Page images
PDF
EPUB

htheir Sermon themselves.

without prejin thermien aller cherinifters Thould English Tradehout Lolo

Whereforey Latin Wolight

shop of St. Afaph, 1 and 2d Timothy, Titus, Philemon; Holdgate Bishop of Landaft, ist and 2d Peter ; Skip Bishop of Hereford, Hebrews; Thirlby Bishop of Weftminster, James, it, 2d, 3d John, Jude; Wake. man Bishop of Gloucester, and Chambers Bishop of Peterborough, Revelations.

In this Convocation Gardiner read a large Catalogue of Latin Words of his own Collection out of the New Testament, and desired, that for their genuine and native Meaning, and for the Majesty of the Matter therein contained, those Words might be retained in their own Nature, as much as might be; or be very fitly Englished with the least Alteration. Among those, some few could not be translated without Loss of Life or Lustre, and thefe are continued in our English Testament entire ; it being conceived better, that Ministers should expound these Words in their Sermons, than alter them in their Texts. The rest were not emphatical in themselves, but that they may be rendered in English without Prejudice of Truth. Wherefore Gardiner's Design plainly appeared in stickling for preserving so many Latin words to obscure the Scriptures; who, though wanting Power to keep the Light of the Word from fining, fought, out of Policy, to put it in a dark Lanthorn: Befides the P'opish Bishops multiplied the Mixture of Latin Words in the Teflament, to teach the Laity their Distance, who, though admitted into the outward Court of common Matter, were yet debarred Entrance into the Holy of Holies of these mysterious Expressions, reserved only for the Understanding of the High Priest to pierce into them. Moreover this made Gardiner not only tender, but fond to have thefe Words continued in Kind, without Alteration, because the Profits of the Rom mish Church were deeply in some of them concerned. Witness the Word Penance, which (according to the vulgar Sound, contrary to the original Sense thereof) was a Magazine of Will-worship, and brought in much Gain to the Priests, who were therefore desirous to keep that and such like Words. What Entertainment Gardiner's Motion met with, I find not; it seems so suspended in Success, as to be neither geperally received, nor rejected.

The Archbishop saw through all this, and therefore in a following Session, told the House from the King (to whom he had discovered this Intrigue) That it was the King's Will and Pleasure, that the Translation both of the Old and New Testament should be examined by both Universe ties. This was a Surprize to the Bishops, and met with much Opposition in the House, all the · Bishops (Goodrick Bishop of Ely, and Barlow Bifhop of St. David's, excepted) making their Protests to the contrary. These affirmed the Universities were much decayed of late, wherein all Things were carried by young Men, whose" Judgments were not to be relied on; so that the Learning of the Land was chiefly in the Convocation. But the Archbishop faid, He would fick close to the Will and Pleasure of the King his Master, and that the Univerfries pould examine the Translation. And here, for any Thing that can be found to the contrary, the Matter ceased, and the Convocation soon after was dissolved,

In the latter End of 1541, came forth a new Impression of the Bible, which was nothing but that of Matthews corrected. To this the Arch

bishop

accordi omeone befond no

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

this litering it up inding the formere boy reafon of the be any w

rect them infort, the Reformiy, to

bifhop had added the last Hand, mending it in divers Places with his own Pen, and fixing a very excellent Preface before it, for which Rea. fon it is called Cranmer's Bible. Durel, in his Vindic. Ecclef. Ang. Ć 27, says, this was published by Tonfal Bishop of Durham, and Heath Bishop of Rochester, to whom the King had committed that Work. To this Impression the King gave Countenance, commanding the buying and setting it up in Churches, by his Proclamation in May 1541 : For as yet, notwithstanding the former Injunctions, many Parishes were deftitute of Bibles; whether it were by reason of the Unwillingness of the Priests to have the English Bible, or the People to be any ways acquainted with it, for fear it should make them Hereticks, as their, Curates told them. He limited also the Time that it should be every where provided before All Saints Day next coming, and that upon the Penalty of Forty Shillings a Month, after the said Feast, that they should be without it: The said Proclamation also set the Price at Ten Shillings a Book unbound, and well bound and clasped not above Twelve. And charged all his Bishops and other Ordinaries to take Care for the seeing this Command the better executed. The King seconded this Proclamation with a Declaration to be read openly by the Clergy in their several Parishes, upon the publishing of this Bible, the better to pofsess the People with the King's good Affection towards them, in suffering them to have the Benefit of such heavenly Treasure ; and to direct them in a Course by which they might enjoy the fame to their greater Comfort, the Reformation of their Lives, and the Peace and Quiet of the Church ; namely, to use it with Reverence and great Devotion, to conform their Lives unto it, and to encourage those that were under them, Wives, Children, and Servants, to live according to the Rules thereof; that in doubtful Places they should confer with the learned for the Senso, who should be appointed to preach and explain the same, and not to contend and dispute about them in Ale-Houses and Taverns.

