity, and to disperse those clouds which artful priests

had raised about it, in order to blind the people, and obscure its real brightness.

The principal among these was Berengarius, who, about the year 1000, boldly preached Gospel truths,

according to their primitive purity. Many, from conviction, assented to his doctrine, and were, on that

account, called Berengarians. To Berengarius succeeded Peer Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the

protection of an earl, named Hildephonsus; and the whole tenets of the reformers, with the reasons of their

separation from the Church of Rome, were published in a book written by Bruis, under the title of


By the year of Christ 1140, the number of the reformed was very great, and the probability of its increasing

alarmed the pope, who wrote to several princes to banish them from their dominions, and employed many

learned men to write against their doctrines.

In A.D. 1147, because of Henry of Toulouse, deemed their most eminent preacher, they were called

Henericians; and as they would not admit of any proofs relative to religion, but what could be deduced from

the Scriptures themselves, the popish party gave them the name of apostolics. At length, Peter Waldo, or

Valdo, a native of Lyons, eminent for his piety and learning, became a strenuous opposer of popery; and

from him the reformed, at that time, received the appellation of Waldenses or Waldoys.

Pope Alexander III being informed by the bishop of Lyons of these transactions, excommunicated Waldo

and his adherents, and commanded the bishop to exterminate them, if possible, from the face of the earth;

hence began the papal persecutions against the Waldenses.

The proceedings of Waldo and the reformed, occasioned the first rise of the inquisitors; for Pope Innocent III

authorized certain monks as inquisitors, to inquire for, and deliver over, the reformed to the secular power.

The process was short, as an accusation was deemed adequate to guilt, and a candid trial was never granted

to the accused.

The pope, finding that these cruel means had not the intended effect, sent several learned monks to preach

among the Waldenses, and to endeavour to argue them out of their opinions. Among these monks was one

Dominic, who appeared extremely zealous in the cause of popery. This Dominic instituted an order, which,

from him, was called the order of Dominican friars; and the members of this order have ever since been the

principal inquisitors in the various inquisitions in the world. The power of the inquisitors was unlimited; they

proceeded against whom they pleased, without any consideration of age, sex, or rank. Let the accusers be

ever so infamous, the accusation was deemed valid; and even anonymous informations, sent by letter, were

thought sufficient evidence. To be rich was a crime equal to heresy; therefore many who had money were

accused of heresy, or of being favourers of heretics, that they might be obliged to pay for their opinions. The

dearest friends or nearest kindred could not, without danger, serve any one who was imprisoned on account

of religion. To convey to those who were confined, a little straw, or give them a cup of water, was called

favouring of the heretics, and they were prosecuted accordingly. No lawyer dared to plead for his own brother,

and their malice even extended beyond the grave; hence the bones of many were dug up and burnt, as

examples to the living. If a man on his deathbed was accused of being a follower of Waldo, his estates were

confiscated, and the heir to them defrauded of his inheritance; and some were sent to the Holy Land, while

the Dominicans took possession of their houses and properties, and, when the owners returned, would often

pretend not to know them. These persecutions were continued for several centuries under different popes and

other great dignitaries of the Catholic Church.

Persecutions of the Albigenses

The Albigenses were a people of the reformed religion, who inhabited the country of Albi. They were

condemned on the score of religion in the Council of Lateran, by order of Pope Alexander III. Nevertheless,

they increased so prodigiously, that many cities were inhabited by persons only of their persuasion, and

several eminent noblemen embraced their doctrines. Among the latter were Raymond, earl of Toulouse,

Raymond, earl of Foix, the earl of Beziers, etc.

A friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of the earl of Toulouse, the pope made the

murder a pretense to persecute that nobleman and his subjects. To effect this, he sent persons throughout all

Europe, in order to raise forces to act coercively against the Albigenses, and promised paradise to all that

would come to this war, which he termed a Holy War, and bear arms for forty days. The same indulgences

were likewise held out to all who entered themselves for the purpose as to such as engaged in crusades to the

Holy Land. The brave earl defended Toulouse and other places with the most heroic bravery and various

success against the pope's legates and Simon, earl of Montfort, a bigoted Catholic nobleman. Unable to

subdue the earl of Toulouse openly, the king of France, and the queen mother, and three archbishops raised

another formidable army, and had the art to persuade the earl of Toulouse to come to a conference, when he

was treacherously seized upon, made a prisoner, forced to appear barefooted and bareheaded before his

enemies, and compelled to subscribe an abject recantation. This was followed by a severe persecution against

the Albigenses; and express orders that the laity should not be permitted to read the sacred Scriptures. In the

year 1620 also, the persecution against the Albigenses was very severe. In 1648 a heavy persecution raged

throughout Lithuania and Poland. The cruelty of the Cossacks was so excessive that the Tartars themselves

were ashamed of their barbarities. Among others who suffered was the Rev. Adrian Chalinski, who was

roasted alive by a slow fire, and whose sufferings and mode of death may depict the horrors which the

professors of Christianity have endured from the enemies of the Redeemer.

The reformation of papistical error very early was projected in France; for in the third century a learned man,

named Almericus, and six of his disciples, were ordered to be burnt at Paris for asserting that God was no

otherwise present in the sacramental bread than in any other bread; that it was idolatry to build altars or

shrines to saints and that it was ridiculous to offer incense to them.

The martyrdom of Almericus and his pupils did not, however, prevent many from acknowledging the

justness of his notions, and seeing the purity of the reformed religion, so that the faith of Christ continually

increased, and in time not only spread itself over many parts of France, but diffused the light of the Gospel

over various other countries.

In the year 1524, at a town in France, called Melden, one John Clark set up a bill on the church door,

wherein he called the pope Antichrist. For this offence he was repeatedly whipped, and then branded on the

forehead. Going afterward to Mentz, in Lorraine, he demolished some images, for which he had his right

hand and nose cut off, and his arms and breast torn with pincers. He sustained these cruelties with amazing

fortitude, and was even sufficiently cool to sing the One hundredth and fifteenth Psalm, which expressly

forbids idolatry; after which he was thrown into the fire, and burnt to ashes.

Many persons of the reformed persuasion were, about this time, beaten, racked, scourged, and burnt to death,

in several parts of France, but more particularly at Paris, Malda, and Limosin.

A native of Malda was burnt by a slow fire, for saying that Mass was a plain denial of the death and passion

of Christ. At Limosin, John de Cadurco, a clergyman of the reformed religion, was apprehended and ordered

to be burnt.

Francis Bribard, secretary to cardinal de Pellay, for speaking in favour of the reformed, had his tongue cut out,

and was then burnt, A.D. 1545. James Cobard, a schoolmaster in the city of St. Michael, was burnt, A.D.

1545, for saying 'That Mass was useless and absurd'; and about the same time, fourteen men were burnt at

Malda, their wives being compelled to stand by and behold the execution.

A.D. 1546, Peter Chapot brought a number of Bibles in the French tongue to France, and publicly sold them

there; for which he was brought to trial, sentenced, and executed a few days afterward. Soon after, a cripple

of Meaux, a schoolmaster of Fera, named Stephen Poliot, and a man named John English, were burnt for the


Monsieur Blondel, a rich jeweler, was, in A.D. 1548, apprehended at Lyons, and sent to Paris; there he was

burnt for the faith by order of the court, A.D. 1549. Herbert, a youth of nineteen years of age, was committed

to the flames at Dijon; as was also Florent Venote in the same year.

In the year 1554, two men of the reformed religion, with the son and daughter of one of them, were

apprehended and committed to the castle of Niverne. On examination, they confessed their faith, and were

ordered to execution; being smeared with grease, brimstone, and gunpowder, they cried, "Salt on, salt on this

sinful and rotten flesh." Their tongues were then cut out, and they were afterward committed to the flames,

which soon consumed them, by means of the combustible matter with which they were besmeared.

The Bartholomew Massacre at Paris, etc.

On the twenty second day of August, 1572, commenced this diabolical act of sanguinary brutality. It was

intended to destroy at one stroke the root of the Protestant tree, which had only before partially suffered in its

branches. The king of France had artfully proposed a marriage, between his sister and the prince of Navarre,

the captain and prince of the Protestants. This imprudent marriage was publicly celebrated at Paris, August

18, by the cardinal of Bourbon, upon a high stage erected for the purpose. They dined in great pomp with the

bishop, and supped with the king at Paris. Four days after this, the prince (Coligny), as he was coming from

the Council, was shot in both arms; he then said to Maure, his deceased mother's minister, "O my brother, I

do now perceive that I am indeed beloved of my God, since for His most holy sake I am wounded."

Although the Vidam advised him to fly, yet he abode in Paris, and was soon after slain by Bemjus; who

afterward declared he never saw a man meet death more valiantly than the admiral.

The soldiers were appointed at a certain signal to burst out instantly to the slaughter in all parts of the city.

When they had killed the admiral, they threw him out at a window into the street, where his head was cut off,

and sent to the pope. The savage papists, still raging against him, cut off his arms and private members, and,

after dragging him three days through the streets, hung him by the heels without the city. After him they slew

many great and honorable persons who were Protestants; as Count Rochfoucault, Telinius, the admiral's sonin-

law, Antonius, Clarimontus, marquis of Ravely, Lewes Bussius, Bandineus, Pluvialius, Burneius, etc., and

falling upon the common people, they continued the slaughter for many days; in the three first they slew of

all ranks and conditions to the number of ten thousand. The bodies were thrown into the rivers, and blood ran

through the streets with a strong current, and the river appeared presently like a stream of blood. So furious

was their hellish rage, that they slew all papists whom they suspected to be not very staunch to their

diabolical religion. From Paris the destruction spread to all quarters of the realm.

At Orleans, a thousand were slain of men, women, and children, and six thousand at Rouen.

At Meldith, two hundred were put into prison, and later brought out by units, and cruelly murdered.

At Lyons, eight hundred were massacred. Here children hanging about their parents, and parents

affectionately embracing their children, were pleasant food for the swords and bloodthirsty minds of those

who call themselves the Catholic Church. Here three hundred were slain in the bishop's house; and the

impious monks would suffer none to be buried.

At Augustobona, on the people hearing of the massacre at Paris, they shut their gates that no Protestants

might escape, and searching diligently for every individual of the reformed Church, imprisoned and then

barbarously murdered them. The same curelty they practiced at Avaricum, at Troys, at Toulouse, Rouen and

many other places, running from city to city, towns, and villages, through the kingdom.

As a corroboration of this horrid carnage, the following interesting narrative, written by a sensible and

learned Roman Catholic, appears in this place, with peculiar propriety.

"The nuptials (says he) of the young king of Navarre with the French king's sister, was solemnized with

pomp; and all the endearments, all the assurances of friendship, all the oaths sacred among men, were

profusely lavished by Catharine, the queen-mother, and by the king; during which, the rest of the court

thought of nothing but festivities, plays, and masquerades. At last, at twelve o'clock at night, on the eve of St.

Bartholomew, the signal was given. Immediately all the houses of the Protestants were forced open at once.

Admiral Coligny, alarmed by the uproar jumped out of bed, when a company of assassins rushed in his

chamber. They were headed by one Besme, who had been bred up as a domestic in the family of the Guises.

This wretch thrust his sword into the admiral's breast, and also cut him in the face. Besme was a German, and

being afterwards taken by the Protestants, the Rochellers would have brought him, in order to hang and

quarter him; but he was killed by one Bretanville. Henry, the young duke of Guise, who afterwards framed

the Catholic league, and was murdered at Blois, standing at the door until the horrid butchery should be

completed, called aloud, 'Besme! is it done?' Immediately after this, the ruffians threw the body out of the

window, and Coligny expired at Guise's feet.

"Count de Teligny also fell a sacrifice. He had married, about ten months before, Coligny's daughter. His

countenance was so engaging, that the ruffians, when they advanced in order to kill him, were struck with

compassion; but others, more barbarous, rushing forward, murdered him.

"In the meantime, all the friends of Coligny were assassinated throughout Paris; men, women, and children

were promiscuously slaughtered and every street was strewed with expiring bodies. Some priests, holding up

a crucifix in one hand, and a dagger in the other, ran to the chiefs of the murderers, and strongly exhorted

them to spare neither relations nor friends.

"Tavannes, marshal of France, an ignorant, superstitious soldier, who joined the fury of religion to the rage

of party, rode on horseback through the streets of Paris, crying to his men, 'Let blood! let blood! bleeding is

as wholesome in August as in May.' In the memories of the life of this enthusiastic, written by his son, we

are told that the father, being on his deathbed, and making a general confession of his actions, the priest said

to him, with surprise, 'What! no mention of St. Bartholomew's massacre?' to which Tavannes replied, 'I

consider it as a meritorious action, that will wash away all my sins.' Such horrid sentiments can a false spirit

of religion inspire!

"The king's palace was one of the chief scenes of the butchery; the king of Navarre had his lodgings in the

Louvre, and all his domestics were Protestants. Many of these were killed in bed with their wives; others,

running away naked, were pursued by the soldiers through the several rooms of the palace, even to the king's

antichamber. The young wife of Henry of Navarre, awaked by the dreadful uproar, being afraid for her

consort, and for her own life, seized with horror, and half dead, flew from her bed, in order to throw herself

at the feet of the king her brother. But scarce had she opened her chamber door, when some of her Protestant

domestics rushed in for refuge. The soldiers immediately followed, pursued them in sight of the princess, and

killed one who crept under her bed. Two others, being wounded with halberds, fell at the queen's feet, so that

she was covered with blood.

"Count de la Rochefoucault, a young nobleman, greatly in the king's favour for his comely air, his politeness,

and a certain peculiar happiness in the turn of his conversation, had spent the evening until eleven o'clock

with the monarch, in pleasant familiarity; and had given a loose, with the utmost mirth, to the sallies of his

imagination. The monarch felt some remorse, and being touched with a kind of compassion, bid him, two or

three times, not to go home, but lie in the Louvre. The count said he must go to his wife; upon which the

king pressed him no farther, but said, 'Let him go! I see God has decreed his death.' And in two hours after

he was murdered.

"Very few of the Protestants escaped the fury of their enthusiastic persecutors. Among these was young La

Force (afterwards the famous Marshal de la Force) a child about ten years of age, whose deliverance was

exceedingly remarkable. His father, his elder brother, and he himself were seized together by the Duke of

Anjou's soldier. These murderers flew at all three, and struck them at random, when they all fell, and lay one

upon another. The youngest did not receive a single blow, but appearing as if he was dead, escaped the next

day; and his life, thus wonderfully preserved, lasted four score and five years.

"Many of the wretched victims fled to the water side, and some swam over the Seine to the suburbs of St.

Germaine. The king saw them from his window, which looked upon the river, and fired upon them with a

carbine that had been loaded for that purpose by one of his pages; while the queen-mother, undisturbed and

serene in the midst of slaughter, looking down from a balcony, encouraged the murderers and laughed at the

dying groans of the slaughtered. This barbarous queen was fired with a restless ambition, and she perpetually

shifted her party in order to satiate it.

"Some days after this horrid transaction, the French court endeavoured to palliate it by forms of law. They

pretended to justify the massacre by a calumny, and accused the admiral of a conspiracy, which no one

believed. The parliament was commended to proceed against the memory of Coligny; and his dead body was

hanged in chains on Montfaucon gallows. The king himself went to view this shocking spectacle. So one of

his courtiers advised him to retire, and complaining of the stench of the corpse, he replied, 'A dead enemuy

smells well.' The massacres on St. Bartholomew's day are painted in the royal saloon of the Vatican at Rome,

with the following inscription: Pontifex, Coligny necem probat, i.e., 'The pope approves of Coligny's death.'

"The young king of Navarre was spared through policy, rather than from the pity of the queen-mother, she

keeping him prisoner until the king's death, in order that he might be as a security and pledge for the

submission of such Protestants as might effect their escape.

"This horrid butchery was not confined merely to the city of Paris. The like orders were issued from court to

the governors of all the provinces in France; so that, in a week's time, about one hundred thousand

Protestants were cut to pieces in different parts of the kingdom! Two or three governors only refused to obey

the king's orders. One of these, named Montmorrin, governor of Auvergne, wrote the king the following

letter, which deserves to be transmitted to the latest posterity.

"SIRE: I have received an order, under your majesty's seal, to put to death all the Protestants in my province.

I have too much respect for your majesty, not to believe the letter a forgery; but if (which God forbid) the

order should be genuine, I have too much respect for your majesty to obey it."

At Rome the horrid joy was so great, that they appointed a day of high festival, and a jubilee, with great

indulgence to all who kept it and showed every expression of gladness they could devise! and the man who

first carried the news received 1000 crowns of the cardinal of Lorraine for his ungodly message. The king

also commanded the day to be kept with every demonstration of joy, concluding now that the whole race of

Huguenots was extinct.

