Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

respectfully urged the justice and expediency of | Allen remarks: “In our visit to this country we abolishing this vestige of barbarism within the have met with divers valuable individuals, and Spanish dominions.

with much to claim our sympathy; the retroThe communication was closed with the spect of the opportunities which have been avowal of a desire for the happiness of the king afforded for religious communication, with perand queen, and a belief that with such a coun- sons of various classes, and under different cirtry, and so fine a people, nothing was wanting cumstances, is attended with peace; and we but a series of arrangements, which the king have been fully convinced of the importance of had power to make, to enable Spain to give an personal association in order to prepare the way example to surrounding nations of what may be for future usefulness. The foundation has been done, when the spirit of industry is roused, en- laid for correspondence in the parts that have couraged, and judiciously applied.

been visited, and we hope that the opening will Whether this report was productive of any be wisely and cautiously improved. It is ensalutary influence on the measures of govern- couraging to believe, that, though much hidden ment, it does not appear to have given offence; from outward observation, there is a precious for our friends were soon afterwards invited to seed scattered through this nation; and we trust visit the king and queen at their palace, where that the Lord of the harvest will, in his own they were kindly and respectfully treated, though time, cause it to spring up yet more conspicunothing remarkable occurred. They also re- ously, and bring forth fruit. We learned that a ceived a written permit to visit the prisons of considerable number of the Roman Catholics in Valencia and Barcelona.

many parts of Spain, maintain the principles of The road between Madrid and Valencia being Archbishop Fenelon, and are acquainted with much infested by banditti, who frequently plun- the nature of true spiritual worship; but such is der the travellers, the authorities at the former the overwhelming influence of the priests, and place offered to send a company of horsemen with there is so much gross ignorance among the our friends to protect them; but this offer they people, that great prudence and care are requisite were not free to accept. At Valencia they were in any attempts to diffuse knowledge, or to proescorted to the various prisons by officers of mote the cause of truth.” government, apparently to protect them from the Our friends left the Spanish dominions on the insults, to which the singularity of their appear- 28th of 3d month, with a thankful persuasion ance and manners might otherwise have exposed that they had been divinely guided in their jourthem.

ney through this dark and bigoted land, and from In this city and its institutions they found subsequent information it appeared that their some things to commend, but much to deplore. visit was paid at the only time when it could be The venality of the officers of government, which done ; for there were obstructions which were has been long and generally known, was such just removed, and the popular tumults which that almost all who were wealthy, however crimi- arose soon after their departure, would unquesnal, might escape by bribery. The oppression tionably have closed their way, had they been to which the peasantry of the country were sub- still in the country. jected, from tithes and imposts, left them very After leaving the Spanish dominions, our little to support their families, and stimulate their friends occupied about three weeks in travelling exertions. A fine country, with a genial climate, through France, visiting schools and religious is thus, by bigotry and oppression, filled with a persons on their way. At Paris they had two miserable population. Yet a number of inte-interesting interviews with the Duke de Broglie, resting friendships were formed, and some op- in which the subject of negro slavery was portunities were found for religious communica- brought under discussion; and though nothing tions.

very specific appears in the narrative, we may After visiting the different institutions at Bar- readily believe that the zeal for meliorating the celona, our friends addressed a second communi- condition of the negro race, for which the Ďuke cation to the king and queen, in which they is conspicuous, was somewhat quickened by his exposed the condition of the country, the causes intercourse with such men as S. Grellet and W. of some of the evils existing among the people, Allen. and the remedies which ought to be applied, In a little less than three months from the with a freedom and honesty which are probably time of leaving home, W. Allen was favoured too seldom the accompaniments of addresses to return in safety to his residence at Stoke designed for the royal ear. Yet such is the Newington. Christian spirit evidently pervading the commu

(To be continued.) nication, that it seems impossible even for the pride of royalty to be offended by it. These communications appear to have been prepared by W. Allen, but submitted to the revision of his The Chinese proverb says, “A lie has no companion.

legs, and cannot stand; but it has wings, and On a retrospect of their labours in Spain, W. I can fly far and wide."--Hochelaga.

