The Author’s




To the following




By way of Apology for the




in the Valleys of Piedmont.



Against the bitter Calumnies and Reproaches of their bloody Persecutors.


Directed principally to all the faithful and companionate souls of the English Nation, who have been grieved for the Afflictions of Joseph.


But withal intended for the enlightening and edifying of the more moderate and ingenuous spirits among the Roman Catholics.


Christian and courteous reader,


I am not ignorant, that both the nature of my employment, and the principles which I profess, may at the first sight beget some prejudice in the spirits of divers against the ensuing treatise, and cause them to look upon it as a thing composed and brought forth upon the stage of the world, by one, whose interest (as they will suppose) being always in his eye like the yellow jaundice, must needs make him judge all objects to be of the same color with it, and whole affection hath an influence upon his hand, and leads him unawares to draw now and then an oblique and unpleasing line, notwithstanding, so much do I presume upon the generous disposition of the candid and ingenuous reader, that when he shall have thoroughly weighed in the balance of the sanctuary those most authentic attestations, whereby the truth of each essential part of the following discourse is so manifestly justified, that he that runs may read it, I shall find so much favor in his eyes, as to be accounted by him, in the number (though not of the most able, yet) of the most sincere and faithful historians, (I except the pen-men of the holy Scriptures) that ever yet appeared in public. Yea, that which I desire of thee, whoever thou art, is but to proportion and measure out thy censure, according to the evidence of the matter therein contained. And then, if thou thinkest that I owe thee ten thousand talents of truth, only have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.


There are now more than nineteen months past, since the voice of the blood of the poor Protestants in the Valleys of Piedmont was heard in all the corners of the Christian world, especially throughout the English Nation, where there then arrived letters upon letters, just like Job's messengers, one at the heels of another, with the sad and doleful tidings of most strange and unheard of cruelties, for which I- almost dare to challenge the best furnished historians, (as well ancient as modern) to find me their parallels. Some of their women were ravished, and afterwards staked down to the ground through their privities; others strangely forced, and then their bellies rammed up with stones and rubbish: the brains and breasts of others sodden and eaten by their murderers, (as if the design of those bloody cannibals and barbarous anthropophagi had been not only to extirpate those poor creatures out of this world, but also as much as in them lay, by such a strange commixtion and confusion of substances, to hinder them from having a being in the world to come.) Others had their flesh diced from off their bones, while they were yet alive, till such time as they were become mere skeletons or anatomies. Many impotent and aged persons of ninety and an hundred years of age most cruelly burnt in their beds, without any respect had to their snowy heads and hoary hairs, upon which notwithstanding the All-wise Creator has set so frequent marks of honor in his sacred Word. And if two she bears out of the wood were commanded to tear in pieces forty and two little children for abusing the old prophet, barely by the term of bald head, Lord, what shall be the end of these murderers of riper years, who took so much pleasure and delight in torturing and tormenting so many poor, impotent and aged persons, by fire and sword?


There is none, there is none, who knows what it means, to be grieved with the Afflictions of Joseph, but will here easily conceive how nearly this bloody and barbarous massacre then touched all the tender hearts of the English Nation, especially the heart of that most serene prince and heroic captain, the dimensions of whose most Christian bowels of compassion for the poor afflicted saints of Jesus, are in no wise to be measured by any of my slender and short expressions.


The truth is, he has been a victorious prince in all his undertakings, yet I am confident it would be much easier to outgo him in any thing than in tenderness and compassion towards the poor members of Christ in misery and affliction. The news of this massacre no sooner came to his Highness ears, but he arose like a lion out of his place, and by divers pathetical and quickening letters, awoke the whole Christian world, and moved their hearts to pity and commiseration. Of these his Highness letters, the meanest of his servants had the honor to be the bearer of two, the one to the king of France, to engage (if possible) his most Christian majesty to improve his power and interest in the behalf of the remainder of those miserable people. And the other to the Duke of Savoy, which I according to his Highness commands delivered, together with an earned Intercession by word of mouth in his Highness name, That the said Duke would be pleased to recall those merciless and inhumane edicts, and restore his poor afflicted Subjects to their ancient liberties and habitations.


Now when I had according to my weak and slender capacity executed his Highness (my matter's) commands at Turin, I retired my self to the City of Geneva, a place not more pleasant by reason of its lovely situation, than eminent for the sincere, constant, and painful preaching of the Word, and administration of the sacraments, in no less than three several languages, (French, Italian, and High Dutch) the which also, to make up the heavenly harmony, is accompanied with a singular piety and Christian behavior in general, both of governors and people.


I had not remained many months in this place, before I received a letter from the right honorable Mr. Secretary Thurlo, wherein he was pleased to intimate unto me, how usefully both for the present age and future generations, I might employ my vacant hours during the time of my retirement; namely, by drawing into an exact history all that had lately happened to the poor Protestants in the Valleys of Piedmont, beginning with the order of Gastaldo, and so proceeding and setting down all particulars in a distinct and clear method.


Now when I had sat down and seriously considered the contents of this letter, joined to the strict charge given me by the late deceased Lord Primate of Ireland, one of the wonders or this our later age, touching the same subject, I began to persuade myself, that as there were many sincere hearted Christians of the English Nation, so were there also many ingenuous souls in other parts of the world, yea and that among the more moderate party of the adversaries themselves, who were exceeding curious in inquiry, and almost impatient to know more particularly who those people were, and what was their father’s house, whose lives and liberties have been so exceeding precious in the thoughts of his Highness, and whose bleeding miseries effectually so moved him to improve his utmost Interest both at home and abroad for their deliverance.


And indeed upon these and the like considerations (providence having then blest me with a singular opportunity) I knew not how better to serve my generation, or succeeding ages, than in the collecting and reducing into an exact and entire history, whatsoever concerns either the antiquity, doctrine, life, or persecutions of those poor evangelical churches, even from the days of Christ and his Apostles, to this very time; and the truth is, I promised my self no small pleasure and satisfaction in the beginning of this my undertaking. But alas, I had no sooner made a considerable entrance into the work, but I found it to be, even from one end thereof to the other, one of the saddest tragedies that ever has been acted in the Christian world; a story so lined and interwoven with horrible attempts, such bloody edicts, such profound stratagems, and barbarous persecutions, against the poor harmless and innocent flock of that great Shepherd of our souls, that the reader cannot fix his eye almost upon any part thereof, without finding matter of weeping and lamentation; I say, which way so ever he turns he shall find treacheries complotted, desolations fore-determined, the pit digged, and the net of destruction spread; in conclusion, whole families miserably ruined, and the innocent blood of the saints poured out and spilt like water upon the ground. In so much that my spirit has oft waxed cold within me, and my heart even failed me, yea my very hand has trembled as with a fit of the palsy in the writing thereof. And the truth is, I would soon have been disheartened from proceeding in this my design, had it not been a work that I knew might justly be expected from me by his Highness, and all the good people of the English Nation, to whom I am bound by all the obligations, both of nature and conscience, to give an account of my time and opportunities: as likewise I knew it to be a work that would be mod acceptable, satisfactory, and useful to the whole Christian world, both as to themselves, their children, and their children’s children in future generations: yea besides all this, the example of Moses and the prophets, of the evangelists and apostles, as likewise of the greatest doctors, as well ancient as modern, who have published to the world, and left in writing the several dispensations of divine providence towards his people in this world, are more than abundantly sufficient to authorize and encourage me, (how unequal so ever I be to follow them) in so important an undertaking. Sure I am, whosoever shall read with an answerable understanding and due attention, the treacherous stratagems and horrid cruelties therein contained, must have an heart of adamant and bowels of brass, should they not be touched with a fellow-feeling of their Brethren’s misery: yea I am much mistaken if they remain not astonished and amazed to think, that a prince (or rather indeed his royal mother) who ought to be as a nursing father and a nursing mother of their subjects, should so miserably comply with the spirits of malicious men, wholly transported with rage and passion, and inflamed with a vehement thirst after blood, and should so far do violence to their more moderate inclinations, as to lend an ear, yea and countenance those importunate solicitations, which tend to the ruin of their country, and the division of their people; which has not only rendered them unlovely to all the princes and States of the reformed churches, but has also procured unto themselves no small blame from those of the very same religion with themselves.


Not to mention any other then that of France, who certainly cannot but see, that this late attempt in the valleys, was a mere stratagem to gain Pragela in possession, and thereby to stop his most Christian majesties passage into Italy; as likewise the more easily to deprive him of those places which he holds in Piedmont, and all this by the subtle suggestion of the Spanish monks and friars, who know how to palliate their political designs under false pretexts, as cunningly as Rachel did her fathers images, and disguise their murderous practices, with the mask of religious, and zealous intentions.


Neither is it probable that such actions of violence committed by the pope and his emissaries are offensive to France alone, but that it is as ill taken likewise by all the politick Catholics themselves, who know right well that this can do no less than unite the Protestant party more firmly, and consequently, when there shall be a fair opportunity offered, may very probably put all into a confusion, and prove their utter overthrow. However it be, it cannot but melt the bowels of all tender and compassionate souls towards the poor afflicted saints of Jesus.


This is that, O ingenious reader, this is that which I am bold to present thee with at present, and that out of a real affection to thy immortal soul (though it's possible thy principles and mine may be different) hoping that the undoubted truths herein contained, may prove as a precious eye salve to anoint thine eyes, that so thou mayest see and discover the many remarkable passages of divine providence towards his poor church militant in this world, and likewise that it may persuade thee in this thy day of visitation, to come out of Babylon, that so thou mayest not be partaker of her sins, nor receive at length of her plagues; I mean that generation of vipers, who by their barbarous and unheard-of cruelties, have plainly discovered themselves to be the firebrands of hell it self, and fiends of infernal darkness. There is a vast difference between butchery and godliness, neither has truth any concord with violence, or cruelty with righteousness, as Lactantius elegantly expresses himself upon this subject. Believest thou this, O tender-hearted Reader? I know that thou dost believe it, and therefore it is that I am desirous to lay before thee the ensuing history, beseeching the God of truth and righteousness to remove all the stumbling-blocks, and prejudicial thoughts, which either the frailty of the author’s understanding and youth, or the seeming inconsiderableness of the poor people of the valleys, who are the subject of his discourse, may at the first sight suggest unto thee.


