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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 



C^oIUns's ScUrt f ibrarg. 










VOL. V. 




Is the four previous volnmes tbe author haff described the 

origin and essential development of the Eeformatiori of the 
Sixteenth Century on the Continent; he has now to relate th| 
history of the Eeformafion in EnglaM. ■''■ ■" " ' "" 

The notes Avill direct the reader to the principal sod^l 
whence the author has derived' his information. Most of thena 
are well known; others, howeVer,' had not been previously 
explored, among which are thef later volumes of the State 
Papers published by order of Government, by a Commission of 
which the illustrious Sir E'obfert Pec! was the first president 
Three successive Home Secretarid;, Sir James Graham, Si^ 
George Grey, and t\\6 'Hoaou'i-able Mr' "S. H. Walpole, havd 
presented the author with Copiesof 'the several volumes of this 
great and important collection: iil* some instances they were 
communicated to him as Soon as printed, which was the case in 
particular with the seventh volume, of which he has made much 
use. He takes this opportunity of expressing his sincere grati- 
tude to these noble friends of literature. 

The History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century 
was received with cordiality on the Continent; but it has had a 
far gi-eater number of readers in the British dominions and in 
the United States. The author looks upon the relations which 
this work has established betewen him and many distant Chris- 
tians, as a precious reward for his labours. Will the present 
volume be received in those countries as favourably as the 
others? A foreigner relating to the Anglo-Saxon race the his- 
tory of their Reformation Ls at a certain disadvantage; and 
although the author would rather have referred his readers to 
works, whether of old or recent date, by native writers, ail of 
them more competent for the task than himself, he did not 
think it becoming him to shrink from the undertakius. 


At no period is it possible to omit the history of the RefoF' 
mation in England from a general history of the Reformation oi 
the Sixteenth Century; at the present crisis it is less possible 
than ever. 

In the first place, the English Reformation has been, and 
still is, calumniated by writers of different parties, who look 
upon it as nothing more than an external political transforma- 
tion, and who thus ignore its spiritual nature. History has 
taught the author that it was essentially a religious transforma- 
tion, and that we must seek for it in men of faith, and not, as 
is usually done, solely in the caprices of the prince, the ambition 
of the nobility, and the servility of the prelates. A faithful 
recital of this great renovation will perhaps show us that beyond 
and without the measures of Henry VIII there was something 
— everything, so to speak — for therein was the essence of the 
Reformation, that which makes it a divine and imperishable 

A second motive forced the author to acknowledge the neces- 
sity of a true History of the English Reformation. An active 
party in the Episcopalian Church is reviving with zeal, perse- 
verance, and talent, the principles of Roman-catholicism, and 
striving to impose them on the Reformed Church of England, 
and incessantly attacking the foundations of evangelical Chris- 
tianity. A number of young men in the universities, seduced 
by that deceitful mirage which some of their teachers have 
pkced before their eyes, are launching out into clerical and 
superstitious theories, and running the risk of falling, sooner or 
later, as so many have done already, into the ever-yawning gulf 
ot Popery. "We luust tiiereforc call to mind the reforming 
principles which were proclaimed from the very commencement 
of this great translbrmatiou. 

The new position which tlio Romish court is taking in Eng- 
land, and its insolent aggi-cssions, are a third consideration 
whicli seems to demonstrate to us the present importance of this 
history. It is good to call to mind that the primitive Chris- 
tianity of (J rout iiritain perseveringly repelled the invasion of 
the popedom, and that alter the definitive victory of this foreign 
power, the nobloot voices among kin^s, lords, priests, and people, 
ijoldly protested against it. It is good to show that, while the 
word ot God recovered its inalienable rights in Britain in the 
sixteenth century, the popedom, agit-iled by wholly political 
interests, broke of itself the chain vith which it had so long 
bound Euglaud. — Wt shall see in this volume the English gov- 


emment fortifying itself, for instance under Edward III, against 
the invasions of Rome. It has been pretended in our days, and 
by others besides ultra-montanists, that the papacy is a purely 
spiritual power, and ought to be opposed by spiritual arms only. 
If the first part of this argument were true, no one would be 
readier than ourselves to adopt the conclusion. Grod forbid 
that any protestant state should ever refuse the completest 
liberty to the Roman-catholic doctrines. \Ve certainly wish 
for reciprocity; we desire that ultra-montanism should no longei 
throw into prison the humble believers who seek consolation for 
themselves, and for their friends, in Holy Scripture. But 
though a deplorable fanaticism should still continue to imitate 
in the nineteenth century the mournful tragedies of the Middle 
Ages, we should persist in demanding the fullest liberty, not 
only of conscience, but of worship, for Roman-catholics in pro- 
testant states. We should ask it in the name of justice, whose 
immutable laws the injustiee ot our adversaries can never make 
us forget; we should :aL. it on behalf of the final triumph of 
truth; for if our detuands proved unavailing, perhaps with God's 
help it; might be otherwise with our example. \Vhen two 
worlds meet face to face, in one of which light abounds, and in 
the other darkness, it is the darkness that should disappear 
boibre the light, and not the light fly from before the darkness. 
We might go even farther than this: far from constraining the 
English catholics in anything, we would rather desire to help 
them to be freer than tliey uio, and to aid them in recovering 
the rights of which the Roman bishops robbed them in tunes 
posterior to the establishment of the papacy; for instance, the 
ekction of bishops and pastors, which belongs to the clergy and 
the people. Indeed, Cyprian, writing to a bishop of Rome 
(Comehus), demanded three elements to secure tne legitimacy 
of episcopal election: '• The call of God, the voice of the people, 
and the consent of the co-bishops," ' And the council of Rome, 
in 1080, said: "Let the clergy and the people, with the con- 
sent of the apostolic see or of their metropolitan, elect their 
bishop." 2 In our days, — days distinguished by great liberty, — 
shall the church be less free than it was in the Middle Agca? 

But if we do not fear to claim for Roman-cathoUcs the rights 
of the church of the first ages, and a greater liberty than wnat 
they now possess, even in tue very seat of the popedom, are we 

1 DiTmum jndiejttm. popnU safiaoom. co^pUcoporum con«!usus. Efa t. 55. 
CUna et popnlax. sportolicaB sedis. vel metropoliUni soi consensu, postorem libi elin*. 
M*u»j, XX, p. 5J3. ^^ 


therefore to say that the state, whether under Edward III or in 
later times, should oppose no hairier against Romish aggressions? 
If it is the very life and soul of popery to pass beyond the 
boundaries of religion, and enter into the domain of policy, why 
should it be thought strange for the state to defend itself^ when 
attacked upon its own ground? Can the state have no need of 
precautions against a power which has pretended to be para- 
mount over England, which gave its crown to a French mon- 
arch, which obtained an oath of vassalage from an English king, 
and which lays down as its first dogma its infallibility and 

And it was not only under Edward III and throughout the 
Middle Ages that Rome encroached on royalty; it has happened 
in modern times also. M. Mignet has recently brought to light 
some remarkable facts. On the 28th of June 1570, a letter 
from Saint Pius V was presented to the catholic king Philip II 
by an agent just arrived from Rome. " Our dear son, Robert 
Ridolfi," says the writer, ''' will explain (God willing) to your 
majesty certain matters which concern not a little the honour 

of Almighty God AVo conjure your majesty to take into 

your serious consideration the matier which he will lay before 
you, and to furnish him with all the means your majesty may 
judge most proper for its execution." The pope's *• dear son," 
accordingly, explained to the duke of Feria, wlio was commis- 
sioned by Philip to receive his communication, " that it was 
proposed to kill Queen Elizabeth; that the attempt would not 
be made in London, because it was the seat of heresy, but dur- 
ing one of her journeys; and that a certain James G would 

undertake it." The same day the council met and dehberated 
on Elizabeth's assassination. Philip declared his willingness to 
undertake the foul deed recommended by his hohuess; but as it 
would be an expensive business, his minister hinted to the 
nuncio that the pope ought to furnish the money. This horrible 
but instructive recital will be found with all its details in the 
Mistoirc tie Marie Stuart, by JM. Mignet, vol. ii, p. lo'J, etc. 
It is true that these things took place in the sixteenth century; 
but the Romish church has canonized the priestly murderer, — 
uu honoui' conferred on a very fcmail number of popes, — uiid 
the canonization took place in the eighteenth century.^ This is 
uo very distant date. 

And these theories, so calculated to trouble nations, are still 
to be met with in the nineteenth century. At this very moment 

i Acta cauouiBulioi.u S' I'ii- V, lloma:, 1720, foUo. 


there are writers asserting principles under cover of which the 
pope may interfere in affaire of state. The kings of Europe, 
terrified by the deplorable outbreaks of 1848, appear almost 
everywhere ready to support the court of Rome by arms; and 
nltra-montanism is taking advantage of this to proclaim once 
more, " that the popedom is above the monarchy; that it is the 
duty of the inferior (the king) to obey the superior; tha . it is 
the duty of the superior (the pope) to depose the sovereigi is who 
abuse their power, and to condemn the subjects who resist it; 
and, finally, that this public law of Christian Europe, abolished 
by the ambition of sovereigns or the insubordination of peoples, 
should be revived." Such are the theories now professed not 
only by priests but by influential laymen.^ To this opinion be- 
long, at the present hour, all the zeal and enthusiasm of Rom- 
anism, and this alone we are bound to acknowledge is consistent 
with the principles of popery. And accordingly it is to be feared 
that this party will triumph, unless we oppose it with the united 
forces of the human understanding, of religious and political 
liberty, and above all of the word of God. The most distingu- 
ished organ of public opinion in France, alarmed by the progress of 
these ultramontane doctrines, said not long ago of this party: 
" In its eyes there exists but one real authority in the world, 
that of the pope. All questions, not only religious but moral 
and political, are amenable to one tribunal, supreme and infal- 
ible, the pope's. The pope has the right to absolve subjects of 
their oath of fidelity; subjects have the right to take up arms 
against their prince when he rebels against the decisions of the 
holy see. This is the social and political theory of the Middle 

Since the popedom asserts claims both spiritual and temporal, 
the church and the state ought to resist it, each in his own 
sphere, and with its peculiar arms: the church (by which I mean 
the believers), solely with Holy Scriptm-e; the state with such 
institutions as are calculated to secure its independence. What! 
the church is bound to defend what belongs to the church, and 
the state is not to defend what belongs to the state? If a band 
of robbers should endeavour to plunder two houses, would it be 
just and charitable for one neighbour to say to the other, " I 
must defend loy house, but you must let yours be stripped?" H 
the pope desires to have the immaculate conception of the Virgin, 
•or any other religious doctrinCj preached, let the fullest liberty 

1 See in particoUr Lt CatMlieiime, le Ziberaliamt, et U Soeialisme, and other writingi 
■of DoQoso Cortes, marquis of Valdegamas, one of the most distinguished members of the 
«ocstitutioual part; in Spain. • J oomal des Uebats, ISth Jauzary 1S53. 


be granted him, and let him build as many churches as he pleasea 
for that purpose : we claim this in the plainest language. But 
if the pope, like Saint Pius, desires to kill the queen of England, 
or at least (for no pope in our days, were he even Saint enough 
to be canonized, would conceive such an idea), if the pope desires 
to infringe in any way on the rights of the state, then let the 
state resist him with tried wisdom and unskaken firmness. Let 
us beware of an ultra-spiritualism which forgets the lessons of 
history, and overlooks the rights of kings and peoples. When 
it is found among theologians, it is an error; in statesmen, it is 
a danger. 

Finally, and this consideration revives our hopes, there is a 
fourth motive which gives at this time a particular importance 
to the history we are about to relate. The Reformation is now 
entering upon a new phasis. The movement of the sixteenth 
century had died away during the seventeenth and eighteenth, 
and it was often to churches which had lost every spark of life 
that the historian had then to recount the narrative of this 
gi-eat revival. This is the case no longer. After three centuries, 
a new and a greater movement is succeeding that which we 
describe in these volumes. The principles of the religious 
regeneration, which God accompUshed three hundred years 
ago, are now carried to the end of the world with the greats 
est energy. The task of the sixteenth century lives again in 
the nineteeth, but more emancipated from the temporal power, 
more spiritual, more general; and it is the Anglo-Saxon race 
that God chiefly employs for the accomplishment of this uni- 
versal work. The English Reformation acquires therefore, in 
our days, a special importance. If the Reformation of Germany 
was the foundation of the building, that of England was its crown- 
ing stone. 

The work begun in the age of the apostles, and renewed ia 
the times of the reformers, should be resumed in our days mth 
a holy enthusiasm; and the work is very simple and very beauti- 
iul, for it consists in establishing the throne of Jesus Christ ia 
the church and on earth. 

Evangelical faith does not place on the throne of the church 
either human reason or religious conscientiousness, as some 
■would have it; but it sets thereon Jesus Christ, who is both the 
knowledge taught and tUe doctor who teaches it; who explains 
his word by the word, and by tlie light of his Holy Spirit; who 
by it bears witness to the truth, that is to say, to his redemption, 
and teaches the essential laws which should regulate the inner 


life of his disciples. Evangelical faith appeals to the understand- 
ing, to the heart, and to the will of every Christian, only to im- 
pose on them the duty to submit to the divine authority of 
Christ, to listen, believe, love, comprehend, and act, as God 

Evangelical faith does not place on the throne of the church 
the civil power, or the secular magistrate; but it sets thereon 
Jesus Christ, who has said, I am King; who imparts to his sub- 
jects the principle of life; who establishes iils kingdom here on 
earth, and preserves and develops it; and who, directing all 
mortal events, is now making the progressive conquest of the 
world, until he shall exercise in person his divine authority in 
the kin^rdom of his glorv. 

Finally, evangelical faith does not place on the throne of the 
church priests, councils, doctors, or their traditions, — or that 
vice-God (yeri Dei vicem fjerit in terris, as the Romish gloss has 
it), that infallible pontiff, who, reviving the errors of the pagans, 
ascribes salvation to the forms of worship and to the meritorious 
works of men. It sets thereou Jesus Christ, the great high- 
priest of his people, the God-man, who, by an act of his free 
iove, bore in our stead, in his atoning sacrifice, the penalty of 
sin; — who has taken away the curse from our heads, and thus 
become the creator of a new race. 

Such is the essential work of that Christianity which the 
apostolic age transmitted to the reformers, and which it now 
transmits to the Christians of the nineteenth century. 

While the thoughts of great numbers are led astray in the 
midst of ceremonies, priests, human lucubrations, pontifical fables, 
and philosophic reveries, and are driven to and fro in the dusb 
of this world, evangelical faith rises even to heaven, and falls 
prostrate before Him who sitteth on the throne. 
The Reformation is Jesus Christ. 

" Lord, to whom shall we go, if not unto thee? " Let others 
follow the devices of their imaginations, or prostrate themselves 
before traditional superstitions, or kiss the feet of a sinful man. 
0, King of glory, we desire but Thee alone! 

Eaox-Yites, Gekkta, Mardi IS53. 





Introduction — Work of the Sixteenth Century — Unity and DiTersity— 
Necessity of considering the entire Religious History of England — 
Establishment of Christianity in Great Britain — Formation of 
Ecclesiastical Catholicism in the Roman Empire — Spiritual Chris- 
tianity received by Britain — Slavery and Conversion of Succat — 
His mission to Ireland — Anglo-Saxons re-establish Paganism in 
England — Columba at lona — Evangelical Teaching — Presbytery and 
Episcopacy in Great Britain — Continental Missions of the Britons— 
An Omission, page 21 


Tope Gregory the Great — Desires to reduce Britain — Policy of Gregory 
and Augustine — Arrival of the Mission — Appreciation— Britain sn- 
perior to Rome — Dionoth at Bangor — First and Second Romish 
Aggressions — Anguish of the Britons — Pride of Rome — Rome has 
recourse to the Sword — Massacre — Saint Peter scourges an Arch- 
bishop — Oswald — His Yictory — Corman — Mission of Oswald and 
Aidan— Death of Oswald, page 33 


Character of Oswj- — Death of Aidan — Wilfrid at Rome — At Oswald's 
Court — Finan and Colman — Independence of the Church attacked 
— Oswj-'s Conquests and Troubles — Synodtts Pharensis — Cedda — 
Degeneration — The Disputation — Peter, the Gatekeeper — Triumph 
of Rome — Grief of the Britons — Popedom organized in England — 
Papal Exultation — Archbishop Theodore — Cedda re-ordained — Dis- 
cord in the Church — Disgrace and Treachery of Wilfrid — His end- 
Scotland attacked — Adamnan — lona resists — A King converted by 
Architects — The Monk Egbert at lona — His History — Monkish 
YisiouB — Fall of lona, page 43 


Clement — Struggle between a Scotchman and an Englishman — Word 
of God only — Clement's Success — His condemnation — Virgil and the 
Antipodes — John Scotus and Philosophi>*al Religion — Alfred and 



the Bible — Darkness and Popery — William the Conqueror — Wulstoa 

at Edward's Tomb — Struggle between William and Hildebrand — 

. The Pope yields — Caesaropapia, .... page oS 


Anselm's Firmness — Becket's Austerity — The king scourged — John be- 
comes the Pope's Vassal — Collison between Popery and Liberty — 
The Vassal King ravages his kingdom — Religion of the Senses and 
Superstition, .... . page 66 


Keaction — Grostete — Principles of Reform — Contest with the Pope — 
Sewal — Progress of the Nation — Opposition to the Papacy — Conver- 
sion of Brad wardine —Grace is Supreme — Edward III — Statutes of 
Provisors and Prcemunire, . , . page 72 


The Mendicant Friars — Their Disorders and Popular Indignation — 
WicklifFe — His Success — Speeches of the Peers aginst the Papal 
Tribute — Agreement of Bruges — Courtcnay and Lancaster — Wick- 
liffe before the Convocation — Altercation between Lancaster and 
Courtenay — Riot — Three Briefs against Wicklitl'e — Wickliffe at 
Lambeth — INlission of the Poor Priests — Their Pi'cachiugs and Per- 
secutions — Wickliffe and the Four Regents, . page 77 


The Bible — Wickliffe's Translation — Effects of its Publication — Opposi- 
tion of the Clergy — Wickliffe's Fourth Phasis — Transubstantiation — 
Excommunication — Wickliffe's Firmness — W'at Tyler — The Synod — 
The condemned Propositions — Wickliffe's Petition — Wickliffe before 
the Primate at Oxford — Wickliffe summoned to Rome — His answer 
— The Trialogue — His Death — And Chaiucter — His Teaching — His 
Ecclesiastical Views — A Prophecy, . . . page S(> 


The Wickliffites— Call for Reform— Richard H— The first Martyr- 
Lord Cobham — Appears before Henry V — Before the Archbishop^ 
His Confession and Death— The Lollards, . . page t»7 


Learning at Florence— The Tudors— Erasmus visits England— Sir 
Thomas More— Dean Colet— Erasmus and young Henry— Prince 
Arthur and Catherine — Marriage and Death— Catherine betrothed 
to Henry — Accession of Henry S'llI — Enthusiasm of the Learned — 
Erasmus recalled to England — Cromwell before the Pope — Cathe- 
rine proposed to Hcnry^ — Their Marriage and Court — TournamenU 
—Henry's Danger, .... pa«« ICS 



The Pope excites to War — Colet's Senn»n at St. Paul's — The Flemish 
Campaign — Marriage of Louis XII and Princess Marj- — Letter from 
Anne Boleyn — Marriage of Brandon and Mary — Oxford — Sir Thomas 
More at Court — Attack upon the Monasteries — Colet's Household — 
He preaches Reform — The Greeks and Trojans, . page 114 

Wolsey — His first Commission — His complaisance and Diocesses — Car- 
dinal, Chancellor, and Legate — Ostentation and Jfecromancy — His 
Spies and Enmity — Pretensions of the clergy, . page 122 


The 'Wolves— Richard Hun — A Murder — Verdict of the Jury — Hun 
condemned, and his Character vindicated — The Gravesend Passage- 
boat — A festival disturbed — Brown tortured — Tisit from his Wife — 
A Martyr — Character of Erasmus — 1516 and 1517 — Erasmusgoea to 
asle, ...... page 126 



C H A P T E R I. 

Pour reforming Powers — Which reformed England? — Papa! Reform? 

Episcopal Reform? — Royal Reform? — What is required in a legitimate 
Reform— The Share of the Kingly Power— Share of the Episcopal 
Authority— High and Low Church— Political Events— The Greek and 
Latin New Testament— Thoughts of Erasmus — Enthusiasm and anger 
—Desire of Erasmus — Clamours of the Priests— Their Attack at Court 
— Astonishment of Erasmus— His Labours for this Work — Edward 
Lee; his Character — Lee's Trai^ec^y— Conspiracy, . page 134 

Effects of the JTew Testament in the Universities — Conversations — A 
Cambridge Fellow— Bilney buys the 2,ew Testament— The first Pas- 
sage—His Conversion— Protestantism, the Fruit of the Gospel— The 

Vale of the Severn— William Tyndale— Evangelization at Oxford 

Bilney teaches at Cambridge—Fryth— Is Conversion Possible? — 
True Consecration — The Reformation has begun, . page 114 

Alarm of the Clergy— The Two Days— Thomas Man's Preaching— True 
real Presence— Persecutions at Coventry— Standish preaches at St. 
Paul's— His Petition to the King and Queen— His Arguments and 
Defeat— Wolsey's Ambition— First Overtures— Henrv and Francis 
Candidates for the Empire— Conference between Francis I and Sir 


T. Boleyn — The Tiara promised to Wolsey — The cardinal's Intrigues 
with Charles and Francis, . • . . page 151 


Tyndale— Sodbury Hall— Sir John and Lady Walsh— Tatle-Talk— The 
Holy Scriptures — The Images — The Anchor of Faith — A Roman 
Camp — Preaching of Faith and Works — Tyndale accused by the 
Priests — They tear up what he has planted — Tyndale resolves to 
translate the Bible — His first triumph —The Priests in the taverns 
— Tyndale summoned before the Chancellor of Worcester — Consoled 
by an aged Doctor — Attacked by a schoolman — His Secret becomes 
known — He leaves Sodbury Hall, . . page 168 


Luther's Works in England — Consultation of the Bishops — The Bull of 
Leo X published in I'^ngland — Luther's books burnt — Letter of 
Henry VIll — He undertakes to write against Luther — Cry of Alarm 
— Tradition and Sacramentalism — Prudence of Sir T. More — The 
Book presented to the Pope — Defender of the Faith — Exultation of 
the king, ...... page 166 


Wolsey's Machinations to obtain the Tiara — lie gains Charles V — 
Alliance between Henry and Charles — Wolsey offers to command the- 
Troops — Treaty of Bruges — Henry believes himself King of France 
— Victories of Francis I — Death of Leo X, . . page 173^ 


The Just Men of Lincolnshire — Their Assemblies and Teaching — Agnes 
and Morden — Itinerant Libraries — Polemical Conversations — Sar- 
casm — Royal Decree and Terror — Depositions and Condemnations — 
Four Martyrs — A Conclave — Charles consoles Wolsey, page 177 


Character of Tyndale — He arrives in London — He preaches — The Cloth 
and the Ell — The bishop of London gives Audience to Tyndale — He 
is dismissed — A Christian Merchant of London — Spirit of Love in 
the Eeformatiou — Tyndale in Monmouth's House- Fry th helps him 
to translate the New Testament — Importunities of the Bishop of 
Lincoln — Persecution in London — Tyndalc's Resolution — Ho departs 
' — His Indigna^on against the Prelates — His Hopes, page 182 


Bilney at Cambridge — Conversions — The University Cross-Bearer — 
A Leicestershire Farmer — A Party of Students — Superstitious 
Practices — An obstinate Papist — The Sophists — Latimer attacks 
Stafford — Bilney 's Resolution — Latimer hears Bilncy's Confession 
— Confessor converted — New Life in Latimer — Bilney preaches- 

CONTEaiTS. 15- 

Grace — Mature of the Ministry — Latimer's Character and Teach- 
ing — Worka of Charity — Three Classes of Adyersariea — Clark and 
Dalaber ...... page 190 


Wolsey Becks the Tiara— Clement Til is elected — Wolsey'j dissimula- 
tion — Charles offers France to Uenry — Pace's Mission on this Sub- 
ject — Wolsey reforms the Convents — Hiis secret Alliances — Treaty 
between France and England — Taxation and Insurrection — False 
Charges against the Reformers — Latimer's Defence — Tenterdea 
Steeple, ...... page 201 


Tjndale at Hamburg — First two Gospels — Embarrassment — Tyndale 
at Wittembcrg — At Cologne — The ^ew Testament atPrcss — Sudden 
Interruption — Cochlaeus at Cologne — Eupert's Manuscripts — Dis- 
covery of Cochlaeus — His Inquiries — His alarm — Rincke and the 
Senate's Prohibition — Consternation and Decision of Tyndale — 
Cochlffius writes to England — TvTidale ascends the Rhine — Prints 
two Editions at Worms — Tyndale's Prayer, . page 207 


Worms and Cambridge — St. Paul resuscitated — Latimer's Preaching — 
Never Man spake like this ]Man — Toy and Vexation at Cambridge — 
Sermon by Prior Buckingham — Irony — Latimer's Reply to Bucking- 
ham — The Students threatened — Latimer preaches before the Bishop 
— He is forbidden to preach — The most zealous of Bishops — Barnes 
the Restorer of Letters — Bilney undertakes to convert him — Barnes 
offers his pulpit to Latimer — Fryth's Thirst for God — Christmas 
Eve, 1525 — Storm against Barnes — Ferment in the Colleges — Ger- 
many at Cambridge — Meetings at Oxford — General Expecta- 
tion, ..... page 215 




Church and State essentially distinct — Their fundamental Principles — 
What restores Life to the Church — Separation from Rome necessary 
— Reform and Liberty — 'ihe ^'ew Testament crosses the sea — Is 
hidden in London — Garret's Preaching and Zeal — Dissemination of 
" cripture — ^What the People find in it — The Effects it produces — 
Tyndale's Explanations — Roper, M ore's son-in-law — Garret carries 
Tv-ndale's Testament to Oxford — Henry and his Valet — The Suppli- 
ration of the Beggars — Two Sorts of Beggars — Evils caused by 
Priests — More's Supplications of ^he SquIb in Purgatory, page 225 



"The two Airthorities — Cosaencement of the Search — Garret at Ox- 
ford — His flight — Hia return and Imprieonment — Escapes and 
takes Refuge with Dalaber — Garret and Dalaber at Prayer— The 

- Magnificat — Surprise among the Doctors — Clark's Advice — Fra- 
ternal Love at Oxford— Alarm of Dalaber—His Arrest and Exam- 
ination — He is tortured — Garret and twenty Fell^wa imprisoned 
The Cellar — Condemnation and Humiliation, . Jig© 238 


i'ersecution at Cambridge — Barnes arrested — A grand Search — Barnes 
at Wolsey's Palace — Interrogated by the Cardinal — Conversation 
between Wolsey and Barnes — Barnes threatened with the Stake — 
His Fall and public Penance — Richard Bayfield— His Faith and 
Imprisonment — Visits Cambridge — Joins Tyndale — The Confessors 
in the Cellar at Oxford— Four of them die— The rest liberated, 2i6 


Luther's Letter to the King — Henry's Anger — His Reply— Luther's 
Resolution — Persecutions — Barnes escapes — Proclamations against 
the New Testament— W. Roy to Caiaphas— Third Edition of the New 
Testament— The Triumph of Law and Liberty— Hacket attacks the 
Printer — Hacket 's Complaints— A seizure — The Year 1526 in 
England, page 2»:} 


Wolsey desires to be revenged — The Divorce suggested— Henry's Sen- 
timents towards the Queen — Wolsey's first Steps — L^Bgland's Pro- 
ceedings—Refusal of Margaret of Valois— Objection of the Bishop 
of Tarbes — Henry's uneasiness — Catherine's Alarm — Mission to 
Spain, . . ... page 261 


Anne Boleyn appointed Maid of Honour to Catherine — Lord Percy 
becomes attached to her — Wolsey separates them — Anne Enters 
Margaret's Household — Siege of Rome; Cromwell — Wolsey's Inter- 
cession for the Popedom — He demands the Hand of Ren6e of France 
for Henry — Failure— Anne re-appears at Court— Repels the king's 
Advances — Henry's Letter — He resolves to accelerate the Divorce — 
Two Motives which induce Anne to refuse the Crown — Wolsey's 
Opposition, page 267 

Bilncy's Preaching — His arrest — Arthur's Preaching and Imprisonment 
— Bilncy's Examination — Contest betwecL the Judge and the Pris- 
oner — Bilrwey's weakness and Fall — His Terrors — Two Wants — Ar- 
rival of the Fourth Edition of the New Testament— Joy among the 
B6licvero, page 275 



The Papacy intercepts the Gospel — The King consults Sir Thomas 
More — Ecclesiastical Conferences about the divorce — The Univer- 
sities — Clark — The Nun of Kent — Wolsey aecides to do the king's 
Will — Mission to the Pops — Four Documents — Embarrassment of 
Charles V — Francis Philip at Madrid — Distress and Resolution of 
Charles — He turns away from the Reformation — Conference at the 
Castle of St. Angelo — Knight arrives in Italy — His Flight-Treaty 
between the Pope and the Emperor — Escape of the Pope — Confu- 
sion of Henry YlII — Wolsey's orders — IJis Entreaties, page 2Sl 

The English Envoys at Orvieto — Their oration to the Pope — Clement 
gains Time — The Envoys and Cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor — Stra- 
tagem of the Pope — Knight discovers it and returns — The Trans- 
formations of Antichrist — The English obtain a new Document — 
Fresh Stratagem — Demand of a second Cardinal-legate — The Pope's 
new Expedient —End of the Campaign, . . . page "289 


Disappointment in England — War declared against Charles V — 
Wolsey desires to get him deposed by the Pope — A new Scheme — 
Embassy of Fox and Gardiner — Their Arrival at Orvieto — Their 
tirst interview with Clement — The Pope reads a treatise by Henry 
— Gardiner's Threats and Clement's Promise — The Modem Fabius 
-Fresh Interview and Menaces — The pope has not the key — 
Gardiner's Proposition — Difficulties and delays of the Cardiaais — 
f Gardiner's last Blows — Reverses of Charles V in Italy — The Pope's 
Terror and Concession — The Commission granted — Wolsey demands 
the Engagement — A Loophole — The Pope's Distress, page 297 

Fox's Eeport to Henry and Anne — Wolsey's Impression — He demands 
the Decretal — One of the Cardinal's petty Manoeuvres — He sets 
his Conscience at Rest — Gardiner fails at Rome — Wolsey's new 
perfidy — The King's Anger against the Pope — Sir T. More predicts 
Religious Liberty— Immorality of Ultramontane Socialism — 
]-rasmu3 invited — Wolsey's last Flight — Energetic Eflforts at Rome 
— Clement grants all — Wolsey triumphs — Union of Rome and 
England. ..... page 307 




Progress of the Reformation — The two Divorces — Entreaties to Anne 
BolcTO — The Letters in the Vatican— Henrj- to Anne — Henry's 
46 B 


Second Letter — Third — Fourth — Wolsey's Alarm — His fruitless Pro- 
ceeding's — He turns — The Sweating Sickness — Henry's Fears — New 
Letters to Anne — Anne falls sick; her Peace — Henry writes to her — 
Wolsey's Terror — Campeggio does not arrive — All dissemble at. 
Court, page 315^ 


Coverdale and Inspiration — He undertakes to translate the Scriptures 
— His Joy and Spiritual Songs — Tyball and the Laymen — Cover- 
dale preaches at Bumpstead — Revival at Colchester — Incomplete 
Societies and the New Testament — Persecution — Monmouth ar- 
rested and released, .... . . page 327 


Political Changes — Fresh Instructions from the Pope to Campeggio — 
His Delays — He unbosoms himself to Francis — A Prediction — Arrival 
of Campeggio — Wolsey's Uneasiness — Henry's Satisfaction — The Car- 
dinal's Project — Campeggio's Reception — First Interview with the 
Queen and with the King — Useless Efforts to make Campeggio part 
with the Decretal — The Nuncio's Conscience — Public Opinion — 
Measures taken by the King — His Speech to the Lords and 
Aldermen — Festivities — Wolsey seeks French Support — Contra- 
rietj', , . . page 33i 


True Catholicity — Wolsey — Ilarman's Matter — West sent to Cologne 
— Labours of Tyndale and Fryth — Rincke at Frankfort— He makes 
a Discovery — Tyndale at Marburg — West returns to England — His 
Tortures in the Monastery, . . . . . page 347 


Necessity of the Kcformation — Wolsey's Earnestness with Da Casale — 
An Audience with Clement VII — Cruel Position of the Pope— A 
Judas' Kiss — A new Brief— Bryan and Vannes sent to Rome — Henry 
and Du Bellay — Wolsey's Reasons against the Brief— Excitement iu 
London— Metamorphosis— Wolsey's Decline— His Anguish, page 353- 


The Pope's Illness— Wolsey's Desire— Conference alwut the Members 
of the Conclave— Wolsey's Instructions— The Pope recovers— Speech 
of the English Envoys to the Pope— Clement willing to abandon 
England— Tiie English demand the Pope's Denial of the Brief— 
M'olsey'B-Alarm-Intrigues — Bryan's Clearsightedness— Henry's 
Threats- Wolsey's new Eflbrts— He calls for an Appeal to Kcme, 
and retracts— Wolsey and Du Belly at Richmond— The Ship of the 
State,"' ■• page 35t> 



Discussion Bet-ween the Evangrelicals and the Catholics — Union of 
Learning and Life— The Laity — Tewkesbury— His Appearance before 
the Bishop's Court— He is tortured — Two Classes of Opponents — A 
Theological Duel — Scripture and the Church — Emancipation of the 
Mind — Mission to the Low Countries— Tyndale's Embarn'ssment — 
Tonstall wishes to buy the Books — Packington's Stratagem— Tyn- 
dale departs for Antwerp — His Shipwreck — Arrival at Hamburg — 
Meets Coverdale, page 8CG 


The Royal Session — Sitting of the 18th June; the Queen's Protest — 
Sitting of the 21st June — Summons to the King and Queen — Cath- 
erine's Speech — She retires — Impression on the Audience — The 
King's Declaration — Wolscy's Protest — Quarrel between the Bishops 
— New Sitting — Apparition to the Maid of Kent — Wolsey chafed by 
Henry — The Earl of Wiltshire at Wolsey's — Private Conference bcr 
tween Catherine and the two Legates, . . . page S75 


The Trial resumed — Catoenne summoned — Twelve Articles — The 
Witnesses' Evidence — Anhur and Catherine really married — Cam- 
peggio opposes the Argument of Divine Eight — Other Arguments — 
The Legates required to deliver Judgment — Their Tergiversations 
— Change in Allen's Minds — Final Session — General Expectation 
— Adjournmeut during Harvest — Campeggio excuses this Impertin- 
ence — The King's Indignation — Suffolk's Violence — Wolsey's Reply 
— He is ruined — General Accusations — The Cardinal turns to an 
Episcopal Life, page 3S4 


Anne Boleyn at Hever — She Reads the Obedience of a Christian Man 
— Is recalled to Court — Miss Gainsford and George Zouch — Tyndale's 
Book converts Zouch — Zouch in the Chapel-Uoyal — The Book seized 
—Anne applies to Henry— The King reads the Book — Pretended 
Influence of the Book on Henry — The Court at Woodstock — The 
Park and its Goblins— Henrj-'s Esteem for Anne, . page 390 


Embarrassment of the pope — The Triumphs of Charles decide him — 
He traverses the Cause to Rome — Wolsey's Dejection — Henry's 
Wrath — His Fears — Wolsey obtains Comfort — Arrival of the two 
Legates at Grafton — Wolsey's reception by Henry — Wolsey and 
Norfolk at Dinner — Henry with Anne — Conference between the 
King and the Cardinal — Wolsey's Joy and Grief— The Supper at 
Euston — Campeggio's Farewell Audience — Wolsey's Disgrace — 
Campeggio at Dover — He is accused by the courtiers — Leaves 
England— Wolsey foresees his own Fail and that of the 
Papacy, ...... jage 397 



A Meeting at Waltham — Youth of Thomas Cranmer — His early Edu- 
cation — Studies Scripture for Three Years — His functions as Ex- 
aminer — The Supper at Waltham — New View of the Divorce — Fox 
communicates it to Henry — Cranmer's Vexation — Conference with 
the King — Cranmer at the Boleyns, . . page 407 


Wolsey in the Court of Chancery — Accused by the Dukes — Refuses to 
give up the Great Seal — His Despair — He gives up the Seal — Order 
to depart — His Inventory — Alarm— 'J'he Scene of Departure — Fav- 
curable Message from the King — Wolsey's Joy — His Fool — Arrival 
at Esher, ..... page 412 


Thomas More elected Chancellor — A lay Government one of the great 
Facte of the Reformation — Wolsey accused of subordinating England 
to the Pope — He implores the King's Clemency — Plis Condemnation 
— Cromwell at Esher — His Character — He sets out for London — ^Sir 
Christopher Hales recommends him to the King — Cromwell's Inter- 
view with Henry in the Park — A new Theory — Cromwell elected 
Member of Parliament — Opened by Sir Thomas More — Attack on 
ecclesiastical Abuses —Reforms pronounced by the Convocation — 
Three Bills — Rochester attacks them — Resistance of the House of 
Commons — Struggles — Henry sanctions the three Bills — Alarm of 
the Clergy and Disturbances, . . . page 418 


The last hour — More's Fanaticism — Debates in Convocation — Royal 
Proclamation — The Bishop of Norwich — Sentences condemned — 
Latimer's Opposition — The New Testament burnt — The Persecution 
begins — Hitton — Bayfield — Tonstali and Packington — Bayfield ar- 
rested — The Rector Patmore — Lollards' Tower— Tyndalc and Pat- 
more— a Musician — Freesc the Painter — Placards and Martyrdom 
of Bennet— Thomas More and John Petit — Bilney, page 426 


Wolsey's Terror— Impeachment by the Peers— Cromwell saves him— 
The Cardinal's Illness — Ambition returns to him— His Practices in 
Yorkshire— He is arrested by Northumberland— His departure- 
Arrival of the Constable of tb.e Tower— Wolsey at Leicester Abbey 
— Persecuting Language— He dies— Three Movements; Supremacy, 
^Scripture, and Faith, .... page 438 





Introduction— 'Work of the Sixteenth Century— Unity and Diversity- 
Necessity of considering the entire Eeligious History of England — 
Establishment of Christianity in Great Britain — Formation of 
Ecclesiastical Catholicism in the Koman Empire— Spiritual Chris- 
tianity received by Britain— Slavery and Conversion of Succat— 
His Mission to Ireland — Anglo-Saxons re-establish Paganism ia 
England— Columba at lona— Evangelical Teaching— Presbytery and 
Episcopacy in Great Britain —Continental Missions of the Britons — 
An Omission. 

THOSE heavenly powers which had lain dormant in the 
Church since the first ages of Christianity, awoke from their 
slumber in the sixteenth century, and this awakening called the 
modem times into existence. The Church was created anew, 
and from that regeneration have flowed the great developments 
of literature and science, of morality, liberty, and industry, 
which at present characterize the nations of Christendom. None 
of these things would have existed without the Reformation. 
"Whenever society enters upon a new era, it requires the baptism 
of faith. In the sixteenth century God gave to man this con- 
secration from on high by leading him back from mere outward 
profession and the mechanism of works to an inward and lively 

This transformation was not ejected without Btfuggle*— 
struggles which presented at first a remarkable unity. On the 
day of battle one and the same feeling animated every bosom: 


after the victory they became divided. Unity of faith indeed 
remained, but the difference of nationalities brought into the 
Church a diversity of forms. Of this we are about to •witness a 
striking example. The Reformation, -which had begun its 
triumphal march in Germany, Switzerland, France, and several 
other parts of the continent, was destined to receive new strength 
by the conversion of a celebrated country, long known as the 
I^h of Saints. This island was to add its banner to the trophy 
of Protestantism, but that banner preserved its distinctive colours. 
When England became reformed, a puissant individualism joined 
its might to the great unity. 

If we search for the characteristics of the British Reforma- 
tion, we shall find that, beyond any other, they were social, 
national, and truly human. There is no people among whom 
the Reformation has produced to the same degree that morality 
and order, that liberty, public spirit, and activity, which are the 
very essence of a nation's greatness. Just as the papacy has 
degi'aded the Spanish peninsula, has the Gospel exalted the 
British islands. Hence the study upon AA'liich we are entering 
possesses an interest peculiar to itself. 

In order that this study may be usefiil, it should have a charac- 
ter of universality. To confine the history of a people within the 
space of a few years, or even of a century, would deprive that 
history of both truth and life. We might indeed have traditions, 
chronicles, and legends, but there would be no history. History 
is a wonderful organization, no part of which can be retrenched. 
To understand the present, we must know the past. Society, 
like man himself, has its infancy, youth, maturity, and old age. 
Ancient or Pagan society, which had spent its infancy in the 
East in the midst of the antihellenic races, had its youth in the 
animated epoch of the Greeks, its manhood in the stern period 
of Roman greatness, and its old age under the decline of the 
empire. Modern society has passed through analogous stages: 
at the time of the Reformation it attained that of the lull-grown 
man. We shall now proceed to trace the destinies of the Church 
in England, from the earliest times of Christianity. These long 
and distant preparations are one of the distinctive characteristics 
of its reformation. 

Before the sixteenth century this Church had passed through 
two great phases. 

The first was that of its formation — the second that of its 

In its formation it was orien to-apostolical. 


In its corruption it was successively national-papistical and 
Toyal-papistical . 

After these two degrees of decline came the last and great 
j)hasis of the Reformation. 

In the second century of the Christian era vessels were 
irequently sailing to the savage shores of Britain from the ports 
of Asia Minor, Greece, Alexandria, or the Greek colonies in 
Gaul. Among the merchants busied in calculating the profits 
they could make upon the produce of the East with which their 
ships were laden, would occasionally be found a few pious men 
from the banks of the Oleander or the Hermus, conversing 
peacefully with one another about the birth, life, death, and 
resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, and rejoicing at the prospect 
of saving by these glad tidings the pagans towards whom they 
were steering. It vould appear that some British prisoners of 
war, ha^nng learnt to know Christ during their captivity, bore 
also to their fellow-countrymen the knowledge of this Saviour. 
It may be, too, that some Christian soldiers, the Corneliuses of 
those imperial armies whose advanced posts reached the southern 
parts of Scotland; desirous of more lasting conquests, may have 
Tead to the people whom they had subdued, the writings of 
Matthew, John, and Paul. It is of little con.sequence to know 
whether one of these first converts was, according to tradition, 
a prince named Lucius. It is certain that the tidings of the 
Son of man, crucified and raised again, tmder Tiberius, spread 
througb these islands more rapidly than the dominion of the 
emperors, and that before the end of the second century many 
churches worshipped Christ beyond the walls of Adrian; in those 
mountains, forests, and western isles, which for centuries past 
the Druids had filled with their mysteries and their sacrifices, 
and on which even the Eoman eagles had never stooped.^ These 
churches were formed after the eastern type: the Britons would 
have refused to receive the type of that Home whose yoke they 

The first thing which the British Christians received from 
the capital of the empire was persecution. But Diocletian, by 
striking the disciples of Jesus Christ in Britain only increased 
their number.- Many Christians from the southern part of the 

i BriUonormn inacctau Bomanis loca Christo rero sabdiu. (TertollUn eoDtTa Jndco*. 
ilib. Tii ) Pvu of BnUiD isaccenible to the Bonums were, bowevcr. >atuecte4 to Cbiist. 
Thii work, ftom its bearing no traces of iloDtaoism. stems to belong to tiie trst part ot 
TertnUiib's life. See tiso OriKHi m Locani, cap. i. homil. a 
* LaetastiDs, de mortibos periecutomm, cap. xii. 


island took refuge in Scotland, where they raised their humble 
roofs, and under the name of Cvldees prayed for the salvation^ 
of their protectors. When the surrounding pagans saw the 
holiness of these men of God, they abandoned in great numbers- 
their sacred oaks, their mysterious caverns, and their blood- 
stained altars, and obeyed the gentle voice of the Gospel. After 
the death of these pious refugees, their cells were transformed 
into houses of prayer,^ In 305, Constantius Chlorus succeeded 
to the throne of the Caesars, and put an end to the persecution. 

The Christianity which was brought to these people by mer- 
chants, soldiers, or missionaries, although not the ecclesiastical 
Catholicism already creeping into life in the Reman empire, was 
not the primitive evangelism of the apostles. The East and the- 
South could only give to the North of what they possessed. The 
mere human period had succeeded to the creative and miracul- 
ous period of the church. After the extraordinary manifesta- 
tions of the Holy Ghost, which had produced the apostolic age,, 
the church had been left to the inward power of the word and 
of the Comforter. But Christians did not generally comprehend 
the spiritual life to which they were called. God had been 
pleased to give them a divine religion; and this tiiey gradually 
assimilated more and more to the religions of human origin^ 
Instead of saying, in the spirit of the gospel, the word of God 
first, and through it the doctrine and the life — the doctrine and, 
the life, and through them the forms; they said, forms first, and, 
salvation by these lonns. They ascribed to bishops a power 
which belongs only to Holy Scripture, instead of ministers of 
the word, they desired to have priests; instead of au inward 
sacrifice, a sacrifice ofiered on the altar; and costly temples in- 
stead of a living church. They began to seek in men, in cere- 
monies, and in holy places, what they could find only in the 
AVord and in the lively faith of the children of God. In this- 
uianncr evangelical religion gave place to Catholicism, and by 
gradual degeneration in after-years Catholicism gave birth to- 

This grievous traueformatiou took place more particularly in 
the East, in Africa, and in Italy. Britain w:ia at fii-st compara- 
tively exempt. At the very time that the savags Picts and 
Scots, rusliii)^ from thcii" licathqu homes, were devastating the 
country, ^reading teiTor on all sides, and rejlucjng the people 

1 MulU tx lirittoiilbiu CUrUlUnl scvitiAiti niocletianl timciitri ad eos couru:;truiit. - 

ut viu f UBCtoroin celUe in umpU curaniuiiU'euiur. (liucbanaii, iv, c xxxv.) Many Chru- 
Uaai Irom^lUui. feuiuix ttic cioielly bl' Uiodi'tiui, tuck ict'iue ainuiiK th« Scuts... .iiud 
Ui« ct'lli in which thtir buly live* were ipccl, «tr« cbuiKed into churches 



to slavery, we discover here and there some humble Christiau 
receiving salvation not by a clerical sacramentalisni, but by the 
work of the. Holy Ghost in the heart. At the end of the fourtb. 
century we meet with an illustrious example of such conver- 

On the picturesque banks of ihe Clyde, not far from Glasgow^ 
in the Christian village of Bonavcrn, now Kilpatrick, a little 
boy, of tender heart, lively temperament, and indefatigable 
activity, passed the earlier days of his life. He was born about 
the year 372 a.d., of a British family, and was named Succat.^ 
His father, Calpurnius, deacon of the church of Bonavcrn, a 
simple-hearted pious man, and his mother, Conchessa, sister to 
the celebrated Martin, archbishop of Tours, - and a woman 
superior to the majority of her sex, had endeavoured to instil 
into his heart the doctrines of Christianity; but Succat did not 
understand them. He was fond of pleasure, and delighted to 
be the leader of his youthful companions. In the midst of his 
frivolities, he committed a serious fault. 

His parents having then quitted Scotland and settled in 
Armorica (Bretague,) a terrible calamity befell them. One day 
us Succat was playing near the seashore with two of his sisters, 
some Irish pirates, commanded by O'Neal, carried them all 
three off to their boats, and sold them in Ireland to the petty 
chieftain of some pagan clan, Succat was sent into the fields 
to keep swine. '^ It was while alone iu these solitary pastures, 
without priest and without temple, that the young slave called 
to mind the Divine lessons which his pious mother had so often 
read to him. The fault which he had committed pressed 
heavily night and day upon his soul: he groaned in heart, aud 
wept. He turned repenting towards that meek Saviour of whonoL 
Conchessa had so often spoken; he fell at His knees in thati 
heathen land; and imagined he felt the arms of a lather up- 
lifting the prodigal son. Succat was then born from on high,, 
but by an agent so spiritual, so internal, that he knew not 
" Whence it cometh or whither it goeth." The Gospel was- 
written with the finger of God on the tablets ot his heart. " I 
was sixteen years old," said L*e, •' aud knew not the true Godj. 
but iu that strange laud the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes,, 
and, although late, i called my sins to mind, aud was converted 
with my whole heart to the Lord my God, who regarded my. 

1 In baptumo baud I'atricium s«d Sacc-it .i ijarentibui fuisse dictum. {U«er. Urit. Keel. 
Aiitiq p. iJS.) At hU baptism he was named bj bis partBls not Fatriek but S*u;-i»t.. 

^ MartiDi Turcnum archiepi^copi ct>iisauguine;uu- Ibid * Ctijud porcoiiui^ . ^^t'>& 

«r«t. Csser. Brit. Eocl. Astiq. p. iil. 


low estate, had pity on my youth and ignorance, and consoled 
Tue as a father consoles his children." ^ 

Such words as these from the lips of a swineherd in the 
green pastures of Ireland set clearly before us the Christianity 
-which in the fourth and fifth centuries converted many souls ia 
"the British isles. In after-years, Rome established the domin- 
ion of the priest and salvation by forms, independently of the 
dispositions of the heart; but the primitive religion of these 
celebrated islands was that living Christianity whose substance 
is the grace of Jesus Christ, and whose power is the grace of 
the Holy Ghost. The herdsman from the banks of the Clyde 
•was then undergoing those experiences which so many evangel- 
ical Christians in those countries have subsequently undergone. 
•'The love of God inci-eased more and more in me," said he, 
'•' with faith and the fear of His name. The Spirit urged me to 
such a degree that I poured forth as many as a hundi-ed prayers 
in one day. And even during the night, in the forests and on 
the mountains where I kept my flock, the rain, and snow, and 
frost, and sufferings which I endured, excited me to seek after 
Ood. At that time, 1 felt not the indifference which now I 
feel: the Spirit fermented in my heart."- Evangelical faith 
even then existed in the British islands in the person of this 
.slave, and of some few Christians born again, like him, from on 


Twice a captive, and twice rescued, Succat, after returning 
to his family, felt an irresistible appeal in his heart. It was his 
duty to carry the Gospel to those Irish pagans among whom he 
had found Jesus Christ. His parents and his friends endeav- 
oured in vain to detain him; the same ardent desire pursued 
him in his dreams. During the silent watches of the night he 
fancied he heard voices calling to him from the dark forests of 
Erin: " Come, holy child, and walk once more among us." He 
awoke in tears, his breast filled with the keenest emotion.^ Ho 
tore himself from the arms of his parents, and rushed forth — not 
ma heretofore with his playfellows, when he would climb the sum- 
mit of some lofty hill — but with a heart full of charity in Christ. 
He departed : " it was not done of my own strength," said he; 
" it was God who overcame all." 

Succat, afterwards known as Saint Patrick, and to which 

1 Et ibi nomiuua nperuit sensura incredulitatis meie, ut vel sero remorarcm delicta mea, 
et ut coiivtTtfrrr tmto corde iid Doniinuin Deuiii m^'um. I'.itr. Confess. Usscr. -431, 

a Ui itium in Bjlvia ct monte manebani, et ante lucem excitabar ud oraliimem per nivem, 
,pcr gelu, ler pluvnmi- quia tunc Spiritua in me tVrvebat. I'atr. Conies* Usser, iit, 

* Valde cumpunctus sum corde et sic expeiijcfactuii. (I'atr- Conlesi, Usser. 43J.) I iraa 
-vehemently pricked lu my heart, and lo awoke. 

Patrick's mission. 27 

•name, as to that of St. Peter and other servants of God, many 
superstitious have been attached, returned to Ireland, but with- 
out visiting Rome, as an historian of the twelfth century has 
asserted.^ Ever active, prompt, and ingenious, he collected the 
pagan tribes in the fields by beat of drum, and then narrated to 
them in their own tongue the history of the Son of God. Ere- 
ioncr his simple recitals exercised a divine power over their rude 
hearts, and many souls were converted, not by external sacra- 
ments or by the worship of images, but by the preaching of the 
word of God. The son of a chieftain, whom Patrick calls Be- 
nignus, learnt from him to proclaim the Gospel, and was de- 
stined to succeed him. The court bard, Dubrach Mac Yalubair, 
no longer sang druidical hymns, but canticles addressed to Jesus 
Christ. Patrick was not entirely free from the errors of the 
time; perhaps he believed in pious miracles; but generally 
■speaking we meet with nothing but the Gospel in the earlier 
^ays of the British Church. The time no doubt will come when 
Ireland will again feel the power of the Holy Ghost, which had 
once converted it by the ministrations of a Scotchman. 

Shortly before the evangelization of Patrick in Ireland, a 
Briton named Pelagius, having visited Italy, Africa, and Pales- 
tine, betran to teach a strans;e doctrine. Desirous of makin;i 
head against the moral indifierence into which most of the 
Christians in those countries had fallen, and which would ap- 
pear to have been in strong contrast with the British austerity, 
he denied the doctrine of original sin, extoUed free-will, and 
maintained that, if man made use of all the powers of his na- 
ture, he would attain perfection. AVe do not find that he 
taught these opinions in his own country; but from the contin- 
ent, where he disseminated them, they soon reached Britain. 
The British churches refused to receive this " perverse doctrine," 
their historian tells us, " and to blaspheme the grace of Jesus 
Christ." '^ They do not appear to have held the strict doctane 
of Saint Augustine: they believed indeed that man has need of 
an inward change, and that this the divine power alone can 
•effect; but like the churches of Asia, from which they had 
sprung, they seem to have conceded something to our natural 
strength in the work of conversion; and Pelagius, with a good 
intention it would appear, went still further. However that 
may be, these churches, strangers to the controversy, were un- 
acquainted with aU its subtleties. Two Gaulish bishops, Ger- 

1 Jocelinu*. Vita in Acta Sanctorum. * Verum Bhtanni cum neque sascipere dojima 

perversum, gratiam Christi blaiphemando nnllatenus velleot. Beda. Uist. An.;!, lib. i, 
«ap. xvii, «t xxi. 


inanus and Lupus, came to their aid, and those who had been 
perverted returned into the way of truth.^ 

Shortly after this, events of great importance took place in 
Great Britain, and the light of faith disappeared in profound 
night. In 449, Hengist and Horsa, with their Saxon followers^ 
being invited by the wretched inhabitants to aid them against 
the cruel ravages of the Picts and Scots, soon turned tlieir 
swords against the people they had come to assist. Christianity 
was driven back with the Britons into the mountains of Wales 
and the wild moors of Northumberland and Cornwall. Many 
British families remained in the midst of the conquerors, but 
without exercising any religious influence over them. Wiiile 
the conquering races, settled at Paris, Ravenna, or Toledo, 
gradually laid aside their paganism and savage manners, the 
barbarous customs of the Saxons prevailed unmoderated through- 
out the kingdoms of the Heptarchy, and in every quarter tem- 
ples to Thor rose above the churches in which Jesus Christ had 
been worshipped. Gaul and the south of Europe, which still 
exhibited to the eyes of the barbarians the last vestiges of Ro- 
man grandeur, alone had the power of inspiring some degree of 
respect in the formidable Germans, and of transforming theic 
faith. From this period, the Greeks and Latins, and even the 
converted Goths, looked at this island with unutterable dread. 
The soil, said they, is covered with serpents; the air is thick 
with deadly exhalations: the souls of the departed are trans- 
ported thither at midnight from the shores of Gaul. Ferry- 
men, sons of Erebus and Night, admit these invisible shades- 
into their boats, and listen, with a shudder, to their mysterious- 
whisperings. England, whence light was one day to bo shed 
over the habitable globe, was then the trysting-place of tho 
dead. And yet the Christianity of the British isles was not to be 
annihilated by these barbarian invasions; it possessed a strength 
which rendered it capable of energetic resistance. 

In one of the churches formed by Succat's preaeliing, there 
arose about two centuries after hira a pious man named Col- 
umba, son of Feidlimyd, the sou of Fergus. Valuing the cross 
of Christ more highly than the rsyal blood that flowed in his- 
veins, he resolved to devote himself to the King of heaven. 
Shall he not repay to the country of Succat what Succat had 
imparted to his? ^ I will go," said ho; " and preach the word 
of God in Scotland; "^ for the word "of God and not an ecclesi- 

1 Pi-pruviiti Tiam corrcctloiiii »sno»c«rent. Bcia, IlUt, AiirI. lib I, cup, xvii, et xxU 
* i'lMiilicuiurui verbom l>«i. Usser. Autiq p. ;tS9. 


astical hierarchism was then the converting agency. The 
grandson of Fergus communieatod the zeal which animated 
him to the hearts of several fellow -christians. They repaired to 
the seashore, and cutting down the pliant branches of the osier, 
constructed a frail bark, which they covered with the skins of 
beasts. In this rude boat they embarked in the year 565, and 
after being driven to and fro on the ocean, the little missionary 
band reached the waters of the Hebrides. Columba landed near 
the barren rocks of Mull, to the south of the basaltic caverns of 
Staffa, and fixed his abode in a small island, afterwards known 
as lona or IcolmkiU, '' the island of Columba's cell." Some 
Christian Culdees, driven out by the dissensions of the Picts and 
Scots, had already found a refuge in the same retired spot. Here 
the missionaries erected a chapel, whose walls, it is said, still 
exist among the stately ruins of a later age.^ Some authors have 
placed Columba in the first rank after the apostles.* True, we 
do not find in him the faith of a Paul or a John; but he lived 
as in the sight of God; he mortified the flesh, and slept on the 
gi-ound with a stone for his pillow. Amid this solemn scenery, 
and among customs so rude, the form of the missionary, illu- 
mined by u light from heaven, shone with love, and manifested 
the joy and serenity of his heart. ^ Although subject to the 
same passions as ourselves, he wrestled against his weakness, 
and would not have one moment lost for the glory of God, He 
prayed and read, he wrote and taught, he preached and redeemed 
the time. "With indefatigable activity he went from house to 
house, and from kingdom to kingdom. The king of the Picts 
was converted, as were also many of his people; precious manu- 
scripts were conveyed to lona; a school of theology was founded 
there, in which the word was studied; and many received 
through faith the salvation which ijj in Christ Jesus. Ei-elong 
a. missionary spirit breathed over this ocean rock, so justly 
named " the light of the western world.' 

The Judaical sacerdotalism which was beginning to extend in 
the Chriiitiau Church iound no support m lona. They had 
forms, but not to them did they look tor life. It was the Holy 
Ghost, Columba maintained, that made a servant of God. "Whea 

> I Tisited loua in ISio with Dr. Patricic .M'FaiLm, and saw these raina. One portion of 
the biuldiug s«emi to be of primiuye ;uciuttctuie. s ^ ulli post apostolos aecuudn*. 

■(> otter.) Secund to none after the apostles. 

* Qui de prosapia re^ali claroit, 
S«d muruu KTatia uia^ia wuiciut, 

Usser. Antiq. p. 3 0. 
lie was diatiuguiiked bj hj royal descent, but his charatter rendered him stiU more 


the youth of Caledonia assembled around the elders on these 
savage shores, or in their humble chapel, those ministers of the 
Lord would say to them : " The Holy Scriptures are the only 
rule of faith. ^ Throw aside all merit of works, and look for 
salvation to the grace of God alone. ^ Beware of a religion 
which consists of outward observances: it is better to keep your 
heart pure before God than to abstain from meats.^ One alone 
is your head, Jesus Christ. Bishops and presbyters are equal;* 
they should be the husbands of one wife, and have their chil- 
dren in subjection."* 

The sages of lona knew nothing of transubstantiation or of 
the withdrawal of the cup in the Lords Supper, or of auricular 
confession, or of prayers to the dead, or tapers, or incense; they 
celebrated Easter on a different day from Rome; ^ synodal as- 
semblies regulated the affairs of the church, and the papal 
supremacy was unknown.^ The sun of the Gospel shone upoa 
these wild and distant shores. In after-years, it was the privi- 
lege of Great Britain to recover with a purer lustre the same 
sun and the same Gospel. 

lona, governed by a simple elder, ^ had become a missionary 
college. It has been sometimes called a monastery, but tha 
dwelling of the gratidson of Fergus in nowise resembled the 
popish convents. When its youthful inmates desired to spread 
the knowledge of Jesus Christ, they thought not of going else- 
where in quest of episcopal ordination. Kneeling in the chapel 
of Icolmkill, they were set apart by the laying on of the hands 
of the elders: they were called bishops, but remained obedient 
to the elder or presbyter of lona. They even consecrated other 
bishops: thus Finan laid hands upon Diuma, bishop of Middle- 

1 I'rolatis Sanctas Scripturse testimoniis. (Adoraii. 1- i. c. '.'.'.) The testimony ofthe Holy 
Sciiiituifs being exliibittJ. ^ Bishop Muiiter, Altbiitische Kirclic- Stud. unU Krit 

ri 745. 3 Melioies sunt ergo qui uou iiuigno ojieio jujummt, cor intriuscous nitiilum 

oriini Ueo soUicitK serviuites. (Gildiis in cjusd. Synod, .\ppciid ) Those tire better who, 
tliuu:.;h not fasting very pmticularly, keep dili.!eutly before Uod a heart pare wiiUin. 
i in Hibernia episcopi el presbyturi unum sunt. (Ekliehardi liber. Ar.v Oeschiclite vou 
iS. Wall. i. 'Jat) lu Ireland bishops and prt3l)yters are eciual. S Tatrem habui Calpor- 

nium diacouiuni liliuni quondam Totiti I'resbyteii. I'atiicU Confcssio. Kven as late as the 
twelfth century we meet with married Irish bishops, (liernard, Vit^i Malacliiaj, caj). x) 
My father was Calpurnius son of I'otitus once a presbyter. 6 In die quidem domiidciw 

alia tiimeu cjuam dicebat hebdomade celebrabanU Hoda. lib. iii. cap. iv. 7 Augustiims 

^lovam reliKionem docel. . . . 4um ad unius i piscopi romani doraiuatuni omnia revocat. 

(Uuchan. lib. v, cap. xxxvi-) AuRUstiue teaches a new rellRion when he reduces all 

under the dominion of the bishop of Home alone. 8 Habere autein solet ipsa insula 

rectorem semper nUbuWm pretODttrum cujaa juii et omuis provincia et ip$i eliam cpUcjiii, 
ordinc inusitalo, debeant esse subjecti, cxempluni primi docUiris illius qui noii 
episcopus sed pretbyUr exstitit et monachus. (Ueda. Hist. Eccl- iii. Ciip. iv.) Alorever it 
was always the custom to have as ijoveruor iu that island an abbot, who is a presbyter, to 
whose direction the entire province and aUo tlie bishops contrary to the method are 
•object, according' to the example of tlicir liist teacher, who was not a bUhop. but «- 
presbyter aud raoulu 

coirrvsESTAL. lassious. 31 

sex. These British Cliristians attached great importance to the 
ministry; but not to one form in preference to another. Pres- 
bytery and episcopacy were with them, as with the primitive 
church, almost identical. ' Somewhat later we find that neither 
the venerable Bede, nor Lanfranc, nor Anselm — the two last 
were archbishops of Canterbury — made any objection to the 
ordination of British bishops by plain presbyters. - The religious 
and moral element that belongs to Christianity still predomi- 
nated ; the sacerdotal element, which characterizes human reli- 
gions, whether among the Brahmins or elsewhere, was beginning 
to show itself, but in great Britain at least it held a very sub- 
ordinate station. Christianity was still a religion and not a, 
caste. They did not require of the servant of Qod, as a war- 
rant of his capacity, a long list of names succeeding one another 
like the beads of a rosary; they entertained serious, noble, and_ 
holy ideas of the ministry; its authority proceeded wholly from 
Jesus Christ its head. 

'I he missionary fire, which the grandson of Fergus had kindled 
m a solitary island, soon spread over Great Britain. Not in lona 
alone, but nt Bangor and other places, the spirit of evangelizatioa 
burst out. A fondness lor travelling had already become a 
tecoud nature in this people." Men of God, burning witk- 
zeal, resolved to carry the evangelical torch to the conti- 
nent — to the vast wildernesses sprinkled here and there with, 
barbarous and heathen tribes. They did not set forth as an- 
tagonists of Rome, for at that epoch there was no place for such 
antagonism; but lona and Bangor, le^s illustrious than Rome ia 
the history of nations, possessed a more lively faith than the 
city of the Caesars; and that faith, — ^unerring sign of the pre- 
sence of Jesus Christ, — gave those whom it inspired a right to 
evangelize the world, which Rome could not gainsay. 

The missionary bishops* of Britain accordingly set forth and 

1 lil^m est ergo presbyUr qui episcopas, tt anteqoAm di&boU inatiucta stndia in religione 
fiirent. . . . commaui presbjleronim coacUio £eclesije Kabenutbantar. IndilicrcDUr de 

epitcopo qtusi de presb) tero est loqantos (I'anliu} scunt epiicopi k, nugis con- 

suetudine qaasa dispositionis dominies v<.ritate. preabjteri:i esse roiuoTes. (UieronjTDDs 
au Tituni, La.) A presbyter tccord.uglv is the same as a bishop, and before that bj a sux- 
■lesiiou of the dtvil. party strife eiitered into religion. .... the churches were go^'erued 
by a c-^nimon council of piesbyteis Paul spake withoat auy distincciou between bishops 
and i>rcsi>yt«rs. .... the bishops know ttutt it is to custom rather than to any actual, 
direction of the Lord that they owe their superiority to presbyters. 2 Kshop Mui^ter 

makes this remark in his dissertation On tke AticUnt BntitU Church, about the primitive - 
identity of bishops and priests, and episcopal consecration. Slud. h>u1 Krit, an. ISSi 
3 >'atio Scotoram qnibiu consuetndo perei;rinandi jam p*ne in natnram conversa est. (Vita 
S. Galli. Sec 47.) Tbe nati' 'U of the Scots in whom the habit of traveUine abroad had already 
almost become a second nattue. * They were called tpucopi rtgiowirU beauue they 

hiid CO settled diocete. 


traversed the Low Countries, Gaul, Switzerland, Grerniany, and 
€ven Italy.^ The free church of the Scots and Britons did 
more for the conversion of centi-al Europe than the half-enslaved 
church of the Romans. These missionaries were not haughty 
and insolent like the priests of Italy; but supported themselves 
by the work of their hands. Columbanus (whom we must not 
-confound with Columba),* ''feeling in his heart the burning 
of the fire which the Lord had kindled upon earth," ^ quitted 
Bangor in 590 with twelve other missionaries, and carried the 
Gospel to the Burgundians, Franks, and Swiss. He continued 
to preach it amidst fre(i[uent persecutions, left his disciple Gall 
in Helvetia^ and retired to Kobbio, where he died, honouring 
Christian Rome, but placing the church of Jerusalem above it,* 
■ — exhorting it to beware of corruption, and declaring that the 
_power would remain with it so long only as it retained the true 
doctrine (j-eda ratio). Thus was Britain faithful in planting 
the standard of Christ in the heart of Europe, We might 
almost imagine this unknown people to be a new Israel, and 
Icolmkill and Bangor to have inherited the virtues of Ziou. 

Yet they should have done more: they should have preached — 
not only to the continental heathens, to those in the north of 
Scotland and the distant Ireland, but also to the still pagan . 
Saxons of England. It is true that they made several attempts; 
but while the Biitons considered their conquerors as the ene- 
mies of God and man, and shuddered while they pronounced 
their name,** the Saxons refused to be converted by the voice of 
their slaves. By neglecting this field, the Britons left room for 
other workmen, and thus it was that England yieldod to a for- 
eign power^ beneath whose heavy yoke it long groaned in vain. 

1 Antiijuo tempore, doctiasimi solcbmit. niagistri de Ililicrnia Britaiujiiun, GaUimii, Ital- 
iam Vcuiie, tt iiiuKos per ecclesiiis CliiUti lecisse prolectua. (Alcuiu. Jipp. ccxxi.) lu 
iiuui..'Ut times tlu most learuu 1 tuaclierj were ac^usDoiiieil to CDine Irum Ireland to itiituio. 
tiaul, nud lUtly, and tu make uumeruiu Journeys umoiii; tne chmubes of Christ. 

=< Thierry, in his Hut. de ta Ujuqueie Ue i' Aiij/lelerre. makes Ooluiiii):i and Columbanus 
one personage. Columba preaclied llie Oos:>el iu Scotl.uid about A(iU, wid died iu oil; Col- 
uiiibanus preached amon^ the I>ur>;undiaiis in faUU, and died iu 015. " li^iiituiu ijjue 

Uuiiiiui dcslderiuiii. Aiabiilou, Acta, p. i). * iSalva luci doiiiinicoi resurrectionis 

tiiij/uUiri yiairoj/ativa. (Lolunib. \ iU, section 10.) Jixecjitiiix by iLs pecuUoi- prerogative 
the place of the Lord's rcsurrecliou. >> ^'et'andi uomiiiis ^axoui Ueo hoininibusiiuo 

iuvisi. (UUdas, l)e excidiu liriunuitc.) The execrable name ot iiiajLon, hatelul to Uud 
and men. 



Pope Gregory the Great — Desires to reduce Britain — I'oliey of Gregory 
and Augustine — Arrival of the Mission — .Appreciation — Britain su- 
perior to Home — Dionoth at Bangor — First and Second Uomish 
Aggressions — Anguish of the Britons — Pride of Rome — Rome has 
recourse to the Sword — Massacre — Saint Peter scourges an Arch- 
bishop—Oswald — His V'ictory — Gorman — Mission of Oswald and 
Aidan — Death of Oswald. 

It is matter of fact thai; the spiritual life had waned in Italian 
Catholicism; and in proportion as the heavenly spirit had become 
weak, the lust of dominion had grown strong. The Roman 
metropolitans and their delegates soon became impatient to 
mould all Christendom to their peculiar forms. 

About tlie end of the sixth century an eminent man filled 
the see of Rome. Gregory was born of senatorial family, and 
already on the high road to honour, when he suddenly renounced 
the world, and trausioimed the palace of his fathers into a con- 
vent. But his ambition had only changed its object. In his 
views, the whole church should submit to the ecclessiastical 
jurisdiction of Rome. True, be rejected the title of universal 
bishop assumed by the patriarch of Constai-tinoplc; but if he 
desired not the name, he was not the less eager lor the sub- 
stance.^ On the borders of the \\ est, in the island of Great 
Britain, was a Christian church independent of Rome: this 
must be conquered, and a lavourable opportunity soon oc- 

Before his elevation to the primacy, and while he was as yet 
only the monk Gregory, he clianced one day to cross a market 
in Rome V here certain loreign dealers were exposing their wares 
for sale. Among them he perceived some lair-haired youthful 
slaves, whose noble bearing attracted his attention. On draw- 
ing near them, he learned that the Anglo-Saxon nation to 
which they belonged had refused to receive the Gospel from 
the Eritons. A\ l.en he afterwards became bishop of Rome, 
this orally and energetic pontiff, " the last of the good and the 
first of the bad," as he has been called, determined to convert 
these proud conquerors, and make use ot them in subduing the 

* He gajs (Erp. lib. ix, ep. xii.): Ue ronstantinopclitana rcclesia qnis earn dulitet aposto- 
lica sedi twe 8ul< t oi.ten.iux tbe tliuuh of Coi.btaiiUi.ovle, wlio doubis iha; it iii 
tnbject Uj till atuBiuUcal see. 

46 C 


British cliurch to the papacy, as he had already made usft of the- 
Frank monarchs to reduce the Gauls, Rome has oftea shown 
herself more eager to bring Christians rather than idolaters to 
the pope.^ Was it thus with Gregory? We must leave the 
question unanswered. 

Ethelbert, king of Kent, having married a Christian princess 
of Frank descent, the Roman bishop thought the conjuncture 
favom'able for his design, and despatched a mission under the 
direction of one of his friends named Augustine, a.d. 5d6. At 
first the missionaries recoiled from the task appointed them; 
but Gregory was firm. Desirous of gaining the assistance of 
the Frank kings, Theodoric and TheoJebert, he afiected to con- 
sider them as the lords paramount of England, and commended 
to them the conversion of their suhjcdsj^ Nor was this all. 
He claimed also the support of the powerful Brunehilda, grand- 
mother of those two kings, and equally notorious for iier 
treachery, her irregularities, and her crimes; and did not scruple 
to extol the good worlcs and godly /ear of this modern Jezebel."* 
Under such auspices the Romish mission arrived in England. 
The pope had made u skilful choice of his delegate. Augustine 
possessed even to a greater extent than Gregory himself a uiix- 
ture of ambition and dcvotedness, of superstition and piety, of 
cunning and zeal. He thought that i'aith and hoUness were less- 
essential to the church than authority and power; and that its^ 
prerogative was not so much to save souls as to collect all the 
human race mider the scepiro of Rome.* Gregory himself was 
distressed at Augustine's spiritual pride, and olteu exhorted hiui 
to humility. 

Success of that kind which popery desires soon crowned the 
labours of its servants. '1 he iorty-oue miisiouaries having lauuod 
in the ide of Thanet, in the year 5\)7, the king of Kent con- 
sented to receive them, but in the open air, lor fear of magic. 
'Ihey drew up in such a manner as to produce an efiect on tiic 
rude islanders, 'ihe procession was opened by a monk bcjimg 
a huge cross on which the figure of Cluist was represented: nis 
colleagues loUowcd ehauling their Latin hymns, and thus they 
approached the oak a]poiuted lor the place of coukreuce. 
'ihcy inspired sufficient confideuce in Ethelbert to gain permis- 

1 Wc know the liistury of Tubiti and of other modern niiiuiious of the llonush chuich. 

i* Subjectog vintJoB. (Opp, Orej,ciii, toMi. iv, p ao4j V our subjects. s i'i„iia in 

bonis opeiibus - - - in oniuipolenliB i»ei tinjure. (Ibid. toni. ii, p 835.) Uisiobiii ii> 
Kood woiks ■ - . in the leur ol OoU oniuipottnl. < We lind the Siiiiie iutH m 

Wiatmau, Lict- ix, Ou the priiieipiJ Uucuiues uiid )iracticea of the Culholic chutuU. U>n- 
dou, XtUC 

lU.lT.UN bLPKraOR TO ROME. 3o 

sion to celebrate their worship in an old ruinous chapel at 
Durovern (Canterbury), where British Christians had in former 
times adored the Saviour Christ. The king and thousands of 
his subjects received not long after^ with certain forms, and 
certain Christian doctrines, the errors of the Roman pontiffs — 
as purgatory, for instance, which Gregory was advocating with 
the aid of the most absurd fables.^ Augustine baptized ten 
thousand pagans in one day. As yet Rome had only set her 
foot in Great Britain, she did not fail erelong to establish her 
kingdom there. 

We should be unwilling to undervalue the religious^ element 
now placed before the Anglo-Saxons, and we can readily beliavQi 
that many of the missionai-ies sent from Italy desired to work a^ 
Christian work. Yv'e think, too, that the Middle Ages ought 
to be appreciated with more equitable sentiments than havo 
always been found in the persons who have written on that, 
period. Man's conscience lived, spoke, and groaned during the 
long dominion of popery; and like a plant growing among thorns, 
it often succeeded in forcing a passage through the obstacles of 
traditionalism and hierarchy, to blossom in the quickening sua 
of God's grace. The Christian element is even strongly marked 
in some of the most eminent men of theocracy — in Anselm fur 

Yet as it is our task to relate the history of the struggles 
which took place between primitive Curistianity and Roman- 
cathohcism, we cannot forbear pointing out the superiority of 
the former in a religious hght, while w^c acknowledge the supe- 
riority of the latter in a pohticai point of view. We believe 
(and we shall presently have a proof of it)"' that a visit to iona. 
would have taugut luo Anglo-Saxons jnuch more than their 
frequent pilgrimages to tne banks of the 'liber. Doubtless, as 
has been remarkeu, these pilgrims contemplated at Rome '• thu 
noble monuments oi antiquity," but there existed at that time 
iu the British islands — and it has been too olten overlooked^ — a 
Christianity which, it not periectly pure, was at least better 
tlian that of popery, 'ihe British church, which at the begin- 
ning of the seveutii century carried laith and civilization mto 
Bui gundy, the Vo^ges mountains, and iSwitzeri.nd, might well 
have spread them butli over Britain. The inhuence of ttie arts, 
whose ci.ihziug luiiueuce we are lar Irum depreciating, vvouiu 
i»ave coUiC later. 

1 Hoepfiici . Ov; uii,iL i .iTs-atorio. iiuile, 1732. » In tbe Uktonr 


But SO far was the Christianity of the Britons from convert- 
ing the Saxon heptarchy, that it was, alasl the Romanism of 
the heptarchy which was destined to conquer Britain. These 
struggles between the Roman and British churches, which fill 
all the seventh century, are of the highest importance to the 
English church, for they establish clearly its primitive liberty. 
They possess also great interest for the other churches of the 
West, as showing in the most striking characters the usurping 
acts by which the papacy eventually reduced them beneath its 

Augustine, appointed archbishop not only of the Saxons, but 
of the ir^e Britons, was settled by papal ordinance, first at 
London and aiterwards at Canterbury. Being at the head of 
a hierarchy composed of twelve bishops, he soon attempted to 
bring all the Cnristians of Britain under the Roman jurisdic- 
tion. At that tin)e there existed at Bangor,^ in North Wales, 
a largo Christian society, amounting to nearly three thousand 
individuals, collected together to work with tlieir own hands,^ 
to study, and to pray, and from whose bosom numerous mis- 
sionaries (Columb;.nLis was among the number) had from time 
to time gone iorth. The president ot this church was Dionoth, 
a iaithlul teacher, ready to' serve all men in charity, yet firmly 
convinced that no one should have supremacy iu itie Lorifs 
vineyard. Althougii one ot the most infiucntial men in the 
Brmsii chur6-h, he was somewhat timid and hesitating; he would 
yield to a certain point lor the love of peace; but would never 
tiinch irom his duty, lie was another apostle John, lull of 
miidncL-s, and yet condemning the Diotrephes, wlio love to havt 
jjrc-einine ce umoiiy ike biethren. Auguatme thus addressed 
ium: " AcknowleUge tue autliority of the Bishop of Rome." 
These are the first words ot the papacy to the ancient Ciiristians 
ot Britain. " \\ e desire to love all men," meekly replied the 
A eneiabie Briton; '• and what we do for you, we will do for him 
also whom you call tue pope. But he is not entitled to call 
himseh tnu JuUier oj Jaiucrs, and the only submission we can 
render him is taut waiou we owe to every Curistiau."^ This 
was not wnat AugcStme asked. 

ilc was not discouraged by this first check. Proud of the 

I Uann-cor, i\w. tUoir on the steep hill. C.irlislc. Top. IJict- Wales. » An uui- 

<uu|Uu aabittiir, ul ex ojitiu umuuuiii quolmiaiio se pusscl iu viclu nccessiiiio Cuntiiitie. 
il'rcdvis lie i'iiui ue llr. Uikiic, li, -o ) Au Ml wua jjueii to cutli. timt .i,> il'.o uaily laLiour 
of tUuii- h.iiiiia, eiiuU liiitiUl W uclu to su, pb lunmiii «lili iliu lieceMiUlcii ot Uti-. 

•* iiLtiii oiieuiciiiUui iio» Nuiiiuj p.uiiii a.ue el soivtie ti et ouiyite cnruiMiiii toutUmo 
Wil ..t.», G>. c. •>>. • 111. ti <!»• 


pallium which Rome had sent him, and relying on the swords 
of the Anglo-Saxons, he convoked in HOI a general assembly of 
British and Saxon bishops. The meeting took place in the open 
air. beneath a venerable oak. near Wigornia (Worcester or 
Hereford), and here occurred the second Ronjish aggression. 
Dionoth resisted with firmness the extravagant pretensions of 
Augustine, who again summoned him to recognize the authority 
of Rome.^ Another Briton jTotcsted against the presumption 
of the Romans, who ascribed to their consecration a virtue 
which they refused to that of lona or of the Asiatic churches.' 
"The Britons," exclaimed a third, '-'cannot submit either to the 
haughtiness of the Romans or the tyranny of the Saxons."^ 
To no purpose did the archbishop lavish his arguments, prayers, 
censures, and miracles even; the Britons were firm. Some of 
them who had eaten with the Saxons while they were as yet 
heathens, refused to do so now that they had submitted to the 
pope.* The Scotch were particularly inflexible; for one of then* 
Lumber, by name Dagam, would not only take no food at the 
saiue table with the Romans, but not even under the same roof.° 
Thus did Augustine fail a second time, and the indcpcadence of 
Britain appeared secure. 

