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he commanded that the infant should be saved. This atrocious falsehood is disproved by authentic documents. While Henry continued attached to a wife, his attachment was strong, and he had not lived long enough with Jane Seymour to be weary of her. If, indeed, he ever felt a real affection for any of his wives, it was for her; and it was considered as a proof of his undissembled grief at her loss, that he continued two years a widower.
There are some grounds for believing that Gardiner had, at this time, reconciled himself to the Pope for the part which he had taken in subservience to his master. Henry valued his abilities for business, saw his meanness, and was not aware that he himself was sometimes influenced by the fawning subtlety which he despised. The word heretic carried with it an odious sound; no man was willing to acknowledge the fatal name. The King, particularly, still proud of the title which he had gained by defending the faith, could not bear to be thought an upholder of heresy; and Gardiner represented to him, that nothing could remove that imputation, and establish his reputation for orthodoxy so effectually, as to repress, by timely severity, the opinions of the Sacramentaries,... opinions which were gaining ground in England, though none of the reforming prelates had yet adopted them. An unhappy opportunity was soon afforded this evil counsellor for urging his advice with success.
There was a pupil of the martyr Bilney, John Lambert by name, who, treading faithfully in the steps of his master and friend, found it necessary to leave the kingdom ; and going to Antwerp, where he associated with Frith and Tindal, continued there for some time as chaplain to his countrymen, till, at Sir Thomas More’s instigation, he was seized and brought to England, where he was required to answer, before Archbishop Warham, to five-and-forty articles, any one of which might have placed him at the mercy of his persccutors. The opportune death of Warham, and the change of measures which ensued upon the King's marriage with Anne Boleyn, saved him then from the stake; and Lambert, laying aside his priesthood with the intention of marrying, employed himself in teaching Greek and Latin. He held the same opinions as Frith concerning transubstantiation, and hearing a certain Dr. Tailor touch upon that subject in a sermon, went to him after the service in private, and
proposed certain questions as to a person from whom he difered concerning that point, but agreed with him in all o:ters. Taut requested to have his arguments in writing, and Lambert readiis complied, suspecting no danger where he had no reason to apprehend any. Without any evil intention, Tailor showed the paper to Dr. Barns, formerly Prior of the Augustines at Cambridge, and, like Lambert himself, one of Bilney's converts. Barns was at that time a zealous believer in the corporal presence, for which reason, when he was a refugee, Tindal had cautioned Frith to be cautious how he promulgated his opinions upoa that point, for fear of provoking him. The story is an awful lesson for the intolerant. By the advice of Barns, who dreaded the opprobrium which Frith's opinions might bring upon the Reformation, Tailor 'laid the paper before Cranmer, as containing heresy. In consequence, Lambert was brought into court; he appealed from the Bishops to the King; and Henry, then under Gardiner's influence, took up the cause with a high hand, convoking all his nobles and prelates, without delay, to repair to London, and assist him against the heretics and heresies, upon which he would sit in judgement. The trial, if such it may be called, was held in Westminster-hall, the King's guards being that day clad all in white, and the cloth of state white also. Henry was judge as well as disputant; and when Lambert, having argued, till breath rather than reason failed him, against Cranmer and the other prelates, one after another, submitted himself to the King's mercy, that King, into whose heart mercy never entered, ordered Cromwell to pass sentence upon him as a heretic; and he was burnt to death, with circumstances of peculiar barbarity.
Cranmer has been hastily charged with acting against his own conscience in this horrible transaction. But Cranmer, at that time, believed the corporal presence, and held also the atrocious opinion, that death by fire was the just and appropriate punishment for heresy. This plainly appeared afterwards, in a case wherein he was deeply criminal. In the present instance Gardiner was the instigator, and Cranmer was more culpable for listening to the first accusation, than for bearing a part in the subsequent proceedings, over which he had no control. Hle, and the Bishops who acted with him, had offended Henry, by en
1 Strype's Cranmer, p. 65.
deavouring to save the property of the religious houses from that utter waste to which they saw it destined. They were willing that he should resume whatever lands' had been granted to the suppressed convents by the crown: but they strongly urged that the residue should be devoted to purposes of public utility, conformable to the pious intention with which it had been given to the Church. It was Cranmer's misfortune, that some of the Clergy who co-operated with him, were deficient either in temper or discretion. Many of the inferior preachers were for hurrying forward to destroy, rather than to reform. The Bible itself gave occasion for evil; presumptuous and ignorant persons no sooner read, than they took upon themselves to expound it:... they interrupted the Church service by thus holding forth ; discussed points of Scripture in alehouses and taverns; quarrelled over them, and bandied about the reproachful appellations of papist and heretic. Those insane opinions also were abroad which struck at the root of all authority, civil or ecclesiastical, and of all social order. These circumstances accorded well with Gardiner's views. A proclamation, which had then the force of law, was issued, forbidding all unlicensed persons to preach or teach the Bible, and announcing the King's purpose to extinguish all diversities of opinion by laws, which, in the first draught of this paper, were called terrible ; but Henry with his own hand erased the word, and substituted good and just.
