De Robigne Mortimer Bennett.

The champions of the church: their crimes and persecutions online

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ChampioDS of tbe Cburcli:



Editor of "The Truth Seeker.' author of 'The World's Sages. Thinkers, and

Reformers," 'Thiriy Discussions. Bible Stories. Essays, and Lectures,"

" Interrogatories lo Jehovah,' •• What 1 Don't Believe ; Wliat I Do

Beheve : Why and Wherefore," and joint autljor of '■ Chris-

tianitj- and Infidelity — the Humphrey-Bennett Discussion,"

"The Bennett-Teed Discussion." etc.. etc., etc.





PUBLIC library)







Admissions against the

scriptuees 108

Adkian IV. 330

Alexandek VI. 528

Alexander VII. 922

Alva, Duke of 692

Anthony, St. 186

Anthony Comstook 1009

Antipopes 451

Athan\sius 222

AuctUstine, St. 246

Benedict IX. 327

Boniface III. 278

Boniface VII. 323


Calvin, John 578

Callistus 229

Catherine de Medioi 730

Charlemagne 288

Chai!LEs V. 657
Christian Admissions

against the scriptuees, 108
Chhistianity always was

Intolerant 106
Christianity AND Slavery 946
Chrisiians. Moral Char-
acter or Early 103
Clement of Rome 135
Clement VI. 426
Clergymen. Sinful 962
CLt)vis 2'".9
Communist. Jesus was a 49
Compromise, Peter and
the Great 89


Comstook, Anthony 1009

Concluding Remarks 1106


Corruptions of the Ear-
ly Church 125
Cortez, Hernando 635
Council of Constance 474
Counter-popes 451
Crusades 377
Cyril, St. 235

Deity of Jesus 38

De Medici, Catherine 730

DioscoRUS 243

Dominic, St. 344

Duke of Alva 692
Duty of Submission to

Wrong Taught BY Jesus 50

Early Christians, Moral

Character of 103
Early Church, its Cor-
ruptions 125
Elizabeth, Queen 740
EusEBius 206
Evangelists, The Four 93
Evidences that all the
Gospels had but one
Source 98
Eye-witnesses, The Wri-
ters DO NOT Claim to be 98

i Ferdinand and Isabella 517

I Francisco Pizarro 651

Gospels HAD only one

1 Source 98



Gkegoby thb Great
Gregory VII.
Gkeooby XIII.

Henry VIII. 627

Hermit, Peter the 377


Hopkins. Matthew 796

Ignatius 137

Innocent III. 359

Innocent IV. 369

Innocent VI. 437

Innocent X. , 917
Intolerant, Christianity

always was 106

iRENiEUS 162

Irene 281

Isabella. Ferdinand and 517

James I. 796

James II. 898

Jesuism, Paulinism ;>•. 119

Jesuism, Progress of 84

Jesuits, Loyola and the 608

Jesus 25

Jesus and Jesuism 64

Jesus, Deity of 38
Jesus does not Bespect

THE Rights of Property 45
Jesus Exhibits an Imper-
fect Sense of Justice 52
Jesus, Miracles of 35
Jesus, Moral Teachings OF 39
Jesus Professes to Par-
don Sin 51
Jesus Teaches the Duty

of Submission to Wrong 50

Jesus was a Communist 49

Joan, Popess 297

John Calvin 578

John Knox 710

John XI. 315

John XII. 318

John XIII. 321

John XXII. 413


271 I John XXIII.
330 j Julius HI.
758 Justin Martyr

Knox, John

LiGUORi, St.

Louis XIV.

Loyola and the Jesuits

Luther, Martin


Martin Luther

Martin V.

Martyr, Justin

Mary of England

Matthew Hopkins

Miracles of Jesus

MoNTFORT, Simon de

Moral Character of The
Early Christians

Moral Teachings of Je-

MuNZER, Thomas

Nicholas I.

Papias of Hierapolis

Paschal I.


Paul the Hermit, St.

Paul II.

Paul V.

