« PreviousContinue »
he was killed on the spot. The persons who had occasioned this melancholy accident immediately suspended their chase of the dog, and the young women, on coming up, found that the lad who had been killed by their mischievous frolic was their brother!
AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE USE OF TRUTH.-If a rope is thrown to a drowning person by a friend, it may be the only means by which he can hope for rescue. And yet the rope will do nothing for him ; its efficacy depends not entirely on the friend who throws it. The drowning man must lay hold of it, and keep hold, or he will not be saved; but yet he has to acknowledge the friend that sent it, as his deliverer.
So the truth, presented to us in the Gospel, can do nothing for us of itself alone; the truth must be received by faith before we can be saved. We must lay hold of it, and keep hold of it, or we are lost; and yet we owe salvation entirely to HIM who sends it to us.
THE CHILD'S INQUIRY.
Tells what has been-what once was seen,
As if Dame Earth, had given birth
They tell me further, and it makes me sigh,
Shall dart, shall fly, shall crowd the sky,
Nor do they tarry here, but further show,
O'er flowers and fields, stern ruin wields
But tell me, Mother, is there no relief ;
Destruction hies, and faster flies
My darling child, thy dear inquiring mind,
Thy peaceful breast, shall ever rest
There is a land, my dear, of sweet repose,
God's changeless love, who from above
COBHAM HALL, AND LORD COBHAM. SEVERAL hundred years since, a gentleman, named Sir John Oldcastle the Lord Cobham, was cruelly put to death and burned by the papists, because he denied some of the errors of the Romish church. Sir John Oldcastle married Lady Cobham—the grand-daughter and heiress of Lord Cobham-and after his marriage he was called Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham. This gentleman was an associate of King Henry the Fifth in his younger days, before he was king; but after Henry came to the throne, he was so much under the control of the priests, that he suffered them to persecute his early friend, and cruelly to put him to death, on account of his religion.
Fox, in his important history of the cruelties inflicted upon good men, by the persecuting papists, has given a long account of the proceedings against Lord Cobham. He was repeatedly publicly examined by the priests who accused him of heresy. They charged him with denying the doc
trine of transubstantiation. The papists hold this doctrine ; that is, they profess to believe, that when the priest says a certain prayer, the bread and wine, used in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, are changed into the very flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. For refusing to profess to believe this absurd dogma, the papists have put many persons to death.
Lord Cobham was also accused of denying, that it was needful to make confession of sins to a priest, or to obtain priestly absolution or pardon. He affirmed, that it was most important to confess sins unto God, and to seck forgiveness from Him. He objected to wicked priests, and said, that they ought not to be consulted about spiritual things, but that instruction should be sought from good ministers.
Another accusation against Lord Cobham was, that he denied the pope to be Christ's vicar, or agent, and also denied that he was Peter's successor, having authority to appoint to all priestly offices. Lord Cobham truly said, that the pope was not like Peter in his manner of life, and therefore, he was not Peter's successor. He said “the pope was the head of anti-christ, and the bishops, priests, and monks, the body, and the begging friars the tail.” He added, “neither will I in conscience obey any of you, till I see you, with Peter, follow Christ in conversation.”
He was also examined, as to his opinion, about the merit of going on pilgrimage to visit holy places, and as to worshipping the relics and images of apostles and other saints. Lord Cobham said, “I owe them no service by any commandment of God." The priests obtained large sums of money from the deluded people who worshipped the relics and images. Therefore Lord Cobham said, “It is a wonderful thing, that saints now being dead should become so covetous and needy, and thereupon so bitterly beg, who all their life time hated covetousness and begging. But this I say unto you, that with your shrines and idols, your feigned absolutions and pardons, ye draw unto you the substance, wealth, and chief pleasures of all Christian realms."
One of the friars, in the archbishop's court, publicly asked him, “Sir, will you worship the cross of Christ, that He died upon ?” Lord Cobham replied, “ Where is it?” The friar then said, “If it were here would you worship it?" Lord Cobham answered, “What worship should I do unto it? One of the priests replied, “Such worship as, Paul speaketh of, and that is this, "God forbid that I should joy but only in the cross of Jesus Christ.'” Lord Cobham' then spread his arms and said, “This is the very cross, yea, and so much better than your cross of wood." The bishop of London then said, “Sir, ye wot well that he died on a material cross." Lord Cobham replied, “Yen, and I wot also that our salvation came not in and by that material cross, but alone by Him which died thereupon. And well I wot, that holy St. Paul rejoiced in none other cross, but in Christ's passion and death only, and in His own sufferings of like persecution with Christ."
The archbishop of Canterbury pronounced sentence upon Lord Cobham. The following is a part of the condemnation, which was read :-“We judge, declare, and condemn the said sir John Oldcastle, knight, and Lord Cobham, for a most pernicions, and detestable heretic, convicted upon the same, and refusing utterly to obey the church again, committing him here from henceforth, as a condemned heretic, to the secular jurisdiction, power, and judgment, to do him thereupon to death. Furthermore, we excommunicate and denounce accursed, not only this heretic here present, but 50 many else besides as shall hereafter, in favour of his error, receive or defend him, counsel him, or help him, or any other way maintain him, as very favourers, receivers, defenders, counsellors, aiders, and maintainers of condemned heretics."
After the archbishop had pronounced the condemnation, Lord Cobham replied, with a cheerful countenance, "Though ye judge” (meaning condemn) "my body, which is but a wretched thing, yet am I certain and sure, that ye can do no harm to my soul, no more than Satan could do unto the soul of Job. He that created that, will of his infinite mercy and promise save it. I have, therein, no manner of doubt. And as concerning these articles before rehearsed, I will stand to them even unto the very death, by the grace of my eternal God.”
Lord Cobham was taken from the place of trial back to the Tower of London, where he was to be confined until