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low indeed were they brought, within a few hundred years after the time of Messiah's coming. Notwithstanding their great power, notwithstanding they had trodden down and devoured all nations around them, and ruled with uncontroulled sway for several centuries; yet at length a people came from the North, with the violence of a torrent, swept away all their grandeur, demolished their power, plundered and laid waste their provinces, destroyed their works of art, carried away and consumed their wealth, and laid their Empire level with the ground; not a vestige of it was left remaining. It has been buried in night and silence now for near 1400 years; nought remains but in the page of history. No individual on earth can now say he is descended from that people; they are utterly gone ; they are extinct, and blotted from the face of the earth. God having served his purposes with them, having used their extensive power in spreading the Gospel far and near, punished them for their iniquity and violence, with a terrible overthrow, even for ever and ever; which is aptly represented by the prophet in saying they should be brought low.
Having thus given a sketch of some of the most important events that soon followed the coming of Christ, the Prophet, by a beautiful and animated continuation of figures, points out the character of Christ, and the fundamental principles of the Gospel-And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people, a feast of fat things ; a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And our Lord when he came, freequently represented the Kingdom of Heaven under the image of a frast, a marriage supper, and the like. The dainties of this feast consist not in such things as are to please the animal appetite, but the rational soul. The gospel sets before us the feast of reason; it shews us the glorious Majesty of God, and at the same time calls on us to contemplate his mercy and goodness ; it points out to us Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, himself holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; it leads us to contemplate him, as at this season, a harmless babe, lying in a manger; and thereby teaching us a lesson of meekness and contentment; it spreads before us a feast containing all that immortal souls can desire to fill them with joy and exultation.
But he goes on ; And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people ; and the veil that is spread over all nations : He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces-For the Lord hath spoken it. He hath indeed destroyed and taken away the veil, which was between all men and future things. We may now look forward into eternity, and behold innumerable glories: For he hath brought life and immortality to light in the Gospel. The clouds and darkness which rested on all things beyond the grave, are driven away, and the light breaks in upon the benighted soul. The son of righteousness arises full in our view, with healing in his wings. The malady of sin is cured: Death shall be led captive by our Almighty Conqueror, the king of saints. With a realizing view of the resurrection morning, when he shall lead captivity captive, and give gifts unto mien ; when the graves shall open, and the sea give up its dead; the
Prophet exclaims, The Lord God shall wipe away tears from off all faces. The language of the gospel is, weep and mourn no more for the dead who die in the Lord, for they shall rise again. Dry your tears ye who mo'rn, for the hour is coming, in which you may triumph in that bright world beyond the grave. This we know, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it :-He who is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent, hath sworn by his holiness, that he will exalt unto such glory all who fear and serve him. He hath sent his Son into the world to proclaim these glad tidings, and invite us to come unto the feast that he hath spread.Well then may we say with the Prophet, Lo this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us ; this is the Lord, we have waited for hini, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
FROM THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
THE LIFE OF DR. NICOLAS RIDLEY,
BISHOP OF LONDON.
[Concluded from page 420.] ON the 28th September, a commission was sent down to Oxford, from Cardinal Poole, the Pope's Legate, to Brooks, Bishop of Gloucester, White, Bishop of Lincoln, and Holliman, Bishop of Bristol, for the trial of Bishop Ridley and Bishop Latimer, for heresy; and on the last of the said month, Bishop Ridley was brought before the commissioners, then sitting in the Divinity School.
