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Fox's Book of Martyrs by John Foxe

That the audience of Mollius increased


Being

brought to a second examination, he charged the pope's legate, and the inquisitors, with being merciless barbarians, and then represented the superstitions and idolatries practised by the church of Rome in so glaring a light, that not being able to refute his arguments, they sent him back to his dungeon, to make him repent of what he had said.

On his third examination, they asked him if he would recant his errors! To which he answered, that the doctrines he maintained were not erroneous, being purely the same as those which Christ and his apostles had taught, and which were handed down to us in the sacred writings. The inquisitors then sentenced him to be drowned, which was executed in the manner already described. He went to meet death with the utmost serenity, seemed to wish for dissolution, and declaring, that the prolongation of his life did but tend to retard that real happiness which could only be expected in the world to come.

_An account of several remarkable individuals, who were martyred in different parts of Italy, on account of their religion._

John Mollius was born at Rome, of reputable parents. At twelve years of age they placed him in the monastery of Gray Friars, where he made such a rapid progress in arts, sciences, and languages, that at eighteen years of age he was permitted to take priest's orders.

He was then sent to

Ferrara, where, after pursuing his studies six years longer, he was made theological reader in the university of that city. He now, unhappily, exerted his great talents to disguise the gospel truths, and to varnish over the errors of the church of Rome. After some years residence in Ferrara, he removed to the university of Bononia, where he became a professor. Having read some treatises written by ministers of the reformed religion, he grew fully sensible of the errors of popery, and soon became a zealous protestant in his heart.

He now determined to expound, accordingly to the purity of the gospel, St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, in a regular course of sermons. The concourse of people that continually attended his preaching was surprising, but when the priests found the tenor of his doctrines, they despatched an account of the affair to Rome; when the pope sent a monk, named Cornelius, to Bononia, to expound the same epistle, according to the tenets of the church of Rome. The people, however, found such a disparity between the two preachers, that the audience of Mollius increased, and Cornelius was forced to preach to empty benches.

Cornelius wrote an account of his bad success to the pope, who immediately sent an order to apprehend Mollius, who was seized upon accordingly, and kept in close confinement. The bishop of Bononia sent him word that he must recant, or be burnt; but he appealed to Rome, and was removed thither.

At Rome he begged to have a public trial, but that the pope absolutely denied him, and commanded him to give an account of his opinions in writing, which he did under the following heads:


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