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rather than of princes,* allowed himself no unreasonable liberty of speech and could say to Diognetus, "They [the Christians] are in the flesh, but they do not walk according to the flesh; they dwell on the earth, but are citizens of heaven; they render obedience to the laws that are enacted, and in their own lives they overcome the laws." Irenæus argues at length to prove from Holy Scripture that good kings and bad are equally under the sovereign control of God, who is as much the Ruler of princes as He is the Creator of men; and that, surrendering our cause to the justice of the King of kings, we should obey these earthly rulers.

The refusal of Christians to participate in pagan festivities, and to swear "by the fortune of Cæsar," or to bid him long life in the name of Jupiter, exposed them to suspicion of disaffection to the Emperor; and again and again Tertullian defends his brethren from such a charge. "They speak evil of us," he says, "in respect to the majesty of the Emperor, but never have Christians been found among the followers of an Albinus, a Niger, or a Cassius," notorious conspirators, or enemies of the Cæsar;-"but such have been the very persons who now turn out to be his enemies, who have all along sworn by the genius of the Emperor, who have offered victims for his safety, and who have often condemned the Christians. But the Christian is the enemy of none, much less of the Emperor, whom he knows to be appointed by his God, whom he is bound to love, and revere, and honour, and whose welfare he must ever promote, with that of all the Roman empire. We, therefore, honour him so far as is lawful for us, and good for him, regarding him as a man to be honoured next after God, and, whatever he may be, by God appointed, and having none but God superior to himself. This is what Cæsar should desire. For thus he is held to be greater than all men, while yet he is less than God: nay, he is greater than his own gods, for of them he disposes as he will. Therefore, we offer sacrifices for his health, offering them to Him who is both his God and ours; but we offer sacrifice in the way that God commands, which is prayer, and nothing more nor less. For God, Creator of the universe, needs not the smell of incense, nor the sight of blood that any man may shed."§ And the most ancient ecclesiastical Constitutions that are extant, ordained subjection to be rendered to all kings and princes in things pleasing to God, as to His ministers, and punishers of the wicked. They enjoined the payment of all due respect, tax, tribute, honour, support, service, according to God's command.||

Here we must stop. The grandeur of submission to secular authority irrespective of secular considerations, in pure obedience to the command of God, and under that influence of godliness which penetrated the hearts of men, and which guided their conduct in every relation of life, gradually wore away. It is a painfully suggestive truth that, after the obtrusive patronage of the church by Constantine, a different spirit possessed even the most eminent Christian teachers. We turn

Just. Mart., Apologia, i., 12.
Id., ad Diognet., vi.
Irenæi Contra Hareses lib. v., cap. 24.
Const. Apost., lib. iv., cap. 13.

Id., ad Scapulam, cap. ii.

to the discourses of some of them on the Scripture quoted at the commencement of this article, and find, for example, that Athanasius, who sat in the Council of Nicæa, with Constantine on his throne, and the imperial guardsmen standing near, quotes it incidentally, but in relation to another topic, and on the main point is silent. Jerome also quotes in like manner, and is silent in like manner. Augustine enjoins prayer for kings and others in power, but so insists on the secondary motive, the desire of peace and quietness, as to slight, if he does not forget, the higher obligation. Chrysostom, a stern courtier, almost seems to make such prayer an act of policy, rather than an expression of holy obedience and love. So passed the fourth century of our history; and, after that, pure loyalty faded quite away in the higher places of the church, and the world was quickly scandalized by conflicts of the two powers, of the world and of the church, until men forgot that loyalty to law and authority, wherever the authority is vested, and by whomsoever the laws are administered, is a religious duty. The example and the precepts of our Lord and His inspired servants seem to have been overlooked, but they remain unchanged, and we who are happily free from the bondage of Popery, which is essentially disloyal,—we who have rejected every lower standard, and who take every uninspired teaching barely on its own merits,―are thrown back upon the imperishable standard of the Word of God.

