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Fox's Book of Martyrs Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs   By: (1516-1587)

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First Page:

FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS

OR

A HISTORY OF THE

LIVES, SUFFERINGS, AND TRIUMPHANT DEATHS

OF THE

PRIMITIVE PROTESTANT MARTYRS

FROM THE

INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY

TO THE

LATEST PERIODS OF PAGAN, POPISH, AND INFIDEL

PERSECUTIONS

EMBRACING, TOGETHER WITH THE USUAL SUBJECTS CONTAINED IN SIMILAR WORKS

The recent persecutions in the cantons of Switzerland; and the persecutions of the Methodist and Baptist Missionaries in the West India Islands; and the narrative of the conversion, capture, long imprisonment, and cruel sufferings of Asaad Shidiak, a native of Palestine.

LIKEWISE

A SKETCH OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

AS CONNECTED WITH PERSECUTION

COMPILED FROM FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS, AND OTHER AUTHENTIC SOURCES

THE JOHN C. WINSTON CO.

CHICAGO PHILADELPHIA TORONTO

PREFACE.

This work is strictly what its title page imports, a COMPILATION. Fox's "Book of Martyrs" has been made the basis of this volume. Liberty, however, has been taken to abridge wherever it was thought necessary; to alter the antiquated form of the phraseology; to introduce additional information; and to correct any inaccuracy respecting matters of fact, which had escaped the author of the original work, or which has been found erroneous by the investigation of modern research.

The object of this work, is to give a brief history of persecution since the first introduction of christianity, till the present time. In doing this, we have commenced with the martyrdom of Stephen, and following the course of events, have brought the History of persecution down to the year 1830. In all ages, we find that a disposition to persecute for opinion's sake, has been manifested by wicked men, whatever may have been their opinions or sentiments on religious subjects. The intolerant jew, and the bigoted pagan, have exhibited no more of a persecuting spirit, than the nominal professor of christianity, and the infidel and the avowed atheist . Indeed, it seems to be an "inherent vice," in unsanctified nature to endeavour by the pressure of physical force, to restrain obnoxious sentiments, and to propagate favourite opinions. It is only when the heart has been renewed and sanctified by divine grace, that men have rightly understood and practised the true principles of toleration. We do not say that none but real christians have adopted correct views respecting civil and religious liberty; but we affirm that these views owe their origin entirely to christianity and its genuine disciples.

Though nearly all sects have persecuted their opponents, during a brief season, when men's passions were highly excited, and true religion had mournfully declined, yet no denomination except the papal hierarchy, has adopted as an article of religious belief, and a principle of practical observance, the right to destroy heretics for opinion's sake. The decrees of councils, and the bulls of popes, issued in conformity with those decrees, place this matter beyond a doubt. Persecution, therefore, and popery, are inseparably connected; because claiming infallibility, what she has once done is right for her to do again; yea, must be done under similar circumstances, or the claims of infallibility given up. There is no escaping this conclusion. It is right, therefore, to charge upon popery, all the persecutions and horrid cruelties which have stained the annals of the papal church during her long and bloody career of darkness and crime. Every sigh which has been heaved in the dungeons of the Inquisition every groan which has been extorted by the racks and instruments of torture, which the malice of her bigoted votaries, stimulated by infernal wisdom, ever invented, has witnessed in the ear of God, against the "Mother of Harlots;" and those kings of the earth, who giving their power to the "Beast" have aided her in the cruel work of desolation and death. The valleys of Piedmont, the mountains of Switzerland, the vine crowned hills of Italy and France and all parts of Germany and the low countries, have by turns, been lighted by the fires of burning victims, or crimsoned with the blood of those who have suffered death at the hands of the cruel emissaries of popery... Continue reading book >>




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