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20. “And being in this mind, lo, the angel of the Lord appeired by dream, &c."si
Sir John Cheke has also been considered to be the author of the English translation of the New Testament, which was printed in 1550, 8vo. and accompanied with Erasmus's Latin Paraphrase; but without sufficient reason, though it is not improbable that it was published by his direction. It was printed at London, by Thomas Gualtier, for J. C. perhaps John Cawood, the printer.be
On the accession of Mary to the throne, Sir Joha Cheke was stripped of his honours, but permitted to quit the kingdom. After supporting himself for some time at Strasburg, by teaching Greek, he was treacherously seized and sent as a traitor to London, where the fear of martyrdom unhappily induced him to abjure the doctrines of the reformers. The recantation thus violently extorted, preyed upon his spirits, and shortened his life. Dr. Edwin Sandys, in a letter quoted by Dr. Knight, gives an affecting account of his death: “ Sir Jobo Cheke,” says he, "did before many witnesses testify both his faith and the religion he had at first professed in the reign of King Edward VI.; and bitterly lamented that he ever had by the persuasion of his friends, or the infirmity of his flesh, against his conscience departed from it, and had so far as in him lay, brought a scandal upon the Gospel of Christ; but, however, he had sincerely repented of it, and was very certain of the mercy of God, whose Spirit witnessed to his spirit, that God for Christ's sake had forgiven him this sin.* Which when he had said, he exhorted with great earnestness and many words, all the by-standers, (of which there was a great number,) that they would constantly cleave to, and (51) Strype's Life of Sir J. Cheke, pp. 211–215. Lond. 1705 8vo. (52) Lewis's Hist. of English Translations, pp. 184-187. Fifth Report of British and Foreign Bible Society, App. p. 77,
"ut certus esset de misericordia Dei. Spiritus quippe S. Testimonium perhibuit spiritui suo, quod Deus propter Christum illi hoc con donasset peccatum
continue in the faith and religion which they had professed in the reign of King Edward, nor suffer themselves to be removed from it, no not if an angel from heaven should endeavour to persuade them otherwise." These and many other things he said before many witnesses, as Dr. Sandys affirms, from the best authority, just before he ended his life.53 · He died September 13th, 1557, aged 43. Sir John Cheke established the Greek lecture at Cambridge, in 1540, and the first Greek printed in England, is said to have been in the Homilies edited by him, and printed in 1543 by Reginald or Reynolde Wolfe, a foreigner, and the first who had a patent for being printer to the king in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages.**
Among the English New Testaments published during the reign of Edward VI. was a curious one printed in 1550, by R. Wolfe, of which a bibliographical account is given in Nichols' Literary Anecdotes, in a letter from John Thorpe, Esq. to Dr. Ducarel. In this account Mr. Thorpe thus speaks of the copy in his possession : “ It is in the black letter, and was presented to my father, by Mrs. Lawrence, a widow lady; and in the margin of one of the leaves, she has wrote as follows:-Jane Lawrence, her book, found in the hay-loft, when she lived in St. Margaret's, in Canterbury, Cutober y® 10th, 1718.
Jane Lawrence.” “ It is evident this book was concealed in the time of Queen Mary, to escape the rigid articles of inquiry, exhibited to the church-wardens, by Cardinal Pole, who began his visitation at Canterbury, in May 1556 ; when probably this new edition was for the most part lost and destroyed. In a blank
page before the 1st chapter of St. Matthew, is wrote with a pen, in an old character, as usual to that age, the following: “ This is good Mysters (53) Knight's Life of Erasmus, pp. 294, 295. Camb, 1726, 8vo. (54) Dibdin's Typographical Antiquities, I. Herb. Pref. p. 59, nole! VOL. JII,
Hester's boke; and if any good body fyind it bring it home againe to good Mysters Hester, dwelling at St. Mary-axe."55
As it was usual about the time when this New Testament was printed, to affix prices to such books as were printed by authority, the two following are selected to show the value of books at this period. At the end of the “Erudition for any Christen man," printed in 1543, by Thomas Berthelet, the price is thus noticed : “ This boke bounde in paper bourdes, or in claspes, not to be sold aboue xvi. d.” To the “ New Testament with notes," printed by Richard Jugg, in 1553, 4to. the price affixed was 22 pence per copy in sheets. But that greater sums were given for works of a similar nature, either because they were of a larger size, or because moreelegantly bound, appears from the “account of Thomas Parrye, Esq. cofferer of the household of the Princess Elizabeth,---- ending October 30th, A. D. 1553;" in which we find the following article: "
paid to Edward Allen for a Bible, £ 1. 0. 0."** As the Reformation advanced, PSALMODY, as distinguished from the old choral mode of worship, was introduced into the churches. The first metrical version of the Psalms adopted in the public services of the English church, was that of Thomas STERNHOLD, and his coadjutors. STERNKOLD, according to Wood's conjecture, was born in Hampshire ; Hollinshead says at Southampton; but Atkins, in his History of Gloucestershire, expressly affirms that he was born at Aure, a parish about 12 miles from Gloucester ; and adds that his posterity turned papists and left the place. Having passed some time at Oxford, he became groom of the robes to King Henry VIII. who bequeathed him a legacy of 100 marks. He was continued in the same office, under (55) Nichols' Literary Anecdotes, III. pp. 517-519, note, (56) Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, &c. III. p. 41.