The truth is, if thou regarded the outside only of these poor wretches, and the form of their countenance, thou wilt be ready to cry out, Lord, what are these men, that thou shouldest be mindful of them? Or their posterity, that thou shouldest have any regard unto them? As likewise, if thou visitest their ancient houses and habitations in so dark and blind a corner of the world (being as it were divided from the rest of the habitable earth) in deserts and solitary places, among the craggy rocks and snowy mountains; they may seem unto thee to have been lightly esteemed by the great Creator of the world, as the most inconsiderable part of his handy-work; but when thou shalt enter into the sanctuary of God, and consider seriously the manner of these peoples life and conversation, together with their principles and practice of religion, in all ages and generations, and that from the ample testimony of their professed enemies; when thou shalt consider their loyal submission to their sovereign Prince, their Christian patience and magnanimity in their afflictions, and the redoubling of their heroic zeal in the deepest of their tribulations, (as not esteeming the same worthy to be compared with the joys which are to be revealed) when likewise thou shalt consider on the other side, how the Lord has many times chosen these foolish things to confound the wise: and these weak things to confound the mighty, and these base things, and things which were despised, yea, and which in a manner were not, to bring to naught things that were; when thou shalt have seen how they have been always preserved as lambs among wolves, though they have been oft times most furiously assaulted by the Anakims and sons of violence, insomuch that neither the deliverance of the Israelites in the Red Sea, nor of Jonah in the whales belly, nor of Daniel in the den of lions, nor of the three Children in the fiery furnace, was ever more miraculous, I say when thou shalt have well considered and laid to heart all these things, then it may be thou wilt conclude with me, that these are not the people that have been represented to thee by their black-mouthed enemies, and that they have not in any wise deserved to be so cruelly handled by their persecutors. Thou wilt then conclude with me, that all the bitter accusations both of their doctrine and manners, are no other than mere impostures. And that the description of this late massacre hath fallen very short of what it ought to express the rage and horror of the same, as likewise that subtlety hath not been wanting in any kind of artifice, nor is there any contrivance of falsehood, nor passionate part of fury, which the court of Rome and their adherents have not devised and acted for the total extirpation of Christian religion: which should be a strong motive for us to unite our selves the better to resist their bloody force, and countermine their stratagems; then also thou wilt conclude with me, that the All-wise Creator did certainly from the beginning, design this remote and obscure part of the world, to hide and lock up therein some rich and inestimable treasure; that this is the desert whither the woman fled when she was persecuted by the Dragon with seven heads and ten horns. And where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her one thousand two hundred and sixty days: That here it was that the church fled, and where she made her flocks to rest at noon, in those hot and scorching seasons of the nine and tenth centuries; then it may be thou will begin to believe with me, that it was the clefts of these rocks, and in the secret places of the stairs of these Valleys of Piedmont, that the dove of Christ then remained, where also the Italian foxes then began to spoil the vines with their tender grapes, although they were never able to utterly to destroy or pluck them up by the roots, according to that excellent character which the learned Beza gives of them in his treatise of the famous pillars of learning and religion, in these following words:


“As for the Waldenses, give me leave to call them the very seed of the primitive and purer Christian church, being these who have been upheld (as is clear and manifest) by the admirable providence of God, that neither these infinite storms and tempests whereby the whole Christian world has been shaken for many ages together, and at length the Western parts so miserably oppressed by that Bishop of Rome, falsely so called, nor those horrible persecutions which have been directly raised against them, were ever able so far to prevail upon them, as to mike them bend or yield a voluntary subjection to the Roman tyranny and idolatry.”


Here thou shalt find, besides the arguments which may be drawn from the ancient confessions of faith, and several other authentic manuscripts, which have been in former times so miraculously preserved from the flames during their hottest persecutions, I say, besides all these, thou shalt find even the most eminent and the most bitter of their professed enemies, to have let fall many seasonable passages in those their very writings, which were directly composed against these poor faithful ones, whereof some by a manifest deduction, others in plain terms avow the antiquity of their religion under the name of heresy, even from the Apostles time, so that now what need we any further witness? We have heard themselves speak, and justify sufficiently what we assert.


They will certainly henceforward blush, and be ashamed to upbraid us as formerly, by demanding of us where our religion was before the days of Calvin and Luther? If they do, we call Jonas Aurelianensis, Prior Rorenco, Samuel do Cassini, Rainerius Sacon, Belvedere, Bellarmin, and other most renowned Catholics, to witness for us, that it was in the Valleys of Piedmont. Yea, I am bold to proceed and affirm (as before) that it is very probable that this was the place prepared of God for the perfected woman and the remnant of her seed in those dark and gloomy days, when the smoke out of the bottomless pit had so darkened the face of the universe, that it was not easy to distinguish with the eyes of fleshly reason the little flock of Christ Jesus, and when that great Red Dragon, and old serpent called the Devil and Satan, had power given him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them, and to compel all both small and great, rich and poor, bond and free, whose names were not written in the book of life, to receive a mark in their right hand and in their foreheads.


The truth is, if we had no other light to guide us in this dark and cloudy night, yet the fires wherewith those cadmeans or generation of vipers have burnt the bodies of the saints, would serve us as so many torches to keep us from losing our way between the days of the Apostles, and those of Calvin and Luther.


I beseech you, O ye worshippers of the Beast and Anti-christ, suffer me that I may speak, and after that I have spoken, then mock on. May it not be righteously said of you, that ye have gone in the way of Cain, that you have slain your brother Abel as he was talking with you in the field, and that now ye make strange of it, as though ye had never seen him, or at least knew not at all what was became of him.


I say you have slain your righteous brother Abel, because his sacrifice of a broken spirit, was more acceptable to God, than your idolatrous and human inventions; and by this means you had thought to have even blotted out the very name and memory of the true church of Christ Jesus, in the world. But let me tell you, that as the church which was then in part slain by that murderer in the person of Abel, was by divine providence revived in the person of Seth (whose very name in the Hebrew signifies substituted)to the church which you have so cruelly massacred in part, in the persons of so many noble and renowned martyrs in those dark Intervals after the number of the Beast 666. God has always renewed in the person of others his chosen Saints and Servants, according to that of the poet ——


———Uno avulso haud deficit alter



I say there have been famous worthies in all ages, ever since the first rise of our main differences, during the reign of Charles the Great, who like the ancient heathen race-runners, having finished their course, have always delivered the lamp of their doctrine to the next runner. Thus in the Valleys of Piedmont, Claudius Arch-Bishop of Turin, and he to his disciples, and they to their succeeding generations in the ninth and tenth centuries: in another part of the world, Bertram to Berengarius, Berengarius to Peter Brus, Peter Brus to Waldo, Waldo again to Dulcinus, Dulcinus to Gandune and Marsilius, they to Wickleif, Hus and Jerome of Prague, and their scholars the Thaborites to Luther and Calvin.


Wherefore I pray you suffer me a little, and hearken to my words, you that have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton and have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter, you have condemned and killed the just, and he has not resisted you, you have persecuted the poor saints in those dark ages of the world from city to city , yea, ye have stoned them, ye have sawn them asunder, ye have tempted them, ye have slain them with the wword, ye have caused them to wander in deserts, and in mountains, in dens and in caves of the earth, and now ye demand of us a sign to prove their succession and glorious visibility. May not we justly answer you, as our Savior did the Scribes and Pharisees (and yet not exceed the bounds of modesty or charity) a wicked and adulterous generation seekest after a sign, and, there shall be no sign given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (a true emblem in this case of the church!). For as God suffered Jonas for a time, because of his unbelief in flying to Tarshish, to be cast forth into the sea and to be swallowed up by a mighty whale, but yet afterwards commanded the fish to vomit him out upon the dry land, even so has he sometimes dealt with his church, in suffering her to be exposed to the violence of the boisterous waves of the sea of Rome, yea sometimes for her back-slidings and unbelief to be swallowed up by that Leviathan of popery the Anti-christ: But yet still he has commanded that huge fish to vomit out the same upon the dry land: neither has he suffered her to be digested by that cruel monster. According to that excellent passage in Hosea, come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn us, and he will heal us, he hath smitten, and he will bind up; after two days he will revive us, and the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.


True it is I say, that the church of Christ, as it has been travailing from Jerusalem to Jericho, has oft-times fell among thieves who have robbed her, and striped her, and left her naked, and wounded, and half dead; but yet still the good Samaritan has passed by, and had pity on her; and bound up her sores, and poured oil into her wounds. And by that means saved her from perishing in her misery, and thus she has been troubled on every side, but yet not distressed: perplexed, but not to despair! persecuted, but yet never forsaken! cast down, but yet not destroyed! Thus many have been the afflictions of the poor church militant of Christ in this world, but still the Lord hath delivered her out of all! Alas she has always had her conversation in this world, in much weariness and painfulness, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in stripes and imprisonments, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by the heathen, in perils among false brethren: She has been reviled, when she has blessed!  She has been defamed, when she has entreated! Yea she has been made as the filth and off-scouring of all things. But yet behold he that has carried her down to the grave, has brought her back again! and has never suffered the gates of hell to prevail against her. When her children have forsaken the law of their God, and not walked in his judgments, then he has visited their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquity with stripes: although as for his loving kindness he never hath utterly taken it from them, nor suffered his faithfulness to fail.


Go to now therefore ye that boast of the visibility of the true religion in all ages.  Come ye, let us reason together, and see whether in truth and reality, this external pomp and glory has been always an inseparable companion of the church !


Let us first look back into the old world before the flood (which yet we have sufficient ground to believe to be as well peopled as ever it has been since) and see how many more we can find than Abel, Seth, and Enoch, who had the characters of men of uprightness. Yea, on the contrary, we have God himself complaining (before whom all things are naked, and open, and who certainly had reason to know the number of his faithful ones) that all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth, yea, there was only found Noah and his family that were accepted by him! which certainly was no more to the whole world, then a small dust to the balance, or the grape-gleaning to the vintage.


Again, after the flood, when the face of the universe was more cleanly washed from its filthiness, we find no other church for several hundreds of years, then what was confined within the single families of the ancient patriarchs. Yea when the common-wealth of the Jews was very much settled in all appearance, it was not certainly for nothing that the good prophet David cried out, help Lord for there is not one godly man left, for the faithful are failed from among the children of men. Where, I pray you was the glory of the Jewish church, when they were for a long season without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without a law?


Thou that boastest of the constant visibility of the church, tell me what was the external glory thereof, when Uriah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent to Damascus. And when the children of Israel walked in the statutes of the heathen, and built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen, to the fenced city, and set them up images, and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree, and made them molten images, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal, and caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, and used divinations and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, and to provoke him to anger. When they shut up the doors of the porch, and burnt not incense in the holy place?


I beseech you where was the visibility of the church, (if ye can answer me, and set your words in order before me) then when the prophet Elias wrapped his face in a mantle, and went out and stood at the entering of the cave, and made such bitter complaints before the Lord, that the children of Israel had forsaken his covenant, thrown down his altars, and slain his prophets with the sword, and he, even he alone was left, and they sought his life to take it away?