Many who gave great sums of money for their ransom were immediately after slain; and several towns,

which were under the king's promise of protection and safety, were cut off as soon as they delivered

themselves up, on those promises, to his generals or captains.

At Bordeaux, at the instigation of a villainous monk, who used to urge the papists to slaughter in his

sermons, two hundred and sixty-four were cruelly murdered; some of them senators. Another of the same

pious fraternity produced a similar slaughter at Agendicum, in Maine, where the populace at the holy

inquisitors' satanical suggestion, ran upon the Protestants, slew them, plundered their houses, and pulled

down their church.

The duke of Guise, entering into Blois, suffered his soldiers to fly upon the spoil, and slay or drown all the

Protestants they could find. In this they spared neither age nor sex; defiling the women, and then murdering

them; from whence he went to Mere, and committed the same outrages for many days together. Here they

found a minister named Cassebonius, and threw him into the river.

At Anjou, they slew Albiacus, a minister; and many women were defiled and murdered there; among whom

were two sisters, abused before their father, whom the assassins bound to a wall to see them, and then slew

them and him.

The president of Turin, after giving a large sum for his life, was cruelly beaten with clubs, stripped of his

clothes, and hung feet upwards, with his head and breast in the river: before he was dead, they opened his

belly, plucked out his entrails, and threw them into the river; and then carried his heart about the city upon a


At Barre great cruelty was used, even to young children, whom they cut open, pulled out their entrails, which

through very rage they gnawed with their teeth. Those who had fled to the castle, when they yielded, were

almost hanged. Thus they did at the city of Matiscon; counting it sport to cut off their arms and legs and

afterward kill them; and for the entertainment of their visitors, they often threw the Protestants from a high

bridge into the river, saying, "Did you ever see men leap so well?"

At Penna, after promising them safety, three hundred were inhumanly butchered; and five and forty at Albia,

on the Lord's Day. At Nonne, though it yielded on conditions of safeguard, the most horrid spectacles were

exhibited. Persons of both sexes and conditions were indiscriminately murdered; the streets ringing with

doleful cries, and flowing with blood; and the houses flaming with fire, which the abandoned soldiers had

thrown in. One woman, being dragged from her hiding place with her husband, was first abused by the brutal

soldiers, and then with a sword which they commanded her to draw, they forced it while in her hands into the

bowels of her husband.

At Samarobridge, they murdered above one hundred Protestants, after promising them peace; and at

Antsidor, one hundred were killed, and cast part into a jakes, and part into a river. One hundred put into a

prison at Orleans, were destroyed by the furious multitude.

The Protestants at Rochelle, who were such as had miraculously escaped the rage of hell, and fled there,

seeing how ill they fared who submitted to those holy devils, stood for their lives; and some other cities,

encouraged thereby, did the like. Against Rochelle, the king sent almost the whole power of France, which

besieged it seven months; though by their assaults, they did very little execution on the inhabitants, yet by

famine, they destroyed eighteen thousand out of two and twenty. The dead, being too numerous for the living

to bury, became food for vermin and carnivorous birds. Many took their coffins into the church yard, laid

down in them, and breathed their last. Their diet had long been what the minds of those in plenty shudder at;

even human flesh, entrails, dung, and the most loathsome things, became at last the only food of those

champions for that truth and liberty, of which the world was not worthy. At every attack, the besiegers met

with such an intrepid reception, that they left one hundred and thirty-two captains, with a proportionate

number of men, dead in the field. The siege at last was broken up at the request of the duke of Anjou, the

king's brother, who was proclaimed king of Poland, and the king, being wearied out, easily complied,

whereupon honorable conditions were granted them.

It is a remarkable interference of Providence, that, in all this dreadful massacre, not more than two ministers

of the Gospel were involved in it.

The tragical sufferings of the Protestants are too numerous to detail; but the treatment of Philip de Deux will

give an idea of the rest. After the miscreants had slain this martyr in his bed, they went to his wife, who was

then attended by the midwife, expecting every moment to be delivered. The midwife entreated them to stay

the murder, at least till the child, which was the twentieth, should be born. Notwithstanding this, they thrust a

dagger up to the hilt into the poor woman. Anxious to be delivered, she ran into a corn loft; but hither they

pursued her, stabbed her in the belly, and then threw her into the street. By the fall, the child came from the

dying mother, and being caught up by one of the Catholic ruffians, he stabbed the infant, and then threw it

into the river.

From the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, to the French

Revolution, in 1789

The persecutions occasioned by the revocation of the edict of Nantes took place under Louis XIV. This edict

was made by Henry the Great of France in 1598, and secured to the Protestants an equal right in every

respect, whether civil or religious, with the other subjects of the realm. All those privileges Louis the XIV

confirmed to the Protestants by another statute, called the edict of Nismes, and kept them inviolably to the

end of his reign.

On the accession of Louis XIV the kingdom was almost ruined by civil wars.

At this critical juncture, the Protestants, heedless of our Lord's admonition, "They that take the sword shall

perish with the sword," took such an active part in favour of the king, that he was constrained to acknowledge

himself indebted to their arms for his establishment on the throne. Instead of cherishing and rewarding that

party who had fought for him, he reasoned that the same power which had protected could overturn him, and,

listening to the popish machinations, he began to issue out proscriptions and restrictions, indicative of his

final determination. Rochelle was presently fettered with an incredible number of denunciations. Montauban

and Millau were sacked by soldiers. Popish commissioners were appointed to preside over the affairs of the

Protestants, and there was no appeal from their ordinance, except to the king's council. This struck at the root

of their civil and religious exercises, and prevented them, being Protestants, from suing a Catholic in any

court of law. This was followed by another injunction, to make an inquiry in all parishes into whatever the

Protestants had said or done for twenty years past. This filled the prisons with innocent victims, and

condemned others to the galleys or banishment.

Protestants were expelled from all offices, trades, privileges, and employs; thereby depriving them of the

means of getting their bread: and they proceeded to such excess in this brutality, that they would not suffer

even the midwives to officiate, but compelled their women to submit themselves in that crisis of nature to

their enemies, the brutal Catholics. Their children were taken from them to be educated by the Catholics, and

at seven years of age, made to embrace popery. The reformed were prohibited from relieving their own sick

or poor, from all private worship, and divine service was to be performed in the presence of a popish priest.

To prevent the unfortunate victims from leaving the kingdom, all the passages on the frontiers were strictly

guarded; yet, by the good hand of God, about 150,000 escaped their vigilance, and emigrated to different

countries to relate the dismal narrative.

All that has been related hitherto were only infringements on their established charter, the edict of Nantes. At

length the diabolical revocation of that edict passed on the eighteenth of October, 1685, and was registered

the twenty-second, contrary to all form of law. Instantly the dragoons were quartered upon the Protestants

throughout the realm, and filled all France with the like news, that the king would no longer suffer any

Huguenots in his kingdom, and therefore they must resolve to change their religion. Hereupon the intendants

in every parish (which were popish governors and spies set over the Protestants) assembled the reformed

inhabitants, and told them they must, without delay, turn Catholics, either freely or by force. The Protestants

replied, that they 'were ready to sacrifice their lives and estates to the king, but their consciences being God's

they could not so dispose of them.'

Instantly the troops seized the gates and avenues of the cities, and placing guards in all the passages, entered

with sword in hand, crying, "Die, or be Catholics!" In short, they practiced every wickedness and horror they

could devise to force them to change their religion.

They hanged both men and women by their hair or their feet, and smoked them with hay until they were

nearly dead; and if they still refused to sign a recantation, they hung them up again and repeated their

barbarities, until, wearied out with torments without death, they forced many to yield to them.

Others, they plucked off all the hair of their heads and beards with pincers. Others they threw on great fires,

and pulled them out again, repeating it until they extorted a promise to recant.

Some they stripped naked, and after offering them the most infamous insults, they stuck them with pins from

head to foot, and lanced them with penknives; and sometimes with red-hot pincers they dragged them by the

nose until they promised to turn. Sometimes they tied fathers and husbands, while they ravished their wives

and daughters before their eyes. Multitudes they imprisoned in the most noisome dungeons, where they

practised all sorts of torments in secret. Their wives and children they shut up in monasteries.

Such as endeavoured to escape by flight were pursued in the woods, and hunted in the fields, and shot at like

wild beasts; nor did any condition or quality screen them from the ferocity of these infernal dragoons: even

the members of parliament and military officers, though on actual service, were ordered to quit their posts,

and repair directly to their houses to suffer the like storm. Such as complained to the king were sent to the

Bastile, where they drank the same cup. The bishops and the intendants marched at the head of the dragoons,

with a troop of missionaries, monks, and other ecclesiastics to animate the soldiers to an execution so

agreeable to their Holy Church, and so glorious to their demon god and their tyrant king.

In forming the edict to repeal the edict of Nantes, the council were divided; some would have all the

ministers detained and forced into popery as well as the laity; others were for banishing them, because their

presence would strengthen the Protestants in perseverance: and if they were forced to turn, they would ever

be secret and powerful enemies in the bosom of the Church, by their great knowledge and experience in

controversial matters. This reason prevailing, they were sentenced to banishment, and only fifteen days

allowed them to depart the kingdom.

On the same day that the edict for revoking the Protestants' charter was published, they demolished their

churches and banished their ministers, whom they allowed but twenty-four hours to leave Paris. The papists

would not suffer them to dispose of their effects, and threw every obstacle in their way to delay their escape

until the limited time was expired which subjected them to condemnation for life to the galleys. The guards

were doubled at the seaports, and the prisons were filled with the victims, who endured torments and wants

at which human nature must shudder.

The sufferings of the ministers and others, who were sent to the galleys, seemed to exceed all. Chained to the

oar, they were exposed to the open air night and day, at all seasons, and in all weathers; and when through

weakness of body they fainted under the oar, instead of a cordial to revive them, or viands to refresh them,

they received only the lashes of a scourge, or the blows of a cane or rope's end. For the want of sufficient

clothing and necessary cleanliness, they were most grievously tormented with vermin, and cruelly pinched

with the cold, which removed by night the executioners who beat and tormented them by day. Instead of a

bed, they were allowed sick or well, only a hard board, eighteen inches broad, to sleep on, without any

covering but their wretched apparel; which was a shirt of the coarsest canvas, a little jerkin of red serge, slit

on each side up to the armholes, with open sleeves that reached not to the elbow; and once in three years they

had a coarse frock, and a little cap to cover their heads, which were always kept close shaved as a mark of

their infamy. The allowance of provision was as narrow as the sentiments of those who condemned them to

such miseries, and their treatment when sick is too shocking to relate; doomed to die upon the boards of a

dark hold, covered with vermin, and without the least convenience for the calls of nature. Nor was it among

the least of the horrors they endured, that, as ministers of Christ, and honest men, they were chained side by

side to felons and the most execrable villains, whose blasphemous tongues were never idle. If they refused to

hear Mass, they were sentenced to the bastinado, of which dreadful punishment the following is a

description. Preparatory to it, the chains are taken off, and the victims delivered into the hands of the Turks

that preside at the oars, who strip them quite naked, and stretching them upon a great gun, they are held so

that they cannot stir; during which there reigns an awful silence throughout the galley. The Turk who is

appointed the executioner, and who thinks the sacrifice acceptable to his prophet Mahomet, most cruelly

beats the wretched victim with a rough cudgel, or knotty rope's end, until the skin is flayed off his bones, and

he is near the point of expiring; then they apply a most tormenting mixture of vinegar and salt, and consign

him to that most intolerable hospital where thousands under their cruelties have expired.

Martyrdom of John Calas

We pass over many other individual maretyrdoms to insert that of John Calas, which took place as recently

as 1761, and is an indubitable proof of the bigotry of popery, and shows that neither experience nor

improvement can root out the inveterate prejudices of the Roman Catholics, or render them less cruel or

inexorable to Protestants.

John Calas was a merchant of the city of Toulouse, where he had been settled, and lived in good repute, and

had married an English woman of French extraction. Calas and his wife were Protestants, and had five sons,

whom they educated in the same religion; but Lewis, one of the sons, became a Roman Catholic, having

been converted by a maidservant, who had lived in the family about thirty years. The father, however, did

not express any resentment or ill-will upon the occasion, but kept the maid in the family and settled an

annuity upon the son. In October, 1761, the family consisted of John Calas and his wife, one woman servant,

Mark Antony Calas, the eldest son, and Peter Calas, the second son. Mark Antony was bred to the law, but

could not be admitted to practice, on account of his being a Protestant; hence he grew melancholy, read all

the books he could procure relative to suicide, and seemed determined to destroy himself. To this may be

added that he led a dissipated life, was greatly addicted to gaming, and did all which could constitute the

character of a libertine; on which account his father frequently reprehended him and sometimes in terms of

severity, which considerably added to the gloom that seemed to oppress him.

On the thirteenth of October, 1761, Mr. Gober la Vaisse, a young gentleman about 19 years of age, the son of

La Vaisse, a celebrated advocate of Toulouse, about five o'clock in the evening, was met by John Calas, the

father, and the eldest son Mark Antony, who was his friend. Calas, the father, invited him to supper, and the

family and their guest sat down in a room up one pair of stairs; the whole company, consisting of Calas the

father, and his wife, Antony and Peter Calas, the sons, and La Vaisse the guest, no other person being in the

house, except the maidservant who has been already mentioned.

It was now about seven o'clock. The supper was not long; but before it was over, Antony left the table, and

went into the kitchen, which was on the same floor, as he was accustomed to do. The maid asked him if he

was cold? He answered, "Quite the contrary, I burn"; and then left her. In the meantime his friend and family

left the room they had supped in, and went into a bed-chamber; the father and La Vaisse sat down together

on a sofa; the younger son Peter in an elbow chair; and the mother in another chair; and, without making any

inquiry after Antony, continued in conversation together until between nine and ten o'clock, when La Vaisse

took his leave, and Peter, who had fallen asleep, was awakened to attend him with a light.

On the ground floor of Calas's house was a shop and a warehouse, the latter of which was divided from the

shop by a pair of folding doors. When Peter Calas and La Vaisse came downstairs into the shop, they were

extremely shocked to see Antony hanging in his shirt, from a bar which he had laid across the top of the two

folding doors, having half opened them for that purpose. On discovery of this horrid spectacle, they shrieked

out, which brought down Calas the father, the mother being seized with such terror as kept her trembling in

the passage above. When the maid discovered what had happened, she continued below, either because she

feared to carry an account of it to her mistress, or because she busied herself in doing some good office to

her master, who was embracing the body of his son, and bathing it in his tears. The mother, therefore, being

thus left alone, went down and mixed in the scene that has been already described, with such emotions as it

must naturally produce. In the meantime Peter had been sent for La Moire, a surgeon in the neighborhood.

La Moire was not at home, but his apprentice, Mr. Grosle, came instantly. Upon examination, he found the

body quite dead; and by this time a papistical crowd of people were gathered about the house, and, having by

some means heard that Antony Calas was suddenly dead, and that the surgeon who had examined the body,

declared that he had been strangled, they took it into their heads he had been murdered; and as the family

was Protestant, they presently supposed that the young man was about to change his religion, and had been

put to death for that reason.

The poor father, overwhelmed with grief for the loss of his child, was advised by his friends to send for the

officers of justice to prevent his being torn to pieces by the Catholic multitude, who supposed he had

murdered his son. This was accordingly done and David, the chief magistrate, or capitol, took the father,

Peter the son, the mother, La Vaisse, and the maid, all into custody, and set a guard over them. He sent for

M. de la Tour, a physician, and MM. la Marque and Perronet, surgeons, who examined the body for marks of

violence, but found none except the mark of the ligature on the neck; they found also the hair of the deceased

done up in the usual manner, perfectly smooth, and without the least disorder: his clothes were also regularly

folded up, and laid upon the counter, nor was his shirt either torn or unbuttoned.

Notwithstanding these innocent appearances, the capitol thought proper to agree with the opinion of the mob,

and took it into his head that old Calas had sent for La Vaisse, telling him that he had a son to be hanged; that

La Vaisse had come to perform the office of executioner; and that he had received assistance from the father

and brother.

As no proof of the supposed fact could be procured, the capitol had recourse to a monitory, or general

information, in which the crime was taken for granted, and persons were required to give such testimony

against it as they were able. This recites that La Vaisse was commissioned by the Protestants to be their

executioner in ordinary, when any of their children were to be hanged for changing their religion: it recites

also, that, when the Protestants thus hang their children, they compel them to kneel, and one of the

interrogatories was, whether any person had seen Antony Calas kneel before his father when he strangled

him: it recites likewise, that Antony died a Roman Catholic, and requires evidence of his catholicism.

