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political; and to the opinions of himself and his companions on such subjects, I hope to direct the reader's attention in some succeeding papers. In this and the preceding, my object has been to give some specimens of the style adopted by the writers whose particular opinions I hope hereafter to exhibit and discuss. "I think I shall not be charged with bringing forward for that purpose obscure and unaccredited men; and that those who have any acquaintance with the manners and literature of the period will admit that something beside the general custom of the age is required to account for what I have quoted-much more for what I have omitted.
It is well enough known that on the accession of King Edward VI., it was resolved by those who were really in power, to carry on the work of Reformation (in the most comprehensive sense of that term) with a high hand; and they acted accordingly.
But it is equally certain, and it is most important to bear in mind, that all through the reign of that monarch, and especially during the latter part of it, there was a party, influential if not numerous, who not only thought that the government did not go on fast enough in the work, but felt that the people, whether attached to the old religion, or only disgusted and alarmed at the selfish rapacity of some who were forward in support of the new, did not go with them at all. I earnestly entreat the reader to consider and reflect on this fact, which is too frequently overlooked.
To say nothing of the space which it would require, it would lead us from our purpose to enter into details respecting the causes of this; but one effect I wish to bring before the notice of the reader, because it has an important bearing on the subject with which we are engaged. I mean the agitation (as it would now be called) which was carried on
by some of the puritan leaders, who with incessant and urgent vehemency were threatening the judgments of God upon the land. Those who are at all conversant with the writers of that period will require no proof or illustration of this ; but some of them may not have reflected on it.
At all events, for the sake of others, I am tempted to give an extract from a very rare work by John Knox; who, beside his own performance in that kind, has left a remarkable testimony to the fact, in “ A Godly Letter sent too the fayethfull in London, Newcastle, Barwyke, &c." and which purports to have been printed in July, 1544. The passage which I extract is described in a marginal note as a paryson betwixte England and Judah before their destruction ;” and it follows a sketch of the sin and punishment of the Israelites :
“But before we proceаde further in this matter, it shall be profytable to se how these procedinges doth agree with our estate and tyme. And firste that we had not Gods woorde offered vnto vs, will none (excepte arrant papist) alledge. We had a kynge off so godly disposition towardes vertew, and chiefly towardes Gods truthe, that none from the begynninge passed hym, and to my knowledge, none of hys yeare did euer matche hym in that behalfe, iff he might haue bene lorde of hys owne will. In this meane tyme, if synnes did abound, let euery man accuse hys owne conscience for here I am not mynded to specefie all that I knowe, neither yet is it necessarye, seynge some crymes were so manifeste and so heighnous that the earthe colde not hydde the innocent bloud, nor yet could the heauens without shame, behold the craft, the deceat, the violens and wronge, that openly was wrought. And in the meane ceason, the bande off God was busye ouer vs, and his trew messingers is kept not sylence. You know that the realme off Englande was visited with straunge plagues and whether that it was euer prophesied, that the worse plagues were to folow, I appeale to the testemony of your own conscience, but what ensewed here vpon? Alas I am ashamed to reberse it, vniuersal contempt of all godly admonitions, hatered of those that rebuked their vyces : Autoresing of suche as colde invente most vylanye agaynste the preachers of God. In this matter I maye be admitted for a sufficient witnes, for I hard and saw, I vnderstood and knew, with the sorow of my hart, the mani. fest contempt and the crafty deuices of the deuil against those most godly and learned preachers, that this last Lent, Anno. 1553. were apoynted to preache before the Kynges maiestie, as also against all others, whose tounges were not tempered by the holy water of the courte; too speake it plainlye, who flattering agaynste their owne conscience, coulde not saye, all was well and nothinge neded refor. mation.
What reuerence and audience was geuen vnto preachers, this laste Lent, by such as then were in autoritie, their owne countinaunces declared assuredly, euen suche as was geuen to Jeremye, they hated suche, as rebuked their vyce, and stubbernlye they sayde : We will not amende, and yet howe boldely theyr synnes were rebuked, suche as were presente, can witnes with me, almoste there was none, who dyd not prophesye and plainly spake the plagues that are begonne, and assuredly shall ende. Mayster Grindall plainlye spake the death of the Kyoges maiestie, complayninge vppon byshousholde seruauntes, who, neyther feared to raile againste the woorde off God, and agaynste the trewe preachers of the same.
That godly and feruent man mayster Leuer, playnlye spake the desolacion off thys common wealthe. And mayster Bradforde (whome God for Christes hys sonne sacke comforte to the ende) spared not the proudest of them, but boldely declared, that Goddes vengeaunce shortlye shoulde strycke, those that then were in arc. toritie, because they lothed and abhorred the trew worde of the euerlastinge God, and willed them to take example by a noble man, who became so colde in hearing God's worde, that the year before his death, he wold not disease himselfe to heare a sermon. God punisshed hym (sayde that godly preacher) and shall he spare you that be dubble more wicked ? No, ye shal saye, will ye, or will ye not, ye shal drinke of the cup of the Lordes wrathe, Judicium domini, Judicium domini. The iudgement of the Lord, the iudgement of the Lorde, cryeth he with a lamentable voyce, and weaping teares. Master Haddon, most lernedly opened the causes of the byepassed plagues, and assured them, that the worse was after to come, if repentaunce shortly were not founde.
