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(2) That the three great sacraments of baptism, penance, and the Lord's Supper were the ordinary means of justification.
(3) And that the worship of images, the invocation of saints, the rites and ceremonies of public worship had not, in themselves, the power to remit sin, or justify the soul, but that they were highly profitable and ought to be retained. (4) The doctrine of transubstantiation, and the saying of masses for the dead, were strongly upheld.
At the King's command, convocation embodied these doctrines in a book called "The Godly and Pious Erudition of a Book. Christian Man," or "The Bishops' Book" (1537), which explained the creed; the seven sacraments, dividing them into three of a higher, and four of a lower order; the ten commandments; the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria; justification and purgatory. It refused salvation to all who were without the pale of the Catholic Church, denied the papal supremacy, and inculcated the doctrine of passive obedience. Before this, Henry had, in 1535, issued "The English Primer," in which the people The English were warned against praying to the Virgin and the saints; and containing prayers and meditations, the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments, all in English. Fathers of families, schoolmasters, and heads of households were ordered to take care that these fundamental elements of the Christian faith should be learnt by the children and servants under their care; and the law of the land was to be better observed, which directed that every child should be brought up either to learning, or to some honest occupation.*
15. Publication of the Scriptures. The publication of the English translation of the Bible, with the permission for before the its free use among the people, was next accomplished, by the exertions of Cranmer and Cromwell. Before the Reformation, two, if not three versions of the Bible, in English,. existed. One was Wycliffe's; another, based on Wycliffe's, but strongly tinted with Lollard opinions, was published in the beginning of the fifteenth century; and of the third, little is known. They were extremely rare, and little read, and it was not till Luther's great movement began in Germany, and his tracts and commentaries found their way into England, that the people were determined to read, in their own language, the book on which their faith was built, notwithstanding the prohibitions of the church, and the penalty of death, which they thereby incurred,† Tyndal's New Testament was the first result of this awakened spirit; the Pentateuch followed; then the Testament. historical books, the Psalms, and the Prophets; and at
* Froude, III., 76. + Ibid, III., 77.
length the whole canon was translated, and published in separate portions. All these versions, which had appeared since the year 1530, were the work of Tyndal, and were condemned by the bishops as inaccurate. They complained to Henry (1531), and he, in reply, commanded them to prepare a better translation, as the only remedy; but a remedy which they did not relish, for they made no attempts to obey the royal injunction. In 1533, the King becoming more peremptory, Cranmer carried a resolution for a translation through Convocation; still nothing was done. But in 1534 he divided Tyndal's work into ten parts, and sent one to each bishop to correct. The Bishop of London openly refused; the others promised in words, but did nothing. On this, Miles Coverdale, a member of the same Cambridge circle to which Latimer, Barnes, and Wishart had belonged, went abroad, with Cromwell's license, and with the aid of Tyndal printed a new copy of the Bible, at Zurich, and first published it at Hamburg, 1535. Next year it appeared in London, published cum privilegio, and dedicated to Henry. In 1537 appeared another edition, called "Matthews's Bible;" and the same version was reprinted in 1538, 1539, 1540, and 1541, under the name of "The Great Bible," or "Cranmer's Bible." The offence in Tyndal's edition was less in the rendering of the words, than in Cranmer's the side-notes, prefaces, and commentaries. Cranmer Bible. omitted these, and was thus able to preserve the text from being altered by the Romanists, who, after this, succeeded in obtaining influence with the King: Other editions also appeared, with the private connivance of Cromwell, but without the royal license. One of these was that called "Taverner's Bible," which had an introduction professing the boldest principles of Protes- Taverner's tantism.
The royal injunction enjoined, that a copy of the authorised version should be placed in every church, at the expense of the incumbent and parishioners; that it should be kept chained to a desk or lectern; and that every man should have liberty to read it at his pleasure, provided he did not disturb the preacher in his sermon, or the clergyman during service. This indulgence was soon afterwards extended from the church to private houses; but Henry took care to admonish the readers not to be presumptuous, but when they met with difficult passages to consult those who were more learned than themselves.
16. The Statute of the Six Articles. Two years afterwards, the Bishop of Winchester became the King's counsellor, and the Statute of the Six Articles, or the Bloody Statute, was enacted,
which completed Henry's creed, and fenced it round with terrible penalties. It adjudged to the death of heretics, or else to fine and imprisonment, all who did not adhere to these six Romish doctrines and practices: transubstantiation, communion under one kind, celibacy of priests, vows of chastity, private masses for the dead, auricular confession. Such a severe and barbarous statute filled the reformers with terror. They called it the " whip with six strings." Cranmer sent his wife back to Germany secretly, and Latimer and Shaxton resigned their sees. The articles remained the established rule of faith for the rest of Henry's reign; they were confirmed in 1540 by the publication of the Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian Man," which, in 1543, was again issued, under the title of "The King's Primer." The use of the Bible was also restrained; Tyndal's version was condemned as crafty, false, and untrue; reading of the authorised version in private families was confined to lords and gentlemen; and any artificer, apprentice, journeyman, servant, or labourer, or any woman, not of noble or gentle birth, who presumed to read the sacred volume, was made liable, for each offence, to one month's imprisonment.*
Thus terminated the progress which Henry made towards a Extent of Reformation. He had sanctioned a return to the use of formation. the English language in the public service of the Church; he had authorised the publication of the Scriptures, and the free reading of them; and he had, in some points of doctrine, approached the reformers. On the other hand, he retained a capricious partiality for the Romish practice in those very points where pious Catholics earnestly desired an alteration, communion in one kind, and the celibacy of the clergy; and the doctrine of transubstantiation, which was the great superstition in the eyes of the reformers, he always insisted upon, under the penalty of death by fire.
