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selves on the thorny subjects which grew up round about the “great divorce” question, the bright promises of the revival of learning, which Erasmus had seen in England, faded away. Greek, it has been said, may conveniently stand for learning generally; and Greek studies apparently disappeared in the religious turmoils which distracted England. With Mary's accession, some attempt was made to recover lost ground, or at least re-enkindle the lamp of learning. When Sir Thomas Pope refounded Durham College at Oxford under the name of Trinity, he was urged by Cardinal Pole, to whom he submitted the draft of his statutes, “to order Greek to be more taught there than I have provided. This purpose,” he says, “ I like well, but I fear the times will not bear it now. I remember when I was a young scholar at Eton, the Greek tongue was growing apace, the study of which is now of late much decayed.”
The wholesale destruction of the great libraries in England is an indirect indication of the new spirit which rose at this period, and which helped for a time to put an end to the renaissance of letters. When Mary came to the throne, and quieter times made the scheme possible, it was seriously proposed to do something to preserve the remnant of ancient and learned works that might be left in England after the wholesale destruction of the preceding years. The celebrated Dr. Dee drew up a supplication to the queen, stating that “among the many most lamentable displeasures that have of late happened in this realm, through the subverting of religious houses and the dissolution of other assemblies of godly and learned men, it has been, and among all learned students shall for ever be, judged not the least calamity, the spoil and destruction of so many and so notable libraries wherein lay the treasure of all antiquity, and the everlasting seeds of continual excellency in learning within this realm. But although in
" A. Chalmers, History of the Colleges, &c., of Oxford, ii., p. 351.
those days many a precious jewel and ancient monument did utterly perish (as at Canterbury that wonderful work of the sage and eloquent Cicero, De Republica, and in many other places the like), yet if in time great and speedy diligence be showed, the remnants of such incredible a store, as well of writers theological as in all the other liberal sciences, might yet be saved and recovered, which now in your Grace's realm being dispersed and scattered, yea, and many of them in unlearned men's hands, still even yet (in this time of reconciliation) daily perish ; and perchance are purposely by some envious person enclosed in walls or buried in the ground.”
The scheme which accompanied this letter in 1556 was for the formation of a national library, into which were to be gathered the original manuscripts still left in England, which could be purchased or otherwise obtained, or at least a copy of such as were in private hands, and which the owners would not part with. Beyond this, John Dee proposes that copies of the best manuscripts in Europe should be secured. He mentions specially the libraries of the Vatican, and of St. Mark's, Venice, those at Florence, Bologna, and Vienna, and offers to go himself, if his expenses are paid, to secure the transcripts. The plan, however, came to nothing, and with Mary's death, the nation was once more occupied in the religious controversies, which again interfered with any real advance in scholarship.
One other point must not be overlooked. Before the rise of the religious dissensions caused England to isolate herself from the rest of the Catholic world, English students were to be found studying in considerable numbers at the great centres of learning in Europe. An immediate result of the change was to put a stop to this, which had served to keep the country in touch with the best work being done on the Continent, and the result of which had been seen in
* Hearne, John of Glastonbury, ii. p. 490 ; from MS. Cott. Vitellius c. vii. the able English scholars produced by that means on the eve of the Reformation.
Taking a broad survey of the whole movement for the revival of letters in England, it would appear then certain that whether we regard its origin, or the forces which contributed to support it, or the men chiefly concerned in it, it must be confessed that to the Church and churchmen the country was indebted for the successes achieved. What put a stop to the humanist movement here, as it certainly did in Germany, was the rise of the religious difficulties, which, under the name of the “New Learning," was opposed by those most conspicuous for their championship of true learning, scholarship, and education.
THE TWO JURISDICTIONS.
The Reformation found men still occupied with questions as to the limits of ecclesiastical and lay jurisdiction, which had troubled their minds at various periods during the previous centuries. It is impossible to read very deeply into the literature of the period without seeing that, while on the one hand, all the fundamental principles of the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church were fully and freely recognised by all ; on the other, a number of ques. tions, mainly in the broad borderland of debatable ground between the two, were constantly being discussed, and not infrequently gave cause for disagreements and misunderstandings. As in the history of earlier times, so in the sixteenth century ecclesiastics clung, perhaps not unnaturally, to what they regarded as their strict rights, and looked on resistance to encroachment as a sacred duty. Laymen on the other part, even when their absolute loyalty to the Church was undoubted, were found in the ranks of those who claimed for the State power to decide in matters not strictly pertaining to the spiritual prerogatives, but which chiefly by custom had come to be regarded as belonging to ecclesiastical domain. It is the more important that attention should be directed in a special manner to these questions, inasmuch as it will be found, speaking broadly, that the ultimate success or ill-success of the strictly doctrinal changes raised in the sixteenth century was determined by the issue of the discussions raised on the question of mixed jurisdiction. This may not seem very philosophical, but in the event it is proved to be roughly correct. The reason is not very far to seek. In great measure at least, questions of money and property, even of national interest and prosperity, were intimately concerned in the matter in dispute. They touched the people's pocket; and whether rightly or wrongly, those who found the money wished to have a say in its disposal. One thing cannot fail to strike an inquirer into the literature of this period: the very small number of people who were enthusiasts in the doctrinal matters with which the more ardent reformers occupied themselves.
We are not here concerned with another and more delicate question as to the papal prerogatives exercised in England. For clearness' sake in estimating the forces which made for change on the eve of the Reformation, this subject must be examined in connection with the whole attitude of England to Rome and the Pope in the sixteenth century. It must, consequently, be understood that in trying here to illustrate the attitude of men's minds at this period to these important and practical questions, a further point as to the claims of the Roman Pontiffs in regard to some or all of them has yet to be considered. Even in examining the questions at issue between the authorities—lay and ecclesiastical—in the country, the present purpose is to record rather than to criticise, to set forth the attitude of mind as it appears in the literature of the period, rather than to weigh the reasons and judge between the contending parties.
The lawyer, Christopher Saint-German, is a contemporary writer to whom we naturally turn for information upon the points at issue. He, of course, takes the layman's side as to the right of the State to interfere in all, or in most, questions which arise as to the dues of clerics, and other temporalities, such as tithes, &c., which are attached to the spiritual functions of the clergy. Moreover, beyond claiming the right for the State so to interfere in the regu