Page images

he at first modestly declined, but at last accepted in obedience to the queen's command. This see had been void by the death of John Capon, his immediate predecessor, who died in the year 1557, now near three years. And here the divine providence again gave him the advantage in point of seniority over his tutor Mr John Parkhurst, who was not consecrated bishop of Norwich till the fourteenth of July after ; but then his tutor had the advantage of him in point of revenue, for Mr Jewel's bishopric had been miserably impoverished by his predecessor; so that he complained, afterwards, that there was never a good living left him that would maintain a learned man; for, said he, 'the Capon has devoured all: Because he hath either given away or sold all the ecclesiastical dignities and livings.

The Sunday before Easter of this year, bishop Jewel preached at Paul's Cross, his famous sermon upon the i Cor. xi. 23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, go. This sermon gave a fatal blow to the popish religion here in England, which was become very odious to all men, by reason of the barbarous cruelty used by those of that persuasion in the reign of Q. Mary; but the challenge which he then made, and afterwards several times and in several places repeated, was the most stinging part of this sermon, and therefore, though I am concerned to be as short as I can, yet I will insert this famous piece at large.

“ If any learned man of our adversaries, (said he,) « or all the learned men that be alive, be able to bring “ any one sufficient sentence out of any old catholic « doctor, or father, or general council, or holy scripture, “ or any one example in the primitive church, whereby " it may clearly and plainly be proved during the first six « hundred years ; 1. That there was at any time any pri« vate masses in the world. 2. Or that there was then « any communion ministered unto the people under one “ kind. 3. Or that the people had their common-prayer « in a strange tongue that the people understood not. 4. « Or that the bishop of Rome was then called an universal « bishop, or the head of the universal church. 5. Or “ that the people were then taught to believe that Christ's “ body is really, substantially, corporally, carnally, or “ naturally, in the sacrament. 6. Or that his body is or « may be in a thousand places or more at one time. 7. " Or that the priest did then hold up the sacrament over

« his head. 8. Or that the people did then fall down 6 and worship it with godly honour. 9. Or that the o sacrament was then, or now ought to be, hanged up « under a canopy. 10. Or that in the sacrament after « the words of consecration, there remained only the ac« cidents and shews, without the substance of bread and “ wine. 11. Or, that then the priests divided the sacra« ment in three parts, and afterwards received himself « alone. 12. Or that whosoever had said the sacrament “ is a figure, a pledge, a token, or a remembrance of « Christ's body, had therefore been adjudged for an he« retic. 13. Or that it was lawful then to have thirty, “ twenty, fifteeen, ten, or five masses said in the same

church in one day. 14. Or that images were then set “ up in the churches, to the intent the people might wor« ship them. 15. Or that the lay-people were then foros bidden to read the word of GOD in their own tongue. “ 16. Or that it was then lawful for the priest to pro- nounce the words of consecration closely, or in private

to himself. 17. Or that the priest had then authority 6 to offer up Christ unto his Father. 18. Or to com66 municate and receive the sacrament for another, as they « do. 19. Or to apply the virtue of Christ's death and « passion to any man by the means of the mass. 20. Or " that it was then thought a sound doctrine to teach the “ people, that mass, ex opere operato, (that is, upon ac« count of the work wrought,) is able to remove any « part of our sin. 21. Or that any Christian man called “ the sacrament of the Lord, his GOD. 22. Or that the “ people were then taught to believe, that the body of “ Christ remaineth in the sacrament, as long as the acci« dents of bread and wine remain there without corrup« tion. 23. Or that a mouse, or any other worm or beast, « may eat the body of Christ, (for so some of our adver. “ saries have said and taught). 24. Or that when Christ “ said, hoc est corpus meum, the word hoc pointed not to " the bread, but to an individuum vagum, as some of “ them say. 25. Or that the accidents, or forms, or shews cs of bread and wine be the sacraments of Christ's body " and blood, and not rather the very bread and wine itself. “ 26. Or that the sacrament is a sign or token of the body « of Christ, that lieth hidden underneath it. 27. Or that « ignorance is the mother and cause of true devotion. The " conclusion is, that I shall then be content to yield and " subscribe.”

