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opened to every man capable of reading his mother tongue. It was in a great measure owing to his exertions that the reformation of the Church of England was nearly advanced to that point where it still rests. That this reformation should then have been left so incomplete, is less surprising than that it should scarcely have been resumed for 250 years. The most essential trappings of a proud popish prelacy were left uncurtailed, nor was the church sufficiently purified from popish devices and observances. The papists enumerate seven sacraments, namely, baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy order, and matrimony. Of these the Church of England has nominally retained two; but some others still linger under the shade of ancient superstition. Marriage, instead of being considered as a civil contract, retains a great portion of its former veneration as one of the seven ; and confirmation, a popish and unscriptural rite, is still in fresh observance, although no longer described as a sacrament. Cranmer has expressed an opinion that a bishop may make a priest by the Scripture, and so may princes and governors also, and that by the authority ' of God committed to them, and the people also by their election for, as we read that bishops have done it, so Christian 6 emperors and princes usually have done it; and the people, before Christian princes were, commonly did elect their bishops and priests.' Vol. I. p. 305. Mr Todd, as in duty bound, has taken some pains to show that he must afterwards have abandoned this opinion, and proceeds to utter some of the traditionary jargon about the apostolical institution of episcopacy. If in any book written by the apostles, or during the apostolical age, he can point out a passage which, either directly or by implication, sanctions the government of the church by archbishops and bishops, deans and chapters, archdeacons and chancellors, we shall then be ready to admit that the two archbishops and the twenty-four bishops driving with their stately equipages to Westminster, and, by virtue of their temporal baronies, taking their seats in the House of Lords, are the legitimate successors and representatives of those men, lowly in their outward form, but full of the Holy Ghost, who received the divine commission to go and teach all nations. According to this superannuated
Catechism set forth by Archbishop Cranmer in M.D.XLVIII.: together with the same in Latin, translated from the German by Justus Jonas in M.D.XXXIX." Oxford, 1829, 8vo. Mr Todd had previously published, in modernized orthography, the Archbishop's "Defence of the true and Catholick Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ." London, 1825, 8vo.
VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII.
bigotry, a church without bishops is no church. If all presbyters had been denominated bishops, would this substitution of one name for another have removed the impediment? The doctrine of the Apostolicals is, that there has been a perpetual succession of bishops from the time of the apostles to that of their representatives in Spain, England, Ireland, and other favoured countries; and that the influence of the Holy Ghost has thus been transmitted from one array of bishops to another, through all the vicissitudes of eighteen centuries. The foul and polluted channel through which this divine influence must so long have continued to flow, seems to occasion as little difficulty to the English as to the Spanish Apostolicals. This is but one degree better than transubstantiation; and to a man of sound understanding, unsubdued by early prejudice, it is just as easy to believe that the bishop of Rome is the lawful successor of St Peter. So absurd a doctrine must lead to a thousand vagaries; but we shall at present content ourselves with mentioning one of the speculations of Henry Dodwell, a writer of much learning, and of little judgment. The human soul, according to his conception, is a principle naturally mortal, but is immortalized by the pleasure of God to punishment or to reward, by its union with the divine baptismal spirit ; and none have the power of giving this divine immortalizing spirit, since the apostles, but only the BISHOPS.'* Some men of talents, one of whom was Dr Clarke, condescended to expose this delirious learning. It is not by arrogating to themselves the divine favour, and excluding other churches from all participation of it, that the champions of the English hierarchy will best consult the credit and advantage of their own establishment; in which the idle splendour of one class of ecclesiastics is placed in so indecent a contrast with the laborious poverty of another. As the taste for describing their church as apostolical seems to have been recently revived, we will venture to suggest that, in the present state of public sentiment, the practice can be attended with no possible benefit. In Spain, the direful tribunal of the Inquisition was regularly described as apostolical, and we hear of such a public functionary as the Inquisidor Apostolico de Aragon; but in Spain there were no dissenters from the established church, and no newspapers or reviews that deserved the name.
*Dodwell's Epistolary Discourse, proving, from the Scriptures and the first Fathers, that the Soul is a Principle naturally Mortal: sec. edit. Lond. 1706, 8vo. He afterwards published a work entitled "The natural Mortality of humane Souls clearly demonstrated." Lond. 1708, 8vo.
Of the manliness of his sentiments, Cranmer exhibited another proof in regulating the grammar-school of Canterbury. It was proposed that this seminary should only be open to the sons of gentlemen; but, interposed the archbishop, I think it 'not just so to order the matter; for poor men's children are 'many times endued with more singular gifts of nature, which ' are also the gifts of God, as eloquence, memory, apt pronunciation, sobriety, and such like, and also commonly more apt to apply their study, than is the gentleman's son delicately 'educated.' Vol. I. p. 313.
Of the lenity with which he exercised his power, at a period when lenity was little known and seldom expected, the following anecdote affords an amusing illustration, and at the same time exhibits a curious picture of clerical learning. About the same period, some of the Scottish ecclesiastics were sunk in such deplorable ignorance, that they believed Luther to be the author of a dangerous book called the New Testament.
