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another sight was seen from the same window -his headless body being conveyed in a cart from the place of execution! That was more than his tender affectionate wife could bear in silence. She spoke now, for her words could no longer affect him whom she loved so well ; -"Guildford, Guildford," she cried, "the antepast is not so bitter that thou hast tasted, and which I shall soon taste, as to make my flesh tremble; it is nothing compared to the feast of which we shall partake this day in Heaven.”
And now the time was come for her own death. She was soon composed again. She shed no tears; she uttered no word of sorrow, no word about the injustice of her death. No; her thoughts were fixed upon better, and holier, and brighter things. The few remaining moments were spent in prayer; and when she reached the scaffold, she spoke calmly to those who stood around,—not to accuse her enemies, not to defend herself,—but to acknowledge that she had erred and deserved punishment, for allowing others to persuade her to do that which her own conscience declared to be wrong. Lady Jane had learnt, from the religion of the Bible, to be humble, and to feel ber own sinfulness and weakness; and so she was more ready to blame herself, than to speak harshly of those who had treated her with so much
injustice and cruelty. When all was ready, she bound a handkerchief round her eyes, and then being led to the block, she quietly laid down her head, repeated those beautiful words of David, “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit,”—and so died. Her father was executed soon after. Ah, how different his feelings must have been when he too came to die; and when, before his own death, he heard of this last scene in the life of his child, what agony, what remorse of conscience, must he have experienced at the thought of the sad consequences of his own ambition!
Lady Jane Grey was not more than seventeen years
at the time of her death, and yet how much maturity there was in her character. She was learned and accomplished, for she not only had a great deal of natural ability, but she had received an excellent education. She was so fond of study, that she devoted almost all her time to reading; and was often found busy over her books when other young people were idling or amusing themselves. one reason why she was so unambitious, and so fond of quiet and retirement. With such a variety of resources in herself, she had little temptation to care for the vanities and follies of the world. But the best of all her studies, was the study of God's word.
That it was, which, more than any thing else, made her
happy and contented. It taught her how to live, and how to die. It was, as we have just seen, her comfort in death ; and the last words she ever uttered were words of Scripture.
And now I must tell you how it fared with the Protestants and their cause in the reign of Queen Mary. This word Protestant is perhaps new to you ; it was the name by wbich the friends of the Reformation were distinguished, because they protested against the erroneous doctrines of Rome. Mary, as you heard before, was a zealous Papist, and all the fears of her brother Edward were more than realized when she came to the throne. she soon began to consider in what way Protestantism could be put down, and Popery restored ; and her counsellors in this matter were Cardinal Pole, Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and Bonner, Bishop of London,-all rigid Papists. The Cardinal, however, was a kind and amiable man; and therefore, though he was desirous of carrying out the Queen's wishes, he advised that mild measures only should be employed, not cruelty and persecution. But the other two thought differently. They were naturally barsh and severe men; and it was their opinion that, in order to destroy Protestantism altogether from England, those who professed it must be put to death, and burnt as heretics in the flames. Mary agreed with Gardiner and Bonner, and the work of persecution began accordingly. The laws which Edward VI, had made respecting religion, were all done away, and others of a contrary kind were instituted. Those of the Bishops and clergy who adhered to the Roman Catholic doctrines were favoured, and those who belonged to the Protestant party were watched, sought out, and brought to trial for their opinions. The questions usually asked persons accused of heresy, were respecting the real presence in the sacrament: that is, whether the bread were actually changed into the real body of Christ, according to the Romish doctrine of Transubstantiation. The denial of this was generally followed by a sentence of condemnation, and then the faithful advocates for the truth were committed to the flames. You may form some idea of the fierceness of this persecution, when I tell you that, in the course of three
about 270 persons were burnt to death as heretics ; and a large number also were punished in other ways. Among the martyrs were five bishops, and twenty-one clergymen,-faithful ministers of God's word. Even women and children were not spared ; and rich and poor were alike in danger, if they were but convicted of holding Protestant opinions.
And now I will give you a few of these sad
stories of martyrdom ; for painful as it is to dwell upon such a subject, it will yet be useful and instructive for us to do so, if we learn, on one band, from the example of these holy men, to be zealous for the truth, and ready, if need be, to suffer for its sake ; and, on the other hand, to be thankful that the fires of persecution are now extinguished, and that we live in a time when we are at liberty to read and to hear God's word, none making us afraid.
The first who suffered under this persecu. tion was Rogers, a clergyman in London, a learned as well as a truly good man. When danger approached, he was advised for the sake of his family, if not for his own, to escape into Germany. But Rogers refused ; no doubt he thought that duty required him to remain where he was ; and so he left the matter in the hands of God, and prepared to meet the worst, even death itself, if it should be His will.– He was soon brought before Gardiner and Bonner, and condemned. But the prospect of death did not deprive him of his calmness and serenity; and the very night previous to his execution, he was found sleeping when his jailors came to summon bim.
You remember how the Apostle Peter once slept in prison, when he was expecting to suffer death for the truth's sake. Cruel men cannot take from the people of God, that