Reporting from England

My Experiences

In the early eighties the Lord sought me out and brought me from a life of crime into a conversion experience. For many years I had been a professional drug-dealer/smuggler and for at least twelve years I was using drugs on a daily basis. Thanks to the witnessing efforts of members of the Seventh-day Adventist church I was baptized into the church in 1983. For the next seven years the Lord led me through a time of spiritual growth and tuition until in 1990 my wife and I responded to a call to enter the mission field.

In January 1991 we left with our two children to follow the call to work as missionaries in Hungary and other parts of Eastern Europe. While in Hungary the work involved preaching the gospel in SDA churches and witnessing, the saving grace of Jesus Christ in schools, hospitals, prisons, community centers, and anywhere there was an opportunity. Much of the work involved speaking with drug addicts and alcoholics and introducing them to the true gospel. Evangelistic meetings were held not only in Hungary, but also Romania and (the then) Czechoslovakia, plus there were opportunities to speak to a wider audience through newspaper, radio, and television interviews in Hungary, Yugoslavia, and France. During this time the Lord also provided many opportunities to pursue my research into “the Mystery Babylon” of Revelation 17 and the influence of the “New Age Movement.” This research began in 1981 and drew on many aspects of my life “before Christ.” It seemed as if the Lord had been preparing me for this work from my youth. This resulted in a series of tracts “The Prophetic Look” series and a booklet “Unveiling the Mystery Babylon Using Biblical and Historical Evidence.”

Following the outbreak of the war in Yugoslavia I had the opportunity to travel into that country twice and the Lord opened the doors so that I was able to take the truth of “the great controversy between Christ and Satan” to many members of the media and to be able to confront members of the governments within the federation on the role of the Vatican in the war and modern politics. During the visits there I was able to gather much research material, which, when added to material gathered in Israel, Argentina and Peru, resulted in the video, “The Vatican and Fascism.” This video was produced in the USA after giving this presentation in several States and taking part in Religious Liberty meetings in both the USA and Jamaica. It was a follow-up from a two previous videos: “The Future Plans of the New Age Movement” and “The Vatican’s Conspiracy for World Domination.”

Since that time my research has continued into the role that the Roman Catholic church has played in history, culminating in the (so far) five-part series: “The Vatican and Politics” and the two-part “Religion of 666,” which traces the roots of the number 666 and identifies the true meaning of Revelation 13:18. These presentations have also been given in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Holland as well as Eastern Europe. Unfortunately in 1993 my wife and children had to return to England and were not able to return to be with me on the mission field. Understandably this placed quite a strain on all members of the family, which was resolved by my return to England in January, 1995. Being loathe to work for anyone else and after prayerful consideration, my wife and I decided to trust in His guidance and continue the work that He set before us, from England.

Since that time He has continued to provide for us and we have followed His leading. There have been evangelistic meetings in Australia, England, Denmark, Holland, and Germany as well as research undertaken in various other places. We now produce a newsletter on an irregular basis which focuses on the research undertaken and updates on previous topics.


Statement of the Aims of this Ministry:

(1) The primary aim of this ministry is to lead souls to Christ.

(2) As loyal members of God’s Seventh-day Adventist Church we recognize that we are members of the church that is destined to fulfill Christ’s commission to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19, 20.

(3) We also recognize that this commission is to be fulfilled through the preaching of the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14, namely, that we should preach the everlasting gospel “unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6.

(4) We recognize that each of the Three Angels has it’s own peculiar aspect to its message.

First Angel — a call to worship the God of creation, to glorify Him through faith and obedience to His commandments and proclaim the fact that the day of judgment has begun. Revelation 14:7.

Second Angel — to identify Babylon and expose her corruption of not only God’s plan of redemption but also His plan for His church. Revelation 14:8.

Third Angel — to warn the world of the dangers of straying from God’s way and the vital importance of God’s original Ten Commandments in His plan (particularly the fourth commandment as the sign of allegiance to Him). Revelation 14:9, 10.

The Gun Powder Plot And The Vatican

The destruction of the Armada drew England together. The nation seemed to realize that if it did not draw together in the work of the Reformation, all of the various factions would fall prey to a common enemy. The years that followed were years of prosperity and added to the glory of England. Unfortunately, however, Elizabeth appreciated the Reformation less for the freedom it gave to the conscience than for freeing her throne. One of her chief aims was to reconcile the English Catholics leading her to dread the complete separation of the Church of England from Rome. She loved splendor in worship and finding the Puritans to be an intolerable nuisance, exercised great intolerance toward them.

Elizabeth has been called great, but her greatness lay largely in the greatness of those she surrounded herself with. The Reformation had set England on the road to greatness; and as the head of state, Elizabeth was lifted up along with it.

Elizabeth died in March of 1603. When it became apparent that she would soon breathe her last, the Catholic interests took steps to see that none would take her place who were not deeply attached to Roman Catholicism. James VI, the king of Scotland, whose Protestantism was open to question, was anxious to obtain the throne. He received warnings from Elizabeth and her counselors that unless his Protestant interests were above suspicion, he would never be accepted by England. In 1600 he gave strong assurances that he would maintain the profession of the gospel. This strong assurance doubtless quieted the fears of the English statesmen; but at the same time, it awakened the fears of the Roman Catholics.

The conspirators who had seen their hopes dashed by such a strong statement, appealed to Pope Clement VIII to use his influence to bar Jame’s ascent to the throne. Clement was not hard to be persuaded in the matter and sent two bulls—one addressed to the Roman clergy, the other to the nobility and laity. Both bulls were of similar tenor and urged that no one should be allowed to ascend the throne who had not only sworn to tolerate the Roman Catholic faith but who would, to the utmost of his power, uphold and advance it.

When Elizabeth died, the Catholic faction immediately dispatched a messenger to the court of Spain, seeking Philip’s interposition on their behalf. The memory of the Armada was still fresh in Philip’s mind. The loss that he had sustained, as well as the blow that the national spirit had received, was too great to allow him to do anything but wish them well.

“The Order of Jesus is never more formidable than when it appears to be least so. It is when the Jesuits are stripped of all external means of doing harm that They devise the vastest schemes, and execute them with the most daring courage….The Jesuits in England now began to meditate a great blow. They had delivered an astounding stroke at sea but a few years before; they would signalize the present emergency by a nearly as astounding stroke on land. They would prepare an Armada in the heart of the kingdom, which would have inflicted had not the ‘winds become Lutheran,’ as Medina Sidonia said with an oath, and in their sectarian fury sent his ships to the bottom.” J.A. Wylie, The History of Protestantism, vol. 3, 527

Catesby, a gentleman of an ancient family, proposed in one sweeping blow to destroy the king and Parliament. In short, he proposed to blow up the House of Parliament with the gunpowder when the king and the Estates of the Realm were all assembled. The plot was entrusted to about twenty persons. They were able to hire a coal-cellar under the Parliament building in which they placed thirty-six barrels of gunpowder. Over these they placed stones and iron bars.

In order to more deeply conceal their real feelings of the conspirators, there was a petition that was published in which they begged the king’s toleration, professing great fidelity and unfeigned love for his Majesty and attesting to their loyal behavior. Shortly before the time for the plot to be executed, Guy Fawkes, one of the ringleaders in the plot, was sent to Rome with a letter to Clement requesting an order from his Holiness, or else the head of the Jesuits, ordering a cessation of all disturbances among the Catholics of England. The Protestants were deceived by these pretensions, not realizing that the very men who were loudest in their protestations of loyalty and brotherly concern were all the while storing gunpowder under the House of lords, counting the hours until they could wreck ruin on England.