lation of the
17. Circumstances which at this time marked the progress of the Reformation. While Henry's creed thus fluctuated between Lutheranism and Romanism, the Reformation was making its way The circu- among the people, independent of royal decrees and acts of Reformers parliament. From the previous temper of the nation, it the reading was natural to suspect that the revolutionary spirit which Scriptures, blazed out in Germany, would spread rapidly in England, and that a government far more steady and unanimous than that of Henry, would not effectually prevent the diffusion of Protestantism. The books of the reformers continued to be imported, and were * Froude, IV., 291.
read with all that eagerness and delight which compensate the risk of forbidden studies; and when the Scriptures were freely promulgated by authority, the people rushed to the churches to read them, and they were read publicly in alehouses and taverns, where they formed the subject of vehement and angry debates between the partisans of the two religious factions. The chief point of contest at this time was the opinion that the Scriptures were the exclusive standard of Christian faith. The authorised publication of them seemed to admit this, and it naturally led people to read them with a prejudice against that party which had so long suppressed them,-a lesson to those who would restrain the course of free discussion.*
This, much more than theological controversy, contributed to the progress of the Reformation. While the government The popular wisely exposed to ridicule and indignation the pretended belief that miracles which had so long kept the understanding of perva the people in captivity, plays and interludes were represented in the churches, and the press sent forth its light hosts 'of libels, the subject of all being the vices and corruptions of the monks and clergy.t
Another circumstance which had a strong tendency to promote the Reformation at this time, was the severe punishment Persecuof many zealous reformers. This excited "a favourable tions. prejudice for men whose manifest sincerity, piety and constancy in suffering, were as good pledges of the truth of their doctrine, as the people had been always taught to esteem the same qualities in the legends of the early martyrs." These persecutions were most bitter after the statute of the Six Articles had been passed, when Gardiner, and the Romish party, had obtained the ascendancy in the court. Cranmer was several times in danger, but the simplicity and uprightness of his character, which Henry thoroughly appreciated, always protected him. The prisons of London were filled with culprits; but many of the reformers were prudent enongh to temporise with the King's changes, till the season of liberty should arrive. Among the intrepid few who publicly expressed their faith, and contended for it, were Dr. Barnes, Crommell's secretary, Garret, an Oxford student who had formerly circulated Tyndal's Testament in the university,§ and Jerome, vicar of Stepney, who were burnt in Smithfield (July 30th, 1540) for denying transubstantiation, and holding the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith. But persecution was
*Hallam's Const. Hist.. I., 84. + Ibid, I., 82.
not confined to the Protestants, and on the same hurdles which conveyed these three reformers to the stake, three Romanists were drawn to execution, for denying the King's supremacy, In 1543, three townsmen of Windsor were burnt for having reviled the priests and the sacred wafer; and had not the King interfered, Gardiner and his fellow bishops would have burnt one Marbeck at the same time, because he had made a concordance of the Bible. But the most remarkable of these early Protestant martyrs was Martyrdom Anne Ascue, the daughter of Sir William Ascue, of Ascue. Kelsey, in Lincolnshire, and the wife of a gentleman named Kyme, a violent Roman Catholic. After her marriage she became a Protestant, and was then disowned and disclaimed by her friends and relations. After this, she frequented the aisles of Lincoln Cathedral, and read the Bible; the priests observing her. In March, 1545, she was arrested in London, examined first before the lord mayor, and then before Bonner, the bishop, who released her. The following summer she was again arrested, and brought before Gardiner and Wriothesley; but she refused to make any answers, and was then taken to Newgate, where she · made a voluntary confession in these words, "The bread is but a remembrance of his death, or a sacrament of thanksgiving for it. Written by me, Anne Ascue, that neither wish death nor yet fear his might; and as merry as one that is bound towards heaven." She was then tried and condemned at the Guildhall, reasserting her belief. "That which you call your God is a piece of bread; for proof whereof, let it lie in a box three months, and it will be mouldy. I am persuaded it cannot be God." Her execution was delayed, in the hope that she might implicate higher offenders; for she received private support while in prison, and the Romanists suspected Hertford, Cranmer, and Catherine Parr of encouraging her. For the purpose of extorting evidence against these personages, they took her to the Tower, and put her to the rack. But they failed to obtain anything. On the 16th of July, 1546, they burnt her in front of St. Bartholomew's Church, with three others, Shaxton, who had formerly been a Protestant, preaching the
In the course of these persecutions, however, reformers were sometimes brought to the stake by reformers. Conspicuous among these was Lambert, a priest and schoolmaster, of London, who had before been imprisoned by Archbishop Warham, on a charge of heresy. He held the Zuinglian doctrine concerning the Lord's Supper, for which he was brought before Cranmer, and * Froude, IV., 497-503.