Unto these Commands of so great a Prince, both Bishops, Priests, and People did apply themselves with such chearful Reverence, that Bonner, 'now Bishop of London, caused Six of them to be chained in certain convenient Places in St. Paul's Church, for all that were so well inclined, to resort unto; together with a certain Admonition to the Readers, fastened upon the Pillars to which the Bibles were chained, to this Tenor, That whosoever came there to read, should prepare himself to be edified and made the better thereby; that he should join thereunto his Readiness to obey the King's Injunctions, made in that Behalf ; that he bring with him Discretion, honest Intent, Charity, Reverence, and quiet Behaviour ; that there pould no such Number meet together there, as to make a Multitude ; that no Exposition be made thereupop, but what is declared in the Book itself; that it be not read with Noife in Time of Divine Service, or that any Disputation or Contention be used about it: That in case they continued their former Misbehaviour, and refused to comply with these Directions, 'he should be forced, against bis Will, to remove the Occasion, and take the Bible out of the Church.

But the People could not be hindered from entring into Disputes about fome Places, so that the King had many Complaints brought him of

the

[ocr errors]

the Abuses that were said to have been risen, from the Liberty given the People to read the Scriptures; yet these Complaints produced no Severity at this Time; but by them the Popish Party afterwards obtained what they desired, the Suppression of the Bible again. For after they had taken off the Lord Cromwell, they made great (and their old) Complaints to the King of the Translation, and of the Prefaces, whereas indeed it was the Text itself that disturbed them, as that which they knew would inost effectually beat down all their Projects.

A Parliament met the 22d of January 1542, and late to the 12th of May following, in which a Complaint was made, That the Liberty granted to the People in having in their Hands the Books of the Old and New Testament, had been much abused by many false Gloffé's and Interpre. tations which were made upon them, tending to the seducing of the People, especially of the younger Sort, and the raising of Sedition within the Realm. Hereupon it was enacted by the Authority of Parliament, con whoin the King was content to cast the Odium of an Act so contrary to his former gracious Proclaination) That all manner of Books of the Old and New Testament, of the crafty, false, and untrue Translation of Tyndal, be forthwith abolished, and forbidden to be used and kept; and al that all other Bibles, not being of Tyndal's Translation, in which were found any Preambles or Annotations, other than the Quotations, or Summary of the Chapters, foould be purged of the said Preambles or Annotations, either by cutting them oui, or blotting them in such wise, that they might not be perceived or read. And finally, that the Bible be not read openly in any Church, but by the Leave of the King, or the Ordinary of the Place; nor privately by any Women, Artificers, Apprentices, Journey-Men, HusbaniMen, Labourers, or by any of the Servants of Yeomen or under, with several Pains to those who should do the contrary; as may be seen in the Statute of the 34th and 35th of Hen. VIII. c. 1.

But the King being now engaged in a War with France, and resolve ing to cross the Seas himself; the Archbishop took this Occasion to do some good Service for Religion, and to endeavour to moderate the severe Acts relating thereunto, and to get some Liberty at least, for the People's reading the Scriptures. Cranmer first made the Motion, and Four Bishops, viz. Heath Bishop of Worcester, Sampson Bishop of Chichester, Skip Bishop of Hereford, and the Bishop of Rochester, seconded him ; But IV incheller opposed the Archbinhop's Motion with all Earneftness, and the Faction combined with so much Violence, that these Bishops, and all others, fell off from the Archbishop, and two of them endeavoured to persuade him to defist at present, and stay for a better Opportunity : But he refused, and followed his Stroke with as much Vigour as he could ; and, in fine, by his Persuasion with the King, and the Lords, this Clause was inserted in the Bill, That every Nobleman and Gentieman might have the Bible read in their Houses, and that Noble Ladies, Gentlewomen and Merchants might read it themselves, but no Man or Woman under thoje Degtges ; which was all the Archbishop could obtain. And the King way the rather inclined to this, because he being now to go Abroad, upon a weighty Expedition, thought convenient to leave his Subjects at Home as caly' as might be.

Anne

[ocr errors]

se, contain Catalogue in their re in wholpen am

yndal, and hem. Amongfics of them, and in their refbooks prohibitend

Anno 1543, a Book called, A necessary Erudition for a Christian Main, was published by the King's Order. In the Preface his Majesty fets. forth, That in order to the bringing off his Subjects from fuperftitious Practices, he had published the Scriptures in the English Tongue ; that tho this Expedient was not without its Effect, yet fome People, out of a Spirit of. Pride and Contention, had wrested the Holy Text, and given Rise to Difputes, and Diversity of Opinions ; that to recover the People to Orthodoxy and Union, he had set forth this Summary of Religion, with the Advice of his Ciergy. He takes Notice, That the Church consists of two Sorts of Nien, fome to instruct, and the rest to be infructed ; that it is necessary for the firja Division to read and Rudy the Scripture; but as to the Laity, the rearling the Old and New Testament is not jo neceffary for all of that Clafs ; thut Liberty or Restraint in this Matter, is to be referred to the Laws and Government, and that the Legislature now lately had barred several Ranks reading the Bible.

