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been an open, honest, noble face, remained The particulars of Anne Ascue's different bent steadfastly over the open page.
trials are contained in notes furnished by her To any one who may question the perfect in the intervals of her examination, and premodesty and humility of this attitude of Anne served by Foxe.* Ascue's, which had at the same time some- Anne Ascue was arrested in March, 1545, thing of the half-sublime, half-foolish daring of and examined before Christopher Dare, in youth, I might say that she was by this action Saddler's Hall, on her belief as to the sacravindicating the right which the King had ment. Occasionally she refused to answer, granted to the humblest of his subjects to or met the questions by a counter question; read the English Bible, and asserting her as when she was asked if she did not believe own innocence in the deed which she per- that the sacrament hanging over the altar formed thus publicly. It may be also that, in was really the very body of Christ—when spite of the warning she had received, she she replied with another inquiry, wherefore fancied that she, a woman and a lady, could was St. Stephen stoned to death? And when challenge a denial of the people's right with her examiner said he could not tell, she less danger than must have been incurred by declared that no more would she “ assail his a man or a person of meaner station. vain questions." But for the most part her
But unquestionably Anne Ascue was not answers were direct—even when they were left without clear evidence of the end to strongly tinged with disdain. Thus when he which course was tending in the reaction said there was a woman who did testify that against the Protestants with which Henry Anne Ascue “should read how God was not VIII.'s reign was closing in England, and in in temples made with hands," and she showed the heat of the persecution of the Reformers, him chapters vii. and xvii. of the Acts of the under the regency of Mary of Guise, in the Apostles, what Stephen and Paul had said sister kingdom of Scotland. Fearful trage- therein. Whereupon he asked her how she dies which were not done in a corner could took these sentences ? And she replied, not but have come to Anne's knowledge, and “that she would not throw pearls before been loudly discussed in her hearing. Two swine, for acorns were good enough.' heretics, according to what even most English The result was that she was carried before Catholics regarded as the heresy of denying the Lord Mayor and subjected to further the Real Presence in the sacrament of the cross-questioning, some of it marvellously Lord's Supper, were burnt to death in Lincoln foolish. Besides that my Lord Mayor laid in 1540, when Anne was twenty years of age. one thing to my charge,” Anne records, In 1541 Patrick Hamilton, of such rank that “ which was never spoken of me but by he was nephew to both Arran and Albany, them, and that was whether a mouse eating was burnt before St. Salvador's College, St. the host received God or no ? This question Andrews, and the smoke of such a burning did I never ask, but indeed they asked it of did not fail to be wafted swiftly to smart in me, whereunto I made them no answer but the nostrils of the English Reformers. Patrick smiled.” Next Anne states, “ The bishop's Hamilton's sister Katherine was arrested and chancellor rebuked me, and said I was much had nearly shared his fate. It was only after to blame for uttering the Scriptures; for St. making various concessions and by receiving Paul, he said, forbade women to speak or to special favour that she escaped. In 1545 talk of the word of God. I answered him George Wishart-like Hamilton, of gentle that I knew St. Paul's meaning as well as birth, and who had studied for a time at Cam- he, which is in ist Corinthians xiv., that a bridge, was burnt to death at St. Andrews, woman ought not to speak in the congregaand in fierce revenge St. Andrews Castle was tion by way of teaching. And then I asked stormed and Cardinal Beatoun slain.
him how many women he had seen go into The same year saw the beginning of Anne the pulpit and preach? He said he never Ascue's public prosecution, when she was saw any. Then I said he ought -o find still not more than twenty-four years of age. no fault in poor women, except they had With Henry's breaking health, vacillating offended the law.” spirit and jealously irritable temper, power The end was that Anne was put in ward had passed largely into the hands of the in the Compter and kept there eleven days, Roman Catholic party led by Wriothesly and Rich, the Lord Chancellor, and the Soli- * I should like to quote what Mr. Froude, as an impartial citor-General, and by Bishops Gardiner and though he does not say by what means they came into his
“These were printed by Foxe; Bonner, with the six Articles which formed a hands, there is no reason to believe them forgeries; and the statute against heresy for them to go upon. allowed to their unaffected simplicity.”