If the magistrate, whether sovereign or subordinate, was the minister of God in the age of the Herods and of Nero, when the New Testament was written, he cannot now be less authorized or less responsible than then. If God was above the magistrate in the days of Nero, and if the Lord Jesus was "King of kings, and Lord of lords," when John the Divine was an exile for His name's sake, in the isle of Patmos, under the tyranny of Domitian, He is not less the "only Ruler of princes" at the present moment. If He has relinquished the Sovereignty of nations, and left it either to kings, or presidents, or citizens to govern without Him, then mankind have no known sufficient code of civil duty, and must fight out their difficulties with kings and parliaments as best they may. The world, at this rate, may renounce all anciently recognised relations; legislators, magistrates, and people, if God has ceased to reign, may snatch such weapons as they can find, and openly or secretly, for in the desperate warfare any weapon might then be accounted lawful,-by force or craft may struggle in the general confusion for ascendency. If earth is made like Tartarus, then are political parties, like Ixions, left to toil with selfish projects, until, worn out with their sufferings, the world shall cry to Heaven again for help. Heedless, therefore, of the clamour of political parties, and remembering that their legitimate antagonism is an acknowledged benefit in a free country like our own, and that no country can be free until political partisans have liberty of debate and action,-yet within limits which, though not prescribed by statute, are safely marked by mutual discretion, we maintain that force and craft are ever to be resisted by the power constitutionally appointed. While the dominion of law is thus upheld by responsible authorities, Christian people should make it matter of conscience to be governed by the letter and spirit of God's

aw, and count it their duty to uphold the law of the land, when public safety is threatened by secret conspiracy and by criminal violence. When so grave an exigency occurs that a partial suspension of British law becomes necessary for common safety; when military and naval forces have to be employed to protect our cities; when the police is itself often subjected to violence; and when combinations of artisans, perhaps well meant at first, are at length betrayed into deeds of darkness, the church of God must surely have some duty to perform. Humanly speaking, Nero may be thought to have deserved no man's prayer; but even humanly speaking, our Sovereign and her responsible advisers do certainly deserve ours. Lawlessness and infidelity may go hand in hand, but the Christian church is able to oppose an effectual check to them. Methodism-whose Founder declared in a time of national trial, that he loved King George no less than his own fatherdoubtless now has in its classes and congregations not a few praying people, whose direct approaches to the mercy-seat, and whose daily influence in the heart of English society, cannot but exert a salutary power; and as the revival of religion in the last century was the saving of England, so may Methodism again fulfil its original mission, and by a faithful use of all means within its power win over multitudes to Christ, whose love alone can "soften the obdurate crowd."



THE Reformation in England was based on the word of God, though it must be admitted that political elements exerted a marked influence in connexion with it. Henry VIII. would gladly have been relieved, even by severe means of repression, from the difficulties which the agitation caused him; but his quarrel with the Pope kept him in a state of the greatest uncertainty as to the course which he should adopt. Neither the intrigues, nor the power, of the magnificent Wolsey could arrest the diffusion of the Scriptures and the writings of the German Reformers. The new movement was greatly aided by Cromwell, a man of remarkable versatility of talent; and who, as the friend of Cranmer and the Reformation, exerted great influence in the reign of Henry, though he ultimately met the fate of so many of the favourites of that capricious monarch. Tyndale and Frith may be regarded as the representatives of the earlier stage; while Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were the leaders during the formative period of the great work.

The position of Cranmer distinctly points him out as the first man in the English Reformation. Latimer was much more a man of the people; and Ridley might possibly excel him in quickness of apprehension, while he also presents a beautiful character of Christian purity and elevated consistency. He was "wise of counsel, deep of wit, and benevolent in spirit." The history of Cranmer does not abound with grand and startling incidents, which thrill our hearts and command our admiration. He possessed neither the lion spirit of Luther, nor the heroism of Zwingli, nor the master-mind and will of Calvin. His

sphere of action was widely different from theirs; and it is not improbable that the attributes which they so conspicuously displayed would have wrecked the delicate enterprise which he had to conduct. Cranmer's simplicity and conscientiousness, in his relations with the brusque Henry, remind us of the serenity and painful scruples of John Howe in his relations with the Protector, though it must be freely allowed that he was destitute of the princely mental gifts which distinguished the great Puritan. The political and personal complications under which the Reformation in England was unfolded, deprive it of much of the grandeur which accompanied the work on the continent of Europe. The part which was performed by any of its leading men was long overshadowed by the presence and power of the sovereign; and the less rigid and yielding character of Cranmer was possibly the best adapted to the peculiar exigencies of the undertaking.