Ames' Typog. Antiq. by Herbert, II. p. 716. (57) Antiquarian Repertory, Ill. p. 2.
King Edward VI. He appears to have been a man of sincere piety, and a steadfast adherent to the principles of the Reformation; and undertook his translation of the Psalms, as an antidote to the profane and wanton songs of the courtiers, hoping they would sing them instead of their licentious sonnets, as appears from the title-page of his version, which has been continued in all the printed copies. He died in 1549, having lived only to versify fifty-one of the Psalms, which were first printed by E. Whitchurch, in 1549, with the title ; “ All such Psalms of David, as Thomas Sterneholde, late grome of the kinges majestyes robes, did in his lyfe-time drawe into Englyshe metre.” This book is dedicated to Edward VI, by the author, and seems therefore to have been prepared by him for the press.
Sternhold's principal successor in carrying on the translation of the Psalms, was John Hopkins, who was admitted A. B. at Oxford, in 1544, and is supposed to have been afterwards a clergyman of Suffolk, where he is said to have kept a school. He was living in 1556. Warton pronounces him to be “a rather better poet than Sternhold." He versified fifty-eight of the Psalms, which are distinguished by the initials of his name. Five other Psalms were translated by WILLIAM WHITTINGHAM, afterwards dean of Durham, who also versified the Decalogue, the Prayer immediately after it, with other hymns which follow the singing-psalms in our version. Thomas Norton, a barrister, a native of Bedfordshire, who translated into English, Calvin's “Institutes," and other works, versified twenty-seven more of the Psalms. Robert WISDOME, afterwards archdeacon of Ely, translated the twenty-fifth Psalm, but is chiefly noted for the once very popular prayer inserted at the end of the version, which is a literal translation of Luther's hymn upon the same occasion, and was intended to be sung in the church. The following is the first stanza :
“ Preserve us, Lord, by thy dear Word,
Our Lord Christ Jesus, thy dear Son!” Eight Psalms, which complete the whole series, have the initials W. K. and T. C. but we have no account of these authors.--The entire version of the PsALTER was at length published by John Day, in 1562, with “apt notes to sing them withall;" and attached for the first time to the Common Prayer. The tunes of this edition were chiefly German, and are still used on the continent.–STERNHOLD is also mentioned as the author of "Certayne chapters of the Prouerbs of Solomon drawen into metre," printed in 1551.58 Strype (Eccles. Memor. B. i. ch. ii. p. 86) says, that “ Sternhold composed several Psalms, at first for his own solace.
For he set and sung them to his organ. Which music King Edward VI. sometime hearing, for he was a gentleman of the privy-chamber, was much delighted with them. Which occasioned his publication and dedication of them to the said king.'
The spirit of versifying the Psalms, and other parts of the Bible, very generally prevailed, at the beginning of the Reformation. WILLIAM HUNNIs, a gentleman of the chapel under Edward VI. and afterwards chapelmaster to Queen Elizabeth, rendered into rhyme many select Psalms, which were printed in 1550; he versified the whole book of Genesis, which he called a Hive full of Honey, printed in 1578, 4to.; and under the title of a Handful of Honeysuckles, published “Blessings out of Deuteronomie,” “Prayers to Christ,” “Athanasius's Creed,” and “ Meditations,” in metre, with musical notes. He was also the author of other metrical works, and a contributor to the “Paradise of Dainty Devises." ** (58) Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, III. sec. 27, pp. 166, 176.
Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict. XXVIII. pp. 394—396. (59) Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, III. sec. 29, p. 191, note. (60) See Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, sec. 28, p. 180; and also
sec. 27 and 29; where the reader will find ample information respecting these versifiers of Scripture.