« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
rest: and so it was with Cranmer; for, after signing this paper, he could no longer be at peace with himself; and he then spoke his real sentiments, and declared himself the friend of the Protestant religion. For this, he was brought to the stake; and he seemed to glory in being called to suffer in so righteous a cause. As soon as the fire was kindled around him, he thrust his right hand into the midst of the flames, and there held it till it was consumed it was that hand that had signed the paper which so tormented him, and he was therefore determined that that hand should be the first to suffer; and, in the midst of his torments, he frequently cried out, " that unworthy hand."
Besides these persecutions for the sake of religion, I should have told you that, at the beginning of her reign, Queen Mary caused Lady Jane Grey, and her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, to be put to death, because their ambitious friends had persuaded them that this lady was the heir to the throne, and because she did not refuse the offer so firmly as she ought to bave done. This cruel execution raised the pity and compassion of all ranks and descriptions of people ; for neither Lady Jane nor her husband bad any wish to disturb the Queen in her government, but had been only brought forward by the ambition of their relations. Lady Jane and her husband were very young, and handsome, and amiable; but bloody Mary had no compassion on them, and they were both beheaded at the Tower on the same day. Lord Guildford was the first that suffered ; and, whilst Lady Jane was going to the place of execution, she met the officers of the Tower carrying the headless body of her husband streaming with blood. She looked at the body for some time, and then, sighing, bade her conductors to lead her on. She behaved, at her execution, with the greatest firmness, submitting, with a serene countenance, to the stroke of the executioner.
Queen Mary was married to Philip the Second,
King of Spain, who was himself a stern Catholic, and encouraged the opposition to the Reformation. We cannot suppose, that, in the midst of these dread. ful scenes, the Queen berself could be happy. No, her dark and cruel disposition was torment enough to her; and the miseries which she caused could give no feeling to ber mind but that of gloomy wretchedness.
The temporal affairs of the kingdom, too, were in a wretched state. Calais, which had been in possession of the English ever since the reign of Edward the Third, was now taken from us by the French; and such : was tbe wretchedness of the Queen, upon this loss, that she was heard
say that, when she was dead, " the name of Calais would be written on her heart.” It seems to me that there were other things which might have pressed upon her mind, and tormented her more than this.
Every thing, bowever, seemed to go on in a way to vex and disturb the Queen. Her husband had no affection for her; the people murmed against her ; the Protestant religion increased, in spite of all her cruelties, and she was unsuccessful in all her warlike attempts; all these things together, worked upon her body as well as her mind, and brought on a consumption. Her dark and cruel temper gave strength to her disease, and threw her into a lingering fever, and of this she died in the forty third year of her age, after a miserable reign of about five years. This happened in the year 1558.
Now, though most of the accounts which we find in history, relate to the affairs of kings and queens, yet they read us a lesson which may be useful to persons in any condition of life: May God grant that we may profit by it! And, when we know the misery and wretchedness which is brought on by a want of regard to the religion of the Gospel; and when we see what cruelty of disposition will often possess the heart, if it be not softened by the gracious influences of true religion, it becomes us, indeed, to make it our prayer, and our study, to receive, in humble faith, the pure doctrines of Christ's religion, to seek for divine grace, that we may be guided by its rules, and to labour to convey to others the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, which will lead them to all truth, and all duty, and all happiness here, and shew them the way to everlasting salvation in the world to come. And, when we see how the faithful followers of Christ are sup ported in the midst of the most severe trials, and the most acute suffering, what a lesson is this for us to embrace that faith which gives its followers such constancy in the hour of trial, and which is so wonderfully upheld and supported by the hand of God! May we always be thankful for the knowledge of the truth, and may we ever make it our desire and endeavour to follow its heavenly guidance ! I am, your affectionate Father,
QUESTIONS FROM WATTS'S HYMNS.
To thee my youngest hours belong;
Till growing years improve the song.
That I was born on British ground,
And words of sweet salvation sound.
For rich Peru, with all her gold;
Than East or Western Indies hold.
How do I pity those that dwell
Where ignorance, or darkness, reigns;
Those endless joys, those endless pains.
Kindle my hopes and my desire;
Warn me to 'scape eternal fire.
Since thou hast mark'd my way to Heav'n;
And waste the blessings thou hast giv'n. What should you resolve to do in the earliest years of your life?
To praise God.
To what are you indebted for the mercy of being born on British ground, i. e. in a Christian land ?
The sovereign grace of God.
You say that " streams of beavenly mercy flow" in this land, --what do you mean by this?
The free circulation of the Bible.
And what do you mean when you say that here the “ words of sweet salvation sound ?”
The preaching of the Gospel by the Ministers of God.
Why would you not exchange your native land for those countries which abound in gold and silver ?
Because a nobler prize is here given to me.
Psalm cxix. 72. “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
How do you feel towards the poor Heathen, who dwell in a land of darkness and ignorance?
I pity them.
The endless joys of heaven.
Prove, from Scripture, that the joys of heaven are endless.
Psalm xvi. 11. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
How does our Lord, in the 9th Chapter of St. Mark, repeatedly describe the endless torments of hell ?
« Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
What is here meant by the worm which dieth not?
The reflections and reproaches of a sinner's own conscience, which will cling to his soul, as worms do to à dead body.
Where do you find any thing to inspire you with a hope of reaching heaven, and to make you desire to dwell there?
In the glorious promises contained in the Bible. And what do the Preachers of God's word warn
you to do?
“To escape eterpal fire.” Then what road is it which you are not to run? “The road to death." How is this road described in Scripture?
Matt. vii. part of ver. 13. “ Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”
Who bas marked your way to heaven?
* The Correpondent who favoured us with these Questions and Answers has now published them separately. We can confidently recommend the little volume to our readers, especially to those who are engaged in the education of children.ED.