From the North American Review.

were Germans at Constance, some of whom had JOHN HUSS AND JEROME OF PRAGUE. not forgotten the shame and confusion of the (Concluded from page 301.)

memorable secession from the University of

Prague. Besides, the past and present troubles The way was now open for Huss. A dreary in Bohemia, with the fear of future disorders, winter and a joyless spring had passed away, urged the friends of peace to remove the author the smiting heats of summer had bowed him of them. We need only add the vague and down, and thus long he had waited for the poor slippery character of the crime of heresy, the boon of a public audience, which had been with most intelligible definition of which is, a substiheld, as if the delay were a favour, instead of a tution of private opinion for the doctrine of the sentence of imprisonment, weariness, and sorrow. universal church, and it is evident at once how How ardently he longed for an opportunity to little was to be hoped from a body which, face his accusers appears in such phrases as calling itself the church universal, had only to these :-“0, why am I not led forth to the fu- declare its disallowance of an article to make neral pile, rather than thus prevented from being that article ipso facto heretical. The plaintiff heard?" “ Rather than be thus basely stifled, I became his own judge, and wo to the defendant. prefer to have my body burned with fire; I am

On the 5th of June, the cardinals, prelates, anxious that every Christian shall know what and a large body of the inferior clergy, met at are my last words.” His time at last arrived. the Franciscan monastery, to which Huss had His public examination was appointed for the been brought back from Gotleben. The pri4th of June, though not till after an attempt had soner was introduced. Months of severe conbeen made to get him condemned without a finement, and the pains of sharp disease, had hearing. This scandalous maneuvre was baf- deepened the paleness of those thin, but not fled by the prompt intervention of his faithful harsh features, whose mild expression so attracts countrymen, whose remonstrances had such an

us in his portrait. But the signature of suffering effect on Sigismund, that he compelled the hasty on the human countenance, which more than judges to submit to the tedious process of an

tears or moving speech goes straight to the heart open audience. A deputation had already been of a fellow-man, was lost upon these cruel insent to Gotleben, to examine the prisoner in quisitors. He was left to stand awhile in a corsecret, in order to draw from him a recantation, ner of the hall, till his judges had sated themor at least an avowal of heretical opinions. But selves with gazing on him. His books were though, as he tells us, he suffered greatly from then shown to him, and acknowledged to be his. the insults of his tormentors, he neither lost his The reading of articles against him commenced. temper, nor was betrayed into any imprudent But as soon as he attempted to reply, he was concessions.

interrupted by such an uproar, that he could not Glad, however, as he was to obtain a public be heard. “I thought," he said, “ that the council hearing, he was well aware of the change in his possessed more good-breeding, charity, and disciprospects since the day when the summons to pline.” After waiting a little, he appealed to Constance had listed him, as by a miracle, from a the Holy Scriptures. The outcry grew more bed of sickness. The question, as he clearly furious. 6. That is not the question," was the perceived, was no longer an open one. In a clamour. The scene has been described by letter written about this time he says,—“All Luther in his rough way. “They all," says was decided by the council, previously to my he, “ began to rage like wild boars ; the bristles being thrown into prison.” He knew, also, that of their backs stood on an end ; they wrinkled he had been stigmatized in a document published their brows and whetted their tusks.” The by the commissioners appointed to examine his assembly broke up in confusion. After two case, as a heretic and a seducer of the people. days they met again, and this time, the emperor It was, indeed, too late for argument or rhetoric, being present, preserved tolerable decency; or the persuasive power of simple innocence, to though, when Huss declared that he would wil. save him. He was surrounded by a network lingly have his sonl where Wycliffe was, he of hostile influences, too strong to be broken was greeted with a roar of laughter. He was through. As a denouncer of clerical corruption, charged with holding Wycliffe's errors. This he had probably dealt too familiarly with the he denied, not regarding as errors those doctrines dignity of the order, to be forgiven. He was, of Wycliffe which he himself professed. On moreover, a stumbling-block in the way of union, these and other points the examination continued for he would not admit the infallibility of the for some time, and was finally adjourned to the council, the great instrument of union. He was next day. As Huss was retiring, Sigismund, a miniature Wycliffe ; and the council, by the still uneasy at his own equivocal position, called sweeping sentence passed on the master, had him back, and endeavoured by persuasions and committed itself to the condemnation of the dis- ) threats to induce him to submit unreservedly to ciple. He was a Realist, and the Parisian No- the authority of the council. He replied, that minalists were not on that account disposed to he was perfectly ready to retract, if any thing look leniently on his other delinquencies. There better than his own doctrine could be shown

He was

e.