And yet the formidable pov>er of the popes, aided by the 
suord of the conquerors, alarmed tlie Britons. They imagiiici3 
they saw a mysterious decree once more yoking the nations of 
the earth to the triumphal car of Eonie, i-.nd many left AVigor- 
liia uneasy and sad at heart. E rossible' to save ;i 

cause, when even its defenders be_ ^ air? It was riot 

long before tbey were summoned to a iiew council. *• Yi'hat is 
to be done?" they exclaiuied v. ith sorrowful Forebodings. Pop-' 
ery was not yet thoroughly known: it was hardly formed. The 
haif-enlightened consciences of these believers were a prey to 
the most violent agitauon. They asked themselves whether, 
in rejecting this new power, they might not be rcjeting God 
himself. A pious Christian, who led a solitary life, had acquired 
a great reputation in the surrounding district. SouiO of tbo 
Britcns visited him, and inquired whether they should resist 
Augustine or follow him.^ " If he is a man of God, ioUow him,' 

^ Dionothns it non approbanda apnd eos Romacomtn anetontat^ cisrotabat. WUldiK 
CoDC. U. litit. 24. i Ordii.aliunesqne more asiatico etsdem cu:italis!>e. Ibif'^t^* 

3 In ccmiETUuoBnD a<^]nittere yd Uotnaiio:ii!n fastum rel S^xononi tjtaniiiden;. Ibid, 
i. ■-* * Aecotdina to the nptstoUc precept, 1 Cor. •->.!'. 1. ' • Dagamts »a 

uoa Tcniens, non sulom dbcm nobiscom , sed uec u. ' " ' > quo TescebiUi:ar. snmeV^ 

nolnit. (lieda. Ub. ii, c»j>. irj Da^^am ccmi::g to used to tat wiili na, fcaj 

*Te:> to take hi» food in the same coose woere we " - : i ' " • Ad iiueiidatt 

TiiiuD la&ctom et pindeutam qui apnil tut aiiacbortticam aa£6ie vitam aolebat, o^iSiteuvc^ 

38 pniDE OF HOME. 

replied the hermit. — " And how shall we know that?" — "If he 
is meek and humble of heart, he bears Christ's yokcj but if he 
is violent and proud, he is not of God." — " What sign shall we 
have of his humility?" — "If" he rises from his seat when you 
enter the room." Thus spoke the oracle of Britain: it would 
have been better to have consulted the Holy Scriptures. 

But humility is not a virtue that flourishes among Eoraish 
pontiffs and legates: they love to remain seated while others 
court and worship them. The British bishops entered the 
council-hall, and the archbishop, desirous of indicating his 
superiority^ proudly kept his seat.-*^ Astonished at this sight, 
the Britons would hear no m.ore of the authority of Rome. For 
tlie third time they said No — 'they knew no other mastp.r hut 
Christ. Augustine, who expected to see these bishops prostrate 
their churches at his feet, was surprised and indignant. He 
had reckoned on the immediate submission of Britain, and t!ie 
pope had now to learn that his missionary had deceived him. 
. , . Animated by that insolent spirit whicli is found too 
often in the ministers of the Romish clsurch, Augustine ex- 
claimed: "If you will not receive brethren who bring 3-ou peace, 
you shall receive enemies who vvlU bring you war. If you will 
not unite with us in showing tlio Saxons the way of life, you 
shall receive from the;;! the stroke of death."''' Having tiius 
spoken, the haughty archbishop withdrew, and occupied his last 
days in preparing the accomphshment of his ill-omened pro- 
phecy.^ Argument had failed: now for the sword! 

Shortly after the death of Augustine, Edelfrid, one of the 
Anglo-fcaxon kings, and who was still a heatfien, culiectcd a 
numerous army, and advanced towards Bangor, tiie centre of 
British Christianity. Alarm spread tlu-ough tliose feeble 
churches. They wept and prayed. The sword of Edelfrid drew 
nearer. To whom can they apply, or wiiere shall tiiey tiud 
help? The magnitude of the danger seemed to recall tiie 
Britons to their pristine piety: not to men, but to the Lord 
himself will they turn their thoughts. Twelve hundred and 
fifty servants of the living God, calling to mind what are the 

an ad pnEdicatioiiem AuKUstini sufts dcsorerc trnditi uu'S debereut. (licdii, Hist. Eccl. lili. 
ii, Clip, ii.) They took cminsel ol a certuiu holy mid wis,' iiuiu who let! anions' them the hfe 
of a hei'iiiit, wlicthcr at ihc i>i'eucliiii)( of Augustine they ounht to ahiindoa their own tra> 
ditioiis. I Kactumque est ut venienlibus illis sederet AuKUstiiius in StlU. ibid. 

■ Si paceni cum fiuciious uoei|>ere nuUent. beUiiin ab hosttlius foreut acue|itiiri . . . Ibid. 

3 .panni Auijustinuni liiijiis belli non niodu consiium sed ct iwyuUort^n exsiilisso. WU- 
kins adds that the exiniBsion found in Ikde, concerniiiK the d^ath of Augustine, is a paT> 
cnthesi:! lojsted in hy Koiuanist writers, and not lound in the Saxon inunusoripts. (Gone. 
Brit. |>. 2 ..) Augustine himwlf >vaa uot only aoceosory to Uiat war, but be was even its 


•arms of Christian warfare, afler preparing themselves by fasting, 
met tosrether in a retired spot to send up their prayers to Grod.^ 
A British chief, named Brocmail, moved by tender compassion, 
-Stationed himself near thorn with a few soldiers; but the cruel 
Edelfrid, observing from n distance this band of kneeling Chris- 
tians, demanded: ''Who are these people, and what are they 
'doing'?" On being informed, he added: "They are fighting 
then atrainst us, although unarmed;" and immediately he ordered 
his soldiers to fall upon the prostrate crowd. Twelve hundred 
of them were slain.'- They prayed and they died. I he Saxons 
forthwith proceeded to Bangor, the chief seat of Christian 
learning, and razed it to the ground. Romanism was triumph- 
ant in England. The news ot these massacres filled the country 
with loeeping and great mourning; but the priests of Romish 
<;onsecration (and the venerable Bede shared their sentiments; 
beheld in this cruel slaughter the accomplishment of the pro- 
phecy of the lioly pontiff Augustine; "' and a national tradition 
among the Welsh for many ages pointed to him as the in-ti- 
^tor of this cowardly butchery. Thus did Rome looie the 
ravage Pagan against the primitive church of Britain, and fas- 
tened it all dripping with blood to her triumphal car. A great 
mystery of iniquity was accomplishing. 

But while the Saxon sword appeared to have swept every 
thing Irom before the papacy, the ground trembled under its 
feet, and seemed about to swallow it up. Ihe hierarchical rather 
than Christian conversions effected by the priests of Rome were 
.so unreal that a vast number of neophytes suddenly returned 
to the worship of their idols. Eadbald, king of Kent, was 
himself among the number of apostates. Such reversions to 
paganism are not unircquent in the history of the Romish mis- 
sions. The bishops fled into Gaul: Mellims and Justus had 
already reached the continent in safety, and Lawrence, Augus- 
tine "s successor, was about to loUow them. While lying in the 
church where he had desired to pass the night beibre leaving 
England, he groaned in spirit as he saw the work founded by 
Augustine perishing in his hands. He saved it by a miracle. 
The next morning he presented himself before tiie king with 
his clothes all disordered and his body covered with wounds. 
" Saint Peter,' he said, "appeared to me duiing the night and 

1 Ad memoratam aciem, peraeto jejnnio tTida'\no, cam aliis orandi causa convenerant. 
(Beda, ii, cap. ii.) At the afMKsaid eD^a^^emenl, atur three dajshad been speut in tasung, 
they met together with others lor prajtr. » Eiiinctos in ea pagna leruct de hil 

■qui ad oraudom veneraut viros circittr miile ducentos. Beda, liu. ji, cap. ii. 

3 Sic completam est presagium saiicti pouiilicis Auini^tini. Ibid. 

40 OSWAU). 

scourged me severely because I was about to forsake his flock."'' 
The scourge ^Yius a means of moral persuasion which Peter had 
forgotten in his epistles. Did Lawrence cause these blows to 
be inflicted by others — or did he inflict them himself— or is the 
whole account an idle dream? We should prefer adopting tlie 
latter hypothesis. The superstitious prinoe, excited at the nevys 
of this supernatural intervention, eagerly acknowledged the 
authority of the pope, the vicar of an apostle who so mercilessly 
scourged those who had the misfortune to displease him. If 
the dominion of Rome had then disappeared from England, it is 
probable that the Britons, regaining their courage, and favoured 
in other respects by the wants which would have been felt by 
the Saxons, would have recovered from their dcieat, and would 
have imparted their free Christianity to their conquerors. But 
now the ILoman bishop seemed to remahi master of England, 
and the faith of the Britons to be crushed for ever. But it 
was not so. A young man, sprung from the energetic race of 
the conquerors, was about to become the champion of truth 
and liberty, and almost the whole island to be freed from the 
Koman yoke. 

Oswald, an Anglo-Saxon priuce, son of tlie heathen and cruel 
Edelfrid, had been compelled by family reverses to take refuge 
in Scotland, when very young, accompanied by his brother Oswy 
and several other youthful chiefs, lie had acquired the lan- 
guage of the country, been instructed in the truths of Holy 
Writ, converted by the grace of God, and baptized into the 
Scottish church.'^ He loved to sit at the feet of the elders of 
iona and listen to their words. They showed him Jesus Christ 
going li'om place to place doing good, and he desired to do so 
likewise; ihey told him that Christ was the only head of tho 
church, and he promised never to acknowledge any other. 
Being a tjiugle-hearted generous man, he was especially animated 
with tender compassion towards the poor, and would take oli 
his own cloak to cover tho nakedness of one of his brethren. 
Oitcu, while mingling in the quiet assemblies of the iScottish 
Christians, he had desired to go as a missionary to the Anglo- 
Saxons, it was not long bel'ure he conceived the bold design 
of leading the people of xvorthumberiund to the Saviour; but 

1 Api uruit ci bcntissiinus iipostolorura priuccps, ct multo ilium tempore secieUu iioclii 
flii;,'cil 3 uv.luriLius ulUcieuii. licdd, U, cap. vi. ' Cum inagiiit imljihuiij juvculule 

apud Suotuii sivu I'iuuig cxuliibAul, itiiquu ad doctriiidiu isuuttoruiu ciilhtcliiiiiiu >.t liaptit. 
mulis graliu luut ii^vriati. (UeUii, lii. cup. i J The; were exiled uiuuiik iliu Scuts ux i'icM 
with luauy >ouUib .«!' iiublc r.iiik, uiid Itiere they were iuslructed iu the ductriue of the iScoks 
and wcie conviiUd ba the stixcii of hapliam. 

Oswald's victoby — corkak. 4t 

being a prince as well as a Christian, he determined to begia 
bv reconquering the throne of his fathers. There was in this 
young Englishman the love of a disciple and the courage of a 
hero. At the head of an army, small indeed, but strong bj- 
faith in Christ,^ he entered Xonhumberland, knelt with his 
troops in praver on the field of battle, and gained a signal vic- 
tory over a powerful enemy, 634: a. d. 

To recover the kingdom of his ancestors was only a part of 
his task. Oswald desired to give his people the benefits of the 
true faith,"- The Christianity taught in <)2o to King Edwia 
and the Northumbrians by Fendin of York had disappeared 
amidst the ravages of th'?. pagan armies. Oswald requested a 
niiijtionary from the Scots who had given him an asyluui, and 
they accordingly sent one of the bretiiren named Curuiau, a 
pious but uncultivated and austere man. He soon returned 
dispirited to lona: "The people to whom you sent me," he told 
the elders of that island, "are so obstinate that we must re- 
nounce ail idea of chan^ng their manners." As Aidan, one of 
their number, listened to this report, he said to himself: " if 
th}- love had been offered to this people, oh, my Saviour, many 
hearts wouli have been toachedl . . . i will go and make 
Thee known — Thee who breaketh not the bruised reed I "' 
Then, turning to the missionary with a look of mild reproach, 
he added: ''Brother, you have been too severe towards hearers 
so dull of heart. You should have given them spiritual milk 
to drink until they were able to receive more solid fuod." All 
eyes were fixed on the man who spoke so wisely. ''Aidan is 
worthy of the episcopate," exclaimed the brethren of lona: and, 
like 'limothy, he was consecrated by the laying on of the bauds 
of the company of elders.^ 

Oswald received Aidan as an angel from heaven, and as the 
missionary was ignorant of the Saxon language, the king accom- 
panied him every where, standing by his side, and interpreting 
his gentle discourses.* The people crowded joyfully around 
Oswald, Aidan, and other missionaries from Scotland and Ire- 

I SaperrenieDte cum parro exercito, sed fide Christi mnnito. Beda. lib, iii, cap. i. 

^ Dtsideraus toiam coi pic«sse coepit Ken:<riii lidei Cl.ristians gra-.U iicbai. (Ibid, cap, 
iii J Dealing Uiat the whole nation over wbira ht: ruled ini;;bt be iiiibaed with the ^i^cu 
of the ChristiiUi laitb. ^ Aydancs acc^pto ;4ra^u rfiuojpatiLS, quo t«iiipun: eudeut 

monasceno fregenioa abbas et j/rtsb]/tir pis'.uit. (lieda, lib. iii, cap. v.) Aid;iii i aviwi 
received the di,-mtj of a bi^op at the time when Sciienins. abbot aua presbjter, pnrsi.ied 
over that monastery. Wheu Bede teUs us trmt a plain priest was presideut, he exduUeA 
the idea that there were bishops in the assembly. See 1 Tmsothy, ir, 14, 

* Kv an g flisa i i te antistite, ipse Uex sois ducibus ac minislris inteipies Terbi existeret c<£l- 
ittM. (Ueda, lib. iii, cap. iii) When the bishop was ptcttching, the iuus himself inter- - 
jiieted the heaTei4y message to his othcet^ and serrants. 

42 DEATH 01"* OSWAVO. 

latif], listening eagerly to the ]Vord of God} The king preached 
by his works still more than by his words. One day during 
Easter, as he was about to take his seat at table, he was in- 
formed that a crowd of his subjects, driven by liunger, had col- 
lected before his palace gates. Instantly he ordered the food 
prepared for himself to be carried out and distributed among 
them; and taking the silver vessels which stood before him, he 
broke them in pieces and commanded his servants to divide 
them among the poor. He also introduced the knowledge of 
the Saviour to the people of Wessex, whither he had gone to 
liiarry the king's daughter; and after a reign of nine years, he 
died at the head of his army while repelling an invasion of the 
idolatrous Mercians, headed by the cruel Penda (oth August, 
642 A.E.) As befell he exclaimed: "Lord, have mercy on 
the souls of my people!" This youthful prince has left a name 
dear to the churches of Great Britain. 

His death did not interrupt the labours of the missionaries. 
Their meekness and the recollection of Oswald endeared them 
to all. As soon as the villagers caught sight of one on the 
high-road, they would throng round him, begging him to teach 
them the Word of Uji\^ The faith which the terrible Edelfrid 
thought he had washed away m the blood of the worshippers of 
God, was re-appearing in every direction; and Rome, which 
once already in the days of Honorius had been forced to leave 
Britain, might be perhaps a second time compelled to tiee to 
its snips I'rom before the lace of a people who asserted their 
liber I y. 

1 Coiifluebant ad audievdum vtrhiun Dei populi gauilcntes. (licda, lib iii, cup. iiiO 
The ptdiile eti+;erl> flocked together to licar tlie wind of (iod. « Alox coiixiexati in 

•unuiii vicaiii , tjei 6uri. viUc ab illo exiK.tere cuiabniit. (icda, lib. iii, cip. xxvi.) I'reBefltiT 
the villagers flocked together tariitiilly dtsiriiig to lienr I'loiu him tl;e word ol'lil'e- 



■Character of Oswy — Death of Aidan— Wilfrid at Rome— At Oswald's 
Court— Finaa and Colmaa — Independence of the Church attacked 
— OaWTS Conquests and Troubles — Sipiodus Pharensis — Cedda — 
Degeneration — The Disputation — Peter, the Gatekeeper — Triumph 
of Rome — Grief of the Britons —Popedom organized in England — 
Papal Exultation — Archbishop Theodore — Cedda re-ordained — Dis- 
cord in the Church — Disgrace and Treachery of Wilfrid — His end — 
Scotland attacked — Adamnan — lona resists — A King converted by 
Architects — The Monk Egbert at lona — His History — Monkish 
Yisions — Fall of lona. 

Then up rose the papacy. If victory remained with the 
Britons, their church, becoming entirely freC; might even in 
these early times head a strong opposition against the papal 
monarchy. If, on the contrary, the last champions of liberty 
are defeated, centuries of slavery awaited the Christian church, 
'•ve shall have to witness the struggle that took phice erelong 
iu the very palace of the Northumbrian kings. 

Oswald was succeeded by his brother Oswy, a prince instructed 
in the free doctrine of the Britons, but whose religion was all 
•external. His heart overflowed with ambition, and he shrank 
from uo crime that might increase his power. The throne of 
Deira was fiiied by his relative Oswin, an amiable king, much 
beloved by his people. Oswy, conceiving a deadly jeaiuusy 
towards him. marched against him at the head of an army, and 
Oswin, desirous of avoiding bloodshed, took shelter wita a chief 
whom he had loaded with favours. But the latter offered to 
lead Oswy's soldiers to his hiding-place; and at dead of 
night the lugitive king was basely assassinated, one only of his 
iservanis lighting in his defence. The gentle Aidan died ol' sorrow 
at his cruel late.*^ Such was the hrot exploit of that monarch 
who surrendered England to the papacy. Various circumstances 
tended to draw Oswy nearer Home. He looked upon the 
Ohiistian religion as a means of combining the Onristiau 
princes against the heathen Penda, and such a religion, 
in which expediency pretiominated, was not very unlike 
popery. And iurther, Oswy's wile, the proud Eanfeia, was of 
lUe liomish communion, ihc private chaplain of this bigoted 
j)nuoess was a priest named Komanus, a man worthy of the 

i Aydanosdaodecimo post occisionem revpi quern amabjit die, de seculo Hblmas. (Beds. 
Jib. lii, cap. xiTj Aidaa uu Cj twellUi day alter Uie death ol' the kiuK nhum lie lovi.d, waa 
-Ukeu uui or the world. 


name. He zealously maintained the rites of the Latia church, 
and accordingly the festival of Easter was celebrated at court 
twice in the year; for while the king, following the eastern rule, 
was joyfully commemorating the res;irrection of our Lord, the 
queen, who adopted the Eoman ritual, was keeping Palm Sun- 
day with fasting and humiliation.^ Eanfeld and Eomanus 
would often converse together on the means of winning over 
Northumberland to the papacy. But the first step was to in- 
crease the number of its partizans, and the opportunity soon 

A young Northumbrian, named Wilfrid, was one day admitted 
to an audience of the queen. He was a comely man, of cxteu- 
sive knowledge, keen wit, and enterprising character, of indefat- 
igible activity, and insatiable ambition.- In this interview he 
remarked to Eanfeld: "The way which the Scotch teach us is 
not perfect; I will go to Rome and learn in the very temples of 
the apostles." She approved of his project, and with her assis- 
tance and directions he set out for Italy. Alas! he was destined 
at no very distant day to ohain the whole British church to tho 
lioman see. After a short stay at Lyons, where the bishop, 
delighted at his talents, would have desired to keep him, he 
arrived at Kome, and immediately becauic ou the most friendly 
iboting with archdeacon Boniface, the pope's favourite council- 
lor. He soon discovered that the priests of France and Italy 
possessed more power both in ecclesiastical and secular matters 
than the humble missionaries of iona; and his thirst for honours 
was inflamed at the court of the pontifis. If he should succeed 
in making England submit to the papacy, there was no dignity 
to which he might not aspire. Heucelorward this was his unly 
thought, and he had liardly returned to Northumberland belbro 
Eanleid eagerly summoned him to court. A fanatical queen, 
irom whom lie might hope every thing — a king with no religiouis 
convictions, and ,ensla\eJ by political interests — a piuus and 
zealous prince, Alfred, the knig's con, wlio desirous of imi- 
tating his noble uncle Oswald, and converting the pagans, but 
who had neither the discernment nor the piety of the illustrious 
disciple of Iona: such were the materialii Wiilrid had to work 
upon. He saw clearly that if Home had gained her lirst victory 
by the sword of Edellrid, she could only expect to gain a second 

^ Cum ri'X pascha doniiiiicum boIuUe jrjuniiii I'ucerrt, tunc rcuino cum suia persUtcim ad- 
huc lu Jejuiiio (lUm I'nlniaiuni cikLiHlct. 'Beda, lib. iii, cap. xxvj When thu kiHK bav- 
iUK tndcd the tiiric vl lt;btiuK, na» k«<.iiiiiK Kasur, the quciu with hvr atui.Uunla still 

faitiui;, vat ctlcbratinK I'alui Sunday. 2 Aai£ ual iiigeuii fiiatia veuugti 

Tultu*, alacriluUt actiouiii. iiedu, lit). T, p. 13d. 


"by craft and management. He camo to an understanding on 
the subject with the queen and Eomanus, and having been 
placed about the person of the joung prince, by adroit flattery 
he soon gained over Alfred's mind. Then finding himself 
secure of two members of the royal family, he turned all his 
attention to Oswy. 

The elders of lona could not shut their eyes to the dangers 
•which threatened Northumberland. They had sent Finan to 
supply Aidan's place, and this bishop, consecrated by the pres- 
byters of lona, had witnessed the progress of popery at the 
court; at first humble and inofiensive, and then increasing year 
by year in ambition and audacity, lie had openly opposed the 
pontifi"s agents, and his frequent contests had confirmed him 
in the truth.^ He was dead, and the presbyters of the Western 
Isles, seeing more clenrly than ever the wants of Northumbria, 
had sent thither bishop Colman, a simple-minded, but stout- 
hearted man, — one determined to oppose a front of adamant to 
the wiles of the seducers. 

Yet Eanfelil, Wilfrid, and Komanus were skilfully digging 
the mine that was to destroy the apostolic church of Britain. 
At first Wilfrid prepared his attack by adroit insinuations; and 
cxt declared himself openly in the king's presence. If Osv.-y 
withdrew into his domestic circle, he there found the bigoted 
Eanfeld, v.ho zealously continued the work of the Roman mis- 
>ionary. No opportunities were neglected: in the midst of the 
diversions of the court, at table, and even during the chase, 
>;scua-ions were perpetually raised on the controverted doc- 
trines. Men's minds became excited: the Romanists already 
assumed the air of conquerors; and the Britons often withdrew 
lull ot anxiety and fi;ar. The king, placed between his wiie and 
his laith, and wearied ly ttiese disputes, inclined first to one 
jside^ and ti-en to tue other, as if he would soon lall alto- 

Tlie papacy had more powerful n.otives than ever for covet- 
ing Nortiiuuibcrland. 0.-jwy hud not only usurped the throne 
ot l)cua, but alter the death of the cruel Peuda, who fell ia 
battle Hi (Jo4, he had conquered his states with the exception 
of a poruou governed by lus sou-iu law Peada, the son ot Peuda. 
But i euda iiimself liaving lalleu m a conspiracy said to have 
been j:tt up by ii'is wite, the daughter of Vawy, the latter com- 
pleted lue couquebt ot Mercia, and thus united the greatest 

' Ajicriujii TitiUitis a<:vursarium reddidit, sivjs the Homaiiiat Bede, Ub.v. p. 13d. Hatf 
RudercU iiliu au uVcU uucUJ vi Uic UruUl. 



part of England under his sceptre. Kent alone at that tiuie 
acknowledged the jurisdiction of Kome : in every other province, 
free ministers, protected by the kings of Northumberland, 
preached the Gospel, This wonderfully simplified tlie ques- 
tion. If Rome gained over Oswy, she would gain England:, 
if she failed, she must sooner or later leave that island alto- 

This was not all. The blood of Oswyn, the premature death 
of Aidan, and other things besides, troubled the king's breast. 
He desired to appease the Deity he had oflFended, and not know- 
ing that Christ is the door, as holy Scripture tells us, he sought 
among men for 'a doorkeeper who would open to him the king- 
dom of heaven. He was lar from being the last of those kings 
whom the necessity of expiating their crimes impelled towards 
Komish practices. The crafty AV'ilfrid, keeping alive both the 
hopes and fears of the prince, often spoke to him of Rome, and 
of the grace to be found there. He thought that the fruit was 
ripe, and that now he had only to shake the tree. " We must 
have a public disputation, in which the question may be settled 
once for all," said the queen and her advisers; '" but Eomo 
liiust take her part in it with as much pomp as her adversaries. 
Let us oppose bishop to bishop." A Saxon bishop named Agil- 
bert, a friend of \\ ilirid's, who had won the aflection of the 
young prince Alfred, was invited by Eanfeld to the coufercucc,- 
und lie arrived in iSorthumberland attended by a priest named 
Agathon. Alas! poor British church, the earthen vessel is about 
to be dabhcd against the vase of iron. Britain must yield before 
tlie invading march of Rome. 

On the coast of i'orkshire, at the farther extremity of a 
quiet bay, was situated the monastery of Strcnseshalh, or Whit- 
by, of which Hilda, the pious daughter of king Edwin, wa;, 
abbess. She, too, was desirous of seeing a termination of the 
violent disputes which had agitated the church since AViltrid's re- 
turn. Ou the shores of the Isorth Soa^ the struggle was to be 
decided between Britain and Rome, between the East and the 
West, or, as they said then, between Saint John and Saint Peter. 
It was not a mere question about Easter, or certain rules of 
discipline, but oi the great doctrine of the freedom of the church 
under Jesus Christ, or its enslavement under the papacy. 
Rome, ever domineering, desired for the second time to huld 

^ This conference la KcneriUIy kiiotru as the Synodui J'liaren^it (tt'om StrettoetUalli, 
kiiins I'tiai'i). " lludie Whitliie diciiur (White bay), et ent, vUXa iu Bburacuim littoro «uti» 
nota " 'iVUkiiu, Ouudi. \t. iT, uuie 

CEPDA. 47" 

England in its grasp, not bj means of the sword, but by her 
doomas. ^Vith her usual cunning she concealed her enormous 
pretensions under secondary questions, and many superficial 
thinkers were deceived by this manceuvre. 

The meeting took place in the convent of Whitby. The king 
and his son entered first; then, on the one siae, Colman, with, 
the bishops and elders of the Britons; and on the other bishop 
Agilbert, Agathon, Wilfrid, Ronianus, a deacon named James, 
and several other priests of the Latin confession. Last of all 
came Hilda with her attendants, among whom was an English, 
bishop named Cedda, one of the most active missionaries of the 
age.^ He had at first preached the Gospel in the midland dis- 
tricts, whence he turned his footsteps towards the Anglo- 
Saxons of the East, and after converting a great number of 
these pagans, he had returned to Fiuan, and, although an Enff- 
lishman, had received Episcopal consecration from a bishop, who 
had been himself ordained by the elders of lona. Then pro- 
jedin^; westwards, the indcfjiticrable evangelist founded churches. 
:.nd appointed elders and deacons wherever he weut.^ By birtk 
an Englishman, by ordination a Scotchman, everywhere treated 
with respect and consideration, he appeared to be set apart as 
mediator in this solemn conference. His intervention could not 
however, retard the victory of Rome. Alas! the primitive evan- 
gelism had gradually given way to an eeclesiasticism, coarse and 
rude in one place, subtle and insinuating in another. Whenever^ 
the priests were called upon to justify certain doctrines or cere- 
monies, instead of referring solely to the word of God, thatr 
fountain of all light, they maintained that thus St. James did. 
at Jerusalem, St. Mark at Alexandria, St. John at Lphesus, or 
St. Peter at Rome. They gave the name of apostolical caiion-s,. 
to rules which the apostles had never known. They evea 
went lurther than this: at Rome and in the East, ecclesiastic- 
ism represented itself to be a law of God, and irom a state of 
weakness, it thus became a state of sin. Some marks of this 
error were already beginning to appear in the Christianity of" 
the Britons. 

King Oswy was the first to speak : " As servants of one and- 
the same God, we hope ail to enjoy the same inheritance in 

1 Prtsbjteri Cedda et Addn et Berti et Ihuiia, qaoram nltimos natione Scotos, c«terl faere 
AuglL (Utdft, lib- iii, cap. xii) These presbjtcrs were Cedda and Adda and iicrti and 
Ciuna, of whom the last was by uatioii a Soot, the rest were Enjt'.ish. 2 Qui aocepto 

grada episcopattu et msjtre auctoritate tceptuni opus expleas, fecit per loca eccle3i;is, pres- 
bjieros et diacoms ordinavit- (Beda, lib- iii, Cip- xiii J Who having received the eiiisoopal 
diijiiity and pursuing the woik he bad begun with more ample authority, built church€»- 
u> Tarioos places, and ordained presbyten and deacon** 


heaven; why then should we not have the same rule of life here 
telow? Let us inquire which is the true one, and follow it." 

'' Those who sent me hither as bishop," said Colman, " and 

who gave me the rule which 1 observe, are the beloved of God. 
Let us beware how we despise their teaching, for it is the teach!- 
ing of Columba, of the blessed evangelist John,^ and of the 
churches over which that apostle presided." 

" As for us," boldly rejoined Wilfrid, for to him as to the 
most skilful had bishop Agilbert intrusted the defence of their 
cause, '* our custom is that of Rome, where the holy apostles 
Peter and Paul taught; we found it in Italy and Gaul, nay, it 
is spread over every nation. Shall the Picts and Britons, cast 
on these two islands, on the verj- confines of the ocean, dare to 
contend against the whole world? '^ However holy your Col- 
umba may have been, will you prefer him to the pi-ince of the 
apostles, to whom Christ said. Thou aH Peter, and I will give 
unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven?" 

Wilfrid spoke with animation, and his words being skilfully 
adapted to his audience, began to make them waver. He had 
artfully substituted Columba for the apostle John, from whom 
the British church claimed descent, and opposed to Saint Peter 
tx plain older of lona. Oswy, whose idol was power, could not 
hesitate between paltry bi. hops and that pope of Rome who 
commanded the whole world. Already iniagiiiing he saw Peter 
at the gates of paraiiisc, with the keys in his hand, he exclaim- 
ed with emotion: " is it true, Colman, that these words were 
addressed by our Lora to Saint Peter?" " It is true." " Can 
you prove that similar powers weie given to your Columba?" 
The bishop rrpliod " Wo cannut;" but he might have told the 
king: " Jolin, whose doctrine we follow, and indeed every dis- 
ciple, has received in the s.nie sense as St. Peter the power to 
remit sins, to bind and to loo^e on earth and in heaven." "* But 
the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures was fading away in lona, 
and the unsuspecting Colman had not observed W illrid's strata- 
gem in substituting Coiumba ior Saint John. Upon this Oswy, 
delighted to yield to ti.e continual sulicitations of the queen, 
and above uU, to find sume one who would admit him into the 
kingdom of l.eaven, exclaimed: *• Peter is the doorkeeper, I will 
obey him, lest when 1 appc.r at tiie gale there should be no one 
to open It to me." * 'Ihu spectators, carried away by this royal 

I It'iom til. qiind beiitui evnnxriisiii Joliiiiir.eR, (Unci (ilits spt'Cinliter Domino diU'Ctus- 
lii'da, lib' lii, c p x\\- X t'ict<« dic» uc lliiUuut'ii, earn tiutbU!> dc uuabus uitiniiu 

oieuiii liiauiia, ooiitin totuin (irbclii itiiiiio l.iui'iv i'iU>'>»it- Liiid. SJuhurx.'iS; 

>li>ttli. xvili, lii- * Nu I'orio me uurtiiioi-U! ud I'cres re^ui calorum, uuu sil qui 

ivnrittt. Jleda, lib- lii, cap. x.xv- 



■confession, hastened to give in their suhmission to the vicar of 
St. Peter. 

Thus did Rome Triumph at the "Whitby conference. Osway 
forgot that the Lord had said: I am he that openeth, and no man 
^huiteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth} It was by ascrib- 
ing to Peter the servant, what belongs to Jesus Christ the mas- 
ter, that the papacy reduced Britain. Oswy stretched out his 
hands, Rome riveted the chains, and the liberty which Oswald 
had given his church seemed at the last gasp. 

Colman saw with grief and consternation Osway and his sub- 
jects bending their knees before the foreign priests. He did 
not, however, despair of the ultimate triumph of the truth. 
The apostolic faith could still find shelter in the old sanctuaries of 
the British church in Scotland and Ireland. Immovable in the 
doctrine he had received, and resolute to uphold Christian 
liberty, Colman withdrew with those who would not bend be- 
neath the yoke of Rome, and returned to Scotland. Thirty 
Anglo-Saxons, and a great number of Britons, shook off the dust 
of their feet against the tents of the Romish priests. The hatred 
of popery became more intense day by day among the remain- 
der of the Britons. Determined to repel its erroneous dogmas 
and its illegitimate dominion, they maintained their commun- 
ion with the Eastern Church, which was more ancient than that 
of Rome. They shuddered as they saw the red dragon of the 
Celts gradually retiring towards the western sea from before the 
white dragon of the Saxons. They ascribed their misfortunes 
to a horrible conspiracy planned by the iniquitous ambition of 
the foreign monks, and the bards in their chants cursed the 
negligent ministers who defended not the flock of the Lord 
against the wolves of Rome.- But vain were the lamentations'. 
The Romish priests, aided by the queen, lost no time. "Wil- 
frid, whom Oswy desired to reward for his triumph, was named 
bishop of Korthumberland, and he immediately visited Paris to 
deceive episcopal consecration in due form, lie soon returned, 
and proceeded with singular activity to establish the Romish 
doctrine in all the churches.^ Bishop of a diocese extending 
from Edinburgh to Jsorthampton, enriched with the goods 
which had belonged to divers monasteries; surrounded by a 
numerous train, served upon gold and silver plate, Wilfrid con- 
gratulated himself on having espoused the cause of the papacy; 

1 John X, 9 ; Rev- Ui, 7. 3 Horse CriUimic*, b- ii, p. 'J77. 3 Ipse perplat» 

catholics obserratiO'.it moderamina ecclesiis Auslomni saa doctrina contnUt- (B«da, lib- 
iii, cap- xxvlii ) iJe b> his docuice brought into the chorcbes of England masij rales of 
catholic observance- 

4S S 


he offended every one who approached him by his insolence, 
and taught England how wide was the difference between the- 
hunible ministers of lona and a Romish priest. At the same 
time Oswy, coming to an understanding with the king of Kent, 
sent another priest named Wighard to Rome to learn the pope's 
intentions respecting the church in England, and to receive con- 
secration as archbishop of Canterbury. There was no episcopal 
ordination in England worthy of a priest! In the meanwhile 
Oswy, with all the zeal of a new convert, ceased not to repeat 
that " the Roman Church was the Catholic and apostolic 
church," and thought night and day on the means of converting 
his subjects, hoping thus (says a pope) to redeem his own soul.^ 

The arrival of this news at Rome created a great sensation. 
Vitalian, who then filled the episcopal chair, and was as insolent 
to his bishops as he was fawning and servile to the emperor, 
exclaimed with transport: " Who would not be overjoyed! - a 
king converted to the true apostolic faith, a people tliat be- 
lieves at last in Christ the Almighty God!" For many lono- 
years this people had believed in Christ, but they were now be- 
ginning to believe in the pope, and the pope will soon make 
them forget Jesus the Saviour. Vitalian wrote to Oswy. and sent 
him — not copies of the Holy Scriptures (which were already be- 
coming scarce at Rome), but — relics of the Saints Peter, John, 
Lawrence, Gregory, and Pancratius; and being in an especial man- 
ner desu-ous of rewarding Queen Eanfeld, to whom with \\'il« 
frid belonged the glory of this work, he offered her a cross, 
made, as he assured her, out of the chains of St. Peter and St. 
Paul. ^ " Delay not," said the pope in conclusion, " to reduce 
all your island under Jesus Christ," or iu other words, under the 
bishop of Rome. 

The essential thing, however, was to send an archbishop from 
Rome to Britain; but Wighard was dead, and no one seemed 
willing to undertake so long a journey.* 

There was not much zeal in the city of the pontiffs: and the 
pope was compelled to look out for a stranger. There happened at 
that time to be in Rome a man of great reputation for learning, 
who had come from the east, and adopted the rites and doc« 
tines of the Latins in exchange for the knowledge he had brought^ 

1 Uinnes subjcctos buos meditator die nc nocte ad fldem catholioam atque apostolicAiii pro 
BuiB aniuio: reiicin)iti(.iie converti. (lieda, lit>- iii. cup. xxir) ile itadies day and night thitc 
all hi» subject* may be couvcrted to the catholic and apostolic faith, foi the salvation of iiU 
own tool ^ ^uis enlm audieus hiec suavia nou laiteturt Ibid. 3 Oonju>{i. 

aoitric tpltituali fllije, crucem (Beda, lib. iii. cap xiix.) i o jour consort, our spii it- 

iial diiaghter, a cross.. ... 4 Minime voluinius nauc reperire pro louxiuquitata 

Uacriii- (Ibid-} Ou account of the Ungth oi Ui« jouruey, w« b»ve not been able to tiud. . .' 


tlictn. He was pointed out to Yitalian as well qualified to be 
the metropolitan of England. Theodore, for such was his name, 
belonging by birth to the churches of Asia Minor, would be 
listened to by the Britons in preference to any other, when he 
solicited them to abandon their oriental customs. The Romaa 
pontiff, however, fearful perhaps that he might yet entertain 
some leaven of his former Greek doctrines, gave him as com- 
panion, or rather as overseer, a zealous African monk named 

Theodore began the great crusade against British Christianity^ 
and endeavouring to show the sincerity of his conversion by his . 
zeal, he traversed all England in company with. Adrian, ^ every 
where imposing on the people that ecclesiastic-al supremacy to 
which Rome is indebted tor her political supremacy. The 
superiority of character which distingxiished Saint Peter, Theo- 
dore transformed into a superiority of office. For the jurisdic- 
tion of Christ and his word, he substituted that of the bishop 
of Eome and of his decrees. He insisted on the necessity 
of ordination by bishops who, in an unbroken chain, could trace 
back their authority to the apostles themselves. The British 
still maintained the validity of their con-iecration; but the num- 
ber was small of those who understood that pretended success- 
ors of the apostles, who sometimes carry Satan in their hearts, 
are not true ministers of Christ; that the one thing needful for 
the church is, that the apostles themselves (and not thtir suc- 
cessors only) should dwell in its bosom by their word, by their 
teaching, and by the Divine Comforter who shall be with it for 
ever and ever. 

The grand defection now began : the best were sometimes the 
first to yield. W hen Theodore met Cedda, who had been con- 
secrated by a bishop who had himself received ordination from 
the elders of lona, he said to him: "You have not been regu- 
larly ordained." Cedda, instead of standing up boldly for the 
truth, gave way to a carnal modesty, and replied : " 1 never 
thought myself worthy of the episcopate, and am ready to lay 
it down.'' — "Ko," said 'Iheodtre, "}ou shall remain a bishop, 
but 1 will ciMKcrate you anew according to the catholic rii.ual."* 

1 Ct uihgtiiur aiiccderet, ne qxiid ille central ium veritati, fidei, Giscomm more, in 
eccUsiam cui iiseisstt intn-duciret. (litda, lib. iv, cap.i J That lie should coLStiiutly at- 
tend him, Im alter the manner of the Ij reeks, he sbtuli introduce any thing cuutrary to 
the true li.ith h.tothe cbuich ever ifthicb he jri sided. 2 PeiaRrata ii sula tota, 

rectum Tivtndi oidimm disstmiiuibat. (Ibid. caii. ii.) lie visited the nhole island, and 
t»uj;ht the light rule of lite. 3 tnni C'cadda Lpiscopum arguertt nou luisse rite 

constcratnm, i| ge (Ihtcdoms) ordiEatioieii. ejus i-emo colholica ratiune cunsummaTit, 
(Beda. lib. iv, cap. ii.) M hin be tharged C tdca with not Wmn a re^ularli oldaiutd bishop, 
he (Iheodoie) hi]LSeif eon. pit ted his oioication slttrthe catholic maimer. 


The Britisli minister submitted. Rome triumphant felt herself 
strong enough to deny the imposition of hands of the elders of 
lona, which she had hitherto recognised. The most stedfast 
believers took refuge in Scotland. 

In this manner a church in some respects deficient, but still 
a church in which the religious element held the foremost place, 
was succeeded by another in which the clerical element pre- 
slominated. This was soon apparent: questions of authority 
and precedence, hitherto unknown among the British Christians, 
were now of daily occurrence. Wilfrid, who had fixed his 
residence at York, thought that no one deserved better than he 
to be primate of all Englandj and Theodore on his part was 
irritated at the haughty tone assumed by this bishop. During 
the life of Oswy, peace was maintained, for Wilfrid was his 
favourite; but ere long that prince fell ill; and, terrified by the 
near approach of death, he vowed that if he recovered he would 
make a pilgrimage to Eome and there end his days.^ " If you 
will be my guide to the city of the apostles," he said to Wilfrid, 
''I will give you a large sum of money." But his vow was of 
no avail: Oswy died in the spring of the year 670 a.d. 

The Witan set aside Prince Alfred, and raised his youngest 
brother Egfrid to the throne. The new monarch, who had often 
been ofiended by Wilfrid's insolence, denounced this haughty 
prelate to the archbishop. Nothing could be more agreeable to 
Theodore. He assembled a council at Hertford, before which 
the chief of his converts were first summoned, and presenting to 
theui, not the holy scripture but the canons oftJie llomish church,^ 
he received their solemn oaths: such was the religion then 
taught in England. But this was not all. " The diocese of 
our brother Wilfrid is so extensive," said the primate, " that 
there is room in it for four bishops." They were appointed 
accordingly. Wilfrid indignantly appealed Irom the primate 
and the king to the pope. " Who converted England, who, if 

not I? and it is thus I am rewarded 1" Not allowing 

himself to be checked by the difficulties of the journey, he set 
out for Eome, attended by a few monks, and Pope Agathon 
assembling a council (679), the Englishman presented his com- 
plaint, and the pontiff declared the destitution to be illegal. 
Wilfrid immediately returned to England, and haughtilj^ pre- 
sented the pope's decree to the king. But Egfrid, wno was not 
of a disposition to tolerate these transalpine manners, far from 

1 Ut si ab infinnitatc solvaretur, etiam Uomnin venire, ibique ad loca saticta vitani fiiiirc. 
lieda, lib. iv, cap. ii. 'J Quibu:i sUiiim piutuli eiuiduiii {itit-uiiicaiitfiium. (IbiU. 

cap. vj To whom 1 strugUtway prtseukd the Muue booli ot'canoui 

Wilfred's disgrace asd ekd. 53 

restoring the see, cast the prelate into prison, and did not release 
him until the end of the year, and then only on condition that 
he would immediately quit Xorthumbria. 

Wilfrid — for we must follow even to the end of his life that 
remarkable man, who exercised so great an influence over the 
destinies of the English church — ^Vilfrid was determined to be 
a bishop at any cost. The kingdom of Sussex was still pagan; 
and the deposed prelate, whose indefatigable activity we cannot 
but acknowledge, formed the resolution of winning a bishopric; 
as other men plan the conquest of a kingdom. He arrived in 
Sussex during a period of famine, and having brought with him 
a a'lmber of nets, he taught the people the art of fishing, and 
thus gained their affections. Their king Edilwalch had been 
baptized, his subjects now followed his example, and Wilfrid was 
placed at the head of the church. But he soon manifested the 
disposition by which he was animated : he furnished supplies of 
men and money to CeadwaUa, ting of Wessex, and this cruel 
chieftain made a fierce inroad into Sussex, laying it waste, and 
putting to death Edilwalch, the prelate's benefactor. THie 
career of the turbulent bishop was not ended.' King Egfrid died, 
and was succeeded by his brother Alfred, whom Wilfrid bad 
brought up, a prince fond of learnirig and religion, and emulous 
of the glory of his uncle Oswald. The ambitious AYilfrid hast- 
ened to claim his see of York, by acquiescing in the partition^ 
it was restored to him, and he forthwith began to plunder others 
to enrich himself. A council begged him to submit to the de- 
crees of the church of England; he refused, and having lost the 
esteem of the king, his former pupil, he undertook, notwithstand- 
ing his advanced years, a third journey to Eome. Knowing 
how popes are won, he threw himself at the pontiff's feet, ex- 
claiming that " the suppliant bishop Wilfrid, the humble slave 
of the servant of God, implored the favour of our most blessed 
lord, the pope universal." The bishop could not restore his 
creature to his see, and the short remainder of Wilfrid's life was 
spent in the midst of the riches his cupidity had so unworthily 

Yet he had accomplished the task of his life: all England was 
subservient to the papacy. The names of Osicy and of Wilfrid 
should be inscribed in letters of mourning in the annals of Great 
Britain. Posterity has erred in permitting them to sink into 
oblivion; for they were two of the most influential and energetic 
men that ever flourished in England. Still this very forgetful- 
ness is not wanting in generosity. The grave in which the 



liberty of the church lay buried for nine centuries is the only 
monument — a mournful one indeed — that should perpetuate 
their memory. 

But Scotland was still free, and to secure the definitive 
triumph of Rome, it was necessary to invade that virgin soil, 
over which the standard of the faith had floated for so many 

Adamnan was then at the head of the church of lona, the 
first elder of that religious house. He was virtuous and learned, 
but weak and somewhat vain, and his religion had little spirit- 
uality. To gain him was in the eyes of Rome to gain Scotland. 
A singular circumstance favoured the plans of those who desired 
to draw him into the papal communion. One day during a 
violent tempest, a ship coming from the Holy Land, and on 
board of which was a Gaulish bishop named Arculf, was wrecked 
in the neighbourhood of lona.i Arculf eagerly sought an 
asylum among the pious inhabitants of that island. Adamnan 
never grew tired of hearing the stranger's descriptions of Boih- 
lehera, Jerusalem, and Golgotha, of the sun-burnt plains over 
which our Lord had wandered, and the cleft stone which still 
lay before the door of the sepulchre.^ The elder of lona, who 
prided himself on his learning, noted down Arculf's conversation, 
and from it composed a description of the Holy Land. As soon 
as his book was completed, the desire of making these won- 
drous things more widely known, combined with a little vanity, 
and perhaps other motives, urged him to visit the court of Nor- 
thumberland, where he presented Lis work to the pious King 
Alii-ed,^ who, being fond of learning and of the Christian tra- 
ditions, caused a number of copies of it to be made. 

^or was this all: the Romish clergy perceived the advantage 
they might derive Irom this imprudent journey. They crowded 
round the elder; they showed him all the pomp of tlieu' worship, 
and said to him : " Will you and your Iriends, who live at the 
very extremity of the world, set yourselves in opposition to the 
observances of the universal church?"^ The nobles of the court 
flattered the author's self-love, and invited him to their festivi- 
ties, while the king loaded him with presents. The free pres- 
byter of Britain became a priest of Rome, and Adamnan re- 
turned to lona to betray his church to his new masters. But 

1 Vi tcmpt'sUtis in occidcntalwi Biitauuiic liUora dclatus est. licda. lib. v. cap. xvi. 

2 Lapis qui ad ostimn inonuincuti piciti's <ial, lissus iBt. (Ibid. cup. xvii.) The stone 
which w«» .aid at the door of the n 1 1..> i . ,. »» now cUlt m two. 3 l^orrtxit autcm 
librum tunc Adamnaiius Alt! ido it^i. ibid. cap. xvu « Kc contra uuivcrsulom 
ecclesiffi nionni. cum t.uis paucissiuiis et iu txtreiuo mundi angnlo positis, vivcre praauiu. 
«rct. 13eda, lib. V, cap.xvi. 


it was all to no purpose: lona would not give way.^ He then 
■went to hide his sliame in Ireland, where having brought a few 
individuals to the Romish uniformity, he took courage and re- 
visited Scotland. But that country, still inflexible, repelled him 
■with indignation.^ 

"When Eome found herself unable to conquer by the priest, 
she had recourse to the prince, and her eyes were turned to 
Isaitam, king of the Picts. " How much more glorious it would 
be for you," urged the Latin priests, " to belong to the power- 
ful church of the universal pontiflF of Rome, than to a congre- 
gation superintended by miserable elders! The Romish church 
is a monarchy, and ought to be the church of every monarch. 
The Roman ceremonial accords with the pomp of royalty, and 
its temples are palaces." The prince was convinced by the last 
argument. He despatched messengers to Ceolfrid, the abbot 
of an English convent, begging him to send him architects cap- 
able of building a church after the Eoman pattern^ — of stone and 
not of wood. Architects, majestic porches, lofty columns, vaulted 
roofs, gilded altars, have often proved the most influential of 
Rome's missionaries. The builder's art, though in its earliest 
and simplest days, was more powerful than the Bible. Nait- 
am, who, by submitting to the pope thought himself the equal 
of Ciovis and Clotaire, assembled the nobles of his court and 
the pastors of his church, and thus addressed them : " I recom- 
mend all the clergy of my kingdom to receive the tonsure of 
Saint Peter." * Then without delay (as Bede informs us) this 
important revolution was accompiiahed by royal authority.^ 
He sent agents and letters into every province, and caused all 
the ministers and monks to receive the circular tonsure accord- 
ing to the Roman fashion. ^ It was the mark that popery 
stamped, not on the forehead, but on the crown. A royal pro- 
clamation and a few clips of the scissors placed the Scotch, like 
a flock of sheep, beneath the crook of the shepherd of the Tiber. 

lona still held out. The orders of the Pictish king, the ex- 
-ample of his subjects, the sight of that Italian power which was 
devouring the earth, had shaken some few minds; but the 
Church stUl resisted the innovation. lona was the last citadel 

1 Cnmvit suos ad eum veriutis c^ilcem produceie, nee voiuit. Bed;i. lib. v. cap.XTi. 
:; ^ec tamen perficere quod cjoabatar posset. Ibid. Toe courersioos of whictt abbot 
Ceullrid speaks in chap, xzii are prubably those efidcted in Ireland, the word Scotia beins; at 
this |>etiod freqaently applied to that coontry. 3 Architectos sibi mitti petiit qui jiuta 

morem ilomaiiorum ecclesiam tiicerent. Beda. lib. v. cap. xxii. * Et banc accipere 

tonsorani, omnes qui in meo regno sunt clericos decemo. Ibid. 5 Jiec mora, qusu 

dixerat regja auctoritate perfecit- Ibid- 6 Per nniveisas Pictorum provincias. . . . 

tondebantur omnes in coronam niinistri altaris ac monaehi. (Ibid) Throughout all the 
proTinces of the Picts all the ministers of the altar and monks bad the crown ihotn. 


of liberty in the western world, and popery was filled with anger 
at that miserable band which in its remote corner refused to 
bend before it. Human means appeared insufficient to conquer 
this rock : something more was needed, visions and miracles for 
example; and these Rome always finds when she wants them. 
One day towards the end of the seventh century, an English 
monk, named Egbert, arriving from Ireland, appeared before 
the cldex's of lona, who received him with their accustomed 
hospitality. He was a man in whom enthusiastic devotion was 
combined with great gentleness of heart, and ho soon won upon 
the minds of these simple believers. He spoke to them of an 
external unity, urging that a universality manifested under dif- 
ferent forms was unsuited to the church of Christ. He advoca- 
ted the special foi-m of Eome, and for the truly catholic element 
which the Christians of lona had thus far possessed, substituted a 
sectarian element. ^le attacked the traditions of the British 
church,^ and lavishly distributing the rich presents confided to- 
him by the lords of Ireland and of England, ^ he soon had 
reason to acknowledge the truth of the saying of the wise man :. 
A gijt is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: 
whitharsoever it turneth it prospereth. 

Some pious souls, however, still held out in lona. The enthu- 
siast Egbert — lor such ho appears to have been rather than 
an impostor' — had recourse to other means. He represented 
himself to be a messenger from heaven: the saints them- 
selves, said he, have commissioned me to convert lona; and 
then he told the following history to the elders who stood round, 
him. " About thirty years ago i entered the monastery of 
Kathmelhg in Ireland, when a terrible pestilence fell upon it,, 
and of all the brethren the monk Edeihuu and myself were left 
alone. Attacked by the plague, and fearing my last hour was 
come, I rose I'rom my bed and crept into the chapel. "^ There 
my whole body trembled at the recollection of my sins, and my 
face was bathed with tears. ' God,' 1 exclaimed, ' suffer me 
not to die until I have redeemed my debt to thee by an abun- 
dance of good works.^ 1 returned staggering to the inlirmary, 
got into bed, and fell asleep. \Vhen i awoke, I saw EJclhua 

1 Sedulis cxhortiitioiiibus iiiveteratum illain tiaditionem piirentum eorum- (Beda, lib- v. 
cap. xxiii) ISy hia frc(iueiit exUorUitions, lie cuuvei ted tUein I'rom that inveterate tradition 
of tlieir ancestors. a I'ietate largiendi de liis qua; a (tivitibus acceperat, inultum 

proluit. (Ibid. cap. xxvii) lie did much Kood by the pious distribution of those Kit'ts wliich 
be had received from the rich. 3 Cum se existiuiaret esse uiorilurum, sKressua est 

teiuporo matutino de cul)iculo, et residcns solus- .... bcda, lib- iii- cap. xxvii. 
4 I'recabatur ne adliuc niori deberet prius(iuam vel prietcritas iu'xli«entias iierfeclira ex 
tempore castisaret, vel in bonis es operibus abuudautius exercereU Ibid, 


vrith his ejes fized on mine. ' Brother Egbert,' said he, ' it has 
been revealed to me in a vision that thou shalt receive what 
thou hast asked.' On the following night Edelhun died and I 

'•' Many years passed away: my repentance and my vigils did 
not satisfy me, and wishing to pay my debt, I resolved to go 
v.ith a company of monks and preach the blessings of the gospel 
to the heathens of Germany. Bat during the night a blessed 
saint from heaven appeared to one of the brethren and saidt 
" Tell Egbert that he must go to the monasteries of Coluuiba, 
for their ploughs do not plough straight, and he must put them 
into the right furro-v.' ^ I forbade this brother to speak of his 
vision, and went on board a ship bound for Germany. ^Ye 
were waiting for a favourable wind, when, of a sudden, in the 
middle of the night, a frightful tempest burst upon the vessel, 
and drove us on the shoals. ^For my sake\his tempest is up- 
on us,' I exclaimed in terror; ' God speaks to me as He did to 
Jonah; ' and I ran to take refuge in my cell. At last I deter- 
mined to obey the command Vihich the holy man had brought 
me. 1 left Ireland, and came among you, in order to pay my 
debt by converting you. And now." continued Egbert, '■ make 
answer to the voice of heaven, and submit to E,ome." 

A ship thrown on shore by a storm was a frequent occurrence 
on those coasts, and the dream of a monk, absorbed in the plans 
of his brother, was nothing very unnatural. But in those times 
of darkness, everything appeared miraculous; phantoms and 
apparitions had more weight than the word of God. Instead 
of detecting the emptiness of these visions by the falseness of 
the religion they were brought to support, the elders of lona 
liatencd seriously to Egbert's narrative. The primitive faith 
planted on the rock of Icolmkill was now like a pine-tree tossed 
by the winds: but one gust, and it would be uprooted and. 
blown into the sea. Egbert, perceiving the elders to be shaken, 
redoubled his prayers, and even had recourse to threats. " All 
the west," said he, '"'bends the knee to Rome: alone against all^ 
what can you do? " The Scotch still resisted: obscm'e and im- 
known, the last British Christians contended in behalf of expir- 
ing liberty. At length bewildered — they stumbled and fell^ 
The scissors were brought; they received the Latin tonsure* 
— they were the pope's. 

1 Quia aratra eorum nou recte incedunt ; oportet ant*m eum ad rectum hsec tramitem. 
itvueare. Beda, lib. iii. cap. xivii. '-i Ad ritum tonsurse caiionicum sub ti«,-ura. 

coroDffi p«rpetua. (Bcda, lib. v. tap. xxiii.) To the canonical rite of tbe tonsure under the- 
totm oi a perpetual crowii- 

58 FALL OF lOXA.' 

Thus fell Scotland. Yet there still remained some sparks of 
grace, and the mountains of Caledonia long concealed the hid- 
den tire which after many ages burst forth with such power 
and might. Here and thei'c a few independent spirits were to 
be found who testified against the tyranny of Rome. In the 
time of Bede they might be seen "■ halting in their paths/' (to use 
the words of the Romish historian,) refusing to join in the holi- 
days of the pontifical adherents, and pushing away the hands 
that were eager to shave their cro'vvns. ^ But the leaders of 
the state and of the church had laid down their arms. The 
contest was over, after lasting more than a century. British 
Christianity had in some degi-ee prepared its own lall, by sub- 
stituting too often the form for the faith. The foreign super- 
stition took advantage of this weakness, and triumphed in these 
islands by means of royal decrees, church ornaments, monkish 
phantoms, and conventual apparitions. At the beginning of 
the eighth century the British Church became the serf of Rome; 
but an internal struggle was commencing, which did not cease 
until the period of the Reformation. 


Clement — Struggle between a Scotchman and an Englishman — Word 
of God only — Clement's Success — His condemnation — Virgil and the 
Antipodes— Jolm Scotus and Philosophical Eeligion — Alfred and 
the bible — Darkness and Popery — William the Conqueror — AVulston 
at Edward's TomL) — Struggle between William and Hildebrand — 
The Pope yields —Cajsaropapia. 

The independent Christians of Scotland, who subordinated the 
authority ot :uau to that of God, were filled with sorrow as they 
bi'lield these back-slidings: and it was this no doubt which in- 
duced many to leave their homes and fight in the very heart of 
Europe in behalf of that Christian liberty which had just ex- 
pired among themselves. 

At the commencement of the eighth century a great idea took 
possession of a pious doctor ot the Scottish church named 

>%., 1 Sicnt e contra llriltones, ioveterati et cliiudicantes a semitis suis, et capita ferre sine 
■corona praiteiidnnt. (Uedu, lib. v, ciip. xxiii.) Kveii us, on the coiitiary, the Xiritous, iu- 
veterate and baltiug iu tbeii paths, expose their beuiU without u crunn. 


•Clement.* The icorh of God is the very essence of Christianity, 
-thought he, and this work must be defended against all the en- 
croachments of man. To human traditionalism he opposed the 
sole authority of the word of God; to clerical materialism, a 
church which is the assembly of the saints; and to Pelagianism, 
the sovereignty of grace. He was a man of decided character 
and firm iaith, but without fanaticism; his heart was open to 
the holiest emotions of our nature; he was a husband and a father. 
He quitted Scotland and travelled among the Franks, every 
where scattering the seeds of the faith. It happened unfortun- 
ately that a man of kindred energy, "\Yinifrid or Boniface of 
Wesscx, was planting the pontifical Christianity in the same 
regions. This great missionary, who possessed in an essential 
degree the faculty of organization, aimed at external unity above 
all things, and when he had taken the oath of fidelity to Gregory 
II., he had received from that pope a collection of the Eoman 
laws. Boniface, henceforth a docile disciple or rather a fanatical 
champion of Eome, supported on the one hand by the pontiff, 
and on the other by Charles Martel, had preached to the people 
of Germany, among gome undoubted Christian truths, — the 
doctrine of tithes and of papal supremacy. The Englishman 
and the Scotchman, representatives of two great systems, were 
about to engage in deadly combat in the heart of Europe — in 
a combat whose consequences might be incalculable. 

Alarmed at the progress made by Clement's evangelical doc- 
trines, Boniface, archbishop of the German churches, undertook 
to oppose them. At first he confronted the Scotchman with 
the laws of the Roman church; but the latter denied the authority 
of these ecclesiastical canons, and refuted their contents.' Boni- 
I'ace then put forward the decisions of various councils; but 
Clement replied that if the decisions of the councils are contrary 
to holy Scripture, they have no authority over Christians.^ The 
archbishop, astonished at such audacity, next had recourse to 
ths writings of the most illustrious lathers of the Latin church, 
quoting Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory; but the Scotchman 
told lum, that instead of submitting to the word of men, he 
would obey the word of God alone.* Boniface with indignation 
DOW introduced the Catholic church which, by its priests and 
bishops, all united to the pope, forms an invincible unity; but 

1 Alter qui dicitnr Clemens, genere Scotus est. fiouiacii epistoU ad Fapam, Labba 
concilia ad ann. 745. 2 Canones ecdtsianun Christi abnegat et lel'uut Ibid. 

3 Svnodalia jara spemens. Ibid * Tractates et sencones saiictoi-om latmm, 

Hieronymi, AuiTisUiu. Gregorii recusat. Ibid. 

60 Clement's success. 

to his great surprise his opponent maintained that there onlj^ 
•where the Holy Spirit dwells, can be found the spouse of Jesus 
Christ.^ Vainly did the archbishop express his horror; Clement 
was not to be turned aside from his great idea, either by the 
clamours of the followers of Rome, or by the imprudent attacks 
made on the papacy by other Christian ministers. Rome had, 
indeed, other adversaries. A Gallic bishop named Adalbert, 
with whom Boniface affected to associate Clement, one day saw 
the arclabishop complacently exhibiting to the people some relics 
of St. Peter which he had brought from Rome; and being de- 
sirous of showing the ridiculous character of these Romish prac- 
tices, he distributed among the bystanders his own hair and 
nails, praying them to pay these the same honours as Boniface 
claimed for the relics of the papacy. Clement smiled, like many 
others, at Adalbert's singular argument; but it was not witii 
such arms that he was wont to tight. Gifted with profound 
discernment, he had remarked that the authority of man sub- 
stituted for the authority of God was the source of all the error^i 
of Romanism. At the same time he maintained on predestina- 
tion what the archbishop called ''horrible doctrines, contrary 
to the Catholic faith, "^ Clement's character incHnes us to be- 
lieve that he was favourable to the doctrine of predestination. 
A century later the pious Gottschalk was persecuted by one of 
Boniface's successors for holding this very doctrine of Augustine's. 
Thus then did a Scotchman, the representative of the ancient 
laith of his countrj', withstand almost unaided in the centre of 
Europe the invasion of the Romans. But he was not long 
alone: the great especially, more enlightened than the common 
people, thronged around him. If Clement had succeeded, a 
Christian church would have been founded on the continent in- 
dependent of the papacy. 

Boniface wasconl'oundcd. He wished to do in central Europe 
what his lellow-countrynian ^V^ilfrid had done in England; and 
at the very moment he fancied he vv'as advancing from triumph 
to triumph, victory escaped from his hands, lie turned against 
this new enemy, and applying to Charles ]\1 artel's sons, Pepin 
and Carloman, he obtained their consent to the assembling of 
u council before which he summoned Clement to appear. 

The bishops, counts, and other notabilities having met at 
Soissons on the 2nd Maroh 7i-l, Boniface accused the Scotch- 
man oi despising the laws of Rome, the councils, and the fathers; 

1 Clemens contrA cutholicum contcndit ccclcsiatn. Uouifucu epiiituU ail rapntn, Labbei 
coucUitk u(i anu. 74^. 2 Alultu iiliu liorribUiii dc pnvdiiiliuuuuuc liti, coulruiiiL 

Adei cttUioUcn allliinat. Ibid. 



attacked his marriage, •which he called an adulterous union, and 
called in question some secondaiy points of doctrine. Clement 
vras accordingly excommunicated by Boniface, at once his ad- 
versary, accuser, and judge, and thrown into prison, with the 
approbation of the pope and the king of the Franks.^ 

The Scotchman's cause was every where taken up; accusations 
were brought against the German primate, his persecuting spirit 
was severely condemned,, and his exertions for the triumph of 
the papacy were resisted.- Carloman yielded to this unanimous 
movement. The prison doors were opened, and Clement had 
hardly crossed the threshold before he began to protest boldly 
against human authority in matters of faith: the word of God 
is the only rule. Upon this Boniface applied to Eome for the 
heretic's condemnation, and accompanied his request by a silver 
cup and a garment of delicate texture.' The pope decided in 
svnod that if Clement did not retract his errors, he should be 
delivered up to everlasting damnation, and then requested Boni- 
face to send him to Rome imder a sure guard. We here lose 
all traces of the Scotchman, but it is easy to conjecture what 
must have been his fate. 

Clement was not the only Briton who became distinguished in 
this contest. Two fellow- countrjmen, Sampson and Yirgil, 
who preached in central Europe, were in like manner persecuted 
by the Chmch of Rome. Virgil, anticipating Galileo, dared 
maintain that there were other men and another world beneath 
our feet.* He was denounced by Boniface for thb heresy, and 
condemned by the pope, as were other Britons for the apostoli- 
cal simplicity of their lives. In 81 j, certain Scotchmen who 
called themselves bishojs, says a canon, having appeared before 
a council of the Roman church at Chlllons, were rejected by the 
French prelates, because, like St. Paul, they worked wUh their 
own hands. Those enlightened and faithful men were superior 
to their time: Boniface and his ecclesiastical materialism were 
better fitted lor an age in which clerical forms were regarded as 
the substance of religion. 

Even Great Britain, although its light was not so pure, was 
not altogether plunged in darkness. The Augio-iSaxons im- 

1 Sactrdotio privans, reduei facit in custodiam. CcccUium Roiruu.iuu. L'oiiifiidi epistola 
■ad Papui!, LaLbti cuiicUia i>d ^uu. 745. 2 i:'iu|jtei Uits tLuii. i-tiKcationes et 

iiumidtiaa et ii.aicdicuoDt s n.nltorum i opa!ornm raiicr. (Hid.) !'< r oa ^ccoimt cf these 
ttungs, 1 smltr U.e {i«i£eintit<ii aLd batitdaLd n.aUaiclicLa ol D.ciU udta^ Si'ocolam 

aiKentenm tt lindonem Qnam. GtiLiiliEp. ibid. * I'enttsa doetrina ..... 

-qood alins D:mi«iai et alii hon inis sub t^tra siiit. (Zacbaiis p^i^x tp au i oiiif. Labbd 

concilia, vi, p. 1..::.) A bertiical dccuiue . tii«t tbue ia siiOiLci: world *ad other 

nea uudtr toe eaxih. 


printed on their church certain characteristics which distinguished 
it from that of Eome; several books of the Bible were translated 
into their tongue, and daring spirits on the one hand, with some 
pious souls on the other, laboured in a direction hostile to 

At first we see the dawning of that philosophic rationalism, 
which gives out a certain degree of brightness, but which can 
neither conquer error nor still less establish truth. In the nintk 
century there was a learned scholar in Ireland, who afterwards 
settled at the court of Charles the Bald. He was a strange 
mysterious man, of profound thought, and as much raised above 
the doctors of his age by the boldness of his ideas, as Charle- 
magne above the princes of his day by the force of his will. 
John Scot Erigena — that is, a native of Ireland and not of Ayr, 
as some have supposed — was a meteor in the theological heavens. 
With a great philosophic genius he combined a cheerful jesting 
disposition. One day, while seated at table opposite to Charles 
the Bald, the latter archly inquired of him: '* What is the dis- 
tance between a Scot and a Sot?" " The width of the table,'"' 
was his ready answer, which drew a smile from the king. 
While the doctrine of Bede, Boniface, and even Alcuin was 
traditional, servile, and, in one word, Romanist, that of Scot 
was mystical, philosophic, free, and daring. He sought for the 
truth not in the word or in the Church, but in himself: — " The 
knowledge of ourselves is the true source of religious wisdom. 
Every creature is a theophany — a manifestation of God; since 
revelation presupposes the existence of truth, it is this truth, 
which is above revelation, with which man must set himself in 
immediate relation, leaving him at liberty to show afterwards 
its harmony with scripture, and the other theophanies. We 
must first employ reason, and then authority. Authority pro- 
ceeds liom reason, and not reason from authority."- Yet this 
bold thinker, when on his knees, could give way to aspirations 
full of piety: "0 Lord Jesus/' exclaimed he, "I ask no other 
happiness of Thee, but to undcristand, unmixed with deceitful 
theories, the word that Thou hast inspired by thy Holy Spirit! 
Show thyself to those who ask for Thee alone 1" But while 
Scot rejected on the one hand certain traditional errors, and in 
particular the doctrine of transubstantiation which was creeping 
into the church, he was near lalliug as regards Cod and the 
world into other errors siivouring of pantheism.^ The philoso- 

1 rriuB rtttioiio utcnduiii ac deinde auctoiitiitc. Auctoritasexveni mtioiie iiroceBsit, ratio 
•veio UKiUMiiuam ox auctoiitate. Dt div. jiiicdestin. S Dcuui iu ouiuibua esse. 

(!>« diTuioue uatuise, b.H.) Itiat Uud is iu all iliiugt 


phic rationalism of tHie contemporary of Charles the Bald — the 
strange product of one of the obscurest periods of history (850) 
■ — was destined after the lapse of many centuries to be taught 
once more in Great Britain as a modem invention of the most 
enlightened age. 

While Scot -was thus plumping the depths of philosophy, 
others were examining their Bibles; and if thick darkness had 
not spread over these first glimpses of the dawn, perhaps the 
Church of Great Britain might even then have begun to labour 
for the regeneration of Christendom, A youthful prince, thirst- 
ing for intellectual enjoyments, for domestic happiness, and for 
the word of God, and who sought, by frequent prayer, for de- 
liverance from the bondage of sin, had ascended the throne of 
Wessex, in the year 871. Alfred being convinced that Christi- 
anity alone could rightly mould a nation, assembled round him 
the most learned men from all parts of Europe, and was anxious 
that the English, like the Hebrews, Greeks, and Latins, should 
possess the holy scripture in their own language. He is the 
real patron of the biblical work, — a title far more glorious than 
that of founder of the university of Oxford. After having 
fought more than fifty battles by land and sea, he died while 
translating the Psalms of David for his subjects.^ 

After this gleam of light thick darkness once more settled 
upon Great Britain. Kino Anglo-Saxon kings ended their days 
in monasteries; there was a seminary in Rome from which every 
year fresh scholars bore to England the new forms of popery; 
the celibacy of priests, that cement of the Eomish hierarchy, 
was estabhshed by a bull about the close of the tenth century; 
convents were multiplied, considerable possessions were bestowed, 
on the Church, and the tax of Pder's pence, laid at the pontiif s 
feet, proclaimed the triumph of the papal system. But a reac- 
tion soon took place: England collected her forces for a war 
against the papacy, a war at one time secular and at another 
spiritual. AVilliam of Normandy, Edward IH., Wickliflfe, and 
the Eeformation, are the four ascending steps of protestantism 
in England. 

A proud, enterprising, and far-sighted prince, the illegitimate 
son of a peasant girl of Falaise and Robert the Devil, duke of 
Normandy, began a contest with the papacy which lasted until 
the Reformation. "William the Conqueror, having defeated the 
Saxons at Hastings in 1066 a. d., took possession of England, 

1 A portion of the kv of God Innsbtted b; Alfred majr be foncd in Wilkins, Gondii*, u 



under the benediction of tlie Roman pontiff. But the conquer- 
ed country was destined to conquer its master. William, who 
had invaded England in the pope's name, had no sooner 
touched the soil of his new kingdom, than he learned to resist 
Rome, as if the ancient liberty of the British Church had re- 
vived in him. Being firmly resolved to allow no foreign prince 
or prelate to possess in his dominions a jurisdiction independent 
of his own, he made preparations for a conquest far moi-e difficult 
than that of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. The papacy itself 
furnished him with weapons. The Roman legates prevailed on 
the king to dispossess the English episcopacy in a mass, and 
this was exactly what he wished. To resist the papacy, William 
-desired to be sure of the submission of the priests of England. 
Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was removed, and Lanfranc 
■of Pavia, who had been summoned from Bee in Normandy to 
fill his place, was commissioned by the Conqueror to bend the 
clergy to obedience. This prelate, who was regular in his life, 
abundant in almsgiving, a learned disputant, a prudent politician, 
and a skilful mediator, finding that he had to choose between 
his master King AVilliam and his friend the pontiff Hildebrand, 
gave the prince the preference. He refused to go to Rome, 
notwithstanding the threats of the pope, and applied himself 
resolutely to the work the king had intrusted to him. The 
Saxons sometimes resisted the JNormans, as the Britons had re- 
sisted the Saxons; but the second struggle was less glorious than 
the first. A synod at which the king was present having met 
in the abbey of Westminster, W illiam commanded Wulston, 
bishop of Worcester, to give up his crosier to him. The old 
man rose, animated Avith holy fervour: " king," he said, 
*• from a better man than you I received it, and to him only 
will I return it."^ Unhappily this " better man" was not Jesus 
Christ. Then approaching the tomb of Edward the Confessor, 
he continued : " U my master, it was you who compelled me to 
usbume this ofiice; but now behold a new king and a new primate 
who promulgate new laws. Not unto tliein, master, but unto 
you, do i resign my crosier and the care of my flock." With 
these words Wulston laid his pastoral stafi' on Edward's tomb. 
On the sepulchre of the conlcssor perished the liberty of the 
Anglo-Saxon hierarchy. Tiie deprived Saxon bishops were con- 
signed to ioitresscs or shut up in convents. 

The Conqueror being thus assured of the obedience of the 

>l)ivino animi oiiloro rcpcnte inflsminatU3, rc^i inquit: M.>lior tc bis mc ornavitcui et 
r»a(lain. WUkiiin, CoucilJut, i, 'M'. 


Ushops, put forward the supremacy of the sword in opposition 
to that of the pope. He nominated directly to all vacant 
ecclesiastical offices, filled his treasury with the riches of the 
churches, required that all priests should make oath to him, 
forbade them to excommunicate his officers without his consent, 
not even for incest, and declared that all synodal decisions must 
le countersigned by him. " I claim," said he to the archbishop 
one day, raising his arras towards heaven, " I claim to hold in 
this hand all the pastoral staffs in my kingdom." * Lanfranc 
was astonished at this daring speech, but prudently kept silent, - 
for a time at least. Episcopacy connived at the royal preten- 

^Vill Hildebrand, the most inflexible of popes, bend before 
William? The king was earnest in his desire to enslave the 
Church to the State; the pope to enslave the State to the Church : 
the collision of these two mighty champions threatened to be 
terrible. But the haughtiest of pontiffs was seen to yield as 
soon as he felt the mail-clad hand of the Conqueror, and to 
shrink unresistingly before it. The pope filled all Christendom 
with confusion, that he might deprive princes of the right of 
investiture to ecclesiastical dignities: W iiliam would not permit 
him to interiieie with that question in England^ and Hildebrand 
submitted. The king went even iarther: the pope, wishing to 
enslave the cler-y, deprived the priests of their lawiiil wives; 
Vv iiliam got a decree passed by the counsel of "Winchester in 
1076 to the eflect that the married priests living in castles and 
towns should not be compelled to put away their wives.^ This 
was too much: Hildebrand summoned Lanfranc to Rome, but 
"William forbade iiim to go. " A^ever did king, not even a 
pagan,'' exclaimed Grej.ory, "attempt against the holy see what 
this man does not tear to r..irry out!' * To cuusolo him- 
self, he demanded payment of the Feter's perice, and an oath of 
fidelity, "William tent the money, but refused the homage; and 
when Hildt brand saw the tribute which the king had paid, he 
said bitterly : " ^\ hat value can 1 set on money which is con- 
tributed with so httle honourl"* "William forbade his clergy 
to recognise the pope, or to publish a bull without the royal 
approbation, which did not prevent Hildebrand from styling him 

1 Ktspondit ttx et dixit se Telle omnes baculos pastorales Ans;liae in mann sua teiiere. 
Script. Anglic Loud. l«.', (j1. p. 13 .T. 2 Lnntraac ad hsec mii-atus est. seJ propter 

n:ajores tccitsis ihiisti utilit.-.tes. qnaa sine rtge peiticere non potuic, ad leinpos iiiuit. 
Ib.d- 3 Sacerdutes veto iu custcUis vel iu vicis halitautei bab<.ut«s ux ris, con cog- 

antur ut dinaitaut. ANilkiug. > odciUh. i. p. 367 * >emo euim omnium regain, 

etiam pa*!aiiorum. ure^'. lib tu. Ep i ad Hubert. 5 i'ecuiuaa sine honow 

tiibuuis. qoauti pietii hab«uui. ibid- 

46 V 


" the pearl of princes." ^ " It is true," said he to his legate, 
" that the English king does not behave in certain matters so 
religiously as we could desire Yet beware of exasper- 
ating him We shall win him over to God and St. 

Peter more surely by mildness and reason than by strictness or 
severity," '^ In this manner the pope acted like the iirchbishop — 
silmt: he was silent. It is for feeble governments that Rome 
reserves her energies. 

The Norman kings, desirous of strengthening their work, con- 
structed Gothic cathedrals in the room of wooden churches, in 
which they installed their soldier-bishops, as if they were strono- 
fortresses. Instead of the moral power and the humble crook 
of the shepherd, they gave them secular power and a staff. Tlie 
religious episcopate was succeeded by a political one. William 
Eufus went even to greater lengths than his father. Taking 
advantage of the schism which divided the papacy, he did with- 
out a pope for ten years, leaving abbeys, bishoprics, and even 
Canterbury vacant, and scandalously squandering their revenues. 
Csesaropapia (which transforms a king into a pope) having thus- 
attained its greatest excess, a sacerdotal reaction could not fail 
to take place. 

The papacy is about to rise up again in England, and royalty 
to decline — two movements which are always found combined 
in Great Britain. 


Ansclm's Firmness — Becket's Austerity — Tlic King scourged — John be- 
comes the Pope's Vassal — Collision between Popery and Libeity — 
The Vassal King ravages Lis Kingdom — Religion of the Senses and 

We are now entering upon a new phase of history. Romanism, 
is on the point of triumphing by the exertions of leai-ucd nien^ 
energetic prelates, and princes in whom extreme imprudence was 
joined with extreme servility. This is the era of the dou.inion 
of popery, and we shall see it unscrupulously employing the des- 
potism by which it is characterized. 

1 OemmA priiicipuin esse mcraisti. GrcR. lib. vii. Epp. xxiii. ad Guliclm. - t'acil. 

ius Uniutis dukciliiio iic iatiom» ojteunioue , (iU&ui ttuiteriUle vel rJKore Ju«U(l«!- Ibid. 
ii-V V> ad Ilogonem, 


A malady having occasioned some degree of remorse in the 
king, he consented to fill up the vacancy in the archiepiscopal 
see. And now Anselm first appears in England. He was born 
in an Alpine valley, at the town of Aosta in Piedmont. Imbibing 
the instructions of his pious mother Ermcnberga, and believing 
that God's throne was placed on the summit of the gigantic 
mountains he saw rising around him, the child Anselm climbed 
them in his dreams, and received the bread of heaven from the 
bands of the Lord. Unhappily in after-years he recognised 
another throne in the church of Christ, and bowed his head be- 
fore the chair of St. Peter. This was the man whom William 
II. sunmioned in 1093 to fill the primacy of Canterbury, An- 
selm, who was then sixty years old, and engaged in teaching at. 
Bee, refused at first: the character of Rufus terrified him. 
" The church of England, ' said he, •* is a plough that ought to 
be drawn by two oxen of Cfiu;il strength. How can you yoke 
together an old and timid sheep like me and that wild bull T' 
At length he accepted, and concealing a mind of great power 
nnder an appearance of humility-, he had hardly arrived in 
England before he recognised Pope Urban H,, demanded the 
estates of his see which the treasury had seized upon, refused to 
pay the king the sums he demanded, contested the right of in- 
vestiture against Henrv I., lorbadc all ecclesiastics to take the 
feudal oath, and determined that the priests should forthwith 
put awa} their wives. Scholasticism, of wiiich Anselm was the 
first representative, freed the church from the yoke of royalty, 
but only to chain it to the pipul chair. The fetters were about 
to be riveted by a still more energetic band; and what this 
great theologian had begun, a great worldling was to carry on. 
At the hunting parties of licnry 11. a man attracted the 
attention of hi^ sovereign by his air of frankne^, agreeable 
manners, witty conversation, and exuberant vivacity. This was 
Thomas Becket, the son of an Anglo-baxon and a Syrian woman. 
Being both jritst and soldier, he was appointed at the same 
time by the king prebend of Hastings and governor of the 
Tower, When nominated chancellor of England, he showed 
himself no less expert than \ v iiirid in misappropriating the 
■wealth of the minors in his charge, and of the abbeys and bishop- 
rics, and indulged in the most extravagant luxury. Henry, the 
first of the Plant-genets, a man of undecided character, having 
noticed Becket's zeal in upholuing the prerogatives of the crown, 
appointed him archbishop of Canterbury. •' J^ow, sire," remark- 
ed the primate, Tvith a smile, " when 1 shall have to choose be- 


tween God's favour and yours, remember it is yours that I shall 

Becket, who, as keeper of the seals, had been the most mag- 
nificent of courtiers, affected as archbishop to be the most 
venerable of saints. He sent back the seals to the king, assumed 
the robe of a monk, wore sackcloth filled with vermin, lived on 
the plainest food, every day knelt down to wash the feet of the 
poor, paced the cloisters of his cathedral with tearful eyes, and 
spent hours in prayer before the altar. As champion of the 
priests, even in their crimes, he took under his protection one 
who to the crime of seduction had added the murder of his vic- 
tim's father. 