But before this monitory was published, the mob had got a notion that Antony Calas was the next day to

have entered into the fraternity of the White Penitents. The capitol therefore caused his body to be buried in

the middle of St. Stephen's Church. A few days after the interment of the deceased, the White Penitents

performed a solemn service for him in their chapel; the church was hung with white, and a tomb was raised

in the middle of it, on the top of which was placed a human skeleton, holding in one hand a paper, on which

was written "Abjuration of heresy," and in the other a palm, the emblem of martyrdom. The next day the

Franciscans performed a service of the same kind for him.

The capitol continued the persecution with unrelenting severity, and, without the least proof coming in,

thought fit to condemn the unhappy father, mother, brother, friend, and servant, to the torture, and put them

all into irons on the eighteenth of November.

From these dreadful proceedings the sufferers appealed to the parliament, which immediately took

cognizance of the affair, and annulled the sentence of the capitol as irregular, but they continued the

prosecution, and, upon the hangman deposing it was impossible Antony should hang himself as was

pretended, the majority of the parliament were of the opinion, that the prisoners were guilty, and therefore

ordered them to be tried by the criminal court of Toulouse. One voted him innocent, but after long debates

the majority was for the torture and wheel, and probably condemned the father by way of experiment,

whether he was guilty or not, hoping he would, in the agony, confess the crime, and accuse the other

prisoners, whose fate, therefore, they suspended.

Poor Calas, however, an old man of sixty-eight, was condemned to this dreadful punishment alone. He

suffered the torture with great constancy, and was led to execution in a frame of mind which excited the

admiration of all that saw him, and particularly of the two Dominicans (Father Bourges and Father

Coldagues) who attended him in his last moments, and declared that they thought him not only innocent of

the crime laid to his charge, but also an exemplary instance of true Christian patience, fortitude, and charity.

When he saw the executioner prepared to give him the last stroke, he made a fresh declaration to Father

Bourges, but while the words were still in his mouth, the capitol, the author of this catastrophe, who came

upon the scaffold merely to gratify his desire of being a witness of his punishment and death, ran up to him,

and bawled out, "Wretch, there are fagots which are to reduce your body to ashes! speak the truth." M. Calas

made no reply, but turned his head a little aside; and that moment the executioner did his office.

The popular outcry against this family was so violent in Languedoc, that every body expected to see the

children of Calas broke upon the wheel, and the mother burnt alive.

Young Donat Calas was advised to fly into Switzerland: he went, and found a gentleman who, at first, could

only pity and relieve him, without daring to judge of the rigor exercised against the father, mother, and

brothers. Soon after, one of the brothers, who was only banished, likewise threw himself into the arms of the

same person, who, for more than a month, took every possible precaution to be assured of the innocence of

the family. Once convinced, he thought himself, obliged, in conscience, to employ his friends, his purse, his

pen, and his credit, to repair the fatal mistake of the seven judges of Toulouse, and to have the proceedings

revised by the king's council. This revision lasted three years, and it is well known what honor Messrs. de

Grosne and Bacquancourt acquired by investigating this memorable cause. Fifty masters of the Court of

Requests unanimously declared the whole family of Calas innocent, and recommended them to the

benevolent justice of his majesty. The Duke de Choiseul, who never let slip an opportunity of signalizing the

greatness of his character, not only assisted this unfortunate family with money, but obtained for them a

gratuity of 36,000 livres from the king.

On the ninth of March, 1765, the arret was signed which justified the family of Calas, and changed their fate.

The ninth of March, 1762, was the very day on which the innocent and virtuous father of that family had

been executed. All Paris ran in crowds to see them come out of prison, and clapped their hands for joy, while

the tears streamed from their eyes.

This dreadful example of bigotry employed the pen of Voltaire in deprecation of the horrors of superstition;

and though an infidel himself, his essay on toleration does honor to his pen, and has been a blessed means of

abating the rigor of persecution in most European states. Gospel purity will equally shun superstition and

cruelty, as the mildness of Christ's tenets teaches only to comfort in this world, and to procure salvation in

the next. To persecute for being of a different opinion is as absurd as to persecute for having a different

countenance: if we honor God, keep sacred the pure doctrines of Christ, put a full confidence in the promises

contained in the Holy Scriptures, and obey the political laws of the state in which we reside, we have an

undoubted right to protection instead of persecution, and to serve heaven as our consciences, regulated by the

Gospel rules, may direct.

CHAPTER V - An Account of the Inquisition

When the reformed religion began to diffuse the Gospel light throughout Europe, Pope Innocent III

entertained great fear for the Romish Church. He accordingly instituted a number of inquisitors, or persons

who were to make inquiry after, apprehend, and punish, heretics, as the reformed were called by the papists.

At the head of these inquisitors was one Dominic, who had been canonized by the pope, in order to render

his authority the more respectable. Dominic, and the other inquisitors, spread themselves into various Roman

Catholic countries, and treated the Protestants with the utmost severity. In process of time, the pope, not

finding these roving inquisitors so useful as he had imagined, resolved upon the establishment of fixed and

regular courts of Inquisition. After the order for these regular courts, the first office of Inquisition was

established in the city of Toulouse, and Dominic became the first regular inquisitor, as he had before been

the first roving inquisitor.

Courts of Inquisition were now erected in several countries; but the Spanish Inquisition became the most

powerful, and the most dreaded of any. Even the kings of Spain themselves, though arbitrary in all other

respects, were taught to dread the power of the lords of the Inquisition; and the horrid cruelties they

exercised compelled multitudes, who differed in opinion from the Roman Catholics, carefully to conceal

their sentiments.

The most zealous of all the popish monks, and those who most implicitly obeyed the Church of Rome, were

the Dominicans and Franciscans: these, therefore, the pope thought proper to invest with an exclusive right

of presiding over the different courts of Inquisition, and gave them the most unlimited powers, as judges

delegated by him, and immediately representing his person: they were permitted to excommunicate, or

sentence to death whom they thought proper, upon the most slight information of heresy. They were allowed

to publish crusades against all whom they deemed heretics, and enter into leagues with sovereign princes, to

join their crusades with their forces.

In 1244, their power was further increased by the emperor Frederic II, who declared himself the protector

and friend of all the inquisitors, and published the cruel edicts, viz., 1. That all heretics who continue

obstinate, should be burnt. 2. That all heretics who repented, should be imprisoned for life.

This zeal in the emperor, for the inquisitors of the Roman Catholic persuasion, arose from a report which had

been propagated throughout Europe, that he intended to renounce Christianity, and turn Mahometan; the

emperor therefore, attempted, by the height of bigotry, to contradict the report, and to show his attachment to

popery by cruelty.

The officers of the Inquisition are three inquisitors, or judges, a fiscal proctor, two secretaries, a magistrate, a

messenger, a receiver, a jailer, an agent of confiscated possessions; several assessors, counsellors,

executioners, physicians, surgeons, doorkeepers, familiars, and visitors, who are sworn to secrecy.

The principal accusation against those who are subject to this tribunal is heresy, which comprises all that is

spoken, or written, against any of the articles of the creed, or the traditions of the Roman Church. The

inquisition likewise takes cognizance of such as are accused of being magicians, and of such who read the

Bible in the common language, the Talmud of the Jews, or the Alcoran of the Mahometans.

Upon all occasions the inquisitors carry on their processes with the utmost severity, and punish those who

offend them with the most unparalleled cruelty. A Protestant has seldom any mercy shown him, and a Jew,

who turns Christian, is far from being secure.

A defence in the Inquisition is of little use to the prisoner, for a suspicion only is deemed sufficient cause of

condemnation, and the greater his wealth the greater his danger. The principal part of the inquisitors'

cruelties is owing to their rapacity: they destroy the life to possess the property; and, under the pretence of

zeal, plunder each obnoxious individual.

A prisoner in the Inquisition is never allowed to see the face of his accuser, or of the witnesses against him,

but every method is taken by threats and tortures, to oblige him to accuse himself, and by that means

corroborate their evidence. If the jurisdiction of the Inquisition is not fully allowed, vengeance is denounced

against such as call it in question for if any of its officers are opposed, those who oppose them are almost

certain to be sufferers for the temerity; the maxim of the Inquisition being to strike terror, and awe those who

are the objects of its power into obedience. High birth, distinguished rank, great dignity, or eminent

employments, are no protection from its severities; and the lowest officers of the Inquisition can make the

highest characters tremble.

When the person impeached is condemned, he is either severely whipped, violently tortured, sent to the

galleys, or sentenced to death; and in either case the effects are confiscated. After judgment, a procession is

performed to the place of execution, which ceremony is called an auto da fe, or act of faith.

The following is an account of an auto da fe, performed at Madrid in the year 1682.

The officers of the Inquisition, preceded by trumpets, kettledrums, and their banner, marched on the thirtieth

of May, in cavalcade, to the palace of the great square, where they declared by proclamation, that, on the

thirtieth of June, the sentence of the prisoners would be put in execution.

Of these prisoners, twenty men and women, with one renegade Mahometan, were ordered to be burned; fifty

Jews and Jewesses, having never before been imprisoned, and repenting of their crimes, were sentenced to a

long confinement, and to wear a yellow cap. The whole court of Spain was present on this occasion. The

grand inquisitor's chair was placed in a sort of tribunal far above that of the king.

Among those who were to suffer, was a young Jewess of exquisite beauty, and but seventeen years of age.

Being on the same side of the scaffold where the queen was seated, she addressed her, in hopes of obtaining

a pardon, in the following pathetic speech: "Great queen, will not your royal presence be of some service to

me in my miserable condition? Have regard to my youth; and, oh! consider, that I am about to die for

professing a religion imbibed from my earliest infancy!" Her majesty seemed greatly to pity her distress, but

turned away her eyes, as she did not dare to speak a word in behalf of a person who had been declared a


Now Mass began, in the midst of which the priest came from the altar, placed himself near the scaffold, and

seated himself in a chair prepared for that purpose.

The chief inquisitor then descended from the amphitheater, dressed in his cope, and having a miter on his

head. After having bowed to the altar, he advanced towards the king's balcony, and went up to it, attended by

some of his officers, carrying a cross and the Gospels, with a book containing the oath by which the kings of

Spain oblige themselves to protect the Catholic faith, to extirpate heretics, and to support with all their power

and force the prosecutions and decrees of the Inquisition: a like oath was administered to the counsellors and

whole assembly. The Mass was begun about twelve at noon, and did not end until nine in the evening, being

protracted by a proclamation of the sentence of the several criminals, which were already separately

rehearsed aloud one after the other.

After this followed the burnings of the twenty-one men and women, whose intrepidity in suffering that horrid

death was truly astonishing. The king's near situation to the criminals rendered their dying groans very

audible to him; he could not, however, be absent from this dreadful scene, as it is esteemed a religious one;

and his coronation oath obliged him to give a sanction by his presence to all the acts of the tribunal.

What we have already said may be applied to inquisitions in general, as well as to that of Spain in particular.

The Inquisition belonging to Portugal is exactly upon a similar plan to that of Spain, having been instituted

much about the same time, and put under the same regulations. The inquisitors allow the torture to be used

only three times, but during those times it is so severely inflicted, that the prisoner either dies under it, or

continues always after a cripple, and suffers the severest pains upon every change of weather. We shall give

an ample description of the severe torments occasioned by the torture, from the account of one who suffered

it the three respective times, but happily survived the cruelties he underwent.

At the first time of torturing, six executioners entered, stripped him naked to his drawers, and laid him upon

his back on a kind of stand, elevated a few feet from the floor. The operation commenced by putting an iron

collar round his neck, and a ring to each foot, which fastened him to the stand. His limbs being thus stretched

out, they wound two ropes round each thigh; which ropes being passed under the scaffold, through holes

made for that purpose, were all drawn tight at the same instant of time, by four of the men, on a given signal.

It is easy to conceive that the pains which immediately succeeded were intolerable; the ropes, which were of

a small size, cut through the prisoner's flesh to the bone, making the blood to gush out at eight different

places thus bound at a time. As the prisoner persisted in not making any confession of what the inquisitors

required, the ropes were drawn in this manner four times successively.

The manner of inflicting the second torture was as follows: they forced his arms backwards so that the palms

of his hands were turned outward behind him; when, by means of a rope that fastened them together at the

wrists, and which was turned by an engine, they drew them by degrees nearer each other, in such a manner

that the back of each hand touched, and stood exactly parallel to each other. In consequence of this violent

contortion, both his shoulders became dislocated, and a considerable quantity of blood issued from his

mouth. This torture was repeated thrice; after which he was again taken to the dungeon, and the surgeon set

the dislocated bones.

Two months after the second torture, the prisoner being a little recovered, was again ordered to the torture

room, and there, for the last time, made to undergo another kind of punishment, which was inflicted twice

without any intermission. The executioners fastened a thick iron chain round his body, which crossing at the

breast, terminated at the wrists. They then placed him with his back against a thick board, at each extremity

whereof was a pulley, through which there ran a rope that caught the end of the chain at his wrists. The

executioner then, stretching the end of his rope by means of a roller, placed at a distance behind him, pressed

or bruised his stomach in proportion as the ends of the chains were drawn tighter. They tortured him in this

manner to such a degree, that his wrists, as well as his shoulders, were quite dislocated. They were, however,

soon set by the surgeons; but the barbarians, not yet satisfied with this species of cruelty, made him

immediately undergo the like torture a second time, which he sustained (though, if possible, attended with

keener pains,) with equal constancy and resolution. After this, he was again remanded to the dungeon,

attended by the surgeon to dress his bruises and adjust the part dislocated, and here he continued until their

auto da fe, or jail delivery, when he was discharged, crippled and diseased for life.

An Account of the Cruel Handling and Burning of Nicholas Burton, an English

Merchant, in Spain

The fifth day of November, about the year of our Lord 1560, Mr. Nicholas Burton, citizen sometime of

London, and merchant, dwelling in the parish of Little St. Bartholomew, peaceably and quietly, following his

traffic in the trade of merchandise, and being in the city of Cadiz, in the party of Andalusia, in Spain, there

came into his lodging a Judas, or, as they term them, a familiar of the fathers of Inquisition; who asking for

the said Nicholas Burton, feigned that he had a letter to deliver into his own hands; by which means he spake

with him immediately. And having no letter to deliver to him, then the said promoter, or familiar, at the

motion of the devil his master, whose messenger he was, invented another lie, and said he would take lading

for London in such ships as the said Nicholas Burton had freighted to lade, if he would let any; which was

partly to know where he loaded his goods, that they might attach them, and chiefly to protract the time until

the sergeant of the Inquisition might come and apprehend the body of the said Nicholas Burton; which they

did incontinently.

He then well perceiving that they were not able to burden or charge him that he had written, spoken, or done

any thing there in that country against the ecclesiastical or temporal laws of the same realm, boldly asked

them what they had to lay to his charge that they did so arrest him, and bade them to declare the cause, and

he would answer them. Notwithstanding they answered nothing, but commanded him with threatening words

to hold his peace, and not speak one word to them.

And so they carried him to the filthy common prison of the town of Cadiz where he remained in irons

fourteen days amongst thieves.

All which time he so instructed the poor prisoners in the Word of God, according to the good talent which

God had given him in that behalf, and also in the Spanish tongue to utter the same, that in that short space he

had well reclaimed several of those superstitiuous and ignorant Spaniards to embrace the Word of God, and

to reject their popish traditions.

Which being known unto the officers of the Inquisition, they conveyed him laden with irons from thence to a

city called Seville, into a more cruel and straiter prison called Triana, where the said fathers of the

Inquisition proceeded against him secretly according to their accustomable cruel tyranny, that never after he

could be suffered to write or speak to any of his nation: so that to this day it is unknown who was his


Afterward, the twentieth of December, they brought the said Nicholas Burton, with a great number of other

prisoners, for professing the true Christian religion, into the city of Seville, to a place where the said

inquisitors sat in judgment which they called auto, with a canvas coat, whereupon in divers parts was painted

the figure of a huge devil, tormenting a soul in a flame of fire, and on his head a copping tank of the same


His tongue was forced out of his mouth with a cloven stick fastened upon it, that he should not utter his

conscience and faith to the people, and so he was set with another Englishman of Southampton, and divers

other condemned men for religion, as well Frenchmen as Spaniards, upon a scaffold over against the said

Inquisition, where their sentences and judgments were read and pronounced against them.

And immediately after the said sentences given, they were carried from there to the place of execution

without the city, where they most cruelly burned them, for whose constant faith, God is praised.

This Nicholas Burton by the way, and in the flames of fire, had so cheerful a countenance, embracing death

with all patience and gladness, that the tormentors and enemies which stood by, said, that the devil had his

soul before he came to the fire; and therefore they said his senses of feeling were past him.

It happened that after the arrest of Nicholas Burton aforesaid, immediately all the goods and merchandise

which he brought with him into Spain by the way of traffic, were (according to their common usage) seized,

and taken into the sequester; among which they also rolled up much that appertained to another English

merchant, wherewith he was credited as factor. Whereof as soon as news was brought to the merchant as

well of the imprisonment of his factor, as of the arrest made upon his goods, he sent his attorney into Spain,

with authority from him to make claim to his goods, and to demand them; whose name was John Fronton,

citizen of Bristol.

