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as his word; for soon after he caused twq of his own subjects to be burnt for heresy (zz).

(zz) He caused two of his own subjects to be burnt for heresy.] The names of these two were Bartholomew Legate, and Edward Wightman. The first of these was a man of great {kill in the scriptures, and his converfation unblamable. His errors were somewhat of the fame kind with those attributed to\Socinus; and withal he had the hardiness to fay, that the Nicene and Athanafian creeds contain not a prosession qf the true christian faith, fames caused him to be brought to him, and a''empted his conversion; but when he found that he was intractable, he dismissed him with a contemptuous speech ;and afterwards by the bishops being declared an incorrigible heretic, he gave orders to direct the writ de hæretico comburendo to the sheriffs of London, and in Smithfield he was burned to ashes. What Wightman , was, or what his errors, is hard to fay. The heresies of Ebion, Cerintbus, Valentinian, Arrius, Macedomus, Simon Magus, Manes Manichœus, Photinus, and the Anabaptijis, were reckoned up against him in the warrant for his burning; but, probably, he knew not what they meant thereby, any more than they themselves did who inserted them in his accufation. They were hard words, and they thought, it may be, that they would terrify and affright. However this is certain, that for bis errors, whatever they were, he was burnt at Litchfield («). These executions were'in the year 16l I. (°) Fuller*' 'James had another heretic to exercise his zeal on also ; church hifc but seeing those that suffered were much pitied, he TMnt*17* very mercisully let him linger out his lise in Newgate. ." j. gV Had I not reason then to fay, that I doubted not James \vould have been as good as his word, in making VorJiius consess his heresies, had he been his subject? I make no doubt but that he would have used his endeavours; and if these had failed, would have treated him is bad as he did Legate and Wightman* For he had tha

?Tis very remarkable, that in this decla? ration against Vorjlius, he falls foul on the


spirit of an inquisitor: no pity, no compassion was within him: he had no sense of the worth of those men who preserred a good conscience before all things; he thought 'twas only obstinacy in them, and therefore deemed them worthy of punishment. So easy is it for men who have no principles themselves, tq censure and condemn those who are truly honest and sincere. I wish for the honour of human nature, for the honour of Christianity, and the honour of the reformation, that no such instances of persecution had been to be found; hut, as we cannot blot them out, we ought to-set a mark on those who occasioned them, that so their names may be treated with that indignation they so j ustly merit. Since the writing the above, by means of a very worthy friend, I have got sight of the commissions and warrants for the condemnation and burning of Legate and Wightman. The commissions are directed to Thomas lord El/mere, chancellor of England. The warrant for the burning Legate is addressed to the Sheriffs of London, the other for Wightman, to the Sheriff of Litchfield. By the commissions the chancellor is ordered to award and make out, under the great seal of England, writs of execution; and the sheriffs by the warrant, are required to commit the heretics to the fire. The heresies of Legate are (as I have represented them from Fuller) reckoned up as the reason for putting him to death. As for what is charged to Wightman's account, if it be true, (for great doubt is to bs made of the truth of persecutors) he was certainly an) enthusiast, but, for aught appears, a harmless one; for he is charged with holding, that " he was the prophet "spoken of in the eighteenth of Deuteronomy in these "words, I will rise them up a prophet, &c. and that "this place of Ifaiah, I alone have trodden the wine*' press; and that other place, whose fan is in his band, f* are proper and personal to him the faid Edward'


mmeosdlrmmuis (aaa)j and that afterwards


f* IVjghtman. He is also accused with believing himself "the comforter spoken of in St. John's gospel, and the *' Elios to come; and that he was sent to perform his "part in the work of the falvation of the world." But for his holding the opinions of Manes, and Manichees, (as with great learning and judgment they are distinguished in the warrant) and Simon Magus, nothing at all appears even from the enumeration of his adverfaries. So that I guessed right, that the inserting of these hard names was to terrify and affright (b). I will insert (*) Th« a paragraph from the warrant far the execution of £*- connexion, gate, with the reader's leave, which will shew us pretty choice colmuch the temper of James, and so conclude. "As a lections of • * zealot of jullice, and a desender of the catholic faith, sun,e P«"«

, ... 'pal matters

"and willing to desend and maintain the holy church, in k;ng

"and rights and liberties of the fame, and the catholic James's

*' faith, and such heresies and errors every where what in re,sn>_8"°»

"us lieth, to root out and extirpate, and to punish withL0nd'. 1681.

