Latimer maintained from the pulpit that the Bible ought to be read in the language of the people. The Author of Holy Scripture, said he, “is God Himself;” and this Scripture partakes of the might and eternity of its Author. “There is no king, emperor, magistrate, and ruler … but are bound to obey … His holy word.” “Let us not take any bywalks, but let God’s word direct us: let us not walk after … our forefathers, nor seek not what they did, but what they should have done.”—Hugh Latimer, “First Sermon Preached Before King Edward VI.”
Barnes and Frith, the faithful friends of Tyndale, arose to defend the truth. The Ridleys and Cranmer followed. These leaders in the English Reformation were men of learning, and most of them had been highly esteemed for zeal or piety in the Romish communion. Their opposition to the papacy was the result of their knowledge of the errors of the “holy see.” Their acquaintance with the mysteries of Babylon gave greater power to their testimonies against her.
“Now I would ask a strange question,” said Latimer. “Who is the most diligent bishop and prelate in all England? … I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him…. I will tell you: it is the devil…. He is never out of his diocese; call for him when you will, he is ever at home; … he is ever at his plow…. Ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you…. Where the devil is resident, … there away with books, and up with candles; away with Bibles, and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at noondays; … down with Christ’s cross, up with purgatory pickpurse; … away with clothing the naked, the poor, and impotent, up with decking of images and gay garnishing of stocks and stones; up with man’s traditions and his laws, down with God’s traditions and His most holy word…. O that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine, as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel!”— Ibid., “Sermon of the Plough.”
The grand principle maintained by these Reformers—the same that had been held by the Waldenses, by Wycliffe, by John Huss, by Luther, Zwingli, and those who united with them—was the infallible authority of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith and practice. They denied the right of popes, councils, Fathers, and kings, to control the conscience in matters of religion. The Bible was their authority, and by its teaching they tested all doctrines and all claims. Faith in God and His word sustained these holy men as they yielded up their lives at the stake. “Be of good comfort,” exclaimed Latimer to his fellow martyr as the flames were about to silence their voices, “we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”— Works of Hugh Latimer 1:8 . GC 248.1 – GC 249.1
By Foo Yun Chee
2 minute read
The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
BRUSSELS, June 13 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc unit Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc(TWTR.N) and other tech companies will have to take measures to counter deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms or risk hefty fines under an updated European Union code of practice, according to an EU document seen by Reuters.
The European Commission is expected to publish the updated code of practice on disinformation on Thursday as part of its crackdown against fake news.
Advertisement · Scroll to continue
Introduced in 2018, the voluntary code will now become a co-regulation scheme, with responsibility shared between the regulators and signatories to the code.
Of all the people of Europe, none were more brave than the Hollanders. To an unparalleled degree they were tenacious of liberty, both in things civil and in things religious. From time to time during their history they had wrested valuable charters of freedom from their masters. These had been won at great cost of blood and treasure, and at all times their owners showed a disposition to cling to them firmly. From the earliest days of their history, sovereignty had resided in the great assembly of the people, and this same assembly elected the village magistrates, and decided upon all matters of great importance. The government may have been a fierce democracy, but it was a democracy nevertheless.
At length, however, Holland fell under the rule of Spain; and with the advent to the throne of Charles V. of Reformation fame, ill times began for the little land. This monarch made continued effort to drain their treasure, and to hamper their industry. He hated their ancient and dearly bought civil liberties, and did all in his power to restrict and overthrow them. The Netherlands at this time were divided into seventeen distinct and separate provinces; but this prince was determined to construct them into one kingdom, in order that he might rule them the more effectually with the iron hand of absolutism. 1
His hand it was that planted the Inquisition in the Netherlands. For reading the Scriptures, for looking irreverently at a graven image, for even daring to hint that the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ was not present in the consecrated wafer, from fifty to one hundred thousand Dutch perished according to his edicts. Well has Motley said that his “name deserves to be handed down to eternal infamy, not only throughout the Netherlands, but in every land where a single heart beats for political or religious freedom.”
But even in this life his crimes went not unpunished. “While he was preparing to crush, forever, the Protestant Church, with the arms which a bench of bishops were forging, lo, the rapid and desperate Maurice, with long red beard streaming like a meteor in the wind, dashing through the mountain passes, at the head of his lancers-arguments more convincing than all the dogmas of Granville! Disguised as an old woman, the emperor had attempted, on the 6th of April, to escape in a peasant’s wagon from Innspruck into Flanders. Saved for the time by the mediation of Ferdinand, he had, a few weeks later, after his troops had been defeated by Maurice at Fussen, again fled at midnight of the 22nd of May, 1555, almost unattended, sick in body and soul, in the midst of thunder, lightning, and rain, along the difficult Alpine passes from Innspruck into Carinthia.” Sad end indeed was this to all his greatness. Sick and tired of life, on the 25th of October, 1555, he abdicated the throne, and went to spend the rest of his life within the walls of a monastery. “This was a fitting end for a monarch who all his life had been false as water, who never possessed a lofty thought, or entertained a noble or generous sentiment.”