Again, what means the prophet Isaiah, when he cries out in so lamentable, and as it were a despairing manner, “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is heavy, from the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is nothing whole therein.” Neither do I believe that the good prophet Jeremiah was distracted, or besides himself, when he used those strange expressions in the following words, “run ye to and fro by the streets of Jerusalem, and behold now and know, and behold now and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man that executeth judgment, and seeketh the truth.” Again, what ails the prophet Micah to complain so grievously, “woe is me, for 1 am as the summer gatherings, and as the grapes of the vintage. There is no cluster to eat, the good man is perished out of the earth, they all lye in wait for blood, every man hunteth his neighbour with a net. Nay, have we not the Lord himself complaining by the mouth of his prophet, that he sought a man to stand in the gap before him in the land, that he should not destroy it, but he found none.”


To all this we may add the divers bitter complaints throughout the whole Book of Psalms, touching the sad and declining condition of the church, in one place, that “the Lord himself looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand and seek after God:” and that “they were all gone aside, and; that there was none that did good, no not one!” In another place, that “they had cast fire into his sanctuary and burnt up all the synagogues of God in the land.” In another, that “the heathen were come into his inheritance and had laid Jerusalem on heaps.” that “they had given the dead bodies of his servant to be meat for the fowls of heaven, and the flesh of his saints unto the beasts of the earth.” That they “had shed their blond like water roundabout Jerusalem, and that there was none to bury them,” and that the remnant of his servants “were become a reproach to their neighbors, and a scorn to them that were round about them.” In another place, that “the hedges of his vine that he had brought out of Egypt were broken down, that the boar out of the wood had wasted it and the wild beast of the field devoured it.” In another, that “they sat down and wept (as they had good reason) by the waters of Babylon when they remembered Sion.”


I beseech you what means such expressions, if the sun of the visible church had not at least seemed in those intervals to have been eclipsed.


True it is, that the Lord had even in those days many of his chosen servants, whom he reserved in secret, and covered with the skins of his garment, as he did those seven thousand in Israel in the days of Elias, whom neither their enemies, nor the prophet himself were able to discern. But alas, what doth this speak to external pomp and glory of the church, when as both princes and people had corrupted their ways, and the very temple was now become a mere sink of sin and prophanation.


Neither is it here sufficient for the adversaries of the truth to answer us, that these were only the Old Testament dispensations, and so shuffle all the above said instances out of doors, let me tell you, that there are many and large promises under the Old Testament for the lasting of the Jewish church, till the coming of Messiah, as there are in the New, for the evangelical churches duration till the end of the world.


For example, it is said of Jerusalem (which saving the Babylonian captivity was the only set place of God’s eminent worship and public service) “this is my rest for ever, here will I dwell,” & c. And in another place, “In Jerusalem shall be my name for ever.” The like whereof I hardly believe is promised to the City or Rome in any part from the first of Matthew, to the last of the Revelation.


But however for a better satisfaction of the uninterested reader, it will not be amiss to examine a little this question, and beat up the quarters of our gainsaying adversaries throughout the New Testament, as we have already through the Old.


Upon the birth of our Savior, is it not said, that all Jerusalem was troubled at it? Had not Annas and Caiphas the highest spiritual promotions? Were not the Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites in the uppermost seats in the synagogues? Were they not men of this gang who had the law and the altars, and all the sacred things in their custody? Yea, was not the priesthood long before bought and sold? And not long after that, is it not said that the Jews had agreed that if any did confess that Jesus was the Christ, he should be put out of the Synagogue? You that are sharp sighted to discern things that are not, nor ever were, tell me of whom do ye find mentioned in those days, upon whom you can righteously fasten the character of saints and believers, unless Simeon and Annas, who had each of them one foot in the grave? As also Joseph, Mary, Zachary, Elizabeth, and a few shepherds in the field abiding in their tents.


When our blessed Lord and Savior had selected out his Apostles, he himself stiles them by the name of a little flock. At his death, when his body hung on the cross, and his disciples were all fled, alas, Joseph and Mary and a few women were all the faithful that appeared then upon the earth.


After the days of Christ and his Apostles, during the ten bloody persecutions, till the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, for the space of three hundred years, we shall find no other than an invisible visibility of the church.


Again, when the Arrian persecution began, how sad a posture was the church then in, when St. Jerome sticks not to say, that after the Council at Rimini, all the world groaned and wondered to see itself become Arrian. And Athanasius in his epistle ad vitam solitariam agentes, gives but a mournful description of the calamity of his time, “what church (says he) is there now a days that worships Christ with liberty? for if any make a profession of piety, he is thereby exposed to danger,” & c.


And in another place of the same epistle, “O, who is able to write this History?  or who is he that will undertake to declare these things to posterity? Who can possibly believe that these eunuchs who are not capable of the charge of a private family, should come to be governors of the church!”                        


St. Ambrose likewise in a certain oration of his, makes a bitter complaint in the following words, “Whither can I turn me to finds a place that is not filled with mourning and tears, when they begin to cast out of doors the Catholic priests, and to put to the sword all those who make resistance” & c. It were not difficult to run through all ages and generations, and to show that very oft the church has been brought to a very low ebb. I shall only content myself with this one, which is confirmed by our adversaries themselves, I mean in the ninth and tenth centuries, during which time the corruption of the church was so great, that Baronius himself calls the year 900 the true Iron Age as to the sterility of goodness, and the Laden Age as to the abundance of heavy and enormous crimes, and also gives the reason thereof, in the following words:


“Lest any of the weak ones should  be troubled, when he should see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place.” And again, “Now a days there are thrust into the chair of Peter, the seat of Christ himself, even monstrous men, of a most base life, and most corrupt manners, and altogether filthy” and Genebrard in his Chronicle of the year 907, complains that “this Age had been unhappy, that for the space of 150 years, about 50 popes had degenerated from their ancestors, being rather apotacticks and apostates, than apostolics.” Wherefore I shall conclude this point with the same argument for our religion that Baronius brings for his in his Annals 897.5: “Although the Sun and the Moon be always the same, yet sometimes by the interposition of Clouds, the very same Stars shine with less splendor, and by the Eclipses become more obscure. Do not therefore with overmuch rigor exact more from the Apostolical See, than what has been divinely revealed in the Symbolical Signs.” So say I, do not, O ye professors of the Roman Catholic religion, exact more of our religion then what Baronius pleads for yours.


Neither are these things at all disconsonant to the allusions and predictions of the New Testament. Mark I pray you what a tacit description Christ himself gives of the faithful ones under the notion of his own person. “I was an hungred, I was thirsty, I was a stranger, I was naked, I was sick, and I was in prison.” So again he describes them in another place, to be such as have no other habitation nor abode then in the highways and hedges. And in a third place he seems to describe the men of the world by a certain rich man, clothed in purple and fine linen, and fairing deliciously every day; and the saints by a certain beggar lying at the rich man’s gates full of sores, and the dogs licking the same. Neither does he only speak these things in parables, but, also in plain terms he forewarns his disciples upon several occasions, that whosoever would come after him, they must of necessity take up his cross and follow him. And that upon this account he sent them forth as lambs among wolves: He told them plainly that they should be delivered up to be afflicted, and to be killed, and should be hated of all nations for his Name’s sake; (which expression intimates an universal defection from the true religion) yea) that the time should come, that whosoever should kill them, should think to do God an acceptable service.


This was the language of our blessed Savior, and this was the language of his disciples after him, as appears by many pathetical expressions of theirs to this purpose, wherein they labor to fortify all believers against suffering times, exhorting them not to think it at all strange concerning the fiery trial; as likewise minding them, that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution: and that if in this life only we have hope, we were of all men most miserable.


By this time, I hope the ingenuous reader is fully persuaded that misery and affliction is much rather the mark of the true church, then outward glory and prosperity, according to that saying of Athanasius. And by consequence that the religion which both the poor Waldenses and we profess, has much better evidences for its truth and antiquity, than that of our adversaries and antagonists. And if after all we should as boldly demand of them, as they have done of us, where was their religion during the first six centuries; I say, if we should demand of them where their church then fed, and where she caused her flocks to rest at noon? I much fear they would be extremely confounded, and not able to give a categorical & distinct answer. Certainly it was not on mount Sion, but rather on Mount Gerazim, and Mount Seir, in the pastures of paganism, Judaism, &c. whence they had raked and scraped together whatsoever the rabble of the pharisaical tribe had formerly brought into the synagogue , or the vain philosophy of the Greeks into the academy.


The pope had his holiness given him by that Parricide Phocas, who permitted Boniface to assume the title of universal Bishop, and by virtue of his commission to pardon sins, and give laws to men’s consciences in the year 606. Though Gregory his predecessor had declared openly, that whosoever should presume to arrogate the title of universal Bishop, was the forerunner of Anti-christ.


Their adoration of images was only established in the second Nicene Council in the year 767.


As for their doctrine of Transubstantiation, I am bold to say that there passed more then 1200 years before there was any mention made thereof. For all agree in this, that was only brought in by Innocent III in the Council of Lateran in the year 1215.


The communion under one species only, was not before the Council of Constance, where in the 13th  Session they deprived the people of the cup, contrary to Christ’s institution.


It was only in the year 1220 that pope Honorius ordained, in the celebration of the mass the host should be lifted up, and the people do low obeisance. The which superstition Gregory 9, his successor screwed a peg higher, and made a decree, that at the lifting up the host, a bell should be rung, and that a1l those which heard the sound thereof fall down upon their knees, and lifting up their hands towards heaven, worship the same.


Their doctrine of purgatory never past for an Article of Faith before the Council of Florence, under Eugene IV in the year 1439.


It was only in the Council of Trent that it was decreed that traditions should be observed pari pietatis affectu, with the same pious affection and reverence with the Holy Scripture.


The Jesuit Coton confesses plainly, That the canonization of saints began 800 years after Christ.


Lastly, the pretended empire of the pope, which his parasites the Jesuits (who may well be so called from the sorcerer Bar-Jesus) would fain give him over all the kings and emperors of the earth, not only to excommunicate them, but also to dispense their subjects from the oath of fidelity. Which is much contrary to the stile of the ancient Bishops of Rome, who styled themselves the emperor’s humble and obedient servants  and submitted to their laws. And is quite of another strain then that profession of Tertullian in the name of the Christians, Colimus Imperatorem ut hominem a Deo secundum, et solo Deo minoren.  Ipse omnibus major est, dum solo Deo minor est.  And that of Optatus likewise in his 3rd Book, Super Imperatorem non est nisi solus Deus, qui secit Imperatorem. The foundation of the tyranny was indeed laid in the 8th and 9th century , but it brake forth by the fury of pope Hildebrand, who deprived the Emperor Henry of his empire, and absolved his subjects of their fidelity. And then it also was, that the same who took on him the name of Gregory VII, assembled a Council at Rome in the year 1076, where among other articles there were concluded; that there was no other name under heaven but that of the pope. That no book was canonical without the pope’s authority. That all kings ought to kiss the popes feet. That the pope to ought to judge all the world, and to be judged by none. That he had the power to depose kings, emperors, & c.  Nay I have horror to blaspheme the blasphemy of Bellarmine in this particular, that he may make that which is sin to become no sin, and that which is no sin to become sin.


