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OF

For's Book of Martyrs,

CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL.

No. 2.

Printed end Published by W. E. ANDREWS, 3, Chapter- Price 3d.

house-court, St. Paul's Churchyard, London.

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EXPLANATION OF THĘ ENGRAVING.–The pillar in the middle is the Monument of London. On the left hand side is seen the ancient city of Rome on fire; and on the right is a representation of the fire of London in 1666. Nero fired the former city, and churged the primitive Christians with doing it, to bring odium upon them; the latter city was struck by the hand of Heaven, and the Protestant Ascendency-men of that day, in the spirit of bigotry and illiberality, not only aecused the Catholics as the authors of the calamity, but have endeavoured to perpetuute the calumny to posterity, by causing an inscription to be placed round the base of the pedestal of the above pillar, stuting that it: was erected in remembrance of the burning of the Puotistant city by a Popisu faction, which occasioned Pope to say, in his Ethic Epistles, that this pillär, " like a tull bully lifts its head and LIES."

CONTINUATION OF THE REVIEW. Catholic church, which all Protestants in this country, before they can accept civil office, are obliged to swear is damnable and idolatrous. Consequently St. Andrew was no Protestant martyr.

St. Peter is called the "great apostle and martyr," and the account given of his life is correct, so far as it goes ; but there are many most important omissions. For example; the basis of Protestantism is to allow individual interpretation of the scriptures, by which means it is difficult for a man to know what his neighbour's creed is; because what may seem right to him to-day he may consider wrong to-morrow, and therefore no stability can be placed in this mode of belief, if such it can be called. But the Catholic grounds his faith on the unerring word of GOD, as delivered by the apostles and received by the whole church; not as one man may teach, but what all have heard and bear testimony to. Hence St. Peter, who had hitherto delivered the Christian doctrine by word of mouth, finding that certain busy spirits were endeavouring to sow dissension among the converted Jews, wrote two admonitory epistles to them from Rome, in the second of which he tells them, that "no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation,' ch. i. v. 20; and in conclusion he writes, “Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto

you; as also in all (his) epistles, speaking in them of these things, “ in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are “ unlearned and unstable rest, as also the rest of the scriptures, unto

THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. You, therefore, brethren, knowing these things, take heed lest, led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall away

from your own stedfastness.” Now here is a very important fact suppressed, which certainly ought to have been noticed, because Catholics are reproached for not allowing private interpretation, following the advice here given to the primitive Christians by St. Peter, by which means they maintain an unity in their doctrine, while Protestants are as discordant in their religious notions as the builders of Babel were in their language. Now, it is as clear as that one and one make two, that there can be but one true faith, because Truth is both immutable and indivisible; consequently, among the many creeds in existence, there can be but one of them true; and which that is we should think might be very easily discovered if people would take time to reflect. In the beginning of Christianity, we find there were teachers of error; for example, Simon Magus, Cerinthus, Hymenæus, Ebion, &c. who all differed from each other, but all agreed in condemning the doctrines taught by the apostles; so we see Protestants of endless denominations disputing each other's creed, but all combining to misrepresent and vilify the Catholic faith. Now is this not a singular circumstance? If the Catholic church taught error, would it not be easy to point out the error, and when it was first introduced ? Yet this never has been done. And were she like the rest of the teachers of the ignorant, as they style themselves, is it likely that she would have to stand against the combined assaults of all the various sects any more than either of those which oppose her ? St. Peter, it is clear, by condemning private interpretation, was no Protestant saint, but a Catholic one, and Catholics commemorate his memory to this day.

But to return to the martyrologist. He says, “His (Peter's) body being taken down, embalmed, and buried in the Vatican, a church was “ erected on the spot; but this being destroyed by the emperor Helio"gabalus, the body was removed till the 20th bishop of Rome, called “ Cornelius, conveyed it again to the Vatican : afterwards Constantine “ the great erected one of the most stately churches in the universe