He was succeeded in Spain and the Netherlands by Philip II, who married Bloody Mary of England. The tastes of these two certainly ran in the same direction. “To maintain the supremacy of the Church seemed to both of them the main object of existence; to execute unbelievers, the most sacred duty imposed by the Deity upon anointed princes; to convert their kingdom into a hell, the surest means of winning heaven for themselves.” Philip hated the Christian heretic with a more venemous hatred than any of his ancestors had ever manifested toward Jew or Moor. Yet in spite of all this pretended piety, he was so grossly licentious that his liaisons are the scandal of the annals of his state.
For national and popular rights he had a loathing which he never attempted to disguise. For the people itself,—”that vile and mischievous animal called the people,”—as far as their inalienable rights were concerned he entertained a most supreme contempt. It was during his reign that the great struggle for freedom in the Netherlands broke out. “It was a great episode,—the longest, the darkest, the bloodiest, the most important episode in the history of the religious reformation in Europe.” Spain was determined to put the Netherlands in a quarantine so effective that the religious pest of Protestantism should find no entrance. In the Netherlands the scaffold had many victims, but the numbers of its converts were few indeed. In that land there were men and women who dared and suffered much for conscience’ sake. They were not fanatics. “For them all was terrible reality. The emperor and his edicts were realities; the ax, the stake, were realities; and the heroism with which men took each other by the hand and walked into the flames, or with which women sang a song of triumph while the grave-digger was shoveling the earth upon their living faces, was a reality also.”
Immediately after the accession of Philip, the terrible edict of 1550 was re-enacted. From this notable document an idea of Spain’s methods of governing her colonies may be gathered:—
“No one shall print, write, copy, keep, conceal, sell, buy, or give in churches, streets, or other places, any book or writing made by Martin Luther, John Ecolampadius, Ulrich Zwinglius, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, or other heretics reprobated by the holy church; … nor break, or otherwise injure the images of the Holy Virgin or canonized saints; … nor in his house hold conventicles, or illegal gatherings, or be present at any such in which the adherents of the above-mentioned heretics teach, baptize, and form conspiracies against the holy church and the general welfare…. Moreover, we forbid all persons to converse or dispute concerning the Holy Scriptures, openly or secretly, especially on any doubtful or difficult matters, or to read, teach, or expound the Scriptures unless they have duly studied theology, and been approved by some renowned university; … or to preach secretly, or openly, or to entertain any of the opinions of the above-mentioned heretics; … on pain, should any be found to have contravened any of the points above mentioned, as perturbers of the state and of the general quiet, to be punished in the following manner: that such perturbators of the general quiet are to be executed; to wit, the men with the sword, and the women to be buried alive, if they do not persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be executed with fire; all their property in both cases to be confiscated to the crown.”
“Thus, the clemency of the sovereign permitted the repentant heretic to be beheaded or buried alive, instead of being burned.”
All who in any way helped the heretic were in danger of, and liable to, the same punishment; for said the decree:—
“We forbid all persons to lodge, entertain, furnish with food, fire, or clothing, or otherwise to favor any one holden or notoriously suspected of being a heretic; … and any one failing to denounce any such, we ordain shall be liable to the above-mentioned punishments.” The edict went on to provide “that if any person, being not convicted of heresy or error, but greatly suspected thereof, and therefore condemned by the spiritual judge to abjure such heresy, or by the secular magistrate to make public fine or reparation, shall again become suspected or tainted with heresy- although it should not appear that he has contravened or violated any one of our abovementioned commands -nevertheless we do will and ordain that such person shall be considered as relapsed, and, as such, be punished with loss of life and property, without any hope of moderation or mitigation of the above-mentioned penalties.”
And it was further decreed “that the spiritual judges desiring to proceed against any one for the crime of heresy shall request any of our sovereign courts or provincial councils to appoint any one of their college, or such other adjunct as the council shall select, to preside over the proceedings to be instituted against the suspected. All who know of any persons tainted with heresy are required to denounce them and give them up to all judges, officers of the bishops, or others having authority on the premises, on pain of being punished according to the pleasure of the judge. Likewise, all shall be obliged, who know of any place where such heretics keep themselves, to declare them to the authorities, on pain of being held as accomplices, and punished as such heretics themselves would be punished if apprehended PRUS 61.2 – PRUS 64.4
The updated code spells out examples of manipulative behaviour such as deepfakes and fake accounts which the signatories will have to tackle.
“Relevant signatories will adopt, reinforce and implement clear policies regarding impermissible manipulative behaviours and practices on their services, based on the latest evidence on the conducts and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) employed by malicious actors,” the documentsaid.
Advertisement · Scroll to continue
Deepfakes are hyperrealistic forgeries created by computer techniques that have triggered alarm worldwide in particular when they are used in a political context.
The code will also be linked to tough new EU rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) agreed by the 27-country European Union earlier this year which has a section on combating disinformation.
In effect, companies which fail to live up to their obligations under the code can face fines of as much as 6% of their global turnover based on DSA rules. They have six months to implement their measures once they have signed up to the code.
Advertisement · Scroll to continue
Signatories will also have to take measures to tackle advertising containing disinformation and provide more transparency on political advertising.
“The DSA provides a legal backbone to the Code of Practice against disinformation – including heavy dissuasive sanctions,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton, who is leading the EU’s crackdown on disinformation, told Reuters in a statement.
Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the former calls a special operation, underpinned some of the changes in the code.
Advertisement · Scroll to continue
“Once the Code is operational, we will be better prepared to address disinformation, also coming from Russia,” she said in a statement.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jan Harvey, Susan Fenton and Richard Chang
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.