The subject of our paper descended from a family which dated its history from the times of the Norman conquest. His father was a gentleman in easy circumstances in the county of Nottingham, who desired to have his son well trained in all manly exercises, but was also wishful that he should become a scholar. With this object he was placed under the care of a parish priest, who, it appears, was much better qualified to chastise and subdue his pupil than to instruct him in the rudiments of a liberal education. To what extent the hesitating and pliant disposition of Cranmer, in after years, may be attributed to the severe treatment of this harsh pedagogue, is a question for the philosophers. We are disposed to think there was a very intimate connexion between the two. The freer and nobler instincts of our nature are not unfrequently crushed by the undue severity of parents and incapable instructors, who seek to hide their incapacity under the alleged stolidity of their pupil, which must be driven away by the frequent use of the rod. Such discipline more frequently drives away inde pendence and generosity from the heart.

He was born at Aslacton on the 2d of July, 1489. Having lost his father early, he was sent by his mother, at the age of fourteen, to study at Cambridge, where "barbarism still prevailed." His earlier years were occupied in the study of the schoolmen and the sophists; but his impartial and inquiring mind was utterly dissatisfied with their dry and profitless disquisitions. He was thus prepared to receive the more practical and valuable productions of Erasmus, Lefevre, and Luther. His open and generous bearing won for him the esteem of his college, and his superior attainments were rewarded, in his twenty-second year, with the honours and emoluments of a fellowship. His further advancement was seriously endangered by an imprudent marriage, which, no doubt, was the result of mutual and honourable affection. The removal of his wife by death, a few months after their marriage, again opened his way to preferment, and honours rapidly flowed in upon him. He was an earnest and careful student, devoting his time to the best authors within his reach. He now began to apprehend the truth, that the religious questions which were being so earnestly discussed in the University could only be settled by the verdict of

Scripture; and, with characteristic caution, before committing himself to any particular party, he applied himself for three successive years to the conscientious study of the Sacred Volume, and thus broadly laid the foundation of his future knowledge of divinity. Having declined a flattering offer of an important position in the college which Wolsey was desiring to found at Oxford, he was made successively Doctor and Professor in Divinity, and University Preacher and Examiner. In this latter capacity he soon became a terror to those who were ignorant of the contents of their Bible. "Christ sendeth His hearers to the Scriptures, and not to the church," he was used to say; and he was bold enough to do the same, to the great mortification of many, though Dr. Barrett was afterwards generous enough to acknowledge his obligations to him for his enlightened fidelity: "For," he said, "I found the knowledge of God in the Holy Book which he compelled me to study."

The current of Cranmer's history was changed by the judgment which he ventured to express on the great and perplexing difficulty of Henry's marriage with the widow of his deceased brother, a union of selfishness and policy. In consequence of his absence from Cambridge, he took no part in the Commission which was appointed to investigate the question, though he was included amongst its members. But, in one of his progresses, the King remained at Waltham; and Fox and Gardiner were entertained at the house of Cranmer's relative, to whom he was on a visit at the time. The all-absorbing topic-the King's contemplated divorce-was introduced; and Cranmer's opinion on the subject was earnestly solicited. He frankly declared that he considered the King's advisers were entirely wrong in the course they were pursuing. By referring the case to the Pope they exposed themselves to endless delays and vexations; whereas the real question was, "What says the Word of God? If God has made a marriage of this sort bad, the Pope cannot make it good." To the inquiry, "How shall we know what God has spoken ?" he replied, "Consult the Universities; they will discern more surely than Rome." This new judgment on the case was immediately reported to Henry, who hailed it as affording a hope of deliverance. "Where is Dr. Cranmer?" he exclaimed. Send and fetch him immediately. If this had only been suggested to me two years ago, what expense and trouble I should have been spared." Cranmer was now to pass from the quiet of university life to the intrigues and dangers of an unscrupulous court, where he was to perform a part of the greatest delicacy and importance, and to exert an influence, the results of which it was impossible to calculate. He shrunk from a position so unsuited to his inclinations; but the command of Henry was imperative. His appearance and bearing greatly pleased the King; who, in his own style of address, said, "I see you have found the breach through which we must storm the fortress." He was directed to devote himself to a scriptural investigation of the whole subject; and thus bring the difficult cause to a satisfactory conclusion. The requisite leisure was found during his residence in the house of Sir Thomas Boleyn, where he formed the acquaintance of Sir Thomas and his daughter Anne, the results of which were apparent in the influence which that unfortunate


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