The judges having represented to Henry that during the first 
eight years of his reign a hundred murders had been committed 
by ecclesiastics, the king in 1164 summoned a council at Clar- 
endon, in which certain regulations or constitidions were drawn 
up, with the object of preventing the encroachments of the 
hierarchy. Becket at first refused to sign them, but at length 
consented, and then withdrew into solitary retirement to mourn 
over his fault. Pope Alexander 111 released him from his 
uuthj and then began a fierce and long struggle between the 
king and the primate. Four knights of the court, catching up 
a hasty expression of their master's, barbarously murdered the 
archbishop at the foot of the altar iu his own cathedral church 
(a. D. 1170). The people looked upon Becket as a saint: im- 
mense crowds came to pray at his tomb, at which many 
mirades were worked.* " Even irom his grave," said Beck- 
et's partizaus, " he renders his testimony in behalf of the 

iicnry now passed from one extreme to the other. lie en- 
tered Canterbury bai'elboted, and prostrated himself before the 
martyr's tomb: the biahops, priests, and monks, to the number 
of eighty, passed before him, each bearing a scourge, and struck 
three or five blows according to their rank on the naked shoul- 
ders of the king. In former ages, so the priestly lable ran. 
Saint Peter had scourged an archbishop of Canterbury : now 
liome iu sober reahty scourges the back of royalty, and nothing 
can heucelorward check her victorious career. A Plautagenet 
eiurreudered England to the pope, and the pope gave him autho- 
rity to subdue Ireland.'^ 

» In lucu passionis ct uW sepultus est. paralylici curanfur, cocci vident. surdi luidiuut. 
(JuUuu. Wti.iBb. tpp. l8o ) In the place oi his BufleiiiiK aud where he was biuied, p^iiiilj uc» 
«ic cured, the blind see, and the deaf Hear. » a.,mUaiBl,i si quiueui uuUis. hU 

taabbuiie. te lUberi.ia iiibulaiii ad euKuondnm iUum populum velia uitrare, uo» itagu* 

THK onEM! CB.AKFkiK: ' '" GO 

Eome, ■who had sot her foot on the neck of a ting, •was des^ 
tined under one of the sons of Henry II to set it on the neck 
of England. John being unwilling to acknowledge an arch- 
bishop of Canterbury illegally nominated by Pope Innocent III, 
the latter, more daring than Hildebrand, laid the kingdom 
under an interdict. Upon this John ordered all the prelates 
and abbots to leave England, and sent a monk to Spain as am- 
bassador to Mahomet - el - Nasir^ offering to turn Mahometan 
and to become his vassal. But as Philip Augustus -was prepar- 
ing to dethrone him, John made up his mind to become a vassal 
of Innocent, and not of Mahomet — which was about the same 
thing to him. On the loth May 1213, he laid his crown at 
the legate's feet, declared that he surrendered his kingdom of 
England to the pope, and made oath to him as to his lord par- 

A national protest then boldly claimed the ancient liberties 
of the people. Forty-five barons armed in complete mail, and 
mounted on their noble war-horses, siirrounded by their knights 
and servants and about two thousand soldiers, met at Brackley 
during the festival of Easter in 1215, and sent a deputation ta 
Oxford, where the court then resided. " Here," said they to 
the king, " is the charter which consecrates the liberties con- 
firmed by Henry II, and which you also have solemnly sworn 
to observe." . . . '' Why do they not demand my crown 
also?" said the king in a furious passion, and then with an 
oath/ he added: "I will not grant them liberties which will 
make me a slave." This is the usual lanoTiafre of weak and 
absolute kings. Neither would the nation submit to be en' 
slaved. The barons occupied London, and on the loth June 
1215, the king signed the famous Magna Charta at Runny- 
mede. The political protestantism of the thirteenth century 
would have done but little, however, for the greatness of the- 
nation, without the religious protestantism of the sixteenth. 

This was the first time that the papacy came into collision 
■with modem liberty. It shuddered in alarm, and the shock 
was violent. Innocent swore (as was his custom), and then 
declared the Great Charter null and void, forbade the kin^ 
under pain of anathema to respect the liberties which he had 

gratain et acceptnm babemos nt pro dilataudia ecdesue terminis ilisaliun ingTcdUris. 
(Adrian IV. Bulla li54 in Rymtr, Acu Piiblica.) If icdcsd you have intimated,' dear S'jd, 
that jou wish to invade Ireland to subdue that people, we are accordingly well jlcaaed, 
tbat for the purpose of extending the bounds of the church, you should invade that island. 

J Rtsignavit ecroiiam suam in manus domini paps. Matth. Faris, 196 et 207. 

" Cum jurameuio furibunds. Ibid. 213. 



confirmed,^ ascribed the conduct of the barons to the instigation 
of Satan, and ordered them to make apology to the king, and 
to send a deputation to Rome to Icavn fiom the mouth of the 
pope himself what should be the government of England. This 
was the way in which the papacy welcomed the first mani- 
ibstatious of liberty among the nations, and made known the 
model system under which it claimed to govern the whole 

The priests of England supported the anathemas pronounced 
by their chief. They indulged in a thousand jeers and sarcasms 
against John about the charter he had accepted: — "This is the 
twenty-fifth king of England — not a king, not even a kiugUng 
■ — but the disgrace of kings — a king without a kingdom — the 
filth wheel of a waggon — the last of kings, and the disgrace of 

his pcoplel — I would not give a straw for him 

Fuisii rex, nunc f&c (once a king, but now a clown)." John, 
unable to support his disgrace, groaned and gnashed his teeth 
and rolled his eyes, tore sticks from the hedges and gnawed 
them like a maniac, or dashed them into fragments on the 

The barons, unmoved alike by the insolence of the pope and 
the despair of the king, replied that they would maintain the 
charter. Innocent excommunicated them. " Is it the pope's 
business to regulate temporal matters?" asked they. " By wliat 
right do vile usurers and foul simoniacs domineer over our 
country and excommunicate the whole world?" 

The pope soon triumphed throughout England. His vassal 
John having hired some bands of adventurers from the contin- 
ent, traversed at their head the whole country from the Chan- 
nel to the Forth. These mercenaries carried desolation in their 
track: they extorted money, made prisoners, burnt the barons' 
castles, laid waste their parks, and dishonoured their wives and 
daughters.^ The king would sleep in a house, and the next 
morning set fire to it. Blood-stained assassins scoured the 
country during the night, the sword in one hand and the torch 
in the other, marking their progress by murder and conllagra- 
tion.* Such was the entlironization of popery in England. At 
this sight the barons, overcome by emotion, denounced both 
the king and the pope: "Alas ! poor country! " they exclaimed. 

» Sub iutimatiouc anathematU prohibentcs ne dictiu rex earn observarc priesumat. Maltb. 
i.'arU. TH- '■>■ AiTeptos baculus et stipites more furiosi imiic corrodire, nunc cor- 

roaog coiiixiiigere- Ibid. ^J".'. ' Uxores et tiliiis suns ludibrio cxiiositas. Ibid. 'Ul. 

* UUcurrebant licftrii eaide hmtiftna ciun...... iiocUvagi. iiicendiarii, stricUs «n»ibu«. 



■"Wretched England! . . . And thou, pope, a curse 
light upon thee!"^ 

The curse -was not long delayed. As the king was returning 
irom some more than usually successful foray, and as the royal 
waggons were crossing the sands of the Wash, the tide rose and 
all sank in the abyss.'' This accident filled John with terror: it 
seemed to him that the earth was about to open and swallow 
him up; he fled to a convent, where he drank copiously of cider, 
.and died of drunkenness and fright.^ 

Such was the end of the pope's vassal — of his armed mission- 
ary in Great Britain. Xever had so vile a prince been the in- 
voluntary occasion to his people of such great benefits. From 
his reign England may date her enthusiasm for liberty and her 
dread of popery. 

During this time a great transformation had been accom- 
plished. Magnificent churches and the marvels of religious art, 
with ceremonies and a multitude of prayers and chantings daz- 
zled the eyes, charmed the ears, and captivated the senses; but 
testified also to the absence of every strong moral and Christian 
disposition, afid the predominance of worldliness in the church. 
At the same time the adoration of images and relics, saints, 
angels, and llary the mother of God, the worships of latria^ 
■dovlia, and fiT/perdoulia* the real Mediator transported from 
the throne of mercy to the seat of vengeance, at once indicated 
and kept up among the people that ignorance of truth and ab- 
sence of grace which characterize popery. All these errors 
tended to bring about a reaction : and in fact the march of the 
Eeformation may now be said to begin. 

England had been brought low by the papacy: it rose up 
again by resisting Rome. Grostete, Bradwardine, and Edward 
III, prepared the way for Wickhffe, and Wickliffe for the Refor- 

1 Sic barones lacrymast^s et lamenUntes regem et papam maledixenmt. Mattb. Parla, 
J31. 2 Aperta est in n;ei;iis fluctibns ttira et voraginis abjssus, quje absoibuemiit 

.tiniversa cum homuiibiu tt equis. Ibid. 1'4'i. 3 ItoTi ciceris potatioue nimis repleios. 

Ibid, ad aim. Vii6 * The Romish chtuch distJDguishes three kinds ot wonhip: latria, 

'that paid to God; doulia, to sainta; and UyptrdouLia, to the VlrKin Mary, 

72 REi^0TIO>f. 


Reaction — Grostete — Principles of Reform — Contest with the Pope— > 
Sewal — Progress of the Nation — Opposition to the Papacy — Conver- 
sion of Bradwardine — Grace is Supreme — Edward III — Statutes of 
Provisors and Prcemunire. 

In the reign of Henry HI, son of John, while the king was 
conniving at the usurpations of Eomc, and the pope ridiculing 
the complaints of the barons, a pious and energetic man, of 
comprehensive understanding, was occupied in the study of the 
Holy Scriptures in their original languages, and bowing to their 
sovereign authority. Kobcrt Grostete (Greathead or Capito) 
was born of poor parents in the county of Lincolnshire, and 
being raised to the see of Lincoln in 1235, when he was sixty 
years of age, he boldly undertook to reform his diocese, one of 
the largest in England. Kor was this all. At the very time 
when the Eomau pontiff, who had hitherto been content to be 
called the vicar of St. Peter, proclaimed himself the vicar of 
God,^ and was ordering the English bishops to find benefices for 
three hundred Romans,^ Grostete was declaring that ''to follow 
a pope who rebels against the will of Christ, is to separate from. 
Christ and his body; and if ever the time should come when all 
men follow an erring pontiff) then will be the great apostasy.. 
Then will true Christians refuse to obey, and Rome wiill be the 
cause of an unprecedented schism." ^ Thus did he predict the 
Reformation. Disgusted at the avarice of the monks and priests,, 
be visited Rome to demand a reform. " Brother," said Inno- 
cent IV to him with some irritation, "Is thine eye evil, becatisG I 
am good?" The English bishop exclaimed with a sigh: •' O 
money, money! how great is thy power — especially in this court 
of Rome ! ' ' 

A year had scarcely elapsed before Innocent commanded the 
bishop to give a canonry in Lincoln cathedral to his infant, 
nephew. Grostete replied: "After the sin of Lucil'er there i* 
none more opposed to the Gospel than that which ruins souW 
by giving them a faithless minister. Bad pastors are the cause 

1 Non puii I'.oiniiiis sed vcri Dei vicem Rcrit in turis. (Innocent 111 Kpp. lib. vi. i, 3-i5.) 
lie wields on im tli the power, not ol'ii holy man but ot the true God- ^ Ut Ux— 

ccutis Rouiaiiis in piinuu bcneticiis vucuntibas providenut. jMatlli. i'aiis, uuu. I.'IU. 

3 Absit et ({Uud . • • • . ba^c bedes et iu eu piajiidinttb cuusa slut bchi!>uiutl:i uppaientia.. 
Ortinnus tiiutiua, ed. liruwu, lul. 'ibV, 


of unbelief, heresy, and disorder. Those who introduce them 
into the church are little better than antichrists, and their cul- 
pability is in proportion to their dignity. Although the chief 
of the angels should order me to commit such a sin, I would 
refuse. My obedience forbids me to obey; and therefore I 
rebel." ^ 

Thus spoke a bishop to his pontiff: his obedience to the word 
of God forbade him to obey the pope. This was the principle 
of the Reformation. " Who is this old driveller that in his 
dotage dares to judge of my conduct?" exclaimed Innocent, 
whose wrath was appeased by the intervention of certain cardi- 
nals. Grostete on his dying bed professed still more clearly the 
principles of the reformers; he declared that a heresy was " an 
opinion conceived by carnal motives, contrary to Sa-ipture,. 
openly taught and obstinately defended," thus asserting the 
authority of Scripture instead of the authority of the church. 
He died in peace, and the public voice proclaimed him "a 
searcher of the Scriptures, an ads'ersary of the pope, and dcs- 
piser of the Romans." - Innocent, desiring to take vengeance 
on his bones, meditated the exhumation of his body, when one 
night (says Matthew of Paris) the bishop appeared before him. 
Drawing near the pontiff's bed, he struck him with his crosier, 
and thus addressed him with terrible voice and threatening 
look:' "Wretch! the Lord doth not permit thee to have any 
power over me. Woe be to thee!" The vision disappeared, 
and the pope, uttering a cry as if he had been struck by some 
sharp weapon, lay senseless on his couch. Never after did he 
pass a quiet night, and pursued by the phantoms of his troubled 
imagination, he expired while the palace re-echoed with his 
lamentable groans. 

Grostete was not single in his opposition to the pope. Sewal, 
archbishop of York, did the same, and " the more the pope 
cursed him, the more the people blessed him." * — " Moderate 
your tyranny," said the archbishop to the pontiff, ''for the Lord 
said to Peter, Feed my sheep, and not shear them, flay them, or 
devour them." ^ The pope smiled and let the bishop speak, 
because the king allowed the pope to act. The power of Eng- 

> Obedienter non obedio s«d contradico et rebello. ilatth- I'aris, ad. uin. 1252- 
' Scrtpturarum sednlus ptrstrutator diversarum, Kcmancnim mallens et conUmitor^ 
(Matth. Paris, Tol- ii, p. sTri, Icl. Lond. iGlO) A thorough searcher of the various Scriptureg, 
a liamniir to and a dtspiser of the KomaDS- Sixteen of ins nritings (Sermouts et eiistoljE)- 
will be found in Brown, ayp. ad Fasciculum- 3 ^'octe appamit ti episcopos vulta 

severo , intuitu aostero, ac voce tcrribili- Ibid- S83- * Quanto ina);:s a r-ifa male, 

dicebatur, taiito plus a populo benedicebatur- Ibid- ad ann- 1.'57- ' Faice otcs nicas, 

non iorui*, uou cxcoria, non tvUura, vel devorando cOHiume- Ibid- ad aun- 1°.^- 


land, which vras constantly increasing, was soon able to give 
more force to these protests. 

The nation was indeed growing in greatness. The madness 
of John, which had caused the English people to lose their con- 
tinental possessions, had given them more unity and power. 
The Norman kings, being compelled to renouncre entirely the 
country which had been their cradle, had at length made up 
their minds to look upon England as their home. The two 
races, so long hostile, had melted one into the other. Free 
institutions were formed; the laws were studied; and colleges 
were founded. The language began to assume a regular form, 
and the ships of England were already formidable at sea. For 
more than a century the most brilliant victories attended the 
British armies. A king of France was brought captive to Lon- 
don: an English king was crowned at Paris. Even Spain and 
Italy felt the valour of these proud islanders. The English 
people took their station in the foremost rank. Kow the char- 
acter of a nation is never raised by halves. When the mighty 
ones of the earth were seen to fall before her, England could 
no longer crawl at the feet of an Italian priest. 

At no period did her laws attack the papacy with so much 
energy. At the beginning of the fourteenth century an English- 
man having brought to London one of the pope's bulls — a bull 
of an entirely spiritual character, it was an excommunication — 
was prosecuted as a traitor to the crown, and would have been 
hanged, had not the sentence, at the chancellor's intercession, 
been changed to perpetual banishment.^ The common law was 
the weapon the government then opposed to the papal bulls, 
•Shortly afterwards, in 1307, king Edward ordered the sheriffs 
to resist the arrogant pretensions of the Romish agents. But it 
is to two great men in the fourteenth century equally illustrious, 
the one in the state, and the other in the church, that England 
is indebted for the development of the protestant element in 

In 134G, an English army, 34,000 strong, met face to face 
at Crecy a French army of 100,000 fighting men. Two indi- 
viduals of very different characters were in the English host. 
One of them was King Edward 111, a biave and ambitious 
prince, who, being resolved to recover for the royal authority 
all its power, and for England all her glory, had undertaken the 
conquest of France. The other was his chaplain Bradwardine, 
a man of bo humble a character that his meekness was often 

1 Fuller'k Chnrch Uiltonr, cent, xiv, p- iiO, ful- Loud- ItiOS- 


taken for stupidity. And thus it was that on his receiving the 
pallium at Avignon from the hands of the pope on his elevation 
to the see of Canterbury, a jester mounted on an ass rode into 
the hall and petitioned the pontiff to make him primate instead 
of that imbecile priest. 

Bradwardine was one of the most pious men of the age, and 
to his praj-ers his sovereign's victories were ascribed. He was 
also one of the greatest geniuses of his time, and occupied the 
first rank among astronomers, philosophers, and mathematicians.* 
The pride of science had at first ahenated him from the doctrine 
of the cross. But one day while in the house of God and lis- 
tening to the reading of the Holy Scriptures, these words 
struck his ear: It is not of him that vnllelh, nor of him that 
runneth, hut of God that sJunveth mercy. His ungrateful heart, 
lie tells us, at first rejected this humiliating doctrine with aver- 
fiion. Yet the word of God had laid its powerful hold upon 
him; he was converted to the truths he had despised, and im- 
mediately began to set forth the doctrines of eternal grace at 
Merton College, Oxford. He had drunk so deep at the foun- 
tain of Scripture that the traditions of men concerned him but 
little, and he was so absorbed in adoration in spirit and in truth, 
that he remarked not outward superstitions. His lectures were 
eagerly listened to and circulated through all Europe. The 
grace of God was their very essence, as it was of the Reforma- 
tion. With sorrow Bradwaidine beheld Pelagianism every 
■where substituting a mere religion of externals for inward 
Christianity, and on his knees he struggled for the salvation of 
the church, " As ia the times of old four hundred and fifty 
prophets of Baal strove against a single prophet of God; so now, 
O Lord," he exclaimed, '' the number of those who strive with 
Pelagius against thy free grace cannot be counted.- They pre- 
tend not to receive grace freely, but to buy it.^ The will of 
men (they say) should precede, and thine should follow : theirs 

is the mistress, and thine the servant.* Alas! nearly the 

whole world is walking in error in the steps of Pelagius.^ Arise, 
O Lord, and judge thy cause." And the Lord did arise, but 
not until after the death of this pious archbishop, in the days of 
lYickliffe, who, when a youth, listened to the lectures at Merton 

J Hu ArilhmeUc and Geometry have been pablished; but I am not aware if that is the eaae 
■with his Astronomical Tables. » Quot, Doinine, hodie com Pelasio pro libero ar- 

bitrio contra gratoitam KraUtm tuam pagn.iut? De caosa Dei adrersoi Felagiam, libri tres, 
l.ond- 1618- 3>cqaaqnamgratuit*8ed vendiu- Ibid- < Soam voluuUtem 

prsire at dominam, tnam sabseqai nt anciliaiu- Ibid- 5 Toms paeae mondus 

post relagiom abiit in errorem- Ibid. 


College, and especially in the days of Luther and of Calvin. 
His contemporaries gave him the name of the profaund doctor. 

If Bradwardine walked truthfully in the path of faith, his illust- 
rious patron Edward advanced triumphantly in the field of policy^ 
Pope Clement IV having decreed that the first two vacancies 
in the Anglican church should be conferred on two of his car- 
dinals: " France is becoming English" said the courtiers to the 
king; "and by way of compensation, England is becoming 
Italian J^ Edward, desirous of guaranteeing the religious liber- 
ties of England, passed with the consent of parliament in 1350 
the statute of provisors, which made void every ecclesiastical 
appointment contrary to the rights of the king, the chapters, or 
the patrons. Thus the privileges of the chapters and the 
liberty of the English Catholics, as well as the independence of 
the crown, were protected against the invasion of foreigners; and 
imprisonment or banishment for life was denounced upon all 
offenders against the law. 

This bold step alarmed the pontiff. Accordingly, three years 
after, the king having nominated one of his secretaries to the 
see of Durham — a man without any of the qualities becoming 
a bishop — the pope readily confirmed the appointment. When 
some one expressed his astonishment at this, the pope made 
answer: " If the king of England had nominated an ass, I would 
have accepted liini." This may remind us of the ass of Avig- 
non; and it would seem that this humble animal at that time 
played a significant part in the elections to the papacy. But be 
that as it may, the pope withdrew his pretensions. " Empires 
have their term," observes an historian at this place; " whea 
once they have reached it, they halt, they retrograde, they fall.'' * 

The term seemed to be drawing nearer every day. In the 
reign of Edward III, between 1348 and 1353, again in 1364, 
and finally under Hiehard II, in 1393, those stringent laws were 
passed which interdicted all appeal to the court of Eome, all 
bulls from the Koman bishop, all excommunications, etc., in u 
word, every act infringing on the rights of tlie crown; and de- 
clared that whoever sliould bring such documents into Eiijjland, 
or receive, publish, or execute thorn, should be put out of the 
king's protection, deprived of their property, attached in their 
persons, and brought before the king in council to undergo 
their trial accordms' to the terms of the act. Such was the 
statute of Prcemunirc^' 

' Hibent imperin auos tcrininoB; hue cum vcncrint, sistunt, rctroccduiit, ruuul. Fuller s 
iliat- vent' xiv, |>' IIU- ^ The most natural meaiiiu){ of tliu word piccmuiure (^iveu mur« 
particularly to the act of \Wi) seems to be that suKKested by Fuller cent, xiv, (p- 148): to 
luiee tind Icrtitjr tiie Tt&^ power from foreign asBauib See the whole bill, ibid. p. 116-U7> 


Great was the indignation of the Romans at the news of this 
law: " If the statute oi moiimain put the pope into a sweat/' sajs 
Fuller, " this of prce?/iumVe gave him a fit of fever." One pope 
-called it an " execrable statute," — '•' a horrible crime,"^ Such are 
the terms applied by the pontife to all that thwarts their am- 

Of the two wars carried on by Edward — the one against the 
-King of France, and the other against popery — the latter was 
the most righteous and important. The benefits which this 
prince had hoped to derive from his brilliant victories at Crecy 
iind Poitiers dwindled away almost entirely before his death; 
while his struggles with the papacy, founded as they were on 
truth, have exerted even to our own days an indisputable in- 
iluence on the destinies of Great Britain. Yet the prayers and 
the conquests of Bradwardme, who proclaimed in that fallen 
iige the doctrine of grace, produced effects still greater, not only 
lor the salvation of many souls, but for the liberty, moral force, 
xaid greatne.-^ of England. 


Theilendicant Friars— Their Disorders and Popular Indignation— 
Vi icklifle— His fcULcess — .speeches of the Peers a-ainst the Papal 
Tribute— Agreement of Bruges— Courtenay and Lancaster— Wick- 
lifl'e before the l onvocation — Altercation between Lancaster and 
Courtenay—hiot — Three Briefs agiinst Wicklifle— Wickliffe at 
Lambeth— xMission of the Poor Priests — Their Preachings and Per- 
secutions— Wicklifle and the Four Ivegents. 

Thus in the first half of the fourteenth century, nearly two 
hundred years before the Reformation, England appeared weary 
of the \ oke of Rome. Bradwardine was lio more; but a man 
who had been his disciple was about to succeed him, and with- 
out attaining to the highest functions, to exhibit in his person 
the past and future tendencies of the chmch of Christ in Great 
BlPitam. The English Reformation did not begin with Henry 
Vlll: the revival ot the sixteenth century is but a link in the 
chain commencing with the apostles and reaching to ui. 

» ExecrabUe statntom .... foeJum et turpe Cwidm. Martin V to the DaJce of Bedfort. 
* nUer. ce^^. liv, p. lit 


The resistance of Edward III to the papacy without had not 
suppressed the papacy toithin. The mendicant friars, and par- 
ticidarly the Franciscans, those fanatical soldiers of the pope,. 
•were endeavouring by pious frauds to monopolize the wealth of 
the country. " Every year," said they, " Saint Francis descends 
from heaven to purgatory, and delivers the souls of all those- 
■who were buried in the dress of his order." These friars used 
to kidnap children from their parents and shut thern up iu 
monasteries. They affected to be poor, and with a wallet oa 
their back, begged with a piteous air from both high and lowf. 
but at the same time they dwelt in palaces, heaped up trea- 
sures, dressed in costly garments, and wasted their time ia 
luxurious entertainments.^ The least of them looked upoa 
themselves as lords, and those who wore the doctor's cap con- 
sidered themselves Icings. While they diverted themselves, eat- 
ing and drinking at their well-spread tables, they used to send. 
ignorant uneducated persons in their place to preach fables and 
legends to amuse and plunder the people.'^ If any rich maa. 
talked of giving alms to the poor and not to the monks, they 
exclaimed loudly against such impiety, and declared with threat- 
ening voices: " If you do so we will leave the country, and re- 
turn accompanied by a legion of glittering helmets." ^ Public 
indignation was at its height, "The monks and priests o£ 
Kome," was the cry, " are eating us away like a cancer. God. 

must deliver us or the people will perish Woe be to themL 

the cup of wrath will run over. Men of holy church shall be.- 
despised as carrion, as dogs shall they be cast out in opea 
places." * 

The arrogance of Rome made the cup run over. Pope Urbaa. 
Y, heedless of the laurels won by the conqueror at Crecy and 
Poitiers, summoned Edward 111 to recognize him as legitimate 
sovereign of England, and to pay as feudal tribute the annual 
rent of one thousand marcs. In case of refusal the king was to 
appear before him at Rome. For thirty-three years the popes 
had never mentioned the tribute accorded by John to Innocent 
III, and which had always been paid very irregularly. The con- 
queror of the Yalois was irritated by this insolence on the part' 
of an Italian bishop, and called on God tu avenge England. 
From Oxford came Ibrth the avenger. 

John Wickiifle, born in 1324, iu a little village in Yorkshire,. 

1 When they have overmuch riches, both in (jreat waste houaes aud precious clothes, in 
gitat leasts and in:iuy jewels aud treasures. >Vickliae'B Tracts aud Treatises, edited by tha 
WicUiffo Society, p. W4. a Ibid, 'iW. 3 tlome afiuiu with bright heads.. 

Ibid. ♦ WicUille, The Last Age of the Church. 


was one of the students who attended the lectures of the pious 
Bradwaruine at Merton College. He was in the flower of his 
age, and produced a great sensation in the university. In 1348,. 
a terrible pestilence, which is said to have carried off half the 
human race, appeared in England after successively devastating 
Asia and the continent of Europe. This visitation of the Al- 
mighty sounded like the trumpet of the judgment-day in the 
heart of Wickliffe. Alarmed at the thoughts of eternity, the 
young man — for he was then only twenty-four years old — passed 
days and nights in his cell groaning and sighing, and calling up- 
on God to show him the path he ought to follow.^ He found 
it in the Holy Scriptures, and resolved to make it known to 
others. He commenced with prudence; but being elected ia 
1361 warden of Balliol, and in 1365 warden of Canterbury 
College also, he began to set forth the doctrine of faith in a 
more energetic manner. His biblical and philosophical studies, 
his knowledge of theology, his penetrating mind, the purity of 
his manners, and his unbending courage, rendered him the ob- 
ject of general admiration. A profound teacher, like his mas- 
ter, and an eloquent preacher, he demonstrated to the learned 
during the course of the week what he intended to preach, and 
on Sunday he preached to the people what he had previously 
demonstrated. His disputations gave strength to his sermons, 
and his sermons shed light upon his disputations. He accused 
the clergy of having banished the Holy Scriptures, and required 
that the authority of the word of God shoidd be re-established 
in the church. Loud acclamations crowned these discussions,- 
and the crowd of vulgar minds trembled with indignation whea 
they heard these shouts of applause. 

^\ ickliffe was forty jears old when the papal aiTOgance stirred^ 
England to its depths. Being at once an able politician and a 
fervent Christian, he vigorously defended the rights of the 
crown against the Eomish aggression, and by his arg'oments- 
not only enhghtened his fellow-countrymen generally, but, 
stirred up the zeal of several members of both houses of parlia- 

The parliament assembled, and never perhaps had it beea 
summoned on a question which excited to so high a degree the 
emotions of England, and indeed of Christendom. Ihe debates 
in the House of Lords were especially rtmarkuble : all the ar- 
guments of W ickliffe were reproduced. " Feudal tribute is due," 

1 Long debating and deliberating witb lumself, with many lecrrt lielu. Fox, Acts and. 
monuments, i, p. 185, lol. Loni U8i. 


said one, " only to him who can grant feudal protection in re- 
turn. Now how can the pope wage war to protect his fiefs?" 
— " Is it as vassal of the crown or as feudal superior/' asked an- 
other, " that the pope demands part of our property? Urban 

Y will not accept the first of these titles Well and good! 

but the English people will not acknowledge the second" 
-" Why," said a third, " was this tribute originally granted? To 

pay the pope for absolving John His demand, then, is 

mere simony, a kind of clerical swindling, which the lords spir- 
itual and temporal should indignantly oppose." — " No," said an- 
other speaker, *' England belongs not to the pope. The pope is 
but a man, subject to sin; but Christ is the Lord of lords, and 
this kingdom is held directly and solely of Christ alone."^ Thus 
spoke the lords inspired by Wicklifie. Parliament decided unan- 
imously that no prince had the right to alienate the sover- 
-eignty of the kingdom without the consent of the other two 
estates, and that if the pontiff should attenipt to proceed against 
the king of England as his vassal, the nation should rise in a 
body to maintain the independence of the crown. 

To no purpose did this generous resolution excite the wrath 
of the partisans of Rome; to no purpose did they assert that, by 
the canon law, the king ought to be deprived of his fiefj and, 
that England now belonged to the pope: "No," replied Wick- 
liffe, " the canon law has no force when it is opposed to the 
word of God." Edward 111 made Wickliffe one of his chap- 
lains, and the papacy has ceased from that hour to lay claim 
— in explicit terms at least — to the Sovereignty of Eng- 

When the pope gave up his temporal he was desirous, at the 
very least, of keeping up his eccksiastical pretensions, and to 
procure the repeal of the statutes of Frcemunire and Frovisors. 
It was accordingly resolved to hold a conference at Bruges to 
treat of this question, and Wicklifle, who had been created 
doctor of theology twu years belore, proceeded thither with the 
otlier commissioners in April 1374. They came to an arrange- 
ment in 1375 that the king should bind himself to repeal the 
penalties denounced agaiLSt the pontifical agents, and that the 
pope should contirra the king's ecclesiastical prcscntalious. "'' 
J3ut the nation was not pleased witli this compioiuise. " The 
clerks sent irom Rome," said the Commons, " are more dan- 

1 These opinions are reported by Wickliffe, in a treatise prcservid in the SMcn MSS. and 
printed bj Air. J. Lewis, in l>iu History ol W'icklitfe. Kw- iNo aO, p. H'J- He was inestnt 
UuriuK the debate ; quum cu .ivt in quoUum eoiicUiv a dommia icouianbm. As 1 heard ia 
a etrlam consultation auionx the lords temporal. * Uyiuer, vii, p. liJ, tto-Si 


^rous for the kingdom than Jews or Saracens: every papal 
agent resident in England, and every Englishman living at the 
comrt of Rome, should be punished with death." Such was the 
language of the Good Parliament. In the fourteenth century 
the English nation called a parliament good which did not yield 
to the papacy. 

Wickliffe, after his return to England, was presented to the 
rectory of Lutterworth, and from that time a practical activity 
was added to his academic influence. At Oxford he spoke as a 
master to the young theologians; in his parish he addressed the 
people as a preacher and as a pastor. " The Gospel," said he, 
" is the only source of religion. The Roman pontifi" is a mere 
<5ut-purse, ^ and, far from having the right to reprimand the 
whole world, he may be lawfully reproved by his inferiors, and 
even by laymen." 

The papacy grew alarmed. Courtenay, son of the Earl of 
Devonshire, an imperious but grave priest, and fuU of zeal for 
what he believed to be the truth, had recently been appointed 
to the see of London. In parliament he had resisted WickMe's 
patron, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, third son of Edward 
III., and head of the house of that name. The bishop, observ- 
ing that the doctrines of the reformer were spreading among 
the people, both high and low, charged him with heresy, and 
summoned him to appear before the convocation assembled in 
St Paul's Cathedral. 

On the 19th February, 1377, an immense crowd, heated with 
fanaticism, thronged the approaches to the church and filled its 
aisles, while the citizens favourable to the reform remained con- 
cealed in their houses. "Wicklifie moved forward, preceded by 
Lord Percy, marshal of England, and supported by the Duke of 
Lancaster, who defended him from purely political motives. He 
was followed by four bachelors of divinity, his counsel, and 
passed through the hostile multitude who looked upon Lancaster 
as the enemy of their liberties, and upon himself as the enemy 
of the church. " Let not the sight of these bishops make you 
shrink a hair's-breadth in your profession of faith," said the 
prince to the doctor. " They are imlearned; and as for this 
concourse of people, fear nothing, we are here to defend you." ^ 
When the reformer had crossed the threshold of the cathedral, 
the crowd within appeared like a solid wall; and, notwithstand- 
ing the eflforts of the earl-marshal, Wickliffe and Lancaster could 

1 The prond worldly priest of Borne, and the most cursed of clippers and pnrse-kervew- 

Lewi*. Hiitorj of Wickliffe. p. 37. Oiiord, IftJO. ^^ Fox, Acw, i. p. 1S7. tol Lond. 168* 

46 I> 


not advance. The people swayed to and fro, hands were raised 
in violence, and loud hootings re-echoed through the buildings 
At length Percy made an opening in the dense multitude, and 
Wickliflfe passed on. 

The haughty Courtenay, who had been commissioned by 
the archbishop to preside over the assembly, watched these 
strange movements with anxiety, and beheld with displeasure 
the learned doctor accompanied by the two most powerful meu 
in England. He said nothing to the Duke of Lancaster, who at 
that time administered the kingdom, but turning towards Percy 
observed sharply: "If I had known, my lord, that you claimed 
to be master in this church, I would have taken measures to 
prevent your entrance." Lancaster coldly rejoined : " He shall 
keep such mastery here, though you say nay." Percy now 
turned to Wickliffe, who had remained standing and said: "Sit 
down and rest yourself" A.t this Courtenay gave way to his 
anger^ and exclaimed in a loud tone: "He must not sit down;, 
criminals stand before their judges." Lancaster, indignant that 
a learned doctor of England should be refused a favour to which.. 
his age alone entitled him (for he was between fifty and sixty) 
made answer to the bishop: "My lord, you are very arrogant; 
take care. . . . or I may bring down your pride, and not yours 
only, but that of all the prelacy in England." ^ — " Do me all 
the harm you can/' was Courtenay 's haughty reply. The 
prince rejoined with some emotion: "You are insolent, my lord. 
You think, no doubt, you can trust on your family. . . . but 
your relations will have trouble enough to protect themselves." 
To this the bishop nobly replied: " My confidence is not in my 
parents nor in any man; but only in God, in whom I trust, and. 
by whose assistance I will be bold to speak the truth." Lan- 
caster, who saw hypocrisy only in these words, turned to one of 
his attendants, and whispered in his ear, but so loud as to be 
heard by the bystanders: ''I would rather pluck the bishop by 
the hair of his head out of his chair, than take this at his hands." 
Every impartial reader must confess that the prelate spoke with 
greater dignity than the prince. Lancaster had hardly uttered, 
these imprudent words before the bishop's partizans fell upoU | 
him and Percy, and even upon ^VickIifi■e, who alone had remainecf 
calm.^ The two noblemen resisted, their friends and servants 
defended them^ the uproar became extreme, and there was no 
hope of restoring tranquillity. The two lords escaped with 
difiiculty, and the assembly broke up in great coAfui^Lpu^ 

1 Fuller, Chtuch nut. cent. xiv. p. 135. » F4U fuiionsly on the lords. IbiA l^ti- 



On the foUoTriug day the earl-marshal having called upon 
parliament to apprehend the disturbers of the public peace, the 
clerical party uniting with the enemies of Lancaster, fiUed the 
streets with their clamour; and while the duke and the earl 
escaped by the Thames, the mob collected before Percy's house, 
broke down the doors, searched every chamber, and thrust their 
swords into every dark corner. When they found that he had 
escaped, the rioters, imagining that he was concealed in Lancas- 
ter's palace, rushed to the Savoy, at that time the most magni- 
ficent building in the kingdom. They killed a priest who en- 
deavoured to stay them, tore down the ducal arms, and hung 
them on the gallows like those of a traitor. They wovdd have 
gone still farther if the bishop had not very opportunely remind- 
ed them that they were in Lent. As for Wickllfie, he was dis- 
missed with an injunction against preaching his doctrines. 

But this decision of the priests was not ratified by the people 
of England. Public opinion declared in favour of Wickliffe. 
" Khe is guilty," said they, "why is he not punished ? If he 
is innocent, why is he ordered to be silent ? If he is the weakest 
in power, he is the strongest in truth! " And so indeed he was, 
and never had he spoken with such energy. He openly attacked 
the pretended apostolical chair, and declared that the tico anti- 
popes who sat at Rome and Avignon together made one anti- 
christ. Being now in opposition to the pope, WicklilFe was soon 
to confess that Christ alone was king of the church; and that it 
is not possible for a man to be excommunicated, unless first and 
principally he be excommunicated by himself. ^ 

Rome could not close her ears. AVicklifife's enemies sent 
thither nineteen propositions which they ascribed to him, and 
in the month of June 1377, just as Richard II, son of the 
Black Prince, a child eleven years old, was ascending the throne, 
three letters from Gregory XI , addressed to the king, the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and the university of Oxford, denounced 
Wick.iffo as a heretic, and called upon them to proceed against 
him as against a common thief. The archbishop issued the 
citation: the crown and the university were silent. 

On the appointed day, "Wicklifie, unaccompanied by either 
Lancaster or Percy, proceeded to the archiepiscopal chapel at 
Lambeth. '•' Men expected he should be devoured," says an 
historian; "being brought into the lion's den."=' But the 
burgesses had taken the prince's place. The assault of Rome 

1 Vaughan'i Wicklifie, Appiadix, vol- i- p 13i - f oUei'g Chnrch Hist, ctaW 



had aroused the friends of liberty and truth in England. '' The 
pope's briefs/' said they, "ought to have no effect in the realm 
without the king's consent. Every man is master in his own 

The archbishop had scarcely opened the sitting, when Sir 
Louis Clifford entered the chapel, and forbade the court, on the 
part of the queen-mother, to proceed against the reformer. 
The bishops were struck with a panic-fear: "they bent their 
heads," says a Roman-catholic historian, " like a reed before the 
wind."^ Wickliffe retired after handing in a protest. "In 
the first place," said he, " I resolve with my whole heart, and 
by the grace of God, to be a sincere Christian; and, while my 
life shall last, to profess and defend the law of Christ so far 
as I have power." '^ Wickliffe's enemies attacked this protest, 
and one of them eagerly maintained that whatever the pope 
ordered should be looked upon as right. "What!" answered the 
reformer; "the pope may then exclude from the canon of the 
scriptures any book that displeases him, and alter the Bible at 
pleasure? " Wickliffe thought that Rome, unsettling the grounds 
of infallibility, had transferred it from the Scriptures to the 
pope, and was desirous of restoring it to its true place, and 
re-estabhshing authority in the church on a truly divine 

A great change was now taking place in the reformer. 
Busying himself less about the kingdom of England, he occupied 
himself more about the kingdom of Christ. In him the politi- 
cal phasis was followed by the religious. To carry the glad 
tidings of the Gospel into the remotest hamlets, was now the 
gi'cat'^idea which possessed Wickliffe. If begging friars (said he) 
stroll over the country, preaching the legends of saints and the 
history of the Trojan war, we must do for God's glory what they 
do to fill their wallets, and form a vast itinerant evangelization 
to convert souls to Jesus Clirist. Turning to the most pious of 
his disciples, he said to them: "Go and preach, it is the sublim- 
est work; but imitate not the priests whom we see after the 
sermon sitting in the ale-houses, or at the gaming-table, or 
wasting their time in hunting. After your sermon is ended, 
do you visit the sick, the aged, the poor, the blind, and the 
lame, and succour them according to your ability." Such was 
the new practical theology which Wickliffe inaugurated— it was 
that of Christ himself. 

1 WalsiuKlmm, llist. Auglix Major, p- m ^ I'ropono et Yolo esse ei mtegro 

( hiistianus. et <iuamdiu inauseril in me UftUtos. ptoftUms verbo at opere leRcm onuati. 
Vaugban's WickiiUe, i.p.ii& 


The " poor priests," as they were called, set off barefoot, a 
staff in their hands, clothed in a coarse robe, living on alms, 
and satisfied with the plainest food. They stopped in the fields 
near some village, in the churchyards, in the market-places of 
the towns, and sometimes in the churches even.^ The people, 
among whom they were favourites, thronged around them, as 
the men of Northumbria had done at Aidan's preaching. They 
spoke with a popular eloquence that entirely won over those 
who listened to them. Of these missionaries none was more 
beloved than John Ashton. He might be seen wandering over 
the country in every direction, or seated at some cottage hearth, 
or alone in some retired crossway, preaching to an attentive 
crowd. Missions of this kind have constantly revived in Eng- 
land at the great epochs of the church. 

The "poor priests" were not content with mere polemics: 
they preached the great mystery of godliness. "An angel 
could have made no propitiation for man," one day exclaimed 
their master Wicklifie; "for the nature which has sinned is not 
that of the angels. The mediator must needs be a man; but 
every man being indebted to God for every thing that he is 
able to do, this man must needs have infinite merit, and be at 
the same time God."" 

The clergy became alarmed, and a law was passed command,- 
ixig every king's officer to commit the preachers and their fol- 
lowers to prison.^ In consequence of this, as soon us the humble 
missionary began to preach, the monks set themselves in motion. 
They watched him from the windows of their cells, at the street- 
corners, or from behind a hedge, and then hastened off to pro- 
cure assistance. But wLen the constables approached, a body 
of stout bold men stood forth, with arms in their hands, who 
surrounded the preacher, and zealously protected him against 
the attacks of the clergy. Carnal weapons were thus mingled 
with the preachings of the word of peace. The poor priests re- 
turned to their master: Wickliffe comforted them, advised with 
them, and then they departed once more. Every day this 
evangelization reached some new spot, and the light was thus 
penetrating into every quarter of England, when the reformer 
was suddenly stopped in his work. 

Wickliffe was at Oxford in the year 1379, busied in the dis- 
charge of his duties as professor of divinity, when he fell dan- 
gerously ill. His was not a strong constitution; and work, age, 

1 A private Etatcte icsde by Uie cUisr. Fox, a^ _ j^ jgs. 
> Exposiliou of the Dtc«logue. 3 Fox, Acta . i. p. 50J. 

86 wickliffe's prophecy. 

and above all persecution had weakened him. Great was the 
joy in the monasteries; but for that joy to be complete, the 
heretic must recant. Every effort was made to bring this about 
in his last moments. 

The four regents^ who represented the four religious orders, 
accompanied by four aldermen, hastened to the bedside of the dy- 
ing man, hoping to frighten him by threatening him with the ven- 
geance of Heaven. They found him calm and serene. "You have 
death on your lips," said they; " be touched by your faults, and 
retract in our presence all that you have said to our injury." 
Wickliffe remained silent, and the monks flattered themselves 
with an easy victory. But the nearer the reformer approached 
eternity, the greater was his horror of monkery. The consola- 
tion he had found in Jesus Christ had given him fresh energy. 
He begged his servant to raise him on his couch. Then feeble 
and pale, and scarcely able to support himself, he turned towards 
the friarS; who were waiting for his recantation, and opening 
his livid lips, and fixing on them a piercing look, he said with 
emphasis: ''i shall not die but live; and again declare the evil 
deeds of the friars," We might almost picture to ourselves the 
spirit of Elijah threatening the priests of Baal. The regents 
and their companions looked at each other with astonishment. 
They left the room in confusion, and the reformer recovered to 
put the finishing touch to the most important of his works 
against the monks and against the pope. ^ 


The Bible— Wickliffe's Translation— Effects of its Publication— Opposi- 
tion of the Clergy — Wickliffe's Fourth Phasis — Transubstantiation — 
Excommunication — Wickliffe's Firmness — Wat Tyler — The Synod — 
The condemned Propositions — W ickliffe's Petition —Wickliffe before 
the Primate at Oxford — Wickliffe summoned to Rome — ills Answer 
— The Trialogue — Ilii Death — And Character — His teaching — Hia 
Ecclesiastical Views — A Prophecy. 

Wickliffe's ministry had followed a progressive course. At 
first ho had attacked the papacy; next ho preached the gospel 
to tho poor; he could take one more step and put the people 

^ Fetrie'B Church History, i. p. &0i. ' 


m permanent possession of the word of God. This vras the 
third phase of his activity. 

Scholasticism had banished the Scriptures into a mysterious 
obscurity. It is true that Bede had translated the Gospel of 
St. John; that the learned men at Alfred's court had translated 
the four evangelists; that Elfric in the reign of Ethebred had 
translated some books of the Old Testament; that an Anglo- 
Korman priest had paraphrased the Gospels and the acts; that 
Eichard EoUe, ^' the hermit of Hampole/' and some pious clerks 
in the fourteenth century, had produced a version of the Psalms, 
the Gospels, and Epistles: — but these rare volumes were hidden, 
like theological curiosities, in the libraries of a few convents. 
It was then a maxim that the reading of the Bible was injurious 
to the laity; and accordingly the priests forbade it, just as the 
Brahmins forbid the Shast^rs to the Hindoos. Oral tradition 
alone preserved among the people the histories of the Holy 
Scriptures, mingled with legends of the saints. The time ap- 
peared ripe for the publication of a Bible. The increase of 
population, the attention the English were beginning to devote 
to their own language, the development which the system of 
representative government had received, the awakening of the 
human mind: — all these circumstances favoured the reformer's 

W ickliffe was ignorant indeed of Greek and Hebrew; but was 
it nothing to shake off the dust which for ages had covered the 
Xatin Bible, and to translate it into English? He was a good 
Latin scholar, of sound understanding and great penetration; 
but above all he loved the Bible, he understood it, and desired 
to communicate this treasure to others. Let us imagine him 
in his quiet study: on his table is the Vulgate text, corrected 
after the best manuscripts; and lying open around him are the 
commentaries of the doctors of the church, especially those of 
St. Jerome and Nicholas Lyrensis. Between ten and fifteen 
years he steadily prosecuted his task; learned men aided him 
frith their advice, and one of them, Nicholas Hereford, appears 
to have translated a few chapters for him. At last in 1380 it 
was completed. This was a great event in the religious history 
of i/fingland, who, outstripping the nations on the continent, took 
her station in the foremost rank in the great work of dissemin- 
ating the Scriptures. 

As soon as the translation was finished, the labour of the 
copyists began, and the Bible was erelong widely circulated 
€ither wholly or in portions. The reception of the work sur- 


passed Wickliffe's expectations. The Holy Scriptures exercised! 
a reviving influence over men's hearts; minds were enlightened; 
souls were converted; the voices of the " poor priests" had done 
little in comparison with this voice; something new had entered 
into the world. Citizens, soldiers, and the lower classes wel- 
comed this new era with acclamations; the high-born curiously 
examined the unknown book; and even Anne of Luxemburg^ 
wife of Richard II, having learnt English, began to read the 
Gospels diligently. She did more than this: she made them 
known to Arundel, archbishop of York and chancellor, and 
afterwards a persecutor, but who now, struck at the sight of a 
foreign lady — of a queen, humbly devoting her leisure to the 
study of such virtuous hooJcs, ^ commenced reading them, 
himself, and rebuked the prelates who neglected this holy pur- 
suit. "You could not meet two persons on the highway," says 
a contemporary writer, "but one of them was Wicklifle's, 

Yet all in England did not equally rejoice: the lower clergy 
opposed this enthusiasm with complaints and maledictions. 
" Master John Wickliffe, by translating the Gospel into English," 
said the monks, " has rendered it more acceptable and more in-; 
telligible to laymen and even to women, than it had hitherto' 

been to learned and intelligent clerks! The Gospel pearl 

is every where cast out and trodden under foot of swine."^ 
New contests arose for the reformer. Wherever he bent his 
steps, he was violently attacked. "'It is heresy," cried thQ. 
monks, " to speak of Holy Scripture in English." 3 — " Since the 
church has approved of the four Gospels, she would have beeu- 
just as able to reject them and admit others! The church 

sanctions and condemns what she pleases Learn to believe' 

in the church rather than in the Gospel." These clamours did 
not alarm Wickliffe. "Many nations have had the Bible in 
their own language. The Bible is the faith of the cliurch. 
Though the pope and all his clerks should disappear from the 
face of the earth," said he, '' our faith would not fail, for it is 
founded on Jesus alone, our Master and our God." But \\ ick- 
lifle did not stand alone: in the palace as in the cottage, and 
even in parliament, the rights of Holy Scripture found deienders. 
A motion having been made in the Upper House (1390) to 
seize all the copies of the Bible, the Duke of Lancaster exclaimed ^ 

1 Fox, Acts, i. p. 678. 2 EvftnKclica maigarita spiirKitur ct a porciB couculcit. 

tar. KnyKbton, i)e eventibuB Anglijc, v.'J6i " It it, Unay to speak of the Holy 

Scripture la Euglkh Wicklifle's Wicket, p.*. Oxford, ICIJ, quarto. 


"Are we then the very dregs of humanity, that we caacDt 
possess the laws of our rehgion in our own tongue?"^ 

Having given his fellow-couutrvnien the Bible, Wickliffe be- 
gan to reflect on its contents. This was a new step in his 
onward path. There comes a moment when the Christian, saved 
by a lively faith, feels the need of giving an account to himself 
of this faith, and this originates the science of theology. This 
is a natural movement : if the child, who at first possesses sensa- 
tions and affections only, feels the want, as he grows up, of re- 
flection and knowledge, why should it not be the same with the 
Christian? Politics — home missions — Holy Scripture — had en- 
gaged WickUffo in succession; theology had its turn, and this 
was the fourth phase of his life. Yet he did not penetrate to 
the same degree as the men of the sixteenth century into the 
depths of the Christian doctrine; and he attached himself in a 
more especial manner to those ecclesiastical dogmas which were 
more closely connected with the presumptuous hierarchy and. 
the simoniacal gains of Rome, — such as trausubstantiation. The. 
Anglo-Saxon church had not professed this doctrine. "The 
host is the body of Christ, not bodily but spiritually,'"' said Elfric 
in the tenth century in a letter addressed to the archbishop of 
York; but Lanfranc, the opponent of Berengarius, had taught 
England that at the word of a priest God quitted heaven and 
descended on the altar. "Wicklifie undertook to overthrow the 
pedestal on which the pride of the priesthood was founded. 
" The eucharist is naturally bread and wine," he taught at 
Oxford in 1331; "but by virtue of the sacramental words it 
contains in every part the real body and blood of Christ.'"' He 
did not stop here. " The consecrated wafer which we see on 
the altar/' said he, " is not Christ, nor any part of him, but his 
efficient sign."2 He oscillated between these two shades of 
doctrine; but to the first he more habitually attached himself. 
He denied the sacrifice of the mass offered by the priest, becausa 
it was substituted for the sacrifice of the cross offered up by 
Jesus Christ; and rejected transubstantiation, because it nullified 
the spiritual and living presence of the Lord. 

^hen Wiekliffe's enemies heard these propositions, they, 
appeared horror-stricken, and yet in secret they were delighted 
at the prospect of destroying him. They met together, examined 
twelve theses he had published, and pronounced against him 
suspension from all teaching, imprisonment, and the greater 
excommunication. At the same time his friends became alarmed^, 

1 Weber, Akathoiiscbe Kirchen , i, p. Si. 2 £i}icax ^jos d gnnm CoDcliuio Ixo' 

Taogtun, ii. p. 136, App. 

^" wickliffe's fihmness. 

their zeal cooled, and many of them forsook him. The Duke 
of Lancaster, in particular, could not follow him into this new 
sphere. That prmce had no objection to an ecclesiastical opposi- 
tion which might aid the political po^ver, and for that purpose 
he had tried to enlist the reformer's talents and courage; but he 
leared a dogmatic opposition that might compromise him. The 
sky was heavy with clouds; Wickliffe was alone. 

The storm soon burst upon him. One day, while seated in 
his doctoral chair in the Augustine school, and calmly explain- 
ing the nature of the eucharist, an officer entered the halL and 
read the sentence of condemnation. It was the design of his 
enemies to humble the professor in the eyes of his disciples 
J^ncaster immediately became alarmed, and hastening to his 
old friend begged him— ordered him even— to trouble himself 
no more about this matter. Attacked on every side, Wickliffe 
lor a time remained silent. Shall he sacrifice the truth to save 
his reputation— his repose— perhaps his life? Shall expediency 
get the better of faith,— Lancaster prevail over Wickliffe? No : 
his courage was invincible. "Since the year of our Lord 1000," 
said he, " all the doctors have been in error about the sacra- 
ment of the altar— except, perhaps, it may be Berengarius. 
llow canst thou, priest, who art but a man, make thy Maker"? 
What! the thing that groweth in the fields— that ear which 
thou pluckest to-day, shall be God to-morrow! .... As you 
<2annot make the works which he made, how shall ye make Him 
who made the works? ^ Woe to the adulterous generation that 
beheveth the testimony of Innocent rather than of the Gospel." » 
Wickliffe called upon his adversaries to refute the opinions they . 
-had condemned, and finding that they threatened him with a 
cml penalty (imprisonment), he appealed to the king. 
_ The time was not favourable for such an appeal A fatal 
circumstance increased Wickliffe's danger. Wat Tyler and a 
dissolute priest named Ball, taking advantage of the ill-will 
excited by the rapacity and brutality of the royal tax-gatherers, 
had occupied London with 100,000 men. John Ball kept up 
the spirits of ^ the insurgents, not by expositions of the gospel, 
like ^Vick\inh's poor priests, but by fiery comments on the distich 
they had chosen lor their device: — • 

"When Adam delved and Eve epan, 
Who was then the gentleman? 

l^ere were many who fe.t no scruple in ascribing these disorders 

^rimr^f" '^\'^'^^ '^'""'^' »'P- "•■• -""• =* ^'^ «,.i.i «dulte,.-« QU« plus 

■«reUil tt.iimouio Inuuctntli quam sensui livuiigelii. Coiiltssio, \'huJ,.i,. ii. m. Aj.p. 


to the reformer, who was quite innocent of them; and Court- 
cnay, bishop of London, having been translated to the see of 
Canterbury, lost no time in convoking a synod to pronounce oa 
this matter of Wickliffe's. They met in the middle of May, 
about two o'clock in the afternoon, and were proceeding to pro- 
nounce sentence when an earthquake, which shook the city of 
London and all Britain, so alarmed the members of the council 
that they unanimously demanded the adjournment of a decision 
which appeared so manifestly rebuked b}' God. But the arch- 
bishop skilfully turned this strange phenomenon to his own 
purposes: " Know you not," said he, '' that the noxious vapours 
which catch fire in the bosom of the earth, and give rise to these 
phenomena which alarm you, loose all their force when they 
burst forth? Well, in like manner, by rejecting the wicked 
from our community, we shall put an end to the convulsions of 
the church." The bishops regained their courage; and one of 
the primate's officers read ten propositions, said to be Wickliffe's, 
but ascribing to him certain errors of which he was quite inno- 
cent. The following most excited the anger of the priests: 
" God must obey the devil.^ After Urban VI we must receive 
no one as pope, but live according to the manner of the GreeJcs." 
The ten propositions were condemned as heretical, and the arch- 
bishop enjoined all persons to shun, as they would a venomous 
serpent, all who should preach the aforesaid errors. " If we 
j)emiit this heretic to appeal continually to the passions of the 
people, ' said the primate to the king, " our destruction is inevit- 
able. We must silence these loUards — these psalm-singers."* 
The king gave authority '•' to confine in the prisons of the state 
any who should maintain the condemned propositions." 

Day by day the circle contracted around WicklifFe. The 
prudent Repingdon, the learned Hereford, and even the eloquent 
Ashton, the firmest of the three, departed from him. The 
veteran champion of the truth which had once gathered a whole 
nation round it, had reached the days when " strong men shall 
bow themselves," and now, when harassed by persecution, he 
found himself alone. But boldly he uplifted his hoary head and 
exclaimed: " The doctrine of the gospel shall never perish; and 
if the earth once quaked, it was because they condemned Jesus 

He did not stop here. In proportion as his physical strength 
decreased, his moral strength increased. Instead of parrying 

1 Qucd Dens debet obedire diabolo- Mansi, xzri- p. 695. WickliSe denied harins written 
-or spoken the sentiment heie aaciibedto him. 2 from loUtn, to sing; ta btga^reU 


the blows aimed at him, he resolved on dealing more terrible 
ones still. He knew that if the king and the nobilitj were for 
the priests, the lower house and the citizens were for liberty 
and truth. He therefore presented a bold petition to the 
Comjjions in the month of November 1382. '-'Since Jesus 
Christ shed his blood to free his church, I demand its freedom. 
I demand that every one may leave those gloomy walls [the 
convents], within which a tyrannical law prevails, and embrace 
a simple and peaceful life under the open vault of heaven. I 
demand that the poor inhabitants of our towns and villages be 
not constrained to furnish a worldly priest, often a vicious man 
and a heretic, with the means of satisfying his ostentation, his 
gluttony, and his licentiousness — of buying a showy horse, 
costly saddles, bridles with tinkling bells, rich garments, and 
soft furs, while they see their wives, children, and neighbours, 
dying of hunger." ^ The House of Commons, recollecting that 
they had not given their consent to the persecuting statute 
drawn up by the clergy and approved by the king and the lords, 
demanded its repeal. Was the Eeformation about to" begin, by 
the will of the people? 

Courtenay, indignant at this intervention of the Commons, 
and ever stimulated by a zeal for his church, which would have 
been better directed towards the word of God, visited Oxford in 
November 1 382, and having gathered round him a number of 
bishops, doctors, priests, students, and laymen, summoned ^Vick- 
liffe before him. Forty years ago the reformer had come up to 
the university: Oxford had become his home .... and now 
it was turning against him! Weakened by labours, by trials, 
by that ardent soul which preyed upon his feeble body, he might 
have refused to appear. But Wickliffe, who never feared the 
face of man, came before them with a good cousciouce. We 
may conjecture that there were among the crowd some disciples 
■who felt their hearts burn at the sight of their master; but no 
outward sign indicated their emotion. The solemn silence of a 
court of justice had succeeded the shouts of cuthusiastie youths. 
Yet Wicklifie did not despair: he raised his venerable head, and 
turned to Courtenay with that confident look which had made 
the regents of Oxford shrink away. Growing wroth against tho 
prieMn of Baal, he reproached them with dissomiuat'mg error in 
order to sell their masses. Then he stopped, and uttered thesa 
simple and energetic words : "The truth shall prevail!"* Hav- 

1 A CompUint of John Wyclct)'. Tracts snd Treatises edited by the Wickiiin Soieieiy, 
p. 308. FioaUter veritM vincet eo>, VautiQau, Appeudix, U- p.' tSS. -' ' - 


iiig thus spoken he prepared to leave the court : his enemies 
dared not saj a word; and, like his divine master at Nazareth, 
he passed through the midst of them, and no man ventured to 
stop him. He then withdrew to his cure at Lutterworth. 

He had not yet reached the harhour. He was living peace- 
fully among his books and his parishioners, and the priests seemed 
inclined to leave him alone, when another blow was aimed at 
him. A papal brief summoned him to Rome, to appear before 
that tribunal which had so often shed the blood of its adversar- 
ies. His bodily infirmities convinced him that he could not obey 
this summons. But if AVickliffe refused to hear Urban, Urban 
could not choose but hear Wickliffo. The church was at that 
time divided between two chiefs: France, Scotland, Savoy, Lor- 
raine, Casiile, and Aragon acknowledged Clement VH; while 
Italy, England, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Hungary ac- 
knowledged Urban YI. Wickhffe shall tell us who is the true 
head of the church universal. And while the two popes were 
excommunicating and abusing each ether, and selUng heaven 
and earth for their own gain, the reformer was confessing that 
incorruptible Word, which establishes real unity in the church, 
•■ I believe," said he, " that the Gospel of Christ is the whole 
body of God's law. I believe that Christ, who gave it to us, is 
very God and very man, and that this Gospel revelation is, 
accordingly, superior to all other parts of Holy Scripture. ^ I 
believe that the bishop of Rome is boimd more than all other 
men to submit to it, fur the greatness among Christ's disciples 
did not consist in worldly dignity or honours, but in the exact 
following ot Christ in his life and manners. No faithful man 
ought to follow the pope, but in such points as he hath followed 
Jesus Christ. The pope ought to leave unto the secular power 
all temporal dominion and rule; and thereunto efiectually more 

and Jiiore exhort his whole clerg}" K 1 could labour 

accordiug to my desire in mine own person, I would surely 
present myself before the bishop of Rome, but the Lord hath 
otherwise visited me to the contrary, and hath taught me rather 
to obey Go J than men." ■ 

Urban, who at that moment chanced to be very busied in 
his contest with Clement, did not think it prudent to beoiu 
another with Wickliflfe, and so let the matter rest there. From this 

1 Ttisis the Karing of the Bodleian manQEcript^" and be [b)~] this it passes aU other 
laws." jh f. I. Wicklitfe appears to ascribe to Coiist himsell" this sape.iuri:/ over all 
Scripture, — a dis.iiiciion hardly in the mind of the reformer or of Ui age. 2 An Epistle 

of J. \\ itkiia^ to I' Urban VI. Fox. Acts. i. p. 50?, foL Lond. iOH; also Lewis, Wiek- 
lifie, p. 'iitS, Append. 


time the doctor passed the remainder of his days ia peace in the 
company of three personages, two of whom were his particular 
friends, and the third his constant adversary: these were Al- 
dheia, Fhronesis, and Pseudes. AktJieia (truth) proposed 
questions; Pseudes (falsehood) urged objections; and Phro7iesis 
(understanding) laid down the sound doctrine. These three 
characters carried on a conversation (trialogue) in which great 
truths were boldly professed. The opposition between the pope 
and Christ — ^between the canons of Romanism and the Bible^ 
— was painted in striking colours. This is one of the primary 
truths which the church must never forget. " The church has 
fallen," said one of the interlocutors in the work in question, 
''because she has abandoned the Grospel, and preferred the laws 
of the pope. Although there should be a hundred popes in the 
world at once, and all the friars living should be transformed 
into cardinals, we must withhold our confidence unless so far as 
they are founded in Holy Scripture." ^ 

These words were the last flicker of the torch. Wickliffe 
looked upon his end as near, and entertained no idea that it 
would come in peace. A dungeon on one of the seven hills, or 
a burning pile in London, was all he expected. " Why do you 
talk of seeking the crown of martyrdom afar?" asked he^ 
" Preach the Gospel of Christ to haughty prelates, and martyr- 
dom will not fail you. What! I should live and be silent? . . . 
never! Let the blow fall, I await its coming." ^ 

The stroke was spared him. The war between two wicked 
priests, Urban and Clement, left the disciples of our Lord ia 
peace. And besides, was it worth while cutting short a life 
that was drawing to a close? Wickliffe, therefore, continued 
tranquilly to preach Jesus Christ; and on the 29 th December 
1384, as he was in his church at Lutterworth, in the midst of 
his flock, at the very moment that he stood before the altar,, 
and was elevating the host with trembling hands, he fell upon 
the pavement struck with paralysis. He was carried to his 
house by the affectionate friends around him, and after linger- 
ing forty-eight hours resigned his soul to God on tke last day 
of the year. 

Thus was removed from the church one of the boldest wit- 
nesses to the truth. The seriousness of his language, the holi- 
ness of his life, and the energy of his faith, had intimidated the. 
popedom. Travellers relate that if a lion is met in the desert. 

1 Jdco si ngeiit centum imiiio, ct omncs fratres essent versi in cardinalcs, non deberet con- 
cedi aeuteutine tiuB iu materia lidei. nisi de nuaiao se luudaveriut iu Scriptura- Trialouus, 
lib. iv, ciij). vu. -i Vuughan's l<ite of WicklLlfc, ii, p- 215, Kl- 

wickliffb'9 ghaeacteb, 95 

it is sufficient to look steadily at him, and the beast turns away 
roaring from the eye of man. Wickliffc had fixed the eye of a 
Christian on the papacy, and the affrighted papacy had left him 
in peace. Hunted down unceasingly while living, he died in 
quiet, at the very moment when by faith he was eating the 
flesh and drinking the blood which give eternal life. A glorioBS 
end to a glorious life. 

The Reformation of England had begun. 

"Wicklifib is the greatest English Reformer : he was in truth 
the first reformer of Christendom, and to him^ under God, 
Britain is indebted for the honour of being the foremost in the 
attack upon the theocratic system of Gregory VII. The work 
of the '\\ aldenses, excellent as it was, cannot be compared to his. 
If Luther and Calvin are the fathers of the Reformation,^ 
"Wicklifie is its grandfather, 

"Wickliflfe, like most great men, possessed qualities which are 
not generally found together. While his understanding was 
eminently speculative — his treatise on the Reality of universal 
Jdeas^ made a sensation in philosophy — he possessed that prac- 
tical and active mind which characterizes the Anglo-Saxon race. . 
As a divine, he was at once scriptural and spiritual, soundly 
orthodox, and possessed of an inward and lively faith. With a 
boldness that iuipelled him to rush into the midst of danger, he 
combined a logical and consistent mind, which constantly led 
him forward in knowledge, and caused him to maintain with, 
perseverance the truths he had once proclaimed. First of all, 
as a Christian, he had devoted his strength to the cause of tho 
church; but he was at the same time a citizen, and the realm, 
his nation, and his king, had also a great share in his unwearied 
activity. He was a man complete. 

K the man is admirable, his teaching is no less so. Scripture, . 
which is the rule of truth, should be (according to his views) . 
the rule of Reformation, and we must reject every doctrine and 
every precept which does not rest on that foundation." To be- 
lieve in the power of man in the work of regeneration is the 
great heresy of Rome, and from that error has come the ruin 
of the church. Conversion proceeds from the grace of God 
alone, and the system which ascribes it partly to man and partly 
to God is worse than Pelagianism.^ Christ is every thing iu 

1 De osiTeTsalibas realibna. * Anctotitas Scriptnise sacrse, qate est lex Christi, 

mfiuitam excedit qaam Ubet scriptoram alum. Dialog. ITiuilo^Uj] lib. iii, cap. xxx; see in 
particular chap. xxxi. The authority of Uoly Scripture, which is tiie Uw of Ciirist, iofiuite- - 
ly surpasses all other writiiiga whattTer. 3 Ibid, de prteJestiuatione, de peccato, 

d« gniia, etc 

S6 wickliffk's ecclesiastical views, i 

Christianity; whosoever abandons that fountain which is ever 
ready to impart life, and turns to muddy and stagnant waters, 
is a madman.i Faith is a gift of God; it puts aside all merit, 
and should banish all fear from the mind.^ The one thinsr 
needful in the Christian life and in the Lord's Supper is not a 
vain formalism and superstitious rites, but communion with 
Christ according to the power of the spiritual life.^ Let Chris- 
tians submit not to the word of a priest but to the word of God. 
In the primitive church there were but two orders, the deacon 
and the priest : the presbyter and the bishop were one.* The 
fiublimest calling which man can attain on earth is that of 
preaching the word of God. The true church is the assembly 
of the righteous for whom Christ shed his blood. So long as 
Christ is in heaven, in Him the church possesses the best pope. 
It is possible for a pope to be condemned at the last day because 
of his sins. Would men compel us to recognise as our head 
*' a devil of hell?" ^ Such were the essential points of Wick- 
lifie's doctrine. It was the echo of the doctrine of the apostles — 
the prelude to that of the reformers. 

In many respects Wickliffe is the Luther of England; but the 
times of revival had not yet come, and the English reformer 
could not gain such striking victories over Rome as the German 
reformer. While Luther was surrounded by an ever-increas- 
ing number of scholars and princes, who confessed the same 
iaith as himself, Wickliife shone almost alone in the firmament 
of the church. The boldness with which he substituted a living 
spirituality for a superstitious formalism, caused those to shrink 
back in affright who had gone with him against friars, priests, 
and popes. Erelong the Eoman pontiff ordered him to be 
thrown into prison, and the monks threatened his life; '^ but 
God protected him, and he remained calm amidst the machina- 
tions of his adversaries. " Antichrist^" said he, " can only kill 
the body." Having one foot in the grave already, he foretold 
that, from the very bosom of monkery, \\ould some day pro- 
ceed the regeneration of the church. " If the Iriars, whom God 
condescends to teach, shall be converted to the primitive relig- 
ion of Christ," said he, "^ wc shall see them abandoning their 
unbelief, returning freely, with or without the permission of 

1 UialoR. fTrialogns] lib. iii, cap. xxx. 2 Fidcin a Deo infusara sine aliqua 

Ircpidaliout; liJei contraria. Ibid. lib. iii, cap. ii. ^ Secundum raliouem spirit- 

ualis et vii umlia txisUulise. Ibid. lib. iv, cap. viii. * i'uit idem presbyter 

atque episcopua. Ibid. lib. iv, cap. xv. * Vaughan's Life ol WicklilliB, ii, 307. 

The Chnsliuii public is inucli indebted to Dr. VaURhau lor liis biujjraiihy ol tliis relonaer 

* Aiultitudo lirutrum uiortem tuam iiiultipUciter luachinautui'. Ibid- Ub. iv, cap- ir- 


Antichrist, to the primitive religion of the Lord and building 
up the church, as did St. Paul." ^ 

Thus did "NVicklifFe's piercing glance discover, at the distance 
of nearly a century and a half, the young monk Luther in the 
Augustine convent at Erfurth, converted by the Epistle to the 
Homans, and returning to the spirit of St. Paul and the religion 
of Jesus Christ. Time was hastening on to the fulfilment of 
this prophecy. " The rising sun of the Reformation," for so 
has Wicklifie been called, had appeared above the horizon, and 
its beams were no more to be extinguished. In vain wUl thick 
clouds veil it at times; the distant hill-tops of Eastern Europe will 
soon reflect its raysj * and its piercing light, increasing in 
brightness, will pour over all the world, at the hour of the 
church's renovation, floods of knowledge and of life. 


The TTickliffites— Call for Reform— Richard II— The first Martyr- 
Lord Cobham — Appears before Henry V — Before the Archbishop — 
His Confession and Death — The Lollards. 

Wicklitfe's death manifested the power of his teaching. 
The master being removed, his disciples set their hands to the 
plough, and England was almost won over to the reformer's 
doctrines. Tae Wickliffites recognized a ministry independent 
of Rcme, and deriving authority from the word of God alone. 
" Every minister," said they, " can administer the sacraments 
and confer the cure of souls as well as the pope." To the 
licentious wealth of the clergy they opposed a Christian poverty, 
and to the degenerate asceticism of the mendicant orders, a 
spiritual and free life. The townsfolk crowded around these 
humble preachers; the soldiers listened to them, armed with. 
sword and buckler to defend them; ^ the nobility took down 
the images Iroui their baronial chapels; * and even the royal 

1 AUqm fratres quos Vera docere di^atar relicts sas perfidia redibant libere ad 

xeligionem Cbristi piimsTiim. et taac sediiicabimt eecleskm, neat fanlos. ViaXog. 
[Xiialogus] lib- ir, cap- xxx- 3 J oha llasa in BohemU- 'J Aasisteie loleiit gladio 

«t pelta stipali ad eorum defensio.nin- Knjghton, lib- T, p-3C00, 
cmn dadbcs et cotLitiboa eimut prxcipa; eii udliseroites- U>i<l- 

4« G 


family was partly won over to the Eeformation. England was 
like a tree cut down to the ground, from whose roots fresh buds 
are shooting out on every side, erelong to cover all the earth 
beneath their shade.^ 

This augmented the courage of Wickliffe's disciples, and in 
many places the people took the initiative in the reform. The 
walls of St, Paul's and other cathedrals were hung with pla- 
cards aimed at the priests and friars, and the abuses of which, 
they were the defenders; and in 1395 the friends of the Gospel 
petitioned parliament for a general reform. ^' The essence of 
the worship which comes from Rome," said they, '' consists ia 
signs and ceremonies, and not in the efficacity of the Holy 
Ghost : and therefore it is not that which Christ has ordained^ 
Temporal things are distinct from spiritual things: a king and 
a bishop ought not to be one and the same person." ^ And 
then, from not clearly understanding the principle of the separ- 
ation of the functions which they proclaimed, they called upon 
parliament to " abolish celibacy, transubstantiation, prayers for 
the dead, offerings to images, auricular confession, war, the arts 
unnecessary to life, the practice of blessing oil, salt, wax, in- 
cense, stones, mitres, and pilgrims' stafis. All these pertain to- 
necromancy and not to theology." Emboldened by the ab- 
sence of the king in Ireland, they fixed their Twelve Conclusions- 
on the gates of St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey. This be- 
came the signal for persecution. 

As soon as Ai-undel, archbishop of York, and Braybrooke^ 
bishop of London, had read these propositions, they hastily 
crossed St. George's channel, and conjured the king to return to. 
England. The prince hesitated not to comply, for his wile, the 
pious Anne of Luxemburg, was dead. Eichard, during child^ 
hood and youth, had been committed in succession to the 
charge of several guardians, and like childi-en (says an historian), 
whose nurses have been often changed, he thrived none the bet- 
ter for it. He did good or evil, according to the iuliueuce of 
those around him, and had no decided inclinations except for 
ostentation and licentiousness. The clergy were not mistakea 
in calculating on such a prince. On his return to Loudon he 
forbade the parliament to take the Wicklifiite petition into con- 
sideration; and having summoned before him the most distin- 
guished of its supporiers, such as Story, Clifford, Latimer, and 
Moutacute, he threatened them with death if they continued to. 

1 Qaiuii germinaiites muUii)licali sunt uiiiiis et impleverunt ubique orbcm rtgni. iviiyK''- 
ton. lib. V, p. 2t/W. Xheae " t'oncWtionis" are reprlatfid bj Lewi* (WiclUifle) p- *i.7. , 
^ XUz «t episcopal iu uDa p«r8oua, etc- Ibid- 


defend their abominable opinions. Thus was the work of the 
reformer about to be destroyed. 

But Eichard had hardly withdrawn his hand from the Gospel, 
when God (says the annalist) withdrew his hand from him.^ 
His cousin, Henry of Hereford, son of the famous duke of Lan- 
caster, and who had been banished from England, suddenly 
sailed from the continent, landed in Yorkshire, gathered all the 
malcontents around him, and was acknowledged king. The 
unhappy Richard, after being formally deposed, was confined 
in Pontefract castle, where he soon terminated his earthly 

The son of "Wickliffe's old defender was now king: a reform 
of the church seemed imminent; but the primate Arundel had 
foreseen the danger. This cunning priest and skilful politician 
had observed which way the wind blew, and deserted Richard 
in good time. Taking Lancaster by the hand, he put the crown 
on his head, saying to him : '* To consolidate your throne, con- 
ciliate the clergy, and sacrifice the Lollards." — '• I will be the 
protector of the church," replied Henry IV, and irom that 
hour the power of the priests was greater than the power of 
the nobility. Rome has ever been adroit in profiting by revol- 

Lancaster, in his eagerness to show his gratitude to the 
priests, ordered that every incorrigible heretic should be burnt 
alive, to terrify his companions.- Practice followed close upon 
the theory. A pious priest named William Sawtre had 
presumed to say: *' Instead of adoring the cross on which 
Christ suffered, I adore Christ who suffered on it."' He 
was dragged to St. Paul's; his hair was shaved off; a layman's 
cap was placed on his head; and the primate handed him over 
to the mercy of the earl-marshal of England. This mercy was 
shown him — he was burnt alive at Smithfield in the beginning 
of March, 1401. Sawtre was the first martyr to protestant- 

Encouraged by this act of faith — this auto da fe — the clergy 
drew up the articles known as the " Constitutions of Arundel, ' 
which lorbade the reading of the Bible, and styled the pope, 
" not a mere man, but a true God." * The Lollards' tower, in 
the arcbiepiscopal palace ol Lambeth, was soon filled with pre- 
tended heretics, many of whom carved on the walls of their 

1 Fci, Acta, L p. 584, fol. LonA 1&S4. 2 Ibid, p 583. This is the aUtote knowa as 

2 Henry IV- c 15, the first actual kw in England against heresy- 3 Iwd ij- &»• 

*A'ot of pure aan but of uue Uud, here in eolith. lbid-p-Sa6. . ,. 


dungeons the expression of their sorrow and their hopes: Jesus 
amor meus, wrote one of them.^ 

To crush the lowly was not enough: the Gospel must be 
driven from the more exalted stations. The priests, who were 
sincere in their belief, regarded those noblemen as misleaders, 
who set the word of God above the laws of Rome; and accord- 
ingly they girded themselves for the work. A few miles from 
Rochester stood Cowling Castle, in the midst of the fertile pas- 
tures watered by the Medway, 

The fair Medwaya that with wanton pride 
Forms silver mazes with her crooked tide .2 

In the beginning of the fifteenth century it was inhabited by 
Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, a man in high favour with 
the king. The " poor priests " thronged to Cowling in quest of 
Wickliffe's writings, of which Cobham had caused numerous 
copies to be made, and whence they were circulated through 
the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, and Hertford. 
Cobham attended their preaching, and if any enemies ventured 
to interrupt them, he threatened them with his sword.^ " I 
would sooner risk my life," said he, "than submit to Buch 
unjust decrees as dishonour the everlasting Testament." _ The 
king would not permit the clergy to lay hands on his fa- 
vourite. . - . - Q 

But Henry V having succeeded his father in lllo, and 
passed from the houses of ill-fame he had hitherto frequented, 
to the foot of the altars and the head of the armies, the arch- 
bishop immediately denounced Cobham to him, and he was 
summoned to appear before the king. Sir John had understood 
Wickliflfe's doctrine, and experienced in his own person the 
might of the divine Word. "As touching the pope and his 
spirituahty," he said to the king, "I owe them neither suit nor 
service, forasmuch as I know him by the Scriptures to be the 
great antichi-ist." * Henry thrust aside Cobham's hand as he 
presented his confession of faith: ''1 will not receive this paper, 
lay it before your judges." When he saw his prolession re- 
fused, Cobham had recourse to the only arm which he knew of 

1 "Jesus is my love." These words are still to be read In the tower- 2 Blackmore 

a Eorum praidicatiouibus nefariis iuUrfuit. et couUaUictorcs. si quos repererat. uimis et 

tcrroribus et Kladii secularis potenlia cou.pescuit. (llim.r. FoKlera. ton,, iv pars ^ P- oOJ 

He attended their interdicted preachinK, ui.d if ho found any mteriuptuiK tUcm. he kept 

them in check bj threaU and terrors and lo tlit^ power of the secular sword. 

* Fox, vol- 1-p- tiiifi, tol 


out of the Gospel. The differences which we now settle by 
pamphlets were then very commonly settled by the sword: — "1 
offer in defence of my faith to fight for life or death with any 
man living. Christian or pagan, always excepting your majesty." ^ 
Cobham was led to the Tower. 