Thus were it very easy to demonstrate the disproportion of the pre-Catholic religion with that of the primitive church in an infinity of points, which the ring-leaders thereof have foisted in from time to time. And by consequence that their religion compared with ours is but a thing of yesterday, and no ways derived either from the doctrine or practice of Christ and his Apostles.


The truth is, I deny not but they may challenge some sort of antiquity for their religion, and that a great part of their traditions have been a long time practiced in the world, whereby they have beguiled many millions of poor fools: Which I cannot better express then by that subtlety of the Gibeonites, who when they had designed to betray the men of Israel, and to make them believe that they came from a very far country, they did work wilily and wade as if they had been ambassadors, and they took old sacks upon their asses and wine-bottles old and rent, and bound up, and old shoes clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon on them, and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy; and in this posture, they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, we be come from a far country, and now therefore make ye a league with us. So say I, These Gibeonitish Catholics have taken the old sacks of Jewish ceremonies, and the old clouted shoes of paganism, together with the dry and moldy bread of the Arrian heresy, whereof they have made a medley of religion, and now to the end that they may daily gain more and more proselytes, they pretend with confidence, yea and would fain make us believe, that these their traditions are derived from Christ and his Apostles, whereas the contrary is as dear as the noon-day.


Whence is it that pope John XXII assumed the title of Dominus Deus noster, as in the following Verses ———


Oraclo vocis mundi moderaris habenas, Et merito in terris dicer is esse Deus,                       


If not from Domintian? Who as Sueton observes, was styled Dominus Deus noster, in the very same terms.


From whence, if not from the Pagans, comes the adoration of the pope, and the kissing his foot, as also his being carried upon men’s shoulders? For even they also after the election of their sovereign Pontifex, clothed him with their pontificalibus, and put a miter upon his head, and worshipped him, as William du Choul observes in his discourse concerning the religion of the ancient Romans, in like manner for the ceremony of kissing his foot. Polyd. Virg. observes that the very same was done to the Pontifex of the Pagans, and that some emperors caused the same honor to be done them, as for example; Caligula thrust out his left foot to Powpeius Pennus (a person of honor, and invested with the consular dignity) and made him kiss the same. As likewise Dioclesian set forth a solemn Edict; whereby he commanded all men of what quality or degree so ever, that they should fall down before him and kiss his feet.


Again as for the canonization and invocation of saints, what is it but purely in imitation of the heathen's Dii minorum gentium? To whom they dedicated their temples, erected their altars, consecrated their images, committed the protection of their kingdoms, commonwealths and families, addressed their prayers and applications, &c. Lud. Vives. cannot hold from confessing to much in his learned comment upon August. de Civ. Dei. Multi Christiani in re bona plerumque peccant, quod Divos, Divasque non aliter venerantur quam Deum, nec video quod sit discrimen inter eorum opinionem de Sanctis, et id quod Gentiles putabant de Di is suis. h.e. Many Christians do for the most part err in a good matter, because they worship the saints of both sexes no otherwise then God; I do not see that there is any difference between their opinion concerning the saints, and that which the heathen conceived touching their gods.


Thus idolatry remains still upon the stage of the world, but it is presented under other disguises. Janus has surrendered his charge of the gates and keys of heaven to St. Peter! Lucina has surrendered her care of women in child-bearing to St. Margaret! St. George on horse-back has supplanted Mars, as to conducting warlike affairs! St. Margaret succeeds Minerva for the sciences! The physicians have renounced Aesculapius, and received St. Cosme, and St. Damian! And thus every place, person and family, have some saint or other for their guardian, or tutelary deity.


Demand of William du Choul, whether or no your nuns, or religious virgins, be not the same with the Virgines vestales among the Heathen? And the ceremonies to which they were obliged, the very same with yours?


Whence comes that custom of whipping and laming your selves on Good Friday &c. if not from the priests of Baal, 1 King. 18. Who cut themselves with knives and lances till the blood gushed out upon them? Or from the priests of the Goddess Cybele, of whom Apuleius makes mention, who whipped themselves till the very blood ran down. I am fare you have not learned it from the Holy Scriptures, neither have you any command of God for it, who has commanded to the contrary,


Lev. 19:28, Ye Shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, nor print any marks upon you.


The Heathens of old, in the buildings of their temples, placed them towards the east, and to likewise their altars, as Polyd. Virg. observes; and do not ye the same?


From whence have you received the doctrine of purgatory, if not from the same source and fountain? Plato in his dialogue of the soul entitled Phadon, speaks plainly in this point, as also Eusebius observes in his last Chapter of his second Book, those who have lived indifferently well, come to this pool and abide there, and after they have been purged, and suffered the penalties of their sins, they are dismissed; Virgil likewise pursues this point in the sixth Book of his AEneads.


It is more than clear that the heathens were the first that kindled the fire of purgatory in the world; and the truth is, Bellarmine himself confesses so much, when he proves the doctrine of purgatory from the testimony of Plato, Cicero and Virgil.


If we do but consider a little your prayers and services for the dead, we still find that you are as much beholding to the heathen for them, as any of the former as the same Polyd. Virg. observes: For as the heathen bad very solemn services performed the ninth day after their friends decease, and entertained the priests of their false gods with much magnificence; even so do you seven days after the decease of yours, ye solemnize the service of trespasses, and entertain the priests so liberally, that there was once a canon made, whereby priests are prohibited to be drunk, when they are called to such meetings.


From whence have you the institution of all your feasts? True it is, many of them are in imitation of those of the Jews, but your own doctors will not deny, but that a great pare of them are borrowed from the heathen.


The Feast of Candles, or the purification of our lady, had it ye not from the Februal Ceremonies of the Romans, which was the feast of the purification of Februa Mother to Mars?  From whence comes also that word Februarius, i. e. purging the reins, as is manifest in one of the books of Tertullian contra Marcionim.


The Lent-Masques with other fopperies of that nature, have succeeded the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia.


The Rogations and Processions, &c. have succeeded the Ambanalia.


Your Agnus Dei hanging on the neck, is no other than in imitation of the heathens, who were wont to hang little balls or bottles upon the necks of their children, to preserve them from enchantments, and sorceries, as Baronius himself grants in his Annals.


I should never make an end, if I should run over all the instances that might be brought upon this subject; and therefore what I have already said, shall suffice: Now let us see whether they have not been as bold with the ancient Jewish ceremonies, which yet notwithstanding have been long since abolished by Christ himself. True it is, that he hath rent the veil of the temple, and also declared by the mouth of His Apostles, that shadow ought to give place to the substance, and the figures and types to the real truth, that it was not reasonable to light the candles of the law, when the light of the light of the gospel shined so bright, by the rising of the Sun of righteousness. But however there has been no hindering the Devil from foisting in several things into the church, and to attire the Christian religion after the Mosaic mode, thereby to diminish the virtue of the cross of Christ, and corrupt the simplicity of the gospel. Regard I pray you the Roman worship, and see if it does not smell of the law, and the ancient Pedagogy! As for example, who is there that when he well observes those huge swarms of your ceremonies, the glittering ornaments of your chapels, and your altars, your great wax candles, and your sacrifices, your salt, your water, your oil, with a thousand other devices, that would not immediately think you had revived the Mosaical worship, or at the least counterfeited the same. And thus you will needs rake out of the grave the body of the synagogue, that was so gloriously buried by Christ Himself.


In the third and last place, if we consider the ancient heresies which have troubled the church, we shall find that a great part of your religion is very near of kind to the most of them. Where have you any foundation for your distinction of meats, your regular fasts, your law for virginity, unless from the (a) Montanists, the Manichees, the Encratits, the Tatiens, and the Eustatiens, which both taught and practiced the same thing? To whom will you attribute your Monastic vows, if not to the (b) Euchetes, and Pattalorintehites, and those whom they call Apostolics, Nudipedales? To whom do ye owe the service of angels, of the blessed virgin, and of the cross, if not to the {c} Angelicks, the Collyridians and the Staurolatres?


It is from the (d) Carpocratians and the Basilidians that ye have received the use of images! From the (e) Ossenians the unknown language of your services! From the (f) Cathares the presumption of your merits, and works supererogation! From the Pelagians and the Demipelagians your free-will, the perfection of Righteousness, and exaltation of nature above grace. From the (g} Manichees and Nazarens the prohibition of the cup in the sacrament or the Lord’s Supper and communion under one species. From (h) Simon the Magician that infamous Simony, which is practiced in the distribution of your ecclesiastical charges.


From the (i) Marcionites and Pepusians it is that you have learned the baptizing of women. From the (k) Cnosimachi the praise of ignorance, the exaltation of blind obedience; and in sum, of all the heretics in general, the necessity of traditions, and the decrying of the Scriptures, as not sufficient to salvation.


See now I pray the goodly antiquity of your church, after that you have with so much confidence demanded of us where was ours before Luther, and tell me if it be not a thing merely borrowed, partly of the Jews, partly of the heathens, and partly of the ancient heretics, whose corrupt doctrines and practices you have compounded together, and made up the Mystery of Iniquity.


Lo, these are the righteous grounds upon which you have proceeded miserably to murder and massacre so many poor innocents, of all nations, tongues, and people, and amongst others, the poor Protestants of the valleys! Yea, the Lord knows how many millions of those innocent lambs you have most cruelly slaughtered in several parts of the world, the souls of whom are now under the altar, crying, “how long O Lord, holy and true, wilt thou cease to avenge our blood upon them who dwell upon the earth?” Its more than evident that those bloody men are too dearly convinced in their mind and understandings of the vanity of their ceremonies, and superstitions, and know well enough, that such like fopperies of themselves are never able to prevail upon men’s consciences, and by consequence they might hazard the losing and depriving themselves of the pleasures and profits of this world (which are their chiefest aim,) if they should not endeavor to force their way by fire and sword, as they have always hitherto done; just like the Mahometans, the heathens, and ancient heretics; against the last of which St. Hilary complains in the following words against the Arrians: what powers did assist the Apostles in the preaching Christ? Did Paul gather a church unto Christ under the countenance of a royal edict, when as he himself was made a spectacle to the world? He defended himself (I warrant you) by the patronage of Nero, or Vespasian, or Decius, & c. when the more he preached Christ, the more he was forbidden to preach. But now, alas, faith in things divine is carried by most voices in the world; and Christ is reproached, as if he had no fewer of his own, while his name is supported by ambition. The church terrifies men with exiles and imprisonments, and so she compels them to believe in her, who herself was left exposed to the danger of banishments and bonds. She who was founded under the terror of persecutors, subsists now by the dignity and greatness of those that hold communion with her: She who was propagated by priests in banishment, now banishes priests: she glories in being loved by the world, who could not have belonged unto Christ, if the world had not hated her, & c. It must needs be, that we are fain into the very time of Anti-christ.


