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SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

365

great clamour agttinst these communities, and a general horror was excited in the nation against them. But as great discontent and murmurs were evinced by many persons of rank and learning, who still adhered to the old religion, Henry took care that all those who could be use- ful to him, or even dangerous in case of opposi- tion, should he sharers in the spoil. He either made a gift of the revenues of the convents to his principal courtiers, or sold them at low prices, or exchanged them for lands on very disadvan- tageous terms. In the midst of these commo- tions the fires of Smithfield were seen to blaze with unusual fierceness.* Those who adhered to the pope or those who followed the doctrines of Lutner, were equally the objects of royal ven- geance and ecclesiastical persecution. Henry delivered bis opinions in a law, which, from its horrid consequences, was afterwards termed the Bloody Statute.^ From the multiplied alterations which were made in the national systems of be- lief, mostly drawn up by the king himself, few knew not what to tnink or what (o profess. — Cromwell earl of Essex, who waslord privy seal, vicegerent to the king's highness, and Cianmer, archbbhop of Canterbury, were both seen to favour the reformation with all their endeavours. On the other hand, Gardiner, bishop of Win- chester, together with the duke of Norfolk, were for leading the king back to his original supersti- tion. But, in fact, Henry submitted to neither ; his pride had long been so inflamed by flattery, that he thought himself entitled to regulate by his own single opinion, the religious faith of the whole nation.

Dr. Priestley, in his Lectures on Hutory, truly observes, how can we help acknowledging the band of God when we see great and important events brought about by seemingly trifling and inconsiderable means ; or by means which seem to have little or no relation to the end ; who would have imagined that the desire which Henry VIII. had to be divorced from his wife, would have brought about the reformation in England ?l Again, he observes, how incapable riches and power are to satisfy the minds of man ; is an

• KUzabeth Barton, a eonntry girl of Aldinirton, In Kent, (therefore called the " holy maid of Kent,") with aome of her accomplices, were adjod^ed ^ilty of high treuon. for a conspiracy against the kmg, and executed, April SWh, l»4.

t No leal than five hundred penons were imprisoned tor coaUadlctlng the opinions delivered in the BlooHf Si^tmie : and received protection only from the lenity ot CromweU. Lambert, a schoolmaster, and doctor Barnes, who had been Instrumental in Lambert's execution, felt ths severity of the peraecutlngr spirit, and by a bill In parliament, without any trial, were condemned to the fl a mes, discussing tkeologicaJ questions at the very stake. With Barnes were executed one Gensxd, and Jerome, for the same opinions. Three catholics also, whose names were Abel, Featbentone, and FoweU were dragged upon the same bordles to execatlon ; and who declared that the moat grlevons part of their punishment was the being oonpled with such heretical mttcreanU as were united in tbe same calamity.

t The Indiscretion of a Portnguese priest, who would not give place to one of the king's ofilcers in Japan, and the obatinacy of the Jesuits, in refusing to elve up the booae which a nobleman had given them, when his son dajmed it back again, occasioned the extirpation of the Homan cathoUc religion in that country.

observation which few persons, in the course of their own experience, have not seen occasion to make. But the sentiment makes a deeper impression upon us when we see it exemplified in the history of statesmen and kings. How often do we see the vanity of the living in their boundless provision for futurity, in the dissipation of the large fortunes of covetous persons, by the extravagance of their heirs. But it does not aflect us so much as when we read in history, that the riches which pope Sixtus V. amassed m his pontificate, and those which Henry IV. king of France, had with gf^t difficulty saved, were squander^ away wiuin less than a year after their ideaths; and also, that the treasure which Henry VII. of England, had raised, by every art of extortion, went almost as fast by Henry VIII. his son and successor.

1536. Shortly after the appearance of Cover- daWt Bible, a royal proclamation was issued to the clergy to provide a book " of the whole Bible, both in Laten, and also in English, and lay the same in the quire for everye man that will to loke and reade thereon."

The convocation of the province of Canterbury assembling June 9, the year 1536, Dr. Heylin tells us that the clergy then agreed upon a form of a petition to be presented to the king, that he would graciously indulge unto his subjects of the laity the reading of the Bible in the English tongue, and that a new translation of it might be forthwith made fur that end and purpose. By this it appears that the clergy did not approve of the translation already made by Tindali and Coverdale, and that their attempt, which they made two years ago to have the royal permission to make a new one did not succeed.

Soon after the finishing this Bible, were pub- lished by Lord Cromwell, keeper of the privy seal, and vicegerent to the king for and concerning all his jurisdiction ecclesiastical within his realme, " Injunctions to the clergy, by the authorite of the king's highnesse,*'* the seventh of which was as follows : —

"That every person or proprietary of any parish churche within this realme shall on this side the feast of Sl Peter ad vincuhi (August 1) nexte comming prouide a boke of the whole Bible, both in Latin and also in English, and lay the same in the quire for everye man that will to loke and read thereon ; and shall discourage no man from the reading any parte of the Bible,

  • Formerly kings were apostrophised by the title of jrow

grace. Henry Vlil, was the first, says Houssaie, who first assumed the title of highneu ; and at length majesty. It was Francis 1. who sainted him with the last title, In their interview, in this year, though he called himself only the first gentleman in his kingdom. The titla of Honour uf Seldon is a very curious volume, and, as the learned Usher told Evelyn, the most valuable work of this great scholar. He vindicates the right of a king of Eng- land to the title of Emperor.

And never yet was TiTt.a did not move -, And never eke a mind, that title did not love. An honest curate of Montfeixat refused to bestow the title of Ughruu on the duke of Mantua, because he found in his breviary these words ; Tu totus Domlniu, tu toltu Altisaimue ; from all which he concluded, that none but the Lord, was to be honoured with the title of highness.

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