Page images
PDF
EPUB

this year, nor did he accept of the bishopric till he had received his opinion in favour of it from that divine, to whom he also communicated his scruples concerning the habit, and some customs then used in the church. But before he received his answer to the whole, he was consecrated, December the first; when the exchange of lands with the queen not being fully settled, he could not compound for his first fruits, and consequently he was hindered from exercising his episcopal function, and was obliged to have the queen’s express authority for that pur. pose.

It may gratify some of our readers to insert Peter Martyr's answer to Grindal's inquiry. We will therefore lav it before them out of Strype. « That reverend man, in

the beginning of November, gave his answer. And first, * as for impropriations, he thought Grindal needed not « to be so solicitous. For that it was a thing lay not in « his power, whence or how it pleased the queen to pros vide wages

and food for her bishops and the parish mi• nisters. And then, as for going in a cap, whether round or square, and in a gown, in ordinary conversation, • when they were not employed about holy things, his

judgment was, that they should not wrangle more than - need was about them ; since superstition seemed not

properly to be concerned herein. But in the next place, as for the habits to be used in the ministry of holy

things, since they carried an appearance of the mass, " and were merely remainders of popery, it was, he said,

the learned Bullinger, the chief minister of Zurick, his • opinion, that they were to be refrained from by Grindal,

lest, by his example, a thing that was scandalous should be confirmed. But Martyr said, that though he was always against the use of such ornaments, yet he saw * the present danger, lest they should be put from the office of preaching; and that perhaps some hope might be, that as altars and images were already taken away, so also those appearances of the mass might in time be

<

<

taken away too ; if he and others, who had taken upon • them episcopacy, earnestly laboured therein. But notwithstanding, if it came not to so good effect; yet, should he decline the office, another might succeed in his place, who would not care to have those relics rejected, but perhaps would rather defend, cherish, and main"tain them. He was therefore, he said, more backward to advise him rather to refuse the bishopric, than to

< submit

6

< submit to the use of those vestures. But because he saw < scandals of that kind were altogether by all means to be (avoided, therefore he more easily had yielded to Bullin

ger's opinion aforesaid. But if altars and images had • been continued and preserved, then he did freely, as he

had wrote in other letters, judge, that Grindal ought by no means to minister.

In general, he advised him to do nothing against his • conscience; he acknowledged the questions which he • sent him had difficulty in them ; and therefore he ex(cused himself that he had no sooner imparted his coun• sel, since it could not so easily be given. He added, " that when he was at Oxford, though he were a canon,

yet he would never wear the surplice in the choir : He • knew his example was no just confirmation of Grindal.

But that which moved him then, and still did the same, "might perhaps have some force with Grindal, namely, • that that was not to be done, which might confirm the • practice of what his conscience did not approve.'

And again, in a subsequent letter, he says : Of the • square cap, and the external episcopal habits, he thought

there was no need much to dispute, when the wearing • thereof was without superstition, and especially when it • might have a civil reason in this kingdom.

Of the garments which they termed holy, he confessed they somewhat stuck with him : So that he won

dered they should be so stiffly retained ; and he wished « all things, in the service of GOD, might be done in 6 the most simple manner. Yet he subjoined, that in case

peace might be obtained between the Saxon and Helvetian

churches, as to doctrine, this sort of garments should « never make a separation : For though they should not ap"prove of them, yet they would bear them. Therefore • he allowed, that Grindal might use that attire, either " when he preached, or administred the sacraments : Yet

so, as to continue to speak and teach against the use of « them. But he added, that he could never advise, that « when he preached or administred the Lord's Supper, he • should have the image of the crucifix upon the table.

« Grindal also desired to know this great divine's judg• ment, as to the state's dealing with obnoxious Papists; « and what he advised as to the inflicting punishment upon

them, in respect of the many advantages that might be • taken against them for their irregular and lawless doings • in the last reign. Likewise whether he thought advise

(able,

6

* able, that popish priests should be continued in their • places, or that such should be admitted to livings. But

Peter Martyr piously counselled, that for peace sake • matters past should be forgotten ; remembering that pu« nishments in the church have sometimes been intermit

ted, and sometimes a total pardon granted : And that « Heretics have been received with the continuance of their • former honours and degrees, they subscribing to sound

religion. But he advised withal, that care should be • taken, that for the time to come, nothing should be admitted which was contrary to the religion now entertained. And as for such as should hereafter be presented from patrons to the bishops for spiritual livings, that they should not be by them instituted, unless they should subscribe to the religion established.”

The good bishop, now above all, thought it highly needful to provide ministers to supply the vacancies, and to furnish the church with men of learning, honesty, and good religion, in the room of such priests, as had either voluntarily relinquished their places, or were put out. Therefore the bishop, soon after his own consecration, proceeded to the ordination of ministers ; of whom he ordained considerable numbers ; consisting in a great measure, as it seems, of such young persons, as had left the universities in the late reign, and studied abroad at Zurick, Strasburg, and other places.

In all this ordination none were ordained that were under twenty-three or twenty-four years of age, but most were upward of thirty. Some of the deacons were no scholars, or of any university, but men of sober conversation, and that could read English well; who nevertheless, in this present necessity, were ordained, that they might be readers in the churches, to read the Common Prayers and Homilies.