over the place.' By this confused account, without dates or authorities, we may form some conclusion on the merit due to Fox's relations. The story of "embalming" the body of St. Peter is evidently false; because history tells us it was the custom of the Romans to burn the dead bodies of their relatives, and the practice of preserving a corpse from putrefaction was probably then unknown to them. The Egyptians preserved the bodies of their dead, and the Jews buried them in the earth, as we may see by the book of Tobias, and other parts of scripture. From the latter, once the chosen people of God, the primitive Christians, the faithful elect of a crucified Saviour, observed the custom of depositing the remains of the martyrs in the earth; so that “embalming” is quite out of the question. And when we consider the state of the Christians at the time; the continual apprehensions they were under, from the cruelty of their oppressors, this story of Fox will appear still more improbable. Then as to the body being buried in the Vatican, and a church erected on the spot; what can he mean by this statement? The Vatican in the time of the Roman empire was a hill without the walls of the city, near the suburb inhabited by the Jews, on which stood two Heathen temples, the one of Apollo, and the other of Idæa, mother of the gods. (See Bianchini, Praef. in Pontif. p. 72.) On the spot where these temples stood Constantine the great built a church in honour of the place where St. Peter suffered martyrdom, and where he was in the first instance buried, but afterwards removed to the catacombs. This falling into decay, having stood twelve centuries, pope Leo the 10th projected the present mag. nificent temple. The means devised by Leo to raise this edifice, may be said to have been one of the causes of Luther's pretended reformation.

Again, is it probable that the Christians could build a church during the persecution, where two temples dedicated to idolatry were already raised ? And this church to stand about one hundred years unmolested, till Heliogabalus destroyed it? For observe, Heliogabalus reigned about the year 222, that is about a century and a half after the martyrdom of St. Peter, and upwards of a century before the reign of Constantine the great, when the Christians were first allowed to build public temples to worship the true God. Cornelius, according to the writings of Eusebius, St. Pacianus, St. Cyprian, Tillemont, &c. succeeded St. Fabian, who suffered martyrdom on the 20th of January, 250. Fabian was the 20th bishop of Rome after St. Peter, so that here is a mistake on the part of Fox.

At the time of Fabian's death, the violence of the persecution under Decius was so great, that the see of Rome was vacant sixteen months, so that Cornelius did not occupy the episcopal chair of that city until the year 251, thirty years after Heliogabalus. In the life of the holy pope Cornelius, by the Rev. Alban Butler, there is not the least mention made of the circumstance of the removal of St. Peter's body, which would not have been omitted had it really taken place. The fact is, the story of John Fox is mere fiction, and shews how easily those persons who charge the Catholics with being credulous are themselves imposed upon. Cornelius did not fill the chair but sixteen months, himself suffering martyrdom on the 14th of September, 252. Were Protestants to examine history carefully, and look to dates and authorities, they would not be so much deceived by interested writers as they have been.

St. Gregory, who lived much nigher to the primitive ages than John Fox, writes (1. iii. ep. 30.) that the bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul, who suffered on the same day, were buried in the catacombs, two miles out of Rome; and the Rev. Alban Butler says, “ The most ancient “ Roman calendar published by Bucherius, marks their festival at the catacombs on the 29th of June.” These catacombs were the ancient cemeteries of the Christians, and therefore the account of St. Gregory is entitled to credit. Mr. A. Butler, in a note to the life of St.

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Calixtus, pope and martyr, October 14, writes thus : “ The Chris-“ tians never gave into the customs either of preserving the bo“ dies of their dead, like the Egyptians, or of burning them with the “ Romans, or, of casting them to wild beasts with the Persians; but, “ in imitation of the people of God from the beginning of the world, “ buried them with decency and respect in the earth, where, according "to the sentence pronounced by God, they return to dust, till the ge“ neral resurrection. At Rome they chose caverns or arenæ for their “burial places, digging lodges on each hand, in each of which they " deposited a corpse, and then walled up the entrance of that lodge. “Boldetti proves the cemetry of St. Agnes to have been enlarged " after the reign of Constantine ; and the same is not doubted as to

many others. Several inscriptions on sepulchres in the catacombs given to the persons there interred the quality of fossores, or diggers " (of cemetries). See Aringhi, 1. i. c. 13. Boldetti, 1. i. c. 15. Botta"rius, t. ii. p. 126. The Pagans of Rome burned their dead bodies ; “ which is true not only of the rich, but in general; nor is bishop " Burnet able to produce one contrary instance; though sometimes “ the corpse of a criminal or slave, who had neither friends nor money,

might be thrown into the Puticuli, upon the heads of the ashes of the others, without the ceremony of being burnt. H. Valesius, in his

notes on Eusebius, p. 186, observes, that it is hard to determine at “ what time the Romans began to leave off the custom of burning their “ dead : but it must have been about the time of Constantine the great,

probably when he had put an end to the empire of Paganism. The “ Heathens learned of the Christians to bury their dead; and grew at

once so fond of this custom, that, in the time of Theodosius the younger, as Macrobius testifies, (Saturnal, 1. vii. c. 7.) there was not

a body burnt in all the Roman empire.” Now, we may here ask, whether it is likely that the primitive Christians could build churches in honour of the martyrs, when they were obliged to bury them in caverns privately, and were suffering persecution for conscience sake? No man of common sense can entertain such an opinion for a moment. Besides we have it here stated by Mr. Butler, that the Christians rejected the practice of preserving the dead bodies by embalming, and placed them in their mother earth. Hence it is clear Fox was merely, a romance writer, and not a recorder of truth.