When his attorney was landed at Seville, and had shown all his letters and writings to the holy house,

requiring them that such goods might be delivered into his possession, answer was made to him that he must

sue by bill, and retain an advocate (but all was doubtless to delay him,) and they forsooth of courtesy

assigned him one to frame his supplication for him, and other such bills of petition, as he had to exhibit into

their holy court, demanding for each bill eight reals, albeit they stood him in no more stead than if he had put

up none at all. And for the space of three or four months this fellow missed not twice a day attending every

morning and afternoon at the inquisitors' palace, suing unto them upon his knees for his despatch, but

especially to the bishop of Tarracon, who was at that very time chief of the Inquisition at Seville, that he of

his absolute authority would command restitution to be made thereof; but the booty was so good and great

that it was very hard to come by it again.

At length, after he had spent four whole months in suits and requests, and also to no purpose, he received this

answer from them, that he must show better evidence, and bring more sufficient certificates out of England

for proof of this matter, than those which he had already presented to the court. Whereupon the party

forthwith posted to London, and with all speed returned to Seville again with more ample and large letters

testimonial, and certificates, according to their requests, and exhibited them to the court.

Notwithstanding, the inquisitors still shifted him off, excusing themselves by lack of leisure, and for that they

were occupied in more weighty affairs, and with such answers put him off, four months after.

At last, when the party had well nigh spent all his money, and therefore sued the more earnestly for his

despatch, they referred the matter wholly to the bishop, of whom, when he repaired unto him, he made

answer, 'That for himself, he knew what he had to do, howbeit he was but one man, and the determination

appertained to the other commissioners as well as unto him;' and thus by posting and passing it from one to

another, the party could obtain no end of his suit. Yet for his importunity's sake, they were resolved to

despatch him: it was on this sort: one of the inquisitors, called Gasco, a man very well experienced in these

practices, willed the party to resort unto him after dinner.

The fellow being glad to hear this news, and supposing that his goods should be restored unto him, and that

he was called in for that purpose to talk with the other that was in prison to confer with him about their

accounts, rather through a little misunderstanding, hearing the inquisitors cast out a word, that it should be

needful for him to talk with the prisoner, and being thereupon more than half persuaded, that at length they

meant good faith, did so, and repaired thither about the evening. Immediately upon his coming, the jailer was

forthwith charged with him, to shut him up close in such a prison where they appointed him.

The party, hoping at the first that he had been called for about some other matter, and seeing himself,

contrary to his expectation, cast into a dark dungeon, perceived at length that the world went with him far

otherwise than he supposed it would have done.

But within two or three days after, he was brought into the court, where he began to demand his goods: and

because it was a device that well served their turn without any more circumstance, they bid him say his Ave

Maria: Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui

Jesus Amen.

The same was written word by word as he spake it, and without any more talk of claiming his goods, because

it was needless, they commanded him to prison again, and entered an action against him as a heretic,

forasmuch as he did not say his Ave Maria after the Romish fashion, but ended it very suspiciously, for he

should have added moreover; Sancta Maria mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus: by abbreviating whereof,

it was evident enough (said they) that he did not allow the mediation of saints.

Thus they picked a quarrel to detain him in prison a longer season, and afterward brought him forth upon

their stage disguised after their manner; where sentence was given, that he should lose all the goods which he

sued for, though they were not his own, and besides this, suffer a year's imprisonment.

Mark Brughes, an Englishman, master of an English ship called the Minion, was burned in a city in Portugal.

William Hoker, a young man about the age of sixteen years, being an Englishman, was stoned to death by

certain young men in the city of Seville, for the same righteous cause.

Some Private Enormities of the Inquisition Laid Open, by a Very Singular


When the crown of Spain was contested for in the beginning of the present century, by two princes, who

equally pretended to the sovereignty, France espoused the cause of one competitor, and England of the other.

The duke of Berwick, a natural son of James II who abdicated England, commanded the Spanish and French

forces, and defeated the English at the celebrated battle of Almanza. The army was then divided into two

parts; the one consisting of Spaniards and French, headed by the duke of Berwick, advanced towards

Catalonia; the other body, consisting of French troops only, commanded by the duke of Orleans, proceeded

to the conquest of Arragon.

As the troops drew near to the city of Arragon, the magistrates came to offer the keys to the duke of Orleans;

but he told them haughtily that they were rebels, and that he would not accept the keys, for he had orders to

enter the city through a breach.

He accordingly made a breach in the walls with his cannon, and then entered the city through it, together

with his whole army. When he had made every necessary regulation here, he departed to subdue other

places, leaving a strong garrison at once to overawe and defend, under the command of his lieutenant-general

M. de Legal. This gentleman, though brought up a Roman Catholic, was totally free from superstition; he

united great talents with great bravery; and was the skilful officer, and accomplished gentleman.

The duke, before his departure, had ordered that heavy contributions should be levied upon the city in the

following manner:

• 1. That the magistrates and principal inhabitants should pay a thousand crowns per month

for the duke's table.

• 2. That every house should pay one pistole, which would monthly amount to

18,000 pistoles.

• 3. That every convent and monastery should pay a donative, proportionable to its riches

and rents.

The two last contributions to be appropriated to the maintenance of the army.

The money levied upon the magistrates and principal inhabitants, and upon every house, was paid as soon as

demanded; but when the persons applied to the heads of convents and monasteries, they found that the

ecclesiastics were not so willing, as other people, to part with their cash.

Of the donatives to be raised by the clergy:

The College of Jesuits to pay - 2000 pistoles.

• Carmelites, - 1000

• Augustins, - 1000

• Dominicans, - 1000

M. de Legal sent to the Jesuits a peremptory order to pay the money immediately. The superior of the Jesuits

returned for answer that for the clergy to pay money for the army was against all ecclesiastical immunities;

and that he knew of no argument which could authorize such a procedure. M. de Legal then sent four

companies of dragoons to quarter themselves in the college, with this sarcastic message. "To convince you of

the necessity of paying the money, I have sent four substantial arguments to your college, drawn from the

system of military logic; and, therefore, hope you will not need any further admonition to direct your


These proceedings greatly perplexed the Jesuits, who despatched an express to court to the king's confessor,

who was of their order; but the dragoons were much more expeditious in plundering and doing mischief,

than the courier in his journey: so that the Jesuits, seeing everything going to wreck and ruin, thought proper

to adjust the matter amicably, and paid the money before the return of their messenger. The Augustins and

Carmelites, taking warning by what had happened to the Jesuits, prudently went and paid the money, and by

that means escaped the study of military arguments, and of being taught logic by dragoons.

But the Dominicans, who were all familiars of, or agents dependent on, the Inquisition, imagined that that

very circumstance would be their protection; but they were mistaken, for M. de Legal neither feared nor

respected the Inquisition. The chief of the Dominicans sent word to the military commander that his order

was poor, and had not any money whatever to pay the donative; for, says he, "The whole wealth of the

Dominicans consists only in the silver images of the apostles and saints, as large as life, which are placed in

our church, and which it would be sacrilege to remove."

This insinuation was meant to terrify the French commander, whom the inquisitors imagined would not dare

to be so profane as to wish for the possession of the precious idols.

He, however, sent word that the silver images would make admirable substitutes for money, and would be

more in character in his possession, than in that of the Dominicans themselves, "For [said he] while you

possess them in the manner you do at present, they stand up in niches, useless and motionless, without being

of the least benefit to mankind in general, or even to yourselves; but, when they come into my possession,

they shall be useful; I will put them in motion; for I intend to have them coined, when they may travel like

the apostles, be beneficial in various places, and circulate for the universal service of mankind."

The inquisitors were astonished at this treatment, which they never expected to receive, even from crowned

heads; they therefore determined to deliver their precious images in a solemn procession, that they might

excite the people to an insurrection. The Dominican friars were accordingly ordered to march to de Legal's

house, with the silver apostles and saints, in a mournful manner, having lighted tapers with them and bitterly

crying all the way, "heresy, heresy."

M. de Legal, hearing these proceedings, ordered four companies of grenadiers to line the street which led to

his house; each grenadier was ordered to have his loaded fuzee in one hand, and a lighted taper in the other;

so that the troops might either repel force with force, or do honor to the farcical solemnity.

The friars did all they could to raise the tumult, but the common people were too much afraid of the troops

under arms to obey them; the silver images were, therefore, of necessity delivered up to M. de Legal, who

sent them to the mint, and ordered them to be coined immediately.

The project of raising an insurrection having failed, the inquisitors determined to excommunicate M. de

Legal, unless he would release their precious silver saints from imprisonment in the mint, before they were

melted down, or otherwise mutilated. The French commander absolutely refused to release the images, but

said they should certainly travel and do good; upon which the inquisitors drew up the form of

excommunication, and ordered their secretary to go and read it to M. de Legal.

The secretary punctually performed his commission, and read the excommunication deliberately and

distinctly. The French commander heard it with great patience, and politely told the secretary that he would

answer it the next day.

When the secretary of the Inquisition was gone, M. de Legal ordered his own secretary to prepare a form of

excommunication, exactly like that sent by the Inquisition; but to make this alteration, instead of his name to

put in those of the inquisitors.

The next morning he ordered four regiments under arms, and commanded them to accompany his secretary,

and act as he directed.

The secretary went to the Inquisition, and insisted upon admittance, which, after a great deal of altercation,

was granted. As soon as he entered, he read, in an audible voice, the excommunication sent by M. de Legal

against the inquisitors. The inquisitors were all present, and heard it with astonishment, never having before

met with any individual who dared to behave so boldly. They loudly cried out against de Legal, as a heretic;

and said, "This was a most daring insult against the Catholic faith." But to surprise them still more, the

French secretary told them that they must remove from their present lodgings; for the French commander

wanted to quarter the troops in the Inquisition, as it was the most commodious place in the whole city.

The inquisitors exclaimed loudly upon this occasion, when the secretary put them under a strong guard, and

sent them to a place appointed by M. de Legal to receive them. The inquisitors, finding how things went,

begged that they might be permitted to take their private property, which was granted; and they immediately

set out for Madrid, where they made the most bitter complaints to the king; but the monarch told them that he

could not grant them any redress, as the injuries they had received were from his grandfather, the king of

France's troops, by whose assistance alone he could be firmly established in his kingdom. "Had it been my

own troops, [said he] I would have punished them; but as it is, I cannot pretend to exert any authority."

In the mean time, M. de Legal's secretary set open all the doors of the Inquisition, and released the prisoners,

who amounted in the whole to four hundred; and among these were sixty beautiful young women, who

appeared to form a seraglio for the three principal inquisitors.

This discovery, which laid the enormity of the inquisitors so open, greatly alarmed the archbishop, who

desired M. de Legal to send the women to his palace, and he would take proper care of them; and at the same

time he published an ecclesiastical censure against all such as should ridicule, or blame, the holy office of the


The French commander sent word to the archbishop, that the prisoners had either run away, or were so

securely concealed by their friends, or even by his own officers, that it was impossible for him to send them

back again; and, therefore, the Inquisition having committed such atrocious actions, must now put up with

their exposure.

Some may suggest, that it is strange crowned heads and eminent nobles did not attempt to crush the power of

the Inquisition, and reduce the authority of those ecclesiastical tyrants, from whose merciless fangs neither

their families nor themselves were secure.

But astonishing as it is, superstition hath, in this case, always overcome common sense, and custom operated

against reason. One prince, indeed, intended to abolish the Inquisition, but he lost his life before he became

king, and consequently before he had the power so to do; for the very intimation of his design procured his


This was that amiable prince Don Carlos, son of Philip the Second, king of Spain, and grandson of the

celebrated emperor Charles V. Don Carlos possessed all the good qualities of his grandfather, without any of

the bad ones of his father; and was a prince of great vivacity, admirable learning, and the most amiable

disposition. He had sense enough to see into the errors of popery, and abhorred the very name of the

Inquisition. He inveighed publicly against the institution, ridiculed the affected piety of the inquisitors, did

all he could to expose their atrocious deeds, and even declared, that if he ever came to the crown, he would

abolish the Inquisition, and exterminate its agents.

These things were sufficient to irritate the inquisitors against the prince: they, accordingly, bent their minds

to vengeance, and determined on his destruction.

The inquisitors now employed all their agents and emissaries to spread abroad the most artful insinuations

against the prince; and, at length raised such a spirit of discontent among the people that the king was under

the necessity of removing Don Carlos from court. Not content with this, they pursued even his friends, and

obliged the king likewise to banish Don John, duke of Austria, his own brother, and consequently uncle to

the prince; together with the prince of Parma, nephew to the king, and cousin to the prince, because they well

knew that both the duke of Austria, and the prince of Parma, had a most sincere and inviolable attachment to

Don Carlos.

Some few years after, the prince having shown great lenity and favour to the Protestants in the Netherlands,

the Inquisition loudly exclaimed against him, declaring, that as the persons in question were heretics, the

prince himself must necessarily be one, since he gave them countenance. In short, they gained so great an

ascendency over the mind of the king, who was absolutely a slave to superstition, that, shocking to relate, he

sacrificed the feelings of nature to the force of bigotry, and, for fear of incurring the anger of the Inquisition,

gave up his only son, passing the sentence of death on him himself.

The prince, indeed, had what was termed an indulgence; that is, he was permitted to choose the manner of

his death. Roman-like, the unfortunate young hero chose bleeding and the hot bath; when the veins of his

arms and legs were opened, he expired gradually, falling a martyr to the malice of the inquisitors, and the

stupid bigotry of his father.

The Persecution of Dr. Aegidio

Dr. Aegidio was educated at the university of Alcala, where he took his several degrees, and particularly

applied himself to the study of the sacred Scriptures and school divinity. When the professor of theology

died, he was elected into his place, and acted so much to the satisfaction of every one that his reputation for

learning and piety was circulated throughout Europe.

Aegidio, however, had his enemies, and these laid a complaint against him to the inquisitors, who sent him a

citation, and when he appeared to it, cast him into a dungeon.

As the greatest part of those who belonged to the cathedral church at Seville, and many persons belonging to

the bishopric of Dortois highly approved of the doctrines of Aegidio, which they thought perfectly consonant

with true religion, they petitioned the emperor in his behalf. Though the monarch had been educated a

Roman Catholic, he had too much sense to be a bigot, and therefore sent an immediate order for his


He soon after visited the church of Valladolid, and did every thing he could to promote the cause of religion.

Returning home he soon after fell sick, and died in an extreme old age.

The inquisitors having been disappointed of gratifying their malice against him while living, determined (as

the emperor's whole thoughts were engrossed by a military expedition) to wreak their vengeance on him

when dead. Therefore, soon after he was buried, they ordered his remains to be dug out of the grave; and a

legal process being carried on, they were condemned to be burnt, which was executed accordingly.

The Persecution of Dr. Constantine

Dr. Constantine, an intimate acquaintance of the already mentioned Dr. Aegidio, was a man of uncommon

natural abilities and profound learning; exclusive of several modern tongues, he was acquainted with the

Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, and perfectly well knew not only the sciences called abstruse, but those

arts which come under the denomination of polite literature.

His eloquence rendered him pleasing, and the soundness of his doctrines a profitable preacher; and he was so

popular that he never preached but to a crowded audience. He had many opportunities of rising in the

Church, but never would take advantage of them; for if a living of greater value than his own was offered

him, he would refuse it, saying, "I am content with what I have"; and he frequently preached so forcibly

against simony, that many of his superiors, who were not so delicate upon the subject, took umbrage at his

doctrines upon that head.

Having been fully confirmed in Protestantism by Dr. Aegidio, he preached boldly such doctrines only as

were agreeable to Gospel purity, and uncontaminated by the errors which had at various times crept into the

Romish Church. For these reasons he had many enemies among the Roman Catholics, and some of them

were fully determined on his destruction.

A worthy gentleman named Scobaria, having erected a school for divinity lectures, appointed Dr.

Constantine to be reader therein. He immediately undertook the task, and read lectures, by portions, on the

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles; and was beginning to expound the Book of Job, when he was seized

by the inquisitors.

Being brought to examination, he answered with such precaution that they could not find any explicit charge

against him, but remained doubtful in what manner to proceed, when the following circumstances occurred

to determine them.

Dr. Constantine had deposited with a woman named Isabella Martin, several books, which to him were very

valuable, but which he knew, in the eyes of the Inquisition, were exceptionable.