him. In the third audience, a long list of arti- | that such things have had their day; and the cles, professing to be taken from Huss's works, consoling reflection that the blood of political were read. Some he acknowledged, some he and religious martyrs, in exciting the indignation denied, and some he defended. An attempt was of mankind against such enormities, has not been made to induce him to confess his errors, to ab- without fruit. jure them, and swear never to teach them. He The sands of life were now running low, but could not confess an error till it was proved to the trials of the victim were not over. be such, and he could not abjure what he had beset again and again with exhortations to recant, been falsely charged with maintaining. The to which he ever returned the same constant emperor, provoked by his obstinacy, declared, refusal. He asked for a confessor, and chose that, if he did not recant, he ought to be burned Paletz, his greatest adversary. Instead of Pato death. Huss made no reply, and was re- letz, a monk was sent, from whom he received manded to prison, whither the faithful John de absolution. Paletz, however visited him once Chlum attended him. When he arrived there, more, to urge him to abjure his errors. The he was so exhausted with illness and fatigue that meeting was a very affecting Huss asked he could scarcely stand. Thus ended the three pardon of Paletz for some words which he had audiences, throughout which all the arts and uttered before the council. Paletz pressed him assaults of his adversaries had not been able to to recant. Huss calmly refused, and in the most shake his firmness in the smallest point. As a gentle manner reproved his countryman, once man and a Christian he had no cause to blush his friend, for his cruel treatment of him. Pafor his bearing on those trying days. It was letz was moved to lears. On the 24th of June what might have been expected from the patient it was resolved to condemn his books to the but determined tone of his letters. In these ad-fames, in the hope that he might thus be inmirable writings, so full of piety, of affection, duced to yield. But this sentence produced no and of resignation, we see the genuine goodness effect. The day of his own condemnation not of his nature. Never for a moment does he having been fixed, several of his last letters are think of a compromise with his persecutors. written in the expectation of death, which might Constant, but not obstinate, severe but not vin- come upon him at any time. Though now and dictive, ready to die for the truth, but not ambi- then his heart sinks within him, as he dwells on tious of the parade of martyrdom, he excites our his approaching fate, these struggles are soon admiration, while he hardly seems to need our over, and his spirit returns to its wonted conpity. If his phrases are sometimes harsh, they stancy. He takes the most affectionate leave of do not seem to be the utterance of personal spite, his friends, dividing among them his books and but the plain, unmeasured speech of one who garments, giving kind advice to such as needed it, identifies himself with the cause for which he remembering with especial interest his Bethlesuffers. That they are not more bitter is ama-hem flock. He prays God to forgive his enezing, when we remember his wrongs and his mies, and hopes that more vigorous champions woes.

of the truth will be raised up after hiin. His His condemnation, though yet delayed in the last letter, in which he takes his farewell of some hope of pressing him to an abjuration of his of his friends, ends with the wish,-“ May Galerrors, was virtually decreed. How far he was lus" (his successor at the Bethlehem chapel) a heretic, we will not undertake to say. Nor“ preach the word of God to you; and may all are we prepared to deny that some of his of you, my beloved, listen attentively to it and doctrines were erroneous, and possibly unsafe. keep it in your hearts !" But that he was an honest man, and a much On the 6th of July he completed his fortybetter man than many of his judges, we have no second year. On the same day he was condoubt; and, as he said of Wycliffe, we are quite demned and burned at the ståke. The fifteenth willing to say of him,-—“We should be willing general session of the council was held in the to have our souls where he is.” Nor is it principal church of the city; a cardinal presided, necessary to pass too severe a sentence on the and the emperor in full state was present. The acts of the council. The horror of heresy in occasion had drawn an immense concourse of those days was extreme, and perhaps most in- spectators. Huss arrived while mass was celetense with those who felt themselves nearest its brating, and was kept without, that the holy verge. To pursue it with all the terrors of the service might not be profaned by the presence church was to make their own lapse less possi- of a heretic. Having been introduced, he was ble, and at the same time to vindicate their led to a high stool, that all might see him. Here orthodoxy in the eyes of the world. The bru- he prayed for some time, while the preacher of tality, too, of public assemblies is proverbial, the council was discoursing from the text, and, shameful as it is, must not be regarded as a “ That the body of sin might be destroyed." fair index of private character. Be that as it The reading of articles against him then bemay, these scandalous condemnations, like the gan, to which he was forbidden to reply till old state trials for treason, leave one agreeable the whole list was finished. They could not, impression on the mind,-a sense of gratitude ! however, entirely silence him. Being charged with giving himself out as the fourth person in The death of Jerome was delayed till the the Trinity, he repeated aloud the. Athanasian next spring. Worn out with the sufferings of a creed. Being accused of having appealed to long imprisonment, his courage had given way, Jesus Christ, he repeated the appeal. Having and he consented to recant. But he withdrew occasion to speak of “ the public protection and his abjuration, and, after undergoing an examifaith of the emperor,” he looked Sigismund full nation in which his firmness and eloquence in the face, and the false man blushed deeply.* were the admiration even of his enemies, he At length sentence was pronounced, first against went to the stake with a noble magnanimity his books, and then against hiinself. His books worthy of the friend of Huss. Hear what were to be burned, and himself to be degraded. Æneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II., says Huss fell on his knees, praying,—“Lord Jesus, of the martyrs :- They went to the stake as to pardon my enemies ! thou knowest 'that they a banquet. Not a word fell from them which have falsely accused me. Pardon them of thy showed the least faint-heartedness. In the midst infinite mercy!” The ceremony of degradation of the flames they sang hymns to the last gasp immediately followed. He was first dressed in without ceasing. Never did any philosopher full canonicals, and a sacramental cup placed in suffer death with so much constancy as they his hand. They then exhorted him to retract. endured the fire." Again he refused. The cup was taken from his hand, and the vestments drawn off one by one, with a curse for each. They then clipped his | OBSERVATIONS ON LEGAL AND JUDICIAL

