Imágenes de páginas


Then after a long excursion the examiner comes round to the old and awkward question :

" Martin—'I tell thee yet again, that I must also examine thee of such things as be in controversy between thee and thy fellows in the Kings Bench, whereof predestination is a part, as thy fellow Trew bath confessed, and thyself doth not deny it.

Careless'I do not deny it. But he that first told you that matter, might have found himself much better occupied.''

This led to a discussion of the prisoner's opinion about election; and an examiner of less patience and perseverance (or perhaps I should say with less previous information) might have supposed that he had got all the information that he was likely to get; but instead of that, the doctor, on his return from the excursion, and in total disregard of Careless's

-first, that they did not contend at all, and then, that they contended only about predestination-breaks up new ground, and asks:

“How say you to the two brethren that are in the Kings Bench which deny the divinity of Christ? How say you to their opinion?

Careles8-0 Lord! I perceive your mastership knoweth that which of all other things I wish to have been kept from you: verily he was to blame that told you of that.”

Does all this require any comment ? I cannot think that it does; but it seems right to add a word or two respecting its literary history, which is rather curious and instructive. The full-length examination of John Careless, from which the foregoing extracts are made, was, I believe, originally published by Fox in the first edition of his Martyrology. Whether it was reprinted in any subsequent edition, I do not know; but, as Mr. Cattley, the editor of Messrs. Seeley's edition, professes to give it from the first edition, I presume that it is not in any of the intermediate ones. Certainly, it is not in that of 1596, the only one to which I have at present opportunity to refer. In that edition, every word here quoted, except the questions and answers, as to how Careless came to be in the King's Bench at all-everything that bears the least appearance of falsehood or prevarication, is omitted; and so much of the examination as is given is introduced by a paragraph respecting the truth of which the reader will be in some degree able to judge. Fox argues, that though Careless "came not to the full martyrdom of his body," yet he ought to be placed among the martyrs

"as well for that he was for the same truth's sake a long time imprisoned, as also for his willing mind and zealous affection he had thereunto, if the Lord had so determined it, as well may appear by his examination had before D. Martin. Which examination, because it containeth nothing almost but wrangling interrogations, and matters of contention, wherein D. Martin would enter into no communication about the articles of his accusation, but only urged him to detect his fellows"; it shall not be greatly material, therefore, to express the whole, but only to excerpt so much as pertaining to the question of predestination, may bring some fruit to the reader."-Edit. 1596, p. 1742.

Accordingly, Careless's declaration, " That God hath pre• destinate me to eternall life in Jesus Christ, I am most

certain, and even so am I sure that his Holy Spirit (wherewith I am sealed) will so preserve me from all heresies

and euill opinions, that I shall not die in none at all,” and a good deal of discussion of doctrine is retained; but not a word of what I have quoted, except, as I have already said, the questions and answers as to how he came to be in the King's Bench

Whether this is putting the matter in a true light, he who has read only what is here extracted, and much more he who shall take the trouble to read the whole as it is reprinted in Messrs. Seeley's edition, will be able to judge. The editor of that edition has distinguished these parts which he has retrieved from the first edition, so that it is easy to see what

was thought good at some time or other, and by somebody or other, quietly to drop out of the book. Mr. Cattley has also in this edition done another thing which, in our present inquiry, deserves notice. On one passage which I have quoted he has put a note. takes no notice of Careless's previous falsehoods, and whether he approved or disapproved them he does not state; but, when the unfortunate man declares that he “lay on no bed almost these three years,” the editor is roused even to a species of protest. To be sure, one does

9 It is quite necessary to keep clearly in mind what the “accusation' really was. When Careless said that Dr. Martin could not prove any of the articles which he had written to be heresy, and challenged him to try, the Doctor answered “But what if I should examine you of the sacra'ment and other things : should I not find thee a heretic? Yes I trow • I should ; but I have no commission to examine you of any such things *bat I am commanded by the Council to know of thee what opinions are ' amongst you in the King's Bench, for the which you do strive among * yourselves; therefore look that you tell me.-Fox, vol. viii. p. 166.


not see why that was a greater, or in any way a worse, falsehood than declaring that he knew no such person as Henry Hart; but, for some reason or other, it seems to have more powerfully affected the editor's mind, and he puts this note :

"This passage is not to be defended ; far from it. The circumstances of the case, however, should not be lost sight of. The consideration' hinted at, is evidently the risk of bringing into trouble those who had contributed to his necessities, including the keeper of the prison. And it is in reference to their kindly interposition in his behalf, that Careless praises God for his providence.' -ED.” Vol. viii. p. 167.

