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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV. CHRISTIAN MEN MARTYRS IN ENGLAND. GERARD, AND HIS FRIENDS. About the year 1160 appeared at Oxford, in England, about thirty men and women, called Publicans, a corruption, no doubt, of Paulicians. They came from Gascony, and soon attracted the attention of the government by the singularity of their religious opinions and practices. They were thorough Baptists, and judging from the testimony of their enemies, as well as that of their friends, they were eminently a spiritual people. William, of Newbury, a monkish historian, tells us that these persons, whom he calls vagabonds, emigrated from Gascony, and spread their doctrine into many regions. " In the broadest provinces of France, and Spain, and Italy, and Germany, so many are said to have been infested with this pest, that according to the prophet they seemed to have been multiplied beyond the sand of the sea." He adds "they are mere rustics and men of inferior condition, hence they are dull in the comprehension of argument; yet if they are once thoroughly tainted with that pest, they will rigidly hold out against all discipline. Hence, it veryrarely happens that any of them, whenever they are betrayed and dragged out of their lurking places, is [are] ever converted to piety." These poor peasants of Teutonic race, and speaking that language, could not accomplish much in the way of converting others. Their enemies tell us that one woman professed to have been converted by them; though she seems to have returned back to the errors of popery, and was, probably, the person who betrayed them iuto the hands of their enemies. Their pastor, named Gerard, was, it is said, the only person of any learning among them, and " to him," says the historian, " they all looked up, as their prince and preceptor." When th...
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