OATHS. hair to efface the tonsure, and placed on his head a paper cap of a cubit's height, painted over A pamphlet of sixteen pages, with this title, with shapes of devils, and bearing the word has just been issued by the Editor of the Re“arch-heretic,” and so devoted his soul, as they view. It is abridged from a larger pamphlet said, to the infernal spirits. “And I,” he replied, published in 1846. The subject is not discussed “commit my soul to Thee, who didst wear a

as a doctrinal question ; but as one of morality crown of thorns.” He was now delivered over and expedience. Probably the information conto the secular power, and led out to execution. tained in the following extracts may be interestHe was followed by the princes of the empire, ing to some of our readers : with a band of eight hundred armed men, at In the years 1830 and 1831, (1 and 2 Wilwhose heels came an immense multitude. The liam 4) Acts were passed by the British Par. train took the way of the bishop's palace, that liament, abolishing a number of oaths which had Huss might see the burning of his own books. been previously exacted; and in 1834, a comHe smiled at the sight. When he reached the mittee of the House of Lords was appointed to stake he fell upon his knees and recited some of inquire into the expediency of substituting a the penitential psalms, and often repeated the Declaration instead of an oath in certain cases. words,—“ Into thy hands, O God, I commend This committee called before them a number of my spirit.” As he was about to speak to the witnesses, who were requested to give informapeople, he was forbidden by the imperial vicar, tion in regard to the operation of the acts above and ordered to be burned. Then he prayed mentioned, and their opinions, founded on their aloud,— Lord Jesus, pardon all my enemies!" experience, in various official stations, of the exAfter speaking a few kind words to his jailors, pediency of substituting more extensively Declahe was bound to the stake, unbound again, and rations, with penalties annexed, instead of the rebound, that the face of the heretic might be oaths then required by law. turned from the east. Fagots and heaps of This testimony was given in the spring of straw were then piled up about him, and the fire 1834. It occupies collectively, between forty was ready to be set. Another offer was made and fifty folio pages. The subject of oaths is to him to recant, which with a loud voice he examined as a question of expediency. The rejected. The nobles of the empire withdrew, witnesses appear to have been extensively acand the pile was lighted. As the wind caught quainted with the use of oaths. A few of them the flames and wrapped them around him, the were of opinion, that in some cases the cause of crowd could no longer see his face, but he was truth was promoted by the use of the oath; but heard thrice to say, Jesus, son of the living it does not appear that any disadvantage had God, have pity on me!" The fire was kept been experienced from the substitution of a up till every part of the body was consumed ; Declaration, so far as the experiment had been the ashes were then scraped together and thrown tried. And the general tenor of the testimony into the Rhine. But the Bohemians hollowed was, that very little, if any security to the utterout the ground where he was burned, and sent ance of truth or the fulfilment of promises, was the precious earth to Prague.

attainable by the administration of oaths, which

could not be derived from Declarations, with the The remembrance of that blush lasted for a century, for when Charles V. was urged to violate Luther's safe penalty of perjury annexed to their violation. conduct,—“No,” replied he, “ I should not like to blush

“In the early part of 1835, the committee like Sigismund.”