This woman having been informed against as a Protestant, was apprehended, and, after a small process, her

goods were ordered to be confiscated. Previous, however, to the officers coming to her house, the woman's

son had removed away several chests full of the most valuable articles; among these were Dr. Constantine's


A treacherous servant gave intelligence of this to the inquisitors, and an officer was despatched to the son to

demand the chests. The son, supposing the officer only came for Constantine's books, said, "I know what you

come for, and I will fetch them to you immediately." He then fetched Dr. Constantine's books and papers,

when the officer was greatly surprised to find what he did not look for. He, however, told the young man that

he was glad these books and papers were produced, but nevertheless he must fulfill the end of his

commission, which was to carry him and the goods he had embezzled before the inquisitors, which he did

accordingly; for the young man knew it would be in vain to expostulate, or resist, and therefore quietly

submitted to his fate.

The inquisitors being thus possessed of Constantine's books and writings, now found matter sufficient to

form charges against him. When he was brought to a re-examination, they presented one of his papers, and

asked him if he knew the handwriting? Perceiving it was his own, he guessed the whole matter, confessed

the writing, and justified the doctrine it contained: saying, "In that, and all my other writings, I have never

departed from the truth of the Gospel, but have always kept in view the pure precepts of Christ, as He

delivered them to mankind."

After being detained upwards of two years in prison, Dr. Constantine was seized with a bloody flux, which

put an end to his miseries in this world. The process, however, was carried on against his body, which, at the

ensuing auto da fe, was publicly burnt.

The Life of William Gardiner

William Gardiner was born at Bristol, received a tolerable education, and was, at a proper age, placed under

the care of a merchant, named Paget.

At the age of twenty-six years, he was, by his master, sent to Lisbon to act as factor. Here he applied himself

to the study of the Portuguese language, executed his business with assiduity and despatch, and behaved with

the most engaging affability to all persons with whom he had the least concern. He conversed privately with

a few, whom he knew to be zealous Protestants; and, at the same time cautiously avoided giving the least

offence to any who were Roman Catholics; he had not, however, hitherto gone into any of the popish


A marriage being concluded between the king of Portugal's son, and the Infanta of Spain, upon the weddingday

the bridegroom, bride, and the whole court went to the cathedral church, attended by multitudes of all

ranks of people, and among the rest William Gardiner, who stayed during the whole ceremony, and was

greatly shocked at the superstitions he saw.

The erroneous worship which he had seen ran strongly in his mind; he was miserable to see a whole country

sunk into such idolatry, when the truth of the Gospel might be so easily obtained. He, therefore, took the

inconsiderate, though laudable design, into his head, of making a reform in Portugal, or perishing in the

attempt; and determined to sacrifice his prudence to his zeal, though he became a martyr upon the occasion.

To this end, he settled all his worldly affairs, paid his debts, closed his books, and consigned over his

merchandise. On the ensuing Sunday he went again to the cathedral church, with a New Testament in his

hand, and placed himself near the altar.

The king and the court soon appeared, and a cardinal began Mass, at that part of the ceremony in which the

people adore the wafer. Gardiner could hold out no longer, but springing towards the cardinal, he snatched

the host from him, and trampled it under his feet.

This action amazed the whole congregation, and one person, drawing a dagger, wounded Gardiner in the

shoulder, and would, by repeating the blow, have finished him, had not the king called to him to desist.

Gardiner, being carried before the king, the monarch asked him what countryman he was: to which he

replied, "I am an Englishman by birth, a Protestant by religion, and a merchant by occupation. What I have

done is not out of contempt to your royal person, God forbid it should, but out of an honest indignation, to

see the ridiculous superstitious and gross idolatries practiced here."

The king, thinking that he had been stimulated by some other person to act as he had done, demanded who

was his abetter, to which he replied, "My own conscience alone. I would not hazard what I have done for any

man living, but I owe that and all other services to God."

Gardiner was sent to prison, and a general order issued to apprehend all Englishmen in Lisbon. This order

was in a great measure put into execution, (some few escaping) and many innocent persons were tortured to

make them confess if they knew any thing of the matter; in particular, a person who resided in the same

house with Gardiner was treated with unparalleled barbarity to make him confess something which might

throw a light upon the affair.

Gardiner himself was then tormented in the most excruciating manner; but in the midst of all his torments he

gloried in the deed. Being ordered for death, a large fire was kindled near a gibbet, Gardiner was drawn up to

the gibbet by pulleys, and then let down near the fire, but not so close as to touch it; for they burnt or rather

roasted him by slow degrees. Yet he bore his sufferings patiently and resigned his soul to the Lord


It is observable that some of the sparks that were blown from the fire, (which consumed Gardiner) towards

the haven, burnt one of the king's ships of war, and did other considerable damage. The Englishmen who

were taken up on this occasion were, soon after Gardiner's death, all discharged, except the person who

resided in the same house with him, who was detained two years before he could procure his liberty.

An Account of the Life and Sufferings of Mr. William Lithgow, a Native of


This gentleman was descended from a good family, and having a natural propensity for travelling, he

rambled, when very young, over the northern and western islands; after which he visited France, Germany,

Switzerland, and Spain. He set out on his travels in the month of March, 1609, and the first place he went to

was Paris, where he stayed for some time. He then prosecuted his travels through Germany and other parts,

and at length arrived at Malaga, in Spain, the seat of all his misfortunes.

During his residence here, he contracted with the master of a French ship for his passage to Alexandria, but

was prevented from going by the following circumstances. In the evening of the seventeenth of October,

1620, the English fleet, at that time on a cruise against the Algerine rovers, came to anchor before Malaga,

which threw the people of the town into the greatest consternation, as they imagined them to be Turks. The

morning, however, discovered the mistake, and the governor of Malaga, perceiving the cross of England in

their colors, went on board Sir Robert Mansel's ship, who commanded on that expedition, and after staying

some time returned, and silenced the fears of the people.

The next day many persons from on board the fleet came ashore. Among these were several well known by

Mr. Lithgow, who, after reciprocal compliments, spent some days together in festivity and the amusements

of the town. They then invited Mr. Lithgow to go on board, and pay his respects to the admiral. He

accordingly accepted the invitation, was kindly received by him, and detained till the next day when the fleet

sailed. The admiral would willingly have taken Mr. Lithgow with him to Algiers; but having contracted for

his passage to Alexandria, and his baggage, etc., being in the town, he could not accept the offer.

As soon as Mr. Lithgow got on shore, he proceeded towards his lodgings by a private way, (being to embark

the same night for Alexandria) when, in passing through a narrow uninhabited street, he found himself

suddenly surrounded by nine sergeants, or officers, who threw a black cloak over him, and forcibly

conducted him to the governor's house. After some little time the governor appeared when Mr. Lithgow

earnestly begged he might be informed of the cause of such violent treatment. The governor only answered

by shaking his head, and gave orders that the prisoner should be strictly watched until he (the governor)

returned from his devotions; directing, at the same time, that the captain of the town, the alcade major, and

town notary, should be summoned to appear at his examination, and that all this should be done with the

greatest secrecy, to prevent the knowledge reaching the ears of the English merchants then residing in the


These orders were strictly discharged, and on the governor's return, he, with the officers, having seated

themselves, Mr. Lithgow was brought before them for examination. The governor began by asking several

questions, namely, of what country he was, whither bound, and how long he had been in Spain. The prisoner,

after answering these and other questions, was conducted to a closet, where, in a short space of time, he was

visited by the town captain, who inquired whether he had ever been at Seville, or was lately come from

thence; and patting his cheeks with an air of friendship, conjured him to tell the truth, "For (said he) your

very countenance shows there is some hidden matter in your mind, which prudence should direct you to

disclose." Finding himself, however, unable to extort any thing from the prisoner, he left him, and reported

the same to the governor and the other officers; on which Mr. Lithgow was again brought before them, a

general accusation was laid against him, and he was compelled to swear that he would give true answers to

such questions as should be asked him.

The governor proceeded to inquire the quality of the English commander, and the prisoner's opinion what

were the motives that prevented his accepting an invitation from him to come on shore. He demanded,

likewise, the names of the English captains in the squadron, and what knowledge he had of the embarkation,

or preparation for it before his departure from England. The answers given to the several questions asked

were set down in writing by the notary; but the junto seemed surprised at his denying any knowledge of the

fitting out of the fleet, particularly the governor, who said he lied; that he was a traitor and a spy, and came

directly from England to favour and assist the designs that were projected against Spain, and that he had been

for that purpose nine months in Seville, in order to procure intelligence of the time the Spanish navy was

expected from the Indies. They exclaimed against his familiarity with the officers of the fleet, and many

other English gentlemen, between whom, they said, unusual civilities had passed, but all these transactions

had been carefully noticed.

Besides to sum up the whole, and put the truth past all doubt, they said he came from a council of war, held

that morning on board the admiral's ship, in order to put in execution the orders assigned him. They

upbraided him with being accessory to the burning of the island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies.

"Wherefore (said they) these Lutherans, and sons of the devil, ought to have no credit given to what they say

or swear."

In vain did Mr. Lithgow endeavour to obviate every accusation laid against him, and to obtain belief from his

prejudiced judges. He begged permission to send for his cloak bag which contained his papers, and might

serve to show his innocence. This request they complied with, thinking it would discover some things of

which they were ignorant. The cloak bag was accordingly brought, and being opened, among other things,

was found a license from King James the First, under the sign manual, setting forth the bearer's intention to

travel into Egypt; which was treated by the haughty Spaniards with great contempt. The other papers

consisted of passports, testimonials, etc., of persons of quality. All these credentials, however, seemed rather

to confirm than abate the suspicions of these prejudiced judges, who, after seizing all the prisoner's papers,

ordered him again to withdraw.

In the meantime a consultation was held to fix the place where the prisoner should be confined. The alcade,

or chief judge, was for putting him into the town prison; but this was objected to, particularly by the

corregidor, who said, in Spanish, "In order to prevent the knowledge of his confinement from reaching his

countrymen, I will take the matter on myself, and be answerable for the consequences"; upon which it was

agreed that he should be confined in the governor's house with the greatest secrecy.

This matter being determined, one of the sergeants went to Mr. Lithgow, and begged his money, with liberty

to search him. As it was needless to make any resistance, the prisoner quietly complied, when the sergeant

(after rifling his pockets of eleven ducatoons) stripped him to his shirt; and searching his breeches he found,

inclosed in the waistland, two canvass bags, containing one hundred and thirty-seven pieces of gold. The

sergeant immediately took the money to the corregidor, who, after having told it over, ordered him to clothe

the prisoner, and shut him up close until after supper.

About midnight, the sergeant and two Turkish slaves released Mr. Lithgow from his then confinement, but it

was to introduce him to one much more horrible. They conducted him through several passages, to a

chamber in a remote part of the palace, towards the garden, where they loaded him with irons, and extended

his legs by means of an iron bar above a yard long, the weight of which was so great that he could neither

stand nor sit, but was obliged to lie continually on his back. They left him in this condition for some time,

when they returned with a refreshment of food, consisting of a pound of boiled mutton and a loaf, together

with a small quantity of wine; which was not only the first, but the best and last of the kind, during his

confinement in this place. After delivering these articles, the sergeant locked the door, and left Mr. Lithgow

to his own private contemplations.

The next day he received a visit from the governor, who promised him his liberty, with many other

advantages, if he would confess being a spy; but on his protesting that he was entirely innocent, the governor

left him in a rage, saying, 'He should see him no more until further torments constrained him to confess';

commanding the keeper, to whose care he was committed, that he should permit no person whatever to have

access to, or commune with him; that his sustenance should not exceed three ounces of musty bread, and a

pint of water every second day; that he shall be allowed neither bed, pillow, nor coverlid. "Close up (said he)

this window in his room with lime and stone, stop up the holes of the door with double mats: let him have

nothing that bears any likeness to comfort." These, and several orders of the like severity, were given to

render it impossible for his condition to be known to those of the English nation.

In this wretched and melancholy state did poor Lithgow continue without seeing any person for several days,

in which time the governor received an answer to a letter he had written, relative to the prisoner, from

Madrid; and, pursuant to the instructions given him, began to put in practice the cruelties devised, which

were hastened, because Christmas holy-days approached, it being then the forty-seventh day since his


About two o'clock in the morning, he heard the noise of a coach in the street, and sometime after heard the

opening of the prison doors, not having had any sleep for two nights; hunger, pain, and melancholy

reflections having prevented him from taking any repose.

Soon after the prison doors were opened, the nine sergeants, who had first seized him, entered the place

where he lay, and without uttering a word, conducted him in his irons through the house into the street,

where a coach waited, and into which they laid him at the bottom on his back, not being able to sit. Two of

the sergeants rode with him, and the rest walked by the coach side, but all observed the most profound

silence. They drove him to a vinepress house, about a league from the town, to which place a rack had been

privately conveyed before; and here they shut him up for that night.

At daybreak the next morning, arrived the governor and the alcade, into whose presence Mr. Lithgow was

immediately brought to undergo another examination. The prisoner desired he might have an interpreter,

which was allowed to strangers by the laws of that country, but this was refused, nor would they permit him

to appeal to Madrid, the superior court of judicature. After a long examination, which lasted from morning

until night, there appeared in all his answers so exact a conformity with what he had before said, that they

declared he had learned them by heart, there not being the least prevarication. They, however, pressed him

again to make a full discovery; that is, to accuse himself of crimes never committed, the governor adding,

"You are still in my power; I can set you free if you comply, if not, I must deliver you to the alcade." Mr.

Lithgow still persisting in his innocence, the governor ordered the notary to draw up a warrant for delivering

him to the alcade to be tortured.

In consequence of this he was conducted by the sergeants to the end of a stone gallery, where the rack was

placed. The encarouador, or executioner, immediately struck off his irons, which put him to very great pains,

the bolts being so closely riveted that the sledge hammer tore away half an inch of his heel, in forcing off the

bolt; the anguish of which, together with his weak condition, (not having the least sustenance for three days)

occasioned him to groan bitterly; upon which the merciless alcade said, "Villain, traitor, this is but the

earnest of what you shall endure."

When his irons were off, he fell on his knees, uttering a short prayer, that God would be pleased to enable

him to be steadfast, and undergo courageously the grievous trial he had to encounter. The alcade and notary

having placed themselves in chairs, he was stripped naked, and fixed upon the rack, the office of these

gentlemen being to be witness of, and set down the confessions and tortures endured by the delinquent.

It is impossible to describe all the various tortures inflicted upon him.

Suffice it to say that he lay on the rack for above five hours, during which time he received above sixty

different tortures of the most hellish nature; and had they continued them a few minutes longer, he must have

inevitably perished.

These cruel persecutors being satisfied for the present, the prisoner was taken from the rack, and his irons

being again put on, he was conducted to his former dungeon, having received no other nourishment than a

little warm wine, which was given him rather to prevent his dying, and reserve him for future punishments,

than from any principle of charity or compassion.

As a confirmation of this, orders were given for a coach to pass every morning before day by the prison, that

the noise made by it might give fresh terrors and alarms to the unhappy prisoner, and deprive him of all

possibility of obtaining the least repose.

He continued in this horrid situation, almost starved for want of the common necessaries to preserve his

wretched existence, until Christmas day, when he received some relief from Mariane, waiting-woman to the

governor's lady. This woman having obtained leave to visit him, carried with her some refreshments,

consisting of honey, sugar, raisins, and other articles; and so affected was she at beholding his situation that

she wept bitterly, and at her departure expressed the greatest concern at not being able to give him further


In this loathsome prison was poor Mr. Lithgow kept until he was almost devoured by vermin. They crawled

about his beard, lips, eyebrows, etc., so that he could scarce open his eyes; and his mortification was

increased by not having the use of his hands or legs to defend himself, from his being so miserably maimed

by the tortures. So cruel was the governor, that he even ordered the vermin to be swept on him twice in every

eight days. He, however, obtained some little mitigation of this part of his punishment, from the humanity of

a Turkish slave that attended him, who, when he could do it with safety, destroyed the vermin, and

contributed every refreshment to him that laid in his power.

From this slave Mr. Lithgow at length received information which gave him little hopes of ever being

released, but, on the contrary, that he should finish his life under new tortures. The substance of this

information was that an English seminary priest, and a Scotch cooper, had been for some time employed by

the governor to translate from the English into the Spanish language, all his books and observations; and that

it was commonly said in the governor's house, that he was an arch-heretic.

This information greatly alarmed him, and he began, not without reason, to fear that they would soon finish

him, more especially as they could neither by torture or any other means, bring him to vary from what he had

all along said at his different examinations.

Two days after he had received the above information, the governor, an inquisitor, and a canonical priest,

accompanied by two Jesuits, entered his dungeon, and being seated, after several idle questions, the

inquisitor asked Mr. Lithgow if he was a Roman Catholic, and acknowledged the pope's supremacy? He

answered that he neither was the one nor did the other, adding that he was surprised at being asked such

questions, since it was expressly stipulated by the articles of peace between England and Spain that none of

the English subjects should be liable to the Inquisition, or any way molested by them on account of diversity

in religion, etc. In the bitterness of his soul he made use of some warm expressions not suited to his

circumstances: "As you have almost murdered me (said he) for pretended treason, so now you intend to

make a martyr of me for my religion." He also expostulated with the governor on the ill return he made to the

king of England, (whose subject he was) for the princely humanity exercised towards the Spaniards in 1588,

when their armada was shipwrecked on the Scotch coast, and thousands of the Spaniards found relief, who

must otherwise have miserably perished.

