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after examination and disputation, in which the King took part, was condemned, and burnt, November 20th, 1537.
PROGRESS OF THE REFORMATION UNDER
18. First proceedings of the new Government with regard to the Reformation. The accession of Edward VI. enabled the reformers to proceed with their grand object of completing the religious revolution which Henry had begun, and of establishing the Church of England almost upon the same basis as that on which it now stands. Somerset, the protector, though not entirely uninfluenced by motives of gain, appears to have sincerely inclined towards the Reformation; and after he had overcome all opposition in the council, by the removal of the chancellor, Wriothesley, the great work was immediately begun.
The persecutions under the act of the six articles ceased; prisoners were released; the exiles were recalled; the First Book of Homilies, twelve in number, was drawn up by Cranmer, The First Ridley, Latimer, and others; and visitors were despatched Homilies. throughout the kingdom (May 4th, 1547), empowered with almost unlimited authority as regarded the church, and instructed to require that four sermons should be preached yearly, in every church, against the papal authority; that sermons should be directed against the worship of images, and that all images which were the objects of pilgrimages or offerings, should be destroyed; that the book of homilies should be used in every church; and that each clergyman should provide for himself, and each parish for the congregation, an English Bible, and a copy of Erasmus's Paraphrase of the New Testament; and that no clergyman should preach except he were licensed by the protector or the primate. Gardiner made a manly resistance to these proceedings, principles of civil liberty, as much as of ecclesiastical discipline;"* and he was imprisoned in the Fleet for his disobedience. Bonner, Bishop of London, more violent and more subservient, humbly submitted; and Tunstall, of Durham, was excluded from the council.
19. Publication of the Books of Common Prayer, the Catechism, and the Articles of Religion. After these preparatory measures, a parliament was assembled, November 4th, 1547, in which several bills were passed to promote and enlarge the Reformation. The communion was appointed to be received in both kinds by the laity, as well as the clergy, without condemning the usages of
* Mackintosh, II. 251.
other churches (1 Edward VI., c. 1); bishops were to be formally nominated by the King, and process in the ecclesiastical courts was to run in his name (1 Edward VI., c. 2); the statutes of Richard II. and Henry IV. against the Lollards were repealed, together with all the acts in matters of religion passed under Henry VIII., except those directed against the papal supremacy (1 Edward VI., c. 12); all the treasons created in the late reign were also repealed, as well as the act which gave royal proclamations the force of law; and those chantries and free chapels which had escaped the rapacity of Henry, were vested in the crown (1 Edward VI., c. 14).
In the next session, the unformity of public worship was established, in which all ministers were enjoined to use only the Book of Common Prayer," which had been prepared by the primate and his brethren (2 Ed. VI., c. 1). This book of offices, the foundation of that which, after various alterations in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles II., continues now in use, contained public offices for Sundays and holidays, baptism, confirmation, matrimony, burial of the dead, and other special occasions; and the office for the holy communion. The Latin missals and breviaries were the groundwork on which it was drawn up; those parts which were considered superfluous or superstitious being omitted, the others translated into English, and numerous corrections and additions made, in order to meet the wishes of the reformers, without shocking the belief or the prejudices of the Romanists.
Previous to this, Cranmer had published his large "Catechism," "for the singular profit and instruction of children and Catechism. young persons," containing the creed, Lord's Prayer, and ten commandments, with sermons on each, and an explanation of the sacraments. Another statute enforced the observance of fast days, and of Lent, by the infliction of a fine of ten shillings and ten days' imprisonment upon fast-breakers (2 and 3 Edward VI., c. 19); another emancipated the English clergy from compulsory celibacy (2 and 3, Edward VI., c. 26); a third commanded all persons to attend public worship, under pain of ecclesiastical censures, and of six months' imprisonment, for the first offence, twelve for the second, and for the third, confinement for life; and a fourth enacted severe penalties against riotous assemblies, and against those who called the King a heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel, or usurper.
In the next year (1552) the "Second Book of Common Prayer" was issued, containing the exhortation, confession, and
1553 absolution, in addition to the previous contents. The The Second ten commandments were also introduced into the com- Book of munion service, and the litany was ordered to be used on Sundays; the water in baptism was consecrated; and the sign of the cross enjoined in confirmation and matrimony. Prayers for the dead, and the office of the Eucharist in the funeral service, were omitted. A rubric was added, concerning dresses and kneeling. Forty-two articles of religion were next agreed Articles of upon (1553), and published by royal authority, which Religion. completed the Reformation made by Cranmer and his associates.
20. Distinctions between the Old and New Services as at this time established. The chief points of difference which were thus established between the old and the new religions were:
(1) The public services were expressed in the mother tongue, and the Scriptures read instead of the Romish legends.
(2) Image worship was abolished, and the use of incense, tapers, and holy water, forbidden. The devastation which was committed by defacing statues and crosses, windows and monuments, is still to be seen in our churches.
(3) The polytheism of Rome was swept away. This was the most specific difference between the two systems.
(4) Auricular confession, or the private and special confession of sins to a priest, for the purpose of obtaining his absolution (an imperative duty in the Roman church), was left to each man's discretion, and at last fell into complete neglect. (5) The doctrine of the Real Presence.
(6) Abolition of clerical celibacy.