This Year Bonner Bishop of London set forth Injunctions for the Clergy of his Diocese, containing Directions for their Preaching and Conversation ; together with a Catalogue of certain Books prohibited, which the Curates were to enquire after in their respective Parishes, and to inform their Ordinaries of them, and of those in whose Poflession they found them. Amongst these Books was the English Testament of Tyndal, and some Prefaces, and Marginal Glofles of Tho. Matthews in his English Bible.

And now was Grafton, so long after, summoned and charged with printing Matthew's Bible, which he, being timorous, made Excuses for. Then he was examined about the Great Bible, and what the Notes were he intended to set thereto. To which he answered, That he knew none ; for his purpose was to have retained learned Men to have made the Notes; but when he perceived the King's Majesty, and his Clergy, 7:04 willing to have any, he proceeded no farther. But for all these Excuses, Grafton was sent to the Fleet, and there remained Six Weeks; and, before he came out, was bound in 300 Pounds, that he should not fell nor imprint, nor cause to be printed any more Bibles, unless the King and the Clergy Thould agree upon a Translation. And from henceforth the Bible was stopped during the Remainder of King Henry's Reign.

The Act of Parliament did not find lo general an Obedience from the common People, as might have been expected, but that the King was forced to quicken, and give Life thereto, by his Proclamation, Anno 1546: For the Use of the Scriptures were fadly abused; they were much read, but the Effect of it appeared too much in their making use of it only for Jangling and Disputation upon Points of Religion, and to taunt at the Ignorance or Errors of Priests. Others, on the other Hand, to be even with the Gospellers (as they were called) made it their Business to derogate from the Scriptures, to deal with them irreverently, and to rhime and sing, and make Sport with them in Alen Houses and Taverns. These things came to King Henry's Ears, which made him very earnestly blame both the Laity, and Spirituality for it, in a Speech to his Parliament, December the 24th Anno 1545, wherein he lets them know, how little Charity and Concord there was amongst VOL. III.

them, them, but Discord and Diffention ruled every where. He lets the Tema porality know, that tho' they were allowed to read the Holy Scriptures, and to have the Word of God in their Mother Tongue; yet this Permission is only designed for private Information, and the Instruction of their Children and Family, but not to dispute, nor to furnish them with Expreilions of Reproach, and from thence to rail against Priests and Preachers. And yet this was the Use a great many disorderly People made of the privilege of having the Scriptures. He was sorry to find, how much the Word of God is abused, with how little Reverence it is mentioned, both with respect to Place, and Occasion; turned into wretched Rhime, fung in Ale-Houses; but much more sorry to see so little of it in thcir Practice, for Charity was never in a more languishing Condition, Virtue never at a lower Ebb, nor God never less honoured, and worse served.

But the King being still vexed with the Contests and Clamours of the People, one against another, while they disputed so much of what they read, and practised so little, in July Anno 1546, issued out a Proclamation which was the last set out under this King) prohibiting again Tyndal's or Coverdele's English New Testament, or any other than what was permitted by Parliament in an Act passed in the 34th and 35th Years of his Reign. The Books of Fryth, Wickliff, &c. were likewise prohibited, and to be delivered to the Civil and Ecclesiastical Officers, in order to be burnt, which was accordingly done at Pauľs Cross, by the Order of the Bishop of London.

But however for some Ends, the King restrained now and then the Use of the Scriptures, to comply with the importunate Suits of the Popish Bishops, yet fome are of Opinion, his Judgment always was for the free Use of them among his Subjects, and (in order to that) for · the translating and printing them.

King Henry dying Janunry the 28th, Anno 1546, Edward the VIth succeeded in the Throne, who by the pious Instigations of the Archbishop, began early to think of the Church. And being unwilling that the People of the Lord should live so long in Error and Ignorance, till a Parliament should be solemnly summoned (which for some Reasons of State, could not so quickly be called) in the mean time, by his own Regal Power and Authority, and by Advice of his Council, a Royal Visitation all England over was resolved on, for the better Reformation of Religion ; and a Book of Injunctions was prepared, whereby the King's Visitors were to govern their Visitation. A Book of Homilies was prepared for present Use, to be read in Churches to the People, to supply the Defects of their Incumbents; and that they might have some Help to lead them into the Understanding of the Scriptures, Erasmus's Paraphrase, which was translated into English, was thought the most profitable and easiest Book. Therefore it was ordered by the Injunctions, that within Three Months after this Visitation, the Bible of the larger Volume in English, and within Twelve Months Erasmus's Paraphrase on the Gospels be provided, and conveniently placed in the Church, for the People to read therein. And that every Ecclesiastical Person, under the Degree of a Batchelor of Divinity, thall within

Three

fupply theo to lead them ich was tra

« PreviousContinue »