A priest, in the north of England, hearing the commendations of the archbishop that now reached the remotest parts of the kingdom, observed to others who were delighted with them, "Why make ye so much of him? He was but a hostler, and hath as much learning as the goslings of the green that go yonder." To Cromwell these words were reported by those who resented them. The priest, in consequence, was summoned before the council in London, but not at the suit, nor, at the time, with the knowledge of the archbishop. He had to ponder upon his folly some weeks in the prison of the Fleet; and then he besought Cranmer to release him from his confinement, and the charges occasioned by it, not without acknowledging his sorrow for the unjust language he had used. Cranmer therefore sent for him, and the dialogue commenced. "Did you ever see me before this day?" said the archbishop. "No," the priest replied. "Why, then, did you mean to deface me among your neighbours, by calling me a hostler, and reporting that I have no more learning than a gosling?” The priest answered, "that he was overseen with drink." -" Well then," continued Cranmer, " oppose me now to know what learning I have begin in grammar, if you will, or else in philosophy, or other sciences, or divinity." "Pardon me," said the bewildered ecclesiastic, "I have no manner of learning in the Latin tongue, but merely in English." Then allow me," replied Cranmer, " if you will not oppose
* ‹ Taodunum inde profecti, ipsi se prædicabant ad pœnas de Novi Testamenti lectoribus ire sumendas. Nam, illa tempestate, id inter gravissima crimina numerabatur ; tantaque erat cæcitas, ut sacerdotum plerique, novitatis nomine offensi, contenderent, eum librum nuper a Martino Luthero fuisse scriptum, ac Vetus Testamentum reposcerent.' (Buchanan, Rerum Scotic. Hist, lib. xv. p. 291. edit. Ruddiman.)
me, to oppose you. You read the Bible ?"-" Yes, daily."-" Then who was David's father?"-"I cannot surely tell your Grace."-"Then if you cannot tell me that, yet tell me who was Solomon's father?"— "I am nothing at all seen in these genealogies," the priest finally replied. Cranmer now reminded him of the crew to which he belonged," who knew nothing, and would know nothing, but sit on an ale bench, and slander all honest and learned men." He dismissed him to his cure, bidding him learn to be an honest, or at least a reasonable man; and not to suppose his sovereign so absurd as to have sent a hostler on an embassy to an emperor and to the bishop of Rome.'Vol. i. p. 201.
After the accession of Queen Mary, many of the Protestants were subjected to the extreme tortures which they had felt too little compunction in applying to others. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, were first committed to the Tower, and were afterwards removed to Oxford, where they were confined in the common prison called Bocardo, and were at length condemned as obstinate heretics. A long interval elapsed before their execution. Ridley, who had been Bishop of London, and Latimer of Worcester, suffered with that noble resolution which became martyrs of the truth; but the mind of Cranmer recoiled under so great a trial of human fortitude; the vain and delusive hope of life impelling him to deny his faith, and to sign no fewer than six recantations. The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel his offences were not to be pardoned by such a sovereign under the influence of such counsellors; and on the 21st of May 1556, this learned, venerable, and aged man was committed to the flames. Rejecting his unfortunate recantations, he died in the pious profession of the Protestant faith, and suffered the cruel torture of the fire with an undaunted resolution, which his recent conduct had not encouraged his friends to expect. It is not for us, who are placed beyond the reach of such fiery trials, to condemn the weakness for which he made this atonement.
Cranmer was a person of a vigorous understanding, improved by extensive learning. His travels and studies, we are informed, had rendered him as familiar with the French, Italian, and German, as with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. In theology and the canon law he appears to have been deeply skilled; and, possessing an acute intellect and a clear head, he was capable of applying his various stores of knowledge to the most useful and practical purposes. His works, of which this biographer has given an account neither ample nor satisfactory, afford a very favourable specimen of the English style of that period; and we are glad to be informed that a complete edition is speedily to issue from the univer
sity press of Oxford. With his intellectual endowments he united many of the amiable virtues of private life: his natural disposition was mild and conciliating, and he was distinguished by the engaging affability of his manners. He was however capable of being roused to fierce indignation; for we learn from unquestionable authority, that, on a certain occasion, he offered single combat to the Duke of Northumberland. He was a zealous encourager of learning, and eminently practised the virtues of charity and hospitality. But his character, as we have already seen, was not without glaring defects. His compliances with the unhallowed wishes of the king, are partly to be ascribed to his want of that invincible firmness which could alone have sustained him under the frowns of so unrelenting a tyrant; and much influence must doubtless be ascribed to the prevailing notion of the time, that the will of a sovereign prince is not to be resisted by any of his subjects. Compliance in almost every possible case seems to have been regarded as an act of duty; nor is it easy, on any other hypothesis, to account for the long and abject submission of the English nobility and gentry to the tyranny and caprice of the house of Tudor. Although this consideration does not increase our respect for the archbishop's character, it is nevertheless obvious that the pliancy of his disposition, by enabling him to retain the favour of the king, enabled him to become a more powerful instrument in promoting the cause of learning and religion. For his deep participation in the bloody persecutions of two successive reigns, we must likewise endeavour to find some apology in the current maxims of the age to which he belonged. His own nature was far from being ungentle; but his intellect was bewildered by the doctrines, and his heart hardened by the practices, of the church in which he had been educated.
Such was the very distinguished individual whose life and character Mr Todd has laudably undertaken to delineate. Towards the close of the seventeenth century, the same subject exercised the industrious and faithful pen of Strype, to whom the ecclesiastical history of England has so many obligations. The life of Archbishop Cranmer has been written in a great variety of forms; and not many years ago Mr Gilpin endeavoured to comprise it in a popular abridgement. Much was still left for the present biographer to accomplish: although we do not participate in all his sentiments, and are not satisfied with the structure of all his sentences, we feel much kindness for the man, and are grateful to him for the opportunity which he has thus afforded us of reverting to an interesting period of history. He has for many years been an assiduous and meritorious labourer