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ther, and other servants of God, the Reformers, does, bý gefi eral agreement în council, persist in their vile corruptions and wickedness, and obstinate opposition to the kingdom of Christ. The doctrines and practices of the church of Rome, which were chiefly condemned by the Reformed, were confirmed by the decrees of their council; and the corruptions, in many respects were carried higher than ever before; and they uttered blasphemous reproaches and curses against the Reformed religion, and all the Reformed church was excommunicated and anathematized by them; and so, according to the prophecy, “ they blasphemed God." Thus God hardened their hearts, intending to destroy them:
(2) The Papists have often endeavored to overthrow the Reformation by secret plots and conspiracies. So there were many plots against the life of Luther. The Papists were engaged in contriving to despatch him, and to put him out of their way; and he, as he was a very bold man, often very much exposed himself in the cause of Christ: But yet they were wonderfully prevented from hurting him, and he at last died in his bed in peace. And so there have been from time to time innumerable schemes secretly laid for the overthrow of the Protestant religion; among which, that which seems to be most considerable, and which seemed to be the most likely to have taken effect, was that which was in the time of King James H. of England, which is within the memory of many of us. There was at that time a strong conspiracy between the King of England and Lewis XIV, of France, whọ were both Papists, to extirpate the Northern heresy, as they called the Protestant religion, not only out of England, but out of all Europe; and had laid their schemes so, that they seemed to be almost sure of their purpose. They looked upon it, that if the Reformed religion were suppressed in the British realms, and in the Netherlands, which were the strongest part, and chief defence of the Protestant interest, they should have easy work with the rest. And just as their matters seemed to be come to a head, and their enterprise ripe for execution, God, in his providence, suddenly dashed all their schemes in pieces by the Revolution, at the coming
in of King William and Queen Mary; by which all their de
After this, there was a deep design laid to bring the same
(3) The Reformation has often been opposed by open wars and invasions. So in the beginning of the Reformation, the Emperor of Germany, to suppress the Reformation, declared war with the Duke of Saxony, and the principal men who favored and received Luther's doctrine. But they could not obtain their end; they could not suppress the Reformation. For the same end, the King of Spain maintained a long war with Holland and the Low Countries in the century before last. But those cruel wars issued greatly to the disadvantage of the Romish church,as they occasioned the setting up of one of the most powerful Protestant states in Europe, which next to Great Britain, is the chief barrier of the Protestant religion. And the design of the Spanish invasion of England in Queen Elizabeth's time, was to suppress and root out the Reformed religion; and therefore they brought in their fleet all manner of instruments of cruelty wherewith to torture the Protestants who would not renounce the Protestant religion. But their design was totally baffled, and their mighty fleet in a great measure ruined.
(4) Satan has opposed the Reformation with cruel persecutions. The persecutions with which the Protestants in one kingdom and another have been persecuted by the church of Rome, have in many respects been far beyond any of the
PART II.] WORK OF REDEMPTION,
Heathen persecutions which were before Constantine the
The Heathen persecutions had been very dreadful; but
When the Reformation began the beast with seven heads and ten horns began to rage in a dreadful manner. After the Reformation, the church of Rome renewed its persecution of the poor Waldenses, and great multitudes of them were cruelly tortured and put to death. Soon after the Reformation there were terrible persecutions in various parts of Germany; and especially in Bohemia, which lasted for thirty years together; in which so much blood was shed for the sake of religion, that a certain writer compares it to the plenty of waters of the great rivers of Germany. The countries of Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary, were in like manner deluged with Protestant blood.
By means of these and other cruel persecutions, the Protestant religion was in a great measure suppressed in Bohe
mia, and the Palatinate, and Hungary, which before were as it were Protestant countries. Thus was fulfilled what was foretold of the little horn, Dan. vii. 20, 21. “and of the ten horn's that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell, even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." And what was foretold of the beast having seven heads and ten horns, Rev. xiii. 7. "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.*
Also Holland and the other Low Countries were for many years a scene of nothing but the most affecting and amazing cruelties, being deluged with the blood of Protestants, under the merciless hands of the Spaniards, to whom they were then in subjection. But in this persecution the devil in a great measure failed of his purpose; as it issued in a great part of the Netherlands casting off the Spanish yoke, and setting up a wealthy and powerful Protestant state, to the great defence of the Protestant cause ever since.
France also is another country, which, since the Réformation, in some respects, perhaps more than any other, has been a scene of dreadful cruelties suffered by the Protestants there. After many cruelties had been exercised towards the Protestants in that kingdom, there was begun a persecution of them in the year 1571, in the reign of Charles IX. King of France. It began with a cruel massacre, wherein 70,000 Protestants were slain in a few days time, as the King boasted : And in all this persecution, he slew, as is supposed, 300,000 martyrs. And it is reckoned, that about this time, within thirty years, there were martyred in this kingdom, for the Protestant religion, 39 princes, 148 counts, 234 barons, 147,518 gentlemen, and 760,000 of the common people.
But all these persecutions were, for exquisite cruelty, far exceeded by those which followed in the reign of Lewis XIV. which indeed are supposed to exceed all others that ever have been; and being long continued, by reason of the
long reign of that king, almost wholly extirpated the Protestant religion out of that kingdom, where had been before a multitude of famous Protestant churches all over the kingdom. Thus it was given to the beast to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.
There was also a terrible persecution in England in Queen Mary's time, wherein great numbers in all parts of the kingdom were burnt alive. And after this, though the Protestant religion has been for the most part established by law in Eng land, yet there have been very severe persecutions by the high church men, who symbalize in many things with the Papists. Such a persecution was that which occasioned our forefathers to flee from their native country, and to come and settle in this land, which was then an hideous howling wilderness. And these persecutions were continued with little intermission till King William came to the throne.
Scotland has also been the scene, for many years together, of cruelties and blood by the hands of high churchmen, such as came very little short of the Popish persecution in Queen Mary's days, and in many things much exceeded it, which continued till they were delivered by King William.
Ireland also has been as it were overwhelmed with Protes tant blood. In the days of King Charles I. of England, above 200,000 Protestants were cruelly murdered in that kingdom in a few days; the Papists by a secret agreement, rising all over the kingdom at an appointed time, intending to kill ev ery Protestant in the kingdom at once.
Besides these there have been very cruel persecutions in Italy, and Spain, and other places, which I shall not stand to
Thus did the devil and his great minister Antichrist, rage with such violence and eruelty against the church of Christ! And thus did the whore of Babylon make herself drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus! And thus by these persecutions, the Protestant church has been much diminished! Yet with all have they not been able to prevail; but still the Protestant church is upheld, and Christ fulfils his prom