All that prevented the horrible crime from being executed was the failure on the part of one of the conspirators. Losing heart, one of the men involved wrote a letter to Lord Monteagle. A search was made and the plot was discovered.

Instead of learning from these events, James later sent the Earl of Bristol to Spain to negotiate the marriage of his son Prince Charles to the daughter of Philip. Though it eventually came to nothing, he gave fresh life to Romanism and laid the foundation for the miseries which would later overtake his house and England. Believing that the religion of his subjects was a weakness rather than the strength of his throne, he labored to destroy it; and in so doing, he alienated the nation.

James VI sank to his grave in 1625 and Charles I replaced him as reigning monarch of England. The year of James’ death was rendered memorable by the birth of a spiritual revival in Scotland. Even men of the world were impressed by the evidence of the working of a supernatural influence. The moral character of whole towns, villages, and parishes was suddenly changed.

The first error of Charles was his marriage to the French princess, a member of the Roman Catholic faith. His second was his dismissal of Parliament because they refused to vote him a supply of money until they had been given a redress of grievances. His second parliament was dismissed for the same reason. Then deciding that he could do as well without a parliament, Charles ruled by prerogative alone. Under this arrangement he could tax his subjects whenever and to whatever extent that he chose. Many unjust and severe taxes were levied.

History confirms that civil tyranny cannot maintain itself along side of religious liberty. Whenever it is confronted by liberty of conscience, it must either extinguish that freedom or suffer itself to be extinguished by it. So was the case in the days of Charles.

The bishop who was over the diocese of London, Bishop Laud, was a man of remarkable character. Becoming one of Charles’s leading counselors, Laud bent his whole energies to molding the religion of England in the direction of the Roman Church. Candlesticks, tapers, and crucifixes began to appear in the churches. Those clergymen who questioned his policies were subject to fines and imprisonment. He made use of forms of prayer that were taken directly from the Mass Book. In his diary, Laud reveals that the pope twice made him the offer of a red hat.

Alarm and discontent, along with the smoldering spirit of insurrection, pervaded all of England. Superstitious rites replaced the pure scriptural forms of the Reformation, and civil and ecclesiastical tyranny were the rule of the land; but before it resulted in open rebellion, events in Scotland took such a turn as to bring deliverance to both Scotland and England.

The Scottish bishops, in a letter to Laud, expressed their desire to maintain a nearer conformity with the Church of England, confirming that this was also the wish of the people. With Charles, however, the wishes of the people mattered nothing. Rather than condescend to the wishes of the Scottish church, Laud imposed upon them the Liturgy, which upon examination was found to be alarmingly popish in nature. The 23rd of July, 1637, was fixed as the day on which the new services were to be implemented.

On that Sunday morning, the reader appeared in the desk of St. Giles’ and went over the usual prayers. Having ended, with tears in his eyes he turned to bid the people good-by, informing them that this was likely the last time he would ever read prayers in the church. At the stated hour, he was followed by the Dean of Edinburgh who appeared to institute the new services. As the dean, Liturgy in hand, worked his way to the desk, the scene became more animated. Scarcely had he begun to read when his composure was shaken by the whiz of a missile passing dangerously close to his ear. Tradition tells us that Jane Geddes, who kept a stall on the High Street, finding nothing more convenient, flung her stool at the dean, with the rebuke, “Villian, dost thou say mass at my lug?” Ibid., 542. The dean hastily shut the obnoxious book and fled with all speed. Thinking that perhaps his greater dignity would effect to gain the reverence of the people, the Bishop of Edinburgh ascended to the desk. His appearance, however, was the signal for a renewed tempest which was more fierce than the first. He managed to escape, the magistrates escorting him home to protect him from the fury of the mob.

If the hatred of the Scottish people had been limited to the unpremeditated outbreaks of the lower classes, the king would have triumphed in the end; but along with these surface demonstrations, there was the strong determined resistance that pervaded all ranks of society. The Privy Council of Scotland, sensing the firm attitude of the nation, sent a representation to the king stating the true feelings of the people. Charles insolently responded by issuing another proclamation, insisting that the Liturgy be used and branding with treason any who opposed it. This expression of tyranny was sufficient to thoroughly arouse the slumbering spirit of the Scots and served to unite them in their opposition.

In the opinion of Charles, nothing remained for him to do but to resort to force. In April 1640, the king summoned Parliament to vote him supplies for a war with the Scots, but they refused to do so. The king then turned to the clergy to raise the necessary funds. The queen addressed a letter to the Roman Catholics who, far from being indifferent spectators, raised a considerable amount of money. As a result, Charles raised an army and marched to the Scottish border.

The Scots were not unaware of what was taking place and had prepared to meet the invasion. Thirty thousand able-bodied men answered the call to service for their country. Hardly had their preparations been completed when the announcement was made that the English forces were approaching.

The Scots were overall victorious as they represented the flower of Scotland, whereas the English soldiers had little heart for fighting. Negotiations were soon opened and a treaty of peace was concluded. Though the terms were vague, the Scots still had a great deal of loyalty to their king and willingly agreed to terms that would never have been acceptable with a foreign enemy. This devotion was repaid by Charles’ perfidy, and the next year he again prepared to invade Scotland. Not waiting for the English armies to reach their boarders, the Scots entered England and completely discomfited the king’s forces at Newburn, almost without striking a blow. With his army dispirited and his nobles lukewarm, the king was forced to again open negotiations with the Scots.

In November, 1640, Parliament met at Westminster. This parliament, known as the Long Parliament, boldly discussed the grievances under which the nation groaned. The king’s two favorites, Strafford and Laud, were impeached and brought to the block. Other reforms were instituted, and many of the effects of the recent years of despotism were swept away by the spirit of reform. It seemed for a time that even the king was converted to the changes. The dark clouds of war seemed to be diminishing; and the king, who had betrayed the faith of his subjects a score of times, was almost trusted by a rejoicing nation.

At this critical moment, terrible tidings arrived from Ireland. A slaughter of Protestants by the Roman Catholics began on October 23, 1641, that rivaled that of the slaughter of St. Bartholomew in France. The butcheries were similar to those imposed on the Waldenses, and the estimates of the total number killed ranged from the low of 50,000 upwards to 300,000. The northern parts of Ireland were nearly depopulated. The persons involved in this atrocity pleaded the king’’ authority and produced Charles’s commission with is broad seal attached to it, reviving the former suspicions of the king’s sincerity and hurrying the king and the nation to a terrible catastrophe.

After the breakdown of a series of exchanges between the king and Parliament, Charles marched to Nottingham where he set up his standard on August 22, 1642.
The first battle between the forces loyal to the king and those recruited by Parliament was at Edgehill, Warwickshire. Both sides claimed the victory over the hard-contested field. From there the tide of battle shifted from one side to the other with the Royalists initially holding the upper hand. The Royalists had the superiority of arms and their soldiers were well discipline, led by commanders who had learned the art of war on the battlefields of the Continent. In contrast, the armies of Parliament were new recruits. As time passed, however, and the new recruits gained skill and experience, the fortunes of war began to shift. Brave from principle and with the consciousness of a noble cause, the army of Parliament was inspired with ardor and courage. The longer the war lasted, the greater became the disparity between the two opposing armies. Finally, on July 1, 1644, at Marston Moor, the virtual fate of the war was decided. From this day on, the king’s fortunes steadily declined.