r Christians," continues Mr. Butler, “ from the beginning, often “ visited out of devotion the tombs of the martyrs, and in the times of

persecution often concealed themselves in these catacombs, and as“ sembled here to celebrate the divine mysteries. Whence the persecutors “ forbid them to enter the cemetries, as the judge proconsul declared

to St. Cyprian, (in actis, p, 11.) and the prefect of Egypt to St. Dio“nysius of Alexandria. (ap. Eus. 1. vi. c. Į1.) See also Eus. 1. ix. c. 2. “ Tertullian, (ad Scapul. c. 3.) and several inscriptions importing this “ in Boldetti, (1. i. c. 11.) Mamachi, (t. iij. p, 162.) and chiefly Bot“ tarius against Burnet. (Roma Sotter, t. i. p. 12.)

“ That the catacombs were known to be filled with the tombs of in“ numerable martyrs, and devoutly visited by the Christians in the early..

ages of Christianity, is incontestible from the testimonies of St. Jerom, Fr St. Paulinus and Prudentius. St. Jerom mentions (in c. xl. Ezech, Ft, v, p. 980, ed, Ben.) that when he was a boy, and studied at

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“Rome, he was accustomed on Sundays to visit in a round the sepul“chres of the apostles and martyrs, and frequently to go into the ctyp

tæ, which are dug in the earth to a great extent, and have in each “hand bodies of the dead like walls, and with their darkness strike the “ mind with horror,' &c. It is clear he went not thither to play, as

Basnage answers to this authority, (Hist. de l'Egl. 1. xviii. c. 6. n. 8.) " but to perform an exercise of religion and piety, as all others clearly

express this practice. St. Paulinus says, that the tombs of the martyrs “ here contained could not be numbered. (Poem. 27, in Nat, 13, S. “ Paulin.)

“ Hic Petrus, hic Paulus proceres ; hic martyres omnes,

Quos simul innuneros magnæ tenet ambitus urbis, " Quosque per innumeras diffuso limite gentes,

“ Intra Romuleos veneratur ecclesia fines.” Which

may

be thus translated :Here are the chiefs Peter and. Paul; here are all the martyrs, of whom the precincts of the great city contain an immense multitude, and whom the church, spread over innumera able nations within the Roman boundaries, venerates.

We must now notice another fiction John Fox has introduced for the purpose of deception. He says, “ Before we quit this article, it is requisite to observe, that previous to the death of St. Peter, his wife suf“ fered martyrdom for the faith of Christ, and was exhorted, when go“ing to be put to death, to remember her Saviour.” Why John thought it requisite to make this observation is not known, we are persuaded, to the great bulk of his readers, and yet the martyrologist had a turn to serve by it. Know then, that a state of continency is enjoined by the Catholic church on her ministers, that they may be the less encumbered to fulfil the duties of their office. Those, however, who undertook to reform religion, as they called it, in the sixteenth century, thought otherwise. They had no relish for a life of restraint and mortification, but considered themselves as much entitled to a life of pleasure as the rest of the world. Whoever will look into the new testament, will find that St. Peter and the rest of the apostles, on their being called by their Divine Master, left all things to follow him. Father, mother, wife and all. We cannot trace, by any authority whatever, that Peter's wife ever followed him, after he had entered into the apostleship; on the contrary, we have the testimony of St. Jerom and St. Epiphanius, who expressly affirm, that from the time of their calling, the apostles who were married embraced a state of perpetual continency. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and among others, John Fox also, took a different course when they enlisted under the banners of evangelism. Fox had taken the vows of celibacy, previous to his being ordained deacon, in 1550, but he afterwards absolved himself from this oath, and took to himself a wife. But as wiving was then a novel thing among the clergy, John Fox contrived to get Peter's wife to Rome, and insert her in his list of martyrs, as he did others who were never martyred at all, to make the ignorant and credulous believe that she followed him in his labours to preach the gospel, and that therefore the reformed clergy had a precedent for sacrificing at the altar of Hymen, Mr. Echard, a Protestant divine, in his Ecclesiastical History, says,

“ We are told that “St. Peter's wife suffered martyrdom before his death by his encourage"ment, and that he left behind him a daughter named Petronilla ; BUT.

WE HAVE NO CERTAINTY OP IT."""Who after this will believe Fox?

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