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23—25. The Clergy, caught in a Premunire, acknowledge the
King supreme Head of the Church ; confirmed by Act of
Parlianent. A. D. 1531. A parliament was now called, wherein the clergy were found guilty of a premunire, because they had too much promoted the papal interest, and acted by virtue of his power, to the damage and detriment of the crown of England ; whereupon, being willing to redeem their whole estates forfeited by law, they were glad to commute it into a sum of money. The clergy of the province of Canterbury alone bestowed on the king one hundred thousand pounds, to be paid by equal portions, in the same year, say some ; in four years, say others, and that in my opinion with more probability.
But the king would not be so satisfied with the payment of the money, except also they would acknowledge him to be supreme head of the church. This was hard meat, and would not easily down amongst them : however, being thoroughly debated in a synodical way, both in the upper and lower houses of Convocation,
, they did in fine agree on this expression : Cujus (ecclesiæ Anglicane) singularem protectorem, unicum et supremum dominum, et (quantum per Christi leges licet) supremum caput ipsius majestatem recognoscimus.
This, thus consented unto, and subscribed by the hands of the clergy, (as appears at large in the Records and Acts of the Convocation,) and so presented to the king in the name of his clergy, was afterwards confirmed by parliament, and incorporated into a solemn Act for the ratification thereof.
26. The Death of Archbishop Warham. A.D. 1532. During these transactions, William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, ended his life, August 23rd : a politic person, well learned in the laws, generally reputed a moderate man, though, specially towards his latter end, a still and silent persecutor of poor Christians. He was first parson of Barley in Hertfordshire, as appears by an inscription in that church ;* thence rising by degrees to great preferment. In his will he requested his successor not to sue bis executors for dilapidations, t as having expended some thousands of pounds in repairing his several palaces. We verily believe, his request was granted, seeing Cranmer was free from all exacting in that kind. Sede vacante, John Stokesly, bishop of London, was president in the Convocation.
• WEAVER'S “ Funeral Monuments."
1 Antiq. Brit.
27. Cranmer, sent for, and, unwilling, accepteth the Arch
bishopric. Messengers are sent into Germany for Thomas Cranmer, to find him out, and fetch him home with all possible speed, the archbishopric of Canterbury waiting his acceptance thereof. The post easily doth the first, but Cranmer prolonged his journey by seven weeks, at the least, hoping that in the mean time the king might forget him, and confer the place on another, being really unwilling to embrace the preferment, having aliquid intus, “ something within him,” which reluctated against those superstitions through which he must wade in the way thereunto.* But there lieth no Nolo episcopari against king Henry's Volo te episcopum esse ; it being as mortal to refuse favours from him, as to offer injuries to him. Cranmer, therefore, now come home, must in his own defence be archbishop, who, to serve the king and salve his own conscience, used the expedient of a protestation ; whereof hereafter.
28. A Preparative to Cranmer's just Defence. The philosopher gives us this note of direction, whereby to find out a virtue ; namely, that it is accused by both extremes. Thus liberality is charged by prodigals to be covetousness, by covetous men to be prodigality. By the same proportion Cranmer appears a worthy
. prelate taxed by papists to be a heretic, by others (no papists) as guilty of superstition. We will endeavour his just defence, conceiving the protestants' cause much concerned therein ; the legality of his consecration having an influence on all the bishops made by him, that of the bishops making an impression on the priests and deacons by them ordained, and their rightful ordination deriving validity to the sacraments by them administered to all the members of the church of England.
29. Cranmer lawfully consecrated. A.D. 1533. A papist objects, t Non fuit consecratus ab ullo episcopo, sed a solo rege intrusus ; that “ he was consecrated by no bishop, but thrust in by the king alone." The falseness whereof doth appear on public record, still to be seen in the register, being solemnly consecrated, March 30th, by John Lincoln, John Exeter, Henry St. Asaph; and none that pretendeth to skill in canon law can deny the number sufficient for such a performance.
† Becanus Contro. Angl. c. iv.
• Fox's “Acts and Monuments,” page 1703. 9. 9, n. 6.
| Regist. Cranm. fol. 5.
30, 31. His double Marriage no Bar unto him. Bishops
married in the primitive Times. Another urgeth him uncapable of a bishopric as debarred by bigamy, even by the censure of the apostle, “Let a bishop be the husband of one wife,”1 Tim.iii. 2: Cranmer being successively twice married. It is answered, Such successive marriage is no bigamy; the apostle only forbidding the having many wives at once,-a fault fashionable amongst the Jews, then and many years after, by the testimony of Justin Martyr;* and the same is so expounded also by St. Jerome:* Præcipit ut sacerdotes singulas uno tempore habeant uxores.
But grant Cranmer guilty but of one wife at once, even that made him (as his adversaries rejoin) uncapable of the archbishopric, because prohibited by the canons ; to which we answer, that Spiridion, St. Hilary,8 Gregory Nazianzen,|| and many other bishops, eminent for learning and sanctity in the primitive times, are confessed married men by authentic authors, in the best times accounted no bar to their episcopal function." Yea, the Romanists are concerned to allow Cranmer a lawful archbishop, because allowing such as were consecrated by him, as Thomas Thirlby, bishop of Ely, Anthony Kitchin, bishop of Landaff, for lawful bishops ; to whom he could not derive any orders, if not legally invested therein himself.