When the king eventually became a prisoner, England came under a dual directorate, one half of which was a body of debating civilians and the other a conquering army. Parliament soon lost control of the situation and ceased to be master of itself. Cromwell, the virtual head of the army, put himself at the head of affairs and brought the debating to an end. Colonel Joyce was sent to Holmby House, where Charles was confined, and showed such good authority—namely and armed force—that Charles was immediately turned over to him. Colonel Pride was next sent to the House of Commons; and taking his stand at the door with a regiment of soldiers, he admitted only those who could be relied upon. The number to which Parliament was reduced to by this action was no more than fifty or sixty members. This body, known as the Rump Parliament, drew up papers accusing Charles Stuart of high treason. Brought before this tribunal, Charles declined to accept its jurisdiction and was quickly condemned as a traitor and sentenced to be beheaded.

The scaffold was erected before Whitehall on January 30, 1649. An immense crowd filled the street, along which shotted cannon were turned assuring that no tumult would interrupt the unfolding events. A scaffold receiving their sovereign’s blood was a spectacle that England had never before witnessed, and it was a drama they could scarcely believe would go to its end. At the appointed hour, the king stepped to the scaffold, bearing himself with dignity.

For thirty years the popish powers had attempted to overthrow the Protestant movement. Massacres and devastation had overtaken the cities and villages of Bohemia and Hungary. These nations, Protestant when the war began, were forced back and trodden into popish superstition and then into slavery by its end. This period, known as the Thirty Years’ War, continued to sweep over the forces of the Protestant kingdoms of Germany until Gustavaeus Adolphus of Sweden had rolled it back. After his death, Romanism seemed to gain a fresh force; but by this time, England and Scotland had become even more important theaters than Germany was. Knowing that without the overthrow of Protestantism in these two countries their triumphs in other parts of Europe would by to no avail, the Jesuits with their intrigue, sought to corrupt Great Britain and thereby recover both England and Scotland. Their design seemed to be on the very threshold of success when it all ended at the scaffold at Whitehall.

“So sudden a collapse had overtaken the schemings and plotting of thirty years! The sky of Europe changed in almost a single day; and the great wave of popish reaction which had rolled over all Germany, and dashed itself against the shores of Britain, threatening at one time to submerge all the Protestant States of Christendom, felt the check of an unseen Hand, and subsided and retired at the scaffold of Charles I.” Ibid., 556
In the overthrow of the popish plans, Protestantism ascended to a higher platform than it had ever before attained.

The fall of the monarchy in England was soon followed by a military dictatorship, headed by Oliver Cromwell. If Cromwell was a tyrant, he was so in a very different way than Charles had been. Under his government, England suddenly broke forth from a position of weakness to one of great prestige. She again became a force to be reckoned with in Christendom. The massacres were brought to an end in the Waldensian valleys, and even the pope trembled in the Vatican when Oliver threatened to make his fleet visit the Eternal City. For the remainder of his rule, as Lord Protector, until his death in 1658, the people of England experienced the spirit of liberty; and her people could breathe more freely.

The End

The Armada, part 2

Sunday, morning, July 31, witnessed the first encounter between the great navy of Spain and the little fleet of England. Medina Sidonia gave the signal for an engagement; but to his surprise, he found that the ability of accepting or declining battle lay entirely with the English. Howard’s ships were stationed to the windward and the sluggish Spanish galleons could not close with them. The English vessels, however, which were light and skillfully handled, would run up to the Armada, pour a broadside into it, and then as swiftly retreat beyond the reach of the Spanish guns. Sailing right into the wind, they defied pursuit. This was a method of fighting most frustrating to the Spanish, but they were unable to change it. All day the Armada moved slowly up-channel before the westerly breeze; and the English fleet hanging upon its rear, continued to fire into it, now a single shot, and again, a whole broadside. This action was repeated over and over again. The Spanish guns, seeking to return the fire, found that their shots, fired from lofty decks, passed over the English ships, falling harmlessly into the sea beyond them. It was in vain that the Spanish admiral raised the flag of battle, for the wind and the sea would not permit him to lie to. His nimble foe would not come within reach, unless it might be for a moment to send a cannonball through the side of some of his galleons and then make off, laughing to scorn the ungainly efforts of this bulky pursuer to overtake him. As yet there had been no loss of either ship or man on the part of the English.

In addition to the damage inflicted on them by the English guns, the Armada sustained other damage. As night fell, its ships huddled together to prevent dispersion. The galleon of Pedro di Valdez, fouling with the Santa Catalina, was damaged and fell behind, becoming the booty of the English. This galleon had onboard a large amount of treasure and, what was of even greater importance to the captors, whose scanty stock of ammunition was already becoming exhausted, many tons of gunpowder. A loss of even greater significance to the Spanish than the money and the ammunition was that of her commander. Pedro di Valdez was the only navel officer of the fleet who was acquainted with the Channel.

Later the same evening a yet greater calamity befell the Armada. The captain of the rear admiral’s galleon, much out of humor for the day’s adventures and quarreling with all who approached him, accused the master gunner of careless firing. Greatly offended, the man went straight to the powder magazine, thrust a burning match into it, and threw himself out of one of the portholes into the sea. Within seconds, in a momentary burst of splendor, the explosion lit the surrounding ocean. The deck was upheaved; the turrets at stern and stem rose into the air, carrying with them the paymaster of the fleet and 200 soldiers. The strong hulk, though torn by the explosion, continued to float and was seized in the morning by the English who found in it a great amount of treasure and supply of ammunition which had not ignited.

On the very first day of conflict, the Armada had lost two flagships, 450 officers and men, the paymaster of the fleet, and 100,000 ducats of Spanish gold, a sum equal to about 50,000 of English money. This was not a favorable start of an expedition which Spain had exhausted herself to outfit.

The following day the Armada continued its way slowly up-channel, followed by the fleet under Howard, who hovered upon its rear but did not attack it. On Tuesday the first really serious encounter took place. As the morning rose, the wind changed to the east, which exactly reversed the position of the two fleets, giving the weather advantage to the Armada. Howard attempted to sail around it and get to the windward side, but Medina Sidonia intercepted him by coming between him and the shore and compelled him to accept battle at close quarters. The combat was long and confused. In the evening the Spanish ships gathered themselves up and forming into a compact group, went on their way. It was believed that they were obeying Philip’s instructions to meet the duke of Parma and then, with his army, strike the decisive blow. The shores of the English Channel were crowded with anxious spectators, breathlessly watching their brave little fleet battling against the mighty ships of the Spanish invader. From every port of the realm, English merchant vessels were hastening to the spot where England’s very existence hung on the outcome of the battle. While the many small additions added greatly to the appearance, they did very little to the effectiveness of the queen’s navy.

On Wednesday a few shots were exchanged, but no general action took place. By the following day, the wind had once again changed to the east, giving the Armada once more the advantage. The sharpest action yet to be fought began. The ships of the two fleets engaged yardarm to yardarm, and broadside after broadside was exchanged at a distance of about 100 yards. The English admiral, Lord Howard, in his ship the Ark, and by the shock unshipped her rudder and rendered her unmanageable. Six Spanish galleons closed around her, never doubting that she was their prize. In an instant the Ark’s own boats had her in tow; and passing out of the hostile circle she was off, to the amazement of the Spaniards. The fight continued several hours longer. When evening fell, it found the English fleet, who had all through the conflict seen the Spanish shot pass harmlessly over it, burying itself in the sea, showing no sign of battle, with scarcely a cord torn and its crews intact. The sides of the galleons, however, were pierced and riddled with the English shot, and their masts were cut or splintered.

