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moters of this pious work were so indefatigable, that they had purchased a plot of freehold ground from the City of London : had approved the plan of the new building, and had accepted of contracts before the spring of 1817; so that on the afternoon of the 30th of April in the same year, the workmen began to excavate the ground for the foundations and vaults; and on the 5th of August following, the first stone was laid by the Right Reverend Dr. Poynter; surrounded by a vast multitude, not only of Catholics, but of persons of various other religious denominations, when the following inscription, engraved on a plate, was inserted in the stone.
“ Hic Primarius Lapis
Favente Civitate Londinensi
positus est A Illmo. ac Rmo. Dno. Gulielmo Epo. Halien Vico. Aplico.
Greenway, Joanne Law,
die 5o Augusti,
Joanne Newman Architecto,
After which, the late truly pious and zealous missionary, the Rev. George Greenway, delivered a most appropriate discourse. It was on the 20th of April, 1820, that the present superb building, after it had been dedicated to the living God, under
the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, was first publicly opened for divine worship, and the concourse of persons present upon this occasion, may in some measure be estimated from the fact, that the collection made on that day towards paying the expenses incurred
upon the Chapel, amounted to six hundred and thirty two pounds two shillings. How cheering must have been the thought to our venerated bishop, that on the same spot where persecution had heretofore lighted her torch, he could then address, without fear of pursuivants or informers, an audience composed of Catholic and Protestant nobility and clergy; of Protestant magistrates and citizens, and of a numerous body of Catholics of every rank in society: how pleasing must have been the recollection, that upon the very ground which had for centuries upon centuries appertained to the devout brethren, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin ; he had been enabled, through the zeal of his clergy, and the liberal support of a religious public, to erect, under the patronage of the same great Protectrice, a metropolitan Chapel, which, for costly ornaments and symmetry of proportion, would not disgrace even a Catholic metropolis. This great undertaking was so pleasing to his late Holiness, that in testimony of his approbation, the holy father bestowed upon the Chapel, a most costly chalice, and other plate of superior workmanship, and of considerable value, the expense of which he defrayed from his own private property. And here we ought to bestow our meed of praise upon the Rev. Joseph Hunt, for the incredible exertions and pecuniary sacrifices, wbich this zealous labourer in the Lord's vineyard cheerfully underwent, during the whole time that this arduous enterprise was in progress. Quitting this monument of zeal, displayed by living Catholics, we will direct our steps to Bishopsgate Street, and notice a few entries in the register-book of the parish Church of St. Botolph. Of these, the first which attracted our attention is the following: “1586. Paid for bread and drink for the ringers, when they rang for the death of the Queen of Scots.” In 1637, is an entry that Sir Paul Pindar had paid two pounds for the last three years past, for permission to eat flesh in Lent; and another entry occurs in 1643, that Sir Paul had again paid two pounds for leave to eat flesh meat. The paying for these protestant
indulgences, sounds oddly to the ear of a Catholic; and really this poor gentleman seems to have been hardly dealt with ; for if he liked good things himself, he also liberally gave the same at the Parish Feasts; and was even so considerate as to bestow a quantity of venison annually upon the poor; all this liberality was nevertheless forgotten when he wished to regale himself in Lent: then the demand was, give us two pounds, and you may eat flesh meat. Surely such entries as these, should silence the protestant; lest he be proved to have actually practised himself that with which he falsely charges the Catholic. We bave now, Mr. Editor, come to the end of our perambulation; and we fear, not before we have exhausted the patience of yourself and of your readers.
FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
For the Catholic Miscellany.
