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woman ever sought to exert in support of the great work of the Reformer's life.

Cranmer's deliverance was a fuller development of the opinion which he had first given. The King was delighted with the book; and equally so with the person of its author, for whom he thus early conceived a strong attachment. He had indeed the rare fortune to be personally admired and loved by Henry, which accounts for the manner in which he invariably protected him from the designs and intrigues of his enemies. With all his faults, (and they were many and great,) Henry possessed a shrewd and vigorous mind, with a clear appreciation of the motives of those around him. He well knew that personal interest was the ruling power with most of them, while of Cranmer's transparency, and devotion to himself, he was fully assured. As many of the leading divines held to the Pope's dispensing power, a Commission, with Cranmer at its head, was appointed to discuss the question in the Universities. The arguments of Cranmer were eminently successful. Many divines were induced to determine "the King's cause against the Pope's dispensation." A method of solution to this otherwise endless difficulty was now opened, to the great relief of the uneasy Monarch's mind; and he was not slow in recognising the services of the man to whom he regarded himself as so greatly indebted. Substantial rewards were immediately bestowed upon him. He was also deputed by Henry, in connexion with several others, to represent his cause at the courts of the Pope and the Emperor. He failed to induce the Pope to sanction Henry's contemplated divorce, though he succeeded in convincing some of the Papal divines that the marriage was unlawful. The Pope forbade the discussion of the principal point, declaring that "friars should never discuss his power." The close relationship of the Emperor to Catherine, and the political complications of the time, almost precluded the possibility of success in that direction. Henry, however, was more than satisfied with the manner in which Cranmer discharged the duties of his embassy. It was at this time that he was privately married to the niece of Osiander, the learned Protestant divine. He thus practically declared that he was not a believer in the celibacy of the clergy. His wife did not join him in England till the year 1534; and owing to the severe measures which were enacted in 1539, she privately retired to Germany.

During Cranmer's absence, the death of Archbishop Warham furnished Henry with the occasion of promoting him to the vacant seat of dignity and danger. He instinctively shrunk from the elevation which was designed for him. He also objected to the Pope's supremacy, which, according to usual custom, he must acknowledge upon his consecration. In his opinion, the King was the sole head, and fountain of all authority, in both Church and State. He, therefore, declared that it was impossible for him to take the customary oath of allegiance to the Pope,-a declaration which no doubt would be highly gratifying to Henry. The King's legal advisers decided that Cranmer might take the oath under protest, which he ultimately consented to do. Accordingly at his consecration he protested, "that he did not admit the Pope's authority any farther than it agreed with express

teaching of the word of God; and that it might at all times be lawful for him to speak against him, and to impugn his errors when there should be occasion." In every stage of the proceedings, he repeated his declaration; and thus acquired the imperishable honour of being the first Protestant Archbishop of England, vindicating at the same time the paramount authority of the Word of God. The first service which Cranmer rendered to Henry was the public proclamation of his divorce from Catherine. This solemn act was performed on the 23d of May, 1533; and five days afterwards he as solemnly confirmed Henry's recent marriage with Anne Boleyn. The coronation of Anne was the act of Cranmer in Westminster, the splendours of which are described by himself. These proceedings incurred the deep hate of the Pope, and of the ex-C x-Queen's relations. Her daughter Mary nursed her wrath, and took her full revenge upon him in the day of her power. Though Cranmer may be thought to have been too subservient in using his ecclesiastical authority for the support of the questionable measures of Henry, the interests of the church invariably held the first place in his heart. Being fully installed in his office, he directed his attention to the state of his diocese, which was thrown into great confusion by the violent opposition of the clergy to the recent acts of the King. The pulpit was employed to excite disloyalty and hatred to the person of Henry. The Archbishop "forbade all preaching throughout his diocese, and warned all bishops throughout the kingdom to do the same." The sacred office was degraded by the rude, vicious, and incapable men who intruded into it. Under their influence, a fanatical woman pretended to have received revelations from God concerning the principal events and persons of the time. She denounced the King's marriage; and declared that signal judg ments would overtake him in the course of a few months. The general superstition and ignorance greatly aided the deception; and many believed in her frantic predictions. Inquiry into the whole case became imperative; and the wretched impostor confessed that she had been the instrument of certain designing monks. With four of these malignant instigators, she suffered the extreme penalty of the law, on the charge of treason and heresy. The thunders of the Vatican were also heard, threatening the King "with excommunication, unless he would revoke all that he had done." These warnings were to be sustained by the more substantial action of war, the Pope having " vaunted that he would set all Christendom against the King." The Emperor seemed disposed to enter into the conflict, as he had "averred that, by the means of Scotland, he would avenge his aunt's quarrel." Cranmer was to be included in the papal ban. Having fortified their position by an appeal "to the next General Council lawfully called," the Archbishop and his friends confidently awaited the result. They determined also to carry the charge into the camp of their enemies. By the arguments of Cranmer, based “on the Word of God, and the consent of the primitive church," the Parliament was induced to pass a measure abolishing the supremacy of the Pope, to which also was obtained the subscription of a large number of the clergy. This was an act of the highest importance, and was fraught with great results. Reforma