32, 33. Cranmer took not the like Oath with his Predecessors.
The Copy of his Protestation. Pass we now to such exceptions which a modern writer (zealous against popery) taketh against him, being no fewer than nine, as if he intended what they want in weight to make up in number: 1. “ That he took the like oath to the pope which his predecessors have done, and therefore was deeply charged of perjury by Martin a papist."
answer, He took not the like oath. His predecessors took it absolutely and simply. Not so Cranmer. Not that he was guilty of any clandestine equivocation or mental reservation therein, but publicly entered a solemn protestation, remaining on record in his office ** in manner and form following:
In Dei nomine, Amen. Coram nobis, etc. Non est, nec erit meæ voluntatis aut intentionis per hujusmodi juramentum vel juramenta, qualiterque verba in ipsis posita sonare videbuntur me obligare ad aliquid, ratione eorundem, posthac dicendum, facien• In Dialogo cum Tryphone. | Ep. 83.
SoZoMenus lib. i. cap. 11. BAPTISTA MANTUANUS. || In carmine De l'ita sud.
WILLIAM PRYNNE in his “Antipathy of Prelacy to Monarchy," page 131.
* Er Regist. Cranmer. fol. 4.
dum, aut attentandum, quid erit, aut esse videbitur contra legem Dei, vel contra illustrissimum Regem nostrum Anglia, aut Rempublicam hujus sui regni Anglia, legesve, aut prærogativa ejusdem; et quòd non intendo per hujusmodi juramentum vel juramenta quovis modo me obligure, quo minus liberè loqui, consulere, et consentire valeam, in omnibus et singulis reformationem religionis Christiana, gubernationem ecclesia Anglicana, ac prærogativam corona ejusdem, reipublicæ vel commoditatem quoquo modo concernentibus, et ea ubique exequi et reformare, quæ mihi in ecclesiâ Anglicanâ reformanda videbuntur. Et secundum hanc interpretationem, et intellectum hunc, et non aliter, neque alio modo dictum juramentum me præstiturum protestor, et profiteor, etc.
This protestation he did not privately smother in a corner, but publicly interposed it three several times; namely, once in the Chapterhou before authentic witnesses; again, on his bended knees at the high altar, many people and bishops beholding him when he was to be consecrated ; and the third time, when he received his pall in the same place.
34. No Cavil, but a just Charge. Secondly. He accuseth him for having a hand in the condemnation and execution of Lambert, Fryth, and other godly martyrs. This, indeed, cannot be denied. For though I am loath that Cranmer's head should, by the weight and violence of his causeless detractors, be plucked under water where he was innocent, I will leave him to sink or swim by himself where he was guilty; only adding, “ In many things we offend all."
35. A happy Match in the Event. His third accusation. “ He was a chief man in accomplishing king Henry's divorce, which occasioned much trouble, dissension, , and war."* But he might have remembered, which also produced the peerless princess queen Elizabeth, who perfected the Reformation, and by her long, peaceable, and victorious reign, brought much honour, wealth, and renown to our nation. Besides, that divorce is generally defended by protestant writers, whose judgments this accuser will rely on when it makes for his purpose.
36, 37. A Rebels' Weapon, ill-used against a loyal Subject.
Fourth accusation. « The Lincolnshire rebels, in their six articles of their grievances presented to king Henry VIII. complain,
* MR, PRYNNE, page 132,
that this archbishop, and other prelates of his Grace's late promotion, had subverted the faith of Christ," &c.
I answer, They were the Lincolnshire rebels that said it; and this their pretended subverting of the faith was the reforming and confirming thereof; Cranmer serving the God of his fathers in that way which they termed "heresy." Well therefore might this cavil have been waved, good only to swell the volume.
38, 39. The grand Cavil answered.
Fifth cavil. Though Matthew Parker reports (as this delator+ confesses,) "that Cranmer opposed this Act of the six articles at first, then caused it to be moderated, and at last to be repealed in king Edward's days; but others seem to imply that he gave consent thereunto at first."
To this I answer three things: First. To imply is far less than to express; and such implications are often the bare surmises of a biassed apprehension. Secondly. To seem to imply, is less than to imply," nulla videntur quæ non sunt. Thirdly. The "others" by him mentioned ought to have been nominated, this author generally giving no scant measure in such wares; so that his margin (commonly overthronged) is here quite empty of quotations. Inopem nunc copia fecit. We may assure ourselves he would have alleged such other authors but for several substantial reasons, whereof this was one,-because he had none to allege. And shall an uncertain un-named nobody be believed against Cranmer, before Mr. Fox and Dr. Parker's clear testimonies in his behalf?
40. Violent no just depriving.
Seventh cavil. "He suffered martyrdom, not while he was a bishop, but when degraded and deprived." What of this? Does this tend any thing to the disgrace of him or his order, seeing such an injurious and violent degradation deprived him not of his episcopal indelible character, so that still in right he remained a bishop?
41. God send Valour at last.
Eighth cavil." He failed more in his martyrdom, by reason of his cowardly recantation, through hopes of life, and restitution to his former dignity, than any of his fellow-martyrs." Answer. It is confessed but his final constancy may well cover his intermediate failings. Better it is faintly and fearfully to bear in our body the marks of our Lord Jesus, than stoutly and stubbornly to endure the brands of our own indiscretion.
MR. PRYNNE, page 132.
† Ibid. page 133.