The following day the procession up-channel was resumed in the same order as before, the mighty Armada leading the van and the nimble English fleet following. By Saturday afternoon the Spaniards were approaching the point at which they were to be joined by the Duke of Parma. As he had not arrived yet, Medina Sidonia decided to cast anchor and wait.

The critical hour had arrived when it was to be determined whether England should remain an independent kingdom or become one of Philip’s numerous satrapies; whether it was to retain the light of the Protestant faith or to fall back into the darkness and serfdom of a medieval superstition. In the skirmishes that had preceded this moment, the English ships had fared well; but now the moment had come for a death struggle between Spain and England. The Armada had arrived on the battleground comparatively intact. It had experienced rough handling from the tempests of the Atlantic and had received some heavy blows from the English fleet; several of the galleons which had glided so proudly out of the harbor at Lisbon were now at the bottom of the ocean, but these losses were hardly felt by the great Armada. It only awaited the arrival of the Duke of Parma to be perhaps the mightiest combination of navel and military power which the world had seen.

As evening drew on, low, rapidly moving clouds gave evidence of an approaching storm. The waves of the Atlantic, forcing their way up the Channel, uneasily rocked the huge Spanish galleons. The night wore away and with the return of light, Medina Sidonia could be seen scrutinizing the eastern ocean, looking for the approach of the Duke of Parma.

Meanwhile, Parma was himself as anxious to join the Armada as they were to have him. A fleet of flat-bottomed vessels was ready to carry this powerful host; but one thing was wanting, and its absence rendered all of these vast preparations fruitless. In order to join the Spanish fleet, Parma needed an open door from his harbors to the ocean, and the Dutch saw to it that he had none. They drew a line of warships along the Netherland coast; and Parma, with his sailors and soldiers, was imprisoned in his own ports. It was strange that these circumstances had not been foreseen and provided for. In this oversight is revealed the working of a Hand powerful enough by its slightest touches to defeat the wisest schemes and crush the mightiest combinations of man when directed against a people who were leaning on Him for help.

Parma repeatedly wrote to both Philip and Medina Sidonia telling them of his predicament, but Philip either would not or could not understand.

In the meantime, anxious consultations were being held onboard the English fleet. The brave and patriotic men who led it recognized the gravity of the situation. If the Armada was joined by Parma, it would be so overwhelmingly powerful that it seemed nothing could hinder its crossing over to England. The men of the English fleet feared that before another dawn had come, Parman’s fleet would anchor alongside that of Medina Sidonia and the opportunity for striking a preemptive blow would be past.

A bold and somewhat novel idea was decided upon. Eight of the volunteer ships were selected, their masts smeared with pitch, and their hulls filled with powder, all kinds of explosives, and combustible materials. Once prepared they were set adrift in the direction of the Armada. The night favored the execution of this design. Dark clouds hid the stars while the muttering of distant thunder reverberated in the sky. The deep, heavy swell of the ocean that precedes the tempest was rocking the galleons, rendering their positions every moment more unpleasant. On the one side they found themselves close to the shallows of Calais, with the quicksand of Flanders behind them.

Suddenly, about the hour past midnight, the watch discerned dark objects emerging out of the blackness and advancing toward them. They had scarcely given the alarm when suddenly these dark shapes burst into flame, lighting up sea and sky in gloomy grandeur. Steadily these pillars of fire continued to move over the waters straight toward the Armada. The Spaniards gazed for one terrified moment upon the dreadful apparition; and then, divining its nature and mission, they instantly cut their cables, and, with the loss of some of their galleons and the damage of others, fled in confusion and panic.

With the first light, the English admiral weighed anchor and set sail in pursuit of the fleeing Spanish. At eight o’clock on Monday morning, Drake caught up with the Armada; and giving it no time to collect and form, began the most important of all the battles which had yet been fought.

The English ships drew close to the galleons, pouring broadside after broadside into them. From morning to night the rain of shot continued. The galleons, falling back before the fierce onslaught, huddled together. The English fire, pouring into the mass of hulls and masts, was doing fearful work, converting the ships into shambles. Rivulets of blood poured form their scuttles into the sea. By this time, many of the Spanish guns were dismounted; those that remained active fired but slowly, while the heavy rolling of the vessels threw the shot into the air. Several of the galleons were seen to go down in the action, others reeled away toward Ostend.

When evening fell the fighting was still going on. But with the shifting of the breeze to the northwest and the increasing rise of the sea, a new calamity threatened the disabled and helpless Armada; it was being forced upon the Flanders coast. If the English had had strength and ammunition to pursue them, the galleons would have that night found common burial on the shoals and quicksand of the Netherlands.

The power of the Armada had been broken; most of its vessels were in sinking condition. Between 4,000 and 5,000 of its soldiers had been killed and received burial in the ocean, and at least as many more lay wounded and dying onboard their shattered galleons. Of the English, not more than 100 had fallen.

Thankful was the terrified Medina Sidonia when night fell, giving him a few hours respite; but with morning his dangers and anxieties returned as he found himself between two great perils. On the windward of him was the English fleet. Behind him was that belt of muddy water of the Dutch coast, which, if he struck was lost. With every passing moment the helpless Armada was drawing nearer to those terrible shoals. Suddenly the wind shifted to the east, and the change rescued, at least for the moment, the Spanish galleons on the very brink of destruction.

The English fleet, having lost the advantage of the wind, stood off; and the Spanish admiral, relieved of their presence, assembled his officers to deliberate on the course to be taken. The question to be decided was: Should they return to their anchorage off Calais or go back to Spain by way of the Orkneys? To return to Calais involved a second battle with the English; and were this to take place, the officers were of the opinion that for the Armada, there would be no tomorrow. The alternative of returning to Spain in battered ships, passing without pilots through unknown and dangerous seas, was a solution nearly as formidable; nevertheless, it was the lesser of the two evils to which their choice was limited, and it was the one adopted.

No sooner had the change of wind rescued the Spanish from the destruction which seemed to await them than it shifted once more and, settling in the southwest, blew with ever increasing intensity. The mostly rudderless ships could do nothing but drift before the rising storm into the northern seas. Drake followed them for a day or two without firing a gun, having spent his supply of ammunition; but just the sight of his ships was enough for the terrified Spaniards and they fled.

Spreading the sail to the rising gale, the Armada bore northward. Drake had been uneasy, fearing that the Spaniards might seek refuge in Scotland; but when he saw this danger pass and the Armada speed away toward the shore of Norway, he resolved to return before famine should set in among his crews.

No sooner did Drake turn back from the fleeing foe than the tempest took up the pursuit. Suddenly a furious gale burst out, and the last the English saw of the Armada was the vanishing forms of their retreating galleons as they entered the cloud of storm and became lost in the blackness of the northern night.

Carried on the tempest’s wings around Cape Wrath, they were next launched amid the perils of the Hebrides. The rollers of the Atlantic hoisted them, dashing them against the cliffs or flinging them on the shelving shore. Their crews, too worn with toil and want to swim ashore, were drowned in the surf and littered the beaches with their corpses. The winds drove the survivors farther south until they reached the west coast of Ireland.

There came a day’s calm; hunger and thirst were raging on board the ships; their store of water was entirely spent. Seeking to relieve their desperate situation, the Spaniards sent some boats on shore to beg supplies. They prayed piteously, willing to pay any amount of money but were unable to obtain any. The natives knew that the Spaniards had lost the day and should they comfort and assist the enemies of Elizabeth, they would be held answerable.

