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stead of the exercises of devotion. pontiff, because he did not promptly At this time the good providence of allow him to divorce his queen, who God raised up Wickliffe, a person far had been the wife of his brother. in advance of the age in which he This quarrel was greatly favourable lived, in secular and in religious to the diffusion of light, respecting knowledge. His genius and piety the errors and abuses of popery, and penetrated the mist of error that sur- to the progress of the scriptural rounded him; and, guided by the opinions of Wickliffe, and the genelight of inspiration in the scriptures, ral reformation of religion and morals he received, and, in his ministry and in the country. The art of printing, writings, propagated, opinions in re- lately invented, was a most valuable ligion which are now among those aid to disperse enlightened opinions that are generally held as correct and extend and quicken the spirit of among all orthodox christians. A reform now excited in England and light so brilliant appearing on the other nations of Europe. The people verge of the dark cloud that had long were eager to read the Bible, now overspread the moral horizon, is now translated into their own tongrie, and justly denominated 'the morning star to compare with this only infallible of the Reformation.'
standard numerous tracts published For his opinions, however, Wick- by reformers. Religion became the Jiffe was cited to appear at Rome, subject of more general consideration, there to answer for the serious mis- and the spirit of inquiry soon required demeanor of daring to differ from a relaxation of the spiritual dominathe received doctrines of the church. tion that had long been exercised But from the anxiety and danger of over individual judgment and freedom this citation he was relieved by the of religious practice. As this state death of the pope and the confusion of the public mind accorded with the which issued, from the contest of two views of the king, who wished to rivals, each of whom claimed to be humble the pope and his dependants, considered as the accredited successor his majesty favoured Cranmer and of St. Peter. By this providential others, who were intent on reform interposition, the light continued to from the errors of popery, and the spread in England, and Wickliffe circulation of scriptural knowledge
among the people. Frequently several concurrent cir- Thus the Lord overruled the licencumstances may be observed to mark tious passions and the imperious selfa Divine interposition for the benefit will of Henry, to weaken the influence of the world or a nation. So it was at of popery on the public mind, and this time. Henry VIII. succeeded to show the people that they might his father in the throne of England live and prosper even though the in 1509, when ignorance and papal pope were against them, and they superstition brooded over the country. should exercise their own judgment The king, a devoted son of the on religion under the guidance of the church, vain of his school learning, scriptures. A spirit of liberty was thought it not beneath his royal thus excited, which was nurtured and diguity to write in opposition to the strengthened by reviving literature opinions of Luther; and obtained the until it attained masculine power and title, still retained by the monarcbs determination against all future at. of Britain, of defender of the faith. tempts of tyranny and Rome. It Unstable, however, is dependance on was no part of the intention of the princes: this favourite son of the king to induce this spirit, but it was pope, actuated by conscience or pass the natural result of his measures. sion, irreconcilably differed with the Perhaps in the latter part of his reign
died in peace.
he saw this, and became increasingly that the habits should be characterized irritable partly on this account. He by simplicity, and not such as had had, however, excited the idea that long been connected with the idolatry the people might be free from the
of the mass. And, further, that as domination of Rome, without sus- they related to religious service, any taining any withering effect from the that could not in conscience comply anathemas of its haughty pontiff, and with the requirements for ecclesiastithat they deserved slavery if they did cal conformity, and state support and not now assert and maintain their preferment, should be permitted, liberty.
without molestation, to worship their This idea survived the death of the Creator in a manner accordant with king, and became more vigorous and their own convictions. extended in the reign of his son and This, however, was not allowed. successor, the amiable Edward VI. The doctrine of toleration was not Under the counsel of Cranmer, arch. understood. Then, and many years bishop of Canterbury, and the earl after, good men, as well as bad ones, of Hertford, Edward cordially es- supposed that to tolerate any that poused the views of the reformers, differed from their own views of and procured the legal establishment religious faith and order, would be of a new liturgy, which had been little less than to license the most formed from the Romish service grievous errors and enormities. Those books, somewhat differing from each that happened to be invested with olber, which had been in use in seve- power appeared to think that it was ral dioceses. Out of these were a part of their duty to tell their subjects formed the morning and evening ser- what was right in religion, as well as in vice, almost in the same form in which civil order, and to require of them an they appear now.
exact conformity with their dictates, Both the clergy and the people, as to the faith and manner of worship
might be reasonably expected, acceptable to the Most High. This amidst changes so considerable in was the exercise of a very dangerous reference to religion, the proper con responsibility, from which a prudent cern of every person, were much di- person would shrink, if he reflected vided in opinion. Many adhered in that every one must give account of their hearts to the old forms, and himself to God. But it was now inmany thought that the new modellers sisted that there should be one manshould have taken only the scriptures ner of worship, and that they who for their guide, and made the reforma- ministered should be habited alike. tion from popery far more complete. As the manner chosen and enjoined, Among other causes of dissatisfaction retained and embodied much that had was especially that of their making no been connected with the old forms, material change in the vestments in and had been greatly revered to the which the ministers officiated. The mass fostering of superstition, some of the they had reformed into the communion- reformers thought it was ill judged to service, but the old vestments, which retain them, and that they should be in the church of Rome were some- unfaithful to their position under Prowhat various, according to the taste vidence, if they conformed to this inof different religious orders, they in a junction. They therefore declined, great measure retained; only they and recommended a more entire deinsisted on an exact uniformity. If parture from the old superstitions, and the thing implied in this ominous greater simplicity in worship.