"condign punishment such heretics so convicted, and

"deeming that such an heretic in form aforefaid, con

"victed and condemned according to the laws and

"customs of this our kingdom of England, in this

*' part occasioned, ought to be burned with fire, we

*'. do command, &c." (c) W H-P.79<

(aaa) He falls very foul on the name of A-rminius.] jfrminius was a man of sense; he faw the consequences pf the calvinistical doctrines, and set himself to oppose <hem ; but he did it with candour and modesty. Whether his scheme be in all parts pf it desensible, or whether he in any place has run into one extream in order to avoid another, and needlessly made innovations in the received doctrines of the reformed churches, I leave to divine? to be considered. ^Tis sufficient here to observe that his doctrine was received by many men of great understandings, and that his manners were irreproachable. His memory therefore ought to have been dear to every good man, and his reputation should have


he contributed much to the condemnation of his followers, by fending his divines to the synod of Dort (bbb), where their doctrine

remained unsullied. But James attacked him; he calls

him a " seditious aud heretical preacher, an insector of

(a) James's " Leyden with heresy, and an enemy of God (a);

works, p. 't and withal he complains of his hard hap not to hear

Ijo|3S*' *' of him' before he was dead, and that all the reform

"ed churches in Germany had with open mouths

{*) M.ibid. " complained of him (b)." -Hard hap indeed! to be

ignorant of the sentiments of a prosessor of divinity, and unable to enter the lists with him; for this probably he would have done, had he found any thing to

have fastened on. But 'James's anger against Armi

tiius soon declined. Though he here branded him for an enemy to God, "yet having seen the opinion of '' his followers, and their adverfaries, and the argu"ments by which they were supported, discussed at "large, he tells tha states general,' it did not appear to "him that either of them were inconsistent with the "truth of the christian faith, and the falvation of (0 Abridge- * ' souls (c)." This letter is dated March 6,1613, and mem of ls plalnly contradictory to what I have just cited from iist. of the h's writings. But a contradiction was nothing to him. reforma- A man shall be an enemy to God,-or the contrary, just tieo, Vol. as ne. takes ;t in his head ; for 'twas a small matter with and Wml him to accuse, revile, and rail: he was a king, and wood, Vol. he expected his word should be taken, though he renlU.p.452. dered not a reason. However James's fit of good-humour lasted not long, with respect to the followers of Arminius in Holland; they soon again were bad men, held wicked doctrines, and such as were worthy of his. care to extirpate, as we shall presently see. He joined with their adversaries, and contributed to their undoing; so that he had no stability of judgment, or resolution, but was various as the wind,

[ (bbb) He contributed much to the condemnation of


trine was rejected, the contrary thereunto


His followers^ by sending his divines to the synod of Dort.'] The end and design of this synod was to con-» demn the remonstrants; it was called by their prosessed enemies, and composed of such as were most of all set against them. They took an oath indeed, " that in *' examining and deciding, they would use no human "writing, but only the word of God. And that "during all their discussions, they would aim only at the *' glory of God, the peace of the church, and espe"daily the preservation of the purity of doctrine (a)." (ajAbrVgBut this was no guard ; every thing was determined ac- mentof cording to their preconceived opinions, and the contra- yTM"^' w ty was judged false and heretical. For 'tis the manner 417, . of these assemblies to assume to themselves somewhat more wisdom than the writers of the New Testament ever pretended to. They know better how to express doctrines, how to guard against heresies, how to secure the peace of the church, and above all how to silence and convince gainfayers in the most effectual manner. But, somewhat unluckily,, it has happened out, that where they have once done good, they have ten times' done hurt. Where one breach in the church has been made up by them, many have been caused ; and where one heresy, as 'tis called, has been suppressed, numbers have been occasioned by them. So that it would be a very difficult matter to fay what good purpose they have ever ,

answered. To the members of them, indeed, they have been usesul. They have established their reputation for orthodoxy with the unthinking vulgar; given them an opportunity of gratifying their ambition and love os power; and above all of fatiating their revenge on those who have eclipsed their reputation, and hindered them from making the figure they were inclined to. But too fad a truth is it, that they never have promoted peace, unity, and love among christians, or the practice of those other virtues which are so strongly inculcated

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