The Bishop of Lincoln, in a long oration, exhorted him to recant his errors, and return to the unity of the Church, which was founded on St. Peter, and derived by lineal succession from him in the Bishops of Rome, down to the present; whose supremacy all the holy fathers of the Church acknowledged: he put him also in mind that he had been consecrated Bishop, according to the Roman Ordinal; and that in the reign of King Edward, he had preached up transubstantiation, and exhorted Gardiner to stand up resolutely and boldly in desence of it, against all opposers. Bishop Ridley, in return, told him, “ That he knew of no errors he had to recant; the whole of his doctrines and persuasions in religion being grounded on the infallible testimony of the word of God; that the Church was built, not on St. Peter's person, but on his confession; and that, though many honourable titles were in the writings of the fathers, given to the see of Rome, it was not on account of any such primacy as now claimed by the Pope, but because Rome was the imperial city, and its Bishops as remarkable in those early ages, for the purity of their doctrine and sanctity of their lives, as they were now infamous for the contrary.” He confessed that he had indeed been once of their persuasion ; but “ that that was no more a reason why he should always have continued so, than St. Paul's having once persecuted the Christians was, why he should forever have remained a persecutor.” He denied the charge of having preached up transubstantiation, or exhorted Gardiner to defend it; and gave them a true
account of the whole affair, which was this : Gardiner and he were in commission to examine some Anabaptists in Kent; who, among other wild and extravagant doctrines, advanced some dangerous and blasphemous positions concerning the Sacrament of the Altar, which they profanely called the Sacrament of the Halter, with many other such irreverent and impious speeches. Against these wretches, he had exhorted Gardiner to defend the doctrine of the Eucharist; and in opposition to them, he had strenuously asserted the high dignity of that holy sacrament: and what he had there said concerning the real and spiritual presence of Christ, to all worthy receivers of the sacred symbols, they now perverted, as if he had spoken it of the corporeal presence by transubstantiation.
After this reply of Bishop Ridley, the Bishop of Lincoln returned to his oration; and having harangued on the visibility of the Catholic Church, and endeavoured to shew, that the Pope's supremacy was not at all inconsistent with the just rights of the supreme civil power; he again exhorted him to return to the unity of the Church, and acknowledge the authority of the Pope to be justly restored, as the whole realm had already done. Bishop Ridley answered, “ that in the controversies of religion, he had guided himself by the excellent rule of Vicentius Lirinensis; which is “ where one part of the Church is infected with heresy, to prefer the whole before that part; and if the greatest part of the Church be corrupt, to prefer the doctrines of the ancient Church to those of the present." That he had impartially examined the Romish doctrines, by the doctrines of the primitive Church; and found they had so far degenerated from the primitive Christianity, that he could not safely continue in the communion ; that the Catholic Church was not to be confined to Rome, and those in communion with her; bụt that wherever the doctrine of Christ was truly preached, and his sacraments duly administered, as they were in the reformed Church of England, there was a sound part of the visible Catholic Church, and that those who obstinately retained their novel corruptions, and rigorously imposed them on others, were the persons who broke the unity of the Church, and who ought to retract their errors, and repent of their schism.
This noble defence so exasperated them, that breaking-off all further conference, they told him, that they came not there to dispute, but to hear what answer he could make to the articles whereof he stood accused. Which were, that he had openly defended and maintained at Oxford, and in many other places, that the natural body of Christ is not really present in the Eucharist after consecration ; that the substance of bread and wine still remaineth ; and that in the mass is no propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and dead ; which assertions were false, heretical, and contrary to the holy Catholic Faith. Bishop Ridley desired that he might be allowed time to consider what answer he should return ; which he would do, if they pleased, the next day.
They told him they expected an immediate answer ; but that he should, notwithstanding, have liberty to add, diminish, or alter any particulars of it, on the morrow, as he saw expedient. The Bishop replied, that the like promise had been made him at the public
disputations, and yet afterwards violated; for which cause he could not depend upon their being sincere with him now; and that he would desire leave to speak but three or four words. The Bishop of Lincoln still pressed him to give a direct and immediate answer, affirmatively or negatively, to the articles alledged against him; and told him that instead of three or four words, he should the next day be heard forty. Upon which, having first entered his protest against the authority of the Pope, and declared that he did not intend, by answering to the charge, to scknowledge that they had any just power, as legates of the Bishop of Rome, to sit in judgment over him ; he replied in the following manner: “ that as to the first are ticle, he steadfastly believed the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, by grace and efficacy, strengthening and refreshing the souls of all worthy communicants, and nourishing them to everlasting life; but that he denied such a gross kind of presence as the patrons of transubstantiation asserted.” As to the second, " that after the consecration, the bread and wine cease tobe common bread and wine, and become not only commemorative figures of Christ's body and blootl, but means of grace, effectually conveying to the souls of the faithful, all the benefits of Christ's body broken, and his blood shed, for us; but that the true and natural substances of bread and wine do still remain.” To the third, “ that Christ, on the cross, inade one perfect oblation for the sins of the world, which cannot be reiterated i and that the communion was an eucharistical, but not a propitiatory, sacrifice." . The next morning, he was again brought before them, and required to give in his answer to the articles alledged against him ; upon which he took a sheet of paper out of his bosom, and began to read it; but the Bishop of Lincoln ordered one of the beadles to take it from him. Bishop Ridley complained of this hard usage; but they told him, they would know the contents of the paper before they permitted it to be read. When they had perused it, the Bishop of Lincoln said it was not fit to be read in the audience of the people, it contained so many blasphemies. To which Bishop Ridley replied, that except two or three lines, there was nothing in it but passages collected from the writings of the Fathers, for the confirmation of his doctrines. But all he could plead was in vain, for they would not suffer the paper to be read, yet still required him to answer to the articles. He said he had giren them his answer in writing, and had nothing further to urge.
