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Bible in English should be suppressed; to which an excellent and powerful reply was drawn up by Cranmer, in which he successfully defended the use of the Bible and Liturgy in the mother tongue. 87 .
From another of the articles proposed by the rebels, we obtain the curious information, that at solate a period as the reign of Edward VI. the Cornish language continued to be very generally spoken in Cornwall, and was given as a reason for rejecting the English churchservice, and requesting the Latin ; though Dr. John Moreman, vicar of Menhynnet, one of the rebel leaders, had been the first who taught his parishioners, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, in English, towards the conclusion of the late king's reign. But according to Warner, (Tour through Cornwall,)- the Cornish afterwards formed a singular exception to the general attachment manifested by nations and provinces to their vernacular language, by requesting to have the Liturgy in English, rather than in their mother tongue. “The request,” says he, “was complied with, and the service in most places performed thenceforth in English. A few parishes, however, patriotically preferred their native dialect; and in 1640, Mr. William Jackson, vicar of Pheoke, found himself under the necessity of administering the sacrament in Cornish, as his parishioners understood no other language. From this period its limits were gradually circumscribed.” 38
The troubles caused by the persecutions of the Protestants in Germany, gave occasion to the Lord Protector Somerset, and Archbishop Cranmer, to invite Martin Bucer, and Paul Fagius or Buchlein, two learned Germans, to England. On their arrival they were appointed
(37) See Strype's Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer, II. App. pp. 810
812. 832, 833. (38) Strype, ut sup.
Monthly Review, LXIII. Art. 3. Oct. 1810. Vol. III.
public professors in the university of Cambridge. They arrived in April, 1549, and for some months resided with the archbishop, who desired Bucer to review the English Liturgy, which had lately been printed. But this was not the chief object which engaged the archbishop's attention, for as it had long been his earnest desire that the Holy Bible should be published with the greatest : exactness, and the most correct agreement with the original text, he confided the work to these two able scholars, and ordered; first, that they should give a clear, plain, and succinct interpretation of the Scripture, according to the propriety of the language: and, secondly, that they should illustrate difficult and obscure places, and reconcile those that seemed repugnant to one another. He also expressed his pleasure, that their public readings should be directed to this end. They gladly undertook: this pious and important work; and by mutual consent allotted to each other their distinct tasks. Fagius, because his talent lay in the Hebrew learning, was to undertake the Old Testament; and Bucer the New. The leisure they enjoyed with the archbishop, they spent in preparing their respective lectures. Fagius entered upon the Prophecy of Isaiah, and Bucer upon the Gospel of St. John; and some chapters were completed by them. But this pious design was defeated, first by the sickness of both of them, and then by the death of Fagius, on the 15th of November, 1549, and that of Bucer on the last day of February, in the next year, 1550. The bodies of these two Protestant divines were dug up, and burnt under the gallows, in the ignominious reign of Mary."
Paul Fagius, whose German name was BUCHLEIN, was born at Rheinzabern, in Germany, in 1504. After having received the first rudiments of learning in his native city, he was sent to Heidelberg, and afterwards to , Strasburg, where he made great proficiency in the study of (39) Strype's Memorials of Abp. Cranmer, B, ii. ch. xiii. pp. 280-283,
the Hebrew, and lived in habits of friendship with Reuchlin, Bucer, and other eminent reformers. In 1527, he undertook the care of a school at Isna, and there married. Designing to enter into orders, he removed to Strasburg, in order to facilitate his theological studies, but after residing there for two years, he returned to Isna, and was called by the senate to the pastoral office, which he exercised with diligence and fidelity. The plague breaking out in 1541, he displayed unusual intrepidity and zeal in the performance of his ministerial duties, administering to the necessities of the infected, warning the wealthy to remain in the city, or leave liberal alms for the poor, obtaining assistance for the sick at the public expense, and personally attending to their comforts. He, however, almost miraculously escaped infection; and was about the same time called to succeed Wolfgang Capito, at Strasburg, where the plague had also raged; and where he continued till the beginning of the German war, when Frederic, the elector palatine, appointed him professor, at Heidelberg. The subsequent persecutions of the Protestants induced him to accept the invitations he had received from England, where he died soon afterwards. He was the author of many learned works, particularly translations of the Targums, and other Rabbinical writings of which Strype has preserved a list in the Appendir to his Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer, Num. xliv. " Martin Bucer was born in 1491, at Schelestadt, a town in Alsace. By the advice of his friends, he entered, at a very early age, into the order of the Dominicans. His industry having excited the hopes of the monks, .. that he would do them honour, he was permitted by the prior to pursue the studies of philosophy and theology at Heidelberg, which he did with ardour and success. Perceiving also the importance of a knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek languages to a student in divinity, (40) Melch. Adami Vit. Germ. Theolog. pp. 201-211.