produced their first report. In this they express

their disapprobation of the prevailing practice of The same penalties which are annexed to exacting oaths, on so many trivial occasions; the taking of false oaths in certain cases, are especially in fiscal matters and the qualification annexed to the making of false Declarations ; for petty offices. They say, • The committee and in all cases under the Act, where Declaracannot hesitate to lay down the position, that re- tions are substituted for oaths, any person making course ought never to be had to the sanction of or subscribing a false Declaration, is held to be an oath, where it can safely be dispensed with ; guilty of a misdemeanor. that it is not justifiably used where the object for This Act, we observe, was passed during which it is employed is not of sufficient im- the session of 1835; and in the same year a portance to warrant a direct and solemn appeal committee of the House of Lords was appointed to the Deity; nor in any case, however import- to pursue the inquiry assigned to the committee ant, where those objects can be equally well at- of the preceding year. That committee sat fretained by any other means.

quently in the spring of 1837, and examined a “ The committee feel it incumbent upon them number of witnesses, in order to ascertain the to recommend, that for the future no bill should effect produced by the substitution of a Declarabe permitted to pass your Lordships' House, re- tion for an oath, as far as the experiment had quiring the administration of an oath, except in been tried. The following is an extract from cases where it shall manifestly appear that the their report printed in 1837. security sought for cannot be attained by means “ It appears by the evidence, that many hunof a Declaration, with penalties attached to false- dred thousand Declarations have been taken hood. Let the law continue its own sanctions, during the last year, where oaths would heretobut let it spare the solemnity of an oath. And fore have been required ; and that no practical where, for want of something better to depend inconvenience has been found to arise from the upon, it is necessary to accepi men's own word change. The committee are strongly of opinion, or own account, let it annex to prevarication, that it is expedient to proceed still further, to penalties proportioned to the public mischief of carry into execution the recommendations of the the offence.'

committee of 1834, and to abolish every unne“ The Legislature is undoubtedly bound, not cessary oath." only to forbear for the time to come, from im- As the committee of the House of Lords posing unnecessary and frivolous oathis, but also have come to the conclusion, after minute and to take measures for the gradual diminution and extensive inquiries of men well qualified to furultimate abolition of those which, from a want nish information, that no inconvenience has of due attention to the principles above laid arisen in the collection of their complicated revedown, have been already imposed to an almost nue, from the substitution of a Declaration, with indefinite extent."

adequate penalties in case of fraud, for the oath The Act of 1 and 2 William 4, has con- formerly exacted; we may safely conclude, that siderably lessened the number of oaths taken in a similar expedient would as effectually guard the department of Customs, by substituting a the revenues of the United States from depredaDeclaration for an oath, except in certain cases tion or loss. The share of the results of prospecified in the Act. It has appeared to the ductive industry, which is claimed by the gocommittee that in some, if not all, the cases so vernment, is incomparably greater in Great excepted, a Declaration or satisfactory proof Britain than in the United States, and, of course, would be sufficient; but the evidence on this stronger guards to prevent evasion or embezzlepoint was not so conclusive as to produce an en- ment in the collection and disbursement of the tire unanimity of opinion in those who heard it.” revenue, must be required with them than with

An Act soon afterwards passed the British us. But they have experienced neither inconParliament, by virtue of which a Declaration venience nor loss from the change; they find a is to be substituted by the Lords of the Treasu- Declaration as effectual, in practice, as an oath. ry for all oaths, solemn affirmations, or affidavits, Upon what principle of correct ratiocination can hitherto required in the public departments

, re- we then found a conclusion, that a Declaration lating to the collection of revenues, auditing of in lieu of an oath, would be less effectual here? accounts, &c. &c. A copy of such Declaration As long as the proceedings in the collection as may be agreed upon by the Lords of the of the government duties continue as they are Treasury, is to be published in the London at present, to be entrenched in oaths, we may Gazette, and to come into operation in twenty- rationally expect a custom-house oath to be one days after publication, and no oath after- what it long has been, a proverb and a by-word. wards to be administered.

The imposition of oaths which are not expected Declarations are also to be substituted in to be kept, besides their obvious impiety, must lieu of oaths, in a number of other cases. unavoidably contribute to sink the standard of

The Act, however, does not affect the taking morals, particularly in relation to veracity. If of the oath of allegiance, nor the administering the encouragement of virtue, as well as the reor taking of any oath in judicial proceedings in straining of vice, is a legitimate object of governcourts of justice.

ments, we may reasonably question whether it

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »