Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Blood Of Saint Edmund Campion Jesuit Martyr At The Hands Of Protestants

After Mr. Campion was executed, and the butchery finished, the hangman, taking hold of Mr. Sherwine with his hands all bloody, said to him, thinking to terrify him, come, Sherwine, take thou also thy wages. 
But the holy man, nothing dismayed, embraced him with a cheerful countenance, and reverently kissed the blood that stuck to his hands; at which the people were very much moved. 
Then getting into the cart, he employed some time in prayer and contemplation, having his eyes shut and his hands lifted up to heaven. After which, he asked if the people looked for any speech from him ? Many of the . people, and some also of the more honourable sort, answering yes, he began, with a manly courage, and a loud voice, first to render thanks to each of the three persons of the eternal trinity for the mercies and blessings bestowed upon him ; and then was going on to give an account of his faith, when Sir Francis Knowles interrupted him, and bid him confess his treason against the queen.
Mr. Sherwine, with great constancy, replied, I am innocent of any such crime. And when he was still farther pressed to acknowledge himself guilty, he said, I have no occasion to tell a lie; it is a case where my soul is at stake; 
and so still persisted to maintain his innocence, adding, that although in this short time of mortal life he was to undergo the infamy and punishment of a traitor, he made no doubt of his future happiness, through Jesus Christ, in whose death, passion, and blood, he only trusted.
' Then he made a sweet prayer to our Lord Jesus, acknowledging the imperfection, misery, and sinful wretchedness of his own nature, still protesting his innocence from all treasons and traitorous practices; and that his going out of this realm beyond the seas, was only for his soul's health, to learn to save his soul. And being again tempted by Sir Francis Knowles, he answered in this wise;
Tush, tush, you and I shall answer this before another Judge, where my innocence shall be known, and you will see that I am guiltless of this.
Whereupon Sir Francis said, we know you are no contriver or doer of this treason, for you are no man of arms ; but you are a traitor by consequence. But Mr. Sherwine boldly answered, if to be a catholic only, if to be a perfect catholic, be to be a traitor, then am I a traitor.

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