Of word was of so much importance as this opinion were bishops Hooper and to be a term of ministerial service in Rogers, together with many learned the state church, reason would require and pious divines, who, on account of
the opposition to the reformation in yielding up their lives in the burning Germany, were now exiles in England. fire. On the other hand, Cranmer and Many escaped the fury of this Ridley, with Dr. Cox, the king's tutor, storm of persecution by fleeing out of and many others, were for an exact the country, and taking refuge in uniformity. Thus were those who France, Germany, and Switzerland. were united as to the desirableness of The greater part would naturally seek a reform in religion, unhappily divided a temporary asylum in those parts in among themselves, as to the extent which the Reformation had been most and completeness of the reformation. favoured. Many went to Frankfort, All of them would probably have on the Maine, a free and independent done much more with the hearty con- city of Germany, and were received currence of the king, had his life been with great humanity by the magisprolonged; but the Sovereign Disposer trates, who allowed them to occupy, of all events called him by death in for public worship, a place previously the sixteenth year of his age, and the allotted to a French congregation. seventh of his reign. With good for this favour the English exiles king Edward died all further advances were greatly indebted to the French of the reformation : the alterations pastors, who occupied the building in that were made afterwards by queen other parts of the day. Elizabeth, hardly came up to this In these circumstances, it was standard.
deemed desirable that their manner Mary, who succeeded her brother of worship should accord as nearly as in the throne of England, was firmly possible with the French form. The attached to popery, and, on the prin- refugees therefore unanimously agreed ciple acted upon in former reigns, that, in using the English liturgy, that the monarch must direct the they would omit the litany, the audi. religion of the subjects, she immedi- ble responses, and the surplice, with ately began to reverse what Edward other ceremonies, which, in those had done in the alteration of religion, reformed churches, would seem strange and to bring things into their old or superstitious. As they were thus channel. Nor was her majesty satis. happily settled, with greater liberty fied with directing her subjects how than they had enjoyed in their own they must now proceed in religion, country, they invited others of their but, in the exercise of a principle countrymen to join them, and partake essentially popish, she would admit of of their accommodation. Their apno variation from the old standards, plication for English ministers being which were now restored.* Hence, unsuccessful, except they would agree the reformers were diligently sought to the full use of king Edward's after, that they might endure the service-book, they applied to Geneva, effects of their temerity in daring to and obtained thence Ihree ministers, alter the religion of the nation while one of whom was John Knox, afterthe late king was in his minority, and wards the renowned Scotch reformer. the heir apparent opposed to their Having amicably arranged their form views. Not a few of them, and those of service, partly after the English some of the most eminent, as Cran- and partly after the Geneva models, mer, Ridley, Latimer, and others, they agreed to continue this until the attested their honest sincerity by following April; and, if any dispute
should arise in the interval, it was to * The price for which the English nobility be referred for adjustment to five of agreed to this change, was, their retention of the most celebrated foreign divines. the abbey lands sequestered in the reign of Henry VIII. For ihis they sold protestants
That agreement was however soon to the faggot, and themselves to infamy.—Ep. broken in a most wanton and unjust
manner. Dr. Cox, who had been in England, had, in one of his publipreceptor to Edward, a man of high cations, represented the emperor of temper, and in great credit with his Germany as, like Nero, an enemy to countrymen, coming to Frankfort on Christ. On this passage they founded the 13th of March, and attending the a charge against him of high treason public worship, answered aloud after against the emperor. The magisthe minister. On the Sunday follow- trates perceived the malice and uning, one of his company, without the fairness of his accusers, but, wishing consent of the congregation, ascended not to be under the necessity of arthe pulpit, and read the whole litany, resting and delivering him up, they his companions making the responses, privately desired him to retire from as in the English service. This out
Thus relieved from the rage upon their order could not be stern opposition of Knox, Dr. Cox passed over in silence, nor was John and his associates procured an order Knox the man to shrink with timidity, from the senate for the unlimited use awed by the arrogant pretensions of of the English liturgy. Many of any one.