utmost value which can belong to internal evidence must be
with no friend admitted to see her, but a flash of her ready woman's wit, “God hath priest sent to speak with her, to get into her given me the gift of knowledge, but not of confidence, and to bring her to a better utterance; and Solomon saith that a woman frame of mind. With him, for the most of few words is the gift of God.” But she part, she refused to have any communica- incensed him at last by observing, after he tion, either apprehending treachery or heart- had read to her the paper which he had sick of the endless altercation. When he drawn up for her to sign, and which was put it to her whether she were content to neither more nor less than a confession of be shriven, she told him yes, so that she her belief in the Real Presence in the sacrashould choose the priest, naming several ment-an important part of the creed held whom she said she knew to be men of by the orthodox of the time, “I believe so wisdom, and one of whom at least was then much thereof as the Holy Scripture doth notoriously on the reformed side in the agree unto, wherefore I desire you that you great religious schism. “As for you or any will add that thereunto.” He protested that other,” she added courteously, “I will not she should not teach him what he should dispraise, because I know you not." But write. when he pressed his claim on the ground In the sequel Anne, who, with all her that if he were not honest the King would courage and the grace given her, stood there a not suffer him to preach, she rejected it un- young and sorely tried woman, was, as she ceremoniously, quoting, with less prudence says, " inveigled” by the audience to set her than liveliness, from the Proverbs of Solo- hand to the declaration. She was told that mon : "By communing with the wise I may she had favour shown her; and the bishop learn wisdom, but by talking with a fool asserted, with apparent roughness, that she shall take scathe.” Indeed it is plain that might thank others, and not herself, for the Anne Ascue, in her sincerity and unworldli- favour that she had found at his hand, for he ness, was careless to recklessness as to considered that she had good friends, and making friends or enemies.
also that she came of worshipful stock.* In the course of her first imprisonment So, partly persuaded, partly coerced, she occurs the only mention of a relation coming wrote the manifest evasion—“Í, Anne Ascue, to her aid :* "On the 23rd of March,” she do believe all manner of things contained in writes, “my cousin Brittayn came into the the faith of the Catholic Church.” And Compter unto me, and asked me whether Anne writes that Bonner, "at the words, the I might be put tó bail or no?" And this Catholic Church,' flung into his chamber in cousin faced personal risk, and exerted him a great fury.” He was followed by her self to the utmost to procure her release. cousin Brittayn beseeching, "for God's sake, She could not be “ bailed” without consider to be a good lord unto the prisoner.” The able difficulty, so she was brought before the bishop said she was a woman, and he was Bishop of London (Bonner) and a whole nothing deceived in her On which her company of doctors and bachelors of di- defender pled that he might take her as a vinity, including several persons who were woman and not set her weak woman's wit to friendly to her. Indeed Mr. Froude is of his lordship's great wisdom. And after some opinion that Bonner himself was so far in- further apology, the judge was appeased. fluenced in her favour as to desire to treat Mr. Froude thinks that Bonner may have her well, and even to try to furnish her with suffered the evasion to pass, and may even a loop-hole by which she might escape the have entered into his register that Anne consequences of her convictions. He said Ascue had made an adequate profession of he was sorry for her trouble, and he did not belief, rather as an act of forbearance towards insist on an explanation when she replied her, than as a deed of deliberate treachery only in the words, “I believe as the Scrip- against the Reformers. Be that as it may, ture dotla teach me,” to different questions and he can have the benefit of the doubt, put to her on her faith. Certainly he asked after a little more wearing delay and anxiety, her—as it reads, ironically, why she had so Anne Ascue was, as she records with devout few words ? When she answered, with a bright thankfulness, “ delivered,” but not for long.
• However, Burnet says, "great applications were made by This reads as if some of Anne's nearer kindred were at many of her friends to have her out on bail.”
this date moving in the dark on her behalf.
