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the lapsed, some bemoaned their fall, and recovered
by repentance. Gregory himself, onanother occasion,
underwent with patience the tortures of the rack.
In the extremity of his suffering he fell into a swoon,
and was believed to have expired *. His uncle
Rokyzan hasted to the prison at the news, and la-
mented over him in these words, “ My dear Gre-
gory,

I would to God I were where thou art.” So
strong was the power of conscience still in this
unhappy archbishop! But Gregory recovered,
and was preserved by providence to
nursing father to the church to a very advanced
age.

The brethren, hearing of the sensibility disco.
vered by Rokyzan, addressed themselves to him
again; but his answers were of the same kind as
formerly. He was determined not to suffer perse-
cution; and they, in their farewel letter, said to him,
with more zeal than discretion “ Thou art of the
world, and wilt perish with the world.” The perfe-
cution now took a different turn; the Huffites were
no longer tortured, but were driven out of the coun-
try; whence they were obliged to hide themselves in
mountains and woods, and to live in the wilderness.
In this situation in the year 1467 they came to a A D.
resolution to form a church among themselves, and 1467.
to appoint their own ministers. In 1480 they A. D.
received a great increase of their numbers from the 1480.
accession of Waldensian refugees, who escaped out
of Austria, where Stephen, the last bishop of the
Waldenses in that province, was burnt alive, and
where the vehemence of persecution no longer
allowed this people to live in security. An union
was easily forined between the Waldenses and the
Hullites, on account of the similarity of their fen-

timents • Camerarius, p. 80.

ز

A. D.

timents and manners. The refugees, however, found their situation but little meliorated by a junction with a people, who were obliged to conceal themselves in thickets and in clefts of rocks; and who, to escape detection by the smoke, made no fires except in the night, when they read the word of God and prayed. What they must

have suffered in these circumstances, may be easily A. D. conceived. The death of king Podiebrad, in 1471, 1471.

had afforded them, indeed, some relief; and about the same time had died also the unhappy Rokyzan, who, in his latter days, promoted the perfecutions against them, and who expired in despair.

In 1481 the Hussites were banished Moravia; 1481. but returned into that country fix years afterwards.

In the beginning of the sixteenth century, they counted two hundred congregations in Bohemia and Moravia. Their moft violent perfecutors were the Calixtines, who certainly for the most part refembled the papists in all things except in the particularity, from which their name was derived,

And here I close, for the present, the history of the Hussites, who doubtlefs as a body of men feared God and ferved him in the gospel of his Son. They alfo maintained a degree of discipline among theinfelves vastly fuperior to that of any others of the christian name, unless we except the churches of the Waldenses. Both of these however were defective in evangelical LIGHT. There wanted an exhibition of the pure doctrines of Christ, luminous, attractive, and powerful, which should publish peace and salvation to mankind through the cross of Christ, and engage the attention of the serious and thoughtful, who knew not the way of peace. These could find little instruction or consolation in the view of a society of

well

well disciplined christians, whose manners indeed were pure and holy, but in the eyes of the ignorant forbidding and austere. God in his mercy was now hastening this exhibition by the light of the reformation, which, after we have very briefly surveyed the fifteenth century in GENERAL, nuft engage our attention.

CHAP

CHA P. IV.

A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE FIFTEENTH

CENTURY.

HE most remarkable events, which distinguish

this period in general history, appear to have been directed by Divine Providence with a particular subferviency to the reformation. Only in this

view they will deserve the notice of the historian of A. D. the church of Christ. In the year 1453 Constan1453. tinople was taken by the Turkish emperor Ma

homet II. From the year 1299 when the four angels were loosed, which had been bound in the siver Euphrates *, that is to say, when four Turkish Sultanies were established in the east, the Turks had gradually increased their power, and filled the world with carnage and confusion. In the mean time the princes of Europe, absorbed in the vortex of narrow and contracted politics, indolently beheld these ferocious barbarians advancing further and further to the west, and formed no generous plan of defensive combination. It was in vain that the distressed emperors of the east implored the aid of the western princes. The common enemy overFLOWED AND PASSED OVER-to use the

pro phetic language of Daniel, --and having once gained a footing in Europe, he continued to domineer over a large part of Christendom, and to desolate the nations. The same unerring spirit of prophecy

which * Rev. ix. 14.

which foretold these amazing scenes by St John, foretold also the continued obduracy and impenitence of the nominal christians. They repented not of their idolatry and practical wickednels *.

There cannot be a more melancholy contemplation, than to observe the infatuation of nations, who have provoked God to forsake them. Though the voice of providence is addressed to their senses, they consider not the works of the Lord, and at the fame time seem to be as deftitute of political sagacity, as they are of religious principle. This fifteenth century affords an awful instance of these things. The Turks oppressed Europe with persevering cruelty; but Europe neither humbled itself before God, nor took any measures to check the ambition of the Mahometans. The sovereign of the universe, however, was bringing order out of confusion, and light out of darkness. The learned men, who enigrated from Greece, revived the study of letters in Europe, and paved the

way

for that light of classical erudition, which was one of the most powerful of all those subordinate means, which were employed in the demolition of idolatry and superstition. By a surprising concurrence of circumstances, the noble art of printing was invented about the year 1440 4. Learning was a. D. cultivated with incredible ardour: the family of

1440. the Medici was raised up to patronize science; and toward the end of this fame century, Erasmus arose, whose good sense, taste and industry, were uncommonly serviceable to the reformation. By his labours, monastic superstition received a wound which has never since been healed; and learned men were furnished with critical skill and ingenuity, of which they failed not to avail themselves in the

instruction * Rev. ix. 21. + Mofheim, Vol. I. p. 764.

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