On the next Sabbath, those who agreed with Knox, and therefore, he plainly and faithfully desired a still further reformation, reproved those who had disturbed left the city and went after Knox; their harmony by setting at nought some retired to Geneva, and some to their agreement. This,' he said, “it other places. Hence arose the appelbecame not the proudest of them to lation of puritan, as designating those have attempted. Nothing, that was that desired a purer form of worship; destitute of a divine warrant, ought to and nonconformists, as distinguished be obtruded on any christian church. from them that conformed to the In that book, for which some enter. English liturgy. tained such an overweening fondness, A distinct and correct view of the he would undertake to prove publicly, troubles at Frankfort is important, that there were things imperfect, im- as leading to a correct knowledge of pure, and superstitious; and, if any subsequent events in our own country. would go about to burden a free con- It was there that the seeds vegetated gregation with such things, he would which afterward produced abundant not fail to oppose their design. As fruit in England. There, on the one he had been forced to enter upon that hand, principles of christian freedom subject, he would say further, that, in were avowed ; and on the other, prinhis judgment, slackness in reforming ciples of control and tyranny, that religion, when time and opportunity were destined, for many future years, were granted, was one cause of the to act as antagonist forces. The fordivine displeasure against England.' mer had long been in operation, dic.
Such a rebuke the offenders could tating the faith of the people, till it not patiently endure, and being, by was deemed sufficient for them to be. the magnanimity of Knox, admitted lieve as the church believed. For the to vote in the congregation, they ob- people to think and act for them. tained a majority against him, and selves in religion,-a matter that reforbad him further to exercise his lates to every individual and his Creministry there. The friends of Knox, ator,—was considered as the most however, appealed to the magistrates, dangerous heresy. This principle in who, in accordance with their original religion naturally leads to tyranny in agreement, required them to accord civil government; they mutually foswith the French form of service. The ter and strengthen each other; and intruders, thus foiled, had recourse to thus they proceeded in conjunction a mean and despicable device to be here; both the church and the state rid of their opponent. Knox, when madly rushed on in a course of op. Vol. 7.-N. S.
pressive tyranny, till both were in- entertained of any considerable reform volved in one common ruin.
in doctrine and ceremonies from the The genius of the Reformation church of Rome. Here, then, the generated another spirit—a spirit that Reformation stayed; nor has any induced man to try his feet, and to thing considerable been done in that feel that he could stand erect. The direction in the church of England spirit excited at Frankfort, strength- since. So far as it has been proened by exercise and opposition, passed moted by royal authority, it consists over with the returning exiles into in the substitution of the reigning England, on the death of queen Mary. monarch in the place of the pope, as This event, which happened in 1558, visible head of the church; and the terminated a reign singularly unfortu- rejection of some of the grosser docnate and dissatisfactory, both to the trines and ceremonies of popery, rasovereign and to her subjects-ather than a reduction of religious reign marked with weakness and doctrine and order to the simplicity of cruelty, under the genuine influence primitive times, as apparent in the of popish counsels.
New Testament. After Mary succeeded her half sister A spirit of inquiry had however Elizabeth, a person of vigorous under- been excited on religious subjects, and standing, but vain of her accomplish- it was not to be lulled to rest by a ments, haughty and imperious in her few inconsiderable concessions in the disposition, with high notions of the way of reform. It required satisfacsovereign prerogatives of princes. tory evidence of supreme regard to Tame submission to the Roman pon- the scriptures, in the doctrines and tiff accorded quite as little with her ceremonies of the church. This spi. commanding spirit as with her re- rit, though suppressed by the overligious notions. Soon, therefore, whelming influence of the court and were the acts of the former reign, the majority of the clergy, who leaned acknowledging the supremacy of the towards popery, was not to be stifled. pope, reversed in this.
It still lived, and daily acquired Many of the exiles now returned strength and vigour from reading and home, in the hope that wise and mo- reflection. The gloom and cruelty of derate connsels would prevail so far as the former reign, too, had so evinced to allow them to enjoy religious wor- the persecuting and tyrannical spirit ship without fear of persecution. It of popery, that the popular feeling was however soon perceived that the was decidedly in favour of a far more queen had not rejected the au- entire reformation. The leaning of thority of the pope from any convice the queen to the gorgeous ministration of the unlawfulness of human dic. tions and the outward pomp of the tation in religion so much as from im- popish service, and the intolerance of patience of foreign control. The out the bishops, were very dissatisfactory ward pomp and ceremony of religious to the nation. Authority and power service, after the Romish form, pleased were in favour of high church princiher well, and she thought her brother ples; but the conscientious convictions Edward had too freely divested it of of many required a closer conformity these. It was with difficulty, there- to the christian simplicity and equality fore, that her majesty was induced to commended in the New Testament allow an approach in reformation to scriptures. The royal injunction althe standard in use at the accession lowed of no ministrations in religious of Mary. Many of the clergy, too, service without those habits and cereentertaining the same opinion, 80 monies which were detested by the strengthened the views and designs of people, and the most pious part of the the court, that little hope could be clergy. Many of the churches were