The governor admitted the truth of what Mr. Lithgow said, but replied with a haughty air that the king, who

then only ruled Scotland, was actuated more by fear than love, and therefore did not deserve any thanks. One

of the Jesuits said there was no faith to be kept with heretics. The inquisitor then rising, addressed himself to

Mr. Lithgow in the following words: "You have been taken up as a spy, accused of treachery, and tortured,

as we acknowledge, innocently:

(which appears by the account lately received from Madrid of the intentions of the English) yet it was the

divine power that brought those judgments upon you, for presumptuously treating the blessed miracle of

Loretto with ridicule, and expressing yourself in your writings irreverently of his holiness, the great agent

and Christ's vicar upon earth; therefore you are justly fallen into our hands by their special appointment: thy

books and papers are miraculously translated by the assistance of Providence influencing thy own


This trumpery being ended, they gave the prisoner eight days to consider and resolve whether he would

become a convert to their religion; during which time the inquisitor told him he, with other religious orders,

would attend, to give him such assistance thereto as he might want. One of the Jesuits said, (first making the

sign of the cross upon his breast), "My son, behold, you deserve to be burnt alive; but by the grace of our

lady of Loretto, whom you have blasphemed we will both save your soul and body."

In the morning the inquisitor, with three other ecclesiastics, returned, when the former asked the prisoner

what difficulties he had on his conscience that retarded his conversion; to which he answered, 'he had not any

doubts in his mind, being confident in the promises of Christ, and assuredly believing his revealed will

signified in the Gospels, as professed in the reformed Catholic Church, being confirmed by grace, and having

infallible assurance thereby of the Christian faith.' To these words the inquisitor replied, "Thou art no

Christian, but an absurd heretic, and without conversion a member of perdition." The prisoner then told him

that it was not consistent with the nature and essence of religion and charity to convince by opprobrious

speeches, racks, and torments, but by arguments deduced from the Scriptures; and that all other methods

would with him be totally ineffectual.

The inquisitor was so enraged at the replies made by the prisoner, that he struck him on the face, used many

abusive speeches, and attempted to stab him, which he had certainly done had he not been prevented by the

Jesuits; and from this time he never again visited the prisoner.

The next day the two Jesuits returned, and putting on a very grave, supercilious air, the superior asked him

what resolution he had taken. To which Mr. Lithgow replied that he was already resolved, unless he could

show substantial reasons to make him alter his opinion. The superior, after a pedantic display of their seven

sacraments, the intercession of saints, transubstantiation, etc., boasted greatly of their Church, her antiquity,

universality, and uniformity; all of which Mr. Lithgow denied: "For (said he) the profession of the faith I

hold hath been ever since the first days of the apostles, and Christ had ever his own Church (however

obscure) in the greatest time of your darkness."

The Jesuits, finding their arguments had not the desired effect, that torments could not shake his constancy,

nor even the fear of the cruel sentence he had reason to expect would be pronounced and executed on him,

after severe menaces, left him. On the eighth day after, being the last of their Inquisition, when sentence is

pronounced, they returned again, but quite altered both in their words and behavior after repeating much of

the same kind of arguments as before, they with seeming tears in their eyes, pretended they were sorry from

their heart he must be obliged to undergo a terrible death, but above all, for the loss of his most precious

soul; and falling on their knees, cried out, "Convert, convert, O dear brother, for our blessed Lady's sake

convert!" To which he answered, "I fear neither death nor fire, being prepared for both."

The first effects Mr. Lithgow felt of the determination of this bloody tribunal was, a sentence to receive that

night eleven different tortures, and if he did not die in the execution of them, (which might be reasonably

expected from the maimed and disjointed condition he was in) he was, after Easter holy-days, to be carried to

Grenada, and there burnt to ashes. The first part of this sentence was executed with great barbarity that night;

and it pleased God to give him strength both of body and mind, to stand fast to the truth, and to survive the

horrid punishments inflicted on him.

After these barbarians had glutted themselves for the present, with exercising on the unhappy prisoner the

most distinguished cruelties, they again put irons on, and conveyed him to his former dungeon. The next

morning he received some little comfort from the Turkish slave before mentioned, who secretly brought him,

in his shirt sleeve, some raisins and figs, which he licked up in the best manner his strength would permit

with his tongue. It was to this slave Mr. Lithgow attributed his surviving so long in such a wretched

situation; for he found means to convey some of these fruits to him twice every week. It is very

extraordinary, and worthy of note, that this poor slave, bred up from his infancy, according to the maxims of

his prophet and parents, in the greatest detestation of Christians, should be so affected at the miserable

situation of Mr. Lithgow that he fell ill, and continued so for upwards of forty days. During this period Mr.

Lithgow was attended by a negro woman, a slave, who found means to furnish him with refreshments still

more amply than the Turk, being conversant in the house and family. She brought him every day some

victuals, and with it some wine in a bottle.

The time was now so far elapsed, and the horrid situation so truly loathsome, that Mr. Lithgow waited with

anxious expectation for the day, which, by putting an end to his life, would also end his torments. But his

melancholy expectations were, by the interposition of Providence, happily rendered abortive, and his

deliverance obtained from the following circumstances.

It happened that a Spanish gentleman of quality came from Grenada to Malaga, who being invited to an

entertainment by the governor, informed him of what had befallen Mr. Lithgow from the time of his being

apprehended as a spy, and described the various sufferings he had endured. He likewise told him that after it

was known the prisoner was innocent, it gave him great concern. That on this account he would gladly have

released him, restored his money and papers, and made some atonement for the injuries he had received, but

that, upon an inspection into his writings, several were found of a very blasphemous nature, highly reflecting

on their religion, that on his refusing to abjure these heretical opinions, he was turned over to the Inquisition,

by whom he was finally condemned.

While the governor was relating this tragical tale, a Flemish youth (servant to the Spanish gentleman) who

waited at the table, was struck with amazement and pity at the sufferings of the stranger described. On his

return to his master's lodgings he began to revolve in his mind what he had heard, which made such an

impression on him that he could not rest in his bed. In the short slumbers he had, his imagination pointed to

him the person described, on the rack, and burning in the fire. In this anxiety he passed the night; and when

the morning came, without disclosing his intentions to any person whatever, he went into the town, and

inquired for an English factor. He was directed to the house of a Mr. Wild, to whom he related the whole of

what he had heard pass the preceding evening, between his master and the governor, but could not tell Mr.

Lithgow's name. Mr. Wild, however, conjectured it was he, by the servant's remembering the circumstance

of his being a traveller, and his having had some acquaintance with him.

On the departure of the Flemish servant, Mr. Wild immeidately sent for the other English factors, to whom

he related all the paritculars relative to their unfortunate countryman. After a short consultation it was agreed

that an information of the whole affair should be sent, by express, to Sir Walter Aston, the English

ambassador to the king of Spain, then at Madrid. This was accordingly done, and the ambassador having

presented a memorial to the king and council of Spain, obtained an order for Mr. Lithgow's enlargement, and

his delivery to the English factor. This order was directed to the governor of Malaga; and was received with

great dislike and surprise by the whole assembly of the bloody Inquisition.

Mr. Lithgow was released from his confinement on the eve of Easter Sunday, when he was carried from his

dungeon on the back of the slave who had attended him, to the house of one Mr. Bosbich, where all proper

comforts were given him. It fortunately happened that there was at this time a squadron of English ships in

the road, commanded by Sir Richard Hawkins, who being informed of the past sufferings and present

situation of Mr. Lithgow, came the next day ashore, with a proper guard, and received him from the

merchants. He was instantly carried in blankets on board the Vanguard, and three days after was removed to

another ship, by direction of the general Sir Robert Mansel, who ordered that he should have proper care

taken of him. The factor presented him with clothes, and all necessary provisions, besides which they gave

him two hundred reals in silver; and Sir Richard Hawkins sent him two double pistoles.

Before his departure from the Spanish coast, Sir Richard Hawkins demanded the delivery of his papers,

money, books, etc., but could not obtain any satisfactory answer on that head.

We cannot help making a pause here to reflect how manifestly Providence interfered in behalf of this poor

man, when he was just on the brink of destruction; for by his sentence, from which there was no appeal, he

would have been taken, in a few days, to Grenada, and burnt to ashes; and that a poor ordinary servant, who

had not the least knowledge of him, nor was any ways interested in his preservation, should risk the

displeasure of his master, and hazard his own life, to disclose a thing of so momentous and perilous a nature,

to a strange gentleman, on whose secrecy depended his own existence. By such secondary means does

Providence frequently interfere in behalf of the virtuous and oppressed; of which this is a most distinguished


After lying twelve days in the road, the ship weighed anchor, and in about two months arrived safe at

Deptford. The next morning, Mr. Lithgow was carried on a feather bed to Theobalds, in Hertfordshire, where

at that time was the king and royal family. His majesty happened to be that day engaged in hunting, but on

his return in the evening, Mr. Lithgow was presented to him, and related the particulars of his sufferings, and

his happy delivery. The king was so affected at the narrative, that he expressed the deepest concern, and gave

orders that he should be sent to Bath, and his wants properly supplied from his royal munificence. By these

means, under God, after some time, Mr. Lithgow was restored from the most wretched spectacle, to a great

share of health and strength; but he lost the use of his left arm and several of the smaller bones were so

crushed and broken, as to be ever after rendered useless.

Notwithstanding that every effort was used, Mr. Lithgow could never obtain any part of his money or effects,

although his majesty and the ministers of state interested themselves in his behalf. Gondamore, the Spanish

ambassador, indeed, promised that all his effects should be restored, with the addition of 1000 Pounds

English money, as some atonement for the tortures he had undergone, which last was to be paid him by the

governor of Malaga. These engagements, however, were but mere promises; and although the king was a

kind of guarantee for the well performance of them, the cunning Spaniard found means to elude the same. He

had, indeed, too great a share of influence in the English council during the time of that pacific reign, when

England suffered herself to be bullied into slavish compliance by most of the states and kings in Europe.

The Story of Galileo

The most eminent men of science and philosophy of the day did not escape the watchful eye of this cruel

despotism. Galileo, the chief astronomer and mathematician of his age, was the first who used the telescope

successfully in solving the movements of the heavenly bodies. He discovered that the sun is the center of

motion around which the earth and various planets revolve. For making this great discovery Galileo was

brought before the Inquisition, and for a while was in great danger of being put to death.

After a long and bitter review of Galileo's writings, in which many of his most important discoveries were

condemned as errors, the charge of the inquisitors went on to declare, "That you, Galileo, have upon account

of those things which you have written and confessed, subjected yourself to a strong suspicion of heresy in

this Holy Office, by believing, and holding to be true, a doctrine which is false, and contrary to the sacred

and divine Scripture- viz., that the sun is the center of the orb of the earth, and does not move from the east

to the west; and that the earth moves, and is not the center of the world."

In order to save his life. Galileo admitted that he was wrong in thinking that the earth revolved around the

sun, and swore that-"For the future, I will never more say, or assert, either by word or writing, anything that

shall give occasion for a like suspicion." But immediately after taking this forced oath he is said to have

whispered to a friend standing near, "The earth moves, for all that."

Summary of the Inquisition

Of the multitudes who perished by the Inquisoition throughout the world, no authentic record is now

discoverable. But wherever popery had power, there was the tribunal. It had been planted even in the east,

and the Portuguese Inquisition of Goa was, until within these few years, fed with many an agony. South

America was partitioned into provinces of the Inquisition; and with a ghastly mimickry of the crimes of the

mother state, the arrivals of viceroys, and the other popular celebrations were thought imperfect without an

auto da fe. The Netherlands were one scene of slaughter from the time of the decree which planted the

Inquisition among them. In Spain the calculation is more attainable. Each of the seventeen tribunals during a

long period burned annually, on an average, ten miserable beings! We are to recollect that this number was

in a country where persecution had for ages abolished all religious differences, and where the difficulty was

not to find the stake, but the offering. Yet, even in Spain, thus gleaned of all heresy, the Inquisition could still

swell its lists of murders to thirty-two thousand! The numbers burned in effigy, or condemned to penance,

punishments generally equivalent to exile, confiscation, and taint of blood, to all ruin but the mere loss of

worthless life, amounted to three hundred and nine thousand. But the crowds who perished in dungeons of

torture, of confinement, and of broken hearts, the millions of dependent lives made utterly helpless, or

hurried to the grave by the death of the victims, are beyond all register; or recorded only before HIM, who

has sworn that "He that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be

killed with the sword."

Such was the Inquisition, declared by the Spirit of God to be at once the offspring and the image of the

popedom. To feel the force of the parentage, we must look to the time. In the thirteenth century, the popedom

was at the summit of mortal dominion; it was independent of all kingdoms; it ruled with a rank of influence

never before or since possessed by a human scepter; it was the acknowledged sovereign of body and soul; to

all earthly intents its power was immeasurable for good or evil. It might have spread literature, peace,

freedom, and Christianity to the ends of Europe, or the world. But its nature was hostile; its fuller triumph

only disclosed its fuller evil; and, to the shame of human reason, and the terror and suffering of human

virtue, Rome, in the hour of its consummate grandeur, teemed with the monstrous and horrid birth of the


CHAPTER VI - An Account of the

Persecutions in Italy, Under the Papacy

We shall now enter on an account of the persecutions in Italy, a country

which has been, and still is,

• 1. The center of popery.

• 2. The seat of the pontiff.

• 3. The source of the various errors which have spread themselves over other countries,

deluded the minds of thousands, and diffused the clouds of superstition and bigotry over the

human understanding.

• In pursuing our narrative we shall include the most remarkable

persecutions which have happened, and the cruelties which have been practised,

• 1. By the immediate power of the pope.

• 2. Through the power of the Inquisition.

• 3. By the bigotry of the Italian princes.

In the twelfth century, the first persecutions under the papacy began in Italy, at the time that Adrian, an

Englishman, was pope, being occasioned by the following circumstances:

A learned man, and an excellent orator of Brescia, named Arnold, came to Rome, and boldly preached

against the corruptions and innovations which had crept into the Church. His discourses were so clear,

consistent, and breathed forth such a pure spirit of piety, that the senators and many of the people highly

approved of, and admired his doctrines.

This so greatly enraged Adrian that he commanded Arnold instantly to leave the city, as a heretic. Arnold,

however, did not comply, for the senators and some of the principal people took his part, and resisted the

authority of the pope.

Adrian now laid the city of Rome under an interdict, which caused the whole body of clergy to interpose;

and, at length he persuaded the senators and people to give up the point, and suffer Arnold to be banished.

This being agreed to, he received the sentence of exile, and retired to Germany, where he continued to preach

against the pope, and to expose the gross errors of the Church of Rome.

Adrian, on this account, thirsted for his blood, and made several attempts to get him into his hands; but

Arnold, for a long time, avoided every snare laid for him. At length, Frederic Barbarossa arriving at the

imperial dignity, requested that the pope would crown him with his own hand. This Adrian complied with,

and at the same time asked a favour of the emperor, which was, to put Arnold into his hands. The emperor

very readily delivered up the unfortunate preacher, who soon fell a martyr to Adrian's vengeance, being

hanged, and his body burnt to ashes, at Apulia. The same fate attended several of his old friends and


Encenas, a Spaniard, was sent to Rome, to be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith; but having conversed

with some of the reformed, and having read several treatises which they put into his hands, he became a

Protestant. This, at length, being known, one of his own relations informed against him, when he was burnt

by order of the pope, and a conclave of cardinals. The brother of Encenas had been taken up much about the

same time, for having a New Testament in the Spanish language in his possession; but before the time

appointed for his execution, he found means to escape out of prison, and retired to Germany.

