« AnteriorContinuar »
formerly taught among them. And he continued to exhort them, till his tongue, swollen by the violence of his agony, denied him utterance.
7. Ferrar, bishop of St. David's, also suffered this terrible punishment in his own diocess; and Ridley, bishop of London, and Latimer, formerly bishop of Worcester, two prelates, venerable by their years, their learning, and their piety, perished together in the same fire at Oxford, supporting each other's constancy by their mutual exhortations.
8. Latimer, when tied to the stake, called to his companion, “Be of good cheer, my brother; we shall this day kin. dle such a flame in England, as I trust in God will never be extinguished.”
9. Sanders, a respectable clergyman, was comınitted to the flames at Coventry. A pardon was offered him, if he would recant; but he rejected it with disdain, and embraced the stake, saying, "Welcome, cross of Christ! welcome, everlasting life.”
10. Cranmer had less courage at first. Terrified by the prospect of those tortures which awaited him, or overcome by the iona love oi nie, ana by tire maciery or ai uul men, who pompously represented the dignities to which his character still entitled him, if he would merit then by a recantation, he agreed, in an unguarded hour, to subscribe to the doctrines of the papal supremacy, and the real presence.
11. But the court, no less perfidious than cruel, determined that this recantation should avail him nothing; that he should acknowledge his errours in the church, before the people, and afterwards be led to execution.
12. Whether Cranmer received secret intelligence of their design, or repented of his weakness, or both, is uncertain ; but he surprised the audience by a declaration very different from what was expected.
13. After explaining his sense of what he owed to God and his sovereign,“ There is one miscarriage in my life, said he, of which, above all others, I severely repent; and that is, the insincere declaration of faith, to which I had the weakness to subscribe.
14. “But I take this opportunity of atoning for my errour, by a sincere and open recantation; and am willing to seal with my blood that doctrine, which I firmly believe to be communicated from heaven."
15. As his hand, he added, had erred, by betraying his heart, it should first be punished by a severe, but just doom. He accordingly stretched it out, as soon as he came to the stake ; and without discovering, either by his looks or motions, the least sign of weakness, or even feeling, he held it in the flames till it was entirely consumed.
16. His thoughts, to lise the words of an elegant and learned historian, appeared to be totally occupied in reflecting on his former faults; and he called aloud several times, * This hand has offended;
this wicked hand has offended!” 17. When it dropped off, he discovered a serenity in his countenance, as if satisfied with sacrificing to divine justice the instrument of his crime. And when the fire attacked his body, his soul, totally collected within itself, seemed superiour to every external accident, and altogether inaccessible to pain.
STORY OF LOGAN, A Mingo Chief.
In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery and murder were committed on an inhabitant of the frontiers of Virginia, by two Indians, of the Shawanese tribe. The neighbouring whites, according to their custom,undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. Colonel Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those much injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the river Kanhaway in quest of vengeance.
2. Unfortunately, a canoe of women and children, with one man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and unsuspecting any hostile attack from the whites. Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the river; and the moment the canoe reached the shore, singled out their objects, and at one fire, killed every person in it.
3. This happened to be the family of Logan, who had long been distinguished as the friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked his vengeance. He accordingly signalized himself in the war which ensued.
4. In the autumn of the same year, a decisive battle was fought at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, between the collected forces of the Shawanese, Mingoes, and Delawares, and a detachment of the Virginia inilitia. The Indians were defeated, and sued for peace.
5. Logan, however, disdained to be seen among the suppliants; but lest the sincerity of a treaty should be distrusted, from which so distinguished a chief absented himself, he sent by a inessenger the following speech, to be delivered to Lord Dunmore.
6. “ I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him no meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace.
7. “Such was my love for the whites, that my country, men pointed as they passed by, and said, Logan is the
friend of white men. I had even thought to have lived with you, had it not been for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children.
8. “There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on ine for revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance.