21. Popular opposition to the Reformation. Acts of Edward's Government. These innovations were made too precipitately for the majority of the nation. The force of the two opposing sects cannot now be exactly ascertained, but the most reason- The Engable account represents about four-fifths of the people mation, the as indifferent to the establishment of either religion. govern work of the Not that the English of that generation were irreligious, but that, as the Reformation did not find them bigoted papists, so neither was it conducted in such a manner as to make them zealous Protestants. It was the government which put itself at the head of the movement, and advanced or arrested it at discretion.* The reformed doctrines prevailed in London, in many large towns, and in the eastern counties; the body of the people in the north and west were strictly Catholics. The clergy, though not very scrupulous about conforming to the innovations, were generally averse to most of them; and in spite of the church lands, not a few peers dissented from some religious bills in Edward's reign, while no such disagreement appears in Mary's reign. In the western insurrections (in Devonshire) of 1549, which partly
* See Macaulay's Essay on Burleigh and his times.
had no faith in
originated in the alleged grievance of inclosures, many of the rebels demanded the entire restoration of popery; but the Norfolk insurgents, who rose in the same year, on the same grounds of complaint, made no such demand.* Burnet, notoriously favourable to the Reformation, says that all endeavours were too weak to overcome the aversion of the people; and he intimates that some German troops were sent for from Calais, on account of the bigotry with which the majority of the nation adhered to the old superstition. The truth is, that the people were not disposed to The people engage in a struggle either for the new or the old religion; and the only occasion on which they showed any spirit in their rulers the matter was when Mary threatened to resume the church lands, and place the country under Spanish influence. They could not repose sufficient confidence in the judgment and sincerity of their rulers, whom they had seen submitting to all Henry's religious schemes, and now saw daily plundering the church, which they affected to reform. Every bishopric was plundered by alienations, long leases, or unequal exchanges; Exeter and Llandaff, from being among the richest, fell into the class of the poorest sees; from the lands of Lichfield, an estate was raised for Lord Paget; London, Winchester, and Canterbury suffered considerably; and the Duke of Somerset erected Somerset House with the materials of churches he pulled down; and he even projected the destruction of Westminster Abbey, which the chapter averted, by granting him some of their estates.
22. The persecutions for Heresy during Edward's Reign. Although freedom of opinion was one of the most essential principles of the Reformation, the early reformers, of The Reformers whatever persuasion, considered toleration in religion as
altogether impracticable and unreasonable. In the new canon law, which Cranmer and his colleagues drew up, the denial of the Christian religion was declared to be punishable with death and forfeiture; and obstinate heretics, though they were not condemned to capital punishment, were yet declared infamous, and without the pale of the law. The difference, therefore, between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, as regarded religious toleration, was only in degree. "Persecution," says Hallam, "is the deadly original sin of the reformed churches; that which cools every honest man's zeal for their cause, in proportion as his reading becomes more extensive." It was worse in the reformers than in the Roman Catholics, because they were men hardly escaped from persecution themselves; they pleaded *Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 92. * History of the Reformation, III., 327.
for themselves the right of private judgment, and yet denied it to others; they had defied the prescriptive authority of past ages; and especially because, on many occasions, they persecuted men for those opinions they afterwards embraced themselves, and on other occasions for opinions they had once held, but had now given up.
The Lutherans of Germany stigmatised the mass as an idolatrous service, and would not tolerate its use; it was equally proscribed in England, and many persons were imprisoned for attending it. The Princess Mary vainly supplicated to have the exercise of her own religion at home, and Charles, as well as Cranmer and the council, several times interceded for her; but her brother refused his sanction. Gardiner, Bonner, Tunstall, Day (of Chichester), and Heath (of Worcester), the chief Roman Catholic prelates, were all deprived of their sees, and imprisoned for the rest of the reign. No Roman Catholic, however, No Roman was put to death during Edward's reign on account of Catholic his religion; the only martyrs were Protestants; the death. most conspicuous among them being Anabaptists and Arians, whose opinions were generally odious and unpopular, Only Anaand considered by the founders of the Anglican church were burnt. as dangerous to the safety of the Reformation. These sects came from the Netherlands, and had existed before the time of Luther; but the Reformation brought them forth from their obscurity, and to escape persecution they migrated in great numbers to England. They denied the divinity of Christ, but acknowledged with reverence his divine mission; they disbelieved the validity of infant baptism, rejected oaths, and held the doctrine of nonresistance, since adopted by the Quakers; they denied the lawfulness of magistracy, obedience to laws, and the legitimacy of separate property.+ In 1549, commissions were issued to Cranmer, "to inquire into heretical pravity;" and the Anabaptists and their disciples were rigorously persecuted. Many of them confessed their errors, recanted, and were pardoned; but Joan Boucher, called Joan of Kent, and Von Paris, a Dutch surgeon, of London, were burnt to death, the first on the 2nd of May, 1550; the second on the 24th of May, 1551. Joan Martyrdom Boucher was a zealous Protestant, who had privately Boucher. imported Lutheran books for the ladies of the court in the late reign, and she had hardly escaped martyrdom with Anne Ascue. "She denied that Christ was truly incarnate of the Virgin, whose flesh being sinful, he could take none of it; but the Word, by the * Mackintosh, II., 271. + Ibid, II, 272.