Muche more I harde of these foure, and of others, which now I maye not rehearce, and that (which is to be noted) after that the hole counsail had sayd they wolde heare no mo of their sermons they were vndiscrete felowes, yea, and pratynge knaues. But I will not speake all; for yf God contynew me in this troble, I purpose to prepare a dysshe, for suche as then ledde the ryng, yea, who but they ? but nowe they haue bene at the skoole of Placebo, and ther they haue lerned amongst ladyes to daunse as the deuill lyst to pype. Agaynst those whom God hath stryken seing now resteth to them no place of repentaunce, nothing mynd I to speake. But such as lyue to this dai, wold be admonisshed that he that hath punished the one, wil not spare the rest."-Sig. A. vii.
I say nothing here of Knox's own predictions or threatenings, uttered after the time when he considered the restoration of idolatry and superstitution as at once the effect and the cause of those divine judgments which were in the course of being poured out on guilty England. My object is rather to show the strain which had been adopted at an earlier period, in order that it may be borne in mind and compared with subsequent matters, and for this the single quotation which I have given may suffice. Indeed I ought, perhaps, to apologise for offering such long extracts from printed books to occupy that part of the Magazine which is devoted to "original” matter? But I sincerely believe that some of the extracts which I have already given, and some now on my table, are, to most readers, quite as “ original” as anything that could be laid before them ; and I am sure they are much more interesting and instructive than anything really “ original ” which I could offer. They are chiefly taken from books which are not easily obtained, and in fact so seldom met with, that to many who are well versed in history they are unknown except by name, or some very few references or extracts. Some such books, which are even thus known to but few, and perhaps only imperfectly or erroneously estimated by extracts which have been given from them, but which happen (from circumstances which I need not particularize) to have fallen into my hands, I may perhaps bring before the reader; for to say the truth, I rather wish him to understand that, under pretence of apology, I am not so much asking forgiveness for past transgression, as indulgence for the future. For what else can I do? We are come to a very important questionone which, if we desire to understand the history of our country, and, in particular, of our church, must be fairly
What was the real state of the question between the English Government and the Exiles? Was the government simply and purely persecuting the innocent ? Were the exiles simply
and purely testifying the truth, and suffering for the gospel ?
And yet, if anybody asks the question, the first and most natural answer is to tell him to look at the acts, and read the works, of the exiles. But if he replies, “ Where shall I learn their acts, and how shall I get their works ?” one can only answer, “ You must do the best you can.
If you take the trouble to pick up information about them, you will find by degrees that almost everything purporting to be an account of their actions is very defective, and generally much discoloured, if not actually depraved, by party and prejudice on one side or another; and that in too many cases, the writer who has preserved the fact, has done it to serve a turn, and only gives you what suits his own pur
1 Of course the remarks which follow with reference to this point are not strictly applicable to the Essays when collected into a volume ; but I let them stand because I am as desirous now, as I was then, to convey the spirit of them to the mind of the reader.
pose; and as to their works, you must go to public libraries, or to the few collectors of scarce books, who have gleaned a few handfuls. Sometimes you may pick up one or two from booksellers at less than their weight in gold.” So that it really does appear to me, that any one who undertakes to write about those persons and that period, cannot, in justice to his reader, his subject, or himself, do otherwise than extract largely from books which, though now scarcely known except by name, are the sources of that knowledge which we have, and may be made to furnish a great deal
Let me, however, before I proceed to any such extracts, say a few words in illustration of what I have just now remarked on the difficulty of collecting and clearly understanding even the historical facts connected with those who took a very prominent part in ecclesiastical affairs; for this is a point that is quite worth a page of exemplification; and a striking instance is offered in the case of a prelate whom I introduced in the preceding paper, and whose principal work is one of the very first that should be noticed in an inquiry respecting the politics of the exiles. Dr. John Ponet, as I have already told the reader, on the authority of Strype, after having been chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer and King Henry VIII., was elevated to the see of Rochester, and thence, on the deprivation of Bishop Gardiner, translated to Winchester. I gave also Strype's statement that
one of the best and eminentest sort of divines," and “one of those many brave shoots that the university then produced?” I am not aware that any life of Bishop Ponet has been written; and Strype is of course the writer to whom most readers would look for information; and I believe that his works furnish more than is to be found collected any. where else. That they contain a good deal will be obvious from the following extract from the General Index to Strype's works :
I might have added, on the same authority, that on his going to Winchester, he “had 2000 marks settled upon him: the rest of the temporalities of this rich benefice being taken into the king's hands."Mem. II. ii. 166 ; but we were then only concerned with his style as a writer ; and any little arrangement that might bave been made with regard to his preferment had nothing to do with that question. Coming to look at him as a politician the case is somewhat different.