Faninus, a learned layman, by reading controversial books, became of the reformed religion. An information

being exhibited against him to the pope, he was apprehended, and cast into prison. His wife, children,

relations, and friends visited him in his confinement, and so far wrought upon his mind, that he renounced

his faith, and obtained his release. But he was no sooner free from confinement than his mind felt the

heaviest of chains; the weight of a guilty conscience. His horrors were so great that he found them

insupportable, until he had returned from his apostasy, and declared himself fully convinced of the errors of

the Church of Rome. To make amends for his falling off, he now openly and strenuously did all he could to

make converts to Protestantism, and was pretty successful in his endeavours. These proceedings occasioned

his second imprisonment, but he had his life offered him if he would recant again. This proposal he rejected

with disdain, saying that he scorned life upon such terms. Being asked why he would obstinately persist in

his opinions, and leave his wife and children in distress, he replied, "I shall not leave them in distress;

I have recommended them to the care of an excellent trustee." "What trustee?" said the person who had asked

the question, with some surprise: to which Faninus answered, "Jesus Christ is the trustee I mean, and I think I

could not commit them to the care of a better." On the day of execution he appeared remarkably cheerful,

which one observing, said, "It is strange you should appear so merry upon such an occasion, when Jesus

Christ himself, just before his death, was in such agonies, that he sweated blood and water." To which

Faninus replied: "Christ sustained all manner of pangs and conflicts, with hell and death, on our accounts;

and thus, by his sufferings, freed those who really believe in him from the fear of them." He was then

strangled, his body was burnt to ashes, and then scattered about by the wind.

Dominicus, a learned soldier, having read several controversial writings, became a zealous Protestant, and

retiring to Placentia, he preached the Gospel in its utmost purity, to a very considerable congregation. One

day, at the conclusion of his sermon, he said, "If the congregation will attend to-morrow, I will give them a

description of Antichrist, and paint him out in his proper colors."

A vast concourse of people attended the next day, but just as Dominicus was beginning his sermon, a civil

magistrate went up to the pulpit, and took him into custody. He readily submitted; but as he went along with

the magistrate, he made use of this expression: "I wonder the devil hath let me alone so long." When he was

brought to examination, this question was put to him: "Will you renounce your doctrines?" To which he

replied: "My doctrines! I maintain no doctrines of my own; what I preach are the doctrines of Christ, and for

those I will forfeit my blood, and even think myself happy to suffer for the sake of my Redeemer." Every

method was taken to make him recant for his faith, and embrace the errors of the Church of Rome; but when

persuasions and menaces were found ineffectual, he was sentenced to death, and hanged in the market place.

Galeacius, a Protestant gentleman, who resided near the castle of St.

Angelo, was apprehended on account of his faith. Great endeavours being used by his friends he recanted, and

subscribed to several of the superstitious doctrines propogated by the Church of Rome. Becoming, however,

sensible of his error, he publicly renounced his recantation. Being apprehended for this, he was condemned

to be burnt, and agreeable to the order was chained to a stake, where he was left several hours before the fire

was put to the fagots, in order that his wife, relations, and friends, who surrounded him, might induce him to

give up his opinions. Galeacius, however, retained his constancy of mind, and entreated the executioner to

put fire to the wood that was to burn him. This at length he did, and Galeacius was soon consumed in the

flames, which burnt with amazing rapidity and deprived him of sensation in a few minutes.

Soon after this gentleman's death, a great number of Protestants were put to death in various parts of Italy, on

account of their faith, giving a sure proof of their sincerity in their martyrdoms.

An Account of the Persecutions of Calabria

In the fourteenth century, many of the Waldenses of Pragela and Dauphiny, emigrated to Calabria, and

settling some waste lands, by the permission of the nobles of that country, they soon, by the most industrious

cultivation, made several wild and barren spots appear with all the beauties of verdure and fertility.

The Calabrian lords were highly pleased with their new subjects and

tenants, as they were honest, quiet, and industrious; but the priests of the

country exhibited several negative complaints against them; for not being able

to accuse them of anythying bad which they did do, they founded accusations on

what they did not do, and charged them,

With not being Roman Catholics.

With not making any of their boys priests.

With not making any of their girls nuns.

With not going to Mass.

With not giving wax tapers to their priests as offerings.

With not going on pilgrimages.

With not bowing to images.

The Calabrian lords, however, quieted the priests, by telling them that these people were extremely harmless;

that they gave no offence to the Roman Catholics, and cheerfully paid the tithes to the priests, whose

revenues were considerably increased by their coming into the country, and who, of consequence, ought to

be the last persons to complain of them.

Things went on tolerably well after this for a few years, during which the Waldenses formed themselves into

two corporate towns, annexing several villages to the jurisdiction of them. At length they sent to Geneva for

two clergymen; one to preach in each town, as they determined to make a public profession of their faith.

Intelligence of this affair being carried to the pope, Pius the Fourth, he determined to exterminate them from


To this end he sent Cardinal Alexandrino, a man of very violent temper and a furious bigot, together with

two monks, to Calabria, where they were to act as inquisitors. These authorized persons came to St. Xist, one

of the towns built by the Waldenses, and having assembled the people, told them that they should receive no

injury, if they would accept of preachers appointed by the pope; but if they would not, they should be

deprived both of their properties and lives; and that their intentions might be known, Mass should be publicly

said that afternoon, at which they were ordered to attend.

The people of St. Xist, instead of attending Mass, fled into the woods, with their families, and thus

disappointed the cardinal and his coadjutors. The cardinal then proceeded to La Garde, the other town

belonging to the Waldenses, where, not to be served as he had been at St. Xist, he ordered the gates to be

locked, and all avenues guarded. The same proposals were then made to the inhabitants of La Garde, as had

previously been offered to those of St. Xist, but with this additional piece of artifice: the cardinal assured

them that the inhabitants of St. Xist had immediately come into his proposals, and agreed that the pope

should appoint them preachers. This falsehood succeeded; for the people of La Garde, thinking what the

cardinal had told them to be the truth, said they would exactly follow the example of their brethren at St.


The cardinal, having gained his point by deluding the people of one town, sent for troops of soldiers, with a

view to murder those of the other. He, accordingly, despatched the soldiers into the woods, to hunt down the

inhabitants of St. Xist like wild beasts, and gave them strict orders to spare neither age nor sex, but to kill all

they came near. The troops entered the woods, and many fell a prey to their ferocity, before the Waldenses

were properly apprised of their design. At length, however, they determined to sell their lives as dear as

possible, when several conflicts happened, in which the half-armed Waldenses performed prodigies of valor,

and many were slain on both sides. The greatest part of the troops being killed in the different rencontres, the

rest were compelled to retreat, which so enraged the cardinal that he wrote to the viceroy of Naples for


The viceroy immediately ordered a proclamation to be made thorughout all the Neapolitan territories, that all

outlaws, deserters, and other proscribed persons should be surely pardoned for their respective offences, on

condition of making a campaign against the inhabitants of St. Xist, and continuing under arms until those

people were exterminated.

Many persons of desperate fortunes came in upon this proclamation, and being formed into light companies,

were sent to scour the woods, and put to death all they could meet with of the reformed religion. The viceroy

himself likewise joined the cardinal, at the head of a body of regular forces; and, in conjunction, they did all

they could to harass the poor people in the woods. Some they caught and hanged up upon trees, cut down

boughs and burnt them, or ripped them open and left their bodies to be devoured by wild beasts, or birds of

prey. Many they shot at a distance, but the greatest number they hunted down by way of sport. A few hid

themselves in caves, but famine destroyed them in their retreat; and thus all these poor people perished, by

various means, to glut the bigoted malice of their merciless persecutors.

The inhabitants of St. Xist were no sooner exterminated, than those of La Garde engaged the attention of the

cardinal and viceroy.

It was offered, that if they should embrace the Roman Catholic persuasion, themselves and families should

not be injured, but their houses and properties should be restored, and none would be permitted to molest

them; but, on the contrary, if they refused this mercy, (as it was termed) the utmost extremities would be

used, and the most cruel deaths the certain consequence of their noncompliance.

Notwithstanding the promises on one side, and menaces on the other, these worthy people unanimously

refused to renounce their religion, or embrace the errors of popery. This exasperated the cardinal and viceroy

so much, that thirty of them were ordered to be put immediately to the rack, as a terror to the rest.

Those who were put to the rack were treated with such severity that several died under the tortures; one

Charlin, in particular, was so cruelly used that his belly burst, his bowels came out, and he expired in the

greatest agonies. These barbarities, however, did not answer the purposes for which they were intended; for

those who remained alive after the rack, and those who had not felt the rack, remained equally constant in

their faith, and boldly declared that no tortures of body, or terrors of mind, should ever induce them to

renounce their God, or worship images.

Several were then, by the cardinal's order, stripped stark naked, and whipped to death iron rods; and some

were hacked to pieces with large knives; others were thrown down from the top of a large tower, and many

were covered over with pitch, and burnt alive.

One of the monks who attended the cardinal, being naturally of a savage and cruel disposition, requested of

him that he might shed some of the blood of these poor people with his own hands; when his request being

granted, the barbarous man took a large sharp knife, and cut the throats of fourscore men, women, and

children, with as little remorse as a butcher would have killed so many sheep. Every one of these bodies were

then ordered to be quartered, the quarters placed upon stakes, and then fixed in different parts of the country,

within a circuit of thirty miles.

The four principal men of La Garde were hanged, and the clergyman was thrown from the top of his church

steeple. He was terribly mangled, but not quite killed by the fall; at which time the viceroy passing by, said,

"Is the dog yet living? Take him up, and give him to the hogs," when, brutal as this sentence may appear, it

was executed accordingly.

Sixty women were racked so violently, that the cords pierced their arms and legs close to the bone; when,

being remanded to prison, their wounds mortified, and they died in the most miserable manner. Many others

were put to death by various cruel means; and if any Roman Catholic, more compassionate than the rest,

interceded for any of the reformed, he was immediately apprehended, and shared the same fate as a favourer

of heretics.

The viceroy being obliged to march back to Naples, on some affairs of moment which required his presence,

and the cardinal being recalled to Rome, the marquis of Butane was ordered to put the finishing stroke to

what they had begun; which he at length effected, by acting with such barbarous rigor, that there was not a

single person of the reformed religion left living in all Calabria.

Thus were a great number of inoffensive and harmless people deprived of their possessions, robbed of their

property, driven from their homes, and at length murdered by various means, only because they would not

sacrifice their consciences to the superstitions of others, embrace idolatrous doctrines which they abhorred,

and accept of teachers whom they could not believe.

Tyranny is of three kinds, viz., that which enslaves the person, that which seizes the property, and that which

prescribes and dictates to the mind. The two first sorts may be termed civil tyranny, and have been practiced

by arbitrary sovereigns in all ages, who have delighted in tormenting the persons, and stealing the properties

of their unhappy subjects. But the third sort, viz., prescribing and dictating to the mind, may be called

ecclesiastical tyranny: and this is the worst kind of tyranny, as it includes the other two sorts; for the Romish

clergy not only do torture the body and seize the effects of those they persecute, but take the lives, torment

the minds, and, if possible, would tyrannize over the souls of the unhappy victims.

Account of the Persecutions in the Valleys of Piedmont

Many of the Waldenses, to avoid the persecutions to which they were continually subjected in France, went

and settled in the valleys of Piedmont, where they increased exceedingly, and flourished very much for a

considerable time.

Though they were harmless in their behavior, inoffensive in their conversation, and paid tithes to the Roman

clergy, yet the latter could not be contented, but wished to give them some distrubance: they, accordingly,

complained to the archbishop of Turin that the Waldenses of the valleys of Piedmont were heretics, for these


• 1. That they did not believe in the doctrines of the Church of Rome.

• 2. That they made no offerings or prayers for the dead.

• 3. That they did not go to Mass.

• 4. That they did not confess, and receive absolution.

• 5. That they did not believe in purgatory, or pay money to get the souls of their friends out

of it.

Upon these charges the archbishop ordered a persecution to be commenced, and many fell martyrs to the

superstitious rage of the priests and monks.

At Turin, one of the reformed had his bowels torn out, and put in a basin before his face, where they

remained in his view until he expired. At Revel, Catelin Girard being at the stake, desired the executioner to

give him a stone; which he refused, thinking that he meant to throw it at somebody; but Girard assuring him

that he had no such design, the executioner complied, when Girard, looking earnestly at the stone, said,

"When it is in the power of a man to eat and digest this solid stone, the religion for which I am about to

suffer shall have an end, and not before." He then threw the stone on the ground, and submitted cheerfully to

the flames. A great many more of the reformed were oppressed, or put to death, by various means, until the

patience of the Waldenses being tired out, they flew to arms in their own defence, and formed themselves

into regular bodies.

Exasperated at this, the bishop of Turin procured a number of troops, and sent against them; but in most of

the skirmishes and engagements the Waldenses were successful, which partly arose from their being better

acquainted with the passes of the valleys of Piedmont than their adversaries, and partly from the desperation

with which they fought; for they well knew, if they were taken, they should not be considered as prisoners of

war, but tortured to death as heretics.

At length, Philip VII, duke of Savoy, and supreme lord of Piedmont, determined to interpose his authority,

and stop these bloody wars, which so greatly disturbed his dominions. He was not willing to disoblige the

pope, or affront the archbishop of Turin; nevertheless, he sent them both messages, importing that he could

not any longer tamely see his dominions overrun with troops, who were directed by priests instead of

officers, and commanded by prelates instead of generals; nor would he suffer his country to be depopulated,

while he himself had not been even consulted upon the occasion.

The priests, finding the resolution of the duke, did all they could to prejudice his mind against the

Waldenses; but the duke told them, that though he was unacquainted with the religious tenets of these

people, yet he had always found them quiet, faithful, and obedient, and therefore he determined they should

be no longer persecuted.

The priests now had recourse to the most palpable and absurd falsehoods:

they assured the duke that he was mistaken in the Waldenses for they were a wicked set of people, and

highly addicted to intemperance, uncleanness, blasphemy, adultery, incest, and many other abominable

crimes; and that they were even monsters in nature, for their children were born with black throats, with four

rows of teeth, and bodies all over hairy.

The duke was not so devoid of common sense as to give credit to what the priests said, though they affirmed

in the most solemn manner the truth of their assertions. He, however, sent twelve very learned and sensible

gentlemen into the Piedmontese valleys, to examine into the real character of the inhabitants.

These gentlemen, after travelling through all their towns and villages, and conversing with people of every

rank among the Waldenses returned to the duke, and gave him the most favourable account of these people;

affirming, before the faces of the priests who vilified them, that they were harmless, inoffensive, loyal,

friendly, industrious, and pious: that they abhorred the crimes of which they were accused; and that, should

an individual, through his depravity, fall into any of those crimes, he would, by their laws, be punished in the

most exemplary manner. "With respect to the children," the gentlemen said, "the priests had told the most

gross and ridiculous falsities, for they were neither born with black throats, teeth in their mouths, nor hair on

their bodies, but were as fine children as could be seen. And to convince your highness of what we have said,

(continued one of the gentlemen) we have brought twelve of the principal male inhabitants, who are come to

ask pardon in the name of the rest, for having taken up arms without your leave, though even in their own

defence, and to preserve their lives from their merciless enemies. And we have likewise brought several

women, with children of various ages, that your highness may have an opportunity of personally examining

them as much as you please."

The duke, after accepting the apology of the twelve delegates, conversing with the women, and examining

the children, graciously dismissed them. He then commanded the priests, who had attempted to mislead him,

immediately to leave the court; and gave strict orders, that the persecution should cease throughout his


The Waldenses had enjoyed peace many years, when Philip, the seventh duke of Savoy, died, and his

successor happened to be a very bigoted papist. About the same time, some of the principal Waldenses

proposed that their clergy should preach in public, that every one might know the purity of their doctrines:

for hitherto they had preached only in private, and to such congregations as they well knew to consist of

none but persons of the reformed religion.

On hearing these proceedings, the new duke was greatly exasperated, and sent a considerable body of troops

into the valleys, swearing that if the people would not change their religion, he would have them flayed alive.

The commander of the troops soon found the impracticability of conquering them with the number of men he

had with him, he, therefore, sent word to the duke that the idea of subjugating the Waldenses, with so small a

force, was ridiculous; that those people were better acquainted with the country than any that were with him;

that they had secured all the passes, were well armed, and resolutely determined to defend themselves; and,

with respect to flaying them alive, he said, that every skin belonging to those people would cost him the lives

of a dozen of his subjects.

Terrified at this information, the duke withdrew the troops, determining to act not by force, but by stratagem.

He therefore ordered rewards for the taking of any of the Waldenses, who might be found straying from their

places of security; and these, when taken, were either flayed alive, or burnt.

The Waldenses had hitherto only had the New Testament and a few books of the Old, in the Waldensian

tongue; but they determined now to have the sacred writings complete in their own language. They,

therefore, employed a Swiss printer to furnish them with a complete edition of the Old and New Testaments

in the Waldensian tongue, which he did for the consideration of fifteen hundred crowns of gold, paid him by

those pious people.

Pope Paul the third, a bigoted papist, ascending the pontifical chair, immediately solicited the parliament of

Turin to persecute the Waldenses, as the most pernicious of all heretics.

The parliament readily agreed, when several were suddenly apprehended and burnt by their order. Among

these was Bartholomew Hector, a bookseller and stationer of Turin, who was brought up a Roman Catholic,

but having read some treatises written by the reformed clergy, was fully convinced of the errors of the

Church of Rome; yet his mind was, for some time, wavering, and he hardly knew what persuasion to


At length, however, he fully embraced the reformed religion, and was apprehended, as we have already

mentioned, and burnt by order of the parliament of Turin.