tion was impossible so long as the Pope was recognised as the "head of the church" in England.

A closed Bible, and a crafty priesthood, presuppose a deluded and degraded people. The Archbishop was painfully aware of this; and therefore determined, if it were possible, to give the people the Holy Scriptures in their own language, with the proper liberty to read them. By the judicious use of his influence, Convocation was induced to petition the King to appoint a Commission of "learned men " to furnish the required translation. To preclude objection on the ground of incapacity in the translators, Cranmer divided the New Testment into parts, and assigned a part to each of a few chosen from the most competent men of the time. The Acts of the Apostles was intrusted to Stokesley, the Bishop of London, who positively refused to perform the task allotted to him. His reply to the Archbishop's inquiry on the subject is strik. ingly illustrative of Popish hatred of the word of God. We shall insert it for the instruction of the reader, with the reminder that Popery boasts of its semper eadem: "I marvel what my lord of Canterbury meaneth, that thus abuseth the people in giving them liberty to read the Scriptures, which doth nothing else but infect them with heresy. I have bestowed never an hour on my portion, nor never will. And, therefore, my lord shall have his book again; for I will never be guilty of bringing the simple people into error." That the reading of the Word of God, by the people generally, " doth nothing but infect them with heresy," is an unchanging dogma of Popery.

Cranmer's position had now become one of extreme difficulty. The question of the succession to the throne produced new complications. Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More refused to take the required oath, which also included the question of the Pope's supremacy. More was a man of too high mark to be treated with indifference; and every available means was employed by the Archbishop to induce him to subscribe, but without success, as he persistently refused to accept the preamble to the Act which referred to the points in dispute with Rome. Cranmer next proceeded to intercede in their behalf, giving it as his judgment that it would be well to be satisfied with their willingness to support the succession. His reasons were clearly and forcibly stated. He had a salutary dread of the shedding of blood; and he anxiously endeavoured to avert so great a calamity. But the King was inexorable, declaring he "would not be satisfied with this swearing by halves;" and More and Fisher became the victims of his ferocity. These men were among Cranmer's most able opponents, yet he exerted all his influence to save them. Though the argument (based on the royal prerogative) which he employed with More was utterly fallacious, and opposed to the first principle of true Protestantism, it was one to which he submitted himself, probably on the ground that he must submit either to the will of the Pope, or to that of his own Sovereign. To do the former precluded the possibility of reformation; but it was not impossible in case of his doing the latter. It is not very surprising, therefore, that he should endeavour to induce all others to adopt a similar course. The revival of provincial visitations by the metropolitan had reference to the same object. His purpose was well

understood by his enemies, and met with the decided opposition of Stokesley and Gardiner, who envied his success. Gardiner was a skilful polemic, a bold intriguer, and an unscrupulous foe. He never ceased, by every possible means, to embarrass the movements of the Archbishop. Wolsey had died in degradation, with the words of reproach and admonition on his lips. It was hoped that a similar fate might be brought down upon the man who was now in the ascendant with the King. It is true that Henry did not hesitate to sacrifice any person who became really obnoxious to him. But Cranmer was a different man from Wolsey; and the difference was fully appreciated by Henry. An open and unselfish character was his security with his politic and selfish master. Under other circumstances, Gardiner had the diabolical satisfaction of being a principal instrument of his destruction; the guilt of which he would never have lived to incur, if Cranmer had been a man of a similar spirit to himself.

