But in the reign of Henry 1V. when the eyes of the Christian world began to open, and the seeds of the Pro testant religion (under the opprobrious name of Lollardy) took root in this kingdom, the clergy, availing themselves of the king's dubious title to demand an increase of their own power, obtained an act of parliament, (2 Hen. IV. c. 15.) which sharpened the edge of persecution to its utmost keenness. By that statute, the diocesan alone, without the intervention of a synod, might convict of heretical tenets; and unless the convict abjured his opinions, or if after ab juration he relapsed, the sheriff was bound cx officio, if re quired by the bishop, to commit the unhappy victim to the flames, without waiting for the consent of the crown. Ano ther and subsequent statute (2 Hen. V. c. 7.) made Lollar dy also a temporal offence, and indictable in the king's courts; which did not thereby gain an exclusive, but only a concurrent jurisdiction with the bishop's consistory. When the final reformation of religion began to advance, the power of the ecclesiastics became somewhat moderat ed ; for although what heresy is, was not then precisely de fined, yet we are told, in some points, what it is not. Thus the statute 25 Hen. VIII. c. 14. declares, that offences against the see of Rome are not heresy ; and the ordinary is thereby restrained from proceeding in any case upon mere suspicion ; that is, unless the party he accused by two credible witnesses, or an indictment of heresy be first previously found in the king's courts of common law. Yet the spurt of persecution was not then abated, but onri di verted into a lay channel. For in six years afterwards, the bloody law of the Six Articles was introduced by the sta tute Hen. VIII. c. 14. which established the six most contested points of Popery, viz. transubstantiation, commu nion in one kind, the celibacy of the clergy, monastic vows, the sacrifice of the mass, and auricular confession. These points, it seems, were " determined and resolved by the most godly study, pain and travail of his Majesty ; for which his most humble and obedient subjects, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons, in parliament as sembled, did not only render and give unto his highness their most high and hearty thanks," but did also enact and declare all oppugners of the first to be heretics, and to be burnt with fire ; and of the five last to be felons, and to suf fer death. The same statute established a new and mixed jurisdiction of clergy and laity, for the trial and conviction of heretics ; the reigning monarch being then equally in tent in destroying the supremacy of the bishops of Rome, and confirming all the other corruptions of the Christian religion.
Passing over the detail of the various repeals and revi vals of these sanguinary laws in the two succeeding reigns, we shall proceed directly to the period of the final esta blishment of the Reformation in the reign of Queen Eliza beth. By statute I Eliz. e. 1. all former statutes relating to heresy are repealed, which leaves the jurisdiction of he resy as it stood at common law : viz. As to the infliction of common censures in the ecclesiastical courts ; and, in case of burning the heretic, in the provincial synod only ; or, ac cording to Sir Matthew Hale, in the diocesan also. But, in either case, it is agreed, that the writ de hcretico combu rendo was not demandable of common right, but grantable or otherwise merely at the king's discretion. 1. Hal. P. C. 405. Tho principal point, however, was now gained ; for by this statute a boundary is, for the first time, set to what shall he accounted heresy, which is restricted, for the fu ture, to such tenets only which have been heretofore so de clared by the words of the canonical scriptures, or by one of the first four general councils, or by such other coun cils as have only used the words of the Holy Scriptures, or which shall hereafter be so declared 15y the parliament, with the assent of the clergy in convocation. For the writ de haretico comburendo remained still in force ; and there arc instances of its being put in execution upon two Ana baptists in the seventeenth of Elizabeth, and upon two Ari ans in the ninth of James I. But this odious writ was at length totally abolished, and heresy again subjected only to ecclesiastical correction, pro salute aninice, by virtue of the statute 29 Car. II. c. 9. The matter, therefore, is now brought into its proper situation, with respect to the spiri tual cognizance and spiritual punishment of heresy, unless, perhaps, that the crime itself ought to be more strictly de fined, and no prosecution permitted, even in the ecclesias tical courts, until the tenets in question are, by proper au thority, previously declared to be heretical. Under these restrictions, it seems necessary for the support of the na tional religion, that the officers of the church should have power to censure heretics, yet not to harass them with tem poral penalties, much less to exterininate or destroy them.