This This challenge, being thus published in so great an auditory, startled the English Papists both at home and abroad, but none more than such of our fugitives as had retired to Lovain, Doway, or St Omers, in the Lowcountry Provinces, belonging to the king of Spain. The business was first agitated by the exchange of friendly letters betwixt the said reverend prelate and Dr Ilenry Cole, the late dean of St Paul's; more violently followed in a book of Rastal's, who first appeared in the lists against the challenger, foilowed herein by Dorman and Marshal, who severally took up the cudgels to as little purpose; the first being well beaten by Nowel, and the last by Calfhill, in their Discourses writ against them; but they were only velitations, or preparatory skirmishes in reference to the main encounter, which was reserved for the reverend challenger himself, and Dr John Harding, one of the divines of Lovain, and the most learned of the college. The combatants were born in the same country, bred up in the same grammar-school, and studied in the same university. Both zealous Protestants in the time of K. Ed. ward, and both relapsed to Popery in the time of Q. Mary; Jewel for fear, and Harding upon hope of favour and preferment. But Jewel's fall may be compared to that of St Peter, which was short and sudden, rising again by his repentance, and fortified more strongly in his faith than before he was : But Harding's like to that of the Other Simon, premeditated and resolved on, never to be restored again (so much was there within him of the gall of bitterness) to his former standing. But some former differences had been between them in the church of Salisbury, of which the one was prebendary, and the other bishop, occasioned by the bishop's visitation of that cathedral; in which as Harding had the worst, so was it a presage of a second foil which he was to have in this encounter. Who had the better of the day, will easily appear to any that consults the writings, by which it will be seen how much the bishop was too hard for him at all manner of weapons. Whose learned answers, as well in maintenance of his challenge, as in defence of his apology, contain in them such a magazine of all sorts of learning, that all our controversors since that time have furnished themselves with arguments and authority from it.

When Q. Mary died, Paul IV. was pope, to whom Q. Elizabeth sent an account of her coming to the crown, which was delivered by Sir Edward Karn, her sister's resident at Rome; to which the angry gentleman replied, That


England was held in fee of the apostolic see, that she could not succeed being illegitimate ; nor could he contradict the declarations made in that manner by his predecessors Clement VII. and Paul III. He said it was a great boldness in her, to assume the crown without his consent; for which in reason she deserved no favour at his hands; yet if she would renounce her pretensions, and refer herself wholly to him, he would shew a fatherly affection to her, and do every thing for her that could consist with the dignity of the apostolic see. Which answer being hastily and passionately made, was as little regarded by the queen. But he dying soon after, Pius IV. an abler man, succeeded; and he was for gaining the queen by arts and kindness; to which end he sent Vincent Parapalia, abbot of St Saviours, with courteous letters to her, dated May 5, 1560, with order to make large proffers to her under hand; but the queen had rejected the pope's authority by act of parliament, and would have nothing to do with Parapalia, nor would she suffer him to come into England. In the interim, the Pope had resolved to renew the council at Trent, and in the next year sent abbot Martiningo his nuncio to the queen, to invite her and her bishops to the council, and he accordingly came to Bruxells, and from thence sent over for leave to come into England : But though France and Spain interceded for his admission, yet the queen stood firm, and at the same time rejected a motion from the emperor Ferdinand, to return to the old religion, as he called it. Yet after all these denials given to so many and such potent princes, one Scipio, a gentleman of Venice, who formerly had had some acquaintance with bishop Jewel when he was a student in Padua, and had heard of Martiningo's ill success in this negociation, would needs spend some eloquence in labouring to obtain that point by his private letters, which the nuncio could not gain as a public minister ; and to that end he writes his letters of Expostulation to bishop Jewel his old friend, preferred not long before to the see of Salisbury. Which letter did not long remain unanswered ; that learned prelate was not so unstudied in the nature of councils, as not to know how little of a general council could be found at Trent: And therefore he returned an answer to the proposition, so elegantly penned, and so elaborately digested, that neither Scipio himself nor any other of that party durst reply to him. This was written some time after the apology was printed in England.


In the year 1562, bishop Jewel put out the Apology of the Church of England, in Latin; which though written by him, was published by the queen's authority, and with the advice of some of the bishops, as the public confession of the Catholic and Christian faith of the church of England, &c. and to give an account of the reasons of our departure from the see of Rome, and as an answer to those calumnies that were then raised against the English church and nation, for not submitting to the pretended general council of Trent then sitting. So that it is not to be esteemed as the private work of a single bishop, but as a public declaration of that church whose name it bears.

This apology being published during the very time of the last meeting of the council of Trent, was read there, and seriously considered, and great threats made that it should be answered ; and accordingly two learned bishops, one a Spaniard and the other an Italian, undertook that task, but neither of them did any thing in it.

But in the mean time, the book spread into all the countries in Europe, and was much applauded in France, Flanders, Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden and Scotland, and found at least a passage into Italy, Naples, and Rome itself; and was soon after translated into the German, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, and at last into the Greek tongue ; in so great esteem this book was abroad : And at home it was translated into English by the lady Bacon, wife to Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal of England.

It very well deserves the character Mr Humfrey has given of it, whose words are these. It is so drawn,

that the first part of it is an illustration, and as it were • a paraphrase of the twelve articles of the Christian • faith (or creed); the second is a short and solid confuta• tion of whatever is objected against the church ; if the corder be considered, nothing can be better distributed ;

if the perspicuity, nothing can be fuller of light; if the 6 style, nothing more terse; if the words, nothing more splendid ; if the arguments, nothing stronger.

The good bishop was most encouraged to publish this apology by Peter Martyr (as appears by Martyr's letter of the twenty-fourth of August) with whom he had spent the greatest part of his time in exile. But Martyr only lived to see the book which he so much longed for, dying at Zurick, on the twelfth day of November following, after he had paid his thanks for, and expressed his value of this piece in a letter which is subjoined.

« PreviousContinue »