For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace; but do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear.Logan never selt sear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logau ? Not one."
THE AGED PRISONER, RELEASED FROM THE
Nowhere else on earth, perhaps, has human misery, by human means, been rendered so lasting, so complete,
or so remediless, as in that despotick prison, the Bastile. This the following case may suffice to evince; the particulars of which are translated from that elegant and energetiek writer, Mr. Mercier.
2. The heinous offence which merited an imprisonment surpassing torture, and rendering death a blessing, was no more than some unguarded expressions, implying disrespect towards the late Gallick Monarch, Louis fifteenth.
3. Upon the accession of Louis sixteenth to the throne, the ministers then in office, moved by humanity, began their administration with an act of clemency and justice. They inspected the registers of the Bastile, and set many prisoners at liberty.
4. Among those there was an old man who had groaned in confinement for forty-seven years, between four thick and cold stone walls. Hardened by adversity, which strengthens both the mind and constitution, when they are not overpow. ered by it, lie had resisted the horrours of his long imprisonment with an invincible and manly spirit.
5. His locks, white, thin and scattered, had almost acquired the rigidity of iron; whilst his body, environed for so long a time by a coffin of stone, had borrowed from it a firm and compact habit. The narrow door of his tomb, turning upon its grating hinges, opened, not as usual, by halves, and an unknown voice announced his liberty, and bade him depart.
6. Believing this to be a dream, he hesitated; but at length rose up and walked forth with trembling steps, amazed at the space he traversed. The stairs of the prison, the halls, the courts, seemed to him vast, immense, and almost without bounds.
7. He stopped from time to time, and gazed around like a bewildered traveller. His vision was with difficulty reconciled to the clear light of day. He contemplated the heavens as a new object. His eyes remained fixed, and he could not even weep.
8. Stupified with the newly acquired power of changing his position, his limbs, like his tongue, refused, in spite of his efforts, to perform their office. At length he got through the formidable gate!
9. When he felt the motion of the carriage, which was prepared to transport him to his former habitation, he screamed out and uttered some inarticulate sounds; and as he could not bear this new movement, he was obliged to de scend. Supported by à benevolent arm, he sought out
the street where he had formerly resided; he found it, but no trace of his house remained : one of the publick edifices occupied the spot where it had stood.
10. He now saw nothing which brought to his recollection either that particular quarter, the city itself, or the objects with which he was formerly acquainted. The bouses of his nearest neighbours, which were fresh in his memory, had assuined a new appearance.
11. In vain were his looks directed to all the objects around him; he could discover nothing of which he had the smallest remembrance. Terrified, he stopped and fetched a deep sigh. To him what did it import, that the city was peopled with living creatures ? None of them were alive to him; he w.s unknown to all the world, and he knew nobo. dy; and whilst he wept, he regretted his dungeon.
12. At the name of the Bastile, which be often pronounced and even claimed as an asylum, and the sight of his clothes which marked his former age, the crowd gathered around him; curiosity, blended with pity, excited their attention. The most aged asked him many questions, but had no remembrance of the circumstances which he recapitulated.
13. At length accident brought to bis way an ancient domestick, now a superannuated porter, who, confined to his lodge for fifteen years, had barely sufficient strength to open the gate. · Even he did not know the master he had served; but informed himn that grief and misfortune had brought his wife to the grave thirty years before; that his children were gone abroad to distant climes, and that of all his relations and friends, none now remained.
14. This recital was made with the indifference which people discover for events long passed and almost forgotten. The miserable man groaned, and groaned alone. The crowd around, offering only unknown features to his view, mnade him feel the excess of his calamities even more than he would have done in the dreadful solitude which he had left.
.15. Overcome with sorrow, he presented himself before the minister, to whose humanity he owed that liberty which was now a burden to him. Bowing down, he said, “ Restore me again to that prison from which you have taken me. I cannot survive the loss of my nearest relations, of my