St. Athanasius in like manner observe that the true church has always suffered persecutions, but itself has persecuted none, thereby to force them to embrace their religion; and that this was the practice of the Arrians, the ecclesiastic history allures us!


Let them tell us from whence they learned to persecute, for, they cannot say they received this from the saints, but from the Devil, who said, I will pursue and overtake; whereas truly the Lord hath commanded to flee, and the saints have fled, but persecution is a device of the devil. Again, in the epistle ad vit. sol. sg.


Filthy and abominable is the heresy of these men when it falleth, being put to shame by truth itself; then those who she cannot persuade by reasons, she endeavors to draw by force, and stripes, and imprisonments, knowing herself, and so, that she is anything rather, than godly: For truly, it is the property of godliness not to necessitate, but to persuade, even as the Lord Himself, not upon force, but offering Himself with goodwill, hath said; If any man WILL come after me; whereas she is utterly a stranger to godliness, and knoweth not what she ought to do, besides such things as are contrary to our Savior, being as a fighter against Christ, a ring-leader of impiety, and who hath entitled or characterized Constantius as it were the Anti-christ himself. And before that in the same epistle.


It is a very unbeseeming course to force and compel such as are not willing, for of the Devil who hath nothing of truth, making his attempts with the axe and Iron Crow, breaks open the doors of them that receive him. But our Savior is so gentle, that he teacheth; if any will come after me, but that when he cometh to any man the man is not forced: For, truth is not propagated by swords or spears, nor by soldiers, but by persuasion and counsel. What kind of persuasion therefore is there where there is the fear of a king? or what counsel, wherein he who gain-sayeth finds the end to be banishment, or death?


It is indeed the manner of Christians to be beaten; but to scourge Christians; It is the bold act of a Pilate, or Caiphas.


And in the same place. That the Arrian Bishops, forasmuch as they persecuted the true Christians, to make them renounce their religion, were not Bishops, but spies: And that such proceedings against the church, were the proem and preparation of Anti-christ; And that Constantius the persecutor deserved not the name of a Christian, but was rather, the image of Anti-christ.


Du Haillan, an ancient historian, and exceedingly renowned among the papists, describes the horrible butcheries executed by the pope’s order against the poor Albigenses, having published the Crusade against them, promising those who would assist in this persecution, the remission of all their sins, (as the historian Gaguinus, and the Catholic Rouyian, observes,) and likewise Bellarmin, de Notis Ecclesia, amongst other Bravado's of the church of Rome, boasts, that the papal army slew at one time an hundred thousand poor Albigenses, and as touching the massacres done in France in the year 1572, pope Gregory 13 was hot only the author of them, but also glories in it, as those of whom the prophet Ezekiel speaks, that they powered it forth upon the top of a rock, and not upon the ground to cover with the dust. This is he, who caused his money to be stamped with his own picture and name on the one side, and the picture of an angel on the other side, holding in one hand a cross, and in the other a sword, killing a multitude of men and women with this motto [Ugonothorum Strages] and P. Matthew, although a Roman Catholic, yet in one place of his  history observes, that in the war of the Catholic League for the extirpation of the reformed religion, three Spaniards made them a capulet of an hundred Lutherans ears, to show their extraordinary devotion.


The above said Haillan, amongst other horrible cruelties exercised against the Albigenses, many Prelats (says he), knights and others, received the crusade to go against the heretics, the Albigenses, with a potent army, their ensigns being adorned with the cross. They went to besiege the City of Beziers, wherein lived the Lord Roger, a famous abettor of the said heretics. In the end the said city was taken, and sixty thousand of them that were found therein put to the sword; The same author likewise observes, that fifty men of Castelnaudarri were burned alive: That there also was taken by assault, where certain obstinate heretics were burnt, the captain of the city Amaulri, a brave soldier, hanged, and 80 gentlemen beheaded. Neither was the female sex at all spared! Girarde a certain lady of the same city was cast into a deep well, and afterwards a multitude of stones thrown upon her. In sum, there was very great cruelty exercised in that city, and a little after, says he, our forces were a long time before Moissac, which at length was taken and great butcheries were there committed. The City of Thoulouse was taken with great daughter of men, where a great number were slain by the sword, and yet a greater cast into the river, whereof there perished above twenty thousand; which is confirmed by Will. Brito a Roman Catholic, Philipidos Lib.8.


As also by Paulus Aemilius, who saith, ne mulieribus quidem temperatum! to show, that this their cruelty was not unaccompanied with such like sordid actions committed upon the bodies of the female sex, the above said Sieur de Haillan in the place formerly cited, specified that several prelates, knights, and others, having received the crusade, &c. after that they had taken the City of Beziers, and exercised their cruelty, went from thence to Carcassonne, whither all the inhabitants if the country (men, women, and children) had retired themselves, and the city being surrendered, it was concluded by a treaty, that al that were within, should retire out of the city stark naked, their very privates being uncovered. This Gaguin, in his history, also confirms, in these very words, Inde abire nudi omnino compelluntur. Let the ingenuous reader here judge, whether this were according to the chastity of the spouse of Christ, or of her whom St. John calls the great whore, and the mother of whoredoms.


But alas! What need we search any further then the late bloody massacre to furnish the reader abundantly, as touching these two points of cruelty and luxury, the like whereof I can hardly persuade myself can be found in any history: certainly, the ancient heretics, and Pagans, had they now lived, would have been very much ashamed to have seen themselves so out-stripped by the bloody butchers of these our days, in the invention of so strange and unheard of cruelties! Yea such, as the Lord the righteous judge will most certainly one day repay into the authors bosom, with as great variety of punishments, either in this world, or that which is to come! Shall not God avenge his chosen elect, that cry day and night unto him? I tell you, he will avenge them, and shall speedily! Though the kings of the earth may for a time set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, yet he shall one day break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Though the wicked in his pride may for a time persecute the poor, and though they may eat up the saints, as they eat bread, and call not upon the Name of the Lord, yet when he maketh inquisition for blood, he will surely remember them; yea upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest, and this shall be the portion of their cup: when: they spring up as the grass, and flourish as the green herb, alas! it is that they shall be destroyed for ever! For lo, thine enemy (O God) for lo, thine enemies shall perish; And all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered, but the righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree, and grow like the cedar in Lebanon.


Most certain it is, though it be not a thing to commonly taken notice of, that God seldom lets go unpunished the shedding of blood (especially the blood of his saints) even in this world, and if we search narrowly into history, and trace the foot-steps of divine providence, we shall really find, that few of the eminent and bloody persecutors of his church and people have gone down to their graves in peace, but God has cast the fury of his wrath upon them, and their end has been miserable. though their excellency has mounted up to the heavens, and their glory to the clouds, yet they have perished like their own dung, and their remembrance from off the earth. Their branches above have been cut off, and their roots beneath have been dried up: Their candle has been put out, and the light has been dark in their tabernacles: they have flown away as a dream, and been chased as a vision of the night: Their eyes have seen their own destruction, and they have drunk of the wrath of the Almighty: Terrors have made them afraid on every side, and brimstone been scattered upon their habitations: they have been driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. And thus God avenges at length his elect, that cry day and night unto him. Though he bear very long with their persecutors. That passage in the Revelation is exceeding remarkable, when the voice went out of the temple to the angels to pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. The first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the Beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. The second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. The third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say thou art righteous O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou haft judged thus. For they have shed the blood of thy saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy.


But to come more closely to what we have in hand, let us fee what has been the end of the famous persecutors of the church of Christ Jesus! Cain slew his righteous brother Abel, but what was his end? He fell into the hands of the living God, and was cursed from the earth, and became a fugitive and a vagabond! yea (which was a thousand, thousand times more) he was tormented, and wracked by his own conscience, till such time as he went to his proper place. Pharaoh dealt cruelly with the Egyptians, but God dealt as cruelly with him in the end, overwhelming both him and his, after ten remarkable plagues, in them midst of the Red Sea. Ahab was a most vehement murderer, but he was in the end most miserably slain, yea the very dogs licked up his blood at the Pool of Samaria where they also licked the blood of Naboth! Yea, the Lord brought evil upon him, and took away his posterity, and cut of from Ahab him that pissed against the wall, and him that was shut up, and left in Israel; and made his house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Abijah; and as for Jezebel, the dogs did also eat her by the walls of Jezreel.


Antiochus the noble, was so swollen with anger against the Jews, that he threatened to make Jerusalem their burial place, but the Lord smote him immediately after he had uttered these words with an incurable disease in his bowels; and as he was hastening thither he fell from his chariot, and bruised his body; and afterwards the very worms rose out of his body, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army, and he was constrained to confess (says the story) when he could not abide his own smell, in the following words: It is meet to be subject to God. And thus the grievous pains of this murderer and blasphemer increasing every moment, at length he died a most miserable death in a strange country in the mountains. Herod the great stunk alive! Herod Antipas was miserably confined! And Herod Agrippa was eaten up of worms!


That grand persecutor Nero, when he had filled up the measure of his wickedness, not only all his provinces revolted from him, but even his own life-guard forsook him, and in this forlorn condition, as he was flying for his life (being already sentenced to suffer an ignominious death, as an enemy to the Roman Empire) he confessed to those few which bare him company, that as he had lived a wicked life, so now he must dye a wretched death. And the words were no sooner out of his mouth, but he thrust his dagger into his throat, with this expression, Ecce sidem! And that he might not go to hell without company, the story tells us, that there were in those days no less than thirty thousand of his faithful and true subjects, swept away with the pestilence.                       


At this time were elected emperors, Galba in Spain; in Germany Vitellius; and Vespasian in Syria; the first whereof was slain by Otho, who afterwards stabbed himself! The second, after he bad suffered an ignominious death, had his carcass thrown into the river Tiber! The brethren of the third, together with the Flavii his allies, were burnt alive in the capitol!


The Jews had indeed a reward for crucifying their Savior, and such a one as they themselves desired! but what was it? That his blood might be on them, and on their children! And indeed they were not bated an ace, as to the performance of what they had bargained for, of divine vengeance! there being destroyed of them in Vespasian’s days during that long siege, no less then eleven hundred thousand fouls by famine and pestilence, and an hundred thousand of them taken captives, and their goodly city Jerusalem was burnt down to the ground, according to the prediction of Christ, and the prophets! And as for the remnant of them, who were left alive, with their seed, and their seed’s seed, they have been from that time to this, no other than a scorn and by-word to all nations, yea they have been as vagabonds upon the face of the earth, and in most places driven from the society of men.


What was the end of Domitian, Vaspasian’s son? He persecuted the Christians without mercy, and was himself buried without honor! For he was not only slain by his own people, but the senate likewise strictly commanded, that his very name should be blotted out, and all his statues thrown to the ground, and broken in pieces.