The Six Articles, which shortly afterwards were enacted, would have justified the original epithet. By these it was declared, that no substance of bread or wine remained after consecration; that communion in both kinds was not enjoined to all persons; that it was not lawful for priests to marry; that vows of chastity must be observed ; that private masses were meet and good, and auricular confession necessary to salvation. To speak, preach, or write, against any of the last five, was made felony without benefit of clergy; but they who offended against the first were to be burnt alive, and not even allowed to save their lives by abjuration. This act was no sooner passed than Latimer and Shaxton resigned their bishoprics, and were both committed to prison. Cranmer argued against it in the house with great ability, and, by the King's desire, delivered in his reasons
Strype's Cranmer, p. 72.
in writing, Cromwell telling him, that let him say or do what he would, the King would always take it well at his hands. There appears, indeed, to have been a sincerity in Henry's attachment to Cranmer, which he never felt for any other of his ministers, perhaps because no other ever so entirely deserved his good opinion. He knew that the Archbishop was privately married to Osiander, the German reformer's niece; and on that account, when he formerly set forth a proclamation against priests' marriages, limited it to such as should marry thereafter, or kept their wives openly. Yielding now to the times, Cranmer deemed it best to send his wife into her own country, till circumstances might become more propitious; and this he had reason to expect, because he knew that the King was in himself inclined to permit' the marriage of the Clergy, but had been dissuaded from it by those who represented it as an unpopular and offensive
So many hundred persons were thrown into prison upon the Six Articles, that Henry himself thought it better to grant a general pardon, than to proceed against them all; and this bloody act slept, till his determination to put away Anne of Cleves, and marry Katharine Howard, drew on the fall of Cromwell, whom the Duke of Norfolk, uncle to the bride elect, hated mortally. He was accused of heresy and treason, for acts, some of which were done in pursuance of the King's instruction, and others of such a nature, that had they been really committed, they would have been sufficient proofs of insanity. And he was condemned by bill of attainder, an act for thus depriving the innocent of all means of defence having recently been passed, with the consent of the judges, and with his full assent, if not by his active interference. Cromwell was the first victim to this most iniquitous mode of procedure, and Cranmer was the only man virtuous enough to stand forward in his defence; he wrote to Henry in the fallen minister's behalf, telling him that he believed no King of England had ever so faithful and so attached a servant, and praying God to send one in his stead, who could and would serve him as well. Nothing could be more dangerous than thus to interfere between Henry and the object of his anger ; ... it proved unavailing; but if it excited a mo
| Strype's Cranmer, p. 69. 2 Fuller's Church Hist, b. v. p. 234.
mentary displeasure against Cranmer, it confirmed the King in a just opinion of that Primate's integrity, for he lived, it is said, to repent that he had sacrificed a faithful and able minister, who, towards him at least, was innocent of all offence.
The Six Articles were now enforced with extreme severity; and Henry, as if to show his impartiality while he executed as heretics the reformers who went beyond the limits which he had laid down, put to death as traitors those Romanists who refused to acknowledge his supremacy. Papists and Protestants, coupled together, were drawn upon the same hurdle to Smithfield, the former (according to their own writers) feeling it more intolerable than death, to be thus coupled with heretics, and dying under the hangman's hands in this uncharitable spirit; while the Protestants, amid the flames, were offering up prayers for those by whom they were condemned. Barns was among those who suffered at this time; he died piously, magnanimously, triumphantly; and while he thus expiated the part which he had himself borne in persecution, scems not to have remembered it among the things for which he asked and expected forgiveness. Bonner, whom Cromwell and Cranmer had advanced to be Bishop of London, believing him a friend to the Reformation, as he had pretended to be, displayed his real opinions now, and gave full scope to his inhuman disposition. He even brought a poor ignorant boy, scarcely fifteen years of age, to trial for heresy; the grand jury threw out the bill; Bonner sent them back again with threats, and compelled them to find it; and the boy, who would have said or done anything to obtain mercy, was burnt alive by this monster, who has left behind him the most execrable name in English history.
The "Romanists had at this time great influence with the King, ... not as Papists, (for they dared not avow themselves such, and Bonner's oath of fidelity to the King, against the Pope, is still extant with his signature, but as believers in transubstantiation. Even the discovery of Katharine Howard's loose life, and her consequent execution, did not weaken their party, as they had feared it would. After that event, the general permission of reading the Scriptures was revoked. Nobles or gentlemen might cause the Bible to be read to them, in or about their own houses, quietly. Every merchant, who was a house