On the 23i;d September, 14:13, he was taken before the 
ecclesiastical tribunal then sitting at St. Paul's. "We must 
believe," said the primate to him, ''what the holy church of 
Eome teaches, without demanding Christ's authority." — '' Be- 
lieve!" shouted the priests, " believe!" — '' I am willing to believe 
all that God desires," said Sir John; " but that the pope should 
have authority to teach what is contrary to Scripture — that I 
can never believe." He was led back to the Tower. The word 
of God was to have its martyr. 

On Mbnday, 2oth September, a crowd of priests, canons, 
friars, clerks, and indulgence-sellers, thronged the large hall of 
tlie Dominican convent, and attacked Lord Cobham with abus- 
ive language. These insults, the importance of the moment for 
the Reformation of England, the catastrophe that must needs 
close the scene: aU agitated his soul to its very depths. "When 
the archbishop called upon him to confess his offence, he fell on 
bis knees, and lifting up his hands to heaven, exclaimed: "I 
confess to Thee, God! and acknowledge that in my fi-ail 
youth I seriously offended Thee by my pride, anger, intemper- 
ance, and impurity : for these offences I implore thy mercy ! " 
Then standing up, his face still wet with tears, he said: " I ask 
not your absolution : it is God's only that I need." ^ The clergy 
did not despair, however, of reducing this high-spirited gentle- 
man: they knew that spiritual strength is not always conjoined- 
with bod^y vigour, and they hoped to vanquish by priestdy 
sophisms the man who dared challenge the papal champions to 
single combat, " Sir John," said the primate at last, '^ You 
have said some very strange things; we have spent much time 
in endeavours to convince you, but aU to no effect. The day 
passeth away : you must either submit yourself to the ordinance 
of the most holy church. . . . ." "I will none otherwise 
believe than what I have told you. Do with me what you wUl." 
— "Well then, we must needs do the law," the archbishop 
made answer. 

Arundel stood up; all the priests and people rose with him 
and uncovered their heads. Then holding the sentence of death 

i Fox. Acts. i. p. 637. 2 Qnod nolUm absoliitionaa in hac parte peteiet a nobis, 

Md a solo Deo Bymer, Fotdeia p. SI. 



in his hand, he read it with a loud clear voice. ''It is well," 
said Sir John; " though you condemn my body, you can do no 
harm to my soul, by the grace of my eternal God." He was 
again led back to the Tower, whence he escaped one night, and 
took refuge in Wales. He was retaken in December, 1417, 
carried to London, dragged on a hurdle to Saint Giles's fields, 
and there suspended by chains over a slow fire, and cruelly 
burned to death. Thus died a Christian, illustrious after the 
fashion of his age — a champion of the Word of God. The 
London prisons were filled with Wickliffites, and it was decreed 
that they should be hung on the king's account, and burnt for 

The intimidated Lollards were compelled to hide themselves 
in the humblest ranks of the people, and to hold their meetinos 
in secret. The work of redemption was proceeding noiselessly 
among the elect of God. Of these Lollards, there were many 
who had been redeemed by Jesus Christ; but in general they 
knew not, to the same extent as the evangelical Christians of 
the sixteenth century, the quickening and justifying power of 
faith. They were plain, meek, and often tmiid folks, attracted 
by the word of God, afiected at the condemnation it pronounces 
against the errors of Eome, and desirous of living according to 
its commandments. God had assigned them a part — and an 
important part too — in the great transformation of Christianity. 
Their humble piety, their passive resistance, the shameful treat- 
ment which they bore with resignation, the penitent's robes 
with which they were covered, the tapers they were compelled 
to hold at the chm-ch door — all these things betrayed the pride 
of the priests, and filled the most generous minds with doubts 
and vague desires. By a baptism of suffering, God was then 
preparing the way to a glorious reformation. 

1 lucendio propter Deum, suspendio propter regem- Thorn- Waldeusis in proemio. Rai-- 
iiald,ann.llU. No- 1& 



Learning at Florence— The Tudois— Erasmus visits England— Sir 
Thomas More— Dean Colet— Erasmus and young Henry— Prince 
Arthur and Catherine— Marriage and Death— Catherine betrothed 
to Henry- Accession of Henry VIII— Enthusiasm of the Learned — 
Erasmus recalled to England— Cromwell before the Pope— Cathe- 
rine proposed to Henry— Their ilarriage and Court — Tournaments 
—Henry's Danger. 

This reformation -was to be the result of two distinct forces 

tiie revival of learning and tlie resurrection of the -word of 

God. The latter was the principal cause, but the former was 
necessary as a means. "Without it the living waters of the 
OosDel would probably have traversed the age. like summer 
streims which soon dry up, such as those which had burst forth 
here and there during the middle ages; it would not have be- 
come that majestic river, which, by its inundations, fertilized 
all the earth. It was necessary to discover and examine the 
original fountains, and for this end the study of Greek and 
Hebrew was indispensable. Lollardism and humanism (the 
study of the classics) were the two laboratories of the reform. 
We have seen the preparations of the one, we must now trace 
the commencement of the other; and as we have discovered the 
light in the lowly valleys, we shall d:: ecrn it also on the lofty 
mountain tops. 

About the end of the fifteenth century, several young En- 
glishmen chanced to be at Florence, attracted thither by the 
literary glory which environed the city of the Medici. Cosmo 
had collected together a great number of works of antiquity, 
and his palace was thronged with learned men. A\ illiam Sell- 
ing, a young English ecclesiastic, afterwards distinguished at 
Canterbury by his zeal in collecting valuable manuscripts; his 
fellow-countrymen, Grocyn, Lilly, and Latimer '' more bashful 
than a maiden;"' and, above all, Linacre, whom Erasmus ranked 
before all the scholars of Italy, — used to meet in the delicious 
villa of the Medici with Politian, Chalcondyles, and other men 
of learning; and there, in the calm evenings of summer, under 
that glorious Tuscan diy, they dreamt romantic visions of the 
Platonic philosophy. "VVhen they returned to England, these 

^ Podorem plos qoam viigiiieani. Entm- Ep- i- p, 525. 


learned men laid before the youth of Oxford the marvellous 
treasures of the Greek language. Some Italians even, attracted 
by the desire to enlighten the barbarians, and a little, it may 
be, by the brilliant offers made them, quitted their beloved 
country for the distant Britain. Cornelius Vitelli taught at 
Oxford, and Caius Amberino at Cambridge, Caxton imported 
the art of printing from Germany, and the nation hailed with 
enthusiasm the brilliant dawn which was breaking at last ia 
their cloudy sky. 

While learning was reviving in England, a new dynasty suc- 
ceeded to the throne, bringing with it that energy of character 
which of itself is able to effect great revolutions; the Tudors 
succeeded the Plantagenets. That inflexible intrepidity by 
which the reformers of Germany, Switzerland, France, and 
Scotland were distinguished, did not exist £0 generally in those 
of England; but it was found in the character of her kings, wha 
often stretched it even to violence. It may be that to this pre- 
ponderance of energy in its rulers, the church owes the prepon- 
derance of the state in its affairs. 

Henry Tudor, the Louis XI of England, was a clever prince,, 
of decided but suspicious character, avaricious and narrow- 
minded. Being descended from a Welsh family, he belonged to 
that ancient race of Celts, who had so long contended against 
the papacy. Henry had extinguished faction at home, and 
taught foreign nations to respect his power. A good genius 
seemed to exercise a salutary influence over his court as well as 
over himself: this was his mother, the Countess of Eichmoud. 
From her closet, where she consecrated the first five hours of 
the day to reading, meditation, and prayer, she moved to an- 
other part of the palace to dress the wounds of some of the 
lowest mendicants; thence she passed into the gay saloons, 
where she would converse with the scholars, whom slio encour- 
aged by her munificence. This noble lady's passion lor study, 
of which her son inherited but little, was not without its influ- 
ence in her family. Arthur and Henry, the king's oldest sons, 
trembled in their father's presence; but, captivated by the affec- 
tion of their pious grandmother, they began to find a pleasure 
in the society of learned men. An important circumstance 
gave a new iujpulse to one of them. 

Among the countess's friends was Montjoy, who had known 
Erasmus at Paris, and heard his cutting sarcasms upon the 
schoolmen and Iriars. He invited the illustrious Hutcliman tu 
England, and Erasmus, who was fearlul of catching the plague, 

ekasmtjs in ekglasd. 105 

gladly accepted the invitation, and set out for what he believed 
to be the kingdom of darkness. But he had not been long in 
England before he discovered unexpected hght. 

Shortly after his arrival, happening to dine with the lord- 
mayor, Erasmus noticed on the other side of the table a young 
man of nineteen, slender, fresh-coloured, with blue eyes, coarse 
hands, and the right shoulder somewhat higher than the other. 
His features indicated affabiUty and gaiety, and pleasant jesta 
were continually dropping from his lips. If he could not find 
a joke in English, he would in French, and even in Latin or 
Greek, A literary contest soon ensued between Erasmus and 
the English youth. The former, astonished at meeting with 
any one that could hold his own against him, exclaimed: ^'Aut 
tu es Moms aut nuUusl (you are either More or nobody); and 
his companion, who had not learnt the stranger's name, quickly 
replied:' -4 ui tu es Erasmus aut diaholus! (you are either the 
devil or Erasmus).^ Slore flung himself into the arms of Eras- 
mus, and they became inseparable friends. Slore was continu- 
ally joking, even with women, teasing the youpg maidens, and 
making fun of the duU, though without any tinge of ill-nature 
in his jests.- But under this sportive exterior he concealed a 
deep understanding. He was at that time lecturing on Augus- 
tine's ' City of God ' before a numerous audience composed of 
priests and aged men. The thought of eternity had seized him: 
and being ignorant of that internul discipline of the Holy Ghost, 
which is the only tme discipline, he had recourse to the scourge 
on every Friday. Thomas More is the ideal of the Catholicism 
of this period. He had, like the Eomish system, two poles — 
worldliuess and asceticism ; which, although contrary, often 
meet together. In fact, asceticism makes a sacrifice of self, 
only to preseve it; just as a traveller attacked by robbers will 
readily give up a portion of his treasures to save the rest. This 
was the case with More, if we rightly understand his character. 
He sacrificed the accessories of his fallen nature to save that 
same nature. He submitted to fa;ts and vigils, wore a shirt of 
hair-cloth, mortified his body by small chains next his skin — in 
a word, he immolated every thing in order to preserve that self 
which a real regeneration alone can sacrifice. 

From London Erasmus went to Oxford, where he met with 
John Colet, a fHend of More's, but older, and of very dissimilar 
character. Colet, the scion of an ancient family, was a very 

^ Life of More by his Great-;randsoD, (18^), p. S3. 2 Com mulieiiboi fere atqae- 

etuciLum zxore Benniulaiiu jocosne umeut- £rasm.£p. i.p.d36. 



portly man, of imposing aspect, great fortune, and elegance of 
manners, to which Erasmus had not been accustomed. Order 
cleanliness, and decorum prevailed in his person and in his 
house. He kept an excellent table, which was open to all the 
friends of learning, and at which the Dutchman, no great ad- 
mirer of the colleges of Paris with their sour wine and stale 
eggs, was glad to take a seat.^ He there met also most of the 
classical scholars of England, especially Grocyn, Linacre, Thomas 
Wolsey, bursar of Magdalene College, Halsey, and some others. 
*' I cannot tell you how I am delighted with your England," he 
wrote to Lord Montjoy from Oxford. " With such men I could 
willingly live in the farthest coasts of Scythia." ^ 

But if Erasmus on the banks of the Thames found a Mseeenas 
in Lord Montjoy, a Labeo and perhaps a Virgil in More, he no- 
where found an Augustus. One day as he was expressing his 
regrets and his fears to More, the latter said: " Come, let us go 
to Eltham, perhaps we shall find there what you are looking 
for." They set out, More jesting all the way, inwardly resolv- 
ing to expiate his gaiety by a severe scourging at night. On 
their arrival they were heartily welcomed by Lord and Lady 
Montjoy, the governor and governess of the king's children. 
As the two friends entered the hall, a pleasing and unexpected 
sight greeted Erasmus. The whole of the family were assembled, 
and they found themselves surrounded not only by some of the 
royal household, but by the domestics of Lord Montjoy also. 
On the right stood the Princess Margaret, a girl of eleven years, 
whose great-grandson under the name of Stuart was to continue 
the Tudor line in England; on the left was Mary, a child four 
years of age; Edmund was in his nurse's arms; and in the mid- 
dle of the circle, between his two sisters, stood a boy, at that 
time only nine years old, whose handsome ieatures, royal carri- 
age, intelligent eye, and exquisite courtesy, had an extraordinary 
charm for Erasmus.^ That boy was Henry, Duke of York, the 
king's second son, born on the 28th June 1491. More, advanc- 
ing towards the young prince, presented to him some piece of 
his own writing; and from that hour Erasmus kept up a iHcnd- 
ly intercourse with Henry, which in all probability exercised a 
certain influence over the destinies -of England. The scholar of 
Kotterdam was delighted to see the prince excel in all the manly 
sports of the day. Ho sat his horse witli perfect grace and rare 

1 Quantum il)i devorabatur ovorum putrium, quautum vinl putris hauriebatur. Erasm. 
Colloq. p. 6(14. -J, l)jci nou i)oti st quaiu mibi dulcesoat Auxlia tua . . . . vel in ex- 

trema Scythia vivcre non recuaem. Erasm. Ep. L p. 311. 3 Erasm. Ep. ad llotihcm. 

Jortia. Appendix, p. loti. 


intrepidity, could hurl a javelin farther than any of his com- 
panions, and having an excellent taste for music, he was already 
a performer on several instruments. The king took care that 
he should receive a learned education, for he destined him to 
fill the see of Canterbury; and the illustrious Erasmus, noticing 
his aptitude for every thing he undertook, did his best to cut 
and polish this English diamond that it might glitter with the 
greater brilliancy. " He will begin nothing that he will not 
finish," said the scholar. And it is but too true, that this prince 
always attained his end, even if it were necessary to tread on 
the bleeding bodies of those he had loved. Flattered by the 
attentions of the young Henry, attracted by his winning grace, 
charmed by his wit, Erasmus on his return to the continent 
everywhere proclaimed that England at last had found its Oc- 

As for Henry YII he thought of everything but Yii-gil or 
Augustus. Avarice and ambition were his predominant tastes, 
which he gratified by the marriage of his eldest son in 1501. 
Burgundy, Artois, Provence, and Brittany having been recently 
united to France, the European powers felt the necessity of 
combining against that encroaching state. It was in consequence 
©f this that Ferdinand of Aragon had given his daughter Joanna 
to Philip of Austria, and that Henry VII asked the hand of 
his daughter Catherine, then in her sixteenth year and the rich- 
est princess in Europe, for Arthur prince of Wales, a youth 
about ten months younger. The catholic king made one con- 
dition to the marriage of his daughter. Warwick, the last of 
the Plantagenets and a pretender to the crown, was confined in 
the Tower. Ferdinand, to secure the certainty that Catherine 
would really ascend the EngUsh throne, required that the un- 
happy prince should be put to death. Nor did this alone satis- 
fy the king of Spain. Henry YII, who was not a cruel man, 
might conceal Vi arwick, and say that he was no more. Ferdin- 
and demanded that the chancellor of Castile should be present 
at the execution. The blood of AVarwick was shed; his head 
rolled duly on the scaffold; the Castilian chancellor verified and 
registered the murder, and on the lith November the marriage 
was solemnized at St. Paul's. At midnight the prince and 
princess were conducted with great pomp to the bridal-chamber.'^ 
These were ill-omened nuptials — fated to set the kings and nations 
of Christendom in battle against each other, and to serve as a 

1 Principu lomma nocte ad th«inmiiin solemni tita dedacti sant- Sjandenu, de schiemate 


prete?.t for tbe external and political discussions of the English 
Eeformation. The marriage of Catherine the Catholic was a 
marriage of blood. 

In the early part of 1502 Prince Arthur fell ill, and on the 
2nd of April he died. The necessary time was taken to be sure 
that Catherine had no hope of becoming a mothei', after which 
the friend of Erasmus, the youthful Henry, was declared heir to 
the crown, to the great joy of all the learned. This prince did 
not forsake his studies: he spoke and wrote in French, German, 
and Spanish with the facility of a native; and England hoped to 
behold one day the most learned of Christian kings upon the 
throne of Alfred the Great. 

A very .different question, however, jfilled the mind of the 
covetous Henry VII. Must he restore to Spain the two hun- 
dred thousand ducats which formed Catherine's dowry? Shall 
this rich heiress be permitted to marry some rival of England ? 
To prevent so great a misfortune the king conceived the project 
of uniting Henry to Arthur's widow. The most serious objec- 
tions were urged against it, " It is not only inconsistent with 
propriety," said AA'arham, the primate, " but the will of God 
himself is against it. It is declared in His law that if a man 
shall take his brother's toife, it is an unclean thing, (Lev, xs. 21): 
and in the Gospel John Baptist says to Herod: It is not laicfid 
Jar thee to have thij brother's wife," (Mark vi. 18.) Fox, bishop of 
Winchester, suggested that a dispensation might be procured 
from the pope, and in December 1503 Julius II granted a bull 
declaring that for the sake of preserving union between the 
catholic princes he authorized Catherine's marriage with the^ 
brother of her first husband, accedente forsan copula carnali^ 
These four words, it is said, were inserted in the bull at the 
express desire of the princess. All these details will be of 
importance in the course of our history. The two parties 
were betrothed, but not married in consideration of the youth 
of the prince of Wales, 

The second marriage projected by Henry VII was ushered 
in with auspices still less promising than the first. The king 
having fallen sick and lost his queen, looked upon these visit- 
ations as a divine judgment.'' The nation murmured, and de- 
manded whether it was in the pope's power to permit what God 
had forbidden,^ The young prince, being informed of his father's 
scruples and of the people's discontent, declared, just before at- 
taining his majority (27th June 150o), in the presence of the 

1 Moryun's Apoocaxis. 2 Herbert, Life of Henry Vlil. p- IS. • '' 


bishop of Winchester and several royal counsellors, that he 
protested against the engagement entered into during his mlDO- 
rity, and that he would never make Catherine his wife. 

His father s death, which made him free, made him also re- 
call this virtuous decision. In 1509, the hopes of the learned 
seemed about to be realized. On the 9th of May, a hearse 
decorated with regtil pomp, bearing on a rich pall of cloth of 
gold the mortal remains of Henry VH with his sceptre and his 
crown, entered London, followed by a long procession. The great 
officers of state, assembled round the coffin, broke their staves 
and cast them into the vault, and the heralds cried with a loud 
Toice: "God send the noble King Henry YIII long life." ^ Such 
a cry perhaps had never on any previous occasion been so joy- 
fully repeated by the people. The young king gratified the 
wishes of the nation by ordering the arrest of Empson and Dud- 
ley, who were charged with extortion; and he conformed to the 
enlightened counsels of his grandmother, by choosing the most 
able ministers, and placing the archbishop of Canterbury as 
lord-chancellor at their head. Warham was a man of great 
capacity. The day was not too short for him to hear mass, re- 
ceive ambassadors, consult with the king in the royal closet, 
tntertaia as many as two hundred guests at his table, take his 
seat on the woolsack, and find time for his private devotions. 
The joy of the learned surpassed that of the people. The old 
king wanted none of their praises or congratulations, for fear he 
should have to pay for them; but now they could give free 
course to their enthusiasm. Montjoy pronounced the young 
king " divine;" the Venetian ambassador likened his port to 
Apollo's, and his noble chest to the torso of jMars; he was laud- 
ed both in Greek and Latin; he was hailed as the founder of a 
new era, ai;d Henry seemed desirous of meriting these eulogiums. 
Far from permitting himself to be intoxicated by so much adul- 
ation, he Said to Montjoy: "Ah! how I should like to be a 
scholarl " — " Sire," replied the courtier, "It is enough that you 
show your regard for those who possess the learning you desire 
for yourself. ' — " How can 1 cio otherwise," he rephed with 
-earnestness; "without them we hardly exist! " Montjoy im- 
mediately communicated this to Erasmus. 

Erasmus! — Erasmus I — the walls of Eltham, Oxford, and 
Xondou rctouuded with the name. The king could not live 
■without the learned; nor the learned without Erasmus. This 
scholar, who was an enthusiast ior the young king, was not 

I Lek&d'i CollccUnea, vol- iv p- *!»• 



long in answering to the call. When Richard Pace, one of the 

most accomplished men of that age, met the learned Dutchman 

atFerrara, the latter took from his pocket a little box which he 

always carried with him: " You don't know," he said, "what a 

treasure you have in England: I will just show you;" and ho 

took from the box a letter of Henry's expressing in Latin of 

considerable purity the tenderest regard for his correspondent.^ 

Immediately after the coronation Montjoy wrote to Erasmus: 

" Our Henry Odavus, or rather Ociavius, is on the throne 

Come and behold the new star. ^ The heavens smile, the earth 

leaps for joy, and all is flowing with milk, nectar, and honey .=^ 

Avarice has fled away, liberality has descended, scattering on 

every side with gracious hand her bounteous largesses. °Oar 

kmg desires not gold or precious stones, but vu-tue, dorv, and 

immortality." , 

In such glowing terms was the young king described by a. 
man who had seen him closely. Erasmus could resist no longer: 
he bade the pope farewell, and hastened to London, where he met 
With a hearty welcome from Henry. Science and power em- 
braced each other: England was about to have its Medici; and 
tlie friends of learning no longer doubted of theregeneratioa of 

Julius II, who had permitted Erasmus to exchange the white 
frock of the monks for the black dress of the seculars,* allowed 
him to depart without much regret. This pontiff had little taste 
for letters, but was fond of war, hunting, and the pleasures of 
the table. Ihe English sent him a dish to his taste in exchan<re 
for the scholar. Sometime after Erasmus had left, as the pope 
was one day reposing from the fatigues of the chase, he heard, 
voices near him singing a strange song. He asked with surprise 
what It meant.^ « It is some Englishmen/' was the answer, and 
three foreigners entered the room, each bearing a closely-covered 
jar, which the youngest presented on his knees. This was 
lliomas Cromwell, who appears here for the first time on the 
historic scene. He was the son of a blacksmith of Putney; 
but he possessed a mind so penetrating, a judgment so sound, 
a heart so bold, ability so consummate, such easy elocution, 
such an accurate memory, such great activity, and so able a. 
pen, that the most briUiant career was foreboded him. At the 

1 Scripsitad me suapte maim Htteras amaiitiRalmiia. Eraam. ViU ad Ep. 2 XJt 

hoc novum sidua a«piciu8. Ibid. p. 2,7: au expression of Vii^il, spcakius of the deilied Auk- 

H "*" IMA ^^"''■''' *'''"^''' '''"''^'"' *■'-'""• °""'-'" '•"^"^' "'""'* ""^"'~*' '"""'" nectaris suut 
plena, isid. t Vestcm albaiii coinmuUvit ia ni«ram. Epp. ad ServaU 

& ihe pope gnddenlj marvellins at tlie btiaiigiuess of tUe soug. Eo.x. Ads v 3<jAd 


age of twenty he left England, being desiroos to see the world, 
and began life as a clerk in the English factory at Antwerp. 
Shortly after this two fellow-countrymen from Boston came to 
him in their embarrassment. " "What do you want?" he asked 
them. " Our townsmen have sent us to the pope," they 
told him, " to get the renewal of the greater and lesser 
pardons, whose term is nearly run, and which are necessary for 
the repair of our harbour. But we do not know how to appear 
before him." Cromwell, prompt to undertake everything, and 
knowing a little Italian, replied, " I will go with you." Then 
slapping his forehead, he muttered to himself: " What fish caa 
I throw out as a bait to these greedy cormorants?" A friend 
informed him that the pope was very fond of dainties. Crom- 
well immediately ordered some exquisite jelly to be prepared, 
after the English fashion, and set out for Italy with his provi- 
sions and his two companions. 

This was the man who appeared before Julius after his returu 
from the chase. "Kings and princes alone eat of this preserve 
in England," said CromweU to the pope. One cardinal, who 
was a greedier " cormorant " than his master, eagerly tasted the 
dehcacy. '* Try it," he exclaimed, and the pope, relishing this 
new confectionary, immediately signed the pardons, on condition 
however that the receipt for the jelly should be left with him_ 
^' And thus were the jdly-pardons obtained," says the annahst. 
It was Cromwell's first exploit, and the man who began his busy 
career by presenting jars of confectionary to the pope was also 
the man destined to separate England from Rome. 

The court of the pontifi" was not the only one in Europe de- 
voted to gaiety. Hunting paities were as common in London 
as at Rome. The young king and his companions were at that 
time absorbed in balls, banquets, and the other festivities inse- 
parable from a new reign. He recollected however that he 
must give a queen to his people : Catherine of Aragon was still 
in England, and the council recommended her for his wife. He 
admired her piety without caring to imitate it; ^ he was pleased, 
with her love for literature, and even felt some inclination to- 
wards her.^ His advisers represented to him that '• Catherine, 
daughter of the illustrious Isabella of Castile, was the image of 
her mother. Like her, she possessed that wisdom and greatness 
of mind which win the respect of nations; and that if she carried 
to any of his rivals her marriage-portion and the Spanish alli- 

1 Admirabatnr qoidem uxoiis s&sctiuteu. Sacdersi p. 5^ 2 ft amor ploa apa(L 

r«gem pot^ct. AiorjNn Apoia. p. 11. 

112 henry's codht. 

ance, the long-contested crown of England would soon fall from 

tis head We have the pope's dispensation: -will you 

be more scrupulous than he is?" ^ The archbishop of Canter- 
bury opposed in vain : Henry gave way, and on the eleventh of 
June, about seven weeks after his father's death, the nuptials 
were privately celebrated. On the twenty-third the king and 
queen went in state through the city, the bride wearing a white 
gatin dress with her hair hanging down her back nearly to her 
feet. On the next day they were crowned at Westminster with 
great magnificence. 

Then followed a series of expensive entertainments. The 
treasures which the nobility had long concealed from fear of 
the old king, were now brought out; the ladies glittered with 
gold and diamonds; and the king and queen, whom the people 
never grew tired of admiring, amused themselves like children 
■with the splendour of their royal robes. Henry VIII was the 
forerunner of Louis XIV. JNaturally inclined to pomp and 
pleasure, the idol of his people, a devoted admirer of female 
beauty, and the husband of almost as many wives as Louis had 
a,dulterous mistresses, he made the court of England „liat the 
son of Anne of Austria made the court of France, — one con- 
stant scene of amusements. He thought he could never get to 
the end of the riches amassed by his prudent father. His 
youth— for he was only eighteen — the gaiety of his disposition, 
the grace he displayed in all bodily exercises, the tales of chiv- 
alry in which he delighted, and which even the clergy recom- 
mended to their high-born hearers, the flattery of his courtiers '" 
■ — all these combined to set his young imagination in a ferment. 
Wherever he appeared, all were filled with admiration of his 
handsome countenance and graceful figure : such is the portrait 
bequeathed to us by his greatest enemy .'^ "His brow was 
made to wear the crown, and his majestic port the kingly 
mantle," adds Noryson.* 

Henry resolved to realize without dehiy the chivalrous com- 
bats and iabulous splendours of the heroes of the Hound Table, 
as if to prepare himself for those more real struggles which he 
would one day have to maintain against the papacy. At the 
£ound of the trumpet the youthful monarch would enter the 

1 Herbert's Iltury VIII, p. 7. FuUer'a Church Uiat, Hook V. p. 10). Erasm. Ep. ad 
Amcrb.p. lU. 2 'J'jndiilc, Obei'.kncj of a OhristUn man ( S.'S). » Lximia 

curpuiis luniia pricilitus, ill quii etiam re);iO! majeslutis uu>;usUi iiuicdiim species elucebat. 
(Suuderus dc Scliiniii , p. 4.) ile ivus endowed wiili uiicoiniiioii K'ucet'ulness of person, in 
tvbich there liuue I'orth a certiiiji augus*' air even of kinKly majesty, i Turner, ilist. 

Engl, i, p, .S- 

henry's dangeb. 113 

lists, clad in costly armour, and wearing a plume that fell grace- 
fully down to the saddle of his vigorous courser; " like an un- 
tamed bull," says an historian, " which breaks away from its 
yoke and rushes into th6 arena." On one occasion, at the 
celebration of the queen's churching, Catherine with her ladies 
was seated in a tent of purple and gold, in the midst of an 
-artificial forest, strewn with rocks and variegated with flowers. 
On a sudden a monk stepped forward, wearing a long brown 
robe, and kneeling before her, begged permission to run a course. 
It was granted, and rising up he threw aside his coarse frock, 
and appeared gorgeously armed for the tourney. He was 
Charles Brandon, afterwards Duke ot Suifolk, one of the hand- 
somest and strongest men in the kingdom, and the first after 
Henry in military exercises. He was ibllowed by a number of 
others dressed in black velvet, with wide-brimmed hats on their 
heads, staffs in their hands, and scarfs across their shoulders 
ornamented with cockle shells, like pilgrims from St. James of 
Compostella. These also threw oflF their disguise, and stood 
forth in complete armour. At their head was Sir Thomas 
Boleyn, whose daughter was fated to surpass in beauty, great- 
ness, and misfortune, all the women of England. The tourna- 
ment began. Henry, who has been compjred to Amadis in 
boldness, to the lion hearted Kichard in courage, and to Edward 
in in courtesy, did not always escape danger in these chival- 
rous contests. One day the king had forgotten to lower his 
vizor, and Brandon, his opponent, setting ott" at full gallop, the 
spectators noticed the oversight, and cried out in alarm. But 
nothing could stop their horses: the two cavaliers met. Suffolk's 
lance was shivered against Henry, and the fragments struck him 
in the lace. Every one thought the king was dead, and some 
were running to arrest Brandon, wLen henry, recovering from 
the blow which had fallen on his helmet, recommenced the 
combat, and ran six new courses amid the admiring cries of his 
subjects. Ihis intrepid courage cliauged as he grew older into 
unsparing cruelty; and it was this youug tiger, whose movements 
were then so graceful, that at no distant du} tore with his bloody 
fangs the mother of his children. 

16 U 



The Pope excites to War — Colet's Sermon at St. Paul's — The Flemisli 
Campaign — Marriage of Louis XII and Princess Mary — Letter from 
Anne Boleyn — Marriage of Brandon and Mary — Oxford — Sir Thomas- 
More at Court — Attack upon the Monasteries — Colet's Household — 
He preaches lleform — The Greeks and Trojans. 

A MESSAGE from the pope stopped Henry in the midst of these 
amusements. In Scotland, Spain, France, and Italy, the young 
king had nothing but friends; a harmony which the papacy was 
intent on disturbing. One day, immediately after high-masa 
had been celebrated, the archbishop of Canterbury, on behali' 
of Julius II laid at his feet a golden rose, which had been 
blessed by the pope, anointed with holy oil, and perfumed with 
musk."- It was accompanied by a letter saluting him as head 
of the Italian league. The warlike pontiff having reduced the 
Venetians, desired to humble France, and to employ Henry as 
the instrument of his vengeance. Henry, only a short time 
before, had renewed his alliance with Louis XII; but the pope 
was not to be baffled by such a trifle as that, and the young 
king soon began to dream of rivalling the glories of Crecy,. 
Poitiers, and Agincourt. To no purpose did his widest couucilr 
lors represent to him that England, in the most favourable 
times, had never been able to hold her ground in France, and 
that the sea was the true field open to her conquests. Julius,, 
knowing his vanity, had promised to deprive Louis of the title 
of Most Christian king, and confer it upon him. " His holiness 
hopes that your grace will utterly exterminate the king of 
France," wrote the king's agent.^ Henry saw nothing objection- 
able in this very unapostolic mission, and decided on substituting 
the terrible game of war for the gentler sports of peace. 

In the spring of 1511, alter some unsuccessful attempts by 
his generals, Henry determined to invade France in person. Ho 
was in the midst of his preparations when the festival of Easter 
arrived. Dean Colct had been appointed to preach before 
Henry on Good Friday, anJ in the course of his sermon he 
showed more courage than could have been expected in a scholar^ 
for a spark of the Christian spirit was glowing in his bosom. 
He chose for the subject of his discourse Christ's victory over 

1 Odorillco niusco iiupersuiu. WUkius, Concilia, ill. p.Cii, '■i Letter of Oardinal 

UciiibiiUge. Cutluu MSS. Vit«U. li. i, p. 6. 


death and the grave. "Whoever takes up arms from ambition," 
said he, "fights not under the standard of Christ, but of Satan. 
If you desire to contend against your enemies, follow Jesus 
Christ as your prince and captain, rather than Caesar or Alex- 
ander." His hearers looked at each other -with astonishment; 
the friends of polite literature became alarmed; and the priests, 
who were getting uneasy at the uprising of the human mind, 
hoped to profit by this opportunity of inflicting a deadly blow 
on their antagonists. There were among them men whose 
opinions we must condemn, whUe we cannot forbear respecting 
the zeal for what they believed to be the truth: of this number 
were Bricot, Fitzjames, and above all Standish. Their zeal, how- 
ever, went a little too far on this occasion : they even talked of 
burning the deau.^ After the sermon, Colet was informed that 
the king requested his attendance in the garden of the Francis- 
can monastery, and immediately the priests and monks crowded 
round the gate, hoping to see their adversary led forth as a 
criminal. " Let us be alone," said Henry; '' put on your cap, 
ilr. Dean, and wa will take a walk. Cheer up," he continued, 
*' you have nothing to fear. You have spoken admirably of 
Christian charity, and have almost reconciled me to the king of 
France; yet, as the contest is not one of choice, but of necessity, 
I must beg of you in some future sermon to explain this to my 
people. Unless you do so, i fear my soldiers may misunderstand 
your meaning." Colet was not a John Baptist, and, affected by 
the king's condescension, he gave the required explanation. The 
king was satisfied, and exclaimed: "Let every man have his 
doctor as he pleases; this man is my doctor, and 1 will drink 
his hoalthl" Henry was then young: very different was tha 
fashion with which in after-years he treated those who opposed 

At heart the king cared little more about the victories of 
Alexander than of Jesus Christ. Having fitted out his army, 
he embarked at the end of June, accompanied by his almoner, 
^Volsey, who was rising into favour, and set out for the war 
as if ior a tournament. Shortly alter tiiis, he went, all glitter- 
ing with jewels, to meet the Emperor Maximilian, who received 
him in a plain doublet and cloak of b.ack serge. Alter his 
victory at the battle of Spurs, Henry, instead of pressing forward 
to the conc^uest of France, returned to the siege of Terouenue, 
■wasted his time in jousts and entertainments, conferred ou 

1 Dr. Colet was iu trouble and should have been bunit. Latimer's Sermons. i'»tkat 
edition, p. ilO. * 


Wolsey the bishopric of Tournay which he had just captured, 
and then returned to England, delighted at having made so 
pleasant an excursion. 

Louis XII was a widower in his o3rd year, and bowed down 
by the infimities of a premature old age; but being desirous of 
preventing, at any cost, the renewal of the war, he sought the 
hand of Henry's sister, the Princess Mary, then in her 16th 
year. Her aflFections were already fixed on Charles Brandon, 
and for him she would have sacrificed the splendour of a throne. 
But reasons of state opposed their union. " The princess," re- 
marked Wolsey, "will soon return to England a widow with a 
royal dowry." This decided the question. The disconsolate 
Mary, who was an object of universal pity, embarked at Dover 
with a numerous train, and from Boulogne, where she was re- 
ceived by the duke of Angouleme, she was conducted to the 
king, elated at the idea of marrying the handsomest princess iu 

Among Mary's attendents was the youthful Anne Boleyn. 
Her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, had been charged by Henry, 
conjointly with the bishop of Ely, with the diplomatic negotia- 
tions preliminary to this marriage. Anne had passed her child- 
hood at Hever Castle, surrounded by all that could heat the 
imagination. Her maternal grandfather, the earl of Surrey, 
whose eldest son. had married the sister of Henry the Seventh's 
queen, had filled, as did his sons also, the most important oflBces 
of state. At the age probably of fourteen, when summoned 
by her father to court, she wrote him the following letter iu 
French, which appears to refer to her departure for France: — 

" Sib, — I find by your letter that you wish me to appear at 
court in a manner becoming a respectable female, and likewise 
that the queen will condescend to enter into conversation with me; 
at this I rejoice, as I do to think, that conversing with so sensi- 
ble and elegant a princess will make me even more desirous of 
continuing to speak and to write good French; the more as it is 
by your earnest advice, which (1 acquaint you by this present 

writing) I shall follow to the best of my ability As to 

myself^ rest assured that 1 shall not ungratefully look upon this 
fatherly oflBce as one that might be dispensed with; nor will it 
tend to diminish my aficction, quest [wish], and deliberation to 
lead as holy a life as you may please to desire of me; indeed my , 
love for you is founded on sa firm a basis that it can never be^ 
impaired^ I pub aa end to this my lucubration alter having 


very humbly craved your good will and affection. Written at 
Hever, by 

'•'Your very humble and obedient daughter, 
" Akka de BoULLAJr."^ 

Such were the feelings under which this yonng and interest- 
ing lady, so calumniated by papistical writers, appeared at 

The marriage was celebrated at Abbeville on the 9th ol 
October lol4, and after a sumptuous banquet, the king of 
France distributed his royal largesses among the English lords, 
who were charmed by his courtesy. But the morrow was a 
day of trial to the young queen. Louis XII had dismissed the 
numerous train which had accompanied her, -and even Lady 
Guildford, to whom Henry had specially confided her. Three 
oidy were left^ — of whom the youthful Anne Boleyn was one. 
At this separation, Mary gave way to the keenest sorrow. To 
cheer her spirits, Louis proclaimed a grand tournament. Bran- 
don hastened to France at its first announcement, and carried 
off all the prizes; while the king, languidly reclining on a couch, 
could with difficulty look upon the briUiant spectacle over which 
liis queen presided, sick at heart yet radiant with youth and 
beauty. Mary was unable to conceal her emotion, and Louisa 
of Savoy, whu was watching her, divined her secret. But Louis, 
if he experienced the tortures of jealousy, did not feel them 
long, for his death took place on the 1st January IGlo. 

Even before her husband's funeral was over, Mary's heart 
beat high with hope. Francis I, impatient to see her wedded 
to some unimportant political personage, encouraged her love 
for Brandon. The latter, who had Leen commissioned by 
Henry to convey to her his letters of condolence, feared his 
master's anger if he should dare aspire to the hand of the 
princ-ess. But the widowed queen, who was resolved to brave 
every thing, told her lover: " Either you marry me in four 
dajs or jou see me no more." The choice the king had made 
of his ambassador announced that he would not behave very 
harshly. The marriage was celebrated in the abbey of Clugny, 
and Henry pardoned them. 

"V\ hile Mary returned to England, as Wolsey had predicted, 
Anne Bolejn remained in Frauce. Her father, desiring his 
daughter to become an accomplished woman, intrusted her to the 

I The French origmal it preierved unoDi; ArcbbUbop I'&tker'g USS. at Cwpiu Cbdifi 
ColleKe, Cuiibridge. The tfaosUtioD in tbe tut is iwiih a sligbt vaiutioc) Uoui an H. 
KUix's tnUectiuu u{ lojal and otbei Utttis. vol. ii. ftccoBd ttiits. 

118 OXFORD. 

care of the virtuous Claude of France, the good queen, at whose 
court the daughters of the first families of the kingdom were 
trained. Margaret, duchess of Alencon, the sister of Francis^ 
and afterwards queen of Navarre, often charmed the queen's 
circle by her lively conversation. She soon became deeply at- 
tached to the young Englishwoman, and on the death of Claude 
■ took her into her own family. Anne Boleyn was destined at no 
very remote period to be at the court of London a reflection of 
the graceful Margaret, and her relations with that princess were 
not without influence on the English Eeformation. i 

And indeed the literary movement which had passed from 
Italy into France appeared at that time as if it would cross from 
France into Britain. Oxford exercises over England as great 
an influence as the metropolis; and it is almost always within 
its walls that a movement commences whether for good or evil. 
At this period of our history, an enthusiastic youth hailed with 
joy the first beams of the new sun, and attacked with their 
sarcasms the idleness of the monks, the immorality of the 
clergy, and the superstition of the people. Disgusted with the 
priestcraft pf the middle ages, and captivated by the writers of 
antiquity ^d the purity of the Gospel, Oxford boldly called 
for a reibrigiwhich should burst the bonds of clerical domination 
and emaa^ate the human mind. Men of letters thought for 
a while .thjat they had found the most powerful man in England. 
in Wols'ey, the ally that would give them the victory. 

He possessed little taste for learning, but seeing the wiud of 
public favour blow in that direction, he readily spread his sails 
before it. He got the reputation of a profound divine, by quot- 
ing a lew words of Thomas Aquinas, and the tame of a 
Maecenas and Ptolemy, by inviting the learned to his gorgeous 
entertainments. "0 happy cardinal/' exclaimed Erasmus, "who 
can surround his table with such torches!"^ 

At that time the king felt the same ambition as his minister, 
and having tasted in turn the pleasures of war and diplomacy, 
he now bent his mind to literature. He desired \\ olsey to pre- 
sent Sir Thomas More to him. — "What shall 1 do at euunV'' 
replied the latter, "1 snaii be as awkward as a man that never 
rode sitteth in a saddle." Happy in his I'amily circle, where 
his father, mother, and children, gathering round the same table, 
formed a pleasing group, which the pencil of Holbein has trans- 
mitted to ua, More had no desire to leave it. But Henry was 
not a man to put up with a icli.a..i; he employed force aimoat 

1 Ciuus iiji'iisa Ulibus luuiioibus chigitnr. Krasm.Ep.T-.'a. 


to draw More from his retirement, and in a short time he could 
not live without the society of the man of letters. On calm and 
starlight nights they would walk together upon the leads at the 
top of the palace, discoursing on the motions of the heavenly 
bodies. . If More did not appear at court, Henry would go to 
Chelsea and share the frugal dinner of the family with some of 
their simple neighbours. " Where," asked Erasmus, ** where is the" 
Athens, the Porch, or the Academe, that can be compared with 

the court of England? It is a seat of the muses rather 

than a palace The golden age is reviving, and I con- 
gratulate the world." 

But the friends of classical learning were not content with 
the cardinal's banquets or the king's favours. They wanted 
victories, and their keenest darts were aimed at the cloisters, 
those strong fortresses of the hierarchy and of uncleanness.^^ 
The abbot of Saint Albans, having taken a married woman for 
his concubine, and placed her at the head of a nunnery, his 
monks had followed his example, and indulged in the most scan- 
dalous debauchery. Public indignation was so far aroused, that 
Wolsey himself — Wolsey, the father of several illegitimate 
children, and who was suffering the penalty of his irregularities* 
■ — was carried away by the spirit of the age, and demanded of 
the pope a general reform of manners. When they heard of 
this request, the priests and friars were loud in their outcries. 
"What are you about?" said they to Wolsey. ''Yun are giving 
the victory to the enemies of the church, and your only reward 
will be the hatred of the wh^le world." As this was not the 
■cardinal's game, he abandoned his prijcct, and conceived one 
more easily executed. Wishing to deserve the name of "'Ptolemy" 
conferred on him by Erasmus, he undertook to build two large 
colleges, one at Ipswich, his native town, the other at Oxford; 
and tbund it convenient to take the money necessary lor their 
endowment, not from his own purse, but from the purses of the 
monks. He pointed out to the pope twenty-two monasteries iu 
which (he said) vice and impiety had taken up their abode .^ 
The pope granted their secularization, and AV'olsey having thus 
procured u revenue of £2000 sterling, laid the foundations of 
his college, traced out various courts, and constructed spacious 
kitchens. He fell into disgrace before he had completed his 

1 Loca sacra etiam ipsa Dei templa monialinm stapro et (angtunia et semicU etTusione 
t>rofauare uoa Terentor. Papal ball. Wilkiua, CoucUia, p. 6St. 2 Morbaa Tenereas. 

Barn«t. ' Wherein much vice and wickeiiiieu was hatboued. Strjpe, i. 169. The names 
of tbe moDiUteriea are given. Ibid, ii, 13J. 



work, which led Gualter to say with a sneer: ''He be "-an a 
college and built a cook's shop." ^ But a great example had^beea 
set: the monasteries had been attacked, and the first breach 
made in them by a cardinal. Cromwell, Wolsey's secretary,, 
remarked how his master had set about his work, and in after- 
years profited by the lesson. 

It was fortunate for letters that they had sincerer friends in 
London than Wolscy. Of these were Colet, dean of St. Paul's, 
whose house was the centre of the literary movement which 
preceded the Eeibrmation, and his friend and guest Erasmus. 
The latter was the hardy pioneer who opened the road of an- 
tiquity to modern Europe. One day he would entertain Coiet's 
guests with the account of a new manuscript; on another, with 
a discussion on the forms of ancient literature; and at other 
times he would attack the schoolmen and monks, when Colet 
would take the same side. The only antagonist who dared 
measure his strength \\ith him was Sir 'fhomas More, who^ 
although a layman, stoutly defended the ordinances of the 

But mere table-talk could not satisfy the dean: a numerous 
audience attended his sermons at St. Paul's. The spirituality 
of Christ's words, the authority which characterizes them, their 
admirable simplicity and mysterious depth, had deeply charmed 
him: ''I admire the writings of the apostles," he would say,. 
*•' but I forget them almost, when I contemplate the wonderful 
majesty of Je:ius Christ." * Setting aside the texts prescribed 
by the church, he explained, like Zwingle, the Gospel of 
St. Matthew. JSfor did he stop here. Taking advantage of 
the Convocation, he delivered a sermon on conformation and 
reformation, which was one of the numerous forerunners of 
the great reform of the sixteenth century. " We see strange 
and heretical iaeas appear in our days, and no wonder," said 
he. '• But you must know there is no heresy more dangeroua 
to the church than the vicious lives of its priests. A relorma- 
tion is needed; and that reformation must begin with the bishops 
and be extended to the priests. The clergy unco retormed, wo 
sliall proceed to the reformation of the people." ^ Thus spoke 
Colet, while the citizens of Loudon listened to him with rapture, 
and called him a new Saint Paul* 

Such discourses could nut be allowed to pass unpunished. 

1 ItitUtuit coUcKium et absolvit popinam. Fuller, cent. xvi. p. 169. « Un suspi- 

cicbat udmirabiliiii ilium t'hristi mujtsUUui. lirasiii. Kpp. 707. 3 Colet, Seriiiou 

to the Convocation. 4 I'tnc apostolus I'aulus babitus est. (I'oljd, ViiK- p. 61»^ 
lit wai accouuleU almoit an apoiUe i'auL 


Fitgames, oishop of LoDdon, was a superstitious obstinate old 
man of eighty, fond of money, excessively irritable, a poor the- 
ologian, and a slave to Duns Scotus, the subtle doctor. Calling^ 
to his aid two other bishops as zealous as himself for the pre- 
servation of abuses, namely, Bricot and Standish, he denounced 
the dean of St, Paul's to Warham. The archbishop having 
inquired what he had done:*- What has he done ?" rejoined 
the bishop of London. " He teaches that we must not worship 
images; he translates the Lords Prayer into English; he pre- 
tends that the text Feed my sheep, does not include the tem- 
poral supplies the clergy draw from their flock. And besides 
all this/' he continued with some embarrassment, ''he has spoken 
against thosawho carry their manuscripts into the pulpit and 
read their^^rmonsl" As this was the bishop's practice, the 
primate could not refrain from smiling; and since Colet refused 
to justify himself, "Warham did so for him. 

From that time Colet laboured with fresh zeal to scatter the 
darkness. He devoted the larger portion of his fortune to 
found the celebrated school of St. Paul, of which the learned 
Lilly was the first master. Two parties, the Ch'ccks and the 
Trojans, entered the lists, not to contend with sword and spear, 
as iu the ancient epic, but with the tongue, the pen, and some- 
times the fist. If the Tivjans (the obscurants) were defeated 
in the public disputations, they had their revenge in the secret 
of the confessional. Cave a Grcecis Tie fias liereticus,^ was the 
watchword of the priests — their daily lesson to the youths un- 
der their care. They looked on the school founded by Colet 
as the monstrous horse of the perjured Sinon, and announced 
that from its bosom would inevitably issue the destruction of 
the people. Colet and Erasmus replied to the monks by iuflict- 
ing fresh blows. Linacre, a thorough literary enthusiast, — 
Grocyn, a man of sarcastic humour but generous heart, — and 
many others, reinforced the Grecian phalanx. Henry himself 
used to take one of them with him during his journeys, and if 
any unlucky Trcjan ventured in his presence to attack the 
tongue of Plato and of Saint Paul, the young king would set 
his Hellenian on him. Kot more numerous were the contests 
witnessed in times of yore on the classic banks of Xanthus and 

* Bewaie of the Greeks. le&t >ou should become a heretic 

122 -woLSEr. 


IfVolsey — His first Commission — His complaisance and Dioceses — Car- 
dinal, Chancellor, and Legate — Ostentation and Necromancy — His 
Spies and Enmity — Pretensions of the Clergy. 

Just as every thing seemed tending to a reformation, a power- 
ful priest rendered the way more difficult. 

One of the most striking personages of the age was then 
making his appearance on the stage of the world. It was the 
destiny of that man, in the reign of Henry VIII, to combine 
•extreme ability with extreme immorality; and to be a new and 
striking example of the wholesome truth that immorality is 
more effectual to destroy a man than ability to save him. "VVol- 
seji was the last high-priest of Rome in England, and when his 
fall startled the nation, it was the signal of a still more striking 
fall — the fall of popery. 

Thomas Wolsey, the son of a wealthy butcher of Ipswich, 
according to the common story, which is sanctioned by high 
authority, had attained under Henry VII the post of almoner, 
at the recommendation of Sir Richard Nanfan, treasurer of 
Calais and an old patron of his. But Wolsey was not at all 
<3esirous of passing his life in saying mass. As soon as he had 
discharged the regular duties of his office, instead of spending 
ihe rest of the day in idleness, as his colleagues did, he strove 
to win the good graces of the persons round the king. 

Fox, Bishop of Winchester, keeper of the privy-seal under 
Henry VII, uneasy at the growing power of the earl of Surrey, 
looked about for a man to counterbalance them. He thought 
he had found such a one in Wolsey. It was to oppose the 
Surreys, the grandfather and uncles of Anne Boleyn, that the 
son of the Ipswich butcher was drawn from his obscurity. This 
is not an unimportant circumstance in our narrative. Fox 
began to praise Wolsey in the king's hearing, and at the same 
time he encouraged the nlnioner to give himself to public affairs. 
The latter was not doai^^ and soon found an opportunity of 
winning his sovereign's favour. 

The king having business of importance with the emperor, 
who was then in Flanders, sent for Wolsey, explained his wishes, 

» Htec Wolsciiis iion surdi* audierit auribus. (I'olyd. Virg. <iT2.) Wolsey heaid these 
'ivordi, not with deal' ears. 


and ordered him to prepare to set out. The chaplaia deter- 
mined to show Henry VII how capable he was of serving him. 
It was long past noon when he took leave of the king at Rich- 
mond — at four o'clock he was in London, at seven at Graves- 
end. By travelling all night he reached Dover just as the 
packet-boat was about to sail. After a passage of three hours 
he reached Calais, whence he travelled post, and the same even- 
ing appeared before Maximilian. Having obtained what he 
desired, he set oflF again by night, and on the next day but one 
reached Richmond, three days and some few hours after his 
departure. The king, catching sight of him just as he was go- 
ing to mass, sharply inquired, why he had not set out. *' Sire, 
I am just returned," answered Wolsey, placing the emperor's 
letters in his master's hands. Henry was delighted, and Wolsey 
£aw that his fortune was made. 

The courtiers hoped at first that Wolsey, like an inexperienced 
pilot, would run his vessel on some hidden rock; but never did 
helmsman manage his ship with more skill. Although twenty 
years older than Henry VIII the almoner danced, and sang, 
and laughed with the prince's companions, and amused his new 
master with tales of scandal and quotations from Thomas 
Aquinas. The young king found his house a temple of pagan- 
ism, a shrine of voluptuousness;^ and while Henry's councillors 
were entreating him to leave his pleasures and attend to busi- 
ness, Wolsey was continually reminding him that he ought to 
devote his youth to learning and amusement, and leave the toils 
of government to others. Wolsey was created bishop of Tour- 
nay during the campaign in Flanders, and on his return to Eng- 
land, was raised to the sees of Lincoln and of York. Three 
iuitres had been placed on his head in one year. He found at 
last the vein he so ardently sought for. 

And yet he was not satisfied. The archbishop of Canterbury 
had insisted, as primate, that the cross of York should be low- 
ered to his. Wolsey was not of a disposition to concede this, 
iind when he found that Warham was not content with being 
his equal, he resolved to make him his inferior. He wrote to 
Paris and to Rome. Francis I, who desired to conciliate Eng- 
land, demanded the purple for Wolsey, and the archbishop of 
York received the title of Cardinal St. Cecilia beyond the Tiber. 
in November lolo, his hat was brought by the envoy of the 
pope: " It would have been better to have given him a Tyburn 

> Bomi sus volcptatum omninm saerariam fecit, (roljd. Viis- 633-) Ue made his boose 
* ibrine of all Tolnptttoosuess. 


tippet," said some indignant Englishmen; " these Romish hate 
never brought good into England " ^ — a saying' that has become 
proverbial. '■ 

This was not enough for Wolsey: he desired secular greatn^ 
above all things. Warhara, tired of contending with so arro- 
gant a rival, resigned the seals, and the king immediately trans- 
ferred them to the cardinal. At length a bull appointed him 
legate a latere of the holy see, and placed under his jurisdiction 
all the colleges, monasteries, spiritual courts, bishops, and the 
primate himself (1519). From that time, as lord-chancellor < ^ 
England and legate, Wolsey administered every thing in church 
and state. He filled his coffers with money procured both a1> 
home and from abroad, and yielded without restraint to his 
dominant vices, ostentation and pride. Whenever he appeared 
in public, two priests, the tallest and comelicst that could be 
found, carried before him two huge silver crosses, one to mark 
his dignity as archbishop, the other as papal legate. Chamber- 
lains, gentlemen, pages, sergeants, chaplains, choristers, clerks, 
cupbearers, cooks, and other domestics, to the number of more 
than 500, among whom were nine or ten lords and the stateliest 
yeomen of the country, filled his palace. He generally ^vq a 
dress of scarlet velvet and silk, with hat and gloves of the same 
colour. His shoes were embroidered with gold and silver, icj- 
laid with pearls and precious stones. A kind of papacy was 
thus forming in England; for wherever pride flourishes tlierc 
popery is developed. 

One thing occupied Wolsey more than all the pomp with 
which he was surrounded: his desire, namely, to captivate the 
king. For this purpose he cast Henry's nativity, and procured 
an amulet which he wore constantly, in order to cliarm his 
master by its ma^^ic properties.^ Then having recourse to, a 
still more effectual necromancy, he selected from among the 
licentious companions of the young monarch those of the keen- 
est discernment and most ambitious character; and after binding 
them to him by a solemn oath, he placed them at court to be 
as eyes and ears to him. Accordingly not a word was said in 
the presence of the monarch, particularly against Wolsey, of 
which he was not inibrmed an hour afterwards. If the culp^t 
was not in favour, he was expelled without mercy; in thq coA- 
trary case, the minister scut him on some distant mission. The 
queen's ladies, the king's chaplains, and even their confessors, 

1 Latimer's Sermons (I'aiker Society), p. 113. - He caHcca [calculatea] the klug'a 

nativity .... lie made l>y craft of iKcroiiiaucy graven imuKery to bear upou liuu, whewwitli 
he bewitched the kiiiK'6 niiuii. 'J'iudale'a Kxpositioiu (I'uiker bocj p-aOO. 


•were the cardinal's spies. He pretended to omnipresence, as 
the pope to infallibility. 

"Wolsey was not devoid of certain showy virtues, for he was 
liberal to the poor even to affectation, and as chancellor inexor- 
able to every kind of irregularity, and strove particularly to 
make the rich and high-born bend beneath his power. Men of 
learning alone obtained from him some little attention, and 
hence Erasmus calls him "the Achates of a new .^Eneas." But 
the nation was not to be carried away by the eulogies of a few 
scholars. Wolsey — a man of more than suspected morals, 
double-hearted, faithless to his promises, oppressing the people 
■with heavy taxes, and exceedingly arrogant to every body — 
"Wolsey soon became hated by the people of England. 

The elevation of a prince of the Roman church could not be 
favourable to the Reformation. The priests, encouraged by it, 
determined to make a stand against the triple attack of the 
learned, the reformers, and the state; and they soon had an 
opportunity of trying their strength. Holy orders had become 
during the middle ages a warrant for every sort of crime. Par- 
liament, desirous of correcting this abuse and checking the en- 
croachments of the church, declared in the year lolo that any 
«cclesiastic, accused of theft or miu-der, should be tried before 
the secular tribunals. Exceptions, however, were made in favour 
of bishops, priests, and deacons- — that is to say, nearly all the 
clergy. Notwithstanding this timid precaution, an insoleut 
clerk, the abbot of W inchelcomb, began the battle by exclaim- 
ing at St. Paul's: "Toudi not mine anohded, said the Lord." 
At the same time Wol.sey, accompanied by a long train of priests 
and prelates, had an audience of the king, at which he said with 
hands upraised to heaven: " Sire, to try a cierk, is a violation of 
God's laws." This time, however, Henry did not give way. 
^'By God's will, we arc king of England," he replied, "and the 
tings of England in times past had never any superior but Gtxi 
only. Thcrelore know you well that we will maintain the right 
of our crown." He saw distinctly that to put the clergy above 
the laws was to put them abuve the throve. The priests were 
beaten, but not disheartened: perseverance is a cliaracteristic 
feature of every hierarchical order. Mot walking by faith, they 
-walk all the more by sight; and skilful combiuaiious supply the 
place of the holy asjiiatious ot the Christian. J I umbie disci- 
ples of the Gospel were sot>n to experience this, for the clergy 
by a few isolated attacks \.ere about to fiehh iLeuasdves for the 
great struggles of the iieformati^n. 



The ■Wolves—Richard Hun— A murder— Verdict of the Jury— Hue 
condemned, and his Character vindicated — The Gravesend Passage- 
boat— A festival disturbed — Brown tortured — Visit from his Wife— 
A Martyr— Character of Erasmus — 1516 and 1517— Erasmus goes to 

It is occasionally necessary to soften down the somewhat ex- 
aggerated colours in which contemporary writers describe the 
Eomish clergy; but there are certain appellations which history 
is bound to accept. The wolves, for so the priests were called, 
by attacking the Lords and Commons had attempted a work 
beyond their reach. They turned their wrath on others. There 
were many shepherds endeavouring to gather together the sheep, 
of the Lord beside the peaceful waters: these must be fright- 
ened, and the sheep driven into the howling wilderness. " The 
wolves " determined to fall upon the Lollards. 

There lived in London an honest tradesman named Richard 
Hun, one of those witnesses of the truth who, sincere though, 
unenlightened, have often been found in the bosom of Catholi- 
cism. It was his practice to retire to his closet and spend a, 
portion of each day in the study of the Bible. At the death of 
one of his children, the priest required of him an exorbitant fee^ 
which Hun refused to pay, and for which he A\as summoned 
before the legate's court. Animated by that public spirit,, 
which characterizes the people of England, he I'olt indignant 
that an Englishman should be cited before a foreign tribunal,, 
and laid an information against the priest and his counsel under 
the act of proemunire. Such boldness — most extraordinary at 
that time — exasperated the clergy beyond all bounds. "If 
these proud citizens are allowed to have their way," exclaimed 
the monks, " every layman will dare to resist a priest." 

Exertions were accordingly made to snare the protended 
rebel in the trap of heresy;^ he was thrown into the Lollards' 
tower at St, Paul's, and an iron collar was fastened round his 
neck, attached to which was a chain so heavy that neither maa 
nor beast (says Foxe) would have been able to bear it long.. 
When taken before his judges, they could not convict him o£ 
heresy, and it was observed with astonishment " that he had 

1 1'oxe, Acts aud Mod, ii. p- 8. Folio, 1684, Lonaou 

KICHARD bun's MUBDEB. 1 27 

his beads in prison vrith him." ^ They would have set him at 
liberty, after inflicting on him perhaps some trifling penance — 
but then, what a bad example it would be, and who could stop 
the reformers, if it was so easy to resist the papacy? Unable- 
to triumph by justice, certain fanatics resolved to triumph by 

At midnight on the 2nd December — the day of his examina- 
tion — three men stealthily ascended the stairs of the Lollards* 
tower: the beliringer went first carrying a torch; a sergeant 
named Charles Joseph followed, and last came the bishop's 
chancellor. Having entered the cell, they went up to the bed 
on which Hun was Ijing, and finding that he was asleep, the 
chancellor said: "Lay hands on the thief." Charles Joseph 
and the beUringer feU upon the prisoner, who, awaking with a, 
start, saw at a glance what this midnight visit meant. He re- 
resisted the assassins at first, but was soon overpowered and. 
strangled. Charles Joseph then fixed the dead man's belt round 
his neck, the beliringer helped to raise his lifeless body, and the 
chancellor slipped the other end of the belt through a ring fixed 
in the waU. They then placed his cap on his head, and hastily 
quitted the ceil.* Immediately after, the conscience-stricken 
Charles Joseph got on horseback and rode from the city; the 
beliringer left the cathedral and hid himself: the crime dispersed 
the criminals. The chancellor alone kept his ground, and he 
was at prayers when the news was brought him that the turn- 
key had iound Hun hanging. "He must have killed himself 
in despair," said the hypocrite. But every one knew poor Hun's 
Christian feelings. " It is the priests who have murdered him," 
was the general cry in London, and an inquest was ordered to 
be held on his body. 

On Tuesday, the oth of December, William Barnwell the 
■ city coroner, the two sherifis, and twenty-four jurymen, pro- 
ceeded to the Lollards' tower. They remarked that the belt 
was £0 short that the head could not be got out of it, and that 
consequently it had never been placed in it volimtarily, and 
hence the jury concluded that the suspension was an after- 
thought of some other persons. Moreover they found that the 
rmg was too high for the poor victim to reach it, — that the 
body bore marks of violence — and that traces of blood were to 
be seen in the cell: " "Wherefore all we find by God and all our 
consciences (runs the verdict), that Richard Hun was mur- 

> Foxe. Acts and Mon. iL p. 8. Fdio. 168t, LondOB.^ s lUd- p. 13. " And m all we mar. 
dcred Uua . • . . and to Hun iras banged." (Evidence of Ciiades JgaephJ 


dered. Also we acquit the said Richard Hun of his own 
death." 1 

It was but too true, and the criminals themselves confessed 
it. The miserable Charles Joseph having returned home on the 
evening of the 6th December, said to his maid-servant: "If you 
will swear to keep my secret, I will tell you all." — "Yes, mas- 
ter," she replied, " if it is neither felony nor treason." — Joseph 
took a book, swore the girl on it, and then said to her: "I have 
killed Eichard Hun!" — "0 master! how? he was called a wor- 
thy man." — "I would lever [rather] than a hundred pounds it 
were not done," he made answer; " but what is done cannot be 
undone." He then rushed out of the house. 

The clergy foresaw what a serious blow this unhappy affair 
would be to them, and to justify themselves they examined 
Hun's Bible (it was Wickliffe's version), and having read in the 
preface that " poor men and idiots [simple folks] have the truth 
of ihe holy Scriptures more than a thousand prelates and relig- 
ious men and clerks of the school," and further, that "the pope 
ought to be called Antichrist," the bishop of London, assisted 
by the bishops of Durham and Lincoln, declared Hun guilty of 
heresy, and on the 20th December his dead body was burnt at 
Smithtield. "Huu's bone's have been burnt, and therefore he 
was a heretic," said the priests; "he was a heretic, and therefore 
lie committed suicide." 

The triumph of the clergy was of short duration; for almost 
at the same time WiUiam Horsey, the bishop's chancellor, 
Charles Joseph, and John Spalding the bellringer, were convicted 
of the m.rder.' A bill passed the Commons restoring Hun's 
property to his family and vindicating his character; thg Lords 
accepted the bill, and the king himself said to the priests: "Re- 
store to these wretched children the property of their father 
whom you so cruelly murdered to our great and just horror." 
^"if the clerical theocracy should gam the niastery of the 
state," was the general remark in Loudon, "it would not only 
be a very great lie, but the most IHghttul tyranny!" England 
has never gone buck since that time, and a tneocratic rule has 
always inspired the sound portion of the nation with a just and 
insurmoumable antipathy. Such were the events takmg place 
in England sUorlly belore the Retormation. This was not 


The clergy had not been fortunate in Huus affkir, but 

1 For p^rlicula.. ol >ht iu^uut. .«e Foxe. AcU and ilou- U. 14. » Vttdict oa the 


they were not for that reason unwilling to attempt a new 

In the spring of 1517 — the year in which Luther posted up 
his theses — a priest, whose manners announced a man swollen 
with pride, happened to be on board the passage-boat from 
London to Gravesend with an intelligent and pious Christian of 
Ashford, by name John Brown. The passengers, as they floated 
<lown the stream, were amusing themselves by watching the 
banks glide away from them, when the priest, turning towards 
Brown, said to him insolently: "You are too near me, get fur- 
ther oflf. Do you know who I am?" — "No, sir," answered 
Brown. — " "Well, then, you must know that I am a priest." — ' 
■" Indeed, sir; are you a parson, or vicar, or a lady's chaplain?" 
— '' No; I am a soul-priest," he haughtily replied; " I sing mass 
to save souls." — " Do you, sir," rejoined Brown somewhat ironi- 
•cally, " that is well done; and can you tell me where you find 
the soul when you begin the mass?" — "I cannot," said the 
priest. — '"'And where you leave it when the mass is ended?" — 
"I do not know." — " What!" continued Brown with marks of 
astonishment, " you do not know where you find the soul or 
where you leave it . . . and yet you say that you save 
iti" — " Go thy ways," said the priest angrily, "thou art a here- 
tic, and I will be even with thee." Thenceforward the priest 
and his neighbour conversed no more toj,ether. At last thej 
reached Gravesend, and the boat anchored. 

As soon as the priest had lauded, he hastened to two of bis 
friends, Walter and W illiam More, and all three mounting their 
horses, set ofi" for Canterbury, and denounced Brown to the 

In the meantime John Brown had reached home. Three days 
later, his wiie, Elizabeth, who had just left her chamber, went 
to church, dressed all in white, to return thanks to God for 
delivering her in the perils oi childbirth. Her husband, assisted 
by her daughter Alice and the maid-bcrvant, were preparing for 
their friends the least usual on such occasions, and they had 
• all of them taken their seats at table, joy beaming on every 
face, when the street-door was abruptly opened, and Chilton, 
the constable, a cruel and savage man, accompanied by several 
of the archbishop's apparitors, seized upon the worthy townsman. 
Ail sprang irom their seats in alarm; Elizabeth and Alice uttered 
the most heart-reuaing cries; but the primate's officers, without 
showing any emutiou, puUed Brown out of the house, and 
placed him on horseback, tying his ieet under the animal's 
46 I 


belly .^ It is a serious matter to jest with a priest. The cav- 
alcade rode oflf quickly, and Brown was thrown into prison, and 
there left forty days. 

At the end of this time, the archbishop of Canterbury and 
the bishop of Rochester called before them the impudent fellow 
who doubted whether a priest's mass coull save souls, and re- 
quired him to retract this " blasphemy." But Brown, if he did 
not believe in the mass, believed in the Gospel: "Christ was 
once oifered," he said, "to take away the sins of many. It is 
by this sacrifice we are saved, and not by the repetitions of the 
priests." At this reply the archbishop made a sign to the exe- 
cutioners, one of whom took off the shoes and stockings of this 
pious Christian, while the other brought in a pan of burning 
coals, upon which they set the martyr's feet.^ The English 
laws in truth forbade torture to be inflicted on any subject of 
the crown, but the clergy thought themselves above the laws. 
^* Confess the efficacity of the mass," cried the two bishops to 
poor Brown. " If I deny my Lord upon earth," he replied, 
■'He will deny me before his Father in heaven." The flesh was 
burnt off the soles of the feet even to the bones, and still Joha 
Brown remained imshaken. The bishops therefore ordered 
him to be given over to the secular arm that he might be burnt, 

On the Saturday preceding the festival of Pentecost, in the 
year lol7, the martyr was led back to Ashford, where he ar- 
rived just as the day was drawing to a close. A number of idle, 
persons were collected in the street, and among them was 
Brown's maid-servant, who ran off crying to the house, and told 

her mistress: " I have seen him! He was bound, and they 

were taking him to prison." ^ Elizabeth hastened to her hus- 
band and found him sitting with his feet in the stocks, his Ibat- 
ures changed by suflering, and expecting to be burnt alive on 
the morrow. The poor woman sat down beside him, weeping 
most bitterly, while he, being hindered by his chains, could not 
ao much as bend towards her. "I cannot set my teet to the 
ground," said he, " for bishops have burnt them to the bones j. 
but they could not burn my tongue and prevent my coniessing 

the Lord Elizabeth! continue to love him for He 

is good; and bring up our children in his fear." 

On the following morning — it waa \\ hitsunday — ^the brutal 

1 Foxe, Acta. ii. p. 7. His feet bound uiider his own horse- 2 Uig bare feet were: 

let upuu hot bill iiiiiK cuuls- 1 he Lollurds (edit. Triict Hoc), p. 149. • A youug luaid 

•f hiihooic coiuiug bj law her maiter; she riui home- Ibid- p. M 


Cbilton and his assistants led Brown to the place of execution, 
and fastened him to the stake. Elizabeth and Alice, with his 
other children and hb friends, desirous of receiving his last sigh, 
surrounded the pile, uttering cries of anguish. The fagots were 
eet on fire, while Brown, calm and collected, and full of confi- 
dence in the blood of the Saviour, clasped his hands, and repeat- 
ed this hjmn, which Foxc has preserved: — ^ 

Lord, I yield me to thy grace. 
Grant me mercy for my irespafis; 
Let never the fiend my soul chase. 
Lord, I will bow, and thou shalt beat. 
Let never my sonl come in hell-heat. 

The martyr was silent : the flames had consumed their victim. 
Then redoubled cries of anguish rent the air. His wife and 
daughter seemed as if thej would lose their senses. The by- 
standers showed them the tenderest compassion, and turned with 
a movement of indignation towards the executioners. The 
brutal Chilton perceiving this, cried out : — " Come along; let us 
toss the heretic's children into the flames, lest they should one 
day spring from their lather's ashes."- He rushed towards 
Alice, and was about to lay hold of her, when the maiden 
shrank back screaming with horror. To the end of her hfe, 
she recollected the fearful moment, and to her we arc indebtctl 
for the particulars. The fury of the monster was checked. 
Such were the scenes passing in England shortly before the 

The priests were not yet satisfied, for the scholars still remained 
in England : if they could not be burnt, they should at least be 
banished. They set to work accordingly. Standish, bishop of 
St. Asaph, a sincere man, as it would seem, but fanatical, was 
inveterate in his hatred of Erasmus, who had irritated him by an 
idle sarcasm. AVhen speaking of St. Asaph's it was very common 
to abbreviate it into Si. As's; and as Standish was a theologian of 
no great learning, Erasmus, in his jesting way, would sometimes 
call him £piscopus a Sando Asino. As the bishop could not 
destroy Colet, the disciple, he flattered himself that he should 
triumph over the master. 

Erasmus knew Standish 's intentions. Should he commence 
in England that struggle with the papacy which Luther was 
about to begin in Germany? It was no longer po^ble to steer 
a middle couise : he must either fight or leave. The Dutchman 

1 Fi xe. Act» and Mon. il p. 8 (fiUo 1654), iv. p. 122 {Loni 1838). We ihaU iu fotare refer 
to the Uuter ediiiou, ai being more acceMibU. i Bade cut in bis ebildreu also, tut 

tnej vonid tptiag oi his asbes. Ibid, 

132 1516 AND 1517. 

•was faithful to his nature — we may even say, to his vocation: 
he left the country. 

Erasmus was, in his time, the head of the great literary 
community. By means of his connexions and his correspondence, 
which extended over all Europe, he established between those 
countries where learning was reviving, an interchange of ideas 
and manuscripts. The pioneer of antiquity, an eminent critic, 
a witty satirist, the advocate of correct taste, and a restorer of 
literature, one only glory was wanting : he had not the creative 
spirit, the heroic soul of a Luther. He calculated with no little 
skill, could detect the smile on the lips or the knitting of the 
brows: but he had not that self-abandonment, that enthusiasm 
for the truth, that firm confidence in God, without which no- 
thing great can be done in the world, and least of all in the 
church. " Erasmus had much, but was little," said one of his 
biogTaphers- ^ 

In the year 1517 a crisis had arrived: the period of the revi- 
val was over, that of the Reformation was beginning. The 
restoration of letters was succeeded by the regeneration of reli- 
gion: the days of criticism and neutrality by those of courage 
and action. Erasmus was then only forty-nine years old; but 
he had finished his career. From being first, he must now be 
second: the monk of Wittemberg dethroned him. He looked 
around himself in vain: placed in a new country, he had lost hi| 
road. A hero was needed to inaugurate the great movement of 
modern times: Erasmus was a mere man of letters. 

AVhen attacked by Standish in lolG, the literary king deter- 
mined to quit the court of England, and take refuge in a print- 
ino-office. But before laying down his sceptre at the foot of a 
Saxon monk, he signalized the end of his reign by the most 
brilliant of his publications. The epoch of 1516-17, memorable 
for the theses of Luther, was destined to be equally remarkable 
by a work which was to imprint on the new times their essential 
character. What distinguishes the Reformation from all an- 
terior revivals is the union of learning with piety, and a faith 
more profound, more enlightened, and based on the word of God. 
The Christian people was then emancipated from the tutelage of 
the schools and the popes, and its charter of enfranchisement was 
the Bible. The sixteenth century did more than its predecessors : 
it went straight to the fountain (the Holy Scriptures), cleared 
it of weeds and brambles, plumbed its depths, and caused its 
abundant streams to pour forth on all around. The Reformation 

1 Ad. MuUer. 


age studied the Greek Testament, which the clerical age had al- 
most forgotten, — and this is its greatest glory. Now the first 
explorer of this divine source was Erasmus. When attacked by 
the hierarchy, the leader of the schools withdrew from the 
splendid haUs of Henry YIII. It seemed to him that the new- 
era which he had announced to the world was rudely interrupted : 
he could do nothing more by his conversation for the country of 
the Tudors. But he carried with him those precious leaves, 
the fruit of his labours — a book which would do more than he 
desired. He hastened to Basle, and took up his quarters in 
Frobenius's printing-office,^ where he not only laboured himself, 
but made others labour. England will soon receive the seed of 
the new life, and the Reformation is about to begin. 

1 Frobenio, ct unllitu ofi&cinx pltu debeant aacraram stadia Uteranim. (Crasm. Ep. p. 330.) 
The stad; of aacred lUeratare was more indebted to no piiatiag-^ffice than to that of 




Four reforming Powers — Which reformed England?— Papal Reform?— 
Episcopal Reform"! — Koyal Reform?— What is required in a legitimate 
Reform— The Share of the Kingly Power— Share of the Episcopal 
Authority— High and Low Church— Political Events— The Greek and 
Latin New Testament— Thoughts of Erasmus— Enthusiasm and anger 

Desire of Erasmus— Clamours of the Priests— Their Attack at Court 

Astonishment of Erasmus— His Labours for this Work — Edward 

Lee; his Character— Lee's Tragedy— Conaph&cy. 

It was within the province of four powers in the sixteenth 
century to effect a reformation of the church : these were the 
papacy, the episcopate, the monarchy, and Holy Scripture; 

The Reformation in England was essentially the work of 


The only true reformation is that which emanates from the 
word of God. The Holy Scriptures, by bearing witness to the 
incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Son of G od, create in 
man by the Holy Ghost a faith which justifies him. That faith 
which produces in him a new life, unites him to Christ, without 
his requiring a chain of bishops or a Roman mediator, who would 
separate him from the Saviour instead of drawing him nearer. 
This Reformation by the word restores that spiritual Christianity 
which the outward and hierarchical religion had destroyed; and 
from the regeneration of individuals naturally results the re- 
generation of the church. 

The Reformation of England, perhaps to a greater extent 
than that of the continent, was effected by the word of God. 
This statement may appear paradoxical, but it is not the less 
true. Those great individualities we meet with in Germany, 
Switzerland, and France — ^men like Luther, Zwingle, and Calvin 
— do not appear in Eii^l;i:i>l; out Holy Scripture is widely 
circulated. What brought light into the British isles sub- 
scquently to the year 1517, and on a more extended scale after 
the year 1526, was the word — the invisible power of the invia- 


tie God. The religion of the anglo-Saxon race — a race called 
more than any other to circulate the oracles of God throughout 
the world — is particularly distinguished by its biblical character. 

The Reformation of England could not be papal. No reform 
can be hoped from that which ought to be not only reformed but 
abolished; and besides, no monarch dethrones himself. We may 
even affirm that the popedom has always felt a peculiar affection 
for its conquests in Britain, and that they would have been the 
last it would have renounced. A serious voice had declared in 
the middle of the fifteenth century: "A reform is neither in 
the will nor in the power of the popes." ^ 

The Reformation of England was not episcopal. Roman 
hlerarchism will never be abolished by Roman bishops. An 
episcopal assembly may perhaps^ as at Constance, depose three 
competing popes, but then it will be to save the papacy. And 
if the bishops could not abolish the papacy, still less could they 
reform themselves. The then existing episcopal power being 
at emnity with the word of God, and the slave of its own abuses, 
was incapable of renovating the church. On the contrary, it ex- 
erted all its influence to prevent such a renovation. 

The Reformation in England was not royal. Samuel, David, 
and Josiah were able to do something for the raising up of the 
church, when God again turned his Hice towards it; but a king 
cannot rob his people of their religion, and still less can he 
give them one. It has often been repeated that ''the English 
Reformation derives its origin from the monarch; " but the as- 
sertion is incorrect. The work of God, here as elsewhere, can- 
not be put in comparison with the work of the king; and if the 
latter was infinitely surpassed in importance, it was also preceded 
in time by many years. The monarch was still keeping up a 
vigorous resistance behind his intrenchments, when God had al- 
ready decided the victory along the whole line of operations. 

Shall we be told that a reform effected by any other principle 
than the established authorities, both in church and state, would 
have been a revolution? But has God, the lawful sovereign of 
the church, forbidden all revolution in a sinful world? A revolts- 
tion is not a revolt. The fall of the first man was a jrreat 
revolution: the restoration of man by Jesus Christ was a counter- 
revolution. The corruption occasioned by popery was allied to 
the fall: the reformation accomplished in the sixteenth century 
was connected therefore with the restoration. There will no 
■doubt be other interventions of the Deity, which will be re- 

1 Jame* of Jnterbock, prior of the CarthasUcg: De septem ecclesise ttatiboa opoicalaiii. 


Yolutions in the same direction as the Reformation, When 
God creates a new heaven and a new earth, will not that be one 
of the most glorious of revolutions? The Reformation hj the 
word alone gives truth, alone gives unity; but more than that, it 
alone bears the marks of true legitimacy ; for the church belongs 
not unto men, even though they be priests. God alone is its 
lawful sovereign. 

And yet the human elements which we have enumerated 
were not wholly foreign to the work that was accomplishing ia 
England. Besides the word of God, other principles were ia 
operation, and although less radical and less primitive, they stdl 
retain the sympathy of eminent men of that nation. 

And in the first place, the intervention of the king's authority 
was necessary to a certain point. Since the supremacy of Rome 
had been established in England by several usages which had 
the force of law, the intervention of the temporal power was 
necessary to break the bonds which it had previously sanctioned. 
But it was requisite for the monarchy, while adopting a negative 
and political action, to leave the positive, doctrinal, and creative 
action to the word of God. 

Besides the Reformation in the name of the Scriptures^ there 
was then in England another in the name of the kirig. The word 
of God began, the kingly power followed; and ever since, these 
two forces have sometimes gone together against the authority 
of the Roman pontifis — sometimes in opposition to each other, 
like those troops which march side by side in the same army, 
against the same enemy, and which have occasionally been seen, 
even on the field of battle, to turn their swords against each othei'. 