In the time of Trajan the Emperor, the very river Tiber, was swollen with anger against the Romans, for to much Christian blood which they had spilt, over-flowing in a most furious manner their goods and houses! The gilded house of Nero was turned into ashes! Lightning fell upon the Pantheon and burnt the temple with the idols! Four cities in Asia, two in Greece, and three in Galatia were ruined by an horrible earthquake! Antiochia became almost a ruinous heap! And the whole empire was punished with famine and the pestilence, as Orosius relates.


In the time of the Emperors, Antonin surnamed The True, and Lucius, a great number of towns and villages in Italy, were depopulated by an horrible plague, and became a mere desolate wilderness.


The Emperor Severus was worse than his name to the Christians, but it cost the City of Rome three strange Civil Wars by Julian, Pefcenius Niger, and Claudius Albinus, which sent an incredible number of those murderers to their proper places.


Julius Maximinus a famous butcher of the poor Christians, had to often shown his people the way, that at last they cut their own masters throat, at he siege of Aquila; And that in such a rage, that several in the camp were heard to say, there ought not any soul of that wicked race (great or small) to be left alive, whereupon they cut off his head, and the head of his son Maximian the younger, and fixing them upon the ends of their pikes, showed them first in a public manner to those of that city, and afterwards sent them to Rome, where they were burnt with great disdain and mockery.


What was the end of that wicked Decius for all the innocent blood that he shed? Historians credibly report, that he was slain by the Barbarous Scythians, or Tartars, and that his body was immediately after, conveyed away by the Devil ('twas but equal, that he who had such an interest in the soul of Decius, should lay claim to his body also!) Paul Orosius adds further, and says, that at that very time there was such an horrible plague throughout the whole Roman Empire, that there was neither province, city, nor house free from it. And indeed these and the like judgments upon Decius, and his successor Gallus, (who was likewise massacred by AEmilian) occasioned St. Cyprian to write that excellent Treatise of Death and Mortality, which is at this day extant amongst the rest of his Works. In this treatise, he speaks of the persecution of Decius in the following terms: “We know assuredly, that what we suffer, will not last always, but by how much more terrible the persecution is, so much more not notorious, and terrible shall be the vengeance, we need not trouble ourselves to search antiquity for this truth; the experience of latter times may suffice, namely that in one instant, and that in an admirable manner, the equity of our cause has appeared by the horrible death of kings, ruins of states, death of soldiers, and loss of battles!”


Valerian, the author of the eighth persecution, who rode upon the backs of too many good men, was at last fain himself to become Sapores his foot-stool, or at least, to hold the reins, when he got on horseback. And after a long imprisonment in his cage, was at last by Sapores commandment, flayed alive, as Eusebius writes.


Neither did the judgment of God rest here, but immediately after the captivity of Valerian, the whole Empire was embroiled in a thousand troubles and distractions! At one and the same time, there were no less than thirty several persons in several places, which rook upon them the title and authority of Emperor! The Persians, Germans, Goths, Sarmatians and others, pillaged and ruined divers countries! Many cities bordering upon the sea-coasts, were swallowed up! And Galienus, Valerians son, together with a son or brother of his, was slain in the City of Milan.


Claudius, one of Valerians creatures, and a great persecutor of the church, was afterwards possessed with an evil spirit, which having torn his tongue in pieces, choked him.


Aurelian, when as a thunderbolt from heaven falling just in his way before him, could not restrain him from his bloody resolutions against the church of Christ, and his poor members. The Lord turned the sword of his own domestics against him, (as some historians report) by whom he was slain between Byzance and Heraclea. Though others say, that he fell down dead suddenly, in the very instant that he was signing a letter against the Christians. A judgment not inferior to this, betel likewise Antiochus one of Auelians Provosts, having tenured Agapetus, a faithful witness of the truth, fell suddenly from his judgment seat, crying out in a most fearful manner, my bowels are on fire! My bowels are on fire! and so gave up the ghost.


In the days of Dioclesian and Maximilian, there were put to death in the space of seventeen days, (besides a world of other inhumane usage) no less then 30,000 Christians, and as many more bound in chains, and fetters, and condemned to work in their mines, and quarries (torments much resembling the galleys which are at this day used by the Turks!) yea some say, that Dioclesian was in such a rage against them, that he put to death his own wife, because she was a Christian. Maximilian commanded to set fire on a church where were twenty thousand Christians assembled together, and so burnt alive every mothers child of them. The City of Phrygia was likewise consumed to ashes with all its inhabitants, not sparing the very magistrates, captains, or governors under the Emperor, and all because they owned the true doctrine of Christ, and would not yield to abjure the same. When they saw this availed nothing for the abolishment of their profession, they caused them to assemble by thousands, and putting out each mans right eye, and burning his left knee with an hot iron, they sent them to work in their mines. This was the daily work of those two tyrants! But now mark their wages! Dioclesian’s body being wasted with a violent flux, became as a dry stick, and the vermin bred in his tongue with such a noisome smell, that no man durst approach him, and in this manner he departed this life, with horrible blasphemies in his mouth. And as for Maximilian, being driven out of Rome by his own son Maxance, he fled to Marseille, where he was hanged for conspiring the death of his son in law Constantin.


During the persecution above-mentioned, there happened a very great earthquake in Tyre and Sidon, where many thousands were slain by the fall of houses. The like alto happened at Rome, and in divers other places of Italy. Flaccus, Provost of Spolett, after he had put to death Gregory Bishop of the place, was smitten by God in a very remarkable manner, his soul and his bowels quitting his body at the same time. And Dioscorus was smitten to death with a thunderbolt, soon after he had put to death his own daughter.


Galerius Maximinus that horse-leech of the eastern churches, was at last smitten with an incurable disease, his guts being strangely swollen, and the worms continually creeping out of all parts of his body, insomuch that he became so noisome, that his own very physicians chose rather to suffer death (as by his special command several of them did) than to abide the stench of his rotten carcass.


His lieutenant general Maximinus, was so enraged against the Christians, that he caused their condemnation to be graven in tables of brass, and fixed upon pillars in all the public places of his dominions, which caused such a fearful havoc of those poor Churches, that there were numbered in those days no less then eighty thousand Martyrs, who suffered for the name of Jesus. At the length, as be had prepared his army against Constantin, and Lucinus, and was upon the very point to assault them, he was surprised with such horrible pains in his bowels, that he could take no rest, and ever and anon threw himself against the ground in despairing fits. In the end the extremity of his torment, made him loath both the sight of meat, and the smell of wine, and so his body being by little and little consumed, he closed his eyes, being forced to acknowledge frequently in his sickness, that it was the just judgment of God upon him for his cruelties.


Julian the apostate, (president of the Devils privy-council) was a sworn enemy to the Christians, whom he called Galileans in derision. The truth is, many persecutors had done famously, but this surpassed them all! He restored to the heathens all their temples, which Constantin had caused to be shut up! He robbed both the Churches and ministers of the Christians of all those privileges which Constantin had granted them! He prohibited their schools, for the instructing of their youth, and wrote himself many books against their religion. He confiscated all the goods belonging to their Churches, saying by way of scoff, that Jesus Christ had prohibited the Christians from laying up treasures in this world, and had commanded, if any took away their coat, they should give him their cloak also, and that they should suffer all manner of reproaches patiently, because their Master had so commanded them. He canted the Images of Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury, to be put in the standard of the empire, and suffered none to go to the wars, except they had first done sacrifice to idols, and ordered that no Christian should be admitted into any charge whatsoever. He permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem, and there to rebuild their temple, (which they would have done, had not lightning from heaven hindered them, and slew a great number of them.) Having thus fought against Jesus Christ, he went to make a war with the Persians, swearing that at his return he would extirpate all the Christians, but as the Proverb is, he reckoned without his host: For be was smitten with a deadly stroke, no man knowing whence it came, but the greatest part thinking that it was rather an angel then a man. And as he was I dying, he took with his bands the blood that ran down his side from his wound, and in despite towards Jesus Christ once for all, he threw the same in a great rage against heaven, with these words: O Galilean (meaning Jesus Christ) thou hast overcome. And thus he died desperately in the 32nd year of age as some report, though Greg. Nazianz. writes in his oration against Julian, that he had heard by some, that the earth opened herself, and swallowed up the carcass of this miserable wretch.


The uncle of this apostate named also Julian, having out of scorn pissed upon the table on which the Christians of Antioch used to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and beaten with his fist the Bishop named Euzoius, who reproved him for this villainy; was a little afterwards seized with a grievous and loathsome disease in his bowels, insomuch that he could by no means make water nor void his ordure, any otherwise then through his filthy mouth, and to ended his wicked days. Sozomene adds, that his flesh was corrupted and turned into worms, which never left gnawing his body, till they had consumed it. In like manner, a certain treasurer of Julian, seeing the vessels of this church of Antioch, which were used in the administration of the Lord’s Supper, began to mock, saying, these are the goblets wherewith they serve that son of Mary: But soon after all the blood of his body came out at his mouth in a little space of time, and so he died, being indeed worthy to be inserted among the number of Apostles, together with his Master. As also did Elpidius a great man in the court of Julian the apostate, who after many blasphemies uttered against Jesus Christ in divers manners, and upon divers occasions, was accused of being too highly interested in the affairs of State, whereupon he was clapped up as a close prisoner, and there tormented to purpose, and at length died an ignominious death. These judgments are described at large by Theodoret, Sozomene, and Nicephorus, in their ecclesiastic histories, speaking of Julian and his followers.


Valens the Arrian Emperor, caused to be drowned at one time no less than fourscore ministers of several churches by a stratagem, as Socrates relates, and this he did about the year of our Lord 371. Theodor. tells us, that he would have forced the Christians to become Arrians, but was punished accordingly; for, they say, he was wounded with an arrow in the battle which he lost against the Goths, and thinking to save himself in a certain little hut in the field, was there surprised by his enemies, and burnt alive.


It's almost incredible, how much Christian blood was spilt by the Vandals, Huns, Goths, and other savage, and barbarous people, within the compass of those eighty or an hundred years, wherein they over-ran Africa, and Europe. But in the fifth year of Gilimer their last king, Bellisarius lieutenant general to the Emperor Justinian, discomfited and wholly extirpated them, to their great ignominy and everlasting confusion, in the year of our Lord 533. And likewise, during the time of this their tyranny, their kings and governors, did not always escape the stroke of divine vengeance.


Eucherius the son of Stilicon, in hopes to be one day made Emperor, according to his fathers promise, engaged himself to the Vandals to ruin and extirpate all the Christians, and what was his rewards no other than this! that both he and his father were murdered by the soldiers of Honorius.


Croscus king of the Vandals after Stilicon, as he would have besieged Arles, was taken prisoner, and after he had been carted openly through all the cities and places, where he had persecuted the faithful, and endured a great variety of torment, he suffered an ignominious death.


Gunderic was possessed with an evil spirit! in the second year of the Emperor Valentinian, and Theoldosius the younger.