Paulinism t's. Jesuism


Persecution of Witches

Peter and the Great

Peter the Hermit
Philip II.
Pius IV.
Pius V.
Pius VI.
PizAKRO, Francisco

















PoPKiss Joan 297


Protestant Persecutions 832

Queen Elizabeth 740

Recapitulation 1092

tSiMEON Stylites 253

Simon de Monteobt 364

JSiNEUL Clergymen 962

SiRicus 239

SiXTUS 264

Sixtus V. 762

Stephen I. 190

St. Anthony 186

St. Augustine 246

St. Cyril 235

St. Dominic 344

St. Liguori 927

St. Paul 110

St. Paul the Hebuit 188


St. Ursula 4C)i

St. Victor 181

Teutullian 16;»
The Early Church, its

ColiltUPTIONS 125

The Four Evangelists 93

Theodosius 231

The 1'rogkess of Jesuism 84

Thomas Munzer 72f»

Torquemada 508

Urban VI. 442

Urban VIII. 893

Ursula 461

Victor, St. 181


Vacancies 451

Witches, Pebsecution of 782

Writers of the Gospels 9B


This volume is largely a compilation from standard author-
ities, and consequently but little claim is set up for origi-
nality. Accuracy has been the object in view, and it has been
the aim to stiuctly follow history, and very few except Chris-
tian authorities have been resorted to. A moiety only of the
characters who have made themselves conspicuous by their
crimes and persecutions have been named ; had all been given
with the details connected with their inglorious careers, a
score of volumes the size of this would have scarcely con-
tained the recitals. The more striking cases have been

A few of these sketches were written some months before
the work w^as taken in hand in earnest, but the greater portion
has been produced in a little over three months' time. This,
with editorial duties (which are not slight), an extensive cor-
respondence, together with numerous other claims upon the
writers attention, has necessitated assistance. The names of
the assistants are in some cases appended to the sketches
written by them, and thanks for their aid are due. The ser-
vices of our assistant, S. H. Preston, who has aided us largely
in the work, we gratefully acknowledge. "W. S. Bell con-
tributed the article on '• Jesus " and that on the *' Four
Evangelists." Others have aided us in a lesser degree, and
to all, thanks are extended.

The main purpose of this volume has been to give, briefly
and succinctly, an authentic history of the cruelties and perse-
cutions practiced by distinguished leaders of the Christian
Church in the past sixteen centuries. Nothing has been
exaggerated ; all is given as found in the most reliable authori-



ties. The first few iirticles are written, not with a view of
proving the subjects to have been cruel or bloodthirsty, but
rather to show the unreliable nature of the statements made
in reference to tliem. It is unfortunate for Christianity that
her reputed foundei's and leaders rest under such a cloud of
mysticism and uncertaintj'. It is to be hoped the initial chap-
ters will be studied with interest.

Before entering upon a consideration of tlie founders and
champions of Christianity, it will be well, perhaps, to briefly
examine the nature of religion, and whence the probable ori-
gin of Christianity.

There was a time when the present race of man was with-
out literature and without arts, without civilization and
without religion. At that early period man was but a slight
remo\e above tlie animal, from which, in long courses of
ages, he had probabl}^ evolved. He was without knowledge,
without skill, without a language, and with but little intelli-
gence. He lived in caves and holes in the ground, and
associated on terms of more or less equality with the wild
beasts that surrounded him With these animals he strug-
gled for subsistence, fleeing from those stronger than him-
self, and pursuing and capturing for his own food those that
were weaker, or those over which, by superior cunning, he
was able to prevail.

From this crude, primitive condition man emerged very
slowly. He was compelled to seek for food, and to protect
himself from the extremes of heat and cold which alternately
oppressed him. Having a brain slightly superior to the lower
animals, he gradually obtained a mastery over them. He was
able to fashion from stones, the limbs of trees, and the bones
of animals such crude implements as he needed to slay the
beasts he required for food, and ultimately to dig a Httle in
the ground to plant such seeds as. in time, he learned were
useful to sustain life.

The language used by man at that early pei'iod was doubt-
less crude and imperfect in character, consisting of but few
words or sounds, which served to convey to his fellow-beings


the iiieiigrc ideas he had to iuipuit. As the race spread over
the surface of the earth, and became more developed in other
respects, its language and its intelligence improved, and new
dialects gradually came into use in different localities.

At the time when man was but a trifle above the brutes,
he had no religion, but as he gradually' emerged from that'
condition, and his intelligence and language were developed in
a sparing degree, he began to have some religious ideas, though,
crude and rudimentary. In his pi'imitive ignorance all his
ideas were of the crudest chiiracter. This stage is called Fetiisli-
isin. Man saw in the clouds, in the winds, in the tempest,
in the lightning, in the thunder, in the ocean, in the rivers
aud streams, in the burning sun of summer and the frosts of
winter, in the superior animals, in the growing forests, and in
everything that possessed life and motion, powers and capa-
bilities of ministering to his pleasures or his pain, and all
these in his infantile imaginatimi he invested with good or
bad demons as the case might be. Everything that added to
his pleasure was the work of good demons and everything
that caused him pain or discomfort was eaused by the bad
demons. And here was the origin of gods and devils in the
human imagination.