The storm then returned in all its former violence and raged for eleven days. During that time, galleon after galleon came on shore, scattering its drowned crews by hundreds upon the beach.

The sea was not the only enemy these wretched men had to dread. The Irish, though of the same religion as the Spaniards, were more pitiless than the waves. As the Spaniards crawled through the surf up the beaches, the Irish slaughtered them for the sake of their velvets, their gold brocades, and their rich chains. In addition, prompted by the fear that the Spaniards might be joined by the Irish and lead them in revolt, the English garrisons in Ireland had received orders to execute all who fell into their hands. It was calculated that in the month of September alone, 8,000Spaniards perished between the Giant’s Causeway and Blosket Sound, 1,100 were executed by the government officers, and 3,000 were murdered by the Irish. The rest were drowned. The tragedy, witnessed of old on the shores of the Red Sea, had repeated itself, with wider horrors, on the coast of Ireland.

The few galleons that escaped the waves and rocks crept back home, one by one. The terrible tragedy was too great to be disclosed all at once. When the terrible facts became fully known, the nation was shocked. There was scarcely a noble family in all of Spain which had not lost one or more of its members. Of the 30,000 who had sailed in the Armada, scarcely 10,000 ever returned; and these returned, in almost every instance, to pine and die. The Duke of Medina Sidonia, the commander in chief, was almost the only one of the nobles who outlived the catastrophe; but his head was bowed in shame. Envying the fate of those who had perished, he buried himself from the eyes of his countrymen in his countryseat.

The sorrowful Philip was deeply wounded from a quarter from which he looked for sympathy and help. Pope Sixtus had promised a contribution of a million crowns toward the expenses of the Armada; but when he saw the outcome, he refused to pay a single ducat. In vain Philip urged that the Pope had instigated him to the attempt, the expedition had been undertaken in the sacred cause of the Church, and that the loss ought to be borne mutually. To his entreaties, Sixtus was deaf.

The Armada was the mightiest effort, by force of arms, ever put forth by the Roman Catholic powers against Protestantism; and it proved the turning point in the great war between Rome and the Reformation. Spain was never after what she had been before the failure of that expedition. It said in effect to her, “Remove the diadem; put off the crown.”

Almost all of the military genius and the naval skill enrolled in the service of Spain were lost in that ill-fated expedition. The financial loss could not be reckoned at less than six million ducats, but that was nothing compared with the loss of Spain’s prestige. The catastrophe stripped her naked. Her position and that of the Protestant powers were to a large extent reversed—England and the Netherlands rose, and Spain fell.

The tragedy of the Armada was a great sermon, the text of which was that the ordinary course of events had been interrupted; the heavens had been bowed, and the Great Judge had descended upon the scene, working out a marvelous deliverance for England. While dismay reined within the popish kingdoms, the Protestant states joined in a chorus of thanksgiving.

The End

The Armada, part 1

While Mary Stuart, the Roman Catholic Queen of Scots, lived, Rome’s hope of bringing England back under the control of the Catholic Church centered in her. Their death, however, effectively put an end to all of these hopes. The papal decree ordering all Christian princes to actively work for the destruction of Protestantism still remained as one of the infallible canons of the Council of Trent and was still acknowledged by the kings of the Catholic world. The plot to bring about the overthrow of Protestant England now took a new shape in the form of the invincible Armada.

It required no supernatural insight to recognize the approaching storm. Sixtus V, who even among popes was outstanding for his craft and daring, was just beginning his reign. Cold, selfish, hungry for power, and dedicated to the overthrow of Protestantism, Phillip II was on the throne of Spain. No Jesuit could be more dedicated in purpose, nor shrewd in disguising his purposes. His great ambition was that after-generations should be able to say of him that in his days and by his arms, heresy had been exterminated.

The Jesuits were operating throughout Europe, working to inflame the minds of kings and statesmen against the Reformation, seeking to organize them into armed combinations to put it down. Protestantism had been effectively purged from Spain and Italy. Worst of all, even among the friends of Protestantism there was fragmentation and disagreement. The spiritual influence, which like a mighty wave had rolled across all Christendom in the first half of the century, bearing on its swelling crest scholars, statesmen, and nations, was now on the ebb, and Catholicism was struggling to gain back that which it had lost. Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, and Coligny were all off the stage of action; and their successors, though men of faith and ability, were not of the same stature as those who had laid the foundation of the Reformation. In terms of facilities that generally determine the strength of a nation, there was little to compare between those who favored the Reformation and those who opposed it. To all human appearances, it seemed that the flame of the Reformation, which but a few years earlier had burned so brightly, must soon flicker and die.

Before her powerful enemies, England, with her little population of four million, and Holland, with even less, appeared completely vulnerable before the mighty armies of the Catholic world, enriched with their gold plundered from the New World. While the friends of the Reformation were divided, irresolute, cherishing illusions of peace, and making little or no preparations, there were omens that only too clearly betokened the coming conflict.

In 1584, two years before the execution of Mary Stuart, Phillip began preparations for building a fleet, the likes of which the world had never seen. For such an effort and for such a glorious cause, money and effort were now object. Stretching along nearly two thousand miles of coast line there was not a harbor or river’s mouth that could be utilized which was not taken advantage of for the building of ships that were to bear the Spanish soldiers of the Inquisition to the shores of heretical England.

The completed fleet had provisions for six months, as well as quantities of power, shot, all of the other materials that would be needed for an invasion. The Armada numbered 130 vessels, great and small. On board were 8,000 sailors in addition to 20,000 soldiers. This group was augmented by many noblemen and gentlemen who had volunteered to serve. The armor consisted of 2,650 pieces of ordnance; its burden was 60,000 tons. This was an immense tonnage at the time when the English navy consisted of twenty-eight ships and an aggregate weight that did not exceed the tonnage of a single, modern seagoing vessel.

The Spanish ships were of great capacity and amazing strength. Their strong ribs were lined with planks four feet in thickness, through which it was thought impossible that a cannon ball could pierce. Cables smeared with pitch were wound around the masts to enable them to withstand the fire of the enemy. Sixty-four of the total number of ships were galleons. Armed with heavy brass, they towered above the waves like castles.

During the time that the vast fleet was being built, Spain did everything that could possibly be done to conceal the knowledge of it from England. With poor, if any, postal communications, secrecy was more easily attainable than today. It was impossible however, to keep a complete secret. In order to ease the concerns of the English, Philip resorted to dissimulation. It was said at one time that the new fleet’s purpose was to sweep from the seas certain pirates that gave annoyance to Spain and had captured some of her ships. Later, it was said that Philip meant to punish certain unknown enemies on the far side of the Atlantic. All that craft and lying could do was done to allay the suspicions of the people of England. Even Walsingham, one of the most discerning and clear sighted of the queen’s ministers, expressed belief—just fifteen days before the Armada sailed—that it never would invade England and that Philip’s hands were too full at home to leave him leisure to conquer kingdoms abroad.

In reality, there were two Armadas being prepared to attack an unsuspecting England. In the Netherlands, at that time in the possession of Philip, there was a scene of activity nearly as great as that which was taking place in Spain. Philip’s governor in Belgium, the duke of Parma, was perhaps the most able general of his age. His instructions were to prepare an army and fleet to cooperate with the Spanish force as soon as it arrived in the English Channel.