March 3. Our bishop preached again at Paul's Cross in his habit, i. e, in his rochet and chimere; and so continued to wear them, as often as he preached. There was then a large audience; for the people were greedy to hear the gospel. And sermon being ended, a psalm was set, and sung by all the congregation (for now it became commonly practised in churches) with the organ.

In the year 1560, he was made one of the ecclesiastical commissioners, in pursuance of an act of parliament to inspect into the manners of the clergy, and regulate all matters of the church; and the same year he joined with Cox, bishop of Ely, and Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, in a private letter to the queen, persuading her to marry. In 1561, he held his primary visitation. In 1563, he assisted the archbishop of Canterbury, together with some civilians, in preparing a book of statutes for Christ-church, Oxford, which as yet had no fixed statutes. This year he was also very serviceable, in procuring the English merchants, who were ill used at Antwerp, and other parts of the Spanish Netherlands, who had been very kind to the exiles in the late reign, a new settlement at Embden in East Friesland ; and the same year, by the request of Sir William Cecil, secretary of state, he wrote animadversions upon a treatise entitled, Christiani Hominis Norma, &c. • The Rule of a Christian man;' the author whereof, one Justus Velsius, a Dutch enthusiast, had imprudently, in some letters to the queen, used some menaces to her majesty, and being at last cited before the ecclesiastical com. mission, was charged to depart the kingdom *.

Towards the latter end of the year, I find our bishop much concerned about two clergymen in London, the one a very good man, and the other a very bad one ; earnest

for

6

* He was a learned man, but hot-headed; and enthusiastical, and held peculiar opinions, and had some followers and admirers. And being very forward to discover himself, he drew up a certain summary of his • religion under this title, Christiani Hominis Norma, &c. that is, The Rule

of a Christian Man, according to which every one ought to try himself. • It was composed by way of question and answer. The firît question was, What is a Christian To which the answer he framed was, One who

by participation and grace is rendered, and to be rendered, that which • Chrift was, and is, of himself, and by nature. The next demand being,

What Christ was and is of himself, and by nature it is answered, God

in man, and afterwards Man-God. He wrić also in this Nurma, That * while the Word was niade flesh, and dwelt in us, he brought down God • from heaven to vis, joined and united him to our passible nature. And • that by his glorious resurrection the flesh was made the Word, and • dwelt in God, and lifted up man to God. He fpake of a double regene• ration, one of the internal man, and the other of the external. And • that the one made Chriftians God in man in this world; and the other made them men-gods in the world to come: And divers other such kind

of odd and blasphemous expressions did his writing contain. And in the · conclusion, he affirmed, That he knew no other rule for a Christian man

but this : Aud that he, and all that would not deceive themselves, were 'to examine and try themselves by it. And that because out of true af• fection and charity he endeavoured in bring men to this rule, he was • served as the pfalmift speaks of himself, They requited me evil for good, and " hatred for his love. But his beloved in Christ (fome particular persons of « his own sect and party) he diligently warned and exhorted, that they never put away this rule from the eyes of their minds, but to try and

direct their whole life by it. For so alone they could be saved. And to “this he subscribed his name. STRYPE.

.

his case.

for the preferring of the one, and as desirous of opposing the other. This latter was one Barton, parson of Abchurch, who had been guilty of some gross misdemeanour, and of so foul a nature, that the bishop was resolved to punish him, either by deprivation, or a long suspension : But intercession was made by a friend of this Barton's to Sir William Cecil in his behalf, and he got a supplication presented into his hand by that friend, signifying to the said Cecil, that the bishop did not sufficiently understand

But the bishop let Cecil know that he understood it but too well, and that though the act was not finished, yet the circumstances he said were so vile, that severity must be used, or else GOD would be offended, and the mouths of the adversaries opened. This was in July; and in December following, Cecil seems to have mentioned Barton's case to the bishop with favour: but his fault was such, that he could obtain no favour at his hands; telling the secretary that Barton was dedecus nostri ordinis, i. e. the disgrace of the order, and slanderous to all good men, that knew his vile doings. And to Lock, his friend that stirred for him, he said, that he being of the secretary esteemed an honest man, should not have been so importunate for a man not honest.

His crime in truth was foul, as I find elsewhere : For thi man having solicited a certain woman to have his pleasure of her, and tempting her with money, she pretended at length to comply with his suit, and a place in Distaff-Lane was appointed, where they both met. But she had made her friends privy to it, who according to appointment stood in a secret place at hand: And when the unclean leacher had made himself unready, put off his gown and jacket, his hose being about his legs, they brake in on a sudden upon him in this shameful posture ; took him and carried him away to Bridewell, with an hundred people at his heels. And which aggravated the rest, he was a preacher, and had a wife : But because the act was not done, he found it seems some friends, who had interest enough with the secretary himself, to prevail with him to intercede for some favour to be shewed to this scandalous man. But the circumstances being so heinous, and the crime so open, and reflecting upon the whole body of the clergy, the bishop would not be persuaded to remit any thing of the severest censure. Old Miles Coverdale, D. D. formerly bishop of Exon,

and

« PreviousContinue »