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dreadful subduing of the enemies, as the hand of God has wrought, and the story of the Scriptures declareth unto us!
This word also sheweth the goodness and mercy of God towards the people which put their trust in him; how he made them terrible to their enemies; how he made their enemies their footstool; how he led them safe through the Red Sea; how he sent his angel to go before them and guide them; how he gave them water out of a rock, and rained down bread from heaven; how he brought them into a land that flowed with milk and honey, and sware unto them that he would be their God and they should be his people.
In this word are to be seen wonderful and strange works of God, such as are beyond the course of nature and pass the reason of man: that the sea parted and stood on both sides as a high wall; that at the word of Joshua the sun stood still and went not on his course. Hezekiah spake the word, and required it, and the sun went back ten degrees. At the word of Elias fire came down from heaven to consume his sacrifice.
Here may you see an ass open his mouth, and speak, and reprove his master; three servants of God walk in a hot burning furnace without hurt; Daniel in the den among lions, and not devoured; Peter in the raging sea and not drowned; lepers cleansed, the lame to go, the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, the dead to rise out of their graves and live; simple and unlearned men to speak in strange tongues; the devil to go out of the possessed, and to say "know thou art Christ the Son of God."
Here may you see twelve poor silly men, without spear, or sword, or force, make conquest and win the whole world. No power could repress them, no might could withstand them. It is reckoned a great matter for a king or a nation to yield submission unto another king or nation. It must therefore be a matter of great wonder to see all kings throw down their maces, and all people to yield before so few, so simple, so unarmed; and to acknowledge they embraced lies, and lived in ignorance, and that these twelve are the servants of the highest; and to see how God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to overthrow the wise; and the weak things of this world to confound the mighty things: such force did God give to their words. He made them the sons of thunder; they shook the foundations of the world; they threw down whatsoever stood against them.
Here you may see the fight of God's elect children, how they patiently suffered afflictions in their bodies rather than they would deny the truth of God; they gave their backs to the scourge, their necks to the sword, their bodies to the fire. No tyrant, no menacings, no rack, no torment, no sword, no death, could remove them from the love of the gospel which they had received.
The more of them were cut down the more did spring up; the more were killed, the more were left alive. Augustine saith, They were bound, and shut up, and racked, and burnt, and yet were increased.' This is the victory that hath overcome the world. For the Lord answered St. Paul, (2 Cor. xii.) "My power is made perfect through weakness." It liveth in death; it is made whole and sound by wounds and
stripes; it is increased by those means whereby men destroy it.
Jacob saw a ladder stand upon the earth, and the top of it reach up into heaven, and the angels of God go up and down by it. This was but a dream and vision in his sleep; yet when he awoke he took pleasure and comfort of this vision.
We have not only the delight of this with Jacob, but we have other far greater visions. We see Isaiah beholding the Lord as he sat upon an high throne; we see Paul taken up into the third heavens; we see the glory of God appear, and hear the voice which came out of the cloud, saying, (Matth. xvii.) "This is my well-beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear him."
We see Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, and how "he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made, like unto man, and was found in shape as a man; that he humbled himself, and became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross," (Phil. ii.) We hear him cry with a loud voice, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" We hear him say "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And, "Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit," (Luke xxiii.)
Here we may see the sun to be darkened, that the moon giveth no light; the earth to shake, the rocks to cleave asunder, the vail to rend, the graves to open, and Christ rise from the dead, and go up into heaven, and sit at the right hand of his Father.
Here may we see the overthrow of " 'Babylon, which made all nations to drink of the wine of the
wrath of her fornication," (Rev. xiv.) how she is destroyed with the breath of God's mouth. Here we behold the resurrection of the dead, and fourand-twenty elders sit before God on their seats, and the Ancient of days sit upon his throne, and the judgment-seat, and the books opened, and all flesh appear before him; and how some are taken into everlasting life, and some are sent into everlasting death.
To be continued.
THE FIVE STUDENTS BURNT AT LYONS,
THE fragment that follows is taken from an interesting pamphlet, entitled, Epoch of the Church at Lyons.'
The city of Lyons is remarkable in history for the persecutions endured by the Church of Christ. At first in the second century, under the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius; afterwards in the twelfth century, when the Lord raised up in this ancient city the admirable Peter Waldo; and finally in the sixteenth century during the stormy reign of the last of the Valois. Already in the twelfth century the name of the 'Poor men of Lyons' was associated with those of Vaudois and the Albigenses, and designated the same class of Christians, whose persecutions and sufferings have so long excited the sympathy of the Church.
The letters of these five Martyrs to the truth still exist, and although written during their imprisonment, and whilst under sentence of death, they are not less
adapted for the consolation of others; they breathe a holy tranquillity of soul and fervent joy, eminently calculated to inspire the minds of their readers with the same feeling. It is from the letters and papers left by one of these 'witnesses' for the gospel named 'Peter Ecrivain,' that our extract is taken. We have thought it a duty to preserve the simplicity of the original language.
'In the first place then, beloved brethren, you must know that on the first of May, 1552, passing through the city of Lyons, on coming from Lausanne, which is in the territory of the lords of Berne, where I had long studied the word of God with my brethren and companions in captivity, about two hours after noon we entered the house of a man of Lyons who had come with us from Cologne (three leagues distant from Geneva) and who having conversed with us on the word of God, invited us to take refreshment in his house. Whilst at table the Mayor's Provost with his lieutenant, accompanied by fifteen or twenty soldiers, entered; he asked us whence we came, what was our calling? to which one of my companions replied, that we were scholars, and came from Germany. On hearing this reply, he declared us prisoners in the name of the King, with the host who had invited us to his house ; we were tied together, two and two, he in fear and trembling before us. Whilst we were thus tied we made signs and spoke in Latin to each other, with mutua. exhortations to confess faithfully the name of Christ. They took us to the prisons belonging to the Mayor of Lyons, where we were separated from each other, each being thrust into a dungeon, where we remained sighing and praying that it would please God to con