THE DIVINE YOUTH OF NAZARETH.*
By J. R. MACDUFF, D.D. THE HE sunrise and bright morning of the glory! How honoured, too, the working
Great Divine Life were now merging man in every town and every village on earth into noontide—those still, peaceful hours who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, which precede the burden and heat of the that the Saviour of the world—the great day.
“Son of the Highest ”—came and lived, not Did the dawning conviction that Jesus was in halls of splendour, but toiled as a carthe Son of God and the Messiah of Israel penter; living for about twenty years the make Him love less His home and His call- simple life of a tradesman among the
peasants ing, His relatives and friends at Nazareth ? of Syria, shaping planks and oars, preparing
Oh, what a beautiful example for youth, timber for floor and roof and lattice-chips of this Heavenly, heaven-born child-obedient, wood lying about the cottage door-the dutiful, loving, submissive as ever-looking drops of labour standing on his brow! up still with fond filial reverence and devo Does He not wish to teach all, young and tion to those who stood to Him in the most old, that it is a good thing to work and a bad sacred of earthly relations, “He was subject thing to be idle? I was reading a book not unto them.” Subject too, I may add, to long ago, called “ The Dignity of Labour.” Mary, not as she is sometimes falsely repre- Jesus, by His life at Nazareth, wrote surely sented as “the Queen of Heaven," with the in golden letters, the brightest and best page moon at her feet, and a cluster of stars round in that book. Never need any boy or girl her brow, but Mary the lowly mother of a be ashamed of a humble and lowly occupalowly earthly home.
tion, when they know that Jesus, at one time, I think Joseph must have died soon after stooped to do rough common work. this. If so, I have no doubt the first tears And I would like you further to note that which Jesus, wearing our human nature, He continued in the trade He had been shed would be over the grave of one who had brought up to, and was contented and happy proved so good and kind to Him. A great in it. There are many who would like to be painter has touchingly represented Joseph in some other place and lot than God has laying his head on the bosom of the youthful given to them. Not so the Divine Son of Saviour at the moment of his death.
Mary. He did not say to His mother, “I We can certainly conclude that He would dislike all this hard toil in this dusty street. continue still at His trade in order to support Knowing my future high destiny, I should His widowed mother. I like to dwell on like to go back to the Temple and live with this picture of Jesus before He began His the Doctors and Rabbis there, and join in great public work, being a comfort to her the solemn worship. I would feel far more who had loved Him so long and so tenderly; than I can ever do here, that I am in my speaking dutiful words to her, and doing Father's house, and about my Father's busilittle acts of kindness for her. Yes, I like ness. Or, if that be impossible, I should much to think of Him thus, for eighteen like better some other trade. I should like to years (more than half of all the time He be a shepherd, like David ; to go out with the spent on earth) living in this quiet home flock, and climb mese beautiful hills all day among the green hills, while good and gentle long; or, under some spreading tree, or by to every one, devoted specially to His best some joyous brook, warble sacred strains on earthly friend. As the Christian poet says— the shepherd's pipe. I should like thus to "A Son that never did amiss,
live in the great sanctuary of nature among That never shamed his mother's kiss, Nor crossed her fondest prayer.”
the wild flowers, and feel the cooling breeze How honoured Nazareth was in being for this dull ungenial workshop.”
fanning my temples. Anything rather than so long the earthly home of the Lord of
No, He felt that the Heavenly Father He
loved had placed Him there, and in this, as * We have pleasure in informing our readers that this
will be found in a forthcoming Life of Christ for the in everything else, He sought to do His Young, under the title : Brighter than the Sun: or, Christ Father's will. Although called afterwards headings of the different sections will give an idea of the “ The Man of Sorrows," I doubt not these freshness of treatment-" Early Dawn,”:Morning,", Noon- must have been happy years to Him in tide,"?“ Meridian Brightness," " Gathering Clouds," “ Evening Shadows,”.“ Gleams before Sunset, * Night Watches," Nazareth,-loving His Father in heaven, and "Midnight," « The Great Sunrise," "Dawn of the Eternal Day."-ED.
being good and gentle to all about Him.