The whole of the Spanish Netherlands suddenly burst into activity. Assembling 28 warships, along with several hundred smaller vessels, the duke gathered regiments of soldiers from every Catholic nation in Europe. There was scarcely a noble house of Spain that was not represented within the camp of Parma. Believing that the last hour of England had come, they assembled to witness her fall.

During this time of preparation, every imaginable deception was practiced toward Elizabeth and the statesmen who served her to hide from them their great danger until it should overtake them. She sent her commissioners to the Low Countries, but Parma protested, with tears in his eyes, that there lived not on earth anyone who more sincerely desired peace than himself. Did not his prayers morning and night ascend for its continuance? And as regarding the wise and magnanimous sovereign of England, there was not one of her servants that cherished a higher admiration for her than did he. This monumental hypocrisy was not without effect. The English commissioners returned, after three month’s absence, in the belief that Parma’s intentions were peaceful and confirmed Elizabeth and her ministers in dreams of peace. England did not fully awaken from this illusion of peace until just days before the guns of the Spanish Armada were heard in the English Channel.

To aid in the war effort, Sixtus V issued a bull against Elizabeth in which he confirmed the previous one by Pius V, absolving her subjects of their allegiance and conferring her kingdom upon Philip II, to have and to hold as tributary and feudatory of the papal chair. While the pope with one hand took away the crown from Elizabeth, he conferred with the other the red hat upon Father Allen. Already the archbishop of Canterbury, Allen was at once both the archbishop of Canterbury and, by order of the pope, papal legate. Allen now had the pope’s bull translated into English, intending that upon arrival of the Spanish fleet, it should be published in England.

Suddenly, as if from a deep sleep, England awoke to her great danger just before the Spanish ships were to arrive. How was the invasion to be met? England had but a handful of soldiers and a few ships to oppose the host that was coming against her.

The total English force was just over 150,000. This force was split into three groups with one group stationed for the defense of the capital, one for the personal defense of the queen, and the third was to guard the south and east as the place most likely to be selected by the enemy for landing. Beacons were prepared to be lighted at the first landing of the of the enemy on English soil, notifying the rest of the troops at what point to converge.

The English fleet that sailed to oppose the Armada consisted of thirty-four ships of small tonnage carrying 6,000 men. Besides these, the city of London provided thirty ships. In all the port towns, merchant vessels were converted into warships, bringing the total to possibly as many as 150 vessels, with a crew of 14,000. Though the total number of vessels nearly matched that of the Spanish, the figures on paper give a far more favorable appearance than is warranted. The English fleet was, in comparison to the Spanish fleet, but a collection of six or eight oared boats along with a few slightly larger vessels.

This force was divided into two squadrons: one, under Lord Howard, high admiral of England, consisting of seventeen ships which were to cruise the Channel and there wait for the arrival of the Armada. The second squadron, under Hawkins, consisting of fifteen ships, was stationed at Dunkirk to intercept Parma should he attempt to cross with his fleet from Flanders. Sir Francis Drake, in his ship the Revenge , had a following of about thirty privateers. After the war broke out, the fleet was further increased by ships belonging to the nobility and the merchants, hastily armed and sent to sea; though the brunt of the fight, it was foreseen, must fall on the queen’s ships.

England’s inferior army was simply militia, insufficiently drilled, poorly armed, and, except in spirit, could not compare in any way with the soldiers of Spain who had been seasoned on the field of battle. The Spanish army alone was deemed more than sufficient to conquer England; and how easy would the conquest become when that Armada should be joined by the mighty force under Parma, the flower of the Spanish army! England, with her long lone of coast, her unfortified town, and her four millions of population, including many thousands of Roman Catholics ready to rise in insurrection as soon as the invader had made good his landing, was at that hour in supreme peril. It was not England alone whose existence was in question. Its success or failure was the standing or falling of Protestantism. Should Philip succeed in his enterprise, Spain would replace England as the teacher and guide of the nations, some idea of the consequence of such an outcome may be seen by contrasting the political, religious, social, and moral conditions today of Latin America with those of Protestant North America.

For some time after the ships of the Armada had been collected in Lisbon, ready to sail, they were unable to move, waiting for favorable weather. When the wind finally shifted, the proud galleons spread their canvas and began their voyage toward England. For three days—May 28-30, 1588—galleon followed galleon, till it seemed the ocean must surely be filled with them. It was a breathtaking sight, as with sails spread to the breeze and banners and streamers gaily unfurled, it made its way along the coast of Spain. The twelve principal ships of the Armada bound on this holy enterprise had been baptized with the names of the twelve apostles. On board the St. Peter was Don Martin Allacon, administrator and vicar-general of the holy office of the Inquisition; and along with him were 200 barefooted friars and Dominicans. Though the guns of the Armada were to begin the conquest of heretical England, the spiritual arms of the Fathers were to complete it.

Just as the Armada was about to sail, the Marquis Santa Cruz, who had been appointed to the chief command, died. He had been thirty years in Philip’s service and was beyond doubt the most capable sea captian Spain had. Another had to be found to fill the place of the “Iron-Marquis,” and the duke of Medina Sidonia was selected for the job. The main recommendation of Medina Sidonia was his vast wealth. The “Golden Duke” was there simply to provide the armament; the real head of the expedition was to be the duke of Parma, Philip’s commander in the Netherlands and the ablest of his generals. As soon as the Armada should arrive off Calais, the duke was to cross from Flanders and, uniting his numerous army with the vast fleet, to descend like a cloud upon the shore of England.

The Armada was three weeks at sea. The huge ships, so disproportioned to the small sails, made windward progress wearisomely slow. They floated well enough upon a calm sea, but as they were about to open the Bay of Biscay, the sky began to be overcast, and dark clouds came rolling up from the southwest. The swell of the Atlantic grew into mountainous billows, tumbling around those towering structures whose bulk only exposed them all the more to the buffeting of the great waves and furious winds. The Armada was scattered by the gale. As the weather moderated, the ships reassembled and again began to move toward England. A second and more severe storm soon burst upon them. The waves, dashing against the lofty turrets at stem and stern, sent a spout of white water up their sides and high into midair, while the racing waves, coursing across the low bulwarks amidships, threatened every moment to engulf the galleons. One of the greatest of them went down with all on board, and another two were driven to the coast of France.

The storm subsiding, the Armada once more gathered itself together, and on July 29, it entered the Channel. The next day England had her first sight of the long expected enemy. Instantly the beacon fires were kindled, announcing that the Spanish had arrived. On the afternoon of July 30, the Armada could be seen from the high ground above Plymouth Harbor, advancing slowly from the southwest in the form of a crescent, the two horns of which were seven miles apart. As one massive hull after another came out of the blue distance, it was seen that rumor of its size had not been exaggerated in the least. On his great galleon, the St. Martin, in his shot-proof fortress stood Medina Sidonia, casting proud glances around him.

The night that followed was a night long to be remembered in England, as another and yet another hilltop lighted its fires in the darkness and the ever-extending line of light flashed the news of the Armada’s arrival from the shores of the Channel across all of England and Scotland. In this moment of destiny, the hearts of men were drawn together by the sense of a common terror. All controversies were forgotten in one absorbing interest; and the cry of the nation went up to God that He would place His protection over England and not suffer her to be destroyed.