A consultation was now held by the parliament of Turin, in which it was agreed to send deputies to the

valleys of Piedmont, with the following propositions:

• 1. That if the Waldenses would come to the bosom of the Church of Rome, and embrace

the Roman Catholic religion, they should enjoy their houses, properties, and lands, and live

with their families, without the least molestation.

• 2. That to prove their obedience, they should send twelve of their principal persons, with

all their ministers and schoolmasters, to Turin, to be dealt with at discretion.

• 3. That the pope, the king of France, and the duke of Savoy, approved of, and authorized

the proceedings of the parliament of Turin, upon this occasion.

• 4. That if the Waldenses of the valleys of Piedmont refused to comply with these

propositions, persecution should ensue, and certain death be their portion.

To each of these propositions the Waldenses nobly replied in the following manner, answering them


• 1. That no considerations whatever should make them renounce their religion.

• 2. That they would never consent to commit their best and most respectable friends, to the

custody and discretion of their worst and most inveterate enemies.

• 3. That they valued the approbation of the King of kings, who reigns in heaven, more than

any temporal authority.

• 4. That their souls were more precious than their bodies.

These pointed and spirited replies greatly exasperated the parliament of Turin; they continued, with more

avidity than ever, to kidnap such Waldenses as did not act with proper precaution, who were sure to suffer

the most cruel deaths. Among these, it unfortunately happened, that they got hold of Jeffery Varnagle,

minister of Angrogne, whom they committed to the flames as a heretic.

They then solicited a considerable body of troops of the king of France, in order to exterminate the reformed

entirely from the valleys of Piedmont; but just as the troops were going to march, the Protestant princes of

Germany interposed, and threatened to send troops to assist the Waldenses, if they should be attacked. The

king of France, not caring to enter into a war, remanded the troops, and sent word to the parliament of Turin

that he could not spare any troops at present to act in Piedmont. The members of the parliament were greatly

vexed at this disappointment, and the persecution gradually ceased, for as they could only put to death such

of the reformed as they caught by chance, and as the Waldenses daily grew more cautious, their cruelty was

obliged to subside, for want of objects on whom to exercise it.

After the Waldenses had enjoyed a few years tranquillity, they were again disturbed by the following means:

the pope's nuncio coming to Turin to the duke of Savoy upon business, told that prince he was astonished he

had not yet either rooted out the Waldenses from the valleys of Piedmont entirely, or compelled them to

enter into the bosom of the Church of Rome. That he could not help looking upon such conduct with a

suspicious eye, and that he really thought him a favourer of those heretics, and should report the affair

accordingly to his holiness the pope.

Stung by this reflection, and unwilling to be misrepresented to the pope, the duke determined to act with the

greatest severity, in order to show his zeal, and to make amends for former neglect by future cruelty. He,

accordingly, issued express orders for all the Waldenses to attend Mass regularly on pain of death. This they

absolutely refused to do, on which he entered the Piedmontese valleys, with a formidable body of troops, and

began a most furious persecution, in which great numbers were hanged, drowned, ripped open, tied to trees,

and pierced with prongs, thrown from precipices, burnt, stabbed, racked to death, crucified with their heads

downwards, worried by dogs, etc.

Those who fled had their goods plundered, and their houses burnt to the ground: they were particularly cruel

when they caught a minister or a schoolmaster, whom they put to such exquisite tortures, as are almost

incredible to conceive. If any whom they took seemed wavering in their faith, they did not put them to death,

but sent them to the galleys, to be made converts by dint of hardships.

The most cruel persecutors, upon this occasion, that attended the duke, were three in number, viz. 1. Thomas

Incomel, an apostate, for he was brought up in the reformed religion, but renounced his faith, embraced the

errors of popery, and turned monk. He was a great libertine, given to unnatural crimes, and sordidly

solicitous for plunder of the Waldenses. 2. Corbis, a man of a very ferocious and cruel nature, whose

business was to examine the prisoners. 3. The provost of justice, who was very anxious for the execution of

the Waldenses, as every execution put money in his pocket.

These three persons were unmerciful to the last degree; and wherever they came, the blood of the innocent

was sure to flow. Exclusive of the cruelties exercised by the duke, by these three persons, and the army, in

their different marches, many local barbarities were committed. At Pignerol, a town in the valleys, was a

monastery, the monks of which, finding they might injure the reformed with impunity, began to plunder the

houses and pull down the churches of the Waldenses. Not meeting with any opposition, they seized upon the

persons of those unhappy people, murdering the men, confining the women, and putting the children to

Roman Catholic nurses.

The Roman Catholic inhabitants of the valley of St. Martin, likewise, did all they could to torment the

neighboring Waldenses: they destroyed their churches, burnt their houses, seized their properties, stole their

cattle, converted their lands to their own use, committed their ministers to the flames, and drove the

Waldenses to the woods, where they had nothing to subsist on but wild fruits, roots, the bark of trees, etc.

Some Roman Catholic ruffians having seized a minister as he was going to preach, determined to take him to

a convenient place, and burn him. His parishioners having intelligence of this affair, the men armed

themselves, pursued the ruffians, and seemed determined to rescue their minister; which the ruffians no

sooner perceived than they stabbed the poor gentleman, and leaving him weltering in his blood, made a

precipitate retreat. The astonished parishioners did all they could to recover him, but in vain: for the weapon

had touched the vital parts, and he expired as they were carrying him home.

The monks of Pignerol having a great inclination to get the minister of a town in the valleys, called St.

Germain, into their power, hired a band of ruffians for the purpose of apprehending him. These fellows were

conducted by a treacherous person, who had formerly been a servant to the clergyman, and who perfectly

well knew a secret way to the house, by which he could lead them without alarming the neighborhood. The

guide knocked at the door, and being asked who was there, answered in his own name. The clergyman, not

expecting any injury from a person on whom he had heaped favours, immediately opened the door; but

perceiving the ruffians, he started back, and fled to a back door; but they rushed in, followed, and seized him.

Having murdered all his family, they made him proceed towards Pignerol, goading him all the way with

pikes, lances, swords, etc. He was kept a considerable time in prison, and then fastened to the stake to be

burnt; when two women of the Waldenses, who had renounced their religion to save their lives, were ordered

to carry fagots to the stake to burn him; and as they laid them down, to say, "Take these, thou wicked heretic,

in recompense for the pernicious doctrines thou hast taught us." These words they both repeated to him; to

which he calmly replied, "I formerly taught you well, but you have since learned ill." The fire was then put to

the fagots, and he was speedily consumed, calling upon the name of the Lord as long as his voice permitted.

As the troops of ruffians, belonging to the monks, did great mischief about the town of St. Germain,

murdering and plundering many of the inhabitants, the reformed of Lucerne and Angrogne, sent some bands

of armed men to the assistance of their brethren of St. Germain. These bodies of armed men frequently

attacked the ruffians, and often put them to the rout, which so terrified the monks, that they left the

monastery of Pignerol for some time, until they could procure a body of regular troops to guard them.

The duke not thinking himself so successful as he at first imagined he should be, greatly augmented his

forces; he ordered the bands of ruffians, belonging to the monks, to join him, and commanded that a general

jail-delivery should take place, provided the persons released would bear arms, and form themselves into

light companies, to assist in the extermination of the Waldenses.

The Waldenses, being informed of the proceedings, secured as much of their properties as they could, and

quitted the valleys, retired to the rocks and caves among the Alps; for it is to be understood that the valleys

of Piedmont are situated at the foot of those prodigious mountains called the Alps, or the Alpine hills.

The army now began to plunder and burn the towns and villages wherever they came; but the troops could

not force the passes to the Alps, which were gallantly defended by the Waldenses, who always repulsed their

enemies: but if any fell into the hands of the troops, they were sure to be treated with the most barbarous


A soldier having caught one of the Waldenses, bit his right ear off, saying, "I will carry this member of that

wicked heretic with me into my own country, and preserve it as a rarity." He then stabbed the man and threw

him into a ditch.

A party of the troops found a venerable man, upwards of a hundred years of age, together with his

granddaughter, a maiden, of about eighteen, in a cave. They butchered the poor old man in the most inhuman

manner, and then attempted to ravish the girl, when she started away and fled from them; but they pursuing

her, she threw herself from a precipice and perished.

The Waldenses, in order the more effectually to be able to repel force by force, entered into a league with the

Protestant powers of Germany, and with the reformed of Dauphiny and Pragela. These were respectively to

furnish bodies of troops; and the Waldenses determined, when thus reinforced, to quit the mountains of the

Alps, (where they must soon have perished, as the winter was coming on,) and to force the duke's army to

evacuate their native valleys.

The duke of Savoy was now tired of the war; it had cost him great fatigue and anxiety of mind, a vast

number of men, and very considerable sums of money. It had been much more tedious and bloody than he

expected, as well as more expensive than he could at first have imagined, for he thought the plunder would

have dischanged the expenses of the expedition; but in this he was mistaken, for the pope's nuncio, the

bishops, monks, and other ecclesiastics, who attended the army and encouraged the war, sunk the greatest

part of the wealth that was taken under various pretences. For these reasons, and the death of his duchess, of

which he had just received intelligence, and fearing that the Waldenses, by the treaties they had entered into,

would become more powerful than ever, he determined to return to Turin with his army, and to make peace

with the Waldenses.

This resolution he executed, though greatly against the will of the ecclesiastics, who were the chief gainers,

and the best pleased with revenge. Before the articles of peace could be ratified, the duke himself died, soon

after his return to Turin; but on his deathbed he strictly enjoined his son to perform what he intended, and to

be as favourable as possible to the Waldenses.

The duke's son, Charles Emmanuel, succeeded to the dominions of Savoy, and gave a full ratification of

peace to the Waldenses, according to the last injunctions of his father, though the ecclesiastics did all they

could to persuade him to the contrary.

An Account of the Persecutions in Venice

While the state of Venice was free from inquisitors, a great number of Protestants fixed their residence there,

and many converts were made by the purity of the doctrines they professed, and the inoffensiveness of the

conversation they used.

The pope being informed of the great increase of Protestantism, in the year 1542 sent inquisitors to Venice to

make an inquiry into the matter, and apprehend such as they might deem obnoxious persons. Hence a severe

persecution began, and many worthy persons were martyred for serving God with purity, and scorning the

trappings of idolatry.

Various were the modes by which the Protestants were deprived of life; but one particular method, which

was first invented upon this occasion, we shall describe; as soon as sentence was passed, the prisoner had an

iron chain which ran through a great stone fastened to his body. He was then laid flat upon a plank, with his

face upwards, and rowed between two boats to a certain distance at sea, when the two boats separated, and

he was sunk to the bottom by the weight of the stone.

If any denied the jurisdiction of the inquisitors at Venice, they were sent to Rome, where, being committed

purposely to damp prisons, and never called to a hearing, their flesh mortified, and they died miserably in


A citizen of Venice, Anthony Ricetti, being apprehended as a Protestant, was sentenced to be drowned in the

manner we have already described. A few days previous to the time appointed for his execution, his son went

to see him, and begged him to recant, that his life might be saved, and himself not left fatherless. To which

the father replied, "A good Christian is bound to relinquish not only goods and children, but life itself, for the

glory of his Redeemer: therefore I am resolved to sacrifice every thing in this transitory world, for the sake

of salvation in a world that will last to eternity."

The lords of Venice likewise sent him word, that if he would embrace the Roman Catholic religion, they

would not only give him his life, but redeem a considerable estate which he had mortgaged, and freely

present him with it. This, however, he absolutely refused to comply with, sending word to the nobles that he

valued his soul beyond all other considerations; and being told that a fellow-prisoner, named Francis Sega,

had recanted, he answered, "If he has forsaken God, I pity him; but I shall continue steadfast in my duty."

Finding all endeavours to persuade him to renounce his faith ineffectual, he was executed according to his

sentence, dying cheerfully, and recommending his soul fervently to the Almighty.

What Ricetti had been told concerning the apostasy of Francis Sega, was absolutely false, for he had never

offered to recant, but steadfastly persisted in his faith, and was executed, a few days after Ricetti, in the very

same manner.

Francis Spinola, a Protestant gentleman of very great learning, being apprehended by order of the inquisitors,

was carried before their tribunal. A treatise on the Lord's Supper was then put into his hands and he was

asked if he knew the author of it. To which he replied, "I confess myself to be the author of it, and at the

same time solemnly affirm, that there is not a line in it but what is authorized by, and consonant to, the holy

Scriptures." On this confession he was committed close prisoner to a dungeon for several days.

Being brought to a second examination, he charged the pope's legate, and the inquisitors, with being

merciless barbarians, and then represented the superstitions and idolatries practised by the Church of Rome

in so glaring a light, that not being able to refute his arguments, they sent him back to his dungeon, to make

him repent of what he had said.

On his third examination, they asked him if he would recant his error. To which he answered that the

doctrines he maintained were not erroneous, being purely the same as those which Christ and his apostles

had taught, and which were handed down to us in the sacred writings. The inquisitors then sentenced him to

be drowned, which was executed in the manner already described. He went to meet death with the utmost

serenity, seemed to wish for dissolution, and declaring that the prolongation of his life did but tend to retard

that real happiness which could only be expected in the world to come.

An Account of Several Remarkable Individuals, Who Were

Martyred in Different

Parts of Italy, on Account of Their Religion

John Mollius was born at Rome, of reputable parents. At twelve years of age they placed him in the

monastery of Gray Friars, where he made such a rapid progress in arts, sciences, and languages that at

eighteen years of age he was permitted to take priest's orders.

He was then sent to Ferrara, where, after pursuing his studies six years longer, he was made theological

reader in the university of that city. He now, unhappily, exerted his great talents to disguise the Gospel

truths, and to varnish over the error of the Church of Rome. After some years residence in Ferrara, he

removed to the university of Behonia, where he became a professor. Having read some treatises written by

ministers of the reformed religion, he grew fully sensible of the errors of popery, and soon became a zealous

Protestant in his heart.

He now determined to expound, accordingly to the purity of the Gospel, St.

Paul's Epistle to the Romans, in a regular course of sermons. The concourse of people that continually

attended his preaching was surprising, but when the priests found the tenor of his doctrines, they despatched

an account of the affair to Rome; when the pope sent a monk, named Cornelius, to Bononia, to expound the

same epistle, according to the tenets of the Church of Rome. The people, however, found such a disparity

between the two preachers that the audience of Mollius increased, and Cornelius was forced to preach to

empty benches.

Cornelius wrote an account of his bad success to the pope, who immediately sent an order to apprehend

Mollius, who was seized upon accordingly, and kept in close confinement. The bishop of Bononia sent him

word that he must recant, or be burnt; but he appealed to Rome, and was removed thither.

At Rome he begged to have a public trial, but that the pope absolutely denied him, and commanded him to

give an account of his opinions, in writing, which he did under the following heads:

Original sin. Free-will. The infallibility of the church of Rome. The infallibility of the pope. Justification by

faith. Purgatory. Transubstantiation. Mass. Auricular confession. Prayers for the dead. The host. Prayers for

saints. Going on pilgrimages. Extreme unction. Performing services in an unknown tongue, etc., etc.

All these he confirmed from Scripture authority. The pope, upon this occasion, for political reasons, spared

him for the present, but soon after had him apprehended, and put to death, he being first hanged, and his

body burnt to ashes, A.D. 1553.

The year after, Francis Gamba, a Lombard, of the Protestant persuasion, was apprehended, and condemned

to death by the senate of Milan. At the place of execution, a monk presented a cross to him, to whom he said,

"My mind is so full of the real merits and goodness of Christ that I want not a piece of senseless stick to put

me in mind of Him." For this expression his tongue was bored through, and he was afterward burnt.

A.D. 1555, Algerius, a student in the university of Padua, and a man of great learning, having embraced the

reformed religion, did all he could to convert others. For these proceedings he was accused of heresy to the

pope, and being apprehended, was committed to the prison at Venice.

The pope, being informed of Algerius's great learning, and surprising natural abilities, thought it would be of

infinite service to the Church of Rome if he could induce him to forsake the Protestant cause. He, therefore,

sent for him to Rome, and tried, by the most profane promises, to win him to his purpose. But finding his

endeavours ineffectual, he ordered him to be burnt, which sentence was executed accordingly.

A.D. 1559, John Alloysius, being sent from Geneva to preach in Calabria, was there apprehended as a

Protestant, carried to Rome, and burnt by order of the pope; and James Bovelius, for the same reason, was

burnt at Messina.

A.D. 1560, Pope Pius the Fourth, ordered all the Protestants to be severely persecuted throughout the Italian

states, when great numbers of every age, sex, and condition, suffered martyrdom. Concerning the cruelties