In the course of the same year (1535) the greedy eye of Henry was turned to the rich monasteries with which the country abounded; and he determined to make them his prey. A royal mandate for their inspection was issued. Cranmer would undoubtedly support the movement: he well knew that their vast revenues were worse than wasted upon indolence and licentiousness. What a means of usefulness (he would reflect) would be obtained, if only a part of these resources was diverted into a proper channel! The monasteries were nurseries of vice, and a principal support of Popery in the land. To reform them was hopeless. Their dissolution was the only alternative. The visitation was intrusted to Cromwell, whom Henry had constituted his lay representative in all church matters. A fatal list of charges against the doomed fraternities was soon presented to Parliament. The vicious and unbridled character of the monks was fully exposed. Their revenues were enormous; and the insatiable Monarch exulted over their acquisition. But the Archbishop had to be satisfied with the demolition of those nests of iniquity.

In this same year, Cranmer effected the first great step "in the reformation of doctrine and worship" by obtaining the Royal assent to a series of Articles of Religion, and also their acceptance by Convocation. These Articles were confused and contradictory in their character. Baptismal "remission of sins," and the doctrine of penance, were retained by them; and the "real presence," in the Popish sense, was avowed in the most positive form. The last Article was directly opposed to these errors. It declared that justification "signifies remission of sins, and our acceptance and reconciliation into the grace and favour of God; that sinners attain this justification through contrition and faith, joined with charity; that the mercy and grace of the Father, promised freely for Christ's sake, and the merit of His blood and passion, be the only sufficient and worthy causes thereof." Well does the annalist say, "The sun of truth was now but rising, and breaking through the thick mists of that idolatry, superstition, and ignorance that had so long prevailed in this nation and the rest of the world, and was not yet advanced to his meridian brightness." There was, however, the promise of day. Clearly-defined Articles of Faith are

now strongly opposed by many, as inconsistent with the advancing light of the age, and the views of personal liberty which are being entertained. This objection wears an exceedingly suspicious aspect, and seems designed to cover any and every form of unbelief in which men may be pleased to indulge. We have only to be reminded that truth is unchangeable. If the great doctrines of Christianity are true and binding, they are so for all time. Every corporate body has the perfect right to ordain its own terms of fellowship. If men accept a position on certain recognised conditions, they are under a moral obligation to comply with those conditions, or to retire from that position. Were there but one corporate body, and all men were required to be members of it, the terms of fellowship might properly be less stringent on all points, saving those which might be regarded as essential. But where association is voluntary, as in the churches of this country, the terms of it may be distinctly defined, and positively maintained, on every principle of truth and justice. The opinions of men may change; but they should ever be prepared to accept the consequences of such change. It is a violation of all our ideas of right that men should desire to retain, and to employ, a position, in order to destroy the very principles on which they originally accepted it. If men feel the bondage of a doctrinal creed, emancipation is always within their power. Let them retire, and sacrifice their emoluments in support of their newly-adopted opinions. If, in the case of a State-endowed church, this latitude of belief or unbelief were allowed, such a church must inevitably degenerate into a mere institution for the maintenance of good manners; and would very ineffectually accomplish that minor object. But if the State endow a church for the preservation of a pure Christianity in the land, it has a perfect right to demand that those who accept its endowments shall seek to accomplish its object; or, in the case of refusal, quit its pale.

Cranmer's Articles had reference also to the worship of the church. The superstitious observances of Popery were seen by him to be subversive of all true Christian worship, and to involve the people in gross idolatry. But the customs of ages are obstinately held by a blind and degraded people; and an interested priesthood will defend them with the utmost tenacity and resolution. It was exceedingly difficult to make an inroad upon the demoralizing ritual of the old religion. The use of images, and prayers to saints, were continued. A more successful attempt was afterwards made, when a Commission was obtained to inquire into the whole order of worship; and to furnish a popular exposition "of the Commandments, the Lord's prayer, the Creed, and the grounds of religion." The politic Winchester, without committing himself to a positive opposition to the work, debated every point with his usual skill and resolution. The removal of abuses was slowly and painfully accomplished. The heart of honest Latimer was sickened by the obstacles which were encountered. As for myself," he

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says, "I can nothing else but pray God, that when it is done, it may be well and sufficiently done, so that we shall not need to have any more such doings; for verily, for my part, I had lever be poor parson of poor Kynton again, than to continue thus Bishop of Worcester; not

VOL XIV.-FIFTH SERIES.

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