The fetish-worshiper thus had innumerable gods and de-
mons, of greater or lesser pouer, as they contributed tc> his
pleasure or pain. Many varieties of animals, plants, and trees
he invested with invisible power, and held them as gods
whom he could influence aud })lacate by adoration and
sacrifice. He regarded them not as symbols or representatives
of invisible powers merely, but <;rudely imagined them to be
absolute gods. Thus his deities were almost without number,
aud they were often so portable that he carried them arouial
with him. Dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, crocodiles, snakes,
lizards, toads, birds, fishes, trees, plants, and crudely shaped
blocks of wood and stone, served ignorant man for gods ; and
how to placate them and secure their good influences in his
behalf was a source of great anxiety. As he had more
pain than pleasure, as the ills that befell him were a greater


source of dread than all else besides, he readih^eanied to fear
his gods more than to love them. Thus fear was the parent
of religion and worship. How to placate his gods and keep
them well disposed towards him taxed his ingennity to the
utmost. And thus it has been down to the present time.
The gods have caused man a great amount of trouble. To
secure their services and «to keep them well disposed towards
him have been the greatest care of his life. But for the gods
his existence would have been vasth'' happier than it has been.
Among the most ancient forms of worship practiced by
man was the worship of the sexual organs. There he found
the source of life, and thither he directed his worship and
adoration. This was not done in a spirit of sensuality, as
might be supposed, but with a considerable degree of religious
fervor. Phallic worship was ])racticed in different countries
and by different nationalities, and was doubtless the basis, in
part at least, of subsequent systems of worship. Tn Phal-
licism is found the origin of the symbol of the cross^ which
so many millions have profoundly venerated. Here is found
the model foi" the steephs and the round toivers, so long held
sacred as objects of veneration.

As man progressed in intelligence, in some countries espe-
cially, the heavenly bodies were objects of worship, and were
deities the people greath^ revered. The sun. moon, and
stars were worshiped as gods, and temples and altars wei'e
erected to them upon the tops of mountains, and thither the
pious devotees often betook themselves to make sacrifices
and to offer up oblations, praise, and prayer. The hymns and
invocations with which they addressed the sun were sublime
and eloquent. They revered the sun as the source of life
and power, the greatest friend to man, and he was worshiped
as the greatest deity of all. This was indeed a grand system
of worship, and far more elevating than that of Fetish-
ism which had previously prevailed among cruder races.
The Chaldeans or ancient Persians were among the most con-
spicuous of sun-worshipers, and the Egyptians and other
nations emplo3'ed sun-worship largely. In fact, that system


of wor:5hip entered greatly into most of the ancient re-

In addition to tne worsliip of the sun and the heavenly
bodies, the ancient Persians paid gi'eat admiration to their
principal deity, Ormuzd. the god of light. Ahrimanes. his
brother, was the god of darkness or evil, who was over con-
tending with his brother, the good deity. Their contests
were severe and protracted, and each had a lai-ge conc-onrse of
spirits or angels in his employ, who took part respectively
under the power they served. The good angels wei"e called
izeds, and the bad ones, devas and ardi-deras. Zoroaster Avas a
great prophet and reformer, in this system of religion, and he
is credited with many grand and beautiful utterances on the
subject of morals and a good life. He lived nearly a thousand
years before the Christian era. There is a disagreement
among authorities as to the time when he lived, sflme claim-
ing that he lived about the time of while some placc^d
him earlier in the world's histor}-, and others later. The
extravagant claim was made, even in olden times, that he
lived five thousand years before the time of Plato, l^hat is
probably an error ; but that his era was far, far back in the
ages of the past there can be no question.

The religion of the Hindoos is probably still more ancient
than that of the Chaldeans or Persians. It de.«!cended from
the ancient Aryan race which peopled central and southern
Asia. The literature, the history, and the theology of India
were sealed books to the rest of the modern world until
enterprising Europeans went there. Some of them remained
years, and by patient investigation and exploration learned
much of the literature and relfgion of that ancient people, and
others studied the Oi'iental languages at home. Prominent
among this studious class stand Sir William Jones, Sir
Godfrey Higgins, Burnouf, Sir Cockburn Thompson, Jacol-
liot, Max Miiller. Wilson, Bunsen, Schlegel. Spiegel, Legge,
and others.