This, which, whatever impression it may leave on the reader, is really almost a sort of protest rather than an apology, is more than is elicited by either of the former falsehoods of John Careless, or by those of Anthony Dalaber or Thomas Greene, and more than Strype thinks it necessary to say in his account of the matter. Indeed, that account furnishes a curious specimen of the two great defects, which render the very valuable works of Strype so much less valuable than they might be-namely, prejudice and carelessness. After having mentioned the fact of Careless having written the confession, and Hart's writing on the back of it, he states that this paper

* fell by some accident into the hands of Dr. Martin, a great papist; who took occasion hence to scoff at the professors of the gospel, because of these divisions and various opinions amongst them. But Careless, before the said Martin, disowned Hart, and said that he had seduced and beguiled many a simple soul with his foul Pelagian opinions, both in the days of King Edward, and since his departure.”—Cran. vol. ii. p. 505.

Is it not strange that Strype, while referring so specially and particularly to the plainest and most clearly acknowledged falsehood of Careless, should co gloss it over ? “ disowned Hart.” Who would understand that phrase to mean, that he declared most falsely that he had never so much as heard that any such person as Hart existed ? Especially followed as it is—he “disowned Hart, and said that he had seduced," &c. Of course Careless said nothing so absurd, and so plainly contradictory of that profession of entire ignorance which he had just made, If the reader looks back to the third extract which I have just made from the examination, he will see that what Strype quotes about Hart's seducing and beguiling, is not what Careless said to Dr. Martin, but what he thought fit to observe by way of comment, when he was writing an account of his examination. The evil arises, of course, merely from want of care in reading and copying, and is just like his telling us that “ by some accident the paper of articles fell into the hands of Dr. Martin, when in the next paragraph he tells us that the noise of “such unseemly quarrelsome disputes and heat” reached to “the Council ... who sent Dr. Martin to the King's Bench to examine it 10.' And when, in the examination itself, he had Dr. Martin's own words, “I tell thee, then, I have commission, yea, and commandment from the Council, to examine thee, for they delivered me thy articles.

But, setting this aside for the present, let me recal the reader's attention to the four cases which I have mentioned. It seems to me to be quite time to ask him whether they prove anything? If not, perhaps no multiplication of such stories would avail to throw any light on the puritan doctrine respecting veracity. Let me, however, remind him of one thing—namely, that I am not charging Joye, and Dalaber, and Greene, and Careless with falsehood, or attempting to show that they were guilty of it, but merely bringing forward their own statements, respecting their own conduct, made for their own pleasure, and, without the least mark of regret or compunction, addressed to their own friends, and in three cases out of the four, set forth and

10 Cran. ii. 505. I have no wish to cavil at what Strype says, and I think no one feels more strongly than I do the value of his work; but really it is one great inconvenience of the careless way in which he wrote, that one cannoi bring one passage to correct another, without a high probability of its containing something in itself which needs correction. It may be a matter of no importance whether Dr. Martin went to the King's Bench, or wbether Careless was bronght before him elsewhere ; but that anybody who had read the examination should affirm the former, seems very strange. The first words (as the reader will see by turning back a page or two) are, “When I came into his chamber, Master D. called me to him,” &c. ; and in the course of the examination, Dr. Martin having asked him, “Where dost thou dwell?” Careless answered, “Forsooth at Coventry.” The Doctor rejoined, " At Coventry? What so far, man? How camest thou hither ? [and then, as if sensible that this word might be misunderstood to mean the place where they actually were at the moment, he added] Who sent thee to the King's Bench to prison ?” And Careless answered, " I was sent thither by a writ,” &c. How could Strype imagine that this dialogue took place in the King's Bench ?

published by those friends without the least hint of disapprobation. If he duly considers this point, he will, I think, acquit me of any want of justice or charity towards either the individuals or their sect; and will not wonder or blame me if I proceed to inquire what effect the doctrine thus developed had on some of those writers who, whether formally or not, are in fact the Historians of the Reformation.




WHAT kindled and fanned the fires of Smithfield ? What raised and kept alive the popish persecution in the days of Queen Mary? Was it her own sanguinary disposition? or was she the slave of her husband's cruel superstition? or were both the tools of foreigners, who certainly hated the English because they were heretics, but more deadly hated the heretics because they were Englishmen? Was it “wily Winchester," or was it “ bloody Bonner,” or was it something in the spirit of the church of which both were zealous members ?

Whatever may be said on any or on all of these points, there was undoubtedly one other cause; which, if it be too much to say that it has been studiously concealed or disguised, has certainly never occupied that prominent place to which it is entitled in such an inquiry. I mean, the bitter and provoking spirit of some of those who were very active and forward in promoting the progress of the Reformation -the political opinions which they held, and the language in which they disseminated them—the fierce personal attacks which they made on those whom they considered as enemies -and, to say the least, the little care which was taken by those who were really actuated by religious motives, and seeking a true reformation of the church, to shake off a lewd, ungodly, profane rabble, who joined the cause of protestantism, thinking it in their depraved imaginations, or

« AnteriorContinuar »