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which I have met with, bears the date of (y) 1548.
This I have followed in the present publication; not without noticing the several variations from it, (in the Homilies cited,) which first appeared in the reign of Elizabeth, when it was republished with the Second Book of Homilies. It is due to the memory of the prelate, as well as to the cause of sound criticism, that his own words be not overpassed. They have been often altered, it will be seen, with little judgement.
The next venerable monument of our reformers, from which I have selected severa) chapters, is the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, composed under the superintendence of the same watchful primate. This work comprehends not only a system of ecclesiastical laws, but in the doctrinal part frequent positions almost in the words of our Articles. It had been begun in Henry the Eighth's time. But Fox the historian, who first published it in the reign of Elizabeth,
(v) Certain Sermons or Homilies appointed by the king's majesty to be declared and read by all parsons, vicars, or curates, every Sunday in their Churches where they have
Anno 1548. 4to,
says, (%) “nescio quo modo, quâque occasione, res successu caruit, sive temporum iniquitate, sive nimiâ eorum cessatione, quibus tunc negotium committebatur.” The design was revived in 1549; and under the year 1551 Strype informs us, that out of the number of two and thirty persons appointed to conduct it, eight were especially selected; out of the bishops, archbishop Cranmer and the bishop of Ely; out of the divines, Cox and Peter Martyr; out of the civilians, Taylor and May; out of the commonlawyers, Lucas and Goodrick. “(a) This work they plied close this winter :--this was a very noble enterprize, and well worthy the thoughts of our excellent archbishop; who, with indefatigable pains, had been, both in this and the last king's reign, labouring to bring this matter about ; and he did his part ; for he brought the work to perfection. But it wanted the king's ratification, which was delayed partly by business, and partly by enemies." While it was thus waiting for the royal confirmation, the king died. (b)" God grant,” bishop Burnet exclaims, “that
(2) Ref. Leg. Eccl. Præf. ad Lectorem.
a time may come, in which that noble design, so near being perfected in King Edward the sixth's days, of the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, may be reviewed and established !"
It appears to have been (c) “ offered to the Commons, at the beginning of the session in 1571, by the puritan members; and that the queen, jealous of their encroachment upon her supremacy, told them, she had seen their articles, and liked them well, but would do something of herself.” Under the direction of archbishop Parker, however, the work was in (d) that year published by Fox; and prefixed to it are the letters recommendatory of the sovereigns Henry and Edward. The Latinity of it has been (e) repeatedly admired. It was again
again published in (f) 1640.
rc) Dr. Winchester, Dissert. on the 17th Article, ed. Ox. 1773. p. 47.
(d) Ex officina Joh. Daij. 1571, mense Aprilis.
(s) Dr. Winchester cites an edition of 1641, which he calls the second. Dissert. on the 17th Art. ut supr. p. 52. The real second edition, which I possess, is dated 1640, "typis T. H. et R. H. impensis Laurentii Sadler habitantis in parva Britan
The Articles of Religion, formed in 1552, almost wholly by Cranmer, are the next object of notice in the present volume. (g) "Cranmer was not only officially deputed to the task on account of his rank and situation, but eminently qualified for it by his character and abilities. Indeed, when interrogated on this very point by his relentless persecutors, not long before his death, he unequivocally avowed himself to have been the author of them. It has nevertheless been usually conceived, that he derived much assistance from Ridley, who, as far as the paucity of his writings enables us to judge, seems to have no less excelled in perspicuity than in solidity of argument, in manliness of conception than in energy of expression. Latimer likewise has been considered as his coadjutor in the same undertaking. That each of these respectable bishops was consulted on the occasion, appears highly probable. Ridley, if an anecdote recorded of him be accurate, expressly stated, that he both perused the produc
nia, &c. But there are certainly copies, which bear another notification, with the date of 16+1, viz. “impensis Societatis Stationariorum." One of these is in the Lambeth Library. It is the same book with a different title-page. (6) Dr. Laurence, Serm. p. 29, et seq.
tion before its publication, and noted many things for it; that he thus consented to it, but that he was not the author of it. The venerable Latimer, who had resigned his bishopric in the reign of Henry, declining a reinstatement in it, then dwelt under the roof of the archbishop, by whom, for his virtues and integrity, he was sincerely respected and cordially beloved. To a divine of this description so peculiarly circumstanced, it is impossible to suppose a design of such importance not to have been communicated; to one who had acquired the proud title of the apostle of England, who had long been the primate's fellow-labourer in the work of reformation, and who was capable not only of improving it by his wisdom and experience, but of conferring upon it an old man's benediction. But although we allow this, and even more than this; although we adınit, that Cranmer held in the highest esteem the masculine mind of Ridley, and the plain but strong sense as well as unshaken probity of Latimer; men, who bore able testimony to the truth while in prosperity, and in adversity sealed it with their blood; yet it appears not that, from any consciousness of personal inferiority, he ever beheld them with an obsequious eye. He indeed ought alone to be