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Mark Smeaton doth confess-
Officer. This full confession-sign'd, and in the sight
Norfolk, Anne, queen of England, ere this high commission
Queen. My lords ! th' unwonted rigour of the king
By less than me, had been forgotten air :
This boy ; if with one word I force you not
Norfolk. Anne, queen of England, first this court commands
As cheerfully, my lords, As a young bride her crown of virgin flowers.
Norfolk. Prisoner, give ear! I, Thomas, duke of Norfolk, In name of all th' assembled peers, declare The verdict of this court :-all circumstance, All proof, all depositions duly weigh’d, We do pronounce thee guilty of high treason.And, further, at the pleasure of the king, Adjudge thy body to be burnt with fire, Or thine head sever'd from thy guilty shoulders.
Queen. Lord God of Hosts !-the way! the trath! the life! Thou know'st me guiltless ; yet, oh! visit not On these misjudging men their wrongful sentence ; Shew them that mercy they deny to me. My lords, my lords, your sentence I impeach not Ye have, no doubt, most wise and cogent reasons, Best heard perhaps in th' open court, to shame The wretched evidence adduced. My lords, I ask no pardon of my God, for this Of which you 've found me guilty : to the king In person and in heart I ve been most true. Haply I've been unwise, irreverent, And with unseemly jealousies arraign'd His unexampled goodness. This I say not To lengthen out my too protracted life, For God hath given, will give me strength to die. I'm not so proudly honest, but the grief Of my suspected chastity is gall And wormwood to me ; were 't not my sole treasure, It less had pain'd me thus to see it blacken'd. My lords, I take my leave :-upon your heads, Upon your families, on all this kingdom, On him who is its head and chiefest grace, The palm of Europe's sovereignty, may heaven Rain blessings to the end of time—that most, And most abundant, his redeeming grace!
159.—THE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE INTO ENGLISH.
BISHOP BURNET. In the Convocation a motion was made of great consequence, that there should be a translation of the Bible in English, to be set up in all the churches of England. The clergy, when they procured Tyndall's translation to be condemned, and suppressed it, gave out that they intended to make a translation into the vulgar tongue ; yet it was afterwards, upon a long consultation, resolved, that it was free for the church to give the Bible in a vulgar tongue, or not, as they pleased ; and that the king was not obliged to it, and that at that time it was not at all expedient to do it. Upon which, those that promoted the Reformation made great complaints, and said it was visible the clergy knew there was an opposition between the Scriptures and their doctrine. That they had first condemned Wickliff's translation, and then Tyndall's; and though they ought to teach men the word of God, yet they did all they could to suppress it.
In the times of the Old Testament the Scriptures were writ in the vulgar tongue, and all were charged to read and remember the law. The apostles wrote in Greek, which was then the most common language in the world. Christ also did appeal to the Scriptures, and sent the people to them. And by what St. Paul says Timothy, it appears that children were then early trained up in that study. In the primitive church, as nations were converted to the faith, the Bible was translated into their tongue. The Latin translation was very apcient; the Bible was afterwards put into the Scythian, Dalmatian, and Gothic tongues. It continued thus for several ages till the state of Monkery rose ; and then, when they engrossed the riches, and the Popes assumed the dominion, of the world, it was not consistent with these designs, nor with the arts used to promote them, to let the Scriptures be much known : therefore legends and strange stories of visions, with other devices, were thought more proper for keeping up their credit and carrying on their ends.
It was now generally desired that, if there were just exceptions against what Tyndall had done, these might be amended in a new translation. This was a plausible thing, and wrought much on all that heard it, who plainly concluded that those who denied the people the use of the Scriptures in their vulgar tongues, must needs know their own doctrine and practices to be inconsistent with it. Upon these grounds Cranmer, who was projecting the most effectual means for promoting a reformation of doctrine, moved in Convocation that they should petition the king for leave to make a translation of the Bible. But Gardiner and all his party opposed it, both in Convocation and in secret with the king. It was said, that all the heresies and extravagant opinions which were then in Germany, and from thence coming over to England, sprang from the free use of the Scriptures. And whereas in May the last year (1535) nineteen Hollanders were accused of some heretical opinions, “ denying Christ to be both God and man, or that he took flesh and blood from the Virgin Mary, or that the sacraments had any effect on those that received them,” in which opinions fourteen of them remained obstinate, and were burnt by pairs in several places ; it was complained that all those drew their damnable error from the indiscreet use of the Scriptures. And to offer the Bible in the English tongue to the whole nation, during these distractions, would prove, as they pretended, the greatest spare that could be. Therefore they proposed that there should be a short exposition of the most useful and necessary doctrines of the Christian faith given to the people in the English
tongue, for the instruction of the nation, which would keep them in a certain subjection to the king and the church in matters of faith.
The other party, though they liked well the publishing such a treatise in the vulgar tongue, yet by no means thought that sufficient ; but said, the people must be allowed to search the Scripture, by which they might be convinced that such treatises were according to it. These arguments prevailed with the two houses of Convocation. So they petitioned the king that he would give order to some to set about it. To this great opposition was made at court. Some, on the one hand, told the king that a diversity of opinions would arise out of it, and that he could no more govern his subjects if he gave way to that. But, on the other hand, it was represented that nothing would make his supremacy so acceptable to the nation, and make the pope more hateful, than to let them see, that whereas the popes had governed them by a blind obedience, and kept them in darkness, the king brought them into the light, and gave them the free use of the word of God. And nothing would more effectually extirpate the pope's authority, and discover the impostures of the monks, than the Bible in English ; in which all people would clearly discern there was no foundation for those things. These arguments, joined with the power that the queen had in his affections, were so much considered by the king, that he gave order for setting about it immediately. To whom that work was committed, or how it proceeded, I know not ; for the account of these things has not been preserved, nor conveyed to us with that care that the importance of the thing required. Yet it appears that the work was carried on at a good rate; for three years after this it was printed at Paris ; which shows they made all convenient haste in a thing that required so much deliberation.
160.-DEATH OF SIR THOMAS MORE.
From the Pictorial History of England.' In the month of November, 1534, parliament under the guidance of Cromwell, passed a variety of acts which all had for their object the creating of Henry into a sort of lay-pope, with full power to define and punish heresies, and to support whatever he might deem the true belief, or the proper system of church government. The first fruits and tenths were now annexed to the crown for ever, and a new oath of supremacy was devised and taken by the bishops.
Some of the monks—the poorest orders were the boldest--refused either to take the oath or to proclaim in their churches and chapels that the pope was antiChrist. The system pursued in regard to them was very simple and expeditious; they were condemned of high treason and hanged, their fate in the latter respect being sometimes, but not always, milder than that allotted to the Lutherans and other Protestants, who were burued. Cromwell had no bowels for the poor monks ; and the gentler and more virtuous Cranmer seems to have done little or nothing to stop these atrocious butcheries. A jury now and then hesitated to return a verdict, but they were always bullied into compliance by Cromwell and his agents, who sometimes threatened to hang them instead of the prisoners. On the 5th of May Jobn Houghton, prior of the Charter-House in London, Augustine Webster, prior of the Charter-House of Belval, Thomas Lawrence, prior of the Charter-House of Exham, Richard Reynolds, a doctor of divinity and a monk of Sion, and John Hailes, vicar of Thistleworth, were drawn, hanged, and quartered at Tyburn, their heads being afterwards set over the city gates. On the 18th of June, Exmen, Middlemore, and Nudigate, three other Carthusian monks, suffered for the same cause. On all these conscientious men, who preferred death to what they considered