Hunneric after a good part of his rotten carcass had been gnawed by the worms while he was yet alive, the rest was torn in pieces by the Devil, as Sigebert Victor and Gregory de Tours do relate.


Proculus Lieutenant to Genseric successor to Gunderic, a notorious ran-sacker of churches, and burner of Bibles, grew mad, and having bitten his tongue to pieces, died with rage.


Rhadagaisus King of the Goths, a professed enemy and horrible persecutor of the Christians, as he was making strange preparations to destroy them and their churches, was delivered up himself with his whole army into the hands of his enemies, who after a thousand disgraces, put him to a cruel death, and the prisoners taken with him, were so many, that a great company of them were sold but for a crown, as Paul. Diac. and Orosius relate.


Attila that fearful rod of God, and terrible tyrant (if ever there was any) to whom Theodosius the younger, was for a time tributary, to preserve the eastern churches, after the shedding of a sea of blood, in the sixth year of his reign, and upon his very wedding day, having made himself drunk, was stricken with an apoplexy, and choked (by a just and visible judgment of God) with his own blood, having been all his life so thirsty of other men’s.


Theodoric king of the West Goths, an Arrian, and great enemy of the faithful, seeing one day a fish upon his table with its mouth open and gaping, did really believe it to be the head of one of those whom he had unjustly put to death, and thereupon fell into an extreme fit of melancholy and despair, and died not long after.


Amalarick, a prince amongst those nations, and a vehement persecutor of his own wife, for being a Christian, was overthrown and killed, with the most part of his army by Childebert the king of France his brother in Law, as Procopius and Gregory de Tours observed.


The Germans who were confederate with the Goths, after they had destroyed and desolated the churches of Italy, part of them were killed in the war, part of them being laden with booty, were slain and cast head-long down the mountains by the Huns, and others; and the remainder died of the plague in those places whither they had reared: As for their captains likewise, namely Lutarius and Bultinus, the first grew mad and having with his own teeth torn himself, died drunk with his own blood; The second, was overthrown and slain with his army of thirty thousand men, whereof five only escaped, who fled betimes.


Antharis King of the Lombards, a great adversary of the Christians, was poisoned in Pavia, as a just judgment of God for his cruel actions.                                                      


If I should here undertake to reckon up all the fearful judgments of God upon the persecutors of his church and people, in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, I mean the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and other nations, it would require a volume as big as that of the Book of Martyrs.


What shall we say of Mahomet the Eastern, and Phocas the Western Anti-christ? The first whereof left nothing but an abominable stink behind him, and though he boasted that his body should have no need of burial, forasmuch as it was to rise the third day, yet notwithstanding his carcass rotted upon the earth, that none were able to endure it. The second, after he had most traitorously put to death the Emperor Maurice his wife, the senate of Rome and his own son in law conspired against him, and cutting off his hands, feet, privities and head, they put him into a brazen ox, together with all his children and kindred. And this was the end of this execrable murderer, who had granted to Boniface the third, Bishop of Rome, the title of Primate and Supreme over all the churches, about 600 years or thereabouts after the death of Christ.


I beg the Christian and courteous readers patience to add a word concerning the disciples and followers of the above-mentioned Mahometans, I mean the Saracens, who being a most cruel people towards Christians, were sometimes rewarded and that seven-fold for their actions. To instance but that one battle of Abdiram with Charles Martel neat Tours, where there were slain 300 seventy five thousand upon the place, which happened in the year of our Lord 730. After this, in the year 736, Athin King of the Saracens got into France with an innumerable company, but Charles overthrew him and his army near Avignon. Finally, Amorrheus another of their kings, bringing succor to Athin, was killed, and his troops utterly defeated. The truth is, it is a fearful thing to read of the end of the kingdom of the Saracens, wherein may be seen, as in a glass, an evident testimony of the wrath of God: Selym the first, father to Solyman, who was the man that destroyed and extinguished that kingdom, first of all won two battles against the Sultan Tomumbei under the conduct of Synan Bascha, one near Gaza in Syria, the other in Egypt near Grand Cairo.


Afterwards Selim led all his forces to Cairo, where was another, battle in the very city, which continued two days and two nights, before he could get all the forts thereof: It is hard to believe how great the effusion of blood then was, and how horrible the cruelties added upon the Saracens! The castle of the town above-mentioned being won the 25th of January in the year 1517. The Sultan fled, and hid himself amongst the reeds in the moors, from whence he was drawn, and brought before Selim, and after many exquisite tortures, was put upon a camel, and led thorough all the streets of the town, for greater ignominy, and at last hanged at one of the gates. This happened in the year 1517 upon the 13th of April. I leave the reader to think how woeful a spectacle it was then to see that mighty Emperor of Syria and Egypt, so ignominiously hanged in the sight of his own people. (This Sultan was the last Prince of the Saracens and proud Mamalucks:) So did the just and righteous God make them feel the power of his hand in revenging upon them the blood of his beloved ones! And be will certainly one day remember the Turks themselves, when he makes inquisition for blood, for all their inhumane butcheries of his faithful servants.


But here it maybe, the popes of Rome, and successors of Boniface may take offence, that in so prolix a discourse of Gods judgments against the persecutors of the church, there should be no notice taken of their holinesses. The truth is, they have a long time been a scourge to the true professors of the gospel, yet they have not always escaped scot-free, but have felt the heavy hand of vengeance upon them, yea, when they have wanted enemies from abroad to mischief them, they have run one against another with their bulls horns, which have begotten all kinds of violence, wars, murders, and other strange confusions: Onuphrius in his abridgement of the history of the popes, enumerated from Gregory the seventh till Urban the sixth (in the space of 294 years,) seven great Schisms in the Roman church, during which time there were no less then seven times, two popes at once, and towards the latter end three, every one notwithstanding calling himself the true pope, and accordingly excommunicating, and condemning the other his competitors.


After that came the eighth and great schism, which began in the time of the sixth, and Clement the seventh, and lasted thirty nine years, until the Council of Constance: During which time, the popes bandied themselves one against another, with such impudence and fury, by Bulls, Briefs, and defaming Libels, that if any other had done to, he had endangered his life; calling one another Schismaticks, heretics, and other odious names. If any has a desire to see their doings, let him read Theod. his 5 Books, who was a servant, and very familiar with the popes, and consequently a man whose relation is the more to be credited. But neither is this all! If we cast our eyes upon the histories of the popes, we shall find that a great number of them have not been very long lived; for, from Gregory the 7 to Gregory the 13 there were near 63 popes, during which time, from Henry 4 to Maximilian 11 there were but 26 kings or Emperors of the Romans: thus were their lives extreme short, but yet not very sweet, for we find that most part of them were tormented with grievous diseases, and many surprised by sudden death! Some were driven out of their seats, and taken prisoners; others made away by poison: Lucius the second was stoned; by his own people. Lucius the third was banished from the city, and his domestics beaten to death; Adrian the fourth, was choked by a fly. pope John the eighth, or rather Joan the first (if we may give any credit to Platina, and many other of their own writers of note) after she had made a very apt and complete exposition upon the 17th of the Revelation, concerning the GREAT WHORE and THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, that is to say, after she had been in travail and brought forth a child, in the time of a procession, as she was going to the Church of Lateran, in the view of the people, she died immediately, and that with as much ignominy, and disgrace, as she had lived in villany and wickedness. This accident (as the same historians tell us) occasioned the making of that trying-fool called the Porphyrie chair, for her successors; although the truth is, the greatest part of them ever since, have given sufficient proofs of their abilities in that kind, by a multitude of nephews, who have called them fathers, John the twelfth was stabbed by a Roman who by chance caught his holiness in bed with his wife (a great argument without doubt of that popes peccability, to commit such a sin, and a greater fallibility, to be to caught in the manner! pope John 21 was slain with the fall of a vault. Boniface the eighth who came to the popedom like a fox, and governed like a Lion, at lad died like a dog.


I suppose it is now high time to draw to a conclusion, I shall therefore only make a very brief reflection upon some few of those cruelties that have been exercised against the professors of the gospel, in our neighboring countries.


It is observed that Henry the second of France, being incensed against the Protestants by the Duchess of Valentinois his Concubine, took once an oath that he would see with his own eyes the burning of Du Bourg; but the wise God had otherwise disposed of affairs, for a splinter of Count Montgomeries Lance, as he was running with him at Tilt, rebounding, and glancing into his eye, wounded him to sorely, that he died within a few days after. And which is yet more remarkable, as they carried him off the place, he turned his face toward the Bastille, and with a deep sigh confessed, that he had most unjustly persecuted and afflicted the honest and good people that were within that place.


Philip the second of Spain, who married Elizabeth of France, daughter of Henry the second, after the death of Charles the fifth his father, being arrived in Spain, caused a summons to be made of all the prisoners in all parts of Spain, upon the account of religion, caused them all to assemble by two acts, the first whereof was promulgated at Valdolid, where a certain doctor Caca, preacher to the Emperor Charles the fifth in all his German expeditions, and one of his Advisers in his retirement was degraded, and had his mouth gagged in a most cruel manner, as likewise a multitude of other eminent persons, being disguised in yellow habits painted with crosses and Devils (which they call St. Benedicts habits) were burned alive in the month of May.


The second act was proclaimed at Seville, in the king’s presence, where were burnt Pome of Lions, son to Koderic Count of Bayley, John Bayley a divine of Secille, Garsias Arias, a man esteemed the most excellent and able doctor of Spain, together with a great number of men and women; amongst others, Constantin Bishop of Drosse, confessor to the Emperor, and also his privy companion in his retirement, dying with the cruel torments which he endured in prison, was carried about essigie, in the habit of a minister, and thus presented to public view.


This King having reigned about 40 years, caused to be put to death his only son, and his wife Elizabeth, by the advice of the Inquisition! But now mark his end! He was seized by four Apostemes in the four corners of his stomach, which being opened, cast forth such a prodigious quantity of lice, that the Cbirurgions could never find any remedy for him, and thus he died most miserably, being eaten up of lice.


Francis the second, son to Henry the second, having by the instigation of the Guisars persecuted the Protestants, as also seized upon the Prince of Conde, and was very near cutting off his head, after he had made a vow (which he intended to confirm by oath to the virgin Mary) for the extirpation of the Protestants, and all their abettors, or who any way had favored that party, being surprised by a fever, and having an Aposteme broken in one of his ears, died suddenly in the month of December.


Charles the ninth, son to Francis the second, having contrary to the faith of his promise, caused the execution of the massacre of St. Bartholomew (which they call the Parisian Matins) about eight days after, there came such a prodigious multitude of crows making an hideous noise upon the great Lanthorn of the Lowure, that both the king and all the court were not a little affrighted. And the very same night, the king about two hours after he had been in his bed, leaped up on a sudden, caused those of his chamber to ride immediacy, and call his brother in law amongst others, to hear a strange and hideous noise in the air, being as it were a great multitude of voices, some crying and groaning in a most lamentable manner, others threatening and blaspheming, being not unlike that confused noise that was heard the night when the massacre was executed.