Finally, the episcopate, which had begun by opposing the Re- 
formation, was compelled to accept it in despite of its convictions. 
The majority of the bishops were opposed to it; but the better 
portion were found to incline, some to the side of outward re- 
form j of which separation from the papacy was the very essence, 
and others to the side of internal reform, whose mainspring was 
union with Jesus Christ. Lastly, the episcopate took up its 
ground on its own account, and soon two great parties alono 
Existed in England: the scriptural party and the clerical party. 

These two parties have survived even to our days, and their 
colours are still distinguishable in the river of the church, like 
the muddy Arve and the limpid Rhone after their confluence. 
The royal supremacy, from which many Christians, preterring- 
the paths of independence, have withdrawn since the cad of the. 
16th century, is recognised by both parties in the establishment. 


with some few exceptions. But whilst the High Charch is 
essentially hierarchical, the Low Church is essentially biblical. 
In the one, the Church is aboTC and the word below; in the 
other, the Church is below and the Word above. These two 
principles, evangelism and hierarchism, are found in the Chris- 
tianity of the first centuries, but with a agnal difference. 
Eierarchism then almost entirely efiuccd evangelism; in the age 
of protestantism, on the contrary, evangelism continued to exist 
by the side of hicrarchism, and it has remained de Jure, if not 
always de/ado, the only legitimato opinion of the church. 

Thus there is in England a complication of influences and eon- 
tests, which render the Work more difficult to describe; but it is 
on that very account more worthy the attention of the philoiO- 
pher and the Christian. 

Great events had just occurred in Europe. Francis 1 had 
crossed the Alps, gained a signal victory at Marignano, and 
conquered the north of Italy. The affjrighted ilaximilian knew 
of none who could save him but Henry YIII. " I will adopS 
you; you shall be my successor in the empire,' he intimated to 
him in May 1516. " Your army shall invade France; and then 
we will march together to Rome, where the sovereign pontiff 
shall crown you king of the Romans." The king ot France, 
anxious to effect a diversion, had formed a league with Denmark 
and Scotland, and had made preparations for invading England 
to place on the throne the " white r^sc," — the pretender Pole, 
heir to the claims of the house of York.^ Henry now showed 
his prudence; he decUned Maximilian's offer, and turned his- 
whole attention to the security ot his kingdom. But while ho 
refused to bear arms in France and Italy, a war of quite another 
kind broke out in England, 

The great work of the 16th century was about to begin. A 
volume fresh from the presses of Basle had just crossed the 
ChanneL Being transmitted to London, Oxford, and Cambridge,, 
this book, the fruit of Erasmus's vigils, soon found its way 
wherever there were friends of learning. It was the Xew Ttsta~ 
ment of our Lord Jesus Christ, published for the first time in 
Greek with a new Latin translation — an event more important 
for the world than would have been the landmg of the pretend- 
er in England, or the appearance of the chief of the Tudors in 
Italy. This book, in which God has deposited for man's salva- 
tion the seeds of life, was about to effect alone, without patrons. 

i A piirau combia&UoD, tU. Strii>«'g JleKomla, i. pait ii- p. 1& .^ 



and without interpreters, the most astonishing revolution in 

When Erasmus published this work, at the dawn, so to say, 
of modern times, he did not see all its scope. Had,.he foreseen 
it, he would perhaps have recoiled in alarm. He saw indeed 
that there was a great work to be done, but he believed that all 
good men would unite to do it with common accord. " A 
spiritual temple must be raised iu desolated Christendom/' said 
he. " The mighty of this world will contribute towards it their 
marble, their ivory, and their gold; I who am poor and humble 
offer the foundation stone," and he laid down before the world 
his edition of the Greek Testament. Then glancing disdainfully 
at the traditions of men, lie said: " It is not from human reser- 
voirs, fetid with stagnant waters, that we should draw the 
doctrine of salvation; but from the pure and abundant streams 
that flow from the heart of God." And when some of his sus- 
picious friends spoke to him of the difficulties of the times, he 
replied: "If the ship of the church is to be saved from being 
swallowed up by the tempest, there is only one anchor that can 
save it: it is the heavenly word, which, issuing i'rom the bosom 
of the Father, lives, speaks, and works still in the Gospel." ^ 
These noble sentiments served as an introduction to those blessed 
pages which were to reform England. Erasmus, like Caiaphas, 
prophesied without being aware of it. 

The New Testament in Greek and Latin had hardly appeared 
when it was received by all men of upright mind with unprece- 
dented enthusiasm. Never had any book produced such a 
sensation^ It was in every hand : men struggled to procure it, 
j-ead it eagerly, and would even kiss it, '^ The words it contained 
■enlightened every heart. But a reaction soon took place. 
Traditional Catholicism uttered a cry from the depths of its 
noisome pools, (to use Erasmus's figure). Franciscans and Do- 
minicans, priests and bishops, not daring to attack the educated 
and well-born, went among the ignorant populace, and endeav- 
oured by their tales and clamours to stir up suspeptible wou.en 
and credulous men. " Here arc horrible heresies," they exclaim- 
ed, " here are frightful antichristsl If this book be tolerated 
it will be the death of the papacy!"—*' We must drive this man 
i'rom the university/' said one. "We must turn him out of the 

1 In cvangelicis Uttcris, seinio ille cockslis, (luondam c Tiitris ad nos profocti^a. 
(EVasm. Leonl. Kp. p. 1843 ) That heavtnly word iu the Uoarcl, formerly sent to us from 
tb« bo»m of th« BatUer. « Oi-us avidissime. rapitur - - - ainatur. tuanibua tentur 
<Er' Ep. i5S7 J The work U most eagerly neizcd U U embraced, it is clasped iu tho 



church," added another. "The public places re-echoed -with 
their howlings," said Erasmus^ The firebrands tossed by their 
furious hands were raising fires in every quarter* and the flames 
kindled in a few obscure convents threatened to spread over the 
whole country. 

This irritation was not without a cause. The book, indeed, 
contained nothing but Latin and Greek; but this first step seemed 
to augur another — the translation of the Bible into the vulgar 
tongue. Erasmus loudly called for it.- " Perhaps it may be 
necessary to conceal the secrets cf kings," he remarked, " but 
we must publish the mysteries of Christ. The Holy Scriptures, 
translated into all languages, should be read not only by the 
Scotch and Irish, but even by Turks and Saracens. The hus- 
bandman should sing them as he holds the handle of his plough, 
the weaver repeat them as he plies his shuttle, and the wearied 
traveller, halting on his journey, refresh him under some shady 
tree by these godly narratives." These words prefigured a 
golden age after the iron age of popery. A number of Chris- 
tian families in Britain and on the continent were soon to 
realize these evangelical forebodmgs, and England after three 
centuries was to endeavour to carry them out for the benelit of 
all the nations on the face of the earth. 

The priests saw the danger, and by a skilful manoeuvre, in- 
stead of finding fault with the Greek Testament, attacked the 
translation and the translator. "He has corrected the Vulgate," 
they said, " and puts himself in the place of Saint Jerome. He 
sets aside a work authorized by the consent of ages and inspired 
by the Holy Ghost. AVhat audacity!" And then, turning over 
the pages, they pointed out the most odious passages: '"Look 
here! this book calls upon men to 7-epent, instead of requiring 
them, as the Vulgate does, to do penance!" (Matt. iv. 17.) Tne 
priests thundered against him from their pulpits: ■* '•' This man 
has committed the unpardonable sin," they asserted; " lor he 
maintains that there is nothing in common between the Holy 
Ghost and the monks — that they are logs rather than men!" 
These simple remarks were received with a general laugh; but 
the priests, in no wise disconcerted, cried out all the louder: 

^'He's a heretic, an heresiarch, a forger I he's a goose * 

what do 1 say? he's a very antichrist!" 

1 Oblatrabant sjcopbatitiE. (Erasm. Ep. p. 3-.'9.) The ilmideren howled. iPar- 

Aciesis ad lectorem piom. CousoUtioD to the pious rtader. 3 Qtum etoUde debac- 

«b&U lujit qoidam e ia^e«ttg ad populnm. (Kraam. Ep. p. 119JJ How itapitUy lome of 
them rared to the people oat of their pulpita. * Moa damitau ctM graea (eraiwj) 

«t bestiaa. (Ibid. p. 8UJ Calling out that we are criiii«a and bnuca. 



It was not sufficient for the papal janissaries to make war in 
the plain, they must carry it to the higher ground. Was not 
the king a friend of Erasmus? If he should declare himself a 
patron of the Greek and Latin Testament, what an awful cal- 
amity! . . .. . After having agitated the cloisters, towns, and 
universities, they resolved to protest against it boldly, even ia 
Henry's presence. They thought: "If he is won, all is won." 
It happened one day that a certan theologian (whose name is 
not given) having to preach in his turn before the king, he 
declaimed violently against the Greek language and its new in- 
terpreters. Pace, the king's secretary, was present, and turning 
his eyes on Henry, observed him smiling good humouredly.° 
On leaving the church, every one began to exclaim against the 
preacher. " Bring the priest to me," said the king; and then 
turning to More, he added: '^^ou shall defend the Greek cause 
against him, and I will listen to the disputation." The literary 
tribunal was soon formed, but the sovereign's order had taken 
away all the priest s courage. He came forward trembling, fell 
on his knees, and with clasped hands exclaimed: "I kno°v not 
what spirit impelled me." " A spirit of madness," said the kin<z, 
"and not the spirit of Jesus Christ."' He then added: "Have 
you ever read Erasmus?" " No, Sire." " Away with you then, 
you are a blockhead." "And yet," said the preacher in eon- 
fusion, "I remember to have read something about Moria," 
(Erasmus's treatise on Follij).—" A subject, your majesty, that 
ought to be very familiar to iiim," wickedly interrupted Pace. 
The ohscumjit could say nothing in his justification. " 1 am 
not altogether opposed to the Greek," he added at last, " seeing 
that it is derived from the Hebrew." » This was greeted wita 
a general laugh, and the king impatiently ordered the monk to 
leave the room, and never appear before him again. 

Erasmus was astonished at these discussions. He had imag- 
ined the season to be most favourable. " Every thing looks 
peaceful," he had said to himself; "now is the time to launch 
my Greek Testament into the learned world," ^ As well 
might the sun rise upon the eartli, and no one see it! At 
that very hour God was raising up a. iiiuuk at Wittembcrg 
who would lift the trumpet to his lips, and proclaim the 
new day. "Wretch that I am!" exclaimed the timid 

1 ratffius in rettcm conjecit oculos U mox I'scuio suavitcr arrieit. Krasm. Ep- p. UIl. 

'i 'luni n x: at qui inquit, Hpiritun i-te uoii Kiat Cliristi 8cd Btulliiim. Ibid- 3 Urtecis, 
ioquit, lilriia nou imiuiif tun, lul, iisus. quod uriKiueiii Imbtaiit tx liuKUii licbraico. IbiA 
P" "■*'• * hi. Ill ttiiiioia iii.i.iiuilia. (liiasm. iip. 811.) Tlie tiai«a wtr« 



scholar, beating his breast, ''who could have forseen this horrible 

Nothing was more important at the dawn of the Reformation 
than the publication of the Testament of Jesus Christ in the 
original language. Never had Erasmus worked so carefully. 
"If I told what sweat it cost me, no one would believe me."* 
He had collated many Greek MSS. of the New Testament,' 
and was surrounded by all the commentaries and translations, 
by the writings of Origen, Cyprian, Ambrose, Basil, Chrysostom, 
Cyril, Jerome, and Augustine. Hie sum in campo mco! he ex- 
claimed as he sat in the midst of his books. He had investi- 
gated the texts according to the principles of sacred criticism. 
\\ hen a knowledge of Hebrew was necessary, he had consulted 
Capito and more particularly CEcolampadius. Nothing without 
Tlieseus, said he of the latter, making use of a Greek proverb. 
He had corrected the amphibologies, obscurities, hebraisms, and 
barbarisms of the Vulgate; and had caused a list to be printed 
■of the errors in that version. 

"We must restore the pure text of the word of God," he 
had said; and when he heard the maledictions of the priests, he 
had exclaimed: " I call God to witness I thought I was doing a 
work acceptable to the Lord and necessary to the cause 0/ 
Christ."* Nor in this was he deceived. 

At the head of his adversaries was Edward Leo, successively 
king's almoner, archdeacon of Colchester, and archbishop of 
Fork. Lee, at that time but little known, was a man of talent 
and activity, but also vain and loquacious, and determined to 
make his way at any cost. Even when a school-boy he looked 
down on all his companions.^ As child, youth, man, and in 
mature years, he was always the same, Erasmus tells us; " that 
is to say, vain, envious, jealous, boasting, passionate, and revenge- 
ftd. Wc must bear in mind, however, that when Erasmus 
describes the character of his opponents, he is far from being 
an impartial judge. In the bosom of Eoman-catholicism, there 
have always existed well-meaning, though ill-infarmed men, 
who, not knowing the interior power of the word of God, have, 
thought that if its authority were substituted for that of the 
Eomish church, the only foundation of truth and of Christian 

1 Quia enim snspicatnrua erat banc fatalera tempestatem ezoritarsm in orbe? Erasm. Ep. 
9^1- ^ dju-totig mihi cjustiteiii sudord:baj Ibid- 31*9. 3 OoUatis muliU 

GrjEcornm exenii'ljuibus. Ib.d. * Deam testor simpUciUr exuiiiiiabam uie rem 

fuceieDcogra amacrcichiLtiansnecessii iam. Ibid, tf.l- * Soliu tuib«d la 

pretio voUbat- (Ibid- SUi ) iU wubed i Q >t himi.lf aioue ahoolJ be esteemed. 

• Talia erat putr, talis adultsceus, talis juveuis, tulij nunc ttiam vir tst. Ibid. 59*. 


society would be shaken. Yet while we judge Lee less severely 
thaa Erasmus does, we caanot close our eyes to his faults. His 
memory was riohly furnished, but his heart was a stranger ta 
divine truth: he was a schoolman and not a believer. He: 
wanted the people to obey the church and not trouble them- 
selves about the Scriptures. He was the Doctor Eck of Enwland, 
but with more of outward appearance and morality thaa 
Luther's adversary. Yet he was by no means a rigid moraUst. 
On one occasion, when preaching at the palace, he introduced- 
ballads into his sermon, one of which beo-an thus: 

" Pass time with good company." 

And the other: — 

" I love unloved." 

We are indebted to Secretary Pace for this characteristic- 

During the sojourn of Erasmus in England, Lee, observing 
his influence, had sought his friendship, and Erasmus, with his- 
usual courtesy, had solicited his advice upon his work. But 
Lee, jealous of his great reputation, only waited for an oppor- 
tunity to injure it, which he seized upon as soon as it occurred. 
The New Testament had not been long published, when Lee 
turned round abruptly, and from being Erasmus's friend became 
his implacable adversary.'^ " If we do not stop this leak/' said 
he, when he heard of the New Testament, " it will sink the 
ship." Nothing terrifies the defenders of human traditions so- 
much as the word of God. 

Lee immediately leagued himself with all those in England 
who abhorred the study of Scripture, says Erasmus. Although 
exceedingly conceited, he showed himself the most amiable of" 
men, in order to accomplish his designs. He invited English- 
men to his house, welcomed strangers, and gained many recruits 
by the excellence of his dinners.^ W hile seated at table among 
his guests, he hinted perfidious charges against Erasmus, and 
his company left him "loaded with lies."* — "In this JNew Tes- 
tament," said he, " there are three hundred dangerous, frightful 
passages . . . three hundred did I say? . . . there 

1 &UU I'apers, llenrj Vlll, etc- i- p. 10, pub- 1830. a Subito fuctus est iniiniciuk 

(Erasm- iip Jlu.j Suddenly he became uulrieudly. 3 Excipiebat adveua*. iiriuser- 

tim Anglos, £(8 couviviis Ikciebat buos- (Ibid. it)i) lie received «Uiui(teri, especially Kn. 
gliihmen. and att»ched them to hiuitell' by liis banquet*. * Abuuute* omui meu- 

dacioruui ([eueie dimiltebat ouustos. Uuid.) Ue ««ut them awaj loaded with every kind. 

lee's manifesto. 143 

are more than a thousand!" Not satisfied with using hi» 
tongue, Lee wrote scores of letters, and employed several secre- 
taries. Was there any convent in the odour of sanctity, he 
" forwarded to it instantly wine, choice viands, and other pres- 
ents." To each one he assigned his part, and over all England 
they were rehearsing what Erasmus calls Lee's tragedy?- In this^ 
manner they were preparing the catastrophe: a prison for Eras- 
mus, the fire for the Holy Scriptures. 

"\Vhen all was arranged, Lee issued his manifesto. Although, 
a poor Greek scholar,- he drew up some Annotations on Eras- 
mus's book, which the latter called "mere abuse and blasphemy;" 
but which the members of the league regarded as orades. They 
passed them secretly from hand to hand, and these obscure 
sheets, by many indirect channels, found their way into every 
part of England, and met with numerous readers.^ There was 
to be no publication — such was the watchword; Lee was too 
much atraid. " Why did you not publish your work," asked 
Erasmus, with cutting irony. ''Who knows whether the holy 
father, appointing you the Aristarchus of letters, might not 
have sent you a birch to keep the whole world in orderl" * 

The Annotations having triumphed in the convents, the con- 
spiracy took a new flight. In every place of public resort, at 
iairs and markets, at the dinner-table and in the council-cham- 
ber, in shops, and taverns, and houses of ill-fame, in churches 
and in the universities, in cottages and iu palaces, the league blat- 
tered against Erasmus and the Greek Testament.^ Carmelites, 
Dominicans, and Sophists, invoked heaven and conjured hell. 
^Vhat need was there of Scripture? Had they not the apostoli- 
cal succession of the clergy? Ko hostUe landing in England 
could, in their eyes, be more fatal than that of the New Testa- 
ment. The whole nation must rise to repel this impudent 
invasion. There is, perhaps, no country in Europe, where the 
Eefbrmation was received by so unexpected a storm. 

1 Donee Leas ordiretor soam tragcediam. (Erasm. £p. 913.) Until Lee should begin his 
tragedy- ^ Simon. Uist-cht.du.>'. Teat. p-'J16> (3 Liber volitat inter maniu conjora 
tonun, (Erasm- £p- p- 7i6 ) '1 he bock flitted to and fro among the bancs of the conspirators. 
* Tibi trauita virgoia totios orbis censaram faerit mandatama- Ibid, p- 7Vi- 
i Ut riQ£(iaam ncn blaterent in hrasmum, iu com(otationibu8,in tori*, in conciliabolis,. 
in pfaarmacopoiiis, in corribus, in tonstrinis, iu iumicibDC- Ibid' p- 7i(i. 



Effects of the New Testament in the Universities-Conversations-A 
Cambridge Fellow— Bilney buys the New Testament~The first Pas- 
. sage-His Conversion-Protestantism, the Fruit of the Gospel -The 
Vale of the Severn-William Tjndale-Evangelization at Oxford- 
Bilney teaches at Cambridge-Fryth-Is Conversion Possible?— 
Irue Consecration— The Reformation has begun. 

While this rude blast was rushing over England, and roarintr 
m the long galleries of its convents, the still small voice of thl 
VVord was making its way into the peaceful homes of praying 
men and the ancient halls of Oxford and Cambridge. In private 
chambers, in the lecture-rooms and refectories, students, and 
even masters of arts, were to be seen reading the Greek and 
Latin Testament. Animated groups were discussing the prin- 
ciples of the Eefbrmation. When Christ came on earth (said 
iome) He gave the word, and when He ascended up into heaven 
He gave the Holy Spirit. These are the two forces which cre- 
ated the church— and these are the forces that must regenerate 
It.— iXo (replied the partizans of Eome), it was the teaching of 
the apostles at first, and it is the teaching of the priests now.— 
The apostles (rejoined the friends of the Testament of Erasmus) 
—yes, it is true— the apostles were during their ministry a 
living Scripture; but their oral teaching would infallibly have 
been altered by passing from mouth to mouth. God willed, 
therefore, that these precious lessons should be preserved to us 
an their writings, and thus become the ever-undefiled source of 
truth and salvation. To set the Scriptures in the foremosv 
place, as your pretended reformers are doing (replied the school- 
men of Oxford and Cambridge), is to propagate heresy! And 
what aie the reformers doing (asked their apologists) except 
what Christ did before them? The sayings of the prophets 
existed in the time of Jesus only as Sai}>turc, and it was to this 
written AVord that our Lord appealed when he founded his 
Jiingdom.^ And now in like maimer the teaching of the apos- 
tles exists only as Scripture, and it is to this written word that 
wo appeal in order to reestablish the kingdom of our Lord ia 
Its primitive condition. Tlie night is lar spent, the day is at 


hand; all is in motion — in the loftj halls of our colleges, in the 
mansions of the rich and noble, and in the lowly dwellings of 
the poor. If we want to scatter the darkness, must we light 
the shrivelled wick of some old lamp? Ought we not rather to 
•open the doors and shutters and admit freely into the house the 
great light which God has placed in the heavens? 

There was in Trinity Hall, Cambridge, a young doctor 
much given to the study of the canon law, of serious turn of 
mind and bashful disposition, and whose tender conscience strove, 
although ineffectually, to fulfil the commandments of God. 
Anxious about his salvation, Thomas Bilney applied to the 
priests, whom he looked upon as physicians of the soul. Kneel- 
ing before his confessor, with humble look and pale face, he 
told him all his sins, and even those of which he doubted.' The 
priest prescribed at one time fasting, at another prolonged vigils, 
and then masses and indulgences which cost him dearly.' The 
poor doctor went through ail these practices with great devotion, 
but found no consolation in them. Being weak and slender, 
his body wasted away by degrees;' his understanding grew 
weaker, his imagination faded, and his purse became empty. 
"Alas!" said he with anguish, "my last state is worse than the 
first." From time to time an idea crossed his mind: " May not 
the priests be seeking their own interest, and not the salvation 
of my soul." ^ Jiut immediately rejecting the rash doubt, he 
fell back under the iron hand of the clergy. 

One day Bilney heard his friends talking about a new book : 
it was the Greek Testament printed with a translation which 
was highly praised lor its elegant Latinity.* Attracted by the 
beauty of the style rather than by the divinity of the subject,*" 
he stretched out his hand; but just as he was going to take the 
volume, fear came upon him and he withdrew it hastily. In fact 
the confessors strictly prohibited Greek and Hebrew boots, "the 
sources oi all heresies; ' and Erasmus's Testament was particu- 
larly forbidden. Yet Bilney regretted so great a sacrifice; was 
it not the Testament of Jesus Christ? Might not God have 
placed therein some word which perhaps might heal his soul? 
±ie stepped forward, and then again shrank back. ... At 

1 In ignaros me<Ucos, indocto8 confegsioaum auditores. (Tb.Bilcsiu XonsUUo £pi:copo: 
f oxe, JT. p. 633-) I'o iwiorant phjuciai^s. unleanitd conlesscrs. '■' liifiicf hant 

tnim niihi jtjunia, vijiilias, iuaulgmtiarum et miasArum emptiones. Ibid. 

S Ut parum mifii vjium (oiioqui natura imbtciili) reliqaum tuerit- (ibid.) So that being 
naturallj wei.k at any rate, too Utile gtiengib was left to me- 4 Sua putius qujere- 

bant quam «alut«m aiiin.a niese laLguenti* (.bid-) Tbey were seeking their own iutertst, 
ratber than the salvaUon of my laintintj sonL S Cum ab eo latinitu redditum 

accepi. Ibid. * l^uiniuie poUu» quim rerbo Dei, aUectn* Ibid. 



last he took courage. Urged, said he, by the hand of God, he- 
walked out of the college, slipped into the house where the vol- 
ume was sold in secret, bought it with fear and trembling, and 
then hastened back and shut himself up in his roora.^ 

He opened it — his ejes caught these words: This is a faith- 
ful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came 
into the ivorld to save sinners; of whom I am chief r He laid. 
down the book, and meditated on the astonishing declaration.. 
"What! St. Paul the chief of sinners, and yet St. Paul is sure 
of being saved! " He read the verse again and again. " 
assertion of St. Paul, how sweet art thou to my soul ! " he ex- 
claimed.' This declaration continually haunted him, and in. 
this manner God instructed him in the secret of his heart.* He 
could not tell what had happened to him;^ it seemed as if a. 
refreshing wind were blowing over his soul, or as if a rich treas- 
ure had been placed in his hands. The Holy Spirit took what 
was Christ's, and announced it to him . "I also am Hke Paul," 
exclaimed he with emotion, "and more than Paul, the greatest 
of sinners! ... But Christ saves sinners. At last I have 
heard of Jesus."" 

^ His doubts were ended^— he was saved. Then took place in. 
him a wonderful transformation. An unknown joy pervaded 
him;^ his conscience until then sore with the wounds of sin was 
healed;^ instead of despair he felt an inward peace passing all 
understanding.** "Jesus Christ," exclaimed he, "Yes, Jesus 
Christ saves!" . . . Such is the character of the Reforma- 
tion: it is Jesus Christ who saves and not the church. " I see 
it all," said Bilney; " my vigils, my fasts, my pilgrimages, my 
purchase of masses and indulgences, were destro^^ing instead of 
saving me.^" All these efforts were, as St. Augustine says, a. 
hasty running out of the right way." ^^ 

Bilney never grew tired of reading his New Testament, lie 
no longer lent an attentive ear to the teaching of the schoolmen;- 
he heard Jesus at Capernaum, Peter in the temple, Paul on. 
Mars' hill, and felt within himself that Christ possesses the 
words of eternal life. A witness to Jesus Christ had just been 

» Ernebam providentia (sine dubio) diviua. (Foxe, iv- p. 633J I bought it doubtless, un- 
der the guidance of divine piovideucc- 2 1 Xiai. i, 16. 3 mihi suavis. 
■imam I'auli sentcntiam! Foxe. iv. p. 633. * Ilac una sententia, Deo Intus ia. 
corde meo dueentc. (Ibid.) By this one sentence, God teachiug inwardly in my lieart. 

» Quod tunc lieri ifc-iioiabani. (Ibid J liccause then I knew not what was beiu({ done. 

•Tandem de Jcsuaudicbain. Ibid. ' Sic exhilaravit pectus meum. Ibid. 

• I'eccatoruni couscientia saucium ac pcne desperabundum. Ibid. » Nescio. 

quanum intus traiKjuiilitau-m eeutirc Ibid. i" OiUicl ouinei meos conatuji, etc 

^'>*<'* " Quod ait Augusunus, celerem conum extra viam. ibid. 


loom by the same power which had transformed Paul, Apollos, 
and Timothy. The Reformation of England was beginning. 
Bilney was united to the Son of God, not by a remote succession, 
but by an immediate generation. Leaving to the disciples o£ 
the pope the entangled chain of their imaginary succession, 
whose links it is impossible to disengage, he attached himself 
closely to Christ, The word of the first century gave birth to 
the sixteenth. Protestantism does not descend from the 
Gospel in the fiftieth generation like the Romish church of the 
Council of Trent, or in the sixtieth like some modern doctors: 
it is the direct legitimate son — the son of the master. 

God's action was not limited to one spot. The first rays of 
the sun from on high gilded with their fires at once the gothic 
colleges of Oxford and the antique schools of Cambridge. 

Along the banks of the Severn extends a picturesque country, 
bounded by the forest of Dean, and sprinkled with villages, 
steeples, and ancient castles. In the sixteenth century it was 
particularly admired by priests and friars, and a familiar oath 
among them was: "As sure as God's in Glo'ster!" The papal 
birds of prey had swooped upon it. For filly years, from 1484 
to loo4, four Italian bishops, placed ia succession over the dio- 
cese, had surrendered it to the pope, to the monks, and to 
immorality. Thieves in particular were the objects of the ten- 
derest favours of the hierarchy. John de Giglis, collector of 
the apostolical chamber, had received from the sovereign pontifif 
authority to pardon murder and theft, on condition that the 
criminal shared his profits with the pontifical commissioners.^ 

In this valley, at the foot of Stinohcomb hUl, to the south- 
west of Gloucester, there dwelt, during the latter half of the 
fifteenth century, a family which had taken refuge there during 
the wars of the Roses, and assumed the name ot Hutchius. in 
the reign of Henry VII, the Lancasterian party having the 
upper hand, they resumed their name of Tyndale, which had 
been borne of yore by many noble barons."- In 1484, about 
a year after the birth of Luther, and about the time that Zwin- 
gle fii-st saw light in the mountains of the Tockenburg, these 
partisans of the red rose, were blessed with a son, whom they 
called WiUiam, His youth was passed in the fields surrounding 
his native village of North Nibley, beneath the shadows of 
Berkeley Castle, or beside the rapid waters of the Severn, and 
in the midst of fnars and pontifical collectors. He was sent 

1 Annals of the English Bible, i. p 12. * BigUnd's Glo'ster, p. 283. Annals •! 

the Engluh Bible, i. p. 19. 


very early to Oxford/ where he learnt grammar and philosophy 
in the school of St. Mary Magdalene, adjoining the college of 
that name. He made rapid progress, particularly in languages, 
under the first classical scholars in England — Grrocyn, W. Lati- 
mer, and Linacre — and took his degrees.'' A more excellent 
master than these doctors — the Holy Spirit speaking in Scrip- 
ture — was soon to teach him a science which it is not in the 
power of man to impart, 

Oxford, where Erasmus had so many friends, was the city in 
which his New Testament met with the warmest welcome. The 
young Gloucestershire student, inwardly impelled towards the 
study of sacred literature, read the celebrated book which was 
then attracting the attention of Christendom. At first he re- 
garded it only as a work of learning, or at most as a manual of 
piety, whose beauties were calculated to excite religious feelings; 
but erelong he found it to be something more. The more he 
read it, the more was he struck by the truth and energy of the 
word. The strange book spoke to him of God, of Christ, and 
of regeneration, with a simplicity and authority which com- 
pletely subdued him. William had found a master whom he 
had not sought at Oxford — this was God himself. The pages 
he held in his hand were the divine revelation so long mislaid. 
Possessing a noble soul, a bold spirit, and indefatigable activity, 
he did not keep this treasure to himself. He uttered that cry, 
more suited to a Christian than to Archimedes: tvprjKu, I have 
found it. It was not long before several of the younger mem- 
bers of the university, attracted by the purity of his life and the 
charms of his conversation, ^ gathered round him, and read with 
him the Greek and Latin gospels of Erasmus.* "A certain 
well-informed young man,"' wrote Erasmus in a letter wherein 
he speaks of the publication of his New Testament, " began to 
lecture with success on Gieek literature at Oxford."® He was 
probably speaking of Tyndale. 

The monks took the alarm. "A barbarian," continues Eras- 
mus, " entered the pulpit and violently abused the Greek lan- 
guage." — "These folk," said Tyndale, "wished to extinguish 
the light which exposed their trickery, and they have been lay- 
ing their plans these dozen years." •* This observation was made 

1 From a child- Fox*. Acts and Mou. v. p. 115. "■' Proceeding in desrees of tho 

scho'jla. Ibid. 3 Ilia iiiuuuerii aud convereatlou being correspnudrut to the Sciip- 

tarea. Ibid- 1 Ueud phvily tu c£itaiii studeutji aud fellows , iiisti'UctiuK tbem iu 

the kuowleJKe and truth ol the acriptuies. Ibid. 6 Oxouias cum juveuia '4uidam 

nou vulguiitei ductus, (brasui. Kp- p.o4tJ.) A certain youth at OxI'ord of uncommou learn. 
iiiK. * Which tluy have been ia biewiuK as 1 hear ihu dozen jean- Tjudalu's 

£xpa«iUonB (t'nrk. SocJ p< &'j. 


in 1531, tend refers tlierefore to the proceedings of 1517. 
Germany and England were beginning the struggle at nearly 
the same time, and Oxford perhaps before T^'ittemberg. Tyn- 
d^e, bearing in mind the injunction: ''"When they persecute you 
in one city, flee ye into another," left Oxford and proceeded to 
Cambridge. It must needs be that souls whom God has brought 
to his knowledge should meet and enlighten one another: live 
coals, when separated, go out; when gathered together, they 
brighten up, so as even to purify silver and gold. The Romish 
hierarchy, not knowing what they did, were collecting tbe scat- 
tered brands of the Reformation. 

Bilney was not inactive at Cambridge, Not long had the 
" sublime les.son of Jesus Christ " filled him with joy, before he 
fell on his knees and exclaimed: ''0 Thou who art the truth, 
give me strength that I may teach it; and convert the ungodly 
by means of one who has been ungodly himself." ^ After this 
prayer his eyes gleamed with new tire; he had assembled his 
friends, and opening Erasmus's Testament, had placed his finger 
on the words that had reached his soul, and these words had 
touched many. The arrival of Tyndale gave him fresh courage, 
and the light burnt brighter in Cambridge. 

John Fryth, a young man of eighteen, the son of an inn- 
keeper of Seveuoaks in Kent, was distinguished among the stu- 
dents of King's College, by the promptitude of his understanding 
and the integrity of his life. He was as deeply read in the 
mathematics as Tjndalc in the classics, and Bilne}' in canon law. 
Although of an exact turn of mind, yet his soul was elevated, 
and he recognised in Holy S<:ripture a learning of a new kind. 
" These things are not demonstrated like a proposition of Euc- 
lid," he said; " mere study is sufl&cient to impress the theories of 
mathematics on our minds; but this science of God meets with 
a resistance in man that necessitates the intervention of a divine 
power. Christianity is a regeneration." The heavenly seed 
soon grew up in Fryth's heart.* 

These three joung scholars set to work with enthusiasm. 
They declared that neither priestly absolution nor any other 
rehgious rite could give remission of sins; that the assurance of 
pardon is obtained by faith alone; and that faith purifies the 
heart. Then they addressed to all men that saying of Christ's 
at which the monks were so offended: Eejcent and be convertedj 

1 Ct impii ad ipiom per me oUm impinin converterentur. (Foxe, Acts, iv, p. 633.) That 
the nEgodl) may be conyerted to tbjself throngh me, ctce ntgodly. 2 Through 

Tji,<Ul*'s insirnctioM he tret rectWed iito his heart the seed of the Gospel- Foxe, Acts, 
•». p.4. 


Ideas so new produced a great clamour. A famous orator 
undertook one day at Cambridge to show that it was useleas to 
preach conversion to the sinner. " Thou, who, for sixty years 
past," said he, " hast wallowed in thy lusts, like a sow in her 
mire,^ dost thou think that thou canst in one year take as many 
steps towards heaven, and that in thine age, as thou hast done 
towards hell?" Bilney left the church with indignation. "Is 
that preaching repentance in the name of Jesus ? " he asked. 
"Does not this priest tell us: Christ will not save thee.^ Alas! 
for so many years that this deadly doctrine has been taught in 
Christendom, not one man has dared open his mouth against 
it!" Many of the Cambridge fellows were scandalized at Bil- 
ney 's language: was not the preacher whose teaching he con- 
demned duly ordained by the bishop? He replied: ''What 
would be the use of being a hundred times consecrated, were it 
even by^ a thousand papal bulls, if the inward calling is wanting?^ 
To no purpose hath the bishop breathed on our heads if we 
have never felt the breath of the Holy Ghost in our hearts?/' 
Thus, at the very beginning of the Reformation, England, re- 
jecting the Romish superstitions, discerned with extreme nicety 
what constitutes the essence of consecration to the service of 
the Lord. 

After p'onouncing these noble words, Bilney, who longed for 
an outpouring of the Holy Ghost, shut himself up in his room, 
fell on his knees, and called upon God to come to the assistance 
of his church. Then rising up, he exclaimed, as if animated by 
a prophetic spirit: ''A new time is beginning. The Christian 
assembly is about to be renewed. . . . ^ome one is coming 
unto us, I see him, I hear him — it is Jesus Christ.* .... 
He is the king, and it is he who will call the true ministers 
commissioned to evangelize his people." 

Tyndale, lull of the same hopes as Bilney, left Cambridge in 
the course of the year 1619. 

Thus the English Rtiormution began independently of those 
of Luther and Zwinglc — deriving its origin from God alone. In 
every province of Christendom there was a simultaneous action 
of the divine word. The principle of the Reformation at Ox- 
ford, Cambridge, and London was the Greeic JSew Ihstamait, 
published by Erasmus. Englnrnl, in course of time learnt to be 
proud of this origin of its injiurmation. 

1 Even ns a beast in his own dung. Bilua;us TJonstaUo episcopo; Foxe, Acta, iv, p. 6V)- 
'■i He will nut be thy Jesus or Saviour. Ibid. » Without this inwiird ciillinij ifc 

helpeth LothiuK bclore Uod to bu a hundred times elect and consecrated, ibid- p- (UA 
* ]l'it be Chiisl, hiiii that cometh unto us- ibid- p. (»7. 



Alarm of the Clergy — The Two Days— Thomas Man's Preaching— Trae 
real Presence — Persecutions at Coventry — Standish preaches at St. 
Paul's — His Petition to the King and Queen — His Arguments and 
Defeat — Wolsey's Ambition — First Overtures — Henry and Francis 
Candidates for the Empire — Conference between Francis I and Sir 
T. Boleyn — The Tiara promised to Wolsey — The Cardinal's Intrigues 
with Charles and Francis. 

This revival caused great alarm throughout the Roman 
liierarchy. Content with the baptism they administered, they 
feared the baptism of the Holy Ghost perfected by faith in the 
•word of God. Some of the clergy, who were full of zeal, but 
of zeal without knowledge, prepared for the struggle, and the 
cries raised by the prelates were repeated by all the inferior 

The first blows did not fall on the members of the universi- 
ties, but on those humble Christians, the relics of TVickliflFe's 
ministry, to whom the reform movement among the learned 
had imparted a new life. The awakening of the fourteenth 
<^ntury was about to be succeeded by that of the sixteenth, 
and the last gleams of the closing day were almost lost in the 
first rays of that which was commencing. The young doctors 
of Oxibrd and Cambridge aroused the attention of the alarmed 
hierarchy, and attracted their eyes to the humble Lollards, who 
here and there still recalled the days of Wicklifife. 

An artisan named Thomas Man, sometimes called Doctor 
Man, from his knowledge of Holy Scripture, had been imprisoned 
for his faith in the priory of Frideswide at Oxford (loll a. d.) 
Tormented by the remembrance of a recantation which had 
been extorted from him, he had escaped from this monastery 
and fled into the eastern parts of England, where he had preached 
the Word, supplying his daily wants by the labour of his hands. ^ 
This "champion of God" afterwards drew near the capital, and 
asasted by his wife, the new Priscilla of this new Aquila, he 
j)roclaimed the doctrine of Christ to the crowd collected around 
him in some '• upper chamber" of London, or in some lonely 
meadow watered by the Thames, or under the aged oaks of 
T^'indsor Forest. He thought with Chrysostom of old, that "all 
priests are not saints, but all saints are priests."^ " He that 

1 Work thereby to sostunlus poor life. Foie, Acta, ir, p. WO. 2 Cl»rj»o«tom 

33 ilomU; on ilatth. 



receiveth the word of God," said he, " rcceivcth God himself, 
that is the^ true real presence. The vendors of masses are not 
the high-priests of this mystery;^ but the men Avhom God hath 
anointed with his Spirit to be kings and priests." From six to 
seven hundred persons were converted bj his preaching.* 

The monks who dared not as yet attack the universities, re- 
solved to fall upon those preachers who made their temple on 
the banks of the Thames, or in some remote corner of the city. 
Man was seized, condemned, and burnt alive on the 29th March 

And this was not all. There lived at Coventry a little band 
of serious Christians— four shoemakers, a glover, a hosier, and 
a widow named Smith— who gave their children a pious educa- 
tion. The Franciscans were annoyed that laymen, and even a, 
woman, should dare meddle with religious instruction. On Ash 
Wednesday (1519) Simon Morton, the bishop's sumner, appre- 
hended them all^ men, women, and cliildren. On the following 
Friday, the parents were taken to the Abbey of ^liackstoclc^ 
about six miles from Coventry, and the children to the Grey 
Friar's convent. '^Let us see what heresies you have been 
taught?" said Friar Stafford to the intimidated little ones. The 
poor children confessed they had been taught in English the 
i^ord's prayer, the apostles' creed, and the ten cammandments. 
On hearing this, Stafford told them angrily: '^ I forbid you, 
(unkss you wish to bo burnt as your parents will be,) to have 
any thing to do with the Fater, the credo, or the ten command- 
ments in Enylish." 

I'ive weeks after this, the men were condemned to be burnt 
alive, but the judges had compassion on the r^'dow, because of 
her young family (lor she was their only support,) and let her 
go. It was night: Morton offered to see Dame Smith home; 
she took his arm, and they threaded the dark and narrow streets 
of Coventry. "Eh, eh!" said the apparitor, on a sudden, 
•' what have we here?" He heard in liiot the noise of paper 
rubbing against something. "What have you got there?" he 
continued, dropping her arm, and putting his hand up her sleeve, 
from which he drew out a parchment. Approaching a window 
whence issued the laint rays of a lamp, he cxamiued the mys- 
terious scroll, and Ibund it to contain the Lord's prayer, th& 
apostles' creed, and the ten commandments in Emjlish. "Oh, 
oh! eirrah!" said he; "come along. As good now as another 
time! "2 Then seizing the poor widow by the arm, ho dragged 

ill* called them piU«<iA;»Ki»e«. Foxe. iv. p. '.09. ^ibid.p.'.'U. 3 Ibid. p.SO.". 


her before the bishop. Sentence of death was immediately pro- 
nounced on her, and on the 4th of April, Dame Smith, Robert 
Hatchets, Archer, Hawkins, Thomas Bond, Wrigsham, and 
Landsdale, were burnt alive at Coventry in the Little Park, for 
the crime of teaching their children the Lord's prayer, the apos- 
tles' creed, and the commandments of God. 

But what availed it to silence these obscure hps, so long as 
the Testament of Erasmus could speak? Lee's conspiracy must 
be revived. Standish, bishop of "St. Asaph, was a narrow-minded 
man, rather fanatical, but probably sincere, of great courage,, 
and not without some degree of piety. This prelate, being de- 
termined to preach a crusade against the New Testament, began 
at London, in St. Paul's cathedral, before the mayor and cor- 
poration. '^ Away with these new translations," he said, " or else 
the religion of Jesus Christ is threatened with utter ruin."^ 
But Standish was deficient in tact, and instead of confining him- 
self to general statements, like most of his party, he endeavoured 
to show how far Erasmus had corrupted the Gospel, and con- 
tinued thus in a whining voice : " Must I who for so many years 
have been a doctor of the Holy Scriptures, and who have always 
read in my Bible: In principio erat verbum, — must I now be 
obliged to read: iu jprindpio er-at sermo," for thus had Eras- 
mus translated the opening words of St. John's Gospel. Misum 
teneatis, whispered one to another, when they heard this puerile 
charge : " My lord," proceeded the bishop, turning to the mayor, 
"magistrates of the city, and citizens all, fly to the succour 
of religion 1" Standish continued his pathetic appeals, but 
his oratory was all in vain; some stood unmoved, others 
shrugged their shoulders, and others grew impatient. The 
citizens of London seemed determined to support liberty and 
the Bible. 

Standish, seeing the failure of his attack in the city, sighed 
and groaned and prayed, and repeated mass against the so much 
dreaded book. But he also made up his mind to do more. One 
day, during the rejoicings at court for the betrothal of the 
Princess Mary, then two years old, with a French prince who 
was just born, St. Asaph, absorbed and absent in the midst of 
the gay crowd, meditated a bold step. Suddenly he made his^ 
way through the crowd, and threw himself at the feet of the 
king and queen. All were thunder-struck, and asked one 
another what the old bishop could mean. "Great king," said 

1 Imminere christUnse religiouis irav«Xt<r^i<!zy,jiisi iiovse translationes omnes subittt de 
medio toUerentnr. (I:.rii5m- Kp. p. bM.) Thut dcbtiuciiuii threatened the Christian religion, . 
ouless all new trauslatioug were at once taken away from amonj^st them. 



he, ''your ancestors who have reigned over this island, — and 
jrours, great queen, who have governed Aragon, were always 
distinguished by their zeal for the church. Show yourselves 
worthy of your forefathers. 'limes full of danger are come 
Tipon us,i a book has just appeared, and been published too, by 
Erasmus! It is such a book that, if you close not your king- 
dom against it, it is all over with the religion of Christ amont^ 


The bishop ceased, and a dead silence ensued. The devout 
Standish, fearing lest Henry's well-known love of learning should 
be an obstacle to his prayer, raised his eyes and his hands toward 
heaven, and kneeling in the midst of the courtly assembly, ex- 
claimed in a sorrowful tone: ''0 Christ! Son of God! save 
thy spouse! .... for no man cometh to her help."^ 

Having thus spoken, the prelate, whose courage was worthy 
of a better cause, rose up and waited. Every one strove to 
guess at the king's thoughts. Sir Thomas More was present, 
and he could not forsake his friend Erasmus. " What are the 
heresies this book is hkely to engender?" he inquired. After 
the sublime came the ridiculous. With the forefinger of his 
Tight hand, touching successively the fingers of his letl,° Standish 
replied: "First, this book destroys the resurrection; secondly, it 
annuls the sacrament of marriage; thirdly, it abolishes t/ie 
mass." Then uplifting his thumb and two fingers, he showed 
them to the assembly with a look of triumph. The bigoted 
Catherine shuddered as she saw Standish's three fingers,-^igns 
of the three heresies of Erasmus; and Henry himself, an admirer 
of Aquinas, was embarrassed. It was a critical moment: the 
Greek Testament was on the point of being banished from Eng- 
land. "The proof, the proof," exclaimed the friends of hterature. 
" I will give it," rejoined the impetuous Standish, and then once 
more touching his left thumb: " Firstly, " he said, .... But 
he brought forward such foolish reasons, that even the women 
and the unlearned were ashamed of them. The more he en- 
deavoured to justify his assertions, the more confused he be- 
came: he afiirmed among other things that the Epistles of St. 
Paul were written in Hebrew. " There is not a schoolboy that 
does not know that I'aul's epistles were written in Gree/c," said 
a doctor of divinity kneehug before tlie king. Henry, blushing 
for the bishop, turned the conversation, and Standish, ashamed 

I Adcsse tempera longc iicriciaoBissima. Erasm. Ep. p- 697. 2 Ctepit obsecrara 

CUristum (liKUaretur ipse suiu sponsa; opitulari. (Ibid. p. 598.} He begm to implore Clirist. 
that he huuself would deiKii to sucoouf his spouse 3 Kt re„, ia di,'itos porr.ctos 

•impunieua. {Ibid) Aud dlatributiug the shoTKe on his ouUtretched fiusen. 


at having made a Greek write to the Greeks in Hebrew, would 
have withdrawn unobserved. " The beetle must not attack the 
eagle,"^ was whispered in his ear. Thus did the book of God 
remain in England the standard of a faithful band, who found 
in its pages the motto, which the church of Rome had usurped : 
Tlie truth is in me alone. 

A more formidable adversary than Standish aspired to com- 
l)at the Reformation, not only in England, but in all the West. 
One of those ambitious designs, which easily germinate in the 
human heart, developed itself in the soul of the chief minister 
of Henry VIII; and if this project succeeded, it promised to 
secure for ever the empire of the papacy on the banks of the 
Thames, and p-erhaps in the whole of Christendom. 

"Wolsey, as chancellor and legate, governed both in state and 
in church, and coiild, without an untruth, utter his famous Ego 
et rex mens. Having reached so great a height, he desired to 
soar still higher. The favourite of Henry VUI, almost his 
master, treated as a brother by the emperor, by the king of 
France, and by other crowned heads, invested with the title of 
Majesty, the peculiar property of sovereigns,' the cardinal, sin- 
^sere in his faith in the popedom, aspired to fill the throne of 
the pontiffs, and thus become Deus in terris. He thought, that 
if God permitted a Luther to appear in the world, it was be- 
cause he had a "Wolsey to oppose to him. 

It would be dif&cult to fix the precise moment when this im- 
moderate desire entered his mind: it was about the end of 15 IS 
that it began to show itself. The bishop of Ely, ambassador at 
the court of Francis I, bcmg in conference with that prince on 
tlie 18th of December in that year, said to him mysteriously: 

" The cardinal has an idea in his mind on which hs 

can unbosom himself to nobody except it be to your 

majesty." Francis understood him. 

An event occurred to facilitate the cardinal's plans. If 
TVolsey desired to be the first priest, Henry desired to be the 
first king. The imperial crown, vacant by the death of Maxi- 
milian, was sought by two princes: — by Charles of Austria, a 
cold and calculating man, caring little about the pleasures and 
even the pomp of power, but forming great designs, and know- 
ing how to pm-sue them with energ\-; and by Francis I, a man of 
less penetrating glance and less indefatigable activity, but more 
-daring and impetuous. Henry VIII, inferior to both, passionate, 

1 ScaiabsasiUeqainuximosaonuloaqaiUmqiuesivit. (l::nsm.£p.p.»M) Tb^t beetle 
-who (ODsbt U) do the worst he could to the eagle- 2 Consnltissim» tui M^iectas. 

Veitn8abliiiiisetlongerevereudi2uma,M^)esUi,ctc Fiddes. BoiUeian i'apen, p. l^L 



capricious, and selfish, thought himself strong enough to CTn- 
tend with such puissant competitors, and secretly strove to Win 
"the monarchy of all Christendom." ^ Wolsey flattered himself 
that, hidden under the cloak of his master's ambition, he raio'ht 
satisfy his own. If he procured the crown of the Ciesars for 
Henry, he might easily obtain the tiara of the popes for himself; 
if he failed, the least that could be done to compensate Eno-land 
for the loss of the empire, would be to give the sovereignty of 
the church to her prime minister. 

Henry first sounded the king of France. Sir Thomas Boleyn 
appeared one day before Francis I just as the latter was return- 
ing from mass. The king, desirous to anticipate a confidence 
that might be embarrassing, took the ambassador aside to the 
■window and whispered to him: "Some of the electors have 
offered me the empire; I hope your master will be favourable to 
me." Sir Thomas, in confusion, made some vague reply, and the 
chivalrous king, Ibllowing up his idea, took the ambassador 
firmly by one hand, and laying the other on his breast,- exclaim- 
ed: " By my faith, if I become emperor, in three years I shall 
be in Constantinople, or I shall die on the road! " This vfas 
not what Henry wanted; but dissembling his wishes, he took 
care to inform Francis that he would support his candidatuK;. 
Upon hearing this Francis raised his hat and exclaimed: "I de- 
sire to see the king of England; I will see him, 1 tell you, even 
if I go to Loudon with only one page and one lackey." 

Francis was well aware that if he threatened the kiu<f's am- 
bition, he must flatter the minister's, and recollecting the hint 
given by the bishop of Ely, he said one day to Boleyn : " It 
seems to me that my brother of England and I could do, indefed 

ought to do something for the cardinal. He was prepared 

by God for the good of Christendom one of the greatest 

men in the church and on the word of a king, if ho con- 
sents, I will do it." A few minutes after he continued: "Write 
and tell the cardinal, that if he aspires to be the head of tlio 
church, and if any thing should happen to the reigning pope, I 
will promise him fourteen cardinals on my part.^ Let us only 
act in concert, your master and me, and I promise you, Mr. 
Ambassador, that neither pope nor emperor shall be created iu 
Europe without our consent." 

But Henry did not act in concert with the king of France^ 
At \\olsey's instigation he supported three candidates at onee: 

I Cotton MSS. Brit. Mos. Calig- !>• ". P- **• ^ •'« ^°^ "ne ^'^i by the wrist with 

one hand, and laid the other upun hia breast: Ibid. D.8, p.t)3. SUewUl assura 

}ou full fourteen cardinals for him. Ibiii. D. F. p. OH. 


at Paris he was for Francis I; at Madrid for Charles V; and at 
Frankfort for himself. The kings of France and England failed, 
and on the 10th August, Pace, Henry's envoy at Frankfort, 
iavinof returned to England, desired to console the king by 
mentionin"' the sums of money which Charles had spent. " By 
the mass I " ^ exclaimed the king, congratulating himself at not 
having obtained the crown at so dear a rate. Wolsey proposed 
to sino' a Te Deum in St. Paul's, and bonfires were lighted in the 

The cardinal's rejoicings were not misplaced. Charles had 
scarcely ascended the imperial throne, in despite of the king of 
France, when these two princes swore eternal hatred of each 
other, and each was anxious to win over Henry VHI. At one 
time Charles, under the pretence of seeing his uncle and aunt, 
visited England; at another, Francis had an interview with the 
king in the neighbourhood of Calais. The cardinal shared in 
the flattering attentions of the two monarchs. " It is easy for 
Ihe king of Spain, who has become the head of the empire, to 
raise whomsoever he pleases to the supreme pontificate," said the 
joung emperor to him; and at these words the ambitious cardi- 
nal surrendered himself to Maximilian's successor. But erelong 
Francis I flattered him in his turn, and Wolsey replied also to 
his advances. The king of France gave Henry tournaments 
and banquets of Asiatic luxury; and Wolsey, whose countenance 
jet bore the marks of the graceful smile with which he had taken 
leave of Charles, smiled also on Francis, and sang mass in his 
honour. He engaged the hand of the Princess Mary to the 
dauphin of France and to Charles V, leaving the care of unravel- 
ling the matter to futurity. Then proud of his skilful practices 
he returned to London full of hope. By walking in falsehood 
he hoped to attain the tiara: and if it was yet too far above 
him, there were certain gospeUers in England who might serve 
as a ladder to reach it. Murder might serve as the complement 
to fraud. 

^ Bi the mess6l State Fapen, i. 9. 



Tyndale— Sodbury Hall— Sir John and Lady "VValsh— Table-Talk—The 
Holy Scriptures— The images — The Anchor of Faith — A Roman. 
Camp— Preaching of Paith and Works— Tyndale accused by the 
Priests — They tear up what he has planted — Tyndale resolves to 
translate the Bible — His first triumph — The Priests in the taverns 
— Tyndale summoned before the Chancellor of Worcester— Consoled 
by an aged Doctor— Attacked by a schoolman- His Secret becomes 
known — He leaves Sodbury Hall, 

Whilst this ambitious prelate was thinking of nothing but 
his own glory and that of the Roman pontificate, a great desire, 
but of a very different nature, was springing up in the heart of 
one of the humble "gospellers" of England. If Wolsey had his 
eyes fixed on the throne of the popedom in order to seat himself 
there, Tyndale thought of raising up the true throne of the church 
by .re-establishing the legitimate sovereignty of the word of 
God. The Greek Testament of Erasmus had been one step;, 
and it now became necessary to place before the simple what 
the king of the schools had given to the learned. This idea^ 
which pursued the young Oxford doctor everywhere, was to be 
the mighty mainspring of the English Reformation. 

On the slope of Sodbury hill there stood a plain but large 
mansion commanding an extensive view over the beautiful vale 
of the Severn where Tyndale was born. It was inhabited by a 
family of gentle birth: Sir John VValsh had shone in the tourna- 
ments of the court, and by this means conciliated the favour of his 
prince. He kept open table; and gentlemen, deans, abbots, arch- 
deacons, doctors of divinity, and fat rectors, charmed by Sir 
John's cordial welcome and by his good dinners, were ever at 
his house. The former brother at arms of Henry VHI felt an 
interest in the questions then discussing throughout Christendom. 
Lady Walsh herself, a sensible and generous woman, lost not a 
word of the animated conversation of her guests, and discreetly 
tried to incHne the balance to the side of truth. ^ 

Tyndale after leaving Oxford and Cambridge had returned to- 
the home of his fathers. Sir John had requested him to educate 
his children, and he had accepted. AVilliam was then in the prime 
of life (he was about thirty-six), well instructed in Scripture, 
and full of desire to show ibrth the light which God had given 
him. Opportunities were not wanting. Seated at table with 

» l*dy Walan. a stout and wii« woman. Foxe, AcU, t. p- IIS, 


all the doctors welcomed by Sir John, ' Tjndale entered into coa- 
versatioa with them. Thej talked of the learned men of the 
(Jay — of Erasmus much, and sometimes of Luther, who was be- 
ginning to astonish England.* They discussed several questions 
touching the holy Scriptures, and sundry points of theology. 
Tyndale expressed his convictions with admirable clearness, 
supported them with great learning, and kept his ground against 
all with unbending courage. These animated conversations ia 
the vale of the Severn are one of the essential features of the 
picture presented by the Eeformation in this country. The 
historians of antiquity invented the speeches which they have put 
into the mouths of their heroes. In our times history, without 
inventing, should make us acquainted with the sentiments of the 
persons of whom it treats. It is sufficient to read Tyndale's 
works to form some idea of these conversations. It is from his 
writings that the following discussion has been drawn. 

In the dining-room of the old hall a varied group was assem- 
bled round the hospitable table. There were Sir John and 
Lady Walsh, a few gentlemen of the neighbourhood, with several 
abbots, deans, monks, and doctors, in then: respective costumes. - 
Tyndale occupied the humblest place, and generally kept Eras- 
mus's New Testament within reach in order to prove what he 
advanced. ^ Numerous domestics were moving aboift engaged 
in waiting on the guests; and at length the conversation, after 
wandering a liitle, took a more precise direction. The priests grew 
impatient when they saw the terrible volume appear. "Your 
Scriptures only serve to make heretics," they exclaimed. " Oa- 
the contrary," replied Tyndale, "the source of all heresies is 
pinde; now the word of God strips man of everything, and leaves 
him as bare as Job."* — " The word of God! why even ue don't 
understand your word, how can the wlgar understand it?" — 
"You do not understand it," rejoined Tyndale, "because you look 
into it only for foolish questions, as you would into our Lady's 
Matins, or Merlin's Prophecies. " Now the Scriptures are a clue 
which we must follow, without turning aside, until we arrive at 
Christ;^ for Christ is the end." — "And I tell you," shouted 
out a priest, "that the Scriptures are a Daedalian labyrinth, ra- 
ther than Ariadne's clue — a conjuring book wherein everybody 
finds what he wants." — "Alas!" repUed Tyndale; "you read 

1 Who were together with Master Tjndale sitting at the same table. Foxe. Acts, v. p. 115. 

'^ Talk of learned men, as of Laiher and Erasmos, etc. Ibid. 3 When ibey at any 

time did r«r; (rum Tyndale in opinions and jadgment, be would show them in the book. Ibid. 

* Tyndale. Expositions (I'ark. Sot) p. 14a 5 Tyndale, Exiiositions. (I'ark Soc.) p lU. 

6 So aionf4 by the Scripture ai by * line until thou come at Christ. Tjnd. Works, i. Bot;- 
(ed liosttlU. 


them without Jesus Christ; that's why they are an obscure book 
to you. What do I say? a den of thorns where you only escape 
from the briers to be caught by the brambles."^ "No!" ex- 
claimed another clerk, heedless of contradicting his colleague, 
*' nothing is obscure to us; it is we who give the Scriptures, 
and we who explain them to you." — " You would lose both 
jour time and your trouble/'said Tyndale; " do you know who 
taught the eagles to find their prey? ^ Well, that same God 
teaches his hungry children to find their Father in his 
word. Far from having given us the Scriptures, it is you 
who have hidden them from us; it is you who burn those who 
teach them, and if you could, you would burn the Scriptures 

Tyndale was not satisfied with merely laying down the great 
principles of faith: he alway sought after what he calls "the 
sweet marrow within;" but to the divine unction he added no 
little humour_, and unmercifully ridiculed the superstitions of his 
adversaries. "You set candles before images," he said to them; 
■"and since you give them light, why don't you give them /ooc?. 
Why don't you make their bellies hollow, and put victuals and 
•drink inside.^ To serve God by such mummeries is treating 
him like a spoilt child, whom you .pacify with a toy or with a 
horse made of a stick." * 

But the learned Christian soon returned to more serious 
thoughts; and when his adversaries extolled the papacy as the 
power that would save the church in the tempest, he replied: 
■" Let us only take on board the anchor of faith, after having 
dipped it in the blood of Christ,^ and when the storm bursts 
upon us, let us boldly cast the anchor into the sea; then you 
may be sure the ship will remain safe on the great waters." 
And, in fine, if his opponents rejected any doctrine of the truth, 
Tyndale (says the chronicler) opening his Testament would set 
his finger on the verse which refuted the Romish error, and ex- 
claim : " Look and read."*^ 

The beginnings of the English Reformation are not to be 
found, as we have seen, in a material ecclesiasticism, which has 
been decorated with the name of English Catholicism: they are 
essentially spiritual. The Divine Word, the creator of the new 
litie in the individual, is also the founder and rel'ormer of the 

1 A grave of briers; if tboa loose thyself in oni! place thou art caught in another. Tyn- 
dale, Kxpuuiiunij, p, /). 2 IbiJ. Answer to Mure (I'lirk. Hoc.) p. I'J. 

•i Muke a hollow b<lly in the image, ibid. p. 81. * Make hiui a horse of a stick. 

Tyndale's Wks. (ed. Uusael) U. 17& t> Ibid. ExpoRiliouii, (faik. Soc.)P-U>. 

<> And lay (jluiiiiy belure tlieni the open and nrnniesi pUicea of the Uciiptuns, to confute 
thtii' errors and conUriii hi^ tajijxs- J^oxe, Acts, v. p. lH. 


church. The reformed churches, and particularlj the refonned 
churches of Great Britain, belong to evangelism. 

The contemplation of God's works refreshed Tyndale after 
the d^ussions he had to maintain at his patron's table. He 
•would often ramble to the top of Sodbury hill, and there repose 
amidst the rains of an ancient Roman camp which crowned the 
summit. It was here that Queen Margaret of Anjou halted; 
and here too rested Edward IV, who pursued her, before the 
fatal battle of Tewkesbury, which caused this princess to fall 
into the hands of the White Rose. Amidst these ruins, monu- 
ments of the Roman invasion and of the civil dissensions of 
England, Tyndale meditated upon other battles, which were to 
restore liberty and truth to Christendom. Then rousing him- 
self he would descend the hill, and courageously resume his 

Behind the mansion stood a little church, overshadowed by 
two large yew trees, and dedicated to Saint Adeline. On Sun- 
days Tyndale used to preach there, Sir John and Lady Walsh, 
with the eldest of the children, occupying the manorial pew. 
This humble sanctuary was filled by their household and tenan- 
try, listening attentively to the words of their teacher, which 
fell from his lips like the waters of Shiioah that go sofUy. TjTidale 
was very lively in conversation; but he explained the Scriptures 
with so much unction, says the chronicler, '•' that his hearers 
thought they heard St. John himself." If he resembled John 
in the mildness of his language, he resembled Paul in the strength 
of his doctrine. "According to the pope," he said, *• we must 
first be good after his doctrine, and compel God to be good 
again for our goodness. Nay, verity, God's goodness is the root 
of all goodness. Antichrist turneth the tree of salvation topsy- 
turvy z^ he planteth the branches, and setteth the roots upwards. 

We miLSt put it straight As the husband marrieth the 

wife, before he can have any lawful children by her; even so 
faith justifieth us to make us fruitful in good works. But 
neither the one nor the other should remain barren. Faith is 
the holy candle wherewith we must bless ourselves at the last 
hour; Trithout it, you wiU go astray in the valley of the shadow 
of death, though you had a thousand tapers lighted around your 

The priests, irritated at such observations, determmed to ruin 
Tyndale, and some of them inrited Sir John and his lady to an 

1 Antichrist tumeth the roots of the trees npward- T^~aiUle, Docthnal Xi«Atises (Park. 
SocJ, p. 2i)a- 2 Tjiidale. Farabie of the » ioked MAiumoii- LAA U6 » Thoogh 

thou hadst a thousuid holj- eaaales aboat thee ibuL > 13- 

46 L 


entertainment, at wliicli he was not present. During dinner, 
they so abused the young doctor and his New Testament, that 
his patrons retired greatly annoyed that their tutor should have 
made so many enemies. They told him all they had heard, 
and Tyndale successfully refuted his adversaries' arguments. 
"What!" exclaimed Lady Walsh, "there are some of these 
doctors worth one hundred, some two hundred, and some three 

hundred pounds ^ and were it reason, think you, Master 

William, that we should believe you before them?" Tyndale, 
opening the New Testament, replied: "No! it is not me you 
should believe. That is what the priests have told you; but 
look here, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Lord himself say quite 
the contrary."^ The Word of God was there, positive and 
supreme : the sword of the spirit cut the difficulty. 

Lefore long the manor-house and St. Adeline's church became 
too narrow for Tyndale's zeal. He preached every Sunday, 
sometimes in a village, sometimes in a town. The inhabitants 
of Bristol assembled to hear him in a large meadow, called St. 
Austin's Green.^ But no sooner had he preached in any place 
than the priests hastened thither, tore up what he had planted,* 
called him a heretic, and threatened to expel from the church 
every one who dared listen to him. When Tyndale retui'ned. 
he found the field laid waste by the enemy; and looking sadly 
upon it, as the husbandman who sees his corn beaten down by 
the hail, and his rich furrows turned into a barren waste, he 
exclaimed: "What is to be done? While I am sowing in on& 
place, the enemy ravages the field I have just left, i cannot 
be everywhere Oh! if Christians possessed the Holy Scriptm-es 
in their own tongue, they could of themselves withstand these 
sophists. Without the Bible it is impossible to establish the 
laity in the truth." ^ 

Then a great idea sprang up in Tyndale's heart: "It was 
in the language of Israel," said he, 'Hhat the Psalms were sung 
in the temple of Jehovah; and shall not the Gospel speak the 

language of England among us? Ought the church to 

have less light at noonday than at the dawn? Christians 

must read the New Testament in then: mother-tongue." Tyn- 
dale behoved that this idea proceeded from God. The new sun 
would lead to the discovery of a new world, and the mfaUible 

1 Well, there was euch a doctor who may dispend a hundred pounds- Foxo. Acte, v- p. 
116. 2 Answcrias bj the Scriptures maiutaiiied the truth- Ibid- 3 Ibid, 

p- 117. * WhiiUoever Uuth is taught them, tlitse enemies of all truth quench it 

ftKain- Tynd. Uoclr. Tr p-3y4. 6 Impossible lo csUbliah the lay people iu Wi> truth, 

t-kcept the Scripture were plainly I'U'l before their eje* in their mother-tonKue. Ibid. 


rule would mate all human diversities give way to a diviniC unit j. 
" One holJeth this doctor, another that," said Tyndale, " one 
followeth Duns Scotus, another St. Thomas, another Bonaven- 
ture, Alexander Hales. Raymond of Penaford. Lyra, Gorram, 

Hugh de Sancto Victorc, and so many others besides Now, 

each of these authors contraliets the other. Ho^ then can w* 
distinguish him who says right from him who says wrong? .... 

How? Verily, by God's word."* Tyadale hesitated no 

longer. .,...• While Wolsey sought to win the papal tiara, the 
humble tutor of Sodbury undertook to place the torch of heaven 
in the midst of his fellow-countrymen. The translation of the 
Bible shall be the work ot his life. 

The first triumph of the word was a revolution in the manor- 
house. In proportion as Sir John and Lady Walsh acquired a 
taste for the Gospel, they became disgusted with the priests. 
The clergy were not so often invited to Sodbury, nor did they 
meet with the same welcome." They soon discontinued their 
visits, and thought of nothing but how they could drive Tyndale 
from the mansion and from the diocese. 

Unwilling to compromise themselves in this warfare, they 
beat forward some of those light troops which the church has 
always at her disposal. Mendicant friars and poor curates, who 
could hardly understand their missal, and the most learned of 
•whom made AJJbertus de secrdis midierum their habitual study, 
fell upon Tyndale like a pack of hungry hounds. The j trooped 
to the alehouses,' and calling for a jug of beer, took their seats, 
one at one table, another at another. They invited the peas- 
antry to drink with them, and entering into conversation with 
them, poured forth a thousand curses upon the daring reformer: 
" He's a hypocrite," s^d onej '•' he's a heretic," said another. 
The most skilful among them would mount upon a stool, and 
turning the tavern into a temple, deliver, for the first time in 
his life, an extemporaneous discourse. They reported words 
that Tyndale had never uttered, and actions that he had never 
committed.* Rushing upon the poor tutor (he himself informs 
us) '• like unclean swine that follow their carnal lusts,"^ they 
tore his good name to very tatters, and shared the spoil among 
them; while the audience, excitod by their calumnies and heated 
by the beer, departed overflowing with rage and hatred agsdnst 
the heretic of Sodbury. 

iTjrDd.Doct.Tr.pillSL 3 Keitber bad tbe; the cheer and coonteiuaee when they came. 
•> befure the; bad. Foze. Aets, t- p. Ii6- 3 Come UhceUier to the aiekoaw, wUeh u 

their pre^bin,- place. Tyi.d. IXct- Tr. SM. 4 Tbey add u>o oT that on head* 

what 1 ucTcr spake- IbU. p. 395. & Ibid. Expostaona, pk. 10. 


After the monks came the dignitaries. The deans and abbots. 
Sir John's former guests, accused Tyndale to the chancellor of 
the diocese,! and the storm which had begun in the tavern burst 
forth in the episcopal palace. 

The titular bishop of Worcester (an appanage of the Italian 
prelates) was Giulio de' Medici, a learned man, great politician, 
and crafty priest, who already governed the popedom without 
being pope.^ Wolsey, who administered the diocese for his 
absent colleague, had appointed Thomas Parker chancellor, a 
man devoted to the Eoman church. It was to him the church- 
men made their complaint. A judicial inquiry had its difficul- 
ties; the king's companion-at-arms was the patron of the pre- 
tended heretic, and Sir Anthony Poyntz, Lady Walsh's brother, 
was sheriff of the county. The chancellor was therefore content 
to convoke a general conference of the clergy, Tyndale obeyed 
the summons, but foreseeing what awaited him, he cried heartily 
tD God, as he pursued his way up the banks of the Severn, " to 
give him strength to stand fast in the truth of his word," '^ 

When they were assembled, the abbots and deans, and other 
ecclesiastics of the diocese, with haughty heads and threatening 
looks, crowded round the humble but unbending Tyndale, When 
his turn arrived, he stood forward, and the chancellor adminis- 
tered him a severe reprimand, to which he made a calm reply. 
This so exasperated the chancellor, that, giving way to his 
passion, he treated Tyndale as if he had been a dog.* '• Where 
are your witnesses? " demanded the latter. "Lot them come 
forward, and I will answer them." Not one of them dared sup- 
port the charge — they looked another way. The chancellor 
waited, one witness at least he must have, but he could not get 
that.* Annoyed at this desertion of the priests, the representa- 
tive of the Medici became more equitable, and let the accusation 
drop. Tyndale quietly returned to Sodbury, blessing God who 
had saved him from the cruel hands of his adversaries,*^ and 
entertaining nothing but the tenderest charity towards them. 
" Take away my goods," he said to them one day, "take away 
my good name! yet so long as Christ dwellcth in my heart, so 
long shall I love you not a whit the less."^ Here indeed is the 
Saint John to whom Tyndale has been compared. 

1 Tjiidalc. Doctr.Tr 395- • Govern.iv* il papato e liavia piu zente a la sua aud- 

ieiizia clie il'papa, (He governed the popedom, and had more people at his audiences thau 
thep"pc.) llelavionediMirci) Fosoari, 15.'6. » Foxe. Acts, v. p. 116. ♦He 

threatened me Kiievimsly and reviled me, and rated me as though I ;had been a dog. 
Tynd. Doctr Tr. p. SOS- 6 And laid to my cliarsa whereof there would be nom, 

accuser brouKhl forth. Ibid- « Escapius out of their hands. Foxc, Acts, v. p. 110. 

7 Tynd Uoctr Tr.p- 233. 


In this Tiolent warfare, however, he could not fail to receive 
some heavy blows; and where could he find consolation? Frych 
and Bilney were far from him. Tyndale recollected an aged 
doctor who lived near Sodbury, and who had shown him great 
affection. He went to see him, and opened his heart to hioi.^ 
The old man looked at him for a while as if he hesitated to 
disclose some great mystery. " Do you not know," said he, 
lowering his voice, "that the pope is very Antichrist whom the 

Scripture speaketh of^ But beware what you say 

That knowledge may cost you your life."" This doctrine of 
Antichrist, which Luther was at that moment enunciating so 
boldly, struck Tyndale. Strengthened by it, as was the Saxon 
reformer, he felt fresh energy in his heart, and the aged doctor 
was to him what the aged friar had been to Luther. 

"When the priests saw that their plot had failed, they com- 
missioned a celebrated divine to undertake his conversion. The 
reformer replied with his Greek Testament to the schoolman's 
arguments. The theologian was speechless: at last he exclaim- 
ed: "Well then! it were better to be without God's laws 
than the pope's." ■* Tyndale, who did not expect so plain and 
blasphemous a confession, made answer: "And I defy the 
pope ani all his laws!" and then, as if unable to keep his secret, 
he added : " If God spares my life, I will take care that a plough- 
boy shall know more of the Scriptures than you do."* 

All his thoughts were now directed to the means of carrying 
out his plans; and desirous of avoiding conversations that might 
c.mpromise them, he thenceforth passed the greater j^ortlon of 
his time iu the library.^ He prayed, he read, he began his 
translation of the Bible, and in all probability communicated 
portions of it to Sir John and Lady Walsh. 

All his precautions were useless: the scbolasac divine had 
betrayed him, and the priests had sworn to stop him in his 
translation of the Bible. One day he fell in with a troop of 
monks and curates, who abused him in the grossest manner. 
*' It's the favour of the gentry of the country that makes you 
so proud," said they; " but notwithstanding your patrons, there 
wUl be a talk about you before long, and in a pretty fashion 
too! . . . You shall not always live in a manor-house!" 
** Banish me to the obscurest corner of England, "^replied Tyn- 

1 for to him he durst be bold to disclose his heart. Foxe, Acta, t. p. 117. 3 Ibid. 

^ Ibid- i Cause a bo; that driveth Uic plough to know more of the Scripture* ti»^" 

hti did. Ibid. 6 This part of the house was siaudiUK iu lt£i9, but bag simca beeu 

puUed down. Anderson. Bible Annals, i. p. Si. We cauuot but uiiih: in the Vi'ntx expres. 
Md in that volume, that the remainuer ol the t>aildiug. now ♦"utrrtfil by A iaiuier, tsuy ba 
catefoliy preser^'ed 



dale; "provided you will permit me to teach children and preach 
the Gospel, and give hie ten pounds a-year for my support.' . 
. . I shall be satisfied!" The priests left him, but with the 
intention of preparing him a very different fate. 

Tyndale indulged in his pleasant dreams no longer. He saw 
that he was on the point of being arrested, condemned, and in- 
terrupted in his great work. He must seek a retreat where he 
can discharge in peace the task God has allotted him. " You 
cannot save me irom the hands of the priests," said he to Sir 
John, " and God knows to what troubles you would expose 
yourself by keeping me in your family. Permit me to leave 
you." Having said this, he gathered up his papers, took his 
Testament, pressed the hands of his benefactors, kissed the 
children, and then descending the hill, bade farewell to the 
smiling banks of the Severn, and departed alone — alone with 
his faith. What shall he do ? What will become of him ? 
Where shall he go? He went forth like Abraham, one thing 
alone engrossing his mind:— the Scriptures shall be translated 
into the vulgar tongue, and he will deposit the oracles of God 
in the midst of his countrymen. 


Luther's works in England — Consultation of the Bishops — The Bull of 
Leo X published in England — Luther's books burnt — Letter of 
Henry VIII — He undertakes to write against Luther — Cry of Alarm 
— Tradition and Sacramentalism — Prudence of Sir T. More — The 
Book presented to the Pope — Defender of the i^at^A— Exultation of 
the King. 

Whilst a plain minister was commencing the Reformation in 
a tranquil ■valley in the west of England, powerful reinforce- 
ments were landing on the shores of Kent. The writings and 
actions of Luther excited a lively sensation in Great Britain. 
His appearance before the diet of Worms was a common 
subject of conversation. Suij^ irom the harbours of the 
Low Countries brought his books to London," and the Gcrmaa 

1 liindiiiK him to no moro but to tc ich children unil t) preach., AcU, v p. 117- 
8 iiuruct. ilist of the Ucfoimauou, (Lond- 1811, UctJ i.p. U. 

Luther's works ik ENOLAyD. 167 

printers Bad made answer to the nuncio Aleander, who was prohib- 
iting the Lutheran works in the empire: "Very well! we shall 
send them to England f One might almost say that England 
was destined to be tfie asylum of truth. And in fact, the Theses 
of 1517, the Explanation of the LonTs Prayer, the books against 
Emser, against the papacy of Borne, against the hull of Antichrist, 
the Epistle to the Galatians, the Appeal to the German nobility, 
and above all the Babylonish Captivity of the Church — all crossed 
the sea, were translated, and circulated throughout the king- 
dom.^ The German and English nations, having a common 
origin and being sufficiently alike at that time in character 
^nd civilization, the works intended for one might be read 
by the other with advantage. The monk in his cell, the coun- 
try gentleman in his haU, the doctor in his college, the 
•tradesman in his shop, and even the bishop in his palace, studied 
these extraordinary writings. The laity in particular, who 
iad been prepared by Wickliffe and disgusted by the avarice 
and disorderly lives of the priests, read with enthtisiasm the 
eloquent pages of the Saxon monk. They strengthened aU 

The papacy was not inactive in presence of all these eflforts. 
'The times of Gregory VII and of Innocent III, it is true, were 
passed; and weakness and irresolution had succeeded to the 
former energy and activity of the Roman pontificate. The 
spiritual power had resigned the dominion of Europe to the 
secular powers, and it was doubtful whether faith in the papacy 
could be found in the papacy itself. Yet a German (Dr. Eck) 
by the most indefatigible exertions had extorted a bull from the 
profane Leo X,- and this bull had just reached England. The 
pope himself sent it to Henry, calling upon him to extirpate the 
Lutheran heresy.* The king handed it to Wolsey, and the 
latter transmitted it to the bishops, who, after reading the 
Jieretic's books, met together to discuss the matter.* There was 
more Romish faith in London than in the Vatican. '• This 
false friar," exclaimed Wolsey, "attacks submission to the clergy 
— that foimtain of all virtues." The humanist prelates were 
the most annoyed; the road they had taken ended in an abyss, 
and they shrank back in alarm. Tonstall, the friend of Eras- 
mus, afterwards bishop of London, and who had just returned 

i- Libros Lutberanos qnornm magnoi jun nomenia pervenerat in manus Aoglonuu, 
(Foljd. Virg. Angl. Hist. (Basil, 15T0, fol) p. 66i.) A great many of the Lutheran book* 
tihi already come into the hands of the English. 2 See above. Book VI. chap. ir. 

3 Ab hoc regno extirpandum et abolendom- Cardinal. £bor. Comaussio- Strype, K. I 
T- p. '£i- * Uabito<]ue Si^t hac re dili^enii tractatu. Ibid. 


from his embassy to Germany where Luther had been painted 
to him in the darkest colours, was particularly violent : " This- 
monk is a Proteus. ... I mean an atheist.^ If you allow 
the heresies to grow up which he is scattering with both hands, 
they will choke the faith and the church will perish.^ Had we 
not enough of the Wickliffites — here are new legions of the 
same kind! . . . To-day Luther calls for the abolition of 
the mass; to-morrow he will ask for the abolition of Jesus Christ.^ 
He rejects every thing, and puts nothing in its place. What'? 
if barbarians plunder our frontiers, we punish them .... 
and shall we bear with heretics who plunder our altars? . . 
. . No! by the mortal agony that Christ endured, I entreat 
you. . . . What am I saying? the whole church conjur.'is 

you to combat against this devouring dragon to 

punish this hell-dog, to silence his sinister bowlings, and to drivo 
him shamefully back into his den." * Thus spoke the eloquent 
Tonstall; nor was Wolsey far behind him. The only attachment 
at all respectable in this man was that which he entertained for 
the church; it may perhaps be called respectable, for it was the 
only one that did not exclusively regard himself. On the lith 
May 1521, this English pope, in imitation of the Italian pope^ 
issued his bull against Luther. 

It was read (probably on the first Sunday in June) in all the 
churches during high mass, when the congregation was most 
numerous.^ A priest exclaimed: ''For every book of Martiu 
Luther's found in your possession within fifteen days after this 
injunction, you will incur the greater excommunication." Then 
a public notary, holding the pope's bull in his hand, with a de- 
scription of Luther's perverse opinions, proceeded towards the 
principal door of the church and fastened up the document." 
The people gathered round it; the most competent person read 
it aloud, while the rest hstened; and the following are some ot 
the sentences which, by the pope's order, resounded in the por- 
ches of all the cathedral, conventual, collegiate, and parisU 
churches of every county in England:^ 

"11. Sins are not pardoned to any, unless, the priest remit- 
ting them, he believe they are remitted to him. 