Then the Bishop of Gloucester began to expostulate with him ; entreating him not to rely too much on his frail understanding, nor be wise in his own conceit, but submit his private judgment to the authority of the Church.
Bishop Ridley desired that, according to their promise the day before, he might be permitted to give in his reasons why he could not, with a safe conscience, admit of the Pope's authority: to which the Bishop of Lincoln answered, that he had promised him indeed, when he desired to speak three or four words the day before, that he should this day be allowed to speak forty, and that he would be as good as his word; but that he should not be suffered to speak a syllable inore than the number prescribed in that promise. Accordingly,
when Bishop Ridley began to speak, before he had finished his first period, they cried out, that the number was expired, that he had been heard forty words according to promise; and compelled him to be silent.
After this, sentence was pronounced against him; the effect of which was, to declare him an obstinate and incorrigible heretic, and to adjudge him to be degraded from his episcopal, and all other ecclesiastical orders, to be excommunicated, majori excommunicatine, and to be delivered over to thie secular power, to be punished according to law.
On the fifteenth of October, the Bishop of Gloucester, attended by the Vice Chancellor, and other heads of Colleges, came to the Mayor's house, where Bishop Ridley was confined, and offered him the Queen's free pardon, on condition of his recantation : but he told them, that he had declared his mind fully before ; that he was tot to be moved from the profession of the truth, by any terrors of the world ; and that he was ready to seal the doctrines he had preached, with his blood, whenever it should please God to call him to that trial. Upon which the Bishop of Gloucester proceeded to degrade him from the dignity of the priesthood; for he pretended, not to allow him to be Bishop, though he was consecrated by their own ordinal; and having by force, put the popish vestments upon him, (he all the time protesting against their proceedings, and the usurped authority of the Pope, by whose commission they acted,) they performed all the usual solemnities of the degradation of a priest. Some were for having him gagged, that he might not speak against the Pope; at which he shook his head and sighed. And when they came to that part of the solemnity, where they pretended to deprive him of the office of preaching the Gospel, he meekly lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, “ O Lord God, forgive them this their wickedness.” When they had ended, he desired leave to speak, but the Bishop of Gloucester told him, that he was out of the Church, and it was unlawful to hold any conserence with him. “ Then,” said he, « since you will not vouchsafe to hear me, I refer my cause to my heavenly Father, the just and righteous judge.”
Bishop Ridley, though the next morning was appointed for his execution, did not abate any thing of his usual cheerfulness. He washed his beard and feet; and as he sat at supper, told them, that he invited them all to his wedding; and particularly wished his sister would attend him. His discourse was so moving, that Mrs. Irish, who before had always used him roughly, could not refrain from tears. The Bishop bade her not mourn for him; for though his breakfast was sharp and painful, yet he did not doubt but his supper would be sweet and pleasant, and that they who wept for him, did not love him, but envied his felicity. When they arose from table, his brother-in-law offered to watch with him all night, but he refused it, assuring him, that he intended to go to bed, and should sleep as quiet and undisturbed, as ever he had done in his whole life.
The place appointed for this inhuman tragedy, was on the north side of the town, over against Baliol College ; whither Bishop RidJey was conducted by the mayor and baliffs. As he passed by Bocardo, he looked up, in hopes of seeing Cranmer at the windows,