MR. EDITOR, — The character given by the protestant Docter Pocklington of that portion of Fox's Martyrs, which suffer. ed death in the reign of Mary, will, I fear, upon examination, equally apply to those who forfeited their lives in the earlier reigns. The Doctor styles them “ Schismatical heritics; factious fellows; traitors, and rebels, &c.” And to commence with the Martyr of Fox, John Wickliffe, whose name graces the calander in the old editions of the Acts and Monuments, printed in red letters, as a Martyr of superior excellence; surely the annalist proves himself a blunderer ab origine ; for the man died a natural death, in his bed, on the thirty first of December, 1384, and not on the second of January, 1387. But it suited Fox to commence his Calendar with the name of one, who at least, although long before the establishment of the Reformation bad obtained great notoriety by the novelty and extravagance of his opinions and doctrines. This personage was a Catholic Priest, brought up at Oxford, and afterwards Rector of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where he performed the
duties of his station; saying mass, hearing confessions, &c. Being deprived of the Wardership of Canterbury Hall, Oxford, in a suit which had been referred to the court of Rome, and a learned monk having been appointed in his place, it appears, that he became vehemently irritated against the members of every religious order, and he was not backward in attacking them whenever an opportunity offered. Relying upon the support of the Duke of Lancaster, he by degrees both publisbed and preached heterodox doctrines, and was occasionally censured for the same; particularly at Oxford, where some of his opinions were formerly condemned: but still proceeding in his course, he was at length summonsed before the Bishop of London; in whose presence he carried himself with great haughtiness, in consequence of the support he received from the Duke of Lancaster, Lord Percy, and others: this, his professed admirer and apologist, the Rev. H. H. Baber, M. A. unwillingly aduits. Nevertheless be returned again to his rectory without
further molestation. I cannot in this letter find sufficient space to enter into the peculiarities of his doctrines. I shall therefore content myself with giving the opinion of his fellow Saint Melanthon, and of Fox himself. The former, writing to a friend says, “I have looked over Wickliffe, who behaves himself tumultuously in the controversy of the Lord's Supper, and more than this, I have found many errors in him, by which a man may form a judgment of his spirit. It is certain he neither understood, nor held the justice of faith; he foolishly confounds the gospel and civil affairs, the one with the other. He contends, that it is not lawful for priests to possess property: he brawls sophistically and seditiously concerning the civil magistrate, &c.” (See Melan. Ep. ad Fredericum Meco. nium.) And again the same Melanthou writes in his Apol, “ Wickliffe was plainly deranged when he denied that it was not lawful for priests to possess property.” Thus, one of Fox's saints writes of the first martyr of the same annalist, who while labouring to rescue his character, permits the following sentence to escape him. “ That albeit he had those blemishes, yet did he not fight directly against Christ our Saviour.” And now, Mr. Editor, what are we to think of Protestants who are daily
and hourly railing against the practises of Catholics, and who hold up to derision our attachment to the remains of eminently holy persons, and who even accuse us of idolatry for possessing a print or portrait of some one, who has laid down his life for the cause of christianity; when we find these same Protestants bribing the sexton of the parish of Lutterworth, to cut from the cassock of a man " who did not fight directly against Christ our Saviour,” a small relict to be preserved with reverential scrupulosity.-When we know that the eloquent and popular Doctor Collyer, boasts that he is in possession of a precious fragment of more than ordinary dimensions.—When we know that this now mutilated cassock is prized more than gold, and silver and precious stones.---When we see his portrait adorn the mantlepiece of many a serious christian, must we not blush at their inconsistency, and pity their infatuation. The next name upon the Calendar is John Aston, confessor. He was a priest who vehemently supported the doctrines of Wickliffe, and was his first disciple. He underwent several examinations upon oath, and publicly retracted every opinion which might appear heterodox: his last examination was taken before the Archbishop of Canterbury, where, according to Fox himself, he exhibited very little of the Christian character; however, he again made a public recantation of his errors. On the fourth, we have William Sawtree, priest-martyr. He was a parish priest of Saint Seith the Virgin, in London, and preaching “ certaine fantasticall doctrines,” was cited to appear before Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, in whose presence he retracted every error, one by one, which he had before preached : this was on the twenty-second of February, 1400. He nevertheless relapsed into his former opinions, and was again summonsed before the Archbishop, when he was condemned to suffer death, as appears from the Archbishop's sentence, the King's writ, and an act of Parliament, all registered by Fox. It however appears that the poor man wished once more to recant-but it was too late. We now come to William Swinderby, priest and martyr, and a strange martyr he was, for Fox himself, thus writes of him.“ What afterwards became upon him, I have not certainly to say or affirm."-" This remaineth out of doubt, that during