Those of this number who visited India made the acquaint- '
ance of learned Brahmins, and. by their aid, were ena-


l)lea tu >lu^^ly tlif ancient Sanskrit language, vvlncL \v;is
employed tlioustinds of yeavi' ago, and in which the sacred
writings of that countr}' were written. Those writings were
found to ])e more voluminous and more ancient than the
Jewish Scriptures, and consisted of hymns, invocations, lessons,
dialogues, etc.. embracing much that is sublime, elevated,
and spiritual. Thej' were written long before the Jewish
Scriptures were penned, and even before the Hebrew nation
had an existence. The Vedas, the Puranas, the Shastas, the
Mahabarata, the Bhagavad-Gita, and other extensive writings,
make up the Hindoo Scriptures, and in the aggregate embrace
thousands of volumes, great numbers of which have never
vet been translated into English.

In the theology of India is found much that is metaphys-
ical, much that is abstruse, much of mystery, much thai i.>
lofty and elevated, much that is grand and poetic, and al.-u
much that is obscure and much that is absurd. Here is
ioiind the material that has proved a sufficieni basis upon
which to build subsequent systems of theology. Here is
the source of nearly all the dogmas, rites, sacj'ameuts, syn^-
bols, and sacred observances which have been woven into
moi'e modei-n .systems of religion. Ilei'e is found the original
doctrine of the Trinity^ which, in the last eighteen centuries,
has been such an important item in Christian theology.
Here is found the doctrine that gods cohabit with mortal
virgins and produce a progeny half divine and half human.
The most noted of these demigods or incarnations,4(,>f Vishnu,
a principal deity of the Hindoos, was Christna, whose
advent into the world was placed from five hundred to one
thousand years before our present era. The people loved him
for his mildness and goodness, for- the excellence of his teach-
ings, and the lovely disposition he always displayed. It is
claimed of him that he had many followers 'and disciples,
that he performed many miracles, and that finally he was
crucified on the banks of the Ganges. I'he similarity between
the Indian demigod and the Judean demigod, who, it is
claimed, figured much later in Palestine, is most marked.


One only could have been the original. The copy was cer-
tainly not the one who came first or who was believed in

India was indeed the cradle of the literature and religion of
the world, and from that ancient country, thousands of years
ago. spread over various countries the peculianties of hei-
learning and her theology. Many of the old religions seem to
have imbibed the distinguishing qualities of her S3'^stem. and
to this general rule Cliristianity is certainly no exception.

It may safely be decided that all religions are of human
origin, and that all past and existing systems are more or less
modifications of the primitive system. All these systems
have been claimed to be of divine orioin, but everv one lacks
proofs of an origin above the human mind There is certainly
nothing in any of the systems that the intellect of man is
incapable of conceiving, and nothing in the later system
not found in the older ones.

It is not necessar}^ here to consider the religions of Egypt.
China, Thibet, Japan, Siam, Phoenicia, Syria. Greece. Kome,
or Scandinavia. In all are found points of distinction and
certainly of similarity. Older than Christianity existed Fetish-
ism, Polytheism, Monotheism, and Judaism. Distinct traces
of all of these systems are unmistakably found in the Chris-
tian system. Indeed, there is not a dogma, not a rite, not a
sacrament in the Christian creed that is not found in one or
more of the older systems. Its God and its Bible are Jewish,
and the most of its rites and dogmas are decidedly pagan. It
is nothing more nor less than a composite affair, made up of
the systems and traditions that were a thousand years older.
If the candid reader will examine one by one the different
dogmas and rites of the Christian scheme, he will find that
they were all believed in several centuries before the birth of
Christianity. Let us see. The fundamental dogma of the
Christian faith was the begetting of Jesus, by God or the
Holy Ghost, on the person of a Jewish maiden. This was
only a renewal of a pagan idea that had existed for fully
ten centuries before the dawn of Christianity, and was a part



of the religioLis traditions of nearly every ancient country.
The story of the " virgin and child '" is one of the oldest fig-
ments of the human mind, and was often symbolized in stone
in the ancient temples. To show the lack of originality on
the part of Christians in regard to the virgin mother of God,
it is only necessary to quote a few of the terms used in the
Hindoo, Egyptian, and Christian systems, as follows:


Litany of our Lady

Nari: Virgin.

1. Holy Nari — Manama,

Mother of perpetual

2. Motlier of an incar-

nated God — Vishnu

3. Mother of Christna.

4. Eternal Virginity —


5. Mother— Pure Essence,


6. Virgin most chaste,


7. Mother Taumatra, of

the tive virtues or


Virgin Trigana, of the
three elements,
power or richness,
love, and mercy.