1 Cum illo I'rothio- • ■ • imo Alhto. Krasm. Ep. 1188. a Tot* raet Ecclesla. 

Ibid. p. 115U. 3 Mini du abolendo ChriaU> ivribere deatiDavU. Ibid. p. lltiU 

« Uladio Spiritut abactum iu autruiii suum coges- Ibid. 6 Cum major coaven- 

eht multitudu. Ibid. « lu valvis seu loci» publicla ecclcala; veBtrni. (Ibid. p.".i4.> 

Ou the doori or public placei of your cbuicbu. ' Stxjrpe, Al- I. p- S7, (Oxf- ed) or 

Luther, xvii, P SOC- 


*'13. If by reason of some iaipossibility, the contrite be not 
confessed, or the priest absolve him, not in earnest, but in jest;, 
yet if he believe that he is absolved, he is most truly ab- 

" 14. In the sacrament of penance and the remission of a 
fault, the pope or bishop doth not more than the lowest priest; 
yea, where there is not a priest, then any Christian will doj yea, 
if it were a woman or a child. 

"26. The pope, the successor of Peter, is not Christ's 

" 28. It is not at ail in the hand of the church or the pope 
to decree articles of faith, no, nor to decree the laws of manners 
or of good works." 

The cardinal-legate, accompanied by the nuncio, by the ain- 
Z/assador of Charles V, and by several bishops, proceeded ia 
great pomp to St. Paul's, where the bishop of Rochester 
preached, and Wolsey burnt Luther's books.^ But they were 
iiardiy reduced to ashes, before sarcasms and jests were heard 
in every direction. "Fire is not a theological argument," said 
one. " The papists, who accuse Martin Luther of slaying and 
murdering Christians," added another, " are like the pickpocket, 
who began to cry stojj thief, as soon as he saw himself in danger 
of being caught." " The bishop of Rochester," said a third, 
" concludes that because Luther has thrown the pope's decretals 
into the fire, he would throw in the pope himself. .... 
"\\e may hence deduce another syllogism, quite as sound: The 
popes have burnt the Kew Testament, therefore, if they could, 
they would burn Christ himself." ^ These jests were rapidly 
circulated from mouth to mouth. It was not enough that Lu- 
ther's writings were in England, they must needs be known, 
and the priests took upon themselves to advertise them. The 
Reformation was advancing, and Rome hersslf pushed behind 
the car. 

The cardinal saw that something more was required thaa 
these paper uutos-da-fe, and the actinty he displayed may indi- 
cate what he would have done in Europe, if ever he had reached 
the pontifical chair. " The spirit of Satan left him no repose," 
says the papist Sanders.* Some action out of the ordinary 
course is needful, thought Wolsey. Kings have hitherto been 

1 See above, Book IX, sb»p x. 2Thej would have burut Chiist himieUL 

tuai. Doct. Tr. Obedience, etc- (Park. Soa) p- 221. 3 S»Uii« spiritu actus. (!»•- 

Sdmin. An«l. p 8-) Utsed by the dpirit of Satan. 


the enemies of the popes: a king shall now undertake their de- 
fence. Princes are not very anxious about learning, a prince 
shall publish a book! ..." Sire," said he to the king, to 
get Henry in the vein, ''you ought to write to the princes of 
Germany on the subject of this heresy." He did so. Writing 
to the Archduke Palatine, he said: " This fire, which has been 
kindled by Luther, and fanned by the arts of the devil, is raging 
every where. If Luther does not repent, deliver him and his 
audacious treatises to the flames. 1 offer you my royal co- 
operation, and even, if necessary, my life." ^ This was the first 
time Henry showed that cruel thirst, which was in after days to 
be quenched in the blood of his wives and friends. 

The king having taken the first step, it was not difficult for 
AVolsey to induce him to take another. To defend the honour 
•of Thomas Aquinas, to stand forward as the champion of the 
church, and to obtain from the pope a title equivalent to that 
of Christianissimus, most Christian king, were more than suffi- 
cient motives to induce Henry to break a lance with Luther. 
" 1 will combat with the pen this Cerberus, sprung from the 
depths of hell/' ^ said he, " and if he refuses to retract, the fire 
shall consume the heretic and his heresies together."' 

The king shut himself up in his library: all the scholastic 
tastes with which his youth had been imbued were revived; he 
worked as if he were archbishop of Canterbury, and not king of 
England; with the pope's permission he read Luther's writings; 
he ransacked Thomas Aquinas; forged, with infinite labour, the 
arrows with which he hoped to pierce the heretic; called several 
learned men to his aid, and at last published his book. His 
first words were a cry of alarm. "Beware of the track of this 
serpent," said he to his Christian readers; " walk on tiptoe; fear 
the thickets and caves in which he lies concealed, and whence 
he will dart his poison on you. If he licks you, be careful 1 the 
cunning viper caresses only that he may bite!"* After that 
Henry sounded a charge: "J3e of good cheer! Filled with the 
same valour that you would display against Turks, Saracens, and 
other infidels, march now against this lUilc friar, — a fellow 
apparently weak, but more Ibrmiduble through the spirit that 
animates him than all infidels, Saracens, and Tui-ks put together."'' 
Thus did Henry YHl, the Feter the Hermit of the sixteenth 

1 Kapps Urkundeii, ii, p. 458. 2 Velut Ccrbcrum ci inf'cris producit in lucera- Uc- 

k'ib ad Itctoitiu- Kpist- p- »4. S U t crrores »gus tuimiue ipsuin iiinis tiurat- Ibid. 

p.tib. 4 Qui tautum ideo lambit ut mordeat. AssenioScpt.Sacram. 

» Sed auimo Tuicis omuibua Barraceiiis iimuibus usquam iulidclibus uoceutiorein &atercu- 
Inm. Ibid.p.U?. 


century, preach a crusade against Luther, in order to save the 

He had skilfully chosen the ground on which he gave battle: 
sacramentalism and tradition are in fact the two essential fea- 
tures of the papal religion; just as a lively faith and Holy Scrip- 
ture are of the religion of the Gospel Henry did a service to 
the Eeformation, by pointing out the principles it would mainly 
have to combat; and by furnishing Luther with an opportunity 
of establishing the authority of the Bible, he made him take s 
most important step in the path of reform. " If a teaching is 
opposed to Scripture," said the Reformer, "whatever be its 
origin — traditions, custom, kings, Thomists, sophists, Satan, or 
even an angel from heaven, — all from whom it proceeds must 
be accursed. Nothing can exid contrary to Scripture, and every 
thing must exist for it." 

Henry's book being terminated by the aid of the bishop of 
Rochester, the king showed it to Sir Thomas llore, who begged 
him to pronounce less decidedly in favour of the papal supremacy. 
*' I will not change a word," replied the king, full of servile de- 
votion to the popedom. ''Besides, I have my reasons," and he 
•whispered them in More's ear. 

Doctor Clarke, ambassador from England at the court of 
Rome, was commissioned to present the pope with a magnifi- 
cently bound copy of the king's work. "The glory of England," 
said he, " is to be in the foremost rank among the nations in 
obedience to the papacy."' Happily Britain was ere long to 
know a glory of a very different kind. The ambasador added 
that his master, after having refuted Luther's errors with the 
jpen, was ready to combat his adherents with the sword? The 
pope, touched with this offer, gave him his foot, and then his 
cheek to kiss, and said to him: "I will do for your Master's 
book as much as the church has done for the works of St. 
Jerome and St. Augustine." 

The enfeebled papacy had neither the power of intelligence, 
nor even of ianaticism. It still maintained its pretensioHS and 
its pomp, but it resembled the corpses of the mighty ones of 
the earth that lie in state, clad in their most magnificent robes: 
splendour above, death and corruption below. The thunder- 
bolts of a Hildebrand ceasing to produce their effect, Rome 
gratefully accepted the defence of laymen, such as Henry VIII 
and Sir Thomas More, without disdaining their judicial sentences 

1 Fiddes' life of Wolsey. p. 249. 2 Totios regni sai viiibos et wrnis- (Rjmer, 

Foedera, vi, |>. 19y.) By the stre::gth and arms of hii whole kingdom. 


and their scaffolds. " We must honour those noble champions/' 
said the pope to his cardinals, " who show themselves prepared 
to cut off with the sword the rotten members of Jesus Christ. '^ 
What title shall we give to the virtuous king of England?"— 
Protector of the Roman church, suggested one; Apostolic Idiij, 
said another; and finally, but not without some opposition, Henry 
VIII was proclaimed Defender of the Faith. At the same time 
the pope promised ten years' indulgence to all readers of the 
king's book. This was a lure after the fashion of the middle 
ages, and which never failed in its effect. The clergy compared 
its author to the wisest of kings; and the book, of which many 
thousand copies were printed, filled the Christian world (Cochlosus 
tells ub) with admiration and delight. 

Nothing could equal Henry's joy. " His majesty," said the 
vicar of Croydon, '• would not exchange that name for all Lon- 
don and twenty miles round."^ The king's fool, entering the 
room just as his master had received the bull, asked him the 
cause of his transports. " The pope has just named me Defender 
of the Faith!"— " Rol ho! good Harry," replied the fool, " let 
you and me defend one another; but .... take my word for 
it ... . let the faith alone to defend itself "^ An entire modern 
system was found in those words. In the midst of the general 
intoxication, the fool was the only sensible person. But Henry 
could listen to nothing. Seated on an elevated throne, with the 
cardinal at his right hand, he caused the pope's letter to be read 
in public. The trumpets sounded: Wolsey said Mass; the king 
and his court took their seats around a sumptuous table, and 
the heralds at arms proclaimed: Henricus Dd gratia Bex AiKjlice 
et Francioe, Defensor Fidei ct Dominns Hibernioe! 

Thus was the king of England more than ever united to the 
pope: whoever brings the Holy Scriptures into his kingdom, 
shall there encounter that material sword, fcrrum et matcrialcm 
yladium, in which the papacy so much delighted. 

1 Putida membra • - - ferro et muteiiali gladio iibscindtie. (UyniiT, Fa'Jeia, vi.p- 130.> 
To cut oir the rotten membets with iron aud the intttcrial sword- 2 i'oxe. Acts, iv, p- Mii. 
» Foiler, book v, p- 1(>8. 



Wolsey's Machinations to obtain the Tiara — He gains Charles V — 
Alliance between Henry and Charles — Wolsey offers to command the 
Troops — Treaty of Bruges — Henry believes himself King of France 
— Victories of Francis I — Death of Leo X. 

On'e thing only was wanting to check more surely the pro- 
gress of the Gospel : Wolsey's accession to the pontifical throne. 
Consumed by the desire of reaching '' the summit of sacerdotal 
tmitj;"' he formed, to attain this end, one of the most perfidious 
schemes ambition ever engendered. He thought with others: 
■" The end justifies the means." 

The cardinal could only attain the popedom through the em- 
peror or the king of France; for then, as now, it was the secular 
powers that really elected the chief of catholicity. After care- 
fully weighing the influence of these two princes, Wolsey found 
that the balance inclined to the side of Charles, and his choice 
•was made. A close intimacy of long standing united him to 
Prancis I, but that mattered little; he must betray his friend to 
gain his friend's rival. 

But this was no easy matter. Henry was dissatisfied with 
Charles the Fifth.^ Wolsey was therefore obliged to employ 
every imaginable delicacy in his manoeuvres. First he sent Sir 
Kichard Wingfield to the emperor; then he wrote a flattering 
letter in Henry's name to the princess-regent of the Low Coun- 
tries. The difiiculty was to get the king to sign it. "Have 
the goodness to put your name," said Wolsey, " even if it should 

annoy your Highness You know very well .... that 

women like to be pleased."* This argument prevailed with the 
king, who still possessed a spirit of gallantry. Lastly, AVolsey 
being named arbitrator between Charles and Francis, resolved 
to depart for Calais, apparently to hear the complaints of the 
two princes; but in reality to betray one of them. Wolsey 
felt as much pleasuie in such practices, as Francis in giving 

The king of France rejected his arbitration: he had a sharp 

1 Cnitatis sacerdoUlis fa»tigium consceDcIere. Sanden, De Scbbm. Adr. 8. 

2 Hjs owne aflajm duiOi cot succede with th' Emperour- State Tapers, vol. i, p. 10. 
■S Ibid. p. 12. 

174 THE emperor's PROMISES, 

eye, and his mother one still sharper. *"' Your master loves me 
not," said he to Charles's ambassador, " and I do not love him 
any more, and am determined to be his enemy ."^ It was im- 
possible to speak more plainly. Far from imitating this frank- 
ness, the politic Charles endeavoured to gain Wolsey, and 
Wolsey, who was eager to sell himself, adroitly hinted at what- 
price he might be bought, "If the king of England sides with 
me," Charles informed the cardinal, "you shall be elected pope 
at the death of Leo X."^ Francis, betrayed by Wolsey, aban- 
doned by the pope, and threatened by the emperor, determined 
at last to accept Henry's mediation. 

' But Charles was now thinking of very different matters. In- 
stead of a mediation; he demanded of the king of England 4000 
of his famous bowmen. Henry §iftile4 ?is hQ read the despaiclr.. 
and looking at Pace his secretary, and Miii'hey the captain of 
his guards, he said: "Beaii qui audiunt et non intelligunt!" 
thus forbidding them to understand, and above all to bruit- 
abroad this strange request. It was agreed to raise the number- 
of archers to 6000> and th-e cardinal, having the tiara continually 
before his eyes, departed to perform at Calais the odious 
comedy of a hypocrit'ical arbitration. Being detahaed. at 
Dover by contrary winds, the mediator took advantage of this 
delay to draw up a list of the 6000 archers and their captains,, 
not forgetting to insert in it, " certain obstinate deer," as* 
Henry had said, " that must of necessity be hunted down."* 
These were gome gentlemen whom the king desired to geti 
rid of. 

While the ambassadors of the king of Franco were received, 
at Calais on the 4th of August -with great honours, by the lord, 
high chamberlain of England, the cardinal signed a convention- 
with Charles's ministers that Henry should withdraw, his promise 
of the Princess Mary's hand to the dauphin, and give her to 
the oniperor. At the same time he issued order;J to destroy 
the French navy, and to invade France.* And finally he pru-- 
cured by way of compensating England for the pension of 
1G,000 pounds hitherto received from the court of St. Gcrmaiu.s, 
•that the emperor should pay henceforward the annual sum of 
40,000 marks. Without ready money the bargain would not- 
■have been a good one. 

1 lie was utUrly determined to be hJ» enemy- Cotton Mss 'iuUia, li. 7ip.,35- 

2 i;t Wolseus mortuo Leone decimo fieret sumuius i>ouiilc.x. s.&ayj-iaRe*' 
'that ceit«yLo hiutes were eo toggidde for him, that he must utaijs huute them, StAlev 
' J')ip«ti, i. P' '''C- i Ibid. i- p. 23. 


Tliis was not all. Wtile Wolsey was waiting to be elected 
pope, he conceived the idea of becoming a soldier. A com- 
mander was wanted for the 6000 archers Henry was sending 
against the king of France; and why should he not be the car- 
dinal himself? He immediately intrigued to get the noblemew 
set aside who had been proposed as generals in chief. "Shrews- 
bury," he said to the king, " is wanted for Scotland — ^^Yorcesteir 
by his experience is worthy that .... you should keep him 
near you. As for Dorset .... he will be very dear." Then 
the priest added: " Sire, if during my sojourn on the other side 

of the sea, you have good reason to send your archers I 

hasten to inform you that whenever the emperor takes the com- 
mand of his soldiers, I am ready, although an ecclesiastic/ to 
put myself at the head of yours." What devotedness! Wolsey 
would cause his cross of cardinal a latere to be carried before ■ 
him (he said): and neither Francis nor Bayard would be able; 
to resist him. To command at the same time the state, the-' 
church, and the army, while awaiting the tiara, — to surround 
his head with laurels: such was this man's ambition. Unfor- 
tunately for him, they were not of that opinion at court. The 
king made the earl of Essex commander-in-chief. 

As "Wolsey could not be general, he turned to diplomacy;- 
He hastened to Bruges; and as he entered at the emperor's side, - 
a voice was heard above the crowd, exclaiming : Salve, Bex regis 
tui atque regni suifi — a sound most pleasing to his ears. People 
were very much astonished at Bruges by the intimacy existing 
between the cardinal and the emperor. ''There is some mystery 
beneath it all," they said.^ Wolsey desired to place the crown 
of France on Henry's head, and the tiara on his own. Such 
was the mystery, which was well worth a few civilities to 
the mighty Charles V. The alliance was concluded, and the 
contracting parties agreed " to avenge the insults offered to 
the throne of Jesus Christ," or in other words, to the pope- 

Wolsey, in order to drag Henry into the intrigues which were 
to procure him the tiara, had reminded him that he was ki7ig 
of Francty and the suggestion had been eagerly caught at. At 
midnight ou the 7th of August, the king dictated to his secre- 
tary a letter for Wolsey containing this strange expression: &i 
ibitis ]parare regi locum in regno ejus kereditario, Mqjedas ejus 

1 Though I be a spiritual man. SUte Papers, i, p. 31. I Hail, both king ol 

thj kiuK and also of his kingdom. Tynd. Expos- p. 314. 3 There was a certain 

stcxet whereof all men tuew not. Ibid. 315. 

176 wolsey's practices. 

quum tefmpus erit opportunum, sequetur} The theologian who 
had corrected the famous latin book of the king's against 
Luther, most certainly had not revised this phrase. According 
to Henry, France was his hereditary kingdom, and Wolsey was 
going to prepare the throne for him. . . . The king could 
not restrain his joy at the mere idea, and already he surpassed 
in imagination both Edward III and the Black Prince. " I am 
about to attain a glory superior to that which my ancestors 
have gained by so many wars and battles." * Wolsey traced 
■out for him the road to his palace on the bants of the Seine: 
" Mezieres is about to fall; afterwards there is only Rheims, 
■which is not a strong city; and thus your grace will very easily 
reach Paris," ^ Henry ibllowed on the map the route he would 
have to take: "Aifairs are going on well," wrote the cardinal, 
■" the Lord be praised." In him this Christian language was a 
mere official formality. 

Wolsey was mistaken: things were going on badly. On the 
20th of October 1522, Francis I whom so much perfidy had 
been unable to deceive, — Francis, ambitious and turbulent, but 
honest in this matter at least, and confiding in the strength of 
his arms, had suddenly appeared between Cambray and Valen- 
ciennes. The emperor fled to Flanders m alarm, and ^Volsey, 
instead of putting huuself at the head of the army, had shielded 
himself under his arbitrator's cloak. Writing to Henry, who, 
a fortnight before, had by his advice excited Charles to attack 
France, he said : " I am confident that your virtuoiLS mediation 
will greatly increase your reputation and honour throughout 
Christendom." ^ F'rancis rejected Wolsey's ofiers, but the object 
of the latter was attained. The negotiations had gained time 
for Charles, and bad weather soon stopped the F'rench army. 
Wolsey returned satisfied to London about the middle of Decem- 
ber. It was true that Henry's triumphant entry into Paris 
became very difficult; but the cardinal was sure of the emperor's 
favour, and through it (he imagined) of the tiara. Wolsey had 
done, therei'ore, what he desired. He had hardly arrived in 
England, when there came news which raited him to thu height 
of happiness: Leo X was dead. His joy surpassed what Henry 
had ieit at the thought of his hereditary kmydum. Protected 
by the powerful Charles V, to whom he had sacrificed^ every 

llfyonco toprcparea place for the king in his hereditary Jiingdom , his Majesty will 
follow you at a liltiiiR season. State Tapers . i, S6. a Majoia usieijui quam 

oniueB ipsius pruKtiiituics tot bellis et preliis. Ibid. 46. 3 Your grace shall haTe 

but a lej ve wey to I'aris. IbiU. lli. * Cotlou MSS. Calig. D, S, p. bS- 


thing, the English cardinal was at last on the point of receiving 
that pontifical crown which would permit him to crush heresj, 
and which was, in his eyes, the just reward of so many infamous 


The Just Men of Lincolnshire — Their Assemblies and Teaching — Agnes 
and Morden — Itinerant Libraries — Polemical Conversations— Sar- 
casm — Roval Decree and Terror — Depositions and Condemnations — 
Four Martyrs — A Conclave — Charles consoles Wolsey. 

TVoLSEY did not stay until he was pope, before persecuting 
the disciples of the word of God. Desirous of carrying out 
the stipulations of the convention at Bruges, he had 
broken out against "the king's subjects who disturbed the 
apostolic see." Henry had to vindicate the title conferred 
on him by the pope; the cardinal had to gain the popedom; 
and both could satisfy their desires by the erection of a few 

In the county of Lincoln on the shores of the North Sea, 
along the fertile banks of the Humber, Trent, and Witham^ 
and on the slopes of the smOing hills, dwelt many peaceful 
Christians — labourers, artificers, and shepherds — who spent 
their days in toil, in keeping their flocks, in doing good, and in 
reading the Bible.^ Tlie more the- gospel-light increased in 
England, the greater was the increase in the number of these 
children of peace.^ These '"just men," as they were called, 
were devoid of human knowledge, but they thirsted for the 
knowledge of God. Thinking they were alone the true disciples 
of the Lord, they married only among themselves.^ 'I hey ap- 
peared occasionally at cliurch; but instead of repeating their 
prayers like the rest, they sat, said their enemies, " miun like 
beasts." * On JSundays and holidays, they assembled in each 
other's houses, and sometimes passed a wiiole night in reading a 
portion of Scripture. If there chanced to be lew books among 

1 Beinz simt le Ubonrera and mrtjacers. Foxe. AeU.iy, p. 240. 2 Aa the light 

of the Gospel b*j;»ii more to uppear, aud the nambets of , roteatots to grow- lUd p. 217. 
3 Did coQiract mauiuwu; on.> vi<h UieniMlrca- Uiid- p. XXi. * ibid. v. 2& 

46 M 


them, one of the brethren, who had learnt by heart the Epistle 
of St. James, the beginning of St. Luke's gospel, the sermon oa 
the mount, or an epistle of St. Paul's, would recite a few verses- 
in a loud and calm voice; then all would piously converse about 
the holy truths of the faith, and exhort one another to put 
them in practice. But if any person joined their meetings, 
who did not belong to their body, they would all keep 
silent.^ Speaking much among each other, they were speech- 
less before those from without: fear of the priests and of the 
faggot made them dumb. There was no family rejoicing 
without the Scriptures. At the marriage of a daughter of 
the aged Durdant, one of their patriarchs, the wedding party 
met secretly in a barn, and read the whole of one of St. Paul's- 
epistles. Marriages are rarely celebrated with such pastimes as- 

Although they were dumb before enemies or suspected per- 
sons, these poor people did not keep silence in the presence of 
the humble : a glowing proselytism characterized them all. 
" Come to my house," said the pious Agnes Ashford to Jaxues 
Morden, " and I will teach you some verses of Scripture." 
Agnes was an educated woman; she could read; Morden came,, 
'and the poor woman's chamber was transformed into a school 
of theology. Agnes began: "Ye are the salt of the earth," 
and then recited the following verses.^ Five times did. 
Morden return to Agnes before he knew that beautiful 
discourse. " We are spread like salt over the various parts 
of the kingdom," said this Christian woman to the neophyte, 
"in order that we may check the progress of superstition 
by our doctrine and our life. But," added she in alarm, " keep 
this secret in yoxu: heart, as a man would keep a thief in. 
prison." ^ 

As books were rare these pious Christians had established a 
kind of itinerant library, and one John Scrivener was continually 
engaged in carrying the precious volumes from one to another.* 
But at times, as he was proceeding along the banks of the river 
or through the forest glades, he observed that he was followed. 
He would quicken his pace and run into some barn where the 
friendly peasants promptly hid him. beneath the straw, or, like 
the spies of Israel, under the ttalks of flax.^ The bloodhounds 

1 If any came in ntnong them tlint were not of their side, then thej would keep iiH Bilent. 
Foxe, Acts . iv , p. ■rii- ■> Alatth, v. lA-lH- 3 i'oxe, Acts , iv, p. 2^0. 

* Carrjinff ubout books from one to uliother. Ibid- iv, p. 23i 6 Hiding otiieis 

in their bwu- lbid.p.i:iiS' 



arrived, sought and found nothing; and more than once those 
who so generously harboured these evangelists cruelly expiated 
the crime of charity. 

The disappointed officers had scarcely retired from the neigh- 
bourhood when these friends of the word of God came out of 
their hiding-place, and profited by the moment of liberty to 
assemble the brethren. The persecutions they suffered irritated 
them against the priests. They worshipped God, read, and 
sang with a low voice; but when the conversation became gene- 
ral^ they gave free course to their indignation. " Wotdd you 
know ihe use of the pope's pardons'?" said one of them; *'they 
are to bhnd the ejes and empty the purse." — " True pilgrim- 
ages," said the tailor Geoffrey of Uxbridge, " consist in visiting 
the poor and sick — barefoot, if so it please you — for these are 
the little ones that are god's true image." — " Money spent in 
pilgrimages," added a third, " serves only to maintain thieves 
and harlots." ^ The women ucre often the most animated in 
the controversy. " liYhat need is there to go to the Jtd" said 
Agnes Ward, who disbelieved in saints, "when we may go t<? 
the headf * — " the clergy of the good old times," said the wife 
of David Lewis, " used to lead the people as a hen leadeth her 
chickens; 3 but now if our priests kad their flocks any where, it 
is to the devil assuredly." 

Erelong there was a general panic throughout this district. 
The king's confessor John Longland was bishop of Lincoln. This 
fanatic priest, Wolsey's creature, took advantage of his position 
to petition Henry for a severe persecution: this was the ordinary 
use in England, France, and elsewhere, of the confesvsors of 
princes. It wi.s unibrtunate that among these pious aisciples of 
the word, men of a cynical turn were now and then met with, 
whose biting sarcasms went beyond all bounds. \\ olsey and 
Longland knew how to employ these expressions in arousing the 
king's anger. "As one of these iiellows," they said, "'was busy 
beatmg out his corn in his barn, a man chanced to pass by. 
* Good morrow, Leighbour,' (said the latter), 'you ai*e hard at 
it!' — ' Yes,'repUed tlie old heretic, thinking ot transubstantiation, 
' I am thrasuing the corn out of which the priests make God 
Almighty.'"* Henry hesitated no longer. 

Ou ihe lOth October 1521, nine days after the bull on the 
DeJtfJM&r oj the Faith, had been signed at Rome, the king, who 
was at \\ iudsor, summoned his secretary, and dictated an order 

* roxe. Act*, iv. p. a& 2 Ibid p.2». «Ibid.p.2Zi. 

* i Uituta boa AiUi^ibtj oat of Uie straw- Ibiu p. tt>. 

180 THE bishop's tribunal. 

commanding all his subjects to assist the bishop of Lincoln 
agamst the heretics. " You will obey it at the peril of your 
lives," added he. The order was transmitted to Longland, and 
the bishop immediately issued his warrants, and his officers 
spread terror far and wide. When they beheld them, these 
peaceful but timid Christians were troubled. Isabella Bartlet, 
hearing them approach her cottage, screamed out to her hus- 
band: " You are a lost man! and 1 am a dead woman! " ^ This 
cry was re-echoed from all the cottages of Lincolnshire. The 
bishop, on his judgment-seat, skilfully played upon these poor 
unhappy beings to make them accuse one another. Alas! ac- 
cording to the ancient prophecy: " the brother delivered up the 
brother to death." Robert Bartlet deposed against his brother 
Eichard and his own wife; Jane Bernard accused her own father 
and Tredway his mother. It was not until after the most cruel 
anguish that these poor creatures were driven to such frightful 
extremities; but the bishop and death terrified them: a small 
number alone remained firm. As regards heroism, Wickliffe's 
Eeformation brought but a feeble aid to the Reformation of 
the sixteenth century; still, it it did not furnish many heroes, it 
prepared the English people to love God's word above all things. 
Of these humble people, some were condemned to do penance in 
different monasteries; others to carry a faggot on their slioulders 
thrice round the market-place, and then to stand some time 
exposed to the jeers ot the populace; others were fastened to a 
post while the e-ecuiioner branded them on tiie cheek with a 
red-hot iron. They uLo had their martyrs. Wickliffe's revival 
had never been without them. Four of these brethren were 
chosen to be put to death, and among them the pious evangelical 
colporteur bcnvener. By burning hiui to ashes, the clergy de- 
sked to make sure that he would no longer circulate the word 
of God; and by a horrible refinement ot cruelty his children 
were compelled to set fire to the pile that was to comsume their 
lather." They stretched iorth their trembUng hands, held m 
the strong grasp of the executioners. . . . Poor cuildreu. 
. . . . But it is easier to buru the hmbs of Cnristians than 
to quench the iSpirit of Heaven. 'Ihese cruel fires could not 
destroy among the Lincolnshire peasantry that love of 
the Bible which in all ages has been h:iigiand's strength, far 
more than the wi.^dom oi her senators or the braver)' ot her 

I Alftiil uuw are you an undone man, ami 1 but :i dead i-'oso, A ::?. «'. \\. ■2:,. 


Having by these exploits gained indisputable claims to the 
tiara, Wolsey turned his efforts towards Rome. Leo X, as we 
have seen, was just dead (lo22). The cardinal sent Pace to 
Eome, instructing him to " Eepresent to the cardinals that by 
choosing a partizan of Charles or Francis, they will incur the 
enmity of one or the other of these princes, and that if they 
elect some feeble Italian priest, the apostolical see must become 
the prey of the strongest. Luther's revolt and the emperor's 
ambition endanger the papacy. There is only one means of pre- 
venting the threatening dangers. . . . It is to choose me. 
. . . Now go and exert yourself." ^ The concleve opened 
at Rome on the 27th December . and Wolsey was proposed j but 
the cardinals were not generally favourable to his election. ''He 
is too young," said one; '• too firm," said another. '• He wUl fix 
the seat of the papacy in England and not in Eome," urged 
many. He did not receive twenty votes. "The cardinals," 
vrrote the English ambassador, "snarled and quarrelled with 
each other; and their bad faith and hatred increased every day." 
On the sixth day, only one dish was sent them; and then in 
despair they chose Adrian, who had been tutor to the emperor, 
and the cry was raised: Papain hahemus! 

During all this time Wolsey was in London, consumed by 
ambition, and counting the days and hours. At length a des- 
patch from Ghent, dated the 22nd January, reached him with 
these words: " On the 9th of January, the cardinal of Tortosa 
"was elected!" .... ^^ olsey was almost distracted. To gaia 
Charles, he had sacrificed the alliance of Francis I; there was 
no stratagem that he had not employed, and yet Charles, ia 
spite of his engagements, had procured the election of his tutorl 
.... The emperor knew what must be the cardinal's anger, 
and endeavoured to appease it: " The new pope," he wrote, 

"is old and sickly;- he cannot hold his ofiice long 

Beg the caruinul of York for my sake to take great care of his 

Charles did more than this: he visited London in person, 
under pretence of his betrothal with Mary of England^ and, ia 
the treaty then drawn up, he consented to the insertion of an 
article by virtue of which Henry Yili and the mighty emperor 
bound themselves, if either should inlringe the treaty, to appear 
before Wolsey and to submit to his decisions.^ The cardmal, 

i The sole way .... was to chnse him- Herbei t. p. Ua 2The uew elect ii botb 

old, Bicklj . ... 80 that he shall uot have the office loug. Cotton iiisS. Galba, H- vii. p. 6. 

3 Both prince* apyeaiiuK belore the ear&imd of York as judse. Art- xiii. Heibeit, 


gratified by such condescension, grew calm; and at the same 
time he was soothed with the most flattering hopes. " Charles's 
imbecile preceptor," they told him, " has arrived at the Vatican, 
attended only by his female cook; you shall soon make your 
entrance there surrounded by all your grandeur/' To be cer- 
tain of his game, Wolsey made secret approaches to Francis I, 
and then waited for the death of the pope.^ 


Character of Tyndale — He arrives in London — He preaches — The Cloth 
and the Ell — The bishop of London gives Audience to Tyndale — He 
is dismissed — A Christian Merchant of London — Spirit of Love in 
the Reformation — Tyndale in Monmouth's House — Fryth helps him 
to translate the New Testament — Importunities of the Bishop of 
Lincoln — Persecution in London — Tyndale's Eesolution — He departs 
— His Indignation against the Prelates — His Hopes. 

While the cardinal was intriguing to attain his selfish ends, 
Tyndale was humbly carrying out the great idea of giving the 
Scriptures of God to England. 

After bidding a sad farewell to the manor-house of Sodbury, 
the learned tutor had departed for London. This occurred 
about the end of 1522 or the beginning of 1523. He had left 
the university — ^he had forsaken the house of his protector; his 
wandering career was about to commence, but a thick veil hid 
from him all its sorrows. Tyndale, a man simple in his habits, 
sober, daring, and generous, fearing neither fatigue nor danger, 
inflexible in his duty, anointed with the Spirit of God, over- 
flowing with love for his brethren, emancipated from human 
traditions, the servant of God alone, and loving nought but 
Jesus Christ, imaginative, quick at repartee, and of touching 
eloquence — such a man might have shone in the foremost ranks; 
but he preferred a retired life in some poor corner, provided he 
could give his countrymen the Scriptures of God. \\ here could 
he find this calm retreat? waa ihc question he put to himself 
as he was making his solitary way to London. The metropolitan 
gee was then filled by Cuthbert Tonstall, who was more of a 

1 Mortem etiam Adrian! expectak Sanden, P' 8. 


•statesman and a scholar than of a churchman, " the first of 
English men in Greek and Latin literature," said Erasmus. 
This eulogy of the learned Dutchman occurred to Tyndale's 
memory. ^ It was the Greek Testament of Erasmus that led 
me to Christ, said he to himself; why should not the house of 
Erasmus's friend offer me a shelter that I may translate it ... . 
At last he reached London, and, a stranger in that crowded city, 
he wandered along the streets, a prey by turns to hope and fear. 
Being recommended by Sir John Walsh to Sir Harry Guild- 
ford, the king's comptroller, and by him to several priests, 
Tyndale began to preach almost immediately, especially at St. 
Dunstan's, and bore into the heart of the capital the truth 
which had been banished from the banks of the Severn. The 
word of God was with him the basis of salvation, and the grace 
of God its essence. His inventive mind presented the truths 
he proclaimed in a striking manner. He said on one occasion: — 
*' It is the blood of Christ that opens the gates of heaven, and 

not thy works. I am wrong Yes, if thou wilt have it 

so, by thy good works shalt thou be saved. — Yet, understand 
me well, — not by those which thou has done, but by those which 
Christ has done for thee. Christ is in thee and thou in him, 
knit together inseparably. Thou canst not be damned, except 
Christ be damned with thee; neither can Christ be saved except 
thou be saved with him/^ This lucid view of justification by 
faith places Tyndale among the reformers. He did not take 
his seat on a bishop's throne, or wear a sUken cope; but he 
mounted the scaffold, and was clothed v.ith a garment of flames. 
In the service of a crucified Saviour this latter distinction is 
higher than the former. 

Yet the translation was his chief business; he spoke to'-kis 
acquaintances about it, and some of them opposed his project. 
" The teachings of the doctors," said some of the city tradesmen, 
*' can alone make us understand Scripture." " That is to say," 
rephed Tyndale, " I must measure the yard by the cloth} 
Look here," continued he, using a practical argument, " here 

are in your shop twenty pieces of stuff of different lengths 

Do you measure the yard by these pieces, or the pieces by the 
yard? .... The universal standard is Scripture." This com- 
parison was easily fixed in the minds of the petty tradesmen of 
the capital. 

Desirous of carrying out his project, Tyndale aspired to be- 

1 As I ttins thought, the bishop of London came to m; remembra&ce. Tpidale, Docts 
»r.' p. tSS. • ' 2 ibii p. 79. 3 Ibid. p. 153. 


come the bishop's chaplain;^ his ambition was more modest than 
Wolsey's. The hellenist possessed qualities which could not fail 
to please the most learned of Englishmen in Greek literature; 
Tonstall and Tyndale both liked and read the same authors^ 
The ex-tutor determined to plead his cause through the elegant 
and harmonious disciple of Radicus and Gorgias: " Here is one 
of Isocrates' orations that I have translated into Latin," said he 
to Sir Harry Guildford; " I should be pleased to become chaplain 
to his lordship the bishop of London; will you beg him to accept 
this trifle. Isocrates ought to be an excellent recommendation 
to a scholar; will you be good enough to add yours." Guildford 
spoke to the bishop, placed the translation in his hands, and 
Tonstall replied with that benevolence which he showed to 
every one. " Your business is in a fair way," said the comp- 
troller to Tyndale; " write a letter to his lordship, and deliver 
it yourself. "2 

Tynd ale's hopes now began to be reahzed. He wrote his 
lettier in the best style, and then, commending himself to God, 
proceeded to the episcopal palace. He fortunately knew one 
of the bishop's officers, William Hebilthwayte, to whom he gave 
the letter. Hebilthwayte carried it to his lordship, while Tyn- 
dale waited. His heart throbbed with anxiety: shall he liud 
at last the long hoped for asylum? The bishop's answer might 
decide the whole course of his life. If the door is opened, — if 
the translator of the Scriptures should be settled in the episcopal 
palace, why should not, his London patron receive the truth like 
his patron at Sodbury? and, in that case, what a future for the 
church and for the kingdom! .... The Reformation was- 
knocking at the door of the hierarchy of England, and the latter 
was about to utter its yea or its nay. After a lew moments' 
absence Hebilthwayte returned: "I am going to conduct you 
to his lordship." Tyndale fancied himself that he had attained 
his wishes. 

The bishop was too kind-hearted to refuse an audience to a 
man who called upon him with the triple recommendation of 
Isocrates, of the comptroller, and of the king's old companion 
in arms. He received Tyndale with kindness, a little tempered 
however with coldness, as if lie were a man whose acquaintance- 
ship might compromise him. Tyndale having made known his 
wishes, the bishop hastened to reply: "Alas! my house is full.* 
I have nuw more people than I can employ." Tyndale was dis- 

1 lie laboured to be his chapUin. Foxe. Acit, W- p. 617. 3 He willed me to 

write an epistle to n;; lord, luid to go to bim myself- Ibid- 3 Mji lord aaswered 

me, tail bouse wu tail- TyndtUe, l>octt- Tr..p !Ui 

THE bishop's beplt. . 185 

comfited by this answer. The bishop of London was a learned 
man, but wanting in courage and consistency; he gave his right 
hand to the friends of letters and of the Gospel, and his left; 
hand to the friends of the priests; and then endeavoured to walk 
with both. But when he had to choose between the twO' 
parties, clerical interests prevailed. There was no lack of 
bishops, priests, and laymen about him, who intimidated him by 
their clamours. After taking a few steps forward, he suddenly 
recoiled. Still Tyndale ventured to hazard a word; but th& 
prelate was cold as before. The humanists, who laughed at the 
ignorance of the monks, hesitated to touch' an ecclesiastical sys- 
tem which lavished on them such rich sinecures. They ac- 
cepted the new ideas in theory, but not in practice. They were 
very willing to discuss them at table, but not to proclaim them 
from the pulpit; and covering the Greek Testament with ap- 
plause, they tore it in pieces when rendered into the vulgar 
tongue. " If you will look well about London. " said Tonstall 
coldly to the poor priest; "you will not fail to meet with some- 
euitable employment." This was all Tyndale could obtain. 
Hebilthwayte waited on him to the door, and the hellenist de- 
parted sad and desponding. 

His expectations were disappointed. Driven from the banks 
of the Severn, without a home in the capital, what would become 
of the translation of the Scriptures? "Alas!" he said; " I was 
deceived .... ^there is nothing to be looked for from the 

bishops Christ was smitten on the cheek before the 

bishop, Paul was buffeted before the bishop^ . . . and a bishop 
has just turned me away." His dejection did not last long:. 
there was an elastic principle in his soul. " I hunger for the 
word of God," said he, " 1 will translate it, whatever they may 
say or do. God will not suffer me to perish. He never made- 
a mouth but he made food for it, nor a body, but he made 
raiment also."^ 

This trustfulness was not misplaced. It was the privilege of 
a layman to give what the bishop refused. Among Tyndale'a- 
hearers at St. Dunstan's was a rich merchant named Humphrey 
Monmouth, who had visited Eome, and to whom (as well as to 
his companions) the pope had been so kind as to give certain 
Eoman curiosities, such as indulgences, a culpa et a jpoend^ 
Ships laden with his manufactures every year quitted London 
for foreign countries. He had formerly attended Colet's preach- 

1 1 was begaikd. Tjndale, Doctr. Tr. p- 395. 2 Eipoationa, p- »< 

3 Xjnd. a£d Frj th'i Worki. ii, p- 313- 


ing at St. Paul's, and from the year 1515 he had known the 
word of God.i He ^as one of the gentlest and most obliging 
men in England; he kept open house for the friends of learning 
and of the Gospel, and his library contained the newest publica- 
tions. In putting on Jesus Christ, Monmouth had particularly 
striven to put on his character; he helped generously with his 
purse both priests and men of letters; he gave forty pounds 
sterling to the ' chaplain of the bishop of London, the same 
to the king's, to the provincial of the Augustines, and to 
others besides. Latimer, who sometimes dined with him, 
once related in the pulpit an anecdote characteristic of the 
friends of the Reformation in England. Among the re- 
gular guests at Monmouth's table was one of his poorest 
neighbours, a zealous Romanist, to whom his generous host often 
used to lend money. One day when the pious merchant was 
extolling Scripture and blaming popery, his neighbour turned 
pale, rose from the table, and left the room. " 1 will never set 
loot in his house again," he said to his friends, " and I will never 
borrow another shilling of him."^ He next went to the bishop 
and laid an information against his benefactor. Monmouth 
forgave him, and tried to bring him back; but the neighbour 
constantly turned out of his way. Onc\ however, they met in 
a street so narrow that he could not escape. ''1 will pass by 
without looking at him," said the Romanist turning away his 
head. But Monmouth went straight to him, took him by the 
hand, and said afiectionately: "Neighbour, what wrong have I 
done you?" and he continued to speak to him with so much 
love, that the poor man fell on his knees, burst into tears, and 
begged his forgiveness.' Such was the spirit which, at the very 
outset, animated the work of the Reformation in England: it 
•was acceptable to God, and found favour with the people. 

Monmouth being edified by Tyndale's sermons, inquired into 
his means of living. " I have none,"* replied he, " but I 
hope to enter into the bishop "s service." This was before his 
■visit to Tonstall. When Tyndale saw all his hopes frustrated, 
he went to Monmouth and told him everything. *' Come and 
live with me," said the wealthy merchant, " and there labour." 
God did to Tyndale according to his faith. Simple, frugal, de- 
Totcd to work, he studied night and day;* and wishing to guard 
bis mind against " being overcharged with surfeiting," he refused 
the delicacies of his patron's table, and would take nothing but 

» The rich mini began to be a Scripture man. Latimer's Sermons, p- «U (I'ark. Soc) 

a Latimei'i. Works, i- p. «!• lie would borrow no [more] money olhim. 3 Ibid. 

♦ i'oxe, Acts, iv, p. 617. « Strype, lltcords. i. p. 661. 



;6odden meat and small beer.^ It would even seem that he car- 
ried simplicity in dress almost too far.^ By his conversation and 
his works, he shed over the house of his patron the mild light 
of the Christian virtues, and Monmouth loved him more and 
itiore every day, 

Tyndale was advancing in his work when John Fryth, the 
mathematician of King's College, Cambridge, arrived in London. 
It is probable that Tyndale, feeling the want of an associate, 
had invited him. United like Luther and Melancthon, the two 
friends held many precious conversations together. '' I will 
consecrate my life wholly to the church of Jesus Christ," said 
Fryth,^ " To be a good man, you must give great part of your- 
self to your parents, a greater part to your country; but the 
greatest of all to the church of the Lord." " The people should 
know the word of God/'* they said both. '•' The interpretation 
of the gospel, without the intervention of councils or popes, is 
sufficient to create a saving faith in the heart." They shut 
themselves up in the little room in Monmouth's house, and 
translated chapter after chapter from the Greek into plain 
English. The bishop of London knew nothing of the work go- 
ing on a few yards from him, and everything was succeeding to 
Tyndale's wishes when it was interrupted by an unforeseen 

Longland, the persecutor of the Lincobshire Christians, did not 
confine his activity within the limits of his diocese; he besieged 
the king, the cardinal, and the queen with his cruel importum- 
ties, using Wolsey's influence with Henry, and Henry's with 
AYolsey. •' His majesty," he wrote to the cardinal, *' shows in 

this holy dispute as much goodness as zeal yet, be pleased 

to urge him to overthrow God's enemies." And then turning to 
the king, the confessor said, to spur him on: " The cardinal is 
about to fulminate the greater excommunication against all who 
j)0S6ess Luther's works or hold his opinions, and to make the 
booksellers sign a bond before the magistrates, not to sell heret- 
ical books." " ^Vonderful! " replied Henry with a sneer, "they 
will fear the magisteiial bond, 1 think, more than the dei'ical 
excommunication." And yet the consequences of the " clerical" 
excommunication were to be very positive; whosoever persevered 
in his offence was to be pursued by the law ad igneni, even to the 
fire.* At last the confessor applied to the queen: " We cannot be 

1 Sti7p«, Records, i. p. 664. He wonld eat bat sodden meat and drink bat small single beer. 
2 He was never seen in that house to wear linen about him. Ibid. ^ T>ndale and 

Fijtb's WorKs, iii, p. 73. 71. « That the poor people might also read and see the 

■iniple plain word ot Uod. IToxc Acts, t. p. US. * Anderson's Annalsof the Bible, i p. 12. 


sure of restraining the press," he said to her. "These wreteheci 
books come to us from Germany, France, and the Low Countries; 
and are even printed in the very midst of us. Madam, we must 
train and prepare skilful men, such as are able to discuss the 
controverted points, so that the laity, struck on the one hand 
by well developed arguments, and frightened by the fear of 
punishment on the other, may be kept in obedience." ^ In the 
bishop's system, " fire" was to be the complement of Eomaa 
learning. The essential idea of Jesuitism is already visible in 
this conception of Henry the Eighth's confessor. That system 
is the natural development of Romanism. 

Tonstall, urged forward by Longland, and desirous of showing 
himself as holy a churchman as he had once been a skilful states- 
man and elegant scholar — Tonstall, the friend of Erasmus, began 
to persecute. He would have feared to shed blood, hke Long- 
land; but there are measures which torture the mind and not the 
body, and which the most moderate men fear not to make use 
of. John Higgins, Henry Chambers, Thomas Eaglestone, a 
priest named Edmund Spilman, and some other Christians in 
London, used to meet and read portions of the Bible in English^ 
and even asserted publicly that " Luther had more learning in 
his little finger than all the doctors in England."'' The bishop 
ordered these rebels to be arrested: he flattered and alarmed 
them, threatening them with a cruel death (which he would 
hardly have inflicted on them), and by these skilful practices 
reduced them to silence. 

Tyndale, who witnessed this persecution, feared lest the stake 
should interrupt his labour. W those who read a few fragments 
of Scripture are threatened with death, what will he not have 
to endure who is translating the whole? His friends entreated 
him to withdraw from the bishop's pursuit. " Alas! " he ex- 
claimed, "is there then no place where I can translate the 

Bible? It is not the bishop's house alone that is closed 

against me, but all England." ^ 

He then made a great sacrifice. Since there is no place ia 
his own country where he can translate the word of God, he will 
go and seek one among the nations of the continent, it is true 
the people arc unknown to him; ho is without resources; perhaps 

persecution and even death await him there It matters not I 

some time must elapse before it is known what he is doing, and 
perhaps he will have been able to translate the Bible. He turned 

' Anderson, Bible Auuuls, I- p. i'i, 43- Herbert says (p. U7) '" to Buspeud the laity betwixt 
fear utid coutruvcnit «■" * Foxe, Actji, v. p. 17u 3 iiul also that there was no 

place to do it in all li^ugLuid' Tynd. Doclr. I'r 3V6> 


his eyes towards Germany. '* God does not destine us to a quiet 
life here below/' he said.^ " If he calls us to peace on the part 
of Jesus Christ, he calls us to war on the part of the world." 

There lay at that moment in the river Thames a vessel load- 
ing for Hamburg. Monmouth gave Tyndale ten pounds ster- 
lino- for his voyage, and other friends contributed a like amount. 
He left the half of this sum in the hands of his benefactor to 
provide for his future wants, and prepared to quit London, 
•where he had spent a year. Rejected by his fellow-countrymen, 
persecuted by the clergy, and carrying with him only his New 
Testament and his ten pounds, he went on board the ship, shak- 
ing off the dust of his feet, according to his Master's precept, 
and that dust fell back on the priests of England. He was 
indignant (says the chronicler) against those coarse monks, 
covetous priests, and pompous prelates,"^ who were waging an 
impious war against God. " W hat a trade is that of the priestsl" 
he said in one of his later writings; "they want money for 
every thing: money for baptism, money for churcLiiigs, for 
•weddings, for buryings, for images, brotherhoods, penances, soul- 
masses, bells, organs, chalices, copes, surplices, ewers, censers, 
and all manner of ornaments. Poor sheep! The parson shears, 
the vicar shaves, the parish priest polls, the friar scrapes, the 

indulgence seller pares ail that you want is a butcher to 

flay you and take away your skin.^ He will not leave you 
long. AY by are your prelates dressed in red? Because they 
are ready to shed the blood of whomsoever seeketh the word of 
God.* iScourge of states, devastators of kingdoms, tne priests 
take away not only Holy Scriptmre, but also prosperity and 
peace; but of their councils is no; reigning over all, they 
obey nobody; and making all concur to their own greatness, the}' 
conspire against every kingdom."* 

Ko kingdom was to be more familiar than England with, the 
conspiracies of the papacy of whi-jh Tyndale spoke; and yet none 
was to tree itself more irrevocably Irom the power ot Rome. 

Yet 'iyndaie was leaving the shores of hus native land, and 
as he turned his eyes towards the new countries, ho. e revived 
in his heart. He was going to be tree, and he would use his 
liberty to deliver the word of God, so long held captive. " The 
priests," he said one day, •' when they had slain Chri.-t, set pole- 
axes to keep him in his, that he should not rise again, 

1 We Tie nnt fciHerl to a soft lirine- Tynd Doct. Tr.949 2 Markire csiwcirilly the de- 

jreanonr of the preachors. and beh Irli-is tie pomp of the prel-ite-*. Fuxe. Acts, v. p. 118. 
3 Doct. I'r. p. -^3* Obedience of a (.hr. Man. 4 ibid p- JoL S iLid- p. 191 


even so have our priests buried the testament of God, and all 
their study is to keep it down, that it rise not again.^ But the 
hour of the Lord is come, and nothing can hinder the word of 
God, as nothing could hinder Jesus Christ of old from issuing 
from the tomb.'' Indeed that poor man, then sailing towards 
Germany, was to send back, even from the banks of the Elbe, 
the eternal Gospel to his countrymen. 


Bilney at Cambridge — Conversions — The University Cross-Bearer — 
A Leicestersliire Farmer — A Party of Students — Superstitious 
Practices — An obstinate Papist — The Sophists — Latimer attacks 
•"staflbrd — Bilney's Resolution — Latimer hears Bilney 's Confession 
— Coufesfcor converted — New Life in Latimer — Bilney preaches- 
Grace — Xature of the Ministry— Latimer's Character and Teach< 

. ing— Works of Charity— Three Classes of Adversaries— Clark and 

This ship did not bear away all the hopes of England. A 
society of Christians had been formed at Cambridge, of which 
Bilney was the centre. He now knew no other canon law thaa 
Scripture, and had found a new master, " the Holy Spirit of 
Christ," says an historian. Although he was naturally timid, and. 
often suffered from the exliaustion brought on by his fasts and 
vigils, til ere was in his language a lite, liberty, and strength, 
strikingly in contrast with his sickly appearance. He desired 
to draw to the knowledge of God,"-^ all who came nigh him; and 
by degrees, the rays of the Gospel sun, which was then rising ia 
the firmament of Christendom, pierced the ancient windows of 
the colleges, and illuminated the solitary chambers of certaia 
of the masters and fellows. Master Arthiu:, Master Thistle of 
Pembroke Hall, and Master Stafford, were among the first to 
join Bilney. George Stafford, professor of divinity, was a man 
of deep learning and holy life, clear and precise iu his teaching, 
lie was admired by every one ia Cambridge, so that his con- 
version, like that of his Iriends, spread alarm among the parti- 
sans of the schoolmen. But a conversion still more striking 

1 Tyiidiile, Doct- Tr- p. 251. a So wus iu bis heart an incredible desire to allure 

maojr. f uxe, Act«, iv, p. (>:0. 


than this was destined to give the English Reformation a 
champion more illustrious than either Stafford or Biluey. 

There was in Cambridge, at that time, a priest notorious for 
his ardent fanaticism. In the processions, amidst the pomp, 
prayers, and chanting of the train, none could fail to notice a 
master-of-arts, about thirty years of age, who, with erect head, 
carried proudly the university cross. Hugh Latimer, for such 
was his name, combined a biting humour with an impetuous dis- 
position and indefatigable zeal, and was very quick in ridiculing 
the faults of his adversaries. There was more wit and raillery 
in his fanaticism than can often be found in such characters. 
He followed the friends of the word of God into the colleges 
and houses where they used to meet, debated with them, and. 
pressed them to abandon their iaith. He was a second Saul, and 
was soon to resemble the apostle of the Gentiles in another respect. 
He first saw light in the year 1491, in the county of 
Leicester. Hugh's father was an honest yeoman; and accom- 
panied by one of his six sisters, the little boy had often tended 
in the pastures the five score sheep belonging to the farm, 
or driven home to his mother the thirty cows it was her busi- 
ness to milk.^ In 1197, the Cornish rebels, under Lord Audley, 
having encamped at Blackheath, our farmer had donned his 
rusty armour, and mounting his horse, responded to the sum- 
mons of the crown. Hugh, then only six years old, was present 
at his departure, and as if he had wished to take his little part 
in the battle, he had buckled the straps of his father's armour.* 
Fifty-two }ears afterwards he recalled this circumstance to 
mind in a sermon preached before king Edward. His father's 
house was always open to the neighboui's; and no poor man ever 
turned away from the door without having received alms. The 
old man brought up his family in the love of men and in the 
fear of God, and having remarked with joy the precocious un- 
derstanding of his son, he had him educated in the country 
schools, and then sent to Cambridge at the age of fourteen.. 
This was in loCo, just as Luther was entering the Augustine 

The son of the Leicestershire yeoman was lively, fond of 
pleasure, and of cheerful conversation, and mingled frequently 
in the amusements of his fellow-students. One day, as they 
were dining togeiher, one of the party exclaimed: Nii melius^ 
jfuam latari et facere haiie.J — ** There is nothing better than to- 

i M; mother milked thirty kine Latimer's SetmoDS, (I'aiker ed; p. 101- 8 I cao. 

remeuiber that 1 bacUed his barceu. Ibid 

192 aN obstinate papist. 

be merry and to do well." ^ — " A vengeance on that henef 
replied a monk of impudent mien; " I wish it were beyond the 
sea; ^ it mars all the rest." Young Latimer was much surpris- 
ed at the remark: "I understand it now," said he; " that will 
be a heavy bene to these monks when they have to render God 
an account of their lives." 

Latimer having become more serious, threw himself heart 
and soul into the practices of superstition, and a very bigoted 
old cousin undertook to instruct him in them. One day, when 
one of their relations lay dead, she said to him: "Now we must 
drive out the devil. Take this holy taper, ray child, and pass 
it over the body, first longways and then athwart, so as al- 
ways to make the sign of the cross." 

But the scholar performing this exorcism very awkwardly, 
his aged cousin snatched the candle from his hand, exclaiming 
angrily: " It's a great pity your lather spends so much money 
on your studies: he will never make anything of you." ^ 

This prophecy was not fulfilled. He became Fellow of Clare 
Hall in 1509, and took his master's degree in 1514, His 
classical studies being ended, he began to study divinity. Duns 
Scotus, Aquinas, and Hugo de Sancto Victore were his favour- 
ite authors. The practic:il side of things, however, engaged 
him more than t!io speculative; and he was more distinguished 
in Cambridge for his asceticism and enthusiasm than for his 
learning. lie attached importance to the merest trifles. As 
the missal directs that watoi- should be mingled with the sacra- 
mental wine, often while sayinj; mass lie would be troubled in 
his conscience for ibar he had not put sufficient water,* This 
remorse never left him a moment's tranquillity during the ser- 
vice, in him, as in many others, attaclinient to puerile ordm- 
ances occupied in iiis heart the place of laiihin the great truths. 
"With him, the cause ol the church was tlie cause of (iod, and he 
respected Tliomas a Ijecket at least as much as Ht. Paul. " I 
was then," said he, " as obstinate a papist as any in England." " 
Luther said the same thing of liim^^elf. 

The lervent Latimer si on observed that everybody around 
him was not equally zealous with himself ibr the eerenionies of 
the church, lie watched with surprise certain 3onng members 
of the university who, Ibrsaking the doctors ot the bohool, met 
daily to read and search into the Holy Scriptures. People 
sneered at them in Cambridge: "It in ou\y iim sjphids," was 

1 Kcclos iii. IZ 2 I wnnlil that bene had been b^tnished beyond tho sea. Lutimer's 

Sermons, p. 'M. 3 Ibid. i> »!» * He thought he had never sufficiently 

Mingled hU «n!W»!iv? wine witli water- t'oxe, Acts, viii, p. 4 ii ibid. p. 33*- 


the cry: but raillery was not enoagh for Latimer. One dav he 
entered the room where these sophists were assembled, and 
begged them to cease studying the Bible. All his entreaties 
were useless. Can we be astonished at it? said Latimer to him- 
self. Don't vre see even the tutors setting an example to these 
stray sheep? There is Master Stafford, the most illustrious 
profesorin English universities, devoting his time ad Biblia, like 
Luther at "Wittemberg, and explaining the Scriptures according 
to the Hebrew and Greek texts! and the delighted students cele- 
brate in bad verse the doctor. 

Qui Paulum expUeuit rite et evangeHum,^ 

That young people should occupy themselves with these new 
doctrines was conceivable, but that a doctor of divinity should 
do so — what a disgrace I Latimer therefore determined to at- 
tack Stafford. He insulted him '^ ; he entreated the youth of 
Cambridge to abandon the professor and his heretical teaching; 
he attended the hall in which the doctor taught, made signs of 
impatience during the lesson, and cavilled at it after leaving the 
school. He even preached in public against the learned doctor. 
But it seemed to him that Cambridge and England were struck 
blind: true, the clergy approved of Latimer's proceedings — 
jflay, praised them; and yet they did nothing. To console him, 
however, he was named cross- bearer to the university, and we 
have already seen him discharging this duty. 

Latimer desired to show himself worthy of such an honour. 
He had left itc students to attack Stafford; and he now left 
Stafford for a more illustrious adversary. But this attack led 
him to some one that tvas stronger than he. At the occaaon of 
receiving the degree of bachelor of divinity he had to deliver a 
Latin discourse in the presence of the university; Latimer chose 
for his subject Philip MtlandJion and his doctrines. Had not 
this daring heretic presumed to say quite recently that the 
fathers of tne chiu"ch have altered the sense of Scripture? 
Had he not asserted that, like those rocks whose various colours 
are imparted to the polypus which clin^ to them,* so the doc- 
tors of the church give each their own opinion in the passages 
they explain? And finally had he not discovered a new touch- 
■stcme (it is thus he styles the Holy Scripture) by which we must 
test the sentences even of St. Thomas? 

1 Who bM extUined to u tlie tnu sens^ of St Paul and of the Goapd. Sbype's iUm. 
i, p- <1. 2 ^ou tpiiefoUy railini; aKiinst him. Foxe, Acts, riii, p. 4^. 

3 Ut pdjpas enkniHiae p«ua adhcaerit, <Jas colorem imiutor- (Coip- Be', i, p. lU) 
A* the polypos ttacmUea in eoloor Um rock to whidi it cliaga- 

46 H 


^ Latimer's discourse made a great impression. At last (said' 
his hearers) England, nay Cambridge, will furnish a champion- 
for the church that will confront the Wittemberg doctors, and 
save the vessel of our Lord. But very different was to be the 
result. There was among the hearers one man almost hidden 
through his small stature : it was Bilney. For some time he had. 
been watching Latimer's movements, and his zeal interested 
him, though it was a zeal without knowledge. His energy was 
not great, but he possessed a delicate tact, a skilful discernment 
of character which enabled him to distinguish error, and to 
select the fittest method for combating it. Accordino-ly, a 
chronicler styles him " a trier of Satan's subtleties, appointed by 
God to detect the bad ' money that the enemy was circulatin"- 
throughout the church." ^ Bilney easily detected Latimer's- 
sophisms, but at the same time loved his person, and conceived 
the design of winning him to the Gospel. But how to manage 
it? The prejudiced Latimer would not even listen to the evan- 
gelical Bilney. The latter reflected, prayed, and at last planned 
a very candid and very strange plot, which led to one of the 
most astonishing conversions recorded in history. 

He went to the college where Latimer resided. " For the 
love of God," he said to him, '•' be pleased to hear my confes- 
sion."^ The heretic prayed to make confession to the catMic: 
what a singular fact! My discoui'se against Mclancthon has no 
doubt converted him, said Latimer to himself. Had not Bilney 
once been among the number of the most pious zealots? His 
pale face, his wasted frame, and his Immble look are clear signs 
that he ought to belong to the ascetics of cathohcism. If he 
turns back, all will turn back with him, and the reaction will 
be complete at Cambridge. The ardent Latimer eagerly 
yielded to Bilney's request, and the latter, kneeling before tho 
cross-bearer, related to him with touching simphcity the anguish. 
he had once felt in his soul, the efforts ho had made to remove 
it; their unprofitableness so long as he determined to follow the 
precepts of the church, and lastly, the peace ho had felt when, 
he believed that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God iliat taketh 
away the sins of tlie world. He described to Latimer the spirit 
of adoption he had received, and the happiness he experienced 

in being able now to call God his father Latimer, who 

expected to receive a confession, listened without mistrust. His 
heart was opened, and the voice of the pious Bilney penetrated 

1 t'oxe, AcU, vii, p. 4S& 2 He camo to me ttllcrwiuds in my gtudy,a&d deui«d. 

ino lor (jod'g anke to hour bU coofeasion. Latiiuer'g Serraoiu, p. 834. 


it 'without obstacle. From time to time the confessor ■would 
have chased away the new thoughts which came crowding into 
his bosom J but the penitent continued. His language, at once 
so simple and so lively, entered like a two-edged sword. Bilney 
was not without assistance in his work. A new, a strange wit- 
ness, — the Holy Ghost/ — was speaking in Latimer's soul. He 
learned from God to know God: he received a new heart. At 
length grace prevailed: the penitent rose up, but Latimer re- 
mained seated, absorbed in thought. The strong cross-bearer 
contended in vain against the words of the feeble Bilney. Like 
Saul on the way to Damascus, he was conquered, and his con- 
yersion, like the apostle's, was instantaneous. He stammered 
out a few words; Bilney drew near him with love, and God 
Bcattered the darkness which stUl obscured his mind. He saw 
Jesiis Christ as the only Saviour given to man: he contemplated 
and adored him. " 1 learnt more by this confession," he said 
afterwards, " than by much reading and in many years before' 

I now tasted the word of God,^ and forsook the doctors of 

the school and all their fooleries." * It was not the penitent 
but the confessor who received absolution. Latimer viewed 
with horror the obstinate war he had waged against God; he 
wept bitterly; but Bilney consoled him. " Brother," said he, 
" though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.^ 
These two young men, then locked in their solitary chamber at 
Cambridge, were one day to mount the scaffold for that divine 
Master whose spirit was teaching them. But one of them be- 
fore going to the stake was first to sit on an episcopal throne. 

Latimer was changed. The energy of his character was 
tempered by a divine unction. Becoming a believer, he had ceased 
to be superstitious. Instead of persecuting Jesus Christ, he be- 
came a zealous seeker after him.^ Instead of cavilling and rail- 
ing, he showed himselt meek and gentle; " instead of frequenting 
company, he sought solitude, studying the Scriptiures and ad- 
vancing in true theolog^\ He threw off the old man and put 
on the new. He waited upon Staflbrd, begged forgiveness for 
the insult he had offered him, and then regularly attended his 
lectures, being subjugated more by this doctor's angelic conver- 
sation ' than by his learning. Lut it was Bilney 's society Lati- 

1 He was through the gooii Spirit of God 80 touched. Foxe, Tui, p- 438. 'Lati- 

mer's Sermons, p. 33t. 3 From that time forw.ird 1 begau to binell the word of tiod. 

IMd. 4 Ibid. p. 335. S Wheieas before he was au ei.emy and almost a 

persecutor of Christ, he was now a zealous scelier alter him- Foie, Acts, vii. p. 008. 

6 Ihid- 7 A man of a very petlt-ct lile and angelic Cunvei-sation. Becou's Woiiu 

(Varker SocO p.«5. 


iner cultivated most. Thej conversed together daily, took fre- 
quent walks together into the country, and occasionally rested 
at a place, long known as " the heretic's hill." ^ 

So striking a conversion gave fresh vigour to the evangelical 
movement. Hitherto Bilney and Latimer had been the most 
zealous champions of the two opposite causes; the one despised, 
the other honoured; the weak man had conquered the strong. 
This action of the Spirit of God was not thrown away upon 
Cambridge. Latimer's conversion, as of old the miracles of the 
apostles, struck men's minds; and was it not in truth a miracle? 
All the youth of the university ran to hear Bilney preach. He 
proclaimed "Jesus Christ as He who, having tasted death, has 
delivered his people from the penalty of sin." ^ AVhile the doc- 
tors of the school (even the most pious of them) laid most stress 
upon mans part in the work of redemption, Bilney on the con- 
trary emphasized the other term, namely, God's part. This 
doctrine of grace, said his adversaries, annuls the sacraments, 
and contradicts baptismal regeneration. The selfishness which 
forms the essence of fallen humanity rejected the evangelical 
doctrine, and felt that to accept it was to be lost. " Many 
listened with the left ear,'* to use an expression of Bilney 's; 
" like j\lalchus, having their right ear cut off; " and they tilled 
the university with their complaints. 

But Bilney did not allow himself to be stopped. The idea of 
eternity had seized on his mind, and perhaps he still retained 
some feeble relic of the exaggeration of asceticism. He con- 
demned every kind of recreation, even when innocent, ]\Iusic 
in the churches seemed to him a mockery of God;'' and when 
Thurlby, who was afterwards a bishop, and who lived at Cam- 
bridge in the room below his, used to begin playing on the 
recorder, Bilney would fall on his knees and pour out his soul 
in prayer: to him prayer was the sweetest melody. He prayed 
that the lively faith ot the children of God might in all England 
be substituted for the vanity and pride of the priests. He 
believed — he prayed — he waited, liis waiting was not to be 
iu vain. 

Latimer trod in his footsteps: the transformation of his soul 
was going on; and the more iauaticLsm he had shown for the 
sacerdotal system, which places salvation in the hands of the 
jiriest, the more zeal he now showed for the evangelical system, 
which placed it in the hands of Christ. He saw that if the 

I l'"oxc, viii, p 1').'. 'i Christus iiucm pro virili docco ■ • • ■ deiiique et ».iU3fac- 

tkmu]. Kji lui 'Jiiiistiilluin criscop >'uxe, Acts, iv, p. taa. 3 Jbid. p. Cil. 


cliurclies must needs have ministers, it is not because they re- 
quire a human mediation, but from the necessity of a regular 
preaching of the Gospel and a steady direction of the flock; and 
accordingly he would have wished to call the servant of the 
Lord minister {h-ripiTT]Q or clclkovoq rov Xdyou), and not priest} 
{leptvQ or sacerdos.) In his view, it was not the imposition of 
hands by the bishop that gave grace, but grace which author- 
ized the imposition of hands. He coiieidered activity to be one 
of the essential features of the Gospel ministry. *' Would you 
know," said he, '-'why the Lord chose fishermen to be his apos- 
tles? ... See how they watch day and night at their nets 
to take all such fishes that they can get and come in their way. 
. . . . So all our bishops, and curates, and vicars should 
be as painful in casting their nets, that is to say, in preaching 
God's word.-' He regarded all confidence in human strength as 
a remnant of paganism. '•' Let us not do," he said, " as the 
haughty Ajax, who said to his father as he went to battle: ^\ith- 
out the help of God I am able to fight, and I will get the victory 
with mine own strength."^ 

The Reformation had gained in Latimer a very different mau 
from Bilney. He had not so much discernment and prudence 
perhaps, but he had more energy and eloquence. ^\ iiat Tyn- 
dale was to be for England by his writings, Latimer was to be 
by his discourses. The tenderness of his conscience, the ^N"armth 
of his zeal, and the vivacity of his understanding, were enlisted 
in the service of Jesus Christ; and if at times he was curried too 
for by the liveliness of his wit, it only shows that the reiormers 
■were not saints, but sanctified men. "He was one of the first," 
says an historian, "who, in the days of king Henry Yiil, set 
himself to preach the Gospel in the truth and simplicity of it." * 
He preached in Latin ad clerum, and in English ad populunu 
He boldly placed the law with its curses beiore his hearers, and 
then conjured them to flee towards the Saviour of the world.^ 
The same zeal which he had employed in saying mats, he now 
employed in preaching the true sacrifice of Christ. He said 
one day : — '' If one man had committed all the sins since Adam, 
you may be sure he should be punished with the same horror of 
death, in such a sort as all men in the world should have sui- 
fered. . . . Such was the pain Christ endured. 
If our Saviour had committed all the sins of the world; all that 

I Minister U a more fit name for that office. Latimer's remains, p. 264. 

a ibid. p. i*. 3 Latimer's Sermons, p. 491. Sopiiodes, Ajax, V83, et seq- 

4 Stripe's Mem. iii, parti, p. 378. 6 Jti^iogto him by aaevaBgelicalUiUi. Und. 

198 WORKS 0/ OTIAIilTT. 

I for my part have done, all that you for your part have done, 
and all that any man else hath done; if he had done all this 
himself, his agony that he suffered should have been no greater 
nor grievouser than it was. . . . Believe in Jesus Christ, 
and you shall overcome death. . . . But, alas!" said he at 
another time, " the devil, by the help of that Italian bishop, his 
chaplain, has laboured by all means that he might frustrate the 
death of Christ and the merits of his passion," ^ 

Thus began in British Christendom the preaching of the Cross. 
The Reformation was not the substitution of the Catholicism of 
the first ages for the popery of the middle ages: it was a revival 
of the preaching of St, Paul, and thus it was that on hearing 
Latimer every one exclaimed with rapture : " Of a Saul, God 
has made him a very Paul." ^ 

To the inward power of faith, the Cambridge evangelists 
added the outward power of the life. Saul become Paul, the 
strong, the ardent Latimer, had need of action; and Bilney, the 
weak and humble Bilney, in delicate health, observing a severe 
diet, taking ordinarily but one meal a-day, and never sleeping 
more than four hours, absorbed in prayer and in the study of 
the word, displayed at that time all the energy of charity. 
These two friends devoted themselves not merely to the easy 
labours of Christian beneficence; but caring little for that formal 
Christianity so often met with among the easy classes, they ex- 
plored the gloomy cells of the madhouse to bear the sweet and 
subtle voice of the gospel to the infuriate mariiacs. They 
visited the miserable lazar-house without the town, in which 
several poor lepers were dwelling; they carefully tended them, 
wrapped them in clean sheets, and wooed them to be converted 
to Christ.^ The gates of the jail at Cambridge were opened to 
them,* and they announced to the poor prisoners that word 
which giveth liberty. Some were converted by it, and longed 
lor the day of their execution.^ Latimer, afterwards bishop of 
Worcester, was one of the most beautiful types of the Ketbrma- 
tion in England. 

He was opposed by numerous adversaries. In the front rank 
were the priests, who spared no endeavours to retain souls. 
"Beware/' said Latimer to the new converts, "lest robbers 
overtake you, and plunge ^ou into the pope's prison of purga- 

> Lat. Scr. p. 74. 2 This was said by Ralph Moiice, afterwards Oranmer's secre- 

tary. Stride, Eccl. Mem. iii, part i, p. 8(i8. 3 ^'reaching at the lazur cots, wrap- 

ping Iheni in sheets- i'oxe. Acta, vol. iv, p. 6^0. Loud- 1846. 4 Latimer's Sermons, 

p. SUA. (I'urlc. Soc J ft She bad such a savour, such a sweetness, and feeliag, tbab 

■h« thought it lotig to the day ol execution, ibid, p; ItW- 


"tory." ^ After these came the sons and favourites of the aris- 
tocracy, worldly and frivolous students, who felt little disposition 
to listen to the gospel. *•' By yeomen's sons the faith of Christ 
Is and hath been chiefly maintained in the church," - said Lati- 
mer. ^' Is this realm taught by rich men's sons? No, no; read 
the chronicles; ye shall find sometime noblemen's sons which 
have been unpreaching bishops and prelates, but ye shall find 
none of them learned men." He would have desired a mode of 
election which placed in the Christian pu'pit, not the richest 
and most fashionable men, but the ablest and most pious. 
This important reform was reserved for other days. Lastly, 
the evangelists of Cambridge came into collision with the hnd- 
<xlity of many, to use Latimer's own expression. '•' What need, 
have we of universities and schools?"' said the students of this 
dass. The Holy Ghost " will give us always what to say." — 
^' We must trust in the Holy Ghost," replied Latimer, "but 
not presume on it. If you will not maintain universities, you 
«hall ha,xe a binitality." ^ In this manner the Reformation re- 
stored to Cambridge gravity and knowledge, along with truth 
and charity. 

Yet Bilney and Latimer often turned their eyes towards Ox- 
ford, and wondered how the light would be able to penetrate 
there. Wolsey provided for that. A Cambridge master of 
arts, John Clark, a conscientious man, of tender heart, great 
prudence, and unbounded devotion to his duty, had been en- 
lightened by the word of God. Wo'sey, who since 1523 had 
been seeking every where for distinguished scholars to adorn 
his ne^v college, invited Clark among the first This doctor, 
desirous of bearing to Oxford the light which God had given 
Cambridge, immediately began to deliver a course of divinity 
lectures, to hold conferences, and to preach in his eloquent 
manner. He taught every day.* Among the graduates and 
students who followed him was Anthony Dalaber, a young man 
of simple but profound feeling, who while listening to him had 
experienced in his heart the regenerating powet of the Gospel. 
Overflowing with the happiness which the knowledge of Jesus 
Christ imparted to him, he went to the Cardinal's college, 
knocked at Clark's door, and said: "Father, allow me never to 
quit you morel" The teacher, beholding the young disciple's 
enthusiasm, loved him, but thought it his duty to try him: 
■"Anthony," said he, "you know not what you ask. My teach- 

1 Strype's Ecclea. Hemoriab, toI. iii, pt. i, p. 378- 3 Latimei's Sennous, p> 103- 

'Ibid. p. °i69. « Te«ch or pre&ch, wiiidi he <£d daily. Foxe, Acu.r, p.l:& 


ing is now pleasant to you, but the time will come when God 
will lay the cross of persecution on you; you will be dragged 
before bishops; your name will be covered with shame in the 
world, and all who love you will be heart-broken on account 
. of you. . . Then, uiy friend, you will regret that you ever 
knew me." 

Anthony believing himself rejected, and unable to bear the 
idea of returning to the barren instructions of the priests, fell 
on his knees, and weeping bitterly,^ exclaimed: "For the tender 
mercy of God, turn me not away." Touched by his sorrow, 
Clark folded him in his arms, kissed him, and with tears in his 
eyes exclaimed: "The Lord give thee what thou askest! 
. . . . Take me for thy father, I take thee for my son."' 
From that hour Anthony, all joy, was like Timothy at the feet 
of Paul. He united a quick understanding with tender affec- 
tions. When any of the students had not attended Clark '& 
conferences, the master commissioned his disciple to visit them,, 
to inquire into their doubts, and to impart to them his instruc- 
tions. " This exercise did me much good/' said Dalaber, " and 
I made great progress in the knowledge of Scripture." 

Thus the kingdom of God, which consists not in forms, but 
in the power of the Spirit, was set up in Cambridge and Oxford.. 
The alarmed schoolmen, beholding their most pious scholars 
escaping one after another from their teaclung, called the bisliops 
to their aid, and the latter determined to send agents to Cam- 
bridge, the focus of the heresy, to apprehend the leaders. This 
took place in lo2u or the beginning of 15-4, The episcopal 
otdcers had arrived, and were proceediiig to business. The most 
timid began to feel alarm, but Latimer was lull of courage; 
when suddenly the agents of the clergy were forbidden to go on, 
and this prohibition, strange to say, originated with Wolsey; 
" upon what ground 1 cannot imagine," says Burnet,- Certain, 
events were taking place at iiome of a nature to exercise groat 
influence over the priestly councils, and which may perhaps ex- 
plain what Bui'uet could not understand. 

1 Foxe, ActB, V, p. 4;6. 2 lUatory of the Uefomiation, vol. i, p. 25. Loud- 1811. 

wolsey's ambition. 20X 


"Wolsey seeks the Tiara — Clement YII is elected — "Wolsey's dissimnla- 
tion — Charles offers France to Henry — Pace's Mission on this Sub- 
ject — Wolsey reforms the Convents — His secret Alliances — Treaty 
between France aud England — Taxation and Insurrection— False 
Charges against the Reformers — Latimer's Defence— Tenterdea 

Adrian YI died on the 14th September 1523, before the 
end of the second year of his pontificate. Wolsey thought him- 
self pope. At length he Tvould no longer be the favourite onlj^ 
but the arbiter of the kings of the earth; and his genius, for 
■which England was too narrow, would have Europe and the 
•world for its stage. Already revolving gigantic projects in his 
mind, the future pope dreamt of the destruction of heresy m 
the west, and in the east the cessation of the Greek schism, and 
new crusades to replant the cross on the walls of Constantinople. 
There is nothing that "Wolsey would not have dared undertake 
when once seated on the throne of Catholicism, and the pontifi- 
cates of Gregory VII and Innocent III would have been eclipsed 
by that of the Ipswich butcher's son. The cardinal reminded. 
Henry of his promise, and the very next day the king signed a 
letter addressed to Charles the Fifth. 

Believing himself sure of the emperor, Wolsey turned all his 
exertions to the side of Rome. " The legate of England," said 
Henry's ambassadors to the cardinals, " is the very man for the- 
present time. He is the only one thoroughly acquainted with- 
the interests and wants of Christendom, and strong enough to 
provide for them. He is all kindness, and will share his dignities- 
and wealth among all the prelates who support him." 

But Juho de' Medici himself aspired to the papacy, and as 
eighteen cardinals were devoted to him, the election could not 
take place without his support. " Rather than yield/' said he 
in the conclave, " I would die in this prison." A month passed 
away, and nothing was done. New intrigues were then resorted 
to : there were cabals for Wolsey, cabals for Medici. The car?- 
dinals were besieged : 

Into their midst, by many a secret path. 
Creeps sly intrigue.' 

I Un coDcUvc, by C. DeUvigne- 


At length, on the 19th November 1523, the people collected 

under their windows, shouting: "No foreign pope." After 

forty-nine days debating, Julio was elected, and according to his 

own expression, " bent his head beneath the yoke of apostolic 

servitude." ^ He took the name of Clement VII. 