The fury of persecution, indeed, has been greatly allayed, both by the prudence and the humanity of modern times ; and the gradual repeal of the savage laws enacted against heretics, as well as the mitigation of cruelty in the legal punishments which were devised by barbarous ages, must be considered as a natural consequence of the advancement of civilization. With regard to one species of heresy, in deed, the legislature still thought it proper for a long while, that the authority of the civil magistrate should be inter posed. For by the statute 9 and 10 \V. III. c. 32. it was enacted, that if any person educated in the Christian reli gion, or professing the same, should by writing, printing, teaching, or advised speaking, deny the Christian religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures to be of divine authority, or deny any one of the persons in the Holy Trinity to be God, or maintain that there are more gods than one, he should, upon the first conviction of professing his peculiar doctrines, be rendered incapable of enjoying any office or place of trust, civil or military, as well as ecclesiastical ; and upon a second conviction, lie should be disqualified from bringing any action, or from being guardian of any child, executor, legatee, or purchaser of lands, and besides suffer imprisonment for three years without bail. But if, within four months after the first conviction, the delinquent should, in open court, publicly renounce his error, he was to be discharged at once from all disabilities. But even this comparatively mild law could not well be executed in an enlightened age, and seemed to be retained merely in terrorem, until it was at length repealed in the year 1813. And it is the wish of many in this land of free inquiry, of knowledge, and liberal sentiment, that our statute books may be entirely rescued from the opprobrium of penal laws in the province of religion, and that the rights of con science may be for ever confirmed, as not controlable by hu man laws, nor amenable to human tribunals. See Camp bell's Prelim. Dissert. to the Four Gospels, Suicer's Thes. vol. i. p. 120, 124 ; Lardner's Works, vol. ix. p. 223, &c.; Blackstone's Comment. h. iv. ch. 4 ; Furneaux Letters to Judge Blackstone, p. 30 ; Popular Reflections on the Pro gress of the Principles of Toleration, &e. Newcastle, 1814 ; and Edinbur0 Review, No. 51, p. 51, et seq. (z) 11 ER17'1E11, CilAnia.s Louis DE Bit UTELLE, an cmi, neat French butani ,t, was born at Paris in 1746. In the year 1772, he was appointed Superintendant of the Waters and Forests of the Generalite of Paris ; and, with the view of acquiring a knowledge of forest trees, lie applied him self with diligence to the study of botany. The first work of eritier was entitled .Mrpes Nov . The first fascicti lus, with eleven finely engraved plates, appeared in 1784. It was completed in six fasciculi, containing in all eighty four plates, with their descriptions, which were dated in 1784 and 1785, though they did not appear till some years afterwards. This circumstance gave rise to a controversy between the Abbe Cavanilles of Madrid anLL'Heritier. In order to secure some of his own discov es, L'Ileritier published them in the form of monographs, with one or two plates. The subjects were Louichea, Bucholzia chauxia, Hymezzo-pappus, and Virgilia ; and twelve of each only were printed.
After the Herbarium of Dombcy had been put into the hands of L'Heritier in 1787, with orders to publish its con tents, the influence of the court of Spain induced the French government to give orders that the Herbarium should be withdrawn ; but L'Heritier having received notice of the measure, carried it over to London, where he remained for fifteen months, chiefly under the hospitable roof of Sir Jo seph Banks. The state of his country, however, compelled him to return to Paris ; and at this time the MSS. of his Peru vian Flora was complete, sixty drawings were finished, and many of the plates engraver. During his stay in England, he had collected the materials of his Sertum Anglicuin, an unfinished work, of which he published several fasciculi, OD the same plan as his Stirpes In the year 1775, LI leritier married Madamoiselle Dore, who brought him five children, and died in the year 1794. In the year 1775, he became a Conseiller a la cour des aides, and was a long time the dean of that court. After the death of his wife, L'Heritier devoted himself to the educa tion of his children ; but his hopes were frustrated by the unprincipled conduct of his son. When he was one even ing returning from a meeting of the National Institute, in August 1800, he was murdered, and his body was found next morning, with his money and other articles of value untouched. No disdovery was ever made respecting this barbarous event ; but suspicions of the most unnatural kind were confidently entertained. See Rees's Cyclopedia.