he added the knowledge of them to his other acquirements. At this time the writings of Erasmus and Luther fell into his hands, which he read with avidity, and comparing the doctrines contained in them with the Sacred Scriptures, began to entertain doubts respecting the received tenets of popery. Being recommended to the elector palatine, he was made one of his chaplains. At Heidelberg, where he had a dispute with Luther, respecting free-will, he embraced the great reformer's notions of justification by faith. Going from thence into the Netherlands, with the elector, the freedom with which he censured superstition and impiety, joined to his in- . tention of quitting his order, endangered his life, which, however, was preserved by a timely flight. Being afterwards called to Strasburg, where he taught divinity, and was one of the ministers of the town, he became one of the first authors of the Reformation in that city. He assisted at many conferences concerning 'religion ; and, in 1548, was sent for to Augsburg, to sign that agreement betwixt the Protestants and Papists, which was called the Interim. His warm opposition to this project occasioned him many difficulties, which rendered him the more inclined to accept the invitation to England, given him by the Lord Protector, and Archbishop Cranmer. He was twice, or according to some, thrice married. His first wife, by whom he had thirteen children, had been a nun: she died of the plague. He has been compared to Melancthon for zeal, true piety, and a desire to preserve unity in the foreign Protestant churches. Cardinal Contarini said of him, that "he was able alone to contend with all the doctors of the Romish church” He died poor, and in his last sickness wrote a short letter to Dr. Matthew Parker, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, to borrow 10 crowns, promising to repay them in a month. After his death, his widow, Wibrand Bucerin, returned to Strasburg. His library
was disposed of to the king, (who had the MSS.) the duchess of Somerset, and the archbishop of Canterbury."
The zeal which was displayed in promoting the interests of religion, and the doctrines of the Reformation, by the diffusion of the Scriptures in the vernacular tongue, and by the patronage of learned and able defenders of the truth, reflects the highest honour on the youthful sovereign and his advisers; and if, on some occasions, the wish to abolish superstition and its concomitant evils, betrayed the friends of the Reformation into the adoption of measures which a more enlightened age would have disapproved, candour will dispose us to make every allowance for the situation and judgment of those who had been educated under a system exclusive in its claims, and violent in its acts. The dissolution of the monasteries, under Henry VIII. and Edward VI. and the consequent destruction of many valuable libraries, will always be regretted by every liberal friend of literature and science. It deserves, however, to be remarked, that the dissolution of the religious houses was, upon the whole, the act of the state, not of the church, and principally under a king and parliament of the Roman Catholic communion, in all points, except the king's supremacy, and countenanced at first by the bulls and licences of the pope himself.
By an act which was passed in the 27th year of the reign of Henry VIII., all the lesser monasteries, not haying £200. per annum, of which there were above three hundred and seventy, were dissolved, and all their lands, rents, houses, &c. with their stock of cattle, corn, &c. given to the king. In the 31st year of his reign, all the great abbeys were suppressed, amounting to six hundred and forty-five; and in the 37th year, ninety colleges, one
(41) Meleh. Adami Vit, Germ. Theolog. pp. 211–223.
Chalmers' Gen. Biog. Dict. VII. pp. 217–219.