Meanwhile, the harbor of Plymouth was in a fever of excitement. The moment the news arrived that the Armada had been sighted, Howard, Drake, and Hawkins began their preparations; and the rest of the night was spent in preparing the ships for sea. By morning, sixty ships had been towed out of the harbor. Their numbers were little more than a third of those of the Armada, and their inferiority in size was even greater; but manned by patriotic crews, they hoisted sail and went forth to meet the enemy. On the afternoon of the same day, the two fleets came in sight of each other. The wind was blowing from the southwest, bringing with it a drizzling rain and choppy seas. The waves of the Atlantic came tumbling into the Channel; and the galleons of Spain, with their heavy ordnance and their numerous squadrons, rolled uneasily and clumsily. The English ships, of smaller size and handled by expert seamen, bore finely up before the breeze, taking a close survey of the Spanish fleet, and then, standing off to windward, became invisible in the haze. The Spaniards knew that the English fleet was in the vicinity, but the darkness did not permit battle to be joined that night.

The End

Persecution Revived: Enter in Through the Right Gate

After Henry died in 1547, young and reforming Edward succeeded him to the throne. The Popish faction was still powerful. Had Edward VI lived, it is probable that many things in the worship of the Church of England, borrowed from the Roman Church, would have been removed.

It was a great work that was accomplished in England during Edward’s reign, especially when we consider that it was all accomplished in six short years. Before the Reformation was to be firmly established in England, however, it would yet pass through another severe trial and test.

Following the death of Edward, July 17, 1553, Mary daughter of Henry VIII, began to reign at thirty-seven years of age. Her accession was met with satisfaction, if not with enthusiasm, by the great majority of the nation. It was the general belief that the throne was rightfully hers, though an earlier parliament had annulled her right of succession on the grounds of the unlawfulness of Henry’s marriage to Catherine. Later, another parliament had restored it to her, which was in keeping with Henry’s last will and testament. Under this arrangement, she placed next after Edward, Prince of Wales, and heir to the crown. Few indeed anticipated the terrible changes that would soon sweep the nation. Mary’s education had been conducted mainly by her mother, who had taught her little besides a strong attachment to the Roman Catholic faith. No sooner had the way to the throne been cleared for her than she sent a message to the pope to the effect that she was his faithful daughter and England had returned to Rome. The knowledge of the joy of this would bring to the Eternal City enabled the messenger to make the trip in nine days, something that had taken Campeggio three months to accomplish when he came to pronounce Henry’s divorce.

Realizing that these same tidings would be far from welcome in England, Mary hid her true feelings. To the Reformers of Suffolk, who before espousing her cause sought a commitment from her as to the course she intended to pursue, she bade them put their minds at rest; no man would be molested on the grounds of his religion. Upon entering London, she sent the Lord Mayor the message that she meant not to compel other people’s consciences otherwise than God should persuade their hearts of truth. By these words, her right to the throne was confirmed. No sooner, however, was she firmly established than she threw off all disguise and left no one in doubt that it was her settled purpose to suppress the Protestant faith.

All of the circumstances that had made progress of the Reformation so difficult in England worked in Mary’s favor as she sought to restore the Catholic religion. Large numbers of the people were still attached to the ancient beliefs, as there had not been sufficient time for the light to fully dispel the darkness. A large portion of the clergy, though professing the Protestant faith because of the pressure that had been applied to them as a result of the laws passed during Henry’s reign, were still papal at heart.

Throughout all of England, all men who held any position of influence and who were known to be favorable to the Reformation were removed. During the months of August and September, Ridley, Bishop of London; Rogers; Latimer, the most eloquent preacher in all of England; Hooper of Gloucester; Coverdale; Bradford; Saunders; and others were deprived of their liberty. In addition, some noblemen and gentlemen were deprived of their lands which the king had given them. Many churches were changed, altars were set up, and masses said, even before a law had been passed making it legal.

All of the foreign Protestants were given passports, with orders to leave the country. Nearly 1,000 Englishmen under various guises left with them. Providence had arranged that just as the storm was about to break in England, it had begun to abate on the Continent.

Soon after being confirmed to the throne, Mary considered a marriage to the emperor’s son, Philip of Spain. Parliament begged the queen not to marry a stranger; and the queen, not liking to have her matrimonial interests interfered with, dismissed the members and sent them to their homes. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England, learning that a galleon loaded with gold had just returned to Spain from South America, wrote the emperor, suggesting that for the price of a few millions of his wealth he might be able to buy sufficient votes of influential men, thereby assuring that England would be rescued from heresy. At the same time, it was suggested that it would be an opportunity to add another to the many kingdoms that were already under the Spanish scepter. The idea was agreed to and plans for a wedding moved ahead.

With the year 1555, the stake returned to England. Secret informers were appointed in each district to report on all who did not attend the mass or who otherwise failed to conduct themselves as good Catholics. Among the first victims to suffer for their faith were Rogers and Hooper. The men who were burned during Mary’s reign died mainly because of their denial in the belief of transubstantiation—the actual presence of the body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. The question was direct and there was no reasoning the matter. “What sayest thou?” was the question put to each of them. If in answer they said “flesh,” they were acquitted; if in reply they said “bread,” they were condemned to be burned.

Rogers had been an associate of Tyndale and Coverdale in translating the Scriptures. On the morning of February 4, he was awakened and led to Smithfield. In the crowd he saw his wife with their eleven children, the smallest still an infant. His persecutors thought that his fatherly instincts might prevail where they had failed, but in this they were mistaken. Refusing the pardon that was offered him, he replied; “That which I have preached will I seal with my blood.” Accused of being a heretic, he calmly replied that this would be determined at the last day.

After this beginning, the work moved ahead rapidly. In order to strike terror to the populace as a whole, stakes were raised all over England. The clergy, thinking that seeing their pastors burned would terrorize the flock, arranged to have the Reformers burned in various places throughout England. Little did they realize that the people might be moved to pity by the sight and, admiring their heroism, would come to despise the tyranny that doomed them to such an awful death. A thrill of horror swept the nation.

Hooper, who had been a companion of Rogers at his initial trial, had expected to accompany him to the stake. Instead, however, he was told that he was to be transported back to Gloucester where he had been bishop. Though he welcomed the privilege of dying anywhere for Christ, to seal his testimony before the flock to which had preached filled him with joy. Arriving in Gloucester, he was met by a crowd of tearful people. Three days were allowed him before his execution. On February 9, he was led out. It was market day and not less than 7,000 people assembled to watch. He did not address those assembled, as he had been forced to give his promise to remain silent by the threat of having his tongue cut out. His courage and the serenity of his countenance, however, preached a more eloquent sermon than any words he might have framed.

Men were able to contrast the leniency with which the Romanists had been treated under Edward VI with the fierce cruelty of Mary. When Protestantism was in the ascendancy, not a single papist had died for his religion. A few priests had been deprived of their offices and revenue, but the vast majority had saved their livelihood by conforming. Now that popery had revived, no one could be a Protestant but at the peril of his life. All over England fires raged. From the child, to the elderly, without regard to sex, the victims were brought, sometimes singly, at other times by the dozens. An England that till now had placed a small price on the Reformation, awoke to a better idea of the value what Edward VI and Cranmer had given it.

The gloomiest year in the history of England was the last year of Mary. Drought and tempests had brought about a scarcity of food. Famine brought plague in its wake. Strange maladies attacked the population and a full half of the inhabitants fell sick. Many towns and villages were almost depopulated, and a sufficient number of laborers could not be found to even reap the fields. In many places the grain, instead of being carried to the barn, stood rotting in the fields. The kingdom was rapidly becoming a satrapy of Spain, and its prestige was year by year sinking in the eyes of foreign powers.