9. Mirror of Supreme
Conscience — Aban-

W. "Wise Mother — Saras-

1 1 . Womb of gold — Hyra-


Litany of our Lady

Isis: ViRGi::.

1. Holy Isis. imiversal

Mother — Muth.

2. Mother of Gods —


3. Mother of Horus.

4. Virgo generatrix —


5. Mother-soul of the

universe — Anouki.

6. Virgin, sacred earth,

— Isis.

7. Mother of all the

virtues — Themi,
with the same qual-

8. Illustrious Isis, most

powerful, merciful,
just (Book of the

9. Mirror of Justice and

truth — Tliemei.

10. Mysterious mother

of the world —
Buto (secret wis-

11. Sistrum of gold.

Litany of our Lady
OF Loretto : Virgin.

1. Holy Mary. Mother of

Divine Grace.

2. Mother of God.

3. Mother of Christ.

4. Virgin of Virgins.

5. Motlier of Divine


6. Virgin most chaste.

7. Mother most pure.

Mother undefiled.
Mother inviolate.
Mother most amia-
ble. Mother moat

8. Virgin most power-

ful. Virgin most
merciful. Virgin
most faithful.

9. Mirror of Justice.

10. Seat of Wisdom,

11. House of Gold.



.12. Queen of Heaven. 12. Queen of Heaven 12. Queen of Heaven.

and of the uni-
verse — Sati.
13. Devauaguy is conceiv'd 13. Isis i.s a Virgin moth- 13. Mary conceived with-
without sin and im- er. out sin.

maculate licr.self.

Among the traditions of a virgin mother and child ia
pagan mythology a few may be mentioned :

1. Devanagu}-. virgin mother of Christna.

2. Ceres, the virgin mother of Osiris, of whom it was
claimed that he was begotten by " the father of all the gods."

3. Isis. the virgin mother of Horus the Redeemer.

4. Maia, virgin mother of the Redeemer, Sakia Muni.

5. The virgin Alcmene. mother of the Redeemer Alcides.

6. Ishtar, the revered and God -impregnated virgin mother
of Babylon.

7. Celestine, virgin mother of Zuli.^.

8. Chimalman, virgin mother of Qnexalcote.

9. Mayence, virgin mother of Hesns.

10. Semele, virgin mother of the Egyptian Bacchus.

11. Minerva, mother of the Grecian Bacchus.

12. Shing-Mong, virgin mother of the Savior Yu.

13. Myrrha, virgin mother of Adonis.

14. Coronis, virgin mother of JSsculapius.

15. Ri. the virgin mother of the Assyrian demigod.

16. To, virgin mother of an ancient demigod.

17. Latonia, the virgin mother of Apollo.

18. Prudence, mother of Hercules.

19. Somnus. the mother of Momus.

20. Ops. the mother of Saturn.

21. Ida, the mother of Jupiter, Neptune. Juno, and others.

22. Maia, the mother of Mercury.

23. Juno, the mother of Mars. Vulcan, and Hebe.

24. Hecate, the mother of Janus.

25. Amphitrite. the mother of Triton.

26. Alimede, mother of Jason or Thesus.

27. Penelope, the mother of Pan.



28. Antiope, the mother of Amphion.

29. MneiTioi?jTie, the mothev of the nine Muses.

30. Cljmene, the mother of Phaetoa

31. Phcehe. the mother of Lat<:)nia.

32. Thete.s, the mother of Achilles.

33. Calliope, the mother of Or})hens.

A majority <">f these mothers of gods or demigods were
held to he virgin.^, and it was claimed that the fathers were
gods, so of course the begetting was miraculous and hj
supernatural powe?-. These embrace but a minor poi-tion of
the cases of cohabitation between gods on tjie one hand and
goddesses and virgins on the other. Every case here given is.
of much older date than that of Jesus, the son of Jehovah and
the Virgin Mary. If they arc only myths, it is quite safe to
sav they were as real as that oi Jesu.s. Those i-est upon
mythological legends and this upon a reputed (b'efim. The
reader is doubtless c<:)mpetent to decide whether the last of all
the cases of god-begetting is the original or whethei- it is the
copy or plagiarism.

The idea or dogma of a .savioi- or redeemer to save
the woild from destruction is one that the world has be-
lieved as far baek as history extends. Ever}- religion and
every nation has had its redeemer, and these have been wor-
shiped as the saviors of mankind. The following list em-
braces a portion of them :

23. Hill and Feta. of t.lie Man

24. Universal Monarch, of the

Online LibraryDe Robigne Mortimer BennettThe champions of the church: their crimes and persecutions → online text (page 1 of 95)