Wolsey was exasperated. It was in vain that he presented 
himself before St. Peter's chair at each vacancy: a more active 
or more fortunate rival always reached it before him. Master 
of England, and the most influential of European diplomatists, 
he saw men preferred to him who were his inferiors. This 
election was an event for the Eeformation. Wolsey as pope 
would, humanly speaking, have tightened the cords which 
already bound England so closely to Rome; but Wolsey, re- 
jected, could hardly fail to throw himself into tortuous paths 
which would perhaps contribute to the emancipation of the 
Church. He became more crafty than ever; declared to Henry 
that the new election was quite in conformity with his wishes,^ 
and hastened to congratulate the new pope. He wrote to his 
agents at Rome: "This election, 1 assure you, is as much to 
the king's and my rejoicing, consolation, and gladness, as possibly 
jnay be devised or imagined. ... Ye shall show unto his 
holiness what joy, comfort, and gladness it is both to the king's 
highness and me to perceive that once in our lives it hath 
pleased God of his great goodness to provide such a pastor unto 
his church, as his grace and I have long inwardly desired; who 
for his virtue, wisdom, and other high and notable qualities, we 
have always reputed the most able and worthy person to be 
called to that dignity." ^ But the pope, divining his competitor's 
vexation, sent the king a golden rose, and a ring to \VoIsey. 
" 1 am sorry," he said as he drew it Irom his finger, " that I 
cannot present it to his eminence in person." Clement more- 
over conl'erred on him the quality of legate for life — an office 
which had hitherto been temporary only. Thus the popedom 
and England embraced each other, and nothing appeared more 
distant than that Christian revolution which was destined 
very shortly to emancipate Britain from the tutelage of the 

\\ olsey's disappointed ambition made him suspend the pro- 
ceedings of the clergy at Cambridge. He had revenge in his 

1 CoUa snbjccimuB Jwo «P<»t«Uc» servituWi. (Kymer. Fffidera, vi, 2, p. 7.) We bent our 
neck under the joke of apostolic servitude- '^ 1 take God to witness, 1 uni more 

. joyous thcrtol, tlian if it had fortuned upon my person. Wolsey to Henry Vlll. ilurnet. 
Kecords, p. cccxxviii. (Lend. IMIJ * Wolsey to Secretary face- Oftll'» WoUey, 

yjk. 181, Appendix. (Loud- ISiC.T 

pace's embassy. 203 

heart, and cared not to persecute his fellow-countryinen merely 
to please his rival; and besides, like several popes, he had a 
certain fondness for learning. To send a few Lollards to prison 
vas a matter of no difficulty; but learned doctors .... 
this required a closer examination. Hence he gave Rome a 
«gn of independence. And yet it was not specially against the 
pope that he began to entertain sinister designs: Clement had 
been more fortunate than himself; but that was no reason why 

he should be angry with him Charles V was the 

offender, and Wolsey swore a deadly hatred against him. Re- 
solved to strike, he sought only the place where he could inflict 
the severest blow. To obtain his end, he resolved to dissemble 
his passion, and to distil drop by drop into Henry's mind that 
mortal hatred against Charles, which gave fresh energy to his 

Charles discovered the indignation that lay hid under "\Yol- 
sey's apparent mildness, and wishing to retain Henry's alliance, 
he made more pressing advances to the king. Having deprived 
the minister of a tiara, he resolved to offer the king a crown: 
this was, indeed, a noble compensation! ''You are king of 
J'rance," the emperor said, " and I undertake to win your king- 
dom for you.^ Only send an ambassador to Italy to negotiate 
the matter." Wolsey, who could hardly contain his vexation, 
"was forced to comply, in appearance at least, with the emperor's 
views. The king, indeed, seemed to think of nothing but his 
arrival at St. Germain's, and commissioned Pace to visit Italy 
for this important business. Wolsey hoped that he would be 
unable to execute his commission; it was impossible to cross the 
Alps, for the French troops blockaded every passage. But 
Pace, who was one!*of those adventurous characters whom no- 
thing can stop, spurred on by the thought that the king himself 
had sent him, determined to cross the Col di Tenda. On the 
27th July, he entered "the mountains, traversed precipitous 
passes, sometimes climbing them on all-fours,* and ofteu tailing 
during the descent. In some places he could ride on horseback; 
" but in the most part thereof I durst not either turn my horse 
traverse (he wrote to the king) for all the worldly riches, nor 
in manner look on my left hand, for the pronite and deepness 
to the vaUey.'"' After this passage, which lasted six days, Pace 
arrived in Italy worn out by fatigue. " If the king of England 
■will enter France immediately by way of Kormandy," said the 

1 Ellis' Letters. Second Series, p. SM, 327- -^ a it made ns creep of aU-£i>ar. 

i:'«ce tfc the king, Strf pe, ■vol. i. part ii, p. t! 


constable of Bourbon to him, " I will give him leave to pluck 
out both my eyes ^ if he is not master of Paris before All-Saints; 
and when Paris is taken, he will be master of the whole kitig- 
dom." But Wolsey, to whom these remarks were transmitted 
by the ambassador, slighted them, delayed furnishing the sub- 
sidies, and required certain conditions which were calculated to 
thwart the project. Pace, who was ardent and ever imprudent, 
but plain and straightforward, forgot himself, and in a moment 
of vexation wrote to Wolsey: "To speak frankly, if you do not 
attend to these things, I shall impute to your grace the loss of 
the crown of France," These words ruined Henry's envoy io 
the cardinal's mind. Was this man, who owed everv thino- to 
him, trymg to supplant him? . . . Pace ia vain assured 
Wolsey that he should not take seriously what he had said, but 
the bolt had hit. Pace was associated with Charles in the 
€rucl enmity of the minister, and he was one day to feel its 
terrible cflfects. It was not long before Wolsey was able to 
satisfy himself that the service Charles had desired to render 
the king of England was beyond the emperor's strength. 

No sooner at case on one side, than Wolsey found himself 
attacked on another. This man^ the most powerful among 
tings' favourites, felt at this time the first breath of disfavour 
blow over him. On the pontifical throne, he would no doubt 
have attempted a reform after the manner of Sistus V; and 
wishing to rehearse on a smaller stage, and z-cgencrate after Eis 
own fashion the catholic church in England, he submitted the 
monasteries to a strict inquisition, patronized the instruction of 
youth, and was the first to set a great example, by suppressing 
certain religious houses whose revenues he applied to his college 
in Oxford. Thomas Cromwell, his solicitor, displayed much 
skill and industry in this business,'^ and thus, under the orders 
of a cardinal of tiie Eoman church, made his first campaign in 
a war of which he was in later days to hold the chief command. 
Wolsey and Cromwell, by their reforms, drew down the hatred 
of certain monks, priests, and noblemen, always the very humble 
servants of the clerical party. The latter accused the cardinal 
of not having estimated the monasteries at their just value, and 
of having, in certain cases, encroached on the royal jurisdiction. 
Henry, whom the loss of the crown of France hud put in a bad 
humour, resolved, for the first time, not to spare his minister: 
" There are loud murmurs throughout this kingdom," he said. 

iColtonMSS. VitcUiua, U.G, p. 67. > Vcr}' fucward and iudiutrioiu. Foxtt. 

AcU, V, |i.3(>«, ' '■' 


to him; " it is asserted that your new college at Oxford is only 
a convenient cloak to hide your malversations."^ "God for- 
bid," replied the cardinal, "that this \-irtuous foundation at 
Oxford, undertaken for the good of my poor soul, should be 
raised ex ra-pinis! But, above all, God forbid that I should 
ever encroach upon your royal authority," He then cunningly 
insinuated, that b}^ his will he left all his property to the king, 
Henry was satisfied: he had a share in the business. 

Events of very different importance drew the king's attention 
to another quarter. The two armies, of the empire and of 
Prance, were in presence before Pavia. "Wolsey, who openly 
^ave his right hand to Charles V, and secretly his left to Fran- 
<:-is, repeated to his master: " If the emperor gains the victory, 
are you not his ally? and if Francis, am I not in secret com- 
munication with him?^^ " Thus," added the cardinal, '^ whatever 
happens, your Highness will have great cause to give thanks to 
Almighty God." 

On the 24:th of Febraary lo2o, the battle of Pavia was 
fought, and the imperialists found in the French king's tent 
feveral of Vv olsey's letterS; and in his military chest and in the 
pockets of his soldiers the cardinal's corrupting gold. This al- 
lianc-e had been contrived by Giovanni Gioacchino, a Genoese 
master of the household to Louisa, regent of France, who passed 
for a merchant of Bologna, and lived in concealment at Biack- 
friars. Charles now saw what he had to trust to; but the news 
oi the battle of Pavia had scarcely reached England, when, 
faitiiful in perfidy, AVolsey gave uttenmce to a feigned pleasure. 
The people rejoiced also, but they were in earnest. Bonfires 
were lighted in the streets of London; the fountains ran wine, 
and the lord-mayor, attended by the aldermen, passed through 
the city on horseback to the sound of the trumpet. 

The caraiual's joy was not altogether false. He would have 
been pleased at his enemy's defeat; but his victory was perhaps 
still more useful to him. 

He said to iienry : '' The emperor is a liar observing neither 
faith nor promise: the Aixhduchess Margaret is a woman of 
evil life;" l)on Ferdinand is a child, and Bourbon a traitor. 
Sire, you have other things to do with your money than to 
squander it on these four individuals. Charles is aiming at 
universal UiOnarchy; Pavia is the first stop of this throne, and 

1 Collier's Ecdes. Hist, i, p- 20. 2 By such conim'iiiicaUons as he set forth with 

FtaLceapurU blate Papeis, i, p. US. 3 Mikdy Ma: gaiet was a ribaad- Cotton 

USS. Tesp C- o, p- 5» 


if England does not oppose him, he will attain it." Joachim 
having come privily to London, Wolsey prevailed upon Henry 
to conclude between England and France an " indissoluble jjeace 
by land and sea." ^ At last then he was in a position to prove 
to Charles that it is a dangerous thing to oppose the ambitioa 
of a priest. 

This was not the only advantage Wolsey derived from the 
triumph of his enemy. The citizens of London imagined that 
the king of England would be in a few weeks in Paris; Wolsey, 
rancorous and grasping, determined to make them pay dearly 
for their enthusiasm. " You desire to conquer France/' said- 
he; " you are right. Give me then for that purpose the sixth 
part of your property; that is a trifle to gratify so noble an 
inclination." England did not think so; this illegal demand 
aroused universal complaint. "We are English and not French^ 
freemen and not slaves," ^ was the universal cry. Henry might 
t}'rannize over his court, but not lay hands on his subjects." 

The eastern counties rose in insurrection: four thousand men 
were under arms in a moment; and Henry was guarded in his. 
own palace by only a few servants. It was necessary to break 
down the bridges to stop the insurgents,^ The courtiers com- 
plained to the king; the king threw the blame on the cardinal; 
the cardinal laid it on the clergy, who had encouraged him to 
impose this tax by quoting to him the example of Joseph 
demanding of the Egyptians the fifth part of their goods; aud 
the clergy in their tm-n ascribed the insurrection to the gospel- 
ler;^, who (said they); were stirring up a peasant war in England,, 
as they had done in Germany. Relbrmation produces revolu- 
tion : this is the favourite text of the i'ollowers of the pope. 
Violent hands must be laid upon the heretics. Nonpluit DeuSf.. 
due ad christianos.^ 

The charge of the priests was absurd; but the people are 
blind whenever the Gospel is concerned, and occasionally tha 
governors are blind also. iSerious reasoning was not necessary 
to confute this invention. " Here, by the way, 1 will tell you 
a merry toy," said Latimer one day in the pulpit. " Master 
More was once sent in tomraissiou into Kent to help to try out, 
if It might be, what was the cause of Goodwin ISunds and the 

» Siiicera lidtlis, firmu tt iudissolubilis pnx. (Ujnier, Focdcra, p- 3.', o3.) A siucere, liiith- 
ful, lirni uud Indissoluble i>cuce. ^ Hall's Cbrouiclc, p. <M. It' men bbould Kive 

tbtir Koods bj a coinmibf iuii, ibtn were it woise tbiiu the taxis of Fruiice; and so KiiBliuid 

wuuld l)C boud uud uut liec- !* Ibid. « " tiud sends iio rain Icud us against 

tbe CtuUtiuiis." A cry ascribed ]iy Augustine to the pagaiu of the iirst ogei. 


shelf that stopped up Sandwich, haven. He calleth the country 
afore him, such as were thought to be men of experience, and 
among others came in an old man with a white head, and one 
that was thought to be httle less than one hvmdred years old. 
3o Master More called the old aged man unto him, and said^ 
Father, tell me if you can, what is the cause of this great aris- 
ing of the sands and shelves hereabout, that stop up Sandwich 
haven? Forsooth, Sir, (quoth he) I am an old man, for I am 
well-nigh an hundred, and I think that Tenterden steeple is the 
cause of the Goodwin Sands. For I am an old man. Sir, and I 
may remember the building of Tenterden steeple, and before 
that steeple was in building, there was no mauner ot" flats or 
sands." After relating this anecdote, Latimer slyly added :. 
'^ Even so, to my purpose, is preaching of God's word the cause 
of rebellion, as Tenterden steeple was the cause Sandwich haven 
is decayed."^ 

There was no persecution : there was something else to be 
done. Wolsey, feeling certain that Charles had obstructed his- 
accession to the popedom, thought only in what manner he 
might take his revenge. But during tliis time Tyndale also was 
pm-suiug his aim; and the year 1525, memorable for the battle 
of Pavia, was destined to be no less so in the British isles, by a. 
Btill more important victory. 


Tyndale at Hamburg — First two Gospels — Embarrassment — Tj-ndale 
at AVittemberg — At Cologne — The Is ew Testament at Press — Sudden^ 
Interruption — CocLloeus at Cologne — Eupert's Manuscripts — Dis- 
covery of Cochloeus — His Inquiries — His Alarm — Rincke and the 
Senate's Prohibition — Consternation and Decision of Tyndale — 
Cochlceus writes to England — Tyndale ascends the Bhine — Prints 
two Editions at Worms — Tyndale's Prayer. 

The ship which carried Tyndale and his MSS. cast anchor at- 
Hamburg, where, since the year 1521, the Gospel had counted 
numerous friends. Encouraged by the presence of his brethren, 
the Oxford feUow had taken a quiet lodging in one of the narrow 
winding ttreets of that old city, and had immediately resumed 

i lAtimer's S«nn«iis , toL i. p, '^1 


iis task. A secretary, whom he terms his " faithful compan- 
ion/'^ aided him in collating texts; but it was not long before 
this brother, whose name is unknown to us, thinkin" himself 
called to preach Christ in places where He had as jet never 
been proclaimed, left Tyndale. A former friar-observant of 
the Franciscan order at Greenwich, having abandoned the 
cloister, and being at this time without resources, offered his 
services to the Hellenist. WiUiam Roje was one of those men 
(and they are always pretty numerous) whom impatience of the 
joke alienates from Rome without their being attracted by the 
Spirit of God to Christ. Acute, insinuating, crafty, and yefc 
of pleasing manners, he charmed all those who liad mere casual 
relations with him. Tyndale banished to the distant shores of 
the Elbe, surrounded by strange customs, and hearing only a 
foreign tongue, often thought of England, and was impatient 
that his country should enjoy the result of his labours: he ac- 
cepted Roye's aid. The Gospels of Matthew and Mark, tran- 
slated and printed at Hamburg, became, it would seem, the tirst 
fruits to England of his great task. 

But Tyndale was soon overwhelmed by annoyances. Roye, 
-who was pretty manageable while he had no money, had become 
intractable now that ' his purse was less empty.'^ What was to 
be done? The reformer having spent the ten pounds he had 
brought from England, could not satisfy the demands of his 
assistant, pay his own debts, and remove to another city. He 
became still more sparing and economical. The Wartburg, in 
which Luther had translated the New Testament, was a palace 
in comparison with the lodgiug in which the reformer of wealthy 
England endured hunger and cold, while toiling day and night 
to give the Gospel to the English Christians. 

About the end of 1524, Tyndale sent the two Gospels to 
Monmouth; and a merchant named John Collonbeke, having 
brought him the ten pounds he had lelt in the hands of his old 
patron, he prepared to depart immediately. 

Where should he go? Not to England; he must complete 
his task before all thmgs. Could he be in Luther's neighbour- 
hood and not desire to see him? He needed not the Saxon 
reformer either to find the truth, which he had already known 
at Oxford, or to undertake the translation of the Scriptures, 
which he had already begun in the vale of the Severn. But 
did not all evangehcal loreigners flock to AVittemberg? To 
remove all doubt as to the interview of the rolbrmers, it would 

I Tindals'ii DocU. Xr«ftti«e«, p. 87. a Anderson's AnnaU of the Jiible. i, 48. 


be desirable perhaps to find some trace at Wittemberg ^ either 
in the university registers or in the Trritings of the Saxon re- 
formers. Yet several contemporaneous testimonies seem to 
give a sufficient degree of probability to this conference. Foxe 
tells us: '• He had an interview with Luther and other learned 
men of that country." ' This must have been in the spring of 

Tyndale, desirious of drawing nearer to his native country, 
turned his eyes towards the Rhine. There were at Cologne 
some celebrated printers well known in England, and among 
others Quentel and the Byrckmans. Francis Byrckman had 
warehouses in St. Paul's churchyard in London, — a circumstance 
that might facilitate the introduction and sale of the Testament 
printed on the banks of the Ehine. This providential circum- 
stance decided Tyndale in favour of Cologne, and thither he 
repaired with Roye and his MSS, Arrived in the gloomj- streets 
of the city of Agrippina, he contemplated its innumerable 
churches, and above all its ancient cathedral re-echoing to the 
voices of its canons, and was oppressed with sorrow aa he beheld 
the priests and monks and mendicants and pilgrims who, from 
all parts of Europe, poured in to adore the pretended relics of 
the three xvise men and of the eleveii thousand virgins. And then 
Tyndale asked himself whether it was really in this superstitious 
city that the New Testament was to be printed in English. 
This was not all. The Reform movement then at work in 
Germany had broken out at Cologne during the feast of Whit- 
suntide, and the archbishop had just forbidden all evangelical 
worship. Yet Tyndale persevered, and submitting to the most 
minute precautions, not to compromise his work, he took an 
obscure lodging where he kept himself closely hidden. 

Soon however, trusting in God, he called on the printer, pre- 
sented his manuscripts to him, ordered six thousand copies, and 
then, upon reflection, sank down to three thousand for fear of a 

1 I requested a German divine to investigate this mitter, bat Iiis researches vcere unsuc- 
cessful. 2 Air. Anders n, in his excellent work (Anuals of the English bible, vol. i. 
p. 47) dispntts the interview between these tw'jrelonners, but his arguments do not comince 
me. We can understand how Luther, at th:it time busily engaged in his dispute wita 
Carlstadt, does not mention Xjndale's visit in his letters, tut, besides Fuxe, there are 
other contemporaneous authorities iii favour of tiiis fact. Cocbloeus, a Geiman well in- 
formed on all the movements of the reformers, and whom we shall presently see on Tjndale's 
traces, sajs of him and Uoje: '"Duo Angli apostatae, qui aUquumdiu fuerant Vuiteubergce." 
Two English aposUtcs, who had been f'.r a while at Wittemberg. (p. 1.3). And ^irlhoma* 
More, haviug said that Tyndale had gone to see Luther, T:)ndale was content to replr. 
•' When Air. iio;e saith 'i'judale was confederate with Luther, that is not truth." Answer 
to SirThos. ilort's Dialosue. p. 147 (I'ark. Soc.) He denied the eonfederatifm, but not 
the viiit. If Tjndale had not seen Luther, he would have been mere explicit, and woiUd 
probably have said that he bad never even met him, 

4R /^ 


seizure.! The printing went on; one sheet followed another;, 
gradually the Gospel unfolded its mysteries in the English 
tongue, and Tyndale could not contain himself for very joy.^ 
He saw in his mind's eye the triumphs of the Scriptures over 
all the kingdom, and exclaimed with transport : " Whether 
the king wills it or not, ere long all the people of England, en- 
lightened by the New Testament, will obey the Gospel."^ 

But on a sudden that sun whose earliest beams he had hailed, 
with songs of joy, was hidden by thick clouds. One day, just- 
as the tenth sheet had been thrown off, the printer hastened to 
Tyndale, and informed him that the senate of Cologne forbade 
him to continue the work. Every thing was discovered then. 
No doubt Henry VIII, who has burnt Luther's books, wishes to- 
burn the New Testament also, to destroy Tyndale 's manuscripts^ 
and deliver him up to death. ^\ ho had betrayed him? He- 
was lost in unavailing conjectures, and one thing only appeared 
certain: alas! his vessel, which was moving onwards in full sail,, 
hud struck upon a reef! The following is the explanation of 
this unexpected incident. 

A man whom we have often met with in the course of this- 
history,^ one of the most violent enemies of the Ec formation — ■ 
we mean Cochlajus — had arrived in Cologne. The wave o£ 
popular agitation which had stured this city during the Whit- 
suntide holidays, had previously swept over Frankfort during 
the festival of Easter; and the dean of Notre-dame, taking ad- 
vantage of a moment when the gates of the city were open, had 
escaped a few minutes before the burghers entered his house to- 
arrest him. On arriving at Cologne, where he hoped to live 
unknown under the shadow of the powerful elector, he had gone 
to lodge with George Luuer, u canon in the church ol the 

By a singular destiny the two most opposite men, Tyndale 
and Cochlasus, were in hiding in the same city; they could not 
long remain there without coming into collision. 

On the right bank of the Xihiue, and opposite Cologne, stood.' 
the monastery of Deutz, one of whose abbots, llupert, who lived 
in the twelfth century, had said: "To be ignorant of ticiipture 
is to be ignorant of Jesus Christ. This is the scripture of na- 
tional^ This book of God, which is not pompous iu words and 
poor in meaning like Plato, ought to be set betbre every people, 

1 Sex miUia BUb prelum dari. (Coclilseus, p. VH) That six thousand should be printed. 
•i TaiiU ex ea spe IretitU Lutheraiios invaiiu (Ibid. p. 12..) Such joi possessed the l.u- 
thcittiiii from that hope. 3 Cuuctos Kv^Wk populoa, volcnte nolcnte rfgc Ibid. li.'3. 

» iiook Ix, cUnptoi xu, etc- * Boripturte populorum. Opp- >. P- Wl- 

RUTKRT'b mas DSCBIPT i. 211 

and to proclaim aloud to the whole world the salvation of all." 
One day, when CJochlasus and his host were talking of Rupert, 
the canon informed the dean that the heretic Osiander of Nu- 
remberg was in treaty with the abbot of Deutz about publishing 
the writings of this ancient doctor, Cochlajus guessed that 
Osiander was desirous of bringing forward the contemporary of 
Saint Bernard as a witness in defence of the Reformation. 
Hastening to the monastery he alarmed the abbot: '"Intrust to 
me the manuscripts of your celebrated predecessor, " he said; " I 
will undertake to print them and prove that he was one of us." 
The monks placed them in his hands, stipulating for an early 
publication, from which they expected no little renown.^ Coch- 
laeus immediately went to Peter Quentel and Arnold Byrck- 
mau to make the necessary arrangements. They were Tyndale's 

There Cochlasus made a more important discovery than that 
of Rupert's manuscripts. Byrckman and Quentel having in- 
vited him one day to meet several of their colleagues at dinner, 
a printer, somewhat elevated by wine, declared in his cups, (to 
boiTow the words of Cochla3us) : - *• Whether the king and the 
cardinal of York wish it or not, aU England wiU soon bo Luth- 
eran."'' Cochlaeus listened and grew alarmed; he made inquiry, 
and was informed that koo Englishmen, learned men and skilled 
in the languages, were concealed at Cologne.* But all his efforts 
to discover more proved unavailing. 

There was no more repose for the dean of Frankfort; his 
imagination fermented, his mind became alarmed. " What," 
said he, ** shall England, that faithful servant of the popedom, 
be perverted like bermany? Shall the English, the most relig- 
ious people of Christendom,^ and whose king once ennobled 
himself by writing against Luther, — ^shaU they be invaded by 
heresy? . . . Shall the mighty cardinal-legate of York be 
compelled to flee from his paiace, as i was tirom Frankfort?" 
Cochlaeus continued his search; he paid irequent visits to the 
printers, spoke to them in a Iriendiy tone, flattered them, in- 
vited them to visit him at the canon's; but as yet he dared not 
hazard the important question; it was sufficient for the moment 

1 Com moiuchi qnictori non erant, nisi ederentur op«ra ilia. (CocU. p. 1240 When the 
monks could iiot be quieted unless these works should be published. 2 Auditit 

eo6 aliquando inter ptcula fiducialiter jictitare. (Ibid.p- 125) He heard them one day 
coulideuiiy assert in their cups. 3 Velint nolint rex et cardiualis Anglis, totam 

Augliam brcTi fore Lntheranam. Ihid- i Duos ibi latitare Anglo* eruditos, lin2> 

narainque peiitoi. Ibid* 6 In gente ilia religiociaiina reieqite Ctatistiaua. Ibid. 


to have won tbe good graces of the depositaries of tlie secret. 
He soon took a new step; be was careful not to question them 
before one another; but he procured a private interview with 
one of them/ and supplied him plentifully with Rhine wine:— 
he himself is om- informant.'- Artful questions embarrassed the 
unwary printer, and at last the secret was disclosed. " The 
New Testament," Cochlseus learnt, "is translated into English; 
three thousand copies are in the press; fourscore pages in quarto 
are ready; the expense is fully supplied by English merchants, 
who are secretly to convey the work when printed, and to dis- 
perse it widely through all England, before the king or the 
cardinal can discover or prohibit it.-' . ^^ . . Thus will Britam 
be converted to the opinions of Luther," * 

The surprise of Cochlseus equalled his alarm; ^ he dissembled; 
he wished to learn, however, where the two Englishmen lay 
concealed; but all his exertions proved ineffectual, and he re- 
turned to his lodgings filled with emotion. The danger was 
very great. A stranger and an exile, what can he do to oppose 
this impious undertaking? Where shall he find a friend to 
England, prepared to show his zeal in warding off the threatened 
blow? . . . lie was bewildered. 

A flash of light suddenly dispelled the darkness. A person 
of some consequence at Cologne, Herman Eincke, a patrician 
and iuiperial councillor, had been sent on important busmess by 
the Emperor Maximilian to Henry Yil, and from that time 
he had always shown a great attachment to England. Coch- 
Iecus determined to reveal the iatal secrel to him; but, bemg 
still alarmed by the scenes at Frankfort,, he was afraid to con- 
spire openly against tlie Reformation. He had left an aged 
mother and a little niece at home, and was unwilling to do any 
thing which might compromise them. He therefore crept 
stealthily towards Rincke's house (as he tells us himself),'' slipped 
in secretly, and unfolded the whole matter to him. Rmcke 
could not believe that the ISew Testament in English was print- 
ing at Cologne; however, he sent a confidential person to make 
inquiries, wiio reported to him that Cochlaus's inlormation was 
correct, and that he had found in the printing office a large 
supply of paper intended for the edition.^ The patrician imme- 

1 tnua eorun) iu secretion coUouuio revelavit il!i aroumi.i. (Cochl«;u3. p. 131.) One of 
tUeri, ill a rrivate coulereuce revcuied the Secret U> him. ^ Kem oumem ut accepeiat 

,;... Untjicio. Ibiil. ' 3 Opus txcussuni cUiu invictun per toum AiiKham latuilei 

disperKere > t Jlei.l. Ibid- * Ad Lutheli J)?.rtes tralienda est An^lu. ioiA 

6 aiclu et adm^iiatione aflVctus- Ibid- <^ Abut witur cUiu. adll. Umcke. Ibid- 

' iuKcutem papjii tupiaiii ibi existere- Ibid- 


diately proceeded to the senate, and spoke of Wolsey, of Henry 
VIII, and of the preservation of the Romish church in England: 
and that body which, under the influence of the archbishop, had 
long since forgotten the rights of liberty, forbade the printer to 
continue the work. Thus then there were to be no New Testa- 
ments for Erigland! A practised hand had warded off the blow 
aimed at Eoman-catholicism; Tyndale would perhaps be thrown 
into prison, and Cochlseus enjoy a complete triumph. 

Tyndale was at first confounded. Were go many years of 
toil lost, then, for ever? His trial seemed beyond his strength.^ 
" They are ravening wolves," he exclaimed, " they preach to 
others, Steal not, and yet they have robbed the soul of man of 
the bread of life, and fed her with the shales [shells?] and cods 
of the hope in their merits and confidence in their good works."" 
Yet Tyndale did not long remain cast down; for his faith was of 
that kind which would remove mountains. Is it not the word 
of God that is imperilled? If he does not abandon himself, God 
will not abandon him. He must anticipate the senate of Cologne. 
Daring and prompt in all his movements, Tyndale bade Eoye 
foUow him, hastened to the printing office, collected the sheets, 
jumped into a boat, and rapidly ascended the river, carrying 
with him the hope of England;^ 

^\ hen Cochlaeus and Eincke, accompanied by the officers of 
the senate, reached the printing office, they were surprised be- 
yond measure. The apostate had secured the abominable 
papers! . . . Their enemy had escaped like a bird frofii 
the net of the fowler. T\here was he to be found now? He 
would no doubt go and place himself under the protection of 
some Lutheran prince, whither Cochlaus would take good care 
not to pursue him; but there was one resource leit. These 
English books can do no harm in Germany; they must be pre- 
vented reaching London. He wrote to Henry YlII, to AVolsey, 
and to the bishop of Rochester. " Two Englishmen," said he to 
the king, *" like the two eunuchs who desired to lay hands on 
Ahasuerus, are plotting wickedly against the peace of your 
kingdom; but I, like the faithful Mordecai,* will lay open their 
designs to you. They wish to send the Isew Testament in 
Eughsh to your people. Give orders at every seaport to pre- 

1 Necessity and combnnce (God is lecord) above tlrtnsth- Tjnd- Doctx- Tr- p- SSO. 

2 IjLdale, hipobiiicLs, p. >ib. (i'aiktr Sccittj) 3 Arreptis Becuiu quateniion. 
ibns inipressis Aulugenuit cavigio per Ufaeiiaiii ascendectes. (Cocbl p. 1^6.) Lajicgholdoi 
foar shetU that vete (Hcted tbe> ttc»i>ec <.b Lcaid « veisei, and asceDced the Khise. 

* lie was indebted to nk« co UtsUiau AtaiueiLS ^t.s iidebted Ui Jiloidec&i- Aucalt oi 
tbe i^ibie. i, p- 6i- -■■■^,i^.. ^ v-. ... , 


vent the introduction of this most baneful merchandise." ^ Such 
■was the name given by this zealous follower of the pope to the 
■word of God. An unexpected ally soon restored peace to the 
soul of Cochlaeus. The celebrated Dr. Eck, a champion of 
popery far more formidable than he was, had arrived at Cologne 
on his way to London, and he undertook to arouse the anger of 
the bishops and of the king."'' The eyes of the greatest oppon- 
ents of the Reformation seemed now to be fixed on England. 
Eck, who boasted of having gained the most signal triumphs 
over Luther, would easily get the better of the humble tutor 
and his New Testament. 

During this time Tyndale, guarding his precious bales, 
ascended the rapid river as quickly as he could. He passed 
before the antique cities and the smiling villages scattered along 
the banks of the Rhine amidst scenes of picturesque beauty. 
The mountains, glens, and rocks, the dark forests, the ruined 
fortresses, the gothic churches, the boats that passed and re- 
passed each other, the birds of prey that soared over his head, 
as if they bore a mission from Cochlaeus — 'nothing could turn 
his eyes from the treasure he was carrying with him. At last, 
after a voyage of five or six days, he reached Worms, where 
Luther, four years before, had exclaimed: "Here I stand, 1 can 
do no other; may God help me!" ^ These words of the German 
reformer, so well known to Tyndale, were the star that had 
guided him to Worms. He knew that the Gospel was preached 
in that ancient city. "The citizens are subject to fits of Luther- 
anism," said Cochlaeus.* Tyndale arrived there, not as Luther 
did, surrounded by an immense crowd, but unknown, and imagin- 
ing himself pursued by the myrmidons of Charles and of Henry 
As he landed from the boat he cast an uneasy glance arouud 
him, and laid down his precious burden on the bank of the 

He had had time to reflect on the dangers which threatened 
his work. As his enemies would have marked the edition, 
some few sheets of it having fallen into their hands, he took stops 
to mislead the inquisitors, and began a new edition, striking out 
the prologue and the notes, and substituting the more portable 
octavo form lor the original quarto. Peter Schacffer, the graud- 
mn of Fust, one of the iincii.oio of printing, lent his presses for 

1 Ut quam diliseutissiiiie iirtecavermt in omnibus Aiiuliae portubus. ue merx ilia pernicio. 
lisainia iiivthcretm-. Cochlicua, p. 1^6. '* Ad quera Doctor Eckiua Teuit. dum ia 

AuKliiuii ttuderet. Ibid- MJ. ^ See obovo, book vii, chapter viii- 

* ARceudentei Wonnatiaiu ubi pleb» pleuo furore lutherisabat- Cothlajuu, p« 126. 

tyxdale's prater. 215 

-this important work. The two editions were quietly completed 
:about the end of the year 1525.^ 

Thus were the wicked deceived: they would have deprived 
the English people of the oracles of God. and tico editions were 
now ready to enter England. " Give dUigence," said Tyndale 
to his fellow-countrymen, as he sent from Worms the Testament 
lie had just translated, '^ unto the words of eternal life, by the 
•which, if we repent and believe them, we are bom anew, created 
afresh, and enjoy the fruits of the blood of Christ." ' In the 
beginning of 1526, these books crossed the sea by way of Ant- 
werp or Rotterdam. Tyndale was happy; but he knew that the 
unction of the Holy Ghost alone could enable the people of 
England to understand these sacred pages; and accordingly he 
followed them night and day with his prayers. "The scribes 
and Pharisees," said he, " had thrust up the sword of the word 
of God in a scabbard or sheath of glosses, and therein had knit 
it fest, so that it could neither stick nor cat.* Kow, God, 
draw this sharp sword from the scabbard. Strike, wound, cut 
asunder, the soul and the flesh, so that man being divided in 
two, and set at variance with himself, may be in peace with thee 
4o all eternity! " 


•Worms and Cambridge — St. Paul resoscitat-ed — Latimer's Preaching — 
2^ ever ilan spake like tkis Man — Joy and Vexation at Cambridge — 
Sermon by Prior Buckingham — Irony — Latimer's Reply to Bucking- 
ham — The Students threatened — Latimer preaches before the Bishop 
— He is forbidden to preach — The most zealous of Bishops — Bamea 
the Restorer of Letters — Bilney undertakes to convert him— Barnes 
oflfera his Pulpit to Latimer — Fryth's Thirst for God — Christmas 
Eve, 1525 — Storm against Barnes— Ferment in the Colleges — Ger- 
jnany at Cambridge — Meetings at Oxford — General Expectation. 

While these works were accomplishing at Cologne and 
IVorms, others were going on at Cambridge and Oxford. On 
the banks of the Rhine they were preparing the seed; in Enor- 

> A copy of the oetaw e^tion exists in the Musenra of the Baptist CoUese «t BristoL If 
it is eo:upared with the quarto edition, a sensible progress will t>e fonnd in the orthoKraphj. 
Thus we read in the latter prop!i(tU!, syunert, moosu.ttkyvjft; in the octaro we fiad. 
J^ropheU, tinnert, mOTt. setting. Annals of the Bible, i. p. 7o * Epbtle, in init. 

3 Tjndale's Works. ii, p. Sid; or Expositions (Matthew), p. 13:, (Fark SocJ 



land they were drawing the furrows to receive it. The gospel 
produced a gi-eat agitation at Cambridge. Bilne}', whom we 
may call the father of the English Reformation, since, being the 
first converted by the New Testament, he had brought to the 
knowledge of God the energetic Latimer, and so many other wit- 
nesses of the truth, — Bilney did not at that time put himself for- 
ward, like many of those who had listened to him : his vocation 
was prayer. Timid before men, he was full of boldness before 
God, and day and night called upon him for souls. But while 
he was kneeling in his closet, others were at work in the world. 
Among these Stafibrd was particularly remarkable, " Paul is 
risen from the dead," said many as they heard him. And in 
fact Staflford explained with so much liie the true meaning of 
the words of the apostle and of the four evangelists/ that these 
holy men, whose faces had been so long hidden under the dense 
traditions of the schools,' reappeared before the youth of the 
university such as the apostolic times had beheld them. But it 
was not only their persoiis (for that would have been a trifling 
matter), it was their doctrine which Stafibrd laid before his. 
hearers. While the schoolmen of Cambridge were declaring to 
their pupils a reconciliation which was not yet worked out, and 
telling them that pardon must be purchased by the works 
prescribed by the church, Stafford taught that redemption was 
accomplished, that the satisfaction ofiered by Jesus Christ was 
verfect; and he added, that popery having revived the kingdom of 
the law, God, by the Beforniation, was now reviving the Idnijdoin 
of grace. The Cambridge students, charmed by their master's 
teaching, greeted him with applause, and, indulging a little too 
far in their enthusiasm, said to one another as they left the 
lecture-room: '' Which is the most indebted to the other? Staff- 
ord to Paul, who left him the holy epistles; or Paul to Stafford, 
who has resuscitated that apostle and his holy doctrines, which 
the middle ages had obscured? " 

Above Bilney and Stafford rose Latimer, who, by the power 
of the Holy Ghost, transfused into other hearts the learned lessons 
of his master.^ Being informed of the work that Tyndale was. 
preparing, he maintained from the Cambridge pulpits that the 
Bible ought to be read in the vulgar tongue.* " The author of 
Holy Scripture," said he, " is the mighty One, the Everlasting 

1 lie aet furth in \\\» lectures the native sense. Thonias liecon, ii, p. 4'J6. 2 Obicured 

tbiuuKh the duiluicsji uud mistb uf tlie puiiiBts. Ibid. 3 a jjiivate iiibtructor to 

the rest of his brethren within the uuivtrsity- Foxe, Acts, vii, p. 438. t He proved 

ill his sennoiis that tlie llnly iScriptiires oimht tu be read lu the KnKlisb ton;ue of all Chri^- 
titin people. iJecou, vol. ii. p. v2i. (I'atk. Soo,) 


God himsdf! and tkis Scripture partakes of the 

might and eternity of its author. There is neither king nor 
emperor that is not bound to obey it. Let us beware of those 
bypaths of human tradition, filled of stones, brambles, and up- 
rooted trees. Let us follow the straight road of the word. It 
docs not concern us what the Fathers have done, but what they" 
should have done." ^ 

A numerous congregation crowded to Latimer's preaching, 
and his hearers hung listening to his lips. One in particular at- 
tracted attention. He was a Xorfolk youth, sixteen years of 
age, whose features were lighted up with understaudiug and 
piety. This poor scholar had received with eagerness the truth 
announced by the former crois-bearer. He did not miss one of 
his sermons; with a sheet of paper on his knees, and a pencil 
in his hand, he took down part of the discom*sc, trusting the re- 
mainder to his memory.'- This was Thomas Becon, afterwards- 
chaplain to Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury. " If I possess 
the knowledge of God/' said he, '• 1 owe it (under God) to 

Latimer had hearers of many sorts. By the side of those who 
gave way to their enthusiasm stood men " swelling, blown fuU, 
and pufied up hke unto Esop's firog, with envy and malice 
against him," said Becon; "^ these were the partizans of tradi- 
tional Catholicism, whom curiosity had attracted, or whom their 
evangelical friends had dragged to the church. But as Latimer 
spoke a marvellous transibrmation was worked in them; by 
degrees their angry features relaxed, their fierce .looks grew 
Bofter; and, if these friends oi the priests were asked, after their 
return home, what they thought of the heretic preacher, they 
replied, in the exaggeration of their surprise and rapture: 
'' Nunguam sic locutus eii homo, sicut hie homo!" (John 
vii. 46.) 

"When he descended from the pulpit, Latimer hastened to prac- 
tise what he had taught. He visited the naiTow chambers of the 
poor scholars, and the dark rooms of the working classes: " he 
watered with good deeds whatsoever he had before planted with 
godly words,"* said the student who collected his discourses. 
The disciples conversed together with joy and simplicity of heart; 
everywhere the breath of a new life was felt; as yet no exter- 
nal refurms had been effected, and yet the spiritual church ot 
the gospel and of the Keformation was already there. And 

1 We find bia opinions upon Uut subject in a later sermon. Latimer's sermons, p, S6, 97, 
(Piuk. Soe) 'i A poor tchoUr of Gimbrid^ . , . bnt • diild of slxt«ea jmrs, Uecui'B ^ 

Works, ii- p. tUt. 3 Beeon'a Wurka, ii. p. 1^. « loiO. 


ttus the recollection of these happy times was long commemor- 
ated in the adage : 

When Master Stafford read. 
And Master Latimer preached. 
Then was Cambridge blessed.' 

The priests could not remain inactive : they heard speak of 
grace and liberty, and would have nothing to do with either. 
If grace is tolerated, will it not take from the hands of the 
clergy the manipulation of salvation, indulgences, penance^ and 
all the rubrics of the canon law? If liberty is conceded, will not 
the hierarchy, with all its degrees, pomps, violence, and scaffolds, 
be shaken? Rome desires no other liberty than that of free-will, 
which, exalting the natural strength of fallen man, dries up as 
regards mankind the springs of divine life, withers Christianity, 

-'and changes that heavenly religion into a human moralisiu and 
legal observances. 

The friends of popery, therefore, collected their forces to op- 
pose the new religion. " Satan, who never sleeps," says the 
simple chronicler, "called up his familiar spirits, and sent them 
forth against the reformers." Meetings were held in the con- 
vents, but particularly in that belonging to the Greyfriars. 
They mustered all their forces. An eye for an eye, and a tooth 
for a tooth, said they. Latimer extols in his sermons the bless- 
ings of Scripture; we must deliver a sermon also to show its 
ilangers. But where was the orator to be found who could 
cope with him? This was a very embarrassing question to 
the clerical party. Among the Greyfriars there was a haughty 
monk, adroit and skilful in little matters, and full at once of 
ignorance and pride : it was the prior Buckingham. No one had 
fihown more hatred against the evangelical Christians, and no 
one was in truth a greater stranger to the Gospel. This was the 
man commissioned to set forth the dangers of the word of God. 

• He was by no means familiar with the New Testament; he 
opened it however, picked out a few passages here and there 
which seemed to favour his thesis; and then, arrayed in his 
costliest robes, with head erect and solemn step, already sure of 
victory, he went into the pulpit, combated the heretic, and with 
pompous voice stonned against the reading of the Bible;'' it was 
in his eyes the fountain of all heresies and misfortunes. " If 
that heresy should prevail," he exclaimed, " there will be an end 

1 Ikcuu'* Worlu, U. p, 125. 2 With gftai pomp aod prolLdtj. GUpin'a Life of 

Lalimer, p> & 

THE vrior's sermon. 219 

of everything useful among us. The ploughman, reading in the 
gospel that no 7nan having put his hand to the plough should look 
back, would soon lay aside his labour The baker, read- 
ing that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, will in future 
make us nothing but ver}' insipid bread; and the simple man 
finding himself commanded to pluck out the right eye and cast it 
from thee, England, after a few years, will be a frightful spectacle; 
it will be little better than a nation of blind and one-eyed men, 
sadly begging their bread from door to door."^ 

This discourse moved that part of the audience for which it 
was intended. '^ The heretic is silenced," said the monks and 
clerks; but sensible people smiled, and Latimer was delightc-d 
that they had given him such an adversary. Being of a lively 
disposition and inclined to irony, he resolved to lash the plati- 
tudes of the pompous friar. There are some absurdities, he 
thought, which can only be refuted by showing how foolish 
they are. Does not even the grave Tertullian speak of things 
which are only to be laughed at, for fear of giving them import- 
ance by a serious refutation? - " Next Sunday I will reply to 
him," said Latimer. 

The church was crowded when Buckingham, with the hood of 
■St. Francis cu his shoulders and with a vain-glorious air, took 
his place solemnly in front of the preacher. Latimer began by 
recapitulating the least weak of his adversary's argxmients; then 
takiug them up one by one, he turned them over and over, and 
pointed out all their absurdity with so much wit, that the poor 
jjrior was buried in his own nonsense. Then turning towards 
the listening crowd, he exclaimed with warmth: "This is how' 
j-our skilful guides abuse your understanding. They look upon 
jou as children that must be for ever kept in leading-strings, 
l^ow, the hour of your majority has arrived; boldly examine 
the Scriptures, and you will easily discover the absurdity of the 
teaching of your doctors." And then desirous, as Solomon has 
-it, of aiisiuering a fool according to his folly, he added: " As for 
the comparisuus drawn from the plough, the leaven, and the eye, 
of which the revemed prior has made so singular a use, is it 
necessary to justify these passages of Scripture? Must I tell 
you what plough, what leaven, what eye is here meant? Is not 
our Lord's teaching distinguished by those expressions which, 

I The nation full of blind beggars. Gilpin's Life of Latimer, p. 8- 2 Si et ridebitor 

aiicobi materiis ipsla satistiet. Malta sant sic dii^a re\inci, ne gravitate adorentnr. (Contia 
Valentin, c. n J See aUo I'ascal's i'ro\inciais. Letter xi. And if ridicule shall at an; tiai« 
1>« excited, it is quite snited to such subjtcts- Many things deserve thustobeoTercome>lMk 
toy a serious refutation, they get more respect than they deserve. 



under a popular form, conceal a spiritual and profound meaning? 
Do not we know that in all languages and in all speeches, it Is 
not on the image that we must fix our eyes, but on the thiwj 

which the image represents? For instance/' he continued, 

and as he said these words he cast a piercing glance on the 
prior, " if we see a fox painted preaching in a friar's hood, no- 
body imagines that a fox is meant, but that craft and hypocrisy 
are described, which are so often found disguised in that garb.^ 
At these words the poor prior, on whom the eyes of afl the 
congregation were turned, rose and left the church hastily, and 
ran off to his convent to hide his rage and confusion among his 
brethren. The monks and their creatures uttered loud cries 
against Latimer. It was unpardonable (they said) to have beea 
thus wanting in respect to the cowl of St. Francis. But his 
friends replied: "Do we not whip children? and he who treats 
Scripture worse than a child, does he not deserve to be well 

The Romish party did not consider themselves beaten. The 
heads of colleges and the priests held frequent conferences. The" 
professors were desired to watch carefully over their pupils, and 
to lead them back to the teaching of the church by flattery and 
by threats. " We are putting our lance in rest," they told the 
students; "if you become evangelicals, your advancemenc is at 
an end." But these open-hearted generous youths loved rather 
to be poor with Christ, than rich with the priests. Staflbrd con- 
tinued to teach, Latimer to preach, and Bilney to visit the poor : 
the doctrine of Christ ceased not to be spread abroad, and souls 
to be converted. 

One weapon only was left to the schoolmen; this was per- 
secution, the favourite arm of Rome. " Our enterprise has not 
succeeded," said they; " Buckingham is a fool. The best way 
of answering these gosjpclkrs is to prevent their speaking." Dr. 
West, bishop of Ely, was ordinary of Cambridge; they called 
for his intervention, and he ordered one of the doctors to inform 
him the next time Latimer was to preach; "but," added he, 
" do not say a word to any one. I wish to come without being 

One day as Latimer was preaching in Latin ad clerum, the 
bishop suddenly entered the university church, attended by a 
number of priests. Latimer stopped, waiting respectfully until 
West and his train had taken their places. " A new audience,"^ 
thought he; *• and besides, an audience worthy of greater honour 

> UUpia'ii Life of LAtimer, p. 10 


calls for a new theme. Leaving, therefore, the subject I had 
proposed, I will take up one that relates to the episcopal charge, 
and -will preach on these words: Cliristus exlstens Ponli/ex 
futurorum bonorum:' (Hebrews ix. 11.) Then describing 
Jesus Christ, Latimer represented him as the " true and perfect 
j.a:;eru unto all other biihops."^ There was not a single virtue 
pointed out in the divine bishop that did not correspond with 
some defect in the Romish bishops. Latimer's caustic wit had 
a free course at their expense; but there was so much gravity 
in his tallies, and so lively a Giristianity in his descriptions, 
that every one must have ielt them to be the cries of a Chris- 
tian conscience rather than the sarcasms of an ill-natured dis- 
position. Never had bishop been taught by one of his priests 
like this man. " AlasI " said many, '•' our bishops are not of 
that breed: they are descended trom Annas and Caiaphas." 
"West was not more at his ease than Buckingham had been 
formerly. He stifled his anger, however; and after the sermon, 
said to Latimer with a gracious accent : '• You have excellent 
talents, and if you would do one thing I should be ready to kiss 
your feet."- .... What humi.ity in a bishop! . . . "Preach 
ia this same church," continued ^Vcst, "a sermon . . . against 
Martin Luther. That is the best way of checking heresy." 
Latimer understood the prelate's meaning, and replied calmly: 
'•' If Luther preaches the word of God, 1 cannot oppose him. 
But if he teaches the contrary, I am ready to attack him." — 
*' \'« el!, well, Master Latimer,' exclaimed the bishop, " 1 per- 
ceive that you smell somewhat of the pan.^ .... Une day or 
another you will repent of that merchandise." 

\'. est having leit Cambridge in great irritation against that 
rebellious clerk, hastened to convoke his chapter, and forbade 
Latimer to preach either in the university or in the diocese. 
*•' All that will live godly shall sufler persecution," J^aint Paul 
had said; Latimer was now experiencing the truth of the saying. 
It wac not enough that the name of heretic had been given him 
by the priests and their friends, and that the passers-by insulted 
him in the streets; .... the work cf God was violently check- 
ed. " Behold then," he exclaimed with a Litter sigh, •• the use 

of the episcopal ofiice to hinder the preaching of Jesus 

Christ!" borne lew years later he sketched, with his usual 
caustic irony, the portrait of a certain bishop, of whom Luther 
also used irequently to speak: '• Do you know," said Latimer, 

1 StrTpe's Ecde*. Mem. iii. p, 3t9. z I trOl Imed dom aud kia jom foct. Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 3;a 


" who is the most dihgentest bishop and prelate in all England? 

I see you listening and hearkening that I should name 

him .... I mil tell you .... It is the devil. He is never 
out of his diocese; ye shall never find him out of the way; call 
for him when you will, he's ever at home. He is ever at his 
plough. Ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. Where 
the devil is resident — there away with books and up with 
candles; away with bibles and up with beads; away with the 
light of the Gospel and up with the light of candles, yea at 
noondays; down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pick- 
purse; away with clothing the naked, the poor, and impotent,. 
up with decking of images and gay garnishing of stocks and 
■ stones; down with God's traditions and his most holy word. . . 
. . . . Oh ! that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the 
corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel!" ^ 
Truly may it be said, " There was never such a preacher in 
England as he is."' 

The reformer was not satisfied with merely speaking: he 
acted. "Neither the menacing words of his adversaries nor 
their cruel imprisonments," says one of his con temporaries,^ 
" could hinder him from proclaiming God's truth." Forbidden 
to preach in the churches, he went about from house to house. 
He longed for a pulpit however, and this he obtained. A haughty 
prelate had in vain interdicted his preaching^ Jesus Christ, who 
is above all bishops, is able, when one door is shut, to open 
another. Instead of one great preacher there were soon two at 

An Augustine monk named Robert Barnes, a native of the- 
county of Norfolk, and a great scholar, had gone to Louvaiu to 
prosecute his studies. Here he received the degree of doctor 
of divinity, and having returned to Cambridge, was nominated 
prior of his monastery in 1523. It was his fortune to recouciL^ 
learning and the Gospel in the university; but by leaning too 
much to learning he diminished the force of the word of God. 
A great crowd collected every day in the Augustine convent to 
hear his lectures upon Terence, and in particular upon Cicero. 
Many of those who were ofieuded by the simple Christianity of 
Biluey and Latimer, were attracted by this reformer of another 
kind. Coleman, Coverdale, Field, Cambridge, Barley, and many 
other young men of the university, gathered round Barnes and 
proclaimed him '' the restorer of letters."* 

1 Lalinitr's Sermons (I'aik. Soc ) vul. L j). 70- Stimou of the riough. 2 Ibid. p. 72. 

3 lie adds: WhatiuevtX he hud oiice prcnchcd, be valiitntly defeuded the game. Becon, vol. 
U. p. Vii, * Xhc great rtblortr of Kuod Icaruiug. Strjiie, I. p. 008; k'oxe, Acts, v. p. 416, 


But the classics were only a preparatory teaching. The 
masterpieces of antiquity having aided Barnes to clear the soil, 
he opened before his class the epistles of St. Paul. He did not 
understand their divine depth, like Stafford; he was not, like 
him, anointed with the Holy Ghost; he» differed from him on 
several of the apostle's doctrines, on justification by faith, and 
on the new creature; but Barnes was an enlightened and liberal 
man, not without some degree of piety, and desirous, like 
Stafford, of substituting the teaching of Scripture for the barren 
disputations of the school. But they soon came into collision, 
aud Cambridge long remembered that celebrated discussion ia^ 
which Barnes and Stafford contended with so much renown, em- 
ploying no other weapons than the word of God, to the great 
astonishment of the blind doctors, and the great joy of the clear- 
sighted, says the chronicler,^ 

Barnes was not as yet thoroughly enlightened, and the friends 
of the Gospel were astonished that a man, a stranger to the 
truth, should deal such heavy blows against error. Bilney,. 
whom we continually meet with when any secret work, a work 
of irreiistible charity, is in hand, — Biluey, who had convertei 
Latimer, imdertook to convert Barnes; and Stafford, Arthur^ 
'Ihistei of Pembroke, and Fooke of Benet's, earnestly prayed 
God to grunt his assistance. The experiment was difficult:. 
Barnes had reached that juste milieu, that " golden mean " of 
the humanists, that intoxication of learning and glory, which, 
render conversion more difficult. Besides, could a man like 
Biiney really dare to instruct the restorer of antiquity? But 
the humble bachelor of arts, so simple in appearance, knew, like 
David of old, a secret power by which the Goliath of the uni- 
versity might be vanquished. He passed days and nights in 
prayer; and then urged Barnes openly to manifest his convic- 
tions without fearing the reproaches of the world. After many 
conversations and prayers, Barnes was converted to the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ.- Still, the prior retained something undecided 
in his character, and only half relinquished that middle state 
with which he had begun. For instance, he appears to have always 
believed in the efficacy of sacerdotal consecration to transform 
the bread and wine iito the body and blood of Christ. His eye 
was not single, and his mind was often agitated and driven to 
and tro by contrary thoughts: "Alas!" said this divided char- 
acter one day, " I confess that my cogitations be innumerable." • 

1 .MarvcUous iu the sixht cf the nieaA blind doi:tor«. f oxe, Ac:3. r. p, il5- 2 Bilnej 

Gouverttd Dr. J3unies to the Gcsret of Jesaa Chricu Fow, Act&, iv. p. (iJO. 3 Ibid' v> 


Barnes, having come to a knowledge of the truth, immed- 
iately displayed a zeal that was somewhat imprudent. Men of 
the least decided character, and even those who are destined to 
make a signal fall, are often those who begin their course with 
the greatest ardour. Barnes seemed prepared at this time to 
■withstand all England. Being now united to Latimer by a 
tender Christian affection, he was indignant that the powerful 
voice of his friend should be lost to the church. " The bishop 
Jbas forbidden you to preach," he said to him, " but my 
monastery is not under episcopal jurisdiction. You can preach 
there." Latimer went into the pulpit at the Augustine's, and 
the church could not contain the crowd that flocked to it. At 
Cambridge, as at Wittemberg, the chapel of the Augustine 
monks was used for the first struggles of the Grospel. It was 
here that Latimer delivered some of his best sermons. 

A very different man from Latimer, and particularly from 
Barnes, was daily growing in influence among the English re- 
formers: this was Fryth. No one was more humble than he, 
and on that very account no one was stior.ger. He was less 
brilliant than Barnes, but more solid. He might have pene- 
trated into the highest departments of science, but he was drawn 
away by the deep mysteries of God's word; the call of conscience 
prevailed over that of the understanding.^ He did not devote 
the energy of his soul to difiicult questions; he thirsted for God, 
for his truth, and for his love. Instead of propagating his par- 
ticular opinions and forming divisions, he clung only to the liiith 
■which saves, and advanced the dominion of true unity. This 
is the mark of the great servant of God. Humble before the 
Lord, mild before men, and even in appearance somewhat timid, 
Frytii in the face of danger displayed an intrepid courage. " My 
learning is small," he said, '' but the little I have 1 am deter- 
mined to give to Jesus Christ for the building of his temple." ^ 

Latimer's .sermons, Barnes's ardour, and Fryth's firmness, 
excited fresh zeal at Cambridge. They knew what was going 
on in Germany and Switzerland* shall the English, ever in front, 
now remain in the rear? Shall not Latimer, Bilney, Statiord, 
Barnes, and Fryth do what the servants of God are doing in 
other places? 

A secret ferment announced an approaching crisis: every one 
expected some change for better or for worse. The Evangelicals, 
confident in the truth, and thinking themselves sure of victory, 

1 i^otwitlibtnudiiiK his other iiiaiiifijld and siiiKular gifts aud oruanieiiU of the mind.iu 
liiui uiont in i>>:iiiiia Tjiidule aud lf'r>Ui'a Works, iii, p. Ti- 'i 'ihutin very small 

nevvrUiekit* Unit UtUc- Ibid. q. 80^ 

CHRISTMAS EVE, 1525. 226 

resolved to fall upon the enemy simultaneously on several 
points. The Sunday before Christmas, in the year 1525, waa 
chosen for this great attack. YThile Latimer should address the 
crowds that continued to fill the Augustine chapel, and others 
were preaching in other places, Barnes was to deliver a sermon 
in one of the churches in the town. But nothing compromisea 
the Gospel so much as a disposition turned towards outward 
things. God, who grants his blessing only to undivided hearts, 
permitted this general assault, of which Barnes was to be the 
hero, to be marked by a defeat. The prior, as he went into 
the pulpit, thought only of Wolsey. As the representative of 
the popedom in England, the cardinal was the great obstacle to 
the Reformation. Barnes preached from the epistle for the 
day: Rejoice in the Lord alway} But instead of announcing 
Christ and the joy of the Christian, he imprudently declaimed 
against the luxury, pride, and diversions of the churchmen, and 
everybody understood that he aimed at the cardiual. He de- 
scribed those magnificent palaces, that brilliant suite, those 
-:arlet robes, and pearls, and gold, and precious stones, and all 
he prelate's ostentation, so little in keeping (said he) with the 
stable of Bethlehem. Two fellows of King's College, Robert 
Ridley and ^\ alter Preston, relations of Tonstall, bishop of 
London, who were intentionally among the congregation, noted 
down in their tablets the prior's imprudent expressions. 

The sermon was scarcely over when the ttorm broke out. 
" These people are not satisfied with propagating monstrous 
heresies,'' exclaimed their enemies, " but they must find fault 
•with the powers that be. To-day they attack the cardinal, to- 
morrow they will attack the king!" Ridley and Preston accused 
Sames to the vice-chancellor. All Cambridge was in commo- 
tion. "What! Barnes the Augustine prior, the restorer of let- 
ters, accused as a Lollard! The Gcspcl was threatened 

•with a danger more formidable than a prison or a scaffold. The 
firiends of ttie priests, knowing Barnes's weakness, and even his 
Tanitj, hoped to obtain of him a disavowal that would cover 
the evangelical party with shame. " What!" said these dange- 
rous counsellors to him, " the noblest career was open to you, 

and would you ckse it? Do, pray, explain away your 

sermon." They alarmed, they flattered him; and the poor prior 
■was near yielding to their solicitations. " Kext Sunday you 
"will read this declaration," they said to him. Barnes ran over 
the paper put into his hands, and saw no great harm in it. 

1 FbiiippUna ir, i..7. 
46 p 


However he desired to show it to Bilney and Staflford, " Be- 
ware of such weakness," said these faithful men, Barnes the» 
recalled his promise, and for a season the enemies of the Gospel 
were sUent. 

Its friends worked with increased energy. The fall from 
which one of their companions had so narrowly escaped inspired 
them with fresh zeal. The more indecision and weakness Barnes 
had shown, the more did his brethren flee to God for courage 
and firmness. It was reported, moreover, that a powerful ally , 
was coming across the sea, and that the Holy Scriptures, tran- 
slated into the vulgar tongue, were at last to be given to the 
people. Wherever the word was preached, there the congre- 
gation was largest. It was the seed-time of the church; all 
were busy in the fields to prepare the soil and trace the fur- 
rows. Seven colleges at least were in full lerment : Pembroke,. 
St. John's, Queens', King's, Caius, Benet's, and Peterhouse. The 
Gospel was preached at the Augustine's, at Saint Mary's, (the 
University church,) and in other places, and when the bells rang, 
to prayers, the streets were alive with students issuing irom the 
colleges, and hastening to the sermon.*- 

There was at Cambridge a house called the Yfhite Horse, so 
situated as to permit the most timid members of King's, 
Queens', and St. John's Colleges, to enter at the rear without 
being perceived. In every age iS^icodemus has had his fuiiowci-s. 
Here those persons used to assemble who desired to read the 
Bible and the works of the German reibrmers. The priests, 
looking upon Wittemberg as the locus of the Rel'ormatiou, 
named this house Germany : the people will always have their 
bywords. At first the frequenters of the White Horse were 
caUed sophists; and now, whenever a group of '' fellows" was 
seen walking in that direction, the cry was, '' There are the 
Germans going to Germany." — "We arc not Germans," was- 
the reply, " neither are we Komans." The Greek New Testa- 
ment had made them Christians. The Gospel-meetings had 
never been more fervent. Some attended them to communicate 
the new fife they possessed; others to receive what God had 
given to the more advanced brethren. The Holy Spirit united 
them all, and thus, by tlie lellowship of the saints, were real 
churches created. To these young Christians the word of God 
was the source of so much ligiit, that they imagined themselveii 
transported to that heavenly city of which the Scriptures speak^ 
wliich had no need of the nun, /or the ijlonj of (Jod did lic/htau it. 

1 il. cktd tosether'l.i a^tii itria. Slrjiic, iUiu.i.p b<^ 


*' So oft as I was in the company of these brethren," said a 
youthful student of St. John's, " methought I was quitely placed 
in the new glorious Jerusalem." ^ 

Similar things were taking place at Oxford. In lo2'4 and 
1525, Wolsey had successively invited thither several Cam- 
bridge fellows, and although only seeking the most able, he 
found that he had taken some of the most pious. Besides John 
dlark, there were Richard Cox. John Fryer, Godfrey Karman, 
W. Betts, Henry Sumner, W. Baily, Michael Drumm, Th. 
Lawney, and, lastly, the excellent John Fryth. These Christians, 
associating with Clark, with his faithful Dalaber, and with other 
evangelicals of Oxford, held meetings, like their Cambridge 
brethren, at which God manifested his presence. The bishops 
made war upon the Gospel; the king supported them with aU 
his power; but the word had gained the victory; there was no 
longer any doubt. The church was born again in England. 

The great movement of the sixteenth century had begun 
more particularly among the younger doctors and students at 
Oxford and Cambridge. From them it was necessary that is 
should be extended to the people, and fur tha: end the Kew 
Testament, hitherto read in Latin and in Greek, must be cir- 
culated in English. The voices of thesj youthful evaugclists 
were heard, indeed, in London and in the provinces; but their 
exhortations would have been insufficient, if the mighty hand 
which directs aU things had not made this Christian activity 
coincide with that holy work for which it had setTyndale apart. 
Vi hUe all was agitation in England, the waves of ocean were 
.bearing from the continent to the banks of the Thames those 
Scriptures of God, which, three centuries later, multiplied by 
thousands and by millions, and translated into a hundred and' 
fifty tongues, were to be wafted from the same banks to the 
ends of the world. If in the fifteenth century, and even in the 
early days of the sixteenth, the English New Testament had 
been brought to London, it would only have fallen into the 
hands of a few Lollards. Now, in every place, in the parson- 
ages, the universities, and the palaces, as well as in the cottages 
of the husbandmen and the shops of the tradesmen, there was 
an ardent desire to possess the Holy Scriptures. The Jiat lux 
was about to be uttered over the chaos of the church, aud light 
to be separated from darkness by the word of God. 




Chiirch and State essentially distinct — Their fundamental Principles — 
What restores Life to the Church — Separation from Rome necessary 
— Reform and Liberty — The New Testament crosses the sea — Is 
hidden in London — Garret's Preaching and Zeal — Dissemination of 
Scripture— What the People find in it— The Effects it produces — 
Tyndale's Explanations — Koper, More's Son-in-law — Garret carries 
Tyndale's Testament to Oxford — Henry and his Valet— The Suppli- 
cation of the Beggai-s — Two Sorts of Beggars — Evils caused by 
Priests — ilore's Supplications of the Souls in Purgatory. 

The Church and the State are essentially distinct. They 
both receive their task from God, but that task is diflPerent in 
each. The task of the church is to lead men to God; the 
task of the State is to secure the earthly development of a peo- 
ple in conformity with its pecular character. There are certain 
bounds, traced by the particular spirit of each nation within 
which the state should confine itself; while the church, whose 
limits are co-extensive with the human race, has a universal 
character, which raises it above all national differences. These 
two distinctive features should be maintained. A state which 
aims at universality looses itself; a church whose mind and aim 
are sectarian falls away. Nevertheless, the church and the 
state, the two poles of social life, while they are iu many respects 
opposed to one another, are far from excluding each other ab- 
solutely. The church has need of that justice, order, and 
liberty, which the state is bound to maintain; but the state has 
especial need of the church. If Jesus can do without kings to 
establish his kingdom, kings cannot do without Jesus, if they 
would have their kingdoms prosper. Justice, which is the fun- 
damental principle of the state, is continually fettered in its 
progress by tlie internal power of sin; and as force can do noth- 
ing against this power, the state requires the Gospel in order to 


orercome it. That country vnll always be the most prosperous 
where the church is the most evangelical. These two conimuni- 
:ies having thus need one of the other, we must be prepared, 
whenever a great religious manifestation takes place in the 
world, to witness the appearance on the scene not only of the 
little ones, but of the great ones also, of the state. We mu.ic 
not then be surprised to meet with Henry VIII, but let us eu- 
deavour to appreciate accurately the part he played. 

If the Relbrmation, particularly in England, happened neces- 
sarily to be mixed up with the state, with the world even, it 
originated neither in the state nor in the world. There was 
much worldliness in the age of Henry VIII, passions, violence, 
festivities, a trial, a divorce; and some historians call that the 
histoi'y of the Reformation in England. We shall not pass by 
in silence these manifestations of the worldly life; opposed as 
they are to the Christian life, they are in history, and it is not 
our business to tear them out. But most assui-edly they are 
not the Eeformation. From a very different quarter proceeded 
the divine light which then rose upon the human race. 

To say that Henry VHI, was the reformer of his people is to 
betray our ignorance of his. The kingly power in Eagland by 
turns opposed and favoured the reform in the church; but it 
opposed before it favoiu-ed, and much more than it favoured. 
This great transformation was begun and extended by its own 
strength, by the Spirit from on high. 

When the church has lost the life that is peculiar to it, it 
must again put itself in communication with its creative princi- 
ple, that is, with the word of God. Just as the buckets of a, 
wheel employed in irrigating the meaduws have no sooner dis- 
charged their reviving waters, than they dip again into the 
stream to be re-filled, so every generation, void of the Spirit ot 
Christ, must return to the divine souicj to be again filled up. 
The primitive words which created the church have been pre- 
served lor us in the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles; and the 
humble reading of these divine writings will create in every a^e 
the communion of saints. God was the father of the Reforma- 
tion, not Henry Vill. The visible world which then glittered 
with such brightness; those princes and sports, those noblemen, 
and trials and laws, far from effecting a reform, were calculated 
to stifle it. But the light and the warmth came from heaven, 
and the new creation was completed. 

In the reign of iienry VHI a great number of citizens, priests, 
and noblemen possessed that degree of cultivation which favours 


the action of the holy books. It was sufficient for this divine 
seed to be scattered on the well-prepared soil for the work of 
germination to be accomplished. 

A time not less important also was approaching — that in 
which the action of the popedom was to come to an end. The 
hour had not yet struck. God was first creating within by his 
word a spiritual church, before he broke without by his dispen- 
sations the bonds which had so lon;j fastened England to the 
power of Rome. It was his good pleasure first to give truth 
and lite, and then liberty. It has been said that it the pope 
had consented to a reform of abuses and doctrines, on condition 
of his keeping his position, the religious revolution would not 
bave been satisfied at that price, and that after demanding re- 
form, the next demand would have been for Uheiiy. The only- 
reproach that can be made to this assertion is, that it is super- 
abundantly true. Liberty was an integral part of the Reforma- 
tion, and one of the changes imperatively required was to 
withdi-aw religious authority from the pope, and restore it to 
the word of God. In the sixteenth century there was a great 
outpouring of the Christian lite in France, Italy, and Spain; it 
is attested by martyrs without number, and history shows that 
to transform these three great nations, all that the Gospel 
wanted was liberty.^ "If we had set to work two months 
later," said a grand inquisitor of Spain who had dj'ed himself 
in the blood of the saints, "it would have been too late: Spain 
would have been lost to the Roman church." We may there- 
lore beheve that if Italy, France, and Spain had had some 
generous king to check the myrmidons of the pope, those throe 
countries, carried along by the renovating power of the Gospel, 
would have entered upon an era of liberty and faith. 

The struggles of England with the popedom began shortly 
after the dissemination of the English JS'ew Testament by 
Tyndale. The epoch at \,iUoh wc are arrived accordingly brings 
in one view before our eyes both the Testament of Jesus Clinst 
and the court of Rome. We can thus study the men (the re- 
formers and the Romanists) and the works they produce, and 
arrive at a just valuation of the two great principles which dis- 
pute the possession of authority in tlie church. 

It was about the close of the year 1525; the English New 
Testament was crossmg the sea; five pious Hanseatio merchants 
liad taken charge of the books. Captivated by the Holy Scrip- 

X (Jeddei'a liartyrology, Uonsalvi, Mart- Iliap- Llorente, Inquis. M'Crie, lief- in Spoiu- 


tures they had taken them on board their ships, hidden them 
among their merchandi^; and then made sail from Antwerp for 

Thus those precious pages were approaching England, which 
Trere to become its light and the source of its greatness. The 
merchants, whose zeal unhappily cost them dear, were not with- 
out alarm. Had not Cochlaeus caused orders to be sent to 
every port to prevent the entrance of the precious cargo they 
were bringing to England? They arrived and cast anchor; they 
lowei'ed the boat to reach the shore; what were they likely to 
meet there? Tonstall's agents, no doubt^ and Wolsey's, and 
Henry's ready to take away their New Testaments! They 
landed and soon again returned to the ship; boats passed to and 
firo, and the vessel was unloaded. No enemy appeared; and no 
one seemed to imagine that these ships contained so great a 

Just at the time this invaluable cargo was ascending the riyer, 
an invisible hand had dispersed the preventive guard. Tonstall, 
bishop of London, had been sent to Spain; Woliey was occupied 
in political combinations with Scotland, France, and the empire; 
Henry VIII, driven from his capital by an unhealthy winter, 
"was passing the Christmas holidays at Eltham; and even the 
courts of justice, alarmed by an extraordinary mortality, had 
suspended their sittings. God, if we may so speak, had sent 
his angel to remove the guards. 

Seeing nothing that could stop ther.:, the five merchants, 
whose establishment was at the Steel yard in Thames Street, 
hastened to conceal their precious charge in their warehouses. 
But who will receive them? Who will undertake to distribute 
these iioly Scriptures in London, Oxford, Cambridge, and all 
England? It is a little matter that they have crossed the sea. 
The principal instrument God was about to use for their di^- 
€emination was an humble servant of Christ, 
j In Honey Lane, a i;arrow thoroughfare adjoining Cheapside, 
stood the old church of All Hallows, of which Robert Forman 
"was rector. His curate was a plain man of lively imagination, 
delicate conscience, and timid disposition, but renaered bold by 
His faith, to which he was to become a martyr. Thomas Garret, 
for that was his name, having believed in the Gospel, eamestlj 
called his hearers to repentance;^ he urged upon them that 
works, however good they might be in appearance, were by no 
means capable of justifying the sinner, and that faith alone could 

3 Earnest!; labocred to c«U lu to i^tentancc- Beeon, iiL p. !!• 


save him.^ He maintained that every man had the right to 
preach the word of God;^ and called those bishops pharisees, 
who persecuted christian men. Garret's discourses, at once so 
quickening and so gentle, attracted great crowds; and to many of 
his hearers, the street in which he preached was rightly named 
Honey Lane, for there they found the lioney out of the rock.^ 
But Garret was about to commit a fault still more heinous ia 
the eyes of the priests than preaching faith. The Haiise mer- 
chants were seeking some sure place where they might store up 
the New Testaments and other books sent from Germany; the 
curate offered his house, stealthily transported the holy deposit 
thither, hid them in the most secret corners, and kept a faithful 
watch over this sacred library.* He did not confine himself to 
this. Night and day he studied the holy books; he held Gos- 
pel meetings, read the word and explained its doctrines to the 
citizens of London. At last, not satisfied with being at once 
student, librarian, and preacher, he became a trader, and sold 
the New Testament to laymen, and even to priests and monks, 
so that the Holy Scriptures were dispersed over the whole realm.^ 
This humble and timid priest was then performing alone the 
biblical work of England. 

And thus the word of God, presented by Erasmus to the 
learned in 1517 was given to the people by Tyndale in lo26. 
In the parsonages and in the convent cells, but particularly ia 
shops and cottages, a crowd of persons were studying the New 
Testament. The clearness of the Holy Scriptures struck each, 
reader. None of the systematic or aphoristic forms of the 
school were to be found there: it was the language of human 
life which they discovered in those divine writings: here a con- 
versation, there a discourse; here a narrative, and there a com- 
parison; here a command, and there an argument; here a parable, 
and there a prayer. It was not all doctrine or all history; bub 
these two elements mingled together made an admirable whole. 
Above all, the life of our Saviour, so divine and so human, had 
an inexpressible charm which captivated the simple. Oiic work 
of Jesus Chribt explained another, and the great lacts of the 
redemption, birth, death, and resurrection of the Sou of God^ 
and the sending of the lioly Ghost, followed and completed each 
other. The authority of Christ's teaching, so strongly coutrast- 

1 Quod opera nostra qoantumvU bona in upecie nihil conducuntad justilicalionem nee 
ad meritum, sed sola tides, (l-'oie. Acts, v- p- 4^) Uecause our work, however good iu 
appeuraiice are ol'uo avail to justification or to ratrit, but I'aith tilone can save. 

*-i iivery man may preach the word of God, Ibid- 3 I'salm Ixxxi. 16- * Having. 

Uie said books iu bis custody- i'oxe. Acta, v- p. 4:^8. 5 Disptrsiux abroad of th» 

Mid boolu within this rwOm- Xbld. p. ^O- ^t »1m JStrjiM. Crawntr't Uem- p. bl. 


_■ with the doubts of the schools, increased the clearness of 

~ discourses to his readers; for the more certain a truth is, 

more distinctly it strikes the mind. Academical explana- 

13 were not necessary to those noblemen, farmers, and citizens, 

is to me, for me, and of me that this book speaks, said each 

_..:. It is I whom all these promises and teachings concern. 

Ihiafall and this restoration .... they are mine. That old 

deaiJi and this new life I have passed through them. 

That Jlesh and that spirit I know them. This law and 

this grace, this faith, these works, this slavery, this glory, this 
Christ and this Bdial .... all are familiar to me. It is my 
own history that I find in this book. Thus by the aid of the 
Holy Ghost each one had in his own experience a key to the 
mysteries of the Bible. To understand certain authors and 
certain philosophers, the intellectual life of the reader must be 
in harmony with theirs; so must there be an intimate affinity 
with the holy books to penetrate their mysteries. '-The maa 
that has not the Spirit of God," said a reformer, "does not im- 
derstand one jot or tittle of the Scripture."^ Now that this con- 
dition was fulfilled, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of 
the waters. 

Such at that period were the hermeneutics of England. Tya- 
dale had set the example himself by explaining many of the 
words which might stop the reader. " The New Testament^* 
we may suppose some farmer saying, as he took up the book; 
" what Testament is that?" " Christ," replied Tyndale in his 
prologue, " commanded his disciples before his death to publish 
over aU the world his last will, which is to give all his goods 
\mto all that repent and believe.' He bequeaths them his 
righteousness to blot out their sins — ^his salvation to overcome 
their condemnation; and this is why that document is called the 
TestamerU of Jesus Christ." 

" The law and the Gospel," said a citizen of London, in his 
shop; " what is that?" "They are two Zre^s," answered Tyu- 
dale. " The law is the key which shuts up all mea under con- 
demnation, and the Gospel is the key which opens the door and 
lets them out Or, if you like it, they are two salves. The 
law, sharp and biting, driveth out the disease and killeth it;, 
while the Gospel, soothing and soft, softens the v>'Ouud and 

1 Nullos bomo tinnm iot* in Scripturis sacris Tidet, nisi qui spiritum Dei bab<t- (Luther, 
De sen'O arbiiho, Witt. ii. p. in.) Ho m&n bat be wbo hta the Spirit of God can %ie a siu> 
gle jut in the sacred scriptures- 2 Tj-udale and Irj th's Works (ed. Utissd.}. voL 

iL p.i31. The " I'atbwa; unto the Holy Scripture" is the prologue to the quarto 'Iest»> 
■«nt> with a few changes of Uttle importance 

234 more's sox-in-law. 

brings life." ^ Every one understood and road, or rather de- 
voured the inspired pages; and the hearts of the elect (to use 
Tyndale's words), warmed by the love of Jesus Christ, began to 
melt like was.^ 

This transformation was observed to take place even in the 
most catholic families. Roper, More's son-in-law, having read 
the New Testament, received the truth. " I have no more 
need," said he, "of auricular confession, of vigils, or of the in- 
•vocation of saints. The ears of God are always open to hoar 
us. Faith alone is necessary to salvation. I believe . . . 
and I am saved. . . . Nothing can deprive me of God's 
favour." ' 

The amiable and zealous young man desired to do more. 
^'Father," said he one day to Sir Thomas, " procure for me from 
the king, who is very fond of you, a license to preach. God 
hath sent me to instruct the world." More was uneasy. Must 
this new doctrine, which he detests, spread even to his children? 
He exerted all his authority to destroy the work begun ia 
Eoper's heart. " What," said he with a smile, '' is it not suffi- 
cient that we that are your friends should know that you are a 
fool, but you would proclaim your folly to the world? Hold 
your tongue: I will debate with you no longer." The young 
man's imagination was struck, but his heart had not been 
changed. The discussions having ceased, the father's authority 
being restored, Roper became less fervent in his faith, and gra- 
dually he returned to popery, of which he was afterwards a 
■zealous champion. 

The humble curate of All Hallows having sold the New Tes- 
tament to persons living in London and its neighbourhood, and 
to many pious men who would carry it to the farthest parts of 
England, formed the resolution to introduce it into the Univer- ; 
sity of Oxford, that citadel of traditional Catholicism. It was 
there he had studied, and ho felt towards that school the affection : 
■which a sion bears to his mother: he set out with his books.* m^ 
"Terror occasionally seized him, for he knew that the word of 
■God had many deadly enemies at Oxford; but his inexhaustible 
zeal overcame his timidity. In concert with Dalaber, he steal- 
thily ofiercd the mysterious book for sale; many students bought 
It, and Garret carefully entered their names in his register. 
Tins was in January 1526; an incident disturbed this Christian 

J Tjndalc and Fryth's Woika (ed- Russull). vol. ii. p. 803. 2 Ibid- p. 50* 

■i Moru's Life, p. 134. i And brought with him TjndiUe'd &nt traiuUtioa of the 

Ji«w TeBtament in Knglish- Foxe, Acts, r, p- iil' 


One morning when Edmund Moddis, one of Henry's valets- 
-chambre; was in attendance on his master, the prince, who 
was much attached to him, spoke to him, of the new books 
come from bejond the sea. " If your grace," said Moddis, 
'• would promise to pardon me and certain individuals. I would 
1 resent you a wonderful book which is dedicated to your nia- 
-ty." ^ " Who is the author?' " A lawyer of Gray's Inn 
-limed Simon Fish, at present on the continent." 'What is he 
doing there?" "About three years ago, Mr. Row, a fellow- 
student of Gray's-Inn, composed for a private theatre a drama 
against my lord the cardinal." The king smiled; when his 
minister was attacked, his own yoke seemed lighter. "As no 
one was willing to represent the character employed to give the 
cardinal his lesson/' continued the valet, " Master Fish boldly 
accepted it. The piece produced a great effect; and my lord 
being informed of this impertinence, sent the police one night 
to arrest Fish. The latter managed to escape, crossed the sea, 
joined one Tyndale, the author of some of the books so much 
talked of; and, carried away by his friend's example, he com- 
posed the book of which I was speaking to your grace." "What's 
the name of it?" ''Tlie Siq^plication of the Beggars." — "Where 
did you see it?'' — ''At two of your tradespeople's, George Elyot 
and George Robinson ;2 if your grace desires it, they shall bring 
it you." The king appointed the day and the hour. 