Between February 4, 1555, when Rogers was burned at Smithfield, and November 15, 1558, when five martyrs were burned in one fire at Canterbury just two days before Mary died, no less than 288 persons were burned alive at the stake.

Mary breathed her last on the morning of November 17, 1558. On the same day, but a few hours later, Cardinal Pole died. He along with Carranza, the Spanish priest who had been Mary’s confessor, had been chief counselor in carrying out the deeds that were to crown her reign with such infamy in England. The news of Mary’s death spreading rapidly through London caused general rejoicing. Wherever the news was told, it was heralded with great joy. The nation awoke as from a horrible nightmare.

Elizabeth ascended the throne with the sincere purpose of restoring the Protestant religion. She was faced, however, with a work that was as difficult as it was great. The learned and eloquent preachers who had been the strength of Protestantism in the reign of her brother Edward had perished at the stake or been driven into exile, leaving the pulpits in the possession of the Roman Catholic clergy. On all sides she was surrounded by great dangers. The clergy of her realm were mostly of the Catholic faith. As the daughter of one of those wives of Henry that they disputed, in the eyes of these bishops her claim to the throne was more than doubtful. Abroad, the dangers were equally great.

During the first year of Elizabeth’s reign, the qualified Protestant clergy in England were few indeed, but their numbers rapidly increased as the news reached the cities to which they had been driven by persecution. Their arrivals in England greatly strengthened the work of restoring the Reformation.

As long as Scotland was Catholic in faith, it was a threat to Protestant England. The establishment of its Reformation in 1560 under John Knox, however, made it one in policy, as in faith, with England. At the time when Elizabeth was weakest, this sudden conversion of an ancient foe into a firm ally brought her unexpected help.

The Reformer, John Knox, landed in Scotland on May 2, 1559. A messenger immediately set off to bear the unwelcome news to the Scottish queen. A few days later, by royal proclamation, he was declared a rebel and an outlaw. If the proclamation accomplished nothing else, it succeeded in electrifying all of Scotland with the news.

Until the coming of Knox, a close alliance had existed between Scotland and France, a union of the gravest concern to Elizabeth. Francis II, upon ascending the throne of France, had openly assumed the title and arms of England. He made no secret of his purpose to invade the country and place his wife, Mary Stuart, heiress of the Scottish kingdom, upon its throne. The most obvious way to achieve his purpose, as it appeared to him, was to pour his soldiers into his wife’s hereditary kingdom of Scotland and then descend on England from the North. The scheme was proceeding with every promise of success, when the progress of the Reformation in Scotland and the consequent expulsion of the French from that country of France and converted that very country, in which the Papists trusted to be the instrument of Elizabeth’s overthrow, into her firmest ally.

It now became clear to Pope Pius V that the Reformation was centering itself in England, and, from there, influencing all of Europe. In the throne of England, Protestant forces were finding a focus and developing into a more consolidated and effective Protestantism than had ever before existed in Christendom. It was here, therefore, that the great battle must come which would determine whether the Reformation of the sixteenth century was to establish itself or to end in failure.

On May 3, 1570, Pius V issued his bull excommunicating Queen Elizabeth. Nearly three years before, the Jesuits had begun to infiltrate England. Professing themselves to be Protestant clergymen, they worked to widen the differences and create animosities between the various Protestant groups, eventually breaking the union and peace that had so largely prevailed in England during the first ten years of Elizabeth’s reign. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, which occurred soon after, in 1572, sent a thrill of terror through the nation. The doom of the Huguenots taught Elizabeth and the English Protestants that Roman Catholic pledges and promises of peace were no security whatever against sudden and wholesale destruction.

To counter the influence of the Reformation movement in England, the Catholic Church founded a university at Douay in the northeast of France. To this school a small group of English youth came to be educated as seminary priests and later were employed in undermining the Reformation in their native land. The Pope so completely approved of the entire plan that he created a similar institution in Rome—the English College.

Before these foreign seminaries had had sufficient time to complete the work of training qualified agents, two students of Oxford, Edward Campion and Robert Parsons, traveled to Rome. While there, they arranged with the Jesuits to carry out the execution of the Pope’s bull against Queen Elizabeth. Returning to England in 1580, they began operations. Assuming new names and different dress each day of the week, they began to traverse England. In their travels, they lodged in the houses of Catholic nobles, seeking to arouse Roman Catholic zeal and the spirit of mutiny. At length, Campion addressed a letter to the Privy Council, boldly avowing to revive in England “the faith that was first planted, and must be restored,” and boasting that the Jesuits of all countries were leagued together for this object. He concluded by demanding a disputation at which the queen and members of the Privy Council should be present. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was seized while in the disguise of a soldier and taken to the Tower. According to the act already passed, he was found guilty and, along with Sherwin, Kirby, and Briant, his accomplices, was executed for high treason.

Rome recognized that any hope of reestablishing the faith of Rome in England was hopeless as long as Elizabeth reigned. Finding themselves unwilling to wait for natural causes to make vacant her throne, they watched their opportunity to accomplish her removal. The record of England during the years following 1580 is a continuous record of these murderous attempts, all springing out of and justifying themselves by the bull of excommunication. Not a year passed, after the arrival in England of the Jesuits Campion and Parsons, that there was not a plot to insurrection in some part of the queen’s dominions.

In 1586 came the Babington conspiracy. It originated with John Ballard, a priest who had been educated in the seminary at Rheims. Respecting the bull of excommunication as the product of infallibility, he held that as Elizabeth had been excommunicated by the Pope, for him to deprive her of both her life and throne would be the most acceptable service he could do to God and the surest way of earning a crown in Paradise. The affair was to begin with the assassination of Elizabeth. The Catholics in England were then to be summoned to arms; and while the flames of insurrection were raging within the kingdom, a foreign army was to land upon the coast, besiege and sack the cities that opposed them, raise Mary Stuart of Scotland to the throne, and establish the Catholic religion in England.

By means of intercepted letters and the information of spies, Walsingham, one of Elizabeth’s leading secretaries, early learned of the secret. Soon he was in possession of as clear and exact a knowledge of the plot as the conspirators themselves. Quietly he stood by, watching the conspiracy develop until all was ready. He then stepped in and crushed it. The Englishmen who had plotted to extinguish the religion and liberties of their native land in the blood of civil war and the fury of foreign invasion paid for their crimes on the scaffold. The life of Mary, Queen of Scots, ended for her, not on the throne of England but with a headsman’s ax.

An attempt has been made to present the men executed for their share in this, and similar conspiracies, as martyrs for religion. The fact is, however, that it is impossible to show that a single individual was put to death under Elizabeth simply because he believed in or professed the Roman Catholic faith. In every case, the charges were for promoting or practicing treason. Surely had the Protestant government of Elizabeth thought to put to death Catholics for their faith, those others who had acted such prominent parts in the bloody tragedies under Mary would have been the first to fall. But these men who had murdered hundreds were never called to account for the deeds they had done. Instead, they lived out their lives in ease and peace amid the relations and contemporaries of the men they had dragged to the stake.

As the Bible began to freely circulate in Britain, it soon changed the character of the people, putting an end to the barbaric and bloodthirsty methods that had been the tools long employed by the Church of Rome to suppress all who were in opposition to her authority. In some instances it might be argued that Roman Catholics were treated with unnecessary cruelty, but it must be remembered that England was in a period of transition. The nation was just emerging from the Romish school of blood after centuries of training. Britain and North America are today what the Bible made them; Spain and Latin America are what Romanism made them.

The End