After this Bartholomew-tide this prince took no true rest, but was always interrupted with startings, and groanings, which ended in words of diffidence and despair, and most extreme pains of a disease which seized on him; yea the very blood was observed to spring forth from almost all the passages of his body, insomuch that he died thus wallowing and weltering in his own gore.


It's said, that he had resolved a little before his death, to have banished out of his Council, all the authors of the massacre, together with his mother, however some of them were met with as followeth.


Henry the third, his brother, received his deaths wound by James Clement, a Jacobin, in the very same house, chamber, and place of the chamber, as also the very same month, that 17 years before he had treacherously plotted, violently solicited, and absolutely determined the above said massacre of St. Bartholomew.


Francis of Lorrain, Duke of Guise, having executed the massacre of Vassi, and afflicting Orleans, to the end he might exterminate the Protestants, was assassinated by one Poltrot.


Henry, his son, one of the authors of the massacre of St. Bartholomew, together with the cardinal his brother, were both put to death at Blois, by the commandment of king Henry the third.


Du Haillan reports in the life of Charles the ninth, that the king visibly declined in those days, and that in the very flower of his age. And after the departure of the king of Polonia, he was found to be as much altered in mind as body, being in an a special manner provoked and incensed against the authors and contrivers of the massacres, as he also plainly told some of his court, who were enemies of injustice, and as appeared likewise by several letters which he wrote into foreign parts, for which authors of the massacres he had prescribed a very strange Potion, if divine providence had not prevented him, who reserved them as instruments of those after-chastisements which he had appointed to bring upon the kingdom.


The same author observed a little after, that having languished during the months of February, March, and April, he was so wafted in his body by such furious storms and tempests, that his bed became irksome to him, and the and the 30th of May he took his last sleep in his castle du Bois de Vincennes, after a strange effusion of blood, which forced its way through several parts of his body, during the two last weeks of his sickness, in all which time he endured all the most violent assaults and combats, that the vigor and force of his age could possibly furnish him with strength to undergo.


Du Serres relates of him, that raging and raving under the just judgments of God, he was seen to wallow in his own blood, (the just recompense and reward of one, who had wallowed all his life-time in the blood of his subjects throughout all his Dominions.)


Stanislaus of Znoyme, as he was going to Constance to bear false witness against John Huss was remarkably smitten by the hand of God Himself.


Count Felix of Wartenberg one of the Emperor’s Captains, as he was sitting at supper with many of his companions and brethren in iniquity, in the year 1530, swore in the presence of all that were at the table, that before be died he would ride aux esperons up to the horses-belly in the blood of the Lutherans; but that very night, he was choked with his own blood, and wallowed miserably in the same.


John Menier, after a thousand mischiefs which he had done to the poor Protestants, was seized by a bloody flux, which did so afflict his privy members, and engendered such a retention of urine, that he died thereof with most horrible and despairing cries, feeling also a fire already in his body, as an earnest of those eternal flames that are prepared for such firebrands of the church.


Gaspar de Renialme one of the magistrates of the City of Antwerp, having judged to death certain poor Protestants, was smitten by God in the very place, insomuch that being led home as it were almost desperate, he died in a terrible manner, often crying out and saying, that he had condemned innocent blood.


The Chancellor du Prat, who was the first that gave jurisdiction to Parliaments to proceed against the poor Protestants, died in his own house, swearing and cursing against God Himself, but his very stomach was afterwards found to have been gnawed and eaten through by worms.


John Morin, lieutenant de la Prevoste de Paris, a strange and cruel monster, having put to death a great number of martyrs, was smitten with the disease called the wolf in both his legs, of which he died, blaspheming and renouncing God in a most hideous manner.


The same author makes mention of a certain counselor who having had a hand in certain processes which were made by the lieutenant du Chastelet de Paris, died a very strange death, and in his sickness he would often cry out to those that visited him, in the following terms; why do we put to death these poor people, who pray to God so well?


During the cruel executions at Amboise, issued out against those who assembled themselves to discover to the king the secret machinations that were then plotting against him, Oliver the Chancellor, who had drawn the process against these poor people, and who also had proceeded in the former persecutions directly against his own conscience (which for a long time had been enlightened by the knowledge of the truth) was at length seized by a grievous disease, during the which he sent forth most lamentable sighs and bitter groans. In this torment he was visited by the Cardinal of Lorrain, to whom he cried out in these words. Ha! Cardinal! Tu nous sais tour danner, thou causest us all to be damned: It is said moreover, that he mentioned with profound regret the death of M. Ann du Bourg, who not long before, had been burnt for the testimony of the truth.


The Baillif of Nancy in Lorrain, having without any form of legal proceeding, caused to be hanged one Florentine a native of Cologne, a faithful servant and minister of Jesus Christ and likewise demolished the church where the said Florentin was wont to preach and administer the sacraments, it happened that as he was walking out after dinner, (not knowing the place where this poor martyr had been executed) he lighted just upon the very place where he was hanging; but as soon as he beheld him, he was struck with such a dismal affrightment, that it accompanied him to his grave. His body not long after became dry as parchment rolled upon wood, besides this, he was grievously tormented in his conscience, insomuch that he often demanded of divers honest people during the time of his languishment, whether God would pardon unto a man those sins that he repented of, without confessing at all the cause of this his remorse? (it is likely out of fear of displeasing the princes and great ones.) However, when he came to make his last will and testament, he plainly discovered the cause of this his torment and horror of conscience, assigning 500 frauds to the daughter of the above-said martyr Florentine which was also afterwards really given her by his executors.


John de Roma, an Inquisitor in Province, who had found out a strange invention to torment the poor saints, which was to cause them to draw on a certain kind of boots filled with boiling grease, thereby (if possible) to make them despair through excessive pains. Was afterwards surprised by a terrible and loathsome disease, insomuch that none durst approach him by reason of the stench and putrefaction of his malady; and all his consolation was a desire to die, in the mean time uttering nothing but words of despair. His complaints were such as these. Alas, to what a miserable state and condition am I brought! What is it that I suffer! I remember indeed the evils that I have done to these poor people, and know full well for what cause I am thus afflicted on every side. Who shall deliver me from this distress? O kill me speedily, that I may no longer languish in this misery.


One Dr. Lamber Priour of the Augustin Friars, as he was preaching with open mouth against the faithful flock of Christ, (whom he called by the name of Calvinists, and Lutherans,) all of a sudden became mute in his pulpit, and his senses failed him in an odd and strange manner, insomuch that he was immediately carried out of the assembly, and a few days after he was found dead in a ditch.


Poncher ArchBishop of Tours, pursuing the execution of a famous martyr, was burnt by a fire from heaven, which began at his heel, and he was forced to cut off one member after another, till at last he died most miserably, no man being ever able to know the cause of his disease,


Thomas Arundel, ArchBishop of Canterbury, that gave sentence against the Lord Cobham (that ancient witness of the truth) died notwithstanding before him, having his tongue to swollen in his mouth, before his death, that he could neither eat, nor speak.


Dr. Foxford Chancellor to Stokesley Bishop of London, had his guts fallen out of his body as he sat in his Chair.


Morgan Bishop of St. Davids, who sat upon Farrar the Martyr, and usurped his place, was smitten with a loathsome disease, his meat that he ate still rising up again, sometimes through his mouth, sometimes through his nose, till he died.


Justice Morgan, who sat upon the Lady Jane, fell mad, and cried out always in his raging fits. Take away the Lady Jane! Take away the Lady Jane! and so he died.


The Wife of John Fettie betrayed her own husband, and then fell mad.


Alexander the Keeper of Newgate in the days of the martyrs, died in a most formidable manner, his body being swollen, and become as monstrous as his actions, and as rotten as his principles.


Gardner the Bishop of Winchester, the Devil’s chief courier du Cabi net, would by no means go to dinner that day that Ridley and Latimer were burnt at Oxford, till such time as his man came post from thence, with the news that he saw fire set to them at the stake, but ere this curled murderer had sat long at the table, he was taken with such an intolerable pain in his bowels, and the heat within his body was so violent, that his tongue was swollen, and become black in his mouth. This wicked wretch when he was put in mind by one of the Bishops that stood by him, of the death and merits of Christ, made answer thus, open that door to the people, my Lord, and all’s gone! You may speak it to such as we in my condition, but open that door to the people, and all’s gone.


I shall end all with that reproach of her sex, Queen Mary, who never prospered after once she began to persecute the saints, and at last died of a Tympany. This miserable wretch told one of her maids of honor, that if they opened her after she was dead, they should find Calais lying at her heart. But I am persuaded she was mistaken, and that it was rather the fire, the scalding lead, and red hot irons, wherewith she had put to death the poor martyrs.


The truth is, the instances that might be alleged for the confirmation of this truth, are almost innumerable. And I do verily believe that there hath hardly been any famous persecutor of the church almost in any age, or place of the world, that hath gone down to his grave without some remarkable tokens of divine vengeance upon him, in some respect or other.


I might here in the conclusion of this discourse (and it would not be at all besides my purpose if I should) descend to some particular instances in Savoy it self, whereby it would plainly appear to all the world, that even they also, as they have in a very eminent manner acted their parts in the persecution of the saints, have likewise been met with by judgments from heaven. I say, I might instance in several persons of quality and note, some whereof had had their candles strangely put out, and others who are now living, and have already tasted in tome measure the first fruits of their bloody deeds, as an earnest of a heavier curse, without a serious and timely repentance. I would not be here mistaken or thought bluntly to strike at, or fall foul upon the princely persons of their Royal Highness, (I mean the Duke and his mother now reigning) the tender years of the one, and those few observations I my self have sometimes made of the candor and mildness of the natural tempers and dispositions of both, forbidding me to believe them to be otherwise, or any further guilty of those horrid cruelties and persecutions, than by giving ear (the more's the pity) to the black calumnies of malicious men, and by suffering themselves to be made believe, that whosoever kills and destroys those their poor Protestant subjects, do thereby save their own souls, and do God a singular and meritorious service, and upon those grounds most unhappily set their hands to many a cruel and bloody edict. No! they are a generation of Jesuitical spirits to whom I direct this discourse, who love cruelty in the abstract, and hunt after blood as naturally as the eagle after her prey. But I shall rather be sparing and tender in this regard, and only pray for them, as Stephen did for his murderers; Lord lay net this sin to their charge! Or in the words of our Savior for the Jews, Father forgive them, for they know net what they do. But withal let me tell them, that strong and loud is the cry of those souls who are now under the altar, whom they have so cruelly and barbarously slain for the testimony of Jesus; and let them take heed that they prevail not at length with the Lord Holy and true, to judge and avenge their blood upon them that dwell on the earth.



These are the Introductory (and I hope seasonable) thoughts and intimations


(Christian and Courteous Readers)




Your faithful Servant in