The book was written for the king, and every body read it 
but the king himself. At the appointed day, Moddis appeared 
with Elyct and Robinson, who were not entirely without fear, 
as they might be accused of proselytism even in the royal 
palace. The king received them in his private apartments."* 
" What do you want," he said to them. '• Sir," rephed one of 
the merchants, " we are come about an extraordinary book that 
is addressed to you." " Can one of you read it to me?" — "Yes, 
if it so please your grace," replied Elyot, " You may repeat 
the contents from memory," rejoined the king ..." but, 
no, read it ail; that will be better. I am ready." Elyot be- 

'' The Scppucatiox of the Beggars." 
** To the king our sovereign lord, — 

" Most lamentably complaiueth of their woeful misery, unto 
jfour highness, your poor daily bedesmen, the wretched hideous 

1 His grace should sec sach a book as it was a maivel to bear of- Foxe, Acts, it, p- 6S& 
J bid. 3 Ibid. 


monsters, on whom scarcely, for horror, any eye dare look; the 
foul unhappy sort of lepers and other sore people, needy, im- 
potent, blind, lame, and sick, that live only by alms; how that 
their number is daily sore increased, that all the alms of all the 
•well-disposed people of this your realm are not half enough to 
sustain them, but that for very constraint they die for hunger. 

" And this most pestilent mischief is come upon your said 
poor bedesmen, by the reason that there hath, in the time 
of your noble predecessors, craftily crept into this your realm, 
another sort, not of impotent, but of strong, puissant, and coun- 
terfeit, holy and idle beggars and vagabonds, who by all the craft 
and wiliness of Satan are now increased not only into a great 
number, but also into a kingdom." 

Henry was very attentive: Elyot continued: 

" These are not the shepherds, but the ravenous wolves going 
in shepherds' clothing, devouring the flock: bishops, abbots, 
priors, deacons, archdeacons, suflFragans, priests, monks, canons, 
friars, pardoners, and sumners. . . . The goodliest lord- 
ships, manors, lands, and territories are theirs. Besides this, 
they have the tenth part of all the corn, meadow, pasture, grass, 
■wood, colts, calves, lambs, pigs, geese, and chickens. Over and 
besides, the tenth part of every servant's wages, the tenth par* 
of wool, milk, honey, wax, cheese, and butter. The poor wives 
must be accountable to them for every tenth egg, or else she 
getteth not her rights [i. e. absolution] at Easter. , . . 
Finally what get they in a year? Summa totalis: £430,333, 
6s. fed. sterling, whereof not four hundred years past they had 
not a penny. . . . 

" \\ hat subjects shall be able to help their prince, that be 
after this fashion yearly polled? What good Christian people 
can be able to succour us poor lepers, blind, sore and lame, that 
be thus yearly oppressed? . . . The ancient Eomans had 
never been able to have put all the whole world under tlieir 
obeisance, if they had had at home such an idle sort of cormor- 

No subject could have been found n.ore likely to captivate the 
king's attention. '' And what doth all this greedy sort of sturdy 
idle holy thieves with their yearly exactions that ti.ey take of 
the people? Truly nothing, but translate all rule, power, lord- 
ship, authority, obedience, and dignity Irom your grace unto 
them. JSolhing, but that all your subjects should lali into dis- 
obedience and rebellion. . . . Priests and doves make foul 
houbcs; and if you will ruin a state, set up in it the pope with 


his monks and clergy Send these sturdy loobies 

abroad in the world to take them •wives of their own, and to 
!_-et their living with their labour in the sweat of their faces. . 
. . , Then shall your commons increase in riches; then 
ihall matrimony be much better kept; then shall not your 
sword, power, crown, dignity, and obedience of your people be 
iranslated from you." 

"When Elyot had finished reading, the king was silent, sunk 
in thought. The true cause of the ruin of tbe state had been 
laid before him; but Henry's mind was not ripe for these impor- 
tant truths. At last he said, with an uneasy manner: "If a 
man who desires to pull down an old wall, begins at the bottom, 
I fear the upper part may chance to faU on his head." ^ Thus 
then, in the king's eyes, Fish by attacking the priesta was dis- 
turbing the foundations of religion and society. After this 
royal verdict, Henry rose, took the book, locked it up in his 
desk, and forbade the two merchants to reveal to any one the 
iact of their having read it to him. 

Shortly after the king had received this copy, on "Wednesday 
the 2nd of February, the feast of Candlemas, a number of per- 
fion^, including the king himself, were to take part in the pro- 
cession, bearing wax in their hands. During the night 
this famous invective was scattered about all the streets through 
which the procession had to pass. The cardinal ordered the 
pamphlet tu be seized, and immediately waited upon the king. 
The latter put his hand under his robe, and with a smile took 
out the so much dreaded work, and then, as if satisfied with. 
this proof of independence, he gave it up to the cardinal. 

"While Woltey rephed to Fisa by confiscation. Sir Thomas 
More with greater liberality, desiring that press should reply to 
press, published The Supplicatioris of the Souls in Purgatory. 
'•' Supprei^," said they, " the pious stipends paid to the monks, 
and then Luther's gospel will come in, Tyndale's testament will 
be read, heresy will preach, fasts will be neglected, the saints 
will be blasphemed, God will be offended, virtue will be mocked 
of, vice will run riot, and England will be peopled with beggars 
and thieves." - 'i'he Soolg in Purgatory then call the author of 
the Beggars' Jtupplication '•' a goose, an ass, a mad dog." Thus 
did superstition ciegraue More's noble genius. Kotwithstandincr 
the abuse ot the souls in purgatory, the Isew Testament was 
daily read mere and more in Fngland. 

1 The upper part Uiereof might cb&Dce to fall upon hU head. Foze, Aoti, iTi p> GS& 
> Sopplicatiun of the Souls in Faisator;. More « WoLki. 



The two Authoritics-^Commencement of the Search — Garret at Oxford 
— His flight — His Eeturn and Imprisonment — Escapes and takes 
Refuge with Dalaber — Garret and Dalaber at Prayer — The Magnificat 
— Surprise among the Doctors — Clark's advice — Fraternal Love at 
Oxford — Alarm of Dalaber — His Arrest aud Examination — He is 
Tortured — Garret and Twenty Fellows imprisoned — The Cellar^ 
Condemnation and Humiliation. 

WoLSEY did not stop with Fish's book. It was not that 
" miserable pamphlet "' only that it was necessary to hunt down; 
the New Testament in English had entered the kingdom by 
sm-prise; there was the danger. The gospellers, who presumed 
to emancipate man from the priests, and put him in absolute 
dependence on God, did precisely the reverse of what Some de- 
mands.^ The cardinal hastened to assemble the bishops, and 
these (particularly Warham and Tonstall, who had long enjoyed 
the jests launched against superstition) took the matter seriously 
when they were shown that the New Testament was circulating 
throughout England. These priests believed with Wolsey, thao 
the authority of the pope and of the clergy was a dogma to 
which all others were subordinate. They saw in the reform an 
uprising of the human mind, a desire of thinking for themselves^ 
of judging freely the doctrines and institutions, which the na- 
tions had hitherto received humbly from the hands of the priests. 
The new doctors justified their attempt at enfranchisement by 
substituting a new authority lor the old. It was the New Tes- 
tament that compromised the absolute power of Rome, it 
must be seized and destroyed, said the bishops. London, Ox- 
ford, and above all Cambridge, those three haunts of heresy, 
must be carefully searched. Definitive orders were issued on 
Saturday, 3rd February, 1526, and the work began immedi- 

The first visit of the inquisitors was to Honey Lane, to the 
house of the curate of All Hallows. They did iiot find Garret; 
they sought after him at Monmouth's, and throughout the 
city, but he could not be met with.*' "He is gone to Oxford 

1 Actus meiUoiius est in iiotestat* Ucmiuii- (Dum Scotiis hi Seiitent. lib. i, iliss. 17.) A 
mc.u IB able to do a n:tiitollou8 utUon. i^ lie wan murclied lor tUiougb all Lohdou, 

I'oxe, Acta, v, p. Vii- -^ 

gabret's flight. 239 

sell his detestable wares," the inquisitors were informed, and 
.ey set off after him immediately, determined to bum the 
' /angelist and his books; '* so burning hot," says an historian,. 
" was the charity of these holy fathers." ^ 

On Tuesday, the 6th of February, Garret was quietly selling 
his booiis at Oxford, and carefully noting down his sales in his 
register, when two of his friends ran to him exclaiming, " Fly! 

or else you will be taken before the cardinal, and thence 

to the Tower." The poor curate was greatly agitated. " From 
whom did you learn that ? " — " From Master Cole, the clerk of 
the assembly, who is deep in the cardinal's favour." Garret, 
who saw at once that the affair was serious, hastened to Anthony 
Dalaber, who held the stock of the Holy Scriptures at Oxford; 
others followed him; the news had spread rapidly, and those who 
had bought the book were seized with alarm, for they knew by 
the history of the Lollards what the Romish clergy could do. 
They took counsel together. The brethren, '"'for so did we not 
only call one another, but were indeed one to another," says 
Dalaber,- decided that Garret should change his name; that 
Dalaber should give him a letter for his brother, the rector of 
Stalbridge, in Dorsetshire, who was in want of a curate; and 
that, once in this parish, he should seek the first opportunity of 
crossing the sea. The rector was in truth a " mad papist" (it is 
Dalaber's expression), but that did not alter their resolution. They 
knew of no other resource. Anthony wrote to him hurriedly; 
and, on the morning of the 7th of February, Garret left Oxford 
without being observed. 

Having provided for Garret's safety, Dalaber next thought of 
i:is own. He carefully concealed in a secret recess of his cham- 
ber, at St Alban's Hall, Tyndale's Testament, and the works of 
Luther, (Ecolampadius, and others, on the word of God. Then, 
disgusted with the scholastic sophisms which he heard in that 
college, he took with him the New Testament and the Commen- 
tary on the gospel of St. Luke, by Lambert of Avignon, the 
second edition of which had just been published at Strasburg,^ 
and went to Gloucester college, where he intended to study the 
civil law, not caring to have any thing more to do with the 

During this time, poor Garret was making his way into Dor- 
setshire. His conscience could not bear the idea of being, al- 
though for a short time only, the curate of a bigoted priest, — ■ 

1 Foxe, Acts, T. p. 421. 2 ibid. ' In Lacs Erangeliam CommenUriL 

nunc tccondo recoguiti et locupleUti- (.\rs;entorati, ISio-) CommenUmes ou the gwpel of ' 
Lojie, noir for the secoud ti>ue revised and enridied. 


of concealing his faith, his desires, and even his name. He felt 
more wretched, although at liberty, than he could have been 
in Wolsey's prisons. It is better, he said within himself, to con- 
fess Christ before the judgment seat, than to seem to approve 
of the superstitious practices I detest. He went forward a little, 
then stopped — and then resumed his course. There was a fierce 
struggle between his fears and his conscience. At length, after 
a day and a half spent in doubt, his conscience prevailed; unable 
to endure any longer the anguish that he felt, he retraced his 
steps, returned to Oxford, which he entered on Friday evening, 
and lay down calmly in his bed. It was barely past midnight 
when Wolsey's agents, who had received information of his re- 
turn, arrived, and dragged him from his bed,^ and delivered him 
up to Dr. Cottisford, the commissary of the university. The 
latter locked him up in one of his rooms, while London and 
Higdon, dean of Frideswide, " two arch papists " (as the chroni- 
cler terms them), announced this important capture to the 
cardinal. They thought popery was saved, because a poor cur- 
ate had been taken. 

Dalaber, engaged in preparing his new room at Gloucester 
college, had not perceived all this commotion.^ On Saturday, at 
noon, having finished his arrangements, he double-locked his 
door, and began to read the Gospel according to ISt. Luke. All 
of a sudden he hears a knock. Dalaber made no reply; it is no 
doubt the commissary's officers. A louder knock was given; 
but he still remained silent. Immediately after, there was a 
third knock, as if the door would be beaten in. " Perhaps some- 
body wants me," thought Dalaber. He laid his book aside, 
opened the door, and to his great surprise saw Garret, who, with 
alarm in every feature, exclaimed, " 1 am a lost man ! They have 
caught me! " Dalaber, who thought his friend was with his 
brother at Stalbridge, could not conceal his astonishment, and 
at the same time he cast an uneasy glance on a stranger who 
accompanied Garret. He was one of the college servants who 
had led the fugitive curate to Dalaber's new room. As soon as 
this man had gone away, Garret told Antliouy everything: 
" Observing that Dr. Cottisibrd and his household had gone to 

prayers, i put back the bolt of the lock with my finger 

and here 1 am." . . . ."Alas! Master Garret," replied Dala- 
ber, " the imprudence you committed in speaking to me before 
that young man has ruined us both!" At these words, Garret, 
who had resumed his fear of the priests, now that his conscience 

iroxe,\.p^ili. a Ibid. 


•vras satisfied, exclaimed with a voice intermpted by sighs and 
■tears :^ "For mercy's sake, help mel Save me!" Without 
■waiting for an answer, he threw off his frock and hood, begged 
Anthony to give him a sleeved coat, and thus disguised, he said: 
•" I will escape into Wales, and from there, if possible, to Ger- 
many and Luther." 

Garret checked himself; there was something to be done be- 
fore he left. The two friends fell on their knees and prayed to- 
other; they called upon God to lead his servant to a secure re- 
treat. That done, they embraced each other, theur faces bathed 
with tears, and unable to utter a word.- 

Silent on the threshold of his door, Dalaber followed both 
with eyes and ears his friend's retreating footsteps. Having 
heard him reach the bottom of the stairs, he returned to his 
room, locked the door, took out his New Testament, and placing 
it before him, read on his knees the tenth chapter of the Gospel 
of St. Matthew, breathing many a heavy sigh: . , . .Ye shall be 

brought be/ore governors and kings /or my sake but fear 

thenn not; the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This 
reading having revived his courage, Anthony, still on his knees, 
prayed fervently for the fugitive and for all his brethren: "0 
God, by thy Holy Spirit endue with heavenly strength this ten- 
der and new-born little flock in Oxford.^ Christ's heavy cross 
is about to be laid on the weak shoulders of thy poor sheep. 
Grant that they may bear it with godly patience and unflinch- 
ing zeal! " 

Rising from his knees, Dalaber put away his book, folded 
up Grarret's hood and frock, placed them among his own 
clothes, locked his room door, and proceeded to the Cardi- 
nal's College, (now Christ Church,) to tell Clark and the other 
brethren what had happened.* They were in chapel: the 
evening service had begun; the dean and canons, in full cos- 
tume, were chanting in the choir. Dalaber stopped at the 
door listeniag to the majestic sounds of the organ at which 
Taverner presided, and to the harmonious strains of the 
choristers. They were singing the Magnijicat: My soul 

doth magnify the Lord Re hath holpen his sewant Israel. 

It seemed to Dalaber that they were singing Garret's deliver- 
ance. But his voice could not join in their song of praise. 
*'Alas! " he exclaimed, "all my singing and music is turned 
into sighing and musing." ^ 

» With deep lighs and plenty of tears- Foxe, t. p. 4«. J That we all bewet 

boUi ourfiices. Ibiii23. 3 Ibid, 4 Ibid. S Ibid. 

46 Q 


As he listened, leaning against the entrance into the choir. 
Dr. Cottisford, the university commissary, arrived with hasty 
step, " bare headed, and as pale as ashes." He passed Anthony 
without noticing him, and going straight to the dean appeared 
to announce some important and unpleasant news, '• I know 
well the cause of his sorrow," thought Dalaber as he watched, 
every gesture. The commissary had scarcely finished his report 
when the dean arose, and both left the choir with undisguised 
confusion. They had only reached the middle of the anti-chapel 
when Dr. London ran in, puffing and chafing and stamping, '-like 
a hungry and greedy lion seeking his prey." ^ All three stopped, 
questioned each other, and deplored their misfortune. Their 
rapid and eager movements indicated the liveliest emotion; Lon- 
don above all could not restrain himself. He attacked the com- 
missary, and blamed him for his negligence, so that at last Cottis- 
ford burst into tears. " Deeds, not tears," said the fanatical 
London; and forthwith they despatched officers and spies along: 
every road. 

Anthony having left the chapel hurried to Clark's to tell him 
of the escape of his friend. " We are walking in the midst of 
wolves and tigers," replied Clark; " prepare for persecution. 
Frudcniia ser^entma et simplicitas columhina (the wisdom of 
serpents and the harmlessness of doves) must be our motto. 
God, give us the courage these evil times require." All in the 
little flock were delighted at Garret's deliverance. Sumner and 
Betts, who had come in, ran off to tell it to the other brethren 
in the College,^ and Dalaber hastened to Corpus Christi. All 
these pious young men felt themselves to be soldiers in the same- 
army, travellers in the same compan}^, brothers in the same 
family. Fraternal love nowhere shone so brighly in the days of 
the Eeformation as among the Christians of Great Britain. 
This is a feature worthy of notice. 

Fitzjames, Udal, and Diet were met together in the rooms of 
the latter, at Corpus Christi college, when Dalaber arrived. They 
ate their frugal meal, with downcast eyes and broken voices, 
conversing of Oxford, of England, and of the perils hanging over 
them.^ Then rising from table they fell on their knees, called 
upon God for aid, and separated, Fitzjames taking Dalaber with 
him to St. Alban's Hall. They were afraid that the servant of 
Gloucester College had betrayed him. 

The disciples of the gospel at Oxford passed the night in great. 

1 Foxe, T. p- 424. 2 To tell nnto our other brethren ; (for there were diver* elie ia. 

Uuit cwUcgeJ Ibid- S Coniideriug uui iitote wid petU at baud. Ibid, 

dalaber's alarm. 243 

anxiety. Garret's flight, the rage of the priests, the dangers of 
the rising church, the roaring of a storm that filled the air and 
re-echoed through the long cloisters — aU impressed th«m with 
terror. On Sunday the 11th of February, Dalaber, who was 
stirrin.T at five in the morning, set out for his room in Gloucester 
College. Finding the gates shut, he walked up and down 
beneath the walls in the mud, for it had rained all night. As 
he paced to and fro along the solitary street in the obscure 
dawn, a thousand thoughts alarmed his mind. It was known, 
he said to himself, that he had taken part in Garret's flight; he 
would be arrested, and his friend's escape would be revenged on 
him. ^ lie was weighed down by sorrow and alarm; he sighed 
heavily; - he imagined he saw Wolsey's commissoners demanding 
the names of his accomplices, and pretending to draw up a pro-" 
scription list at his dictation; he recollected that on more than 
one occasion cruel priests had extorted from the Lollards the 
names of their bretliren, and t^rified at the possibility of such 
a crime, he exclaimed; "0 God, I s^rear ■■ to thee that I wiU 
accuse no man,. .. . . jliwiiL tell Jioihii^-iut What is perfectly 
well known." ^ ■.; v'---.^ •^UfK •i:'> I "' c-.f 

At last, after an hour d£ asguish, be wa.s able to enter the 
coUege. He hastened in, but when he tried to open his door, 
he found that the lock had becu picked. The door gave way 
to a strong push, and what a sight met his eyes! his bedstead 
overturned, the blankets scattered on the floor, his clothes all 
confusion in his wardrobe his study broken into and left open. 
He doubted not that, Gnrret'sdress had betrayed him; and ho was 
gazing at this sad tp^a^ie in alarm, when a monk who occupied 
the adjoining rooii^s came and told him what had taken place: 
" The coii.niissary and two proctors, armed with swords and 
b'dls, broke open your door in the middle of the night. They 
pierced your bed-straw through and through to make sure 
Garret was not hidden there;* they carefully searched every 
nook and corner, but were not able to discover any traces of 
the fugitive." At these words Dalaber breathed again .... 
but the monk had not ended. " I have orders^" he added, " to 
send you to the prior." Anthony Dunstan, tiie prior, was a 
fanatical and avaricious monk; and the confusion into which this 
message threw Dalaber was so great, that he went just as he 
was, ail bespattered with mud, to the rooms of his superior. 

1 My musing head beins; full of forecasting cares. Foie, v- p. 423. * ily sorrowful 

heart Suwiiig with duieful sighs. Ibid. ^ I fully determined in my eouscieuce be- 

fore God thai 1 would accuse no man. Ibid. * With bills and swords thruated 

throUKh my bcd-fuavv. Ibid. p.i2d 


The prior, who was standing with his face towards the door, 
looked at Dalaber from head to foot as he came in. " Where 
did you pass the night?" he asked. " At St. Alban's Hall with 
Fitzjames." The prior with a gesture of incredulity continued: 
''Was not Master Garret with you yesterday?" — ''Yes." — 
" Where is he now?" — " I do not know." During this examina- 
tion, the prior had remarked a large double gilt silver ring on 
Anthony's finger, with the initials A. D} " Show me that," 
said the prior. Dalaber gave him the ring, and the prior be- 
lieving it to be of solid gold, put it on his own finger, adding 
with a cunning leer: " This ring is mine: it bears my name. A 
\sfoTAntho7iy, and D for Dunstan." " Would to God," thought 
Dalaber, ''that I were as well delivered from his company, as I 
am sure of being delivered of my ring." 

At this moment the chief beadle, with two or three of the 
commissary's men, entered and conducted Dalaber to the chapel 
of Lincoln college, where three ill-omened figures were standing 
beside the altar: they were Cottitford, London, and Higdon. 
"Where is Garret?" asked London; and pointing to his disordered 
dress, he continued: " Your shoes and garments covered with 
mud prove that you have been out all night with him. If you 
do not say where you have taken him, you will be sent to the 
Tower." — "Yes," added Higdon, "to Little-ease [one o( the 
most horrible dungeons in the prison,] and you will be put to 
the torture, do you hear?' Then the three doctors spent two 
hours attempting to shake the young man by flattering promises 
and frightful threats; but all was useless. The commissary then 
gave a sign, the ofl&cers stepped forward, and the judges ascended 
a narrow staircase leading to a large room situated above the 
commissary's chamber. Here Dalaber was deprived of his purse 
and girdle, and his legs were placed in the stocks, so that his 
feet were almost as high as his head.- When that was done, 
the three doctors devoutly went to mass. 

Poor Anthony, left alone in this frightful position, recollected 
the warning Clark had given him two years before. He groaned 
heavily and cried to God:^ "0 Father! that my sufiering may 
be for thy glory, and for the consolation of my brethren! 
Happen what may, 1 will never accuse one of them." After 
this noble protest, Anthony felt an increase of peace in his heart; 
but a new sorrow was reserved for him. 

Garret, who had directed his course westwards, with the in- 

1 Then bad he »pUd on my fore-ftnger a bijj ring of lilver, very well double-gilted- Foxe. 
V. p. tab. 'i ibid, v*^ 3 i>>i<l P- ^^7- 


tention of going to Wales, had been caught at Hinksej, a short 
distance from Oxford. He was brought back, and thrown into 
the dungeon in which Dalaber had been placed after the tor- 
ture. Their gloomy presentiments were to be more than ful- 

In fact Wolsey was deeply irritated at ^eing the college 
[Christ Church], which he had intended should be " the most 
glorious in the world," made the haunt of heresy, and the young 
men, whom he had so carefully chosen, become distributors of 
the New Testament. By favouring literature, he had had in 
view the triumph of the clergy, and literature had on the con- 
trary served to the triumph of the Gospel. He issued his orders 
without delay, and the university was filled with terror. John 
Clark, John Frjth, Henry Sumner, "William Bc-tts, Richard 
Tavemer, Eichard Cos, Michael Urumn, Godfrey Harman, 
Thomas Lawney, Eadley, and others besides of Cardinal's College; 
Udal, Diet, and others of Corpus Christi; Eden and several of 
his friends of Magdalene; Goodman, William Bayley, Robert 
Ferrar, John Salisbury of Gloucester, Barnard, and St. Mary's 
Colleges; were seized ;iaJ thrown into prison. Wolsey had pro- 
mised them glory; he gave them a dungeon, hoping in this 
manner to save the power of the priests, and to repress that 
awakening of truth and liberty which was spreading from the 
continent to England. 

Under Cardinal's College there was a deep cellar sunk in the 
earth, in which the butler kept his salt fish. Into this hole 
these young men, the choice of England, were thrust. The 
dampness of this cave, the corrupted air they breathed, the 
horrible smell given out by the fish, seriously aflfected the 
prisoners, already weakened by study. Their hearts were burst- 
ing with groans, their faith was shaken, and the most mournful 
scenes followed each other in this foul dungeon. The wretched 
captives gazed on one another, wept, and prayed. This trial 
was destined to be a salutary one to them : " AlasI" said Fryth 
on a subsequent occasion, '' 1 see that besides the word of God, 

there is indeed a second purgatory but it is not that 

invented by Rome; it is the cross of tribulation to which God 
has nailed us."^ 

At last the prisoners were taken out one by one and brought 
before their judges; two only were released. The first was 
Betts, afterwards chaplain to Anne Boleyn : they had not been 

1 God bailcth u» lu tne cross to heal our iufixmities. TjudAle uid Frj-th'a Works. lU, i- 9L 
(td i;iu>i<.U.j 


able to find any prohibited books in his room, and he pleaded 
his cause with great talent. The other was Taverner; he had 
hidden Clark's books under his school-room floor, where they 
had been discovered; but his love for the arts saved him : 
" Pshaw! he is only a musician," said the cardinal. 

All the rest were condemned. A great fire was kindled at 
the top of the market-place;^ a long procession was marshalled, 
and these unfortunate men were led out, each bearing a fagot. 
IVhen they came near the fire, they were compelled to throw 
into it the heretical books that had been found in their rooms, 
after which they were taken back to their noisome prison. 
There seemed to be a barbarous pleasure in treating these young 
and generous men so vilely. In other countries also, Rome 
was preparing to stifle in the flames the noblest geniuses of 
France, Spain, and Italy. Such was the reception letters and 
the Gospel met with from popery in the sixteenth century. 

Every plant of God's must be beaten by the wind, even at the 
risk of its being uprooted; if it receives only the gentle rays of 
the sun, there is reason to fear that it will dry up and wither 
before it produces fruit. Except a com of wheat fall into the 
ground and die, it ahideth alone. There was to arise one day 
a real church in England, for the persecution had begun. 

We have to contemplate still further trials. 


Persecution at Cambridge — Barnes arrested — A grand Search — Barnes 
at Wolsey's Palace — interrogated by thie Cardinal — Conversation 
between Wolsey and Barnes — Barnes threatened with the Stake — 
His Fall and public Penance — Richard Bayfield — His Faith and 
Imprisonment — Visits Cambridge — Joins Tyndale — The Conl'essora 
in the Cellar at Oxford — Four of them die — The rest liberated. 

Cambridge, which had produced Latimer, Bilney, Stafibrd, 
and Barnes, had at first a]-^ ...ivd to occupy the front rank in 
the English reformation. Oxford by receiving the crown of 
persecution seemed now to have outstripped the sister university. 
And yet Cambridge was to have its share of suflfering. The in- 

> There was made a great fire npoD the top of Carfax. Foxe, v.p. 4'JS. 


Testigation had begun at Oxford on Monday ths 5tli of February, 
and on the very same day two of "Wolsey's creatures, Dr. Capon, 
one of his chaplains, and Gibson, a sergeant-at-arms, notorious 
for his arrogance, left London for Cambridge. Submission, 
•was the pass-word of popery. '• Yes, submission," was responded 
from every part of Christendom by men of sincere piety and 
profound understanding; " submission to the legitimate authority 
against which Ronian-catholicism has rebelled." According to 
their views the traditionalism and pelagianism of the Eomish 
■church had set up the supremacy of fallen reason in opposition 
to the divine supremacy of the word and of grace. The external 
and apparent sacrifice of self which Roman-catholicism imposes;, 
— obedience to a confessor or to the pope, arbitrary penance, 
ascetic practices, and celibacy, — only served to create, and so 
to strengthen and perpetuate, a delusion as to the egotistic pre- 
servation of a sinful personality. When the Reformation pro- 
■claimed liberty, so far as regarded ordinances of human invention, 
it was with the view of bringing man's heart and life into sub- 
jection to their real Sovereign. The reign of God was com- 
mencing; that of the priests must needs come to an end. No 
man can serve two masters. Such were the important truths 
which gradually dawned upon the world, and which it became 
necessary to extinguish without delay. 

On the day after their arrival in Cambridge, on Tuesday the 
£th of February, Capon and Gibson went to the convocation 
house, where several of the doctors v>ere talking together. 
Their appearance caused some anxiety among the spectators, 
"who looked upon the strangers with distrust. On a sudden 
Gibson moved forwai-d, put his hand on Barnes, and arrested 
bim in the presence of his friends. * The latter were frightened, 
and this was what the sergeant wanted. '• \Vhat!" said they, 
■" the prior of the Augustines, the restorer of letters in Caaibridge, 
arrested by a sergeant!'.' This was not all. Wolsey's agents 
were to seize the books come from Germany, and their owners; 
Bilney, Latimer, Stafibrd, Arthur, and their Iriends, were all to 
be imprisoned, lor they possessed the New Testament. Thirty 
members of the university were pointed out as suspected; and 
some miserable wretches, who had been bribed by the inquisitors, 
■offered to show the place in every room where the prohibited 
books were hidden. But while the necessary preparations were 
making for this search, Bilney, Latimer, and their colleagues, 
being warned in time, got the books removed; they were taken 

1 Saddenlf arretted Bamea openly in the conroeation house to make all othen afoud, 
JPoxe. r. p. 11& 


away not only bj the doors but by the windows, even by the 
roots, and anxious inquiry was made for sure places in which 
they could be concealed. 

Thiswork was hardly ended, when the vice-chancellor of the 

university, the sergeant-at-arms, Wolse/s chaplain, the proctors, 

and the informers began their rounds. They opened the first 

room, entered, searched, and found nothing. They passed 

on to the second, there was nothing. The sergeant was aston- 

^hed and grew angry. On reaching the third room, he raa 

directly to the place that had been pointed out,— stUl there 

was nothing. The same thing occurred every where; never wa^ 

inquisitor more mortified. He dared not lay bauds on the per- 

sons ot the evangelical doctors; his orders bore that he was te 

seize the books and their owners. But as no books were found, 

there could be no prisoners. Luckily there was one man (the 

prior ot the Augustines) against whom there were particular 

charges. The sergeant promised to compensate himself at 

±5arnes s expense for his useless labours. 

The next day Gibson and Capon set out for London with 
Jiarnes. During this mournful journey the prior, in great agita- 
tion at one time determined to bravo all England, and at 
another trembled like a leaf. At last their journey was ended: 
the chaplain left his prisoner at Parnells house, close by the 
stocks.! Three students (Coverdale, Goodwin, and Field) had 
tollowed their master to cheer him with their tender affection 

On Thursday (8th February) the sergeant conducted Barnes- 
to the cardinal's palace at Westminster; the wretched prior 
whose enthusiasm had given way to objection, waited all day 
before he could be admitted. What a day! WiU no one come 
to his assistance? Doctor Gardiner, ^Volsey's secretary, and 
tox, his steward, both old friends of Barnes, passed through the 
gallery in the evening, and went up to the prisoner, wlio begged 
them to procure him an audience with the cardinal. Whea 
night had come, these oflScers introduced the prior into the 
room where their master was sitting, and Barnes, as was cus- 
tomary, fell on his knees before him. " ^ this the Doctor 
Barnes who is accused of hercsj?" asked Wolsey, in a hauiihty 
tone, of Fox and Gardiner. They replied in the affirma"tive. 
1 he cardinal then turning to Barnes, wlio was still kneeling, said 
to him ironically, and not without reason: « What, master doc- 
tor, had you not sufiicicnt scope in the Scriptures to teach the 
people; but my golden shoes, my poleaxes, my pillars, my golden. 

> Foxe, T. p. 416, 



cushions, my crosses, did so sore offend yoa, that jou must make- 
us a laughing-stock, ridiculum caput, amongst the people? Vt e- 
were jollilj that day laughed to scorn. Verily it was a sermoa 
more fit to be preached on a stage than in a pulpit; for at thfr 
last you said I wore a pair of red gloves — I should say bloody 
gloves (quoth you) ... Eh ! what think you, master 
doctor? " Barnes, wishing to elude these embarrassing ques- 
tions, answered vaguely : " I spoke nothing but the truth out of 
the Scriptures, accordbg to my conscience and according to the 
old doctors." He then presented to the cardinal a statement of 
his teaching, 

Wolsey received the papers with a smile: "Oh, hoi' said he 
as he counted the six sheets, '' I perceive you intend to stand to 
your articles and to show your learning." " With the grace of 
God," said Barnes, ^\'olsey then began to read them, and 
stopped at the sixth article, which ran thus: " I will never be- 
lieve that one man may, by the law of God, be bishop of two or 
three cities, yea, of a whole country, for it is contrary to St. 
Paul, who saith: I have left thee behind, to set in every city 
a bishop." Barnes did not quote correctly, for the apostle 
says: •• to ordain elders in every city." ^ Wolsey was displeased 
at this thesis: ''Ah ! this touches me," he said: "Do yoa 
think it wrong (seeing the ordinance of the church) that one 
bishop should have so many cities underneath him?" " I know 
of no ordinance of the church," Barnes replied, " as concerning, 
this thing, but Paul's saying only." 

Although this controversy interested the cardinal, the personal 
attack of which he had to complain touched him more keenly. 
" Good," said Wolsey; and then with a condescension hardly to 
be expected from so proud a man, he deigned almost to justify 
himself. " You charge me with displaying a royal pomp; but 
do you not understand that, being called to represent his ma- 
jesty, I mu-t strive by these means to strike terror into the 
wicked?" — " It is not your pomp or your poleaxes," Barnes 
courageously answered, " that will save the king's person. . . 
God will save him, ho said: Fer me reges regnant." Barnes,, 
instead of profiting by the cardinal's kindness to present aa 
humble justification, as Dean Colet had formerly done to Henry 
Vill, dared preach him a second sermoa to his face. Wolsey 
felt the colour mount to his cheeks. "Well, gentlemen," said 
he, turning to Fox and Gardiner, " you hear him! Is this the-, 
wise and learned man of whom you spoke to me?" 

* K.CU xetTecrrr.riii xara tr«XJF ir^ffivrifcuf. Tito*, if 5k 



At these words both steward and secretary fell on their 
knees, saying: "My lord, pardon him for mercy's sake."— "Can 
you find ten or even six doctors of divinity willing to swear that 
you are free from heresy?" asked Wolsey. Barnes offered 
twenty honest men, quite as learned as himself, or even more 
so. " I must have doctors in divinity, men as old as your- 
self." — "That is impossible," said the prior. "In that 
■case you must be burnt," continued the cardinal. "Let him 
be taken to the Tower." Gardiner and Fox offering to become 
his sureties, Wolsey permitted him to pass the night at Par- 

"It is no time to think of sleeping," said Barnes as he entered 
the house, "' we must write." Those harsh and terrible words, 
you must he burnt, resounded continually in his ears. He dic- 
tated all night to his three young friends a defence of his 

The next day he was taken before the chapter, at which 
€larke, bishop of Bath, Standish, and other doctors were pres- 
ent. His judges laid before him a long statement, and said to 
him: "Promise to read this paper in public, without omitting 
or adding a single word." It was then read to him. "I would 
die first," was his reply. " Will you abjure or be burnt alive? " 
said his judges; " take your choice." The alternative was 
-dreadful. Poor Barnes, a prey to the deepest agony, shrank at 
the thought of the stake; then, suddenly his courage revived, 
And he exclaimed: "I had rather be burnt than abjure," 
■Gardiner and Fox did all they could to persuade hira. 
" Listen to reason," said they craftily : " your articles are true; 
that is not the question. We want to know whether by 
your death you will let error triumph, or whether you would 
rather remain to defend the truth, when better days may 

They entreated him; they put forward the most plausible 
motives; from time to time they uttered the terrible words, 
iurni alive! His blood froze in his veins; he knew not what he 
«aid or did . . . they placed a paper before him — they put 
•a pen in his hand — his head was bewildered, he signed his name 
with a deep sigh. This unhappy man was destined at a later 
j)eriod to be a faithful martyr of Jesus Christ; but he had 
not yet learnt to "resist even unto blood." Barnes had fallen. 

On the following morning (Sunday, 11th February) a solemn 
spectacle was preparing at St. Paul's. Before daybreak, all 
•were astir in the prison of the poor prior; and at eight o'clock. 


Ihe knight-marshal with his tipstaves, and the warden of the 
Fleet prison, with his billmen, conducted Barnes to St. Paul's, 
along with four of the Hanse merchants who had first brought 
to London the New Testament of Jesus Christ in English. The 
fifth of these pious uierehants held an immense taper in his 
hands. A persevering search had discovered that it was these 
men to whom England was indebted for the so much dreaded 
"book; their warehouses were surrounded and their persons ar- 
rested. On the top of St. Paul's steps was a platform, and oa 
the platform a throne, and on the throne the cardinal, dressed 
in scarlet — like a *' bloody antichrist," says the chronicler. On 
Jiis head glittered the hat of which Barnes had spoken so ill; 
around him were thirty-six bishops, abbots, priors, and all his 
doctors, dressed ia damask and satin; the vast cathedral was 
full. The bishop of Eochester having gone into a pulpit placed 
at the top of the steps, Barnes and the merchants, each bearing 
a faggot, were compelled to kneel and listen to a sermon intended 
to cure these poor creatures of that taste for insurrection against 
popery which was beginning to spread in every quarter. The 
eeruion ended, the cardinal mounted his mule, took his station 
under a magnificent canopy, aLd rode off". After this Barnes 
and his five companions walked three times round a fire, lighted 
before the cross at the north gate of the cathedral. The de« 
jected prior, with downcast head, dragged himself along, rather 
than walked. After the third turn, the prisoners threw their 
faggots into the flames; some " heretical" books also were flung 
in; and the bishop of Rochester having given absolution to the 
six penitents, they were led back to prison to be kept there 
during the lord cardinal's pleasure. Barnes could not weep now; 
the thought of his relapse, and of the effects so guilty an ex- 
ample might produce, had deprived him of all moral energy. 
In the mouth of August, he was led out of prison and confined 
in the Augustine convent. 

Barnes was not the only man at Cambridge upon whom the 
blow had lallen. Since the year 1520, a monk named Richard 
Bayfield had been an inmate of the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. 
His afl'abiUty delighted every traveller. One day, when engaged 
as chamberlain in receiving Barnes, who had come to visit Doc- 
tor Rufifam, his fellow-student at Louvain, two men entered the 
convent. They were pious persons, and of great consideration 
in London, where they carried on the occupation of brick-mak- 
ing, and had risen to be wardens of theu- guild. Their names 
Vere Maxwell and Stacy, men " well grafted in the doctrine of 


Christ," sajs the historian, who had led many to the Saviour by 
their conversation and exemplary life. Being accustomed to 
travel once a-year through the counties to visit their brethren, 
and extend a knowledge of the Gospel, they used to loJ<i-e, ac- 
cording to the usages of the time, in the convents and abbeys. 
A conversation soon arose between Barnes, Stacy, and Maxwell, 
•which struck the lay-brother. Barnes, who had observed his 
attention, gave him, as he was leaving the convent, a New Tes- 
tament in Latin, and the two brick-makers added a New Testa- 
ment in English, with Tlie Wicked Maimnon and The Obedience 
of a Christian Man. The lay-brother ran and hid the books in 
his cell, and for two years read them constantly. At last he 
was discovered, and reprimanded; but he boldly confessed his 
faith. Upon this the monks threw him into prison, set him in 
the stocks, put a gag in his mouth, and cruelly whipped him, to 
prevent his speaking of grace.^ The unhappy Bayheld remained 
nine months in this condition. 

When Barnes repeated his visit to Bury at a later period, he 
did not find the amiable chamberlain at the gates of the abbey. 
Upon inquiry he learnt his condition, and immediately took 
steps to procure his deliverance. Dr. llufiam came to his aid: 
"Give him to me," said Barnes, ''I will take him to Cambridge." 
The prior of the Augustines was at that time held in high 
esteem; his request was granted, in the hope that he would lead 
back Bayfield to the doctrines of the church. But the very 
reverse took place: intercourse with the Cambridge bretlireu 
strengthened the young monk's faith. On a sudden his happi- 
ness vanished. Barnes, his friend and benefactor, was earned 
to London, and the monks of Bury St. Edmmids, alarmed at 
the noise this aifair created, summoned him to return to the 
abbey. But Bayfield, resolving to submit to their yoke no 
longer, went to London, and lay concealed at Maxwell and 
Stacy's. One day, having left his hiding-place, he was crossing 
Lombard Street, when he met a priest named Piersou and two 
other religious of his order, with whom he entered into a con- 
versation which greatly scandalized them. " You must depart 
forthwith," said Maxwell and iStacy to him on his return. Bay- 
field received a small sum of money from them, went on board 
a ship, and as soon as he reached the continent, iiasteued to 
find Tyndale. l)ming,this time scenes of a very dilierenc nature 
trom those which had taken place at Cambridge, but not less 
heart-rending, were passing at Oxtbrd. 

1 Foxe, IV, p. 6B1 


The storm of persecution was raging there with more violence 
than at Cambridge. Clark and the other confessors of the name 
■of Christ were still confined in their under-ground prison. The 
air they breathed, the food they took (and they ate nothing but 
salt fish*), the burning thirst this created, the thoughts by 
which they were agitated, all together combined to crush these 
noble-hearted men. Their bodies wasted day by day; they wan- 
dered like spectres up and down their gloomy cellar. Those 
animated discussions in which the deep questions then con^-uls- 
ing Christendom were so eloquently debated were at an end; 
they were like shadow meeting shadow. Theii- hollow eyes cast 
a vague and haggard glance on one another, and after gazing 
for a moment, they passed on without speaking. Clark, Sumner, 
Bayley, and Goodman, consumed by fever, feebly crawled along, 
leaning against their dungeon walls. The first, who was also 
the eldest, could not walk without the support of one of his 
fellow-prisoners. Soon he was quite unable to move, and lay 
stretched upon the damp fioor. The brethren gathered round 
him, sought to discover in his features whether death was not 
about to cut short the days of hiiu who had brought many of 
them to the knowledge oi Christ. They repeated to him slowly 
the words of Scriptm-e, and then knelt down by his side and 
uttered a fervent prayer. 

Clark, leeling his end draw near, asked for the communion. 
The jailors conveyed his request to their master; the noise of 
the bolts was soon heard, and a turnkey, stepping into the midst 
of the disconsolate baud, pronounced a cruel no! ' On hearing 
this, Clark looked towards heaven, and exclaimed with a father 
of the church: Orede et jnanducasti, Believe and thou hast eaten.^ 
He was lost in thought: he contemplated the crucified Son of 
God; by faith he ate and drank the flesh and blood of Christ, 
and experienced in his iimer life the strengthening action of the 
Redeemer. Men might refuse him the host, but Jesus had 
given him his body; and I'rom that hour he lelt strengthened by 
a living union with the King of heaven. 

Kot alone did Clark descend into the shadowy valley: Sumner, 
Bayley, and Goodman were sinking rapidly. Death, the gloomy 
inhabitant of this foul prison, had taken possession of these four 
friends.* Their brethren addressed iresh solicitations to the 
cardinal, at that time closely occupied in negotiations with 

1 Foze, T, p. 5. 2 Not be sniiered to receive the commcnion, being in pris-jn. 

Ibid- p. iJS, 3 Ibid. Ujibe fidein et tecum eat quem noa vidcs, (U&ve faith, and 

b6 whom joa do not see ia with ^oa,] sajs Augustine iu aEo;hei pLi..e. See Scim- '.'o5, '/73 
Ttact. 26, hvuug- Jou. * Taking their death in the some priscn- Ii'oxe, t, p- 5. 



France, Eome, and Venice.^ He found means, however, to give 
a moment to the Oxford martyrs; and just as these Cbristiuna 
were prajing over their four dying companions, the commis- 
sioner came and informed them, that "his lordship, of his 
great goodne&s, permitted the sick persons to be removed to 
their own chambers." Litters were brought, on which the 
dying men were placed and carried to their rooms; '^ the doors 
were closed again upon those whose lives this frightful dungeoa 
had not yet attacked. 

It was the middle of August. The wretched men who had 
passed six months in the cellar were transported in vain to their 
chambers and their beds; several members of the university 
ineffectually tried by their cares and their tender charity to re- 
call them to life. It was too late. The severities of popery 
had killed these noble witnesses. The approach of death soon 
betrayed itself; their blood grew cold, their limbs stiff, and their 
bedimmed eyes sought only Jesus Christ, their everlasting hope.. 
Clark, Sumner, and Bayley died in the same week. Goodman, 
followed close upon them.^ 

This unexpected catastrophe softened Wolsey. He was cruel 
only as far as his interest and the safety of the church required. 
He feared that the death of so many young men would raise 
public opinion against him, or that these catastrophes would, 
damage his college; perhaps even some sentunent of humanity 
may have touched his heart. " Set the rest at liberty," he 
wrote to his agents, " but upon condition that they do not go 
above ten miles from Oxford." The university beheld these 
young men issue from their living tomb pale, wasted, weak, and. 
with faltering steps. At that time they were not men of mark; 
it was their youth that touched the spectators' hearts; but ia, 
after-years they all occupied an important place in the church.. 
They were Cox, who became Bishop of Ely, and tutor to. 
Edward the Prince Royal; Drumm, who under Cranmcr became 
one of the six preachers at Canterbury; Udal, afterwards master 
of Westminster and Eton schools; Salisbury, dean of A'orwich, 
and then bishop of Sodor and Man, who in all his wealth and 
greatness often recalled his frightful prison at Oxford as a title 
to glory; Ferrar, afterwards Cranmer's chaplain, bishop of St. 
David's, and a martyr even unto death, alter an interval of" 
thirty years; Fryth, Tyudale's friend, to whom this deliverance 
proved only a delay; and several others. When they came 
forth from their terrible dungeon, their friends ran up to them, . 

1 SUte Paper*, i, p. 169. 2 f ox«, v. p. 6. 8 Ibiii 


supported their faltering steps, and embraced them amidst- 
flooda of tears. Fryth quitted the mxiversity not long after 
and went to Flanders.^ Thus was the tempest stayed which 
had so fearfully ravaged Oxford. But the calm was of no long 
duration; an xmexpected circumstance became perilous to the 
cause of the Reformation. 


Luther's Letter to the King— Henry's Anger — His Reply — Luther'* 
Resolution — Persecutions — Barnes escapes — Proclamations against 
the New Testament — W. Roy to Caiaphas — Third Edition of the New 
Testament — The Triumph of Law and Liberty — Hacket attacks the 
Printer — Racket's Complaints— A Seizure — The Year 1526 io- 

Henry was still under the impression of the famous Supplica- 
tion of the Beggars, when Luther's interference increased his- 
anger. The letter which, at the advice of Christiern, king of" 
Denmark, this reformer had written to him in September 1525, 
had miscarried. The ^Mttemberg doctor hearing nothing of it, 
had boldly printed it, and sent a copy to the king. •' I am in- 
formed," said Luther, " that your Majesty is beginning to favour 
the Gospel,^ and to be disgtisted with the perverse race that 

fights against it in your noble kingdom It is true that, 

according to Scripture, tJie kings of the earth take counsel together 
against the Lord, and we cannot, consequently, expect to see 
them favourable to the truth. How fervently do I wish that, 
this miracle may be accomplished in the person of your Ma- 
jesty." ^ 

"W'e may imagine Henry's wrath as he read this letter. 
" What! " said he, ''does this apostate monk dare priat a letter 
addressed to us, without having even sent it, or at the least, 
■without knowing if we have ever received it? . . . And. 
as if that were not enough, he insinuates that we are among, 
his partisans He wins over also one or two wret- 
ches, born in our kingdom, and engages them to translate, 
the New Testament into English, adding thereto certain pre- 

1 Tjcdale md Fryth'* Work», iii p, 75 (edit. Rnssel). 2 Majestatem toim oepiua 

&Tere Evangelio. Cochlcos, p. lo6> > llttic mirucnlo in Miijest«t« toa qoam opto ex. 

totu nwdaUii. Ibid. p. U7. 

256 henry's reply. 

faces and poisonous glosses." Thus spoke Henry. The idea 
that his name should be associated with that of the Wittemberg 
monk called all the blood into his face. He will reply right 
loyally to such unblushing impudence. He summoned Wclsey 
forthwith. "Here I" said he, pointing to a passage concerning 
the prelate, "here! read what is said of you!" And then he 
read aloud : "lllud monsti-um et publicum odium Dei et hominum, 
■cardinalis Eboracensis, pedis ilia regni titi. You see, my lord, 
jou are a monster, an object of hatred both to God and man, 
the scourge of my kingdom !" The king had hitherto allowed 
the bishops to do as they pleased, and observed a sort of neu- 
trality. He now determined to lay it aside and begin a 
crusade against the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but he must first 
answer this iinpertinent letter. He consulted Sir Thomas More, 
shut himself in his closet, and dictated to his secretary a reply 
to the reformer: "You are ashamed of the book you have 
"written against me," he said, " I would counsel you to be 
ashamed of all that you have written. They are full of dis- 
gusting errors and frantic heresies; and are supported by the 
most audacious obstinacy. Your venemous pen mocks the 
church, insults the fathers, abuses the saints, despises the apos- 
tles, dishonours the holy virgin, and blasphemes God, by making 

him the author of evil And after all that, you claim to 

be an author whose like does not exist in the world !"^ 

" You ofier to publish a book in my praise I thank 

you! .... You will praise me most by abusing me; you will 
dishonour me beyond measure if you praise rue. I say witK 
Seneca: Tarn turpe tibi sit laudari a tiapibus, quam si lauderis 
ob turpia."'^ 

This letter, written by the king of the English to the king of 
the heretics,"^ was immediately circulated throughout England 
bound up with Luther's epistle. Henry, by publishing it, put 
his subjects on their guard against the unfaithful translations 
of the New Testament, which wero besides about to be burnt 
everywhere. " The grapes seem beautiful," he said, " but be- 
ware how you wet your lips with the wine made Irom them, for 
the adversary hath mingled poison with it." 

Luther, agitated by this rude lesson, tried to excuse himself. 
**I said to myself, TJiere are twelve hours in the day. AVho 
knows? perhaps I may find one lucky hour to gain the King of 

1 Taiitus autoi- liaberi postulas, quantuB uec liodie quisquuni Bit. Cochlteus, p. 1^7. 

'i Let il be us dissjiacciul to jou to be pmiscd by the vUe, tin if \ou wure praised for vile 
deeds. S lt«rx Aiixiorum KcRi hffireticorutii scribit. Sirype, Altiii. j. p. SI. The title 

of the pamphlet whs LilUrarum quibus mvicUia I'r. JUenricua Ylll- eto- eto. nspoutiU aU 
qutmdam Jt^pUtoUtm M. Jbuilieri aii le mUiam. 


England. I therefore laid my humble epistle at his feet; but 
alas! the swine have torn it. I am willing to be silent. . . . 
but as regards my doctrine, I cannot impose sUence on it. It 
must cry aloud, it must bite. If any king imagines he can make 
me retract my faith, he is a dreamer. So long as one drop of 
blood remains in my body, I shall say xo. Etrperors, kings, 
the devil, and even the whole universe, cannot frighten me 
■when faith is concerned. I claim to be proud, very proud, 
exceedingly proud. If my doctrine had no other enemies than 
the king of England, Duke George, the pope and their allies, 

aU these soap-bubbles one little prayer would long ago 

Iiave worsted them all. ^\ here are Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas 
now? "Where are Nero, Domitian, and Maximilian? Where are 
Arius, Pelagius, and Manes? — W here are they? .... Where 
all our scribes and all our tyrants will soon be. — But Christ? 
Christ is the same always. 

'•' For a thousand years the Holy Scriptures have not shone 
in the world with so much brightness as now.^ I wait in peace 
for my last hour; I have done what I could. princes, my 
hands are clean iirom your bloody it will fall on your own 

Bowing before the supreme royalty of Jesus Christ, Luther 
spoke thus boldly to King Henry, who contested the rights of 
the word of God. 

A letter written against the reformer was not enough for the 
bishops. Profiting by the wound Luther had inflicted on Henry'd 
self-esteem, they urged him to put down this revolt of the 
human understanding, which threatened (as they averred) both 
the popedom and the monarchy. They commenced the perse- 
cution. Latimer was summoned before Wolsey, but his learning 
and presence of mind procured his dismissal. Bilney also, who 
had been ordered to London, received an injunction not to preach 
I/uthers dodnres. " I will not preach Luther's doctrines, if 
there are any peculiar to him," he said; " but I can and I must 
preac-h the doctrine of Jesus Christ, although Luther should 
preach it too." And finally Garret, led into the presence of his 
Judges, was seized with terror, and fell before the cruel threats 
of the bishop. A\ hen restored to liberty, he fled from place to 
place,^ endeavouring to hide his sorrow, and to escape trom the 
despotism of the priests, awaiting the moment v^heu he should 
give his life for Jesus Christ. 

The adversaries" of the Keformation were not yet satisfied. 

i Ala in tausend Jalireo njcht geweMC U'- Lu'h. Opp. six. P- eOl- « Foxe, t- p- 42& 

46 a 


The New Testament continued to circulate, and depots were 
formed in several convents. Barnes, a prisoner in the Auo'ustine 
monastery in London, had regained his courage, and loved his 
Bible more and more. One day about the end of September, 
as three or four friends were reading in his chamber, two simple 
peasants, John Tyball and Thomas Hilles, natives of Bumpstead 
in Essex, came in. ^'- How did you come to a knowledge of the 
truth?" asked Barnes. They drew from their pockets some old 
volumes containing the Gospels, and a few of the Epistles in 
English. Barnes returned them with a smile. "They are 
nothing," he told them, " in comparison with the new edition 
of the New Testament,"^ a copy of which the two peasants 
bought for three shillings and two-pence. " Hide it carefully," 
said Barnes. \\ hen this came to the ears of the clergy, Barnes 
was removed to Nortliampton to be burnt at the stake; but he 
managed to escape; his iriends reported that he was drowned; 
and while strict search was making for him during a whole 
week along the sea-coast, he secretly went on board a ship, and 
was carried to Germany. <' The cardinal will catch him evea 
now," said the bishop of London, ''whatever amount of money 
it may cost him." When Barnes was told of this, he remarked t 
" I am a poor simple wretch, not worth the tenth penny they 
will give for me. Besides, if they burn me, what will tliey gaia 
by it? ... . The sun and the moon, fire and water, the stars 
and the elements — yea, and also stones shall defend this cause 
against them, rather than the truth should perish." Faith had 
returned to Barnes's feeble heart. 

His escape added fuel to the wrath of the clergy. They pro- 
claimed, throughout the length and breadth of England, that 
the Holy Scriptures contained an infectious poisoni^ and ordered 
a general search after the word of God. On the i;4th of Oc- 
tober, 1526, the bishop of London enjoined on Jite aaxhdeacona 
to seize all translations of the New Testament in English with 
or without glosses; and, a few days later, the archbishop of 
Canterbury issued a mandate against all the books which should 
contain '' any particle of the New Testament." ^ The primate 
remembered that a spark was sufficient to kindle a large 

On hearing of this order, William Eoy, a sarcastic writer,. 

1 Which books he did little rcRard, and made a twit of it. Tj ball's Confession iu Bibte 
AiiuaU. i. p. 184 H Libri iicstilerum virus in se coutiuentes, in promiscuam provindaa 

Cunt- ii.ultitudincm sunt dispcisi- (W ilkiiis. Concilia, iii. p. TOG-) ISooks conioiiiiuij au in- 
fectious poison axe sealteitd iu all liirtctious tbioujiU the diocese of Cauttibuij. 
» Vel aliquamcjus iiaiticulain. ibid- 


published a violent satire, in which figured Judas (Standish), 
Filate (Wolsey), and Caiaphas (Tonstall). The author cs- 
claimed with energy: 

God, of his goodness, grudged not to die, 

Man to deliver from deadly damnation; 
Whose will is, that we should know perfectly 

What he here hath done for our salvation. 

O cruel Caiaphas! full of crafty conspiration. 
How durst thou give them false judgment 
To burn God's word — the Holy Testament.^ 

The efforts of Caiaphas and his colleagues were indeed useless: 
the priests were undertaking a work beyond their strength. If 
by some terrible revolution all social forms should be destroyed 
in the world, the living church of the elect, a divine institution 
in the midst of human institutions, would still exist by the 
power of God, like a rock in the midst of the tempest, and 
would transmit to future generations the seeds of Christian life 
and civilization. It is the same with the word, the creative 
principle of the church. It cannot perish here below. The 
priests of England had something to learn on this matter. 

Vi hile the agents of the clergy were carrying out the archie- 
piscopal mandate, and a merciless search was making everywhere 
for the New Testaments from Worms, a new edition was dis- 
covered, fresh from the press, of a smaller and more portable, 
and consequently more dangerous size. It was printed by ' 
Christopher Eyndhoveu of Antwerp, who had consigned ifc to 
bis correspondents in London. The annoyance of the priests 
was extreme, and Hackett, the agent of Henry Vill in the Low 
Countries, immediately received orders to get this man punished. 
" AVe cannot deliver judgment without inquiry into the matter," 
said the lords of Antwerp; " we will therefore have the book 
translated into Flemish." " God forbid," said Hackett in alarm, 
"What! would you also on your side of the ocean translate this 
book into the language of the people?" " AVeU then/' said ooe 
of the judges, less conscientious than his colleagues, '' let the king 
of England send us a copy of each of the books he has burnt, 
and we will burn them likewise." Hackett wrote to Wolsey for 
them, and as soon as they arrived the court met again. Eynd- 
hoven's counsel called upon the prosecutor to point out the 
heresies contained in the volume. The margrave (an officer of 
the imperial government) shrank from the ta&k, and said to 

1 Satire oi W. Koj, prinUd in the Harl- Misc., vol. ix, p. Tl, {sd. IStie) 


Hackett, "I give up the business!" The charge against Eynd- 
hoven was dismissed. 

Thus did the Reformation awaken in Europe the slumbering 
spirit of law and liberty. By enfranchising thought from the 
yoke of popery, it prepared the way for other enfranchisements; 
and by restoring the authority of the word of God, it brought 
back the reign of the law among nations long the prey of tur- 
bulent passions and arbitrary power. Then, as at all times, re- 
ligious society forestalled civil society, and gave it those two great 
principles of order and liberty, which popery compromises or 
annuls. It was not in vain that the magistrates of a Flemish 
city, enlightened by the first dawn of the Reformation, set so 
noble an example; the English, who were very numerous in the 
Hanse Towns, thus learnt once more the value of that civil and 
religious liberty which is the time-honoured right of England, 
and of which they were in after-years to give other nations the 
so much needed lessons. 

" Well then," said Hackett, who was annoyed at their setting 
the law above his master's will, " I will go and buy ail these 
books, and send them to the cardinal, that he may burn them." 
With these words he left the court. But his anger evapor- 
ating,^ he set ofi" for IMaUnes to complain to the regent and 
her council of the Antwerp decision. '' What 1 " said he, *• you 
punish those who circulate false money, and you will not punish 
still more severely the man who coins it? — in tiiis case, he is 
the printer." '• But that is just the point in dispute," they 
replied; "we are not sure the money is false." — "How can it be 
otherwise," answered Henry's agent, "since the bishops of Eng- 
land have declared it so?" The imperial government, which 
was not very favourably disposed towards England, ratified 
Eyndhoven's acquittal, but permitted Hackett to burn all the 
copies of the New Testament he could seize. He hastened to 
profit by this concession, and began hunting after the Holy 
bcriptures, while the priests eagerly came to his assistance. In 
then: view, as well as in that of their English colleagues, the 
supreme decision in matter of laith rested not with the word of 
God but with the pope; and the best means of securing this 
privilege to the pontifl" was to reduce the Bible to ashes. 

Notwithstanding these trials, the year lo2G was a memorable 
one lor England. The English New Testament had been circu- 
lated from the shores of the Channel to the borders of {Scotland, 
and the lleformatiou had begun in that island by the word of 

' > Hy choler vras d«acend«cL Andenon'a AstuUa of th« Bible, i, i>- 1-9. 


God. The revival of the sixteenth century -was in no country 
less than in England the emanation of a royal mandate. But 
God, who had disseminated the Scriptures over Britain, in defi- 
ance of the rulers of the nation, was about to make use of their 
passions to remove the difficulties which opposed the final tri- 
umph of his plans. We here enter upon a new phasis in the 
history of the Reformation; and having studied the work of 
God in the faith of the little ones, we proceed to contemplate 
the work of man in the intrigues of the great ones of the 


Wokey desires to be revenged — The Divorce suggested — Henry's Sen- 
timents towards the Queen — Wolsey's first Steps — Longiand's Pro- 
ceedings — Refusal of Margaret of Yalois — Objection of the Bishop of 
Tarbea — Henry's uneasiness — Catherine's Alarm — Mi^on to Spain. 

"U'oLSEY, mortified at not being able to obtain the pontifical 
throne, to which he had so ardently aspired, and being especially 
irritated by the iU-will of Charles V, meditated a plan which, 
entirely unsuspected by him, was to lead to the enfranchise- 
ment of England from the papal yoke. " They laugh at me, 
and thrust me into the second rank,'"' he had exclaimed. " So 
be it! I will create such a confusion in the world as has not 
been seen for ages. ... I will do it, even should England 
be swallowed up in the tempest !"*^ Desirous of exciting imper- 
ishable hatred between Henry VIII and Charles V, he had 
undertaken to break the marriage which Henry VII and Fer- 
dinand the Catholic had planned to unite for ever their families 
and their crowns. His hatred of Charles was not his only mo- 
tive. Catherine had reproached him for his dissolute lite," 
and he had sworn to be revenged. There can be no doubc 
about Wolsey's share in the matter. " The fir^ terms of the 
divorce were put forward by me," he told the French ambas- 
sador. " 1 did it," he added, " to cause a lasting separation 
between the houses of England and Burgundy."'* The best 

1 SasdoTal, L p- S-^O. Uanke, Deutsche Gesch. iii p. 17. 2 Mdlos cderat moK*. 

CPoljd. Virg. p. 685) She haUd hk dtprarcd habiU 3 Le Gnuid, Hist du di- 

Vuice, i'leuves. p. ifc6. 


informed writers of the sixteenth century, men of the most 
opposite parties, Pole, Poljdore, Virgil, Tyndale, Meteren, Pal- 
lavicini, Sanders, and Eoper, More 's son-in-law, all agree in point- 
ing to Wolsey as the instigator of that divorce, which has be- 
come so famous.^ He desired to go still farther, and after 
inducing the king to put away his queen, he hoped to prevail 
on the pope to depose the emperor.^ It was not his passion for 
Anne Boleyn, as so many of the Eomish fabulists have repeated; 
but the passion of a cardinal for the triple crown which gave 
the signal of England's emancipation. Offended pride is one of 
the most active principles of human nature. 

Wolsey's design was a strange one, and difficult of execution, 
but not impossible. Henry was living apparently on the best 
terms with Catherine; on more than one occasion Erasmus had 
spoken of the royal family of England as the pattern of the 
domestic virtues. But the most ardent of Henry's desires was 
not fcatisiied; he had no son; those whom the queen had borne 
him had died in their infancy, and Mary alone survived. The 
deaths of these little children, at all times so heart-rending, were 
particularly so in the palace of Grreenwich. It appeared to 
Catherine that the shade of the last Piautagenet, immolated on 
her marriage altar, came I'u.l!; to seize one after another the 
heirs she gave to the throne oi ^a-land, and to carry them 
away to his tomb. The queen shed tears almost unceasingly, 
and implored the divine mercy, while the king cursed his un- 
happy fate. The people seemed to share in tue royal sorrow; 
and men of learning and piety (Longlaud was among their num- 
ber) ' declared against the \ auuity of the marriage. T'hey said 
that " the papal dispensations had no force when in opposition 
to the law of God." Yet hitherto Hem'y had rejected every 
idea of a divorce.* 

The times had changed since 1009. The king had loved 
Catherine : her reserve, mildness, and dignity, had charmed him. 
Greedy of pleasure and applause, he was dehghted to see his 
wife content to be the quiet witness of his joys and of his tri- 
umphs. But gradually the queen had grown older, her JSpaniah 

1 Instigator it iiuctor concilii eaustimibatur (I'ole, Apology), lie was furious mad, and 
iumKJiied tliis divorcement uetweon the king and the qnecn (Tyndale's Works, i- p- 4<>5). 
See also Suudcrus, 7 and U; I'oljd. Viru. p.l>85; Metiaeu, llisl. ol the Low Countries, p. iO; 
yftUaviciiii, tone. Xrideut, i, p. 2(Ki, etc. A contrary assertion ol' Wolsey's has been ad- 
duced against these authorities in the J^amphUteer.So- 4:', p. 'iMi; but a sliKht acciuaintanoa 
with his history soon teaches us that veracity was the least of his virtues. ^ i>e (irand, 

llisl- du divorce, I'reuvcs, p. 68, 69- 3 Janipridem conjiigiuni regiuni, veluu in- 

flriuuin . i'olyd. YirK- p- HiH. i That matriiuuuy wluch the kins at lirst seviued 

not diiposed to annul. Strype, i, p- 18S- 

wolsey's first steps. 263 

gravity had increased, her devout practices were multiplied, and 
her infirmities, become more frequent, had left the king no hope 
of havinc a son. From that hour, even while continuing to 
praise her virtues, Henrj grew cold towards her person, and his 
love by degrees changed into repugnance. And then he thought 
that the death of his children might be a sign of God's anger. 
This idea had taken hold of liim, and induced him to occupy 
apartments separate from the queen's.^ 

Wolsev judged the moment favourable for beginning theattack. 
It was in the latter months of 1526, when calling Longland, the 
king's confessor, to him, and concealing his principal motive, he 
said : " You know his majesty's anguish. The stability of his 
crown and his everlasting salvation seem to be compromised 
alike. To whom can I unbosom myself, if not to you, who 
must know the inmost secrets of his soul?" The two bishops 
resolved to awaken Henry to the perils incurred by his union 
with Catherine;^ but Longland insisted that Wolsey should take 
the first steps. 

The cardinal waited upon the king, and reminded him of his 
scruples before the betrothal; he exaggerated those entertained 
by the nation, and speaking with unusual warmth, he entreated 
the king to remain no longer in such danger:' "The holiness of 
your life and the legitimacy of your succession are at stake." 
" jMy good father," said Henry, " you would du well to consider 
the weight of the stone that you have undertaken to move.* 
The queen is a woman of such exemplary life that I have no 
motive for separating from her." 

The cardinal did not consider himself beaten; three days later 
be appeared before the king accompanied by the bishop of Lin- 
coln. ■•■ 2.1ost mighty' prince," said the confessor, who felt bold 
enough to speak after the cardinal, '' you cannot, like Herod, 
have your brother's wife.* I exhort and conjure you, as having 
the care of your soul,^ to submit the matter to competent 
judges." Henry consented, and perhaps not unwillingly. 

It was not enough for Wolsey to separate Henry from the 
emperor; he must, for greater security, unite him to Francis I. 
The King of England shall repudiate the aunt of Charles Y, and 
then marry the sister of the French king. Proud of the success 

1 Burnet, vol. i. p. :0 (London, ISll) Letter from Grjriseus to Bncer. StrjT)€, i, p. 135. 

2 Quamprimnm regi pateXaciendum- (I'olyd- Vitg. p. &>5.) That forthwith it should be 
declared to the king. 3 Vehementer orat ne se jwtiatur in tanto versaxi digciiiniiie. 
(Ibid) He carnestlybegged him not to suffer himself to be exposed to su h haiird. 

* Bone pater, vide bene quale saium suo loco jaceus movere coneris- Ibid. 5 Like 

another Ilerodes. More's Life, p- 1'.'9. * Ipse cui de salut* aninue trut can est. 

hortor, rogo, ptTsuadto- Poljd. Virs. p. 686, 


he had obtained in the first part of his plan, Wolsey entered 
upon the second. " There is a princess/' he told the king, '-'whose 
birth, graces, and talents charm all Europe. Margaret of Valois, 
sister of King Francis, is superior to all of her sex, and no one 
is worthier of your alliance."^ Henry made answer that it was 
a serious matter, requiring deliberate examination. Wolsey, 
however, placed in the king's hands a portrait of Margaret, and 
It has been imagined that he even privily caused her sentiments 
to be sounded. Be that as it may, the sister of Francis I having 
learnt that she was pointed at as the future queen of England'^ 
rebelled at the idea of taking from an innocent woman a crown 
she had worn so nobly. " The French king's sister knows too 
much of Christ to consent unto such wickednes?," said Tyndale.^ 
Margaret of Valois replied: " Let me hear no more of a marriage 
that can be effected only at the expense of Catherine of Aragon's 
happiness and life."^^ The woman who was destined in future 
years to fill the throne of England was then residing at .Alargaret's 
court. Shortly after tliis, on the L'ith of January lo27, the 
sister of Francis I, married Henry d'Aibret, king of Navarre. 

Henry VHI, desirous of information with regard to his favour- 
ite's suggestion, commissioned P^ox, his almoner, Pace, dean of 
St. Paul's, and Wakefield, professor of Hebrew at Oxford, to 
study the passages of Leviticus and Deuteronomy which related 
to marriage with a brotlier's wife. Wakefield, who had no wish 
to commit himself, asked whether Henry was /or or ai^ainst the 
divorce.* Pace replied to this servile hebraist that the king 
wanted nothing but the truth. 

But who would take the first public step in an undertaking 
so hazardous? Every one shrank back; the terrible emperor 
alarmed them all. It was a French bishop that hazarded the 
step; bishops meet us at every turn in this affair of the divorce, 
with which bishops have so violently reproached the Reforma- 
tion. Henry, desirous of excusing \; oisey, pretended afterwards 
that the objeciious of the I'rench prelate had preceded those of 
Longknd and the cardinal. Li February ]oL'7, Francis I, had 
sent au embassy to London, at the head of which was Gabriel 
de Grammont, bishop of Tarbes, with the intention to procure 
the hand of Mary of England. I.cnry's ministers having in- 

1 Malicr prajtcT cKtcras digna matrimonio tno. Polyd. Virg p.68G. . 2 Works 

(ed Kussell,) vol, i. p. iOi. 3 I'rinceps ilia, niuliei- opiiiiu, iioluerit quicquam 

iiudire do iiupUis, qu* imptia; non possuiit conJuiiKl siuo iiiiBfiabili CHtliiuinto cisu aUjua 
nUeo iiiti-riiu. (I'olid. Virn. \>. (iS7 ) Thiil rrinctss. a most uoble wom:iu, would uot listcu 
to ttuj I for mi alliauce wliich cuulU not be iiiude tt ithout iuvolvlnK Catherine iu ruio 
KnddeatU. t Luuin stiutt ad te an contra tt? Le Grand, Treuvcs, p.X. 

hesrt's uneasiness. 265 

quired whether the engagements of Francis with the queea 
dowager of Portugal did not oppose the commission with which 
the French bishop was charged, the latter answere J : '• I will 
ask you in turn what has been done to remove the impediments 
which opposed the marriage of which the Princess 3Iary is issue/'^ 
They laid before the ambassa-ior the dispensation of Julius 11, 
which he returned, saying, that the bull was not sufficient, seeing 
that such a marriage was forbidden y«re divino,- and he added: 
''Have you English a different gospel from ours?"^ 

The king, when he heard these worJs (as he informs us him- 
selfj, was filled with fear and horror.* Three of the most re- 
spected bishops of Christendom united to accuse him of incest! 
He began to speak of it to certain individuals: "The scruples of 
my conscience have been terribly increased (he said) since the 
bishop spoke of this matter before my council in exceedingly 
plain words."^ There is no reason to believe that these terrible 
troubles of which the king speaks were a mere invention on his 
part. A disputed succession might again plunge England into 
civil war. Even if no pretenders should spring up, might they 
not see a rival house, a French prince for instance, wedded to 
Henry's daughter, reigning over England? The king, in his 
anxiety, had recourse to his favourite author, Thomas Aquinas^ 
and this an^el of the sdtools declared his marriage ui;lawful. 
Henry nest opened the Bible, and found this threat against the 
man who took his brother's wife : '* He shall be dtildlessj" 
The denunciation increased his trouble, for he had no heir, la 
the midst of tiiis darkness a new perspective opened before him. 
His conscience might be tmboundj his desire to have a younge? 

wife might be gratified; he might have a son! The 

king resolved to lay the matter before a commission of lawyers, 
and this commission soon wrote volumes.^ 

During all this time Catherine, suspecting no evil, was 
occupied in her devotions. Her heart, bruised by the death of 
her children and by the king's coldness, sought consolation in 

1 Wtut tud beeu here provided for taking avaj the impediment of Unit murmg^ (State 
Pikpers, i. p. 193.) Le Orani (vol- i- p. iT.) uiscreJits Uie oltiecttons of the b^sjop of Xarbe*;. 
bnt tiaa letter Irom Woisej to Henry VlII establisaes them inconttoTertioly. And beades. 
Da BelUy, in a lett4;raft«rwardi quoted by Le Grand bimaelf, atates the matter still more 
strou^^lj than Wolsey- - Wherewiui the pope could uut Oi&pense. nWi tx ursen- 

(i5tii»a cotuo- Wolsej to Ucury V ill, dated 3Lh July- State i'apei^ vuL i. p. l!l!>> 

3 Anglos, qui taoimperio sjbsunt, hoc idem erangeliam eolere quod uos eoiimos- (Sanden,. 
12.) iQe English, vho arc luidtrr thy rule, follow the same gocpel that we follow 

* Qaae oratio qoanto nietu ac hon-ore auimum nostmni turbaverit. (Wuich tpeech haa- 
troubled oar miud with mudti fear and borTor-) llenrj't speech to the Lord Mayor and 
conrimon council, at bis palace of Bridewell. 8th >ovember I5i8. (Hall, p. 754; Wilkins.. 
C.incil- Ul p- 7;4, • i Du Bellaj's Uttef in Le Grand. Preuves.p. ii8. 

* So as the books exaeccont in maf^na Tolomina. WoUey to Henry Vlli. State Fapes*. 

266 Catherine's alarm. 

prayer both privately and in the royal chapel. She would rise 
at midnight and kneel down upon the cold stones, and never 
missed any of the canonical services. But one day (probably 
in May or June 1527) some officious person informed her of the 
rumours circulating in the city and at court. Bursting with 
anger and alarm, and all in tears, she hastened to the king, and 
addressed him with the bitterest complaints.^ Henry was content 
to calm her by vague assurances; but the unfeeling Wolsey, 
troubling himself still less than his master about Catherine's 
emotion, called it, with a smile, " a short tragedy." 

The oiFended wife lost no time: it was necessary that the em- 
peror should be informed promptly^ sureiy, and accurately of 
this unprecedented insult. A letter would be insufficient, even 
were it not intercepted. Catherine therefore determined to send 
her servant Francis Philip, a Spaniard, to her nephew; and to 
conceal the object of his journey, they proceeded^ after the 
tragedy, to play a comedy in the Spanish style. " My mother 
is sick and desires to see me," said Philip. Catherine begged 
the king to refuse her servant's prayer; and Henry, divining the 
stratagem, resolved to employ trick against trick.2 " Philip's 
request is very proper," he made answer; and Catherine, from 
regard to her husband, consented to his departure. Henry mean- 
time had given orders that, " notwithstanding any safe conduct, 
the said Philip should be arrested and detained at Calais, in 
such a manner, h&wcvcr, that no one should know whence the 
stoppage proceeded." 

It was to no purpose that the queen indulged in a culpable 
dissimulation; a poisoned arrow had pierced her heart, and her 
words, her manners, her complaints, her tears, the numerous 
messages she sent, now to one and now to another, betrayed 
the secret which the king wished still to conceal.^ Her friends 
blamed her for this publicity; men wondered what Charles would 
say when he heard of his aunt's distress; thoy feared that peace 
would be broken; but Catherine, whose heart was " rent in 
twain," was not to be moved by diplomatic considerations. Her 
sorrow did not check Henry; with the two motives which made 
him eager for a divorce — the scruples of his conscience and the 
desire of an heir — was now combined a third still more forcible. 
A woman was about to play au important part in the destinies 
•of England. 

^ The queen huth broken with your grace thereof. State I'apcrs, vol. i. p. '.OO. 
^ The kinK'u highness knowing great collusion and dissiiiiulatioii between them, doth also 
>diii»enible. Knight to Wolacy. ibid- p. '^IS- 3 By her behaviour, manner, ^ 

«ord«, and nitssages sent to diverse, hath published, divulged, etc. Ibid, p.iao. 



Anne Boleyn appointed Maid of Honour to Catherine — Lord Percy 
becomes attached to her — "Wolsey separates them — Anne enters 
Margaret's Household — Siege of Kome; Cromwell — Wolsey's Inter- 
cession for the Popedom — He demands the Hand of Kenfee of France 
for Henry — Failure — Anne re-appears at Court — Repels the king's 
Advances — Henry's Letter — He resolves to accelerate the Divorce — 
Two Motives which induce Anne to refuse the Crown — YTolsey's 

A^TNE BoLEYX. who had been placed by her father at the 
■court of France, had returned to England with Sir Thomas, 
then ambassador at Paris, at the time that an English army 
made an incursion into Normandy (1522.) It would appear 
that she was presented to the queen about this period, and ap- 
pointed one of Catherine's maids of honour. The following year 
"was a memorable one to her from her first sorrow. 

Among the young noblemen in the cardinal's household was 
Lord Percy, eldest son of the Earl of Northumberland. AYhile 
Wolsey was closeted with the king, Percy was accustomed to 
resort to the queen's apartments, where be passed the time 
among her ladies. He soon felt a sincere passion for Anne, and 
the young maid of honour, who had been cold to the addresses 
of the gentlemen at the court of Francis, replied to the afiections 
of the heir of Northumberland. The two young people already 
indulged in day-dreams of a quiet, elegant, and happy life in 
their noble castles of the northj but such dreams were fated to 
be of short duration. 

Wolsey hated the Norfolks, and consequently the Boleyns. 
It was to couuterbalance their influence that he had been first 
introduced at court. He became angry, therefore, when he saw 
one of his household suing for the hand of the daughter and 
niece of his enemies. Besides, certain partisans of the clergy 

aecuied Anne of being friendly to the Reformation.^ 

It is generally believed that even at this period Wolsey had 
•discovered Henry's eyes turned complacently on the young maid 
of honour, and that this induced him to thwart Percy's love; 
but this seems improbable. Of all the women in England, Anne 
was the one whose influence AVolsey would have had most cause 

1 Mcteien's Hist- of the Low Countries, folio, 30. 



to fear, and he really did fear it; and he would have been but 
too happy to see her married to Percy. It has been asserted 
that Henry prevailed on the cardinal to thwart the affection of 
the two young people; but in that case did he confide to Wolsey 
the real motive of his opposition? Did the latter entertain 
cruumal mtentions? Did he undertake to yield up to dishonour 
the daughter and niece of his political adversaries? This 
would be horrible, but it is possible, and may even be deduced 
from Cavendish's narrative; yet we will hope that it was not 
so. If It were, Anne's virtue successfully baffled the infamous 

But be that as it may, one day when Percy was in attendance 
upon the cardinal, the latter rudely addressed him: "1 marvel 
at your folly, that you should attempt to contract yourself with 
that girl without your father's or the king's consent. I com- 
mand you to break with her." Percy burst into tears, and be- 
sought the cardinal to plead his cause. "I charge you to resort 
no ^ more into her company," was Wolsej's cold reply, ^ after 
which he rose up and left the room. Anne received an order at 
the same time to leave the court. Proud and bold, and ascrib- 
ing her misfortune to Wolsey "s hatred, she exclaimed as she 
quitted the palace, " I will be revenged for this insult." But she 
had scarcely taken up her abode in the gothic Hails of Hevcr 
Castle, when news still more distressing overwhelmed h„r. 
Percy was married to Lady Mary Talbot. She wept long and* 
bitterly, and vowed against the young nobleman who had deserted 
her a contempt equal to her hatred of the cardinal. Anue was 
reserved for a more illustrious, but more unhappy fate. 

This event necessarily rendered her residence in this country 
far from attractive to Anne Eoleyn. "She did not stay 
long in England," says Burnet, following Camden; "she served 
queen Claude of France till her death, and after that she was 
taken into service by King Francis ' sister. " Anne Boloyn, lady- 
in-waiting to Margaret of Valois, was consoled at last. She indul- 
ged in gaieties with all the vivacity of her age, and glittered 
among the youngest and the I'airesfc at all the court festi- 

In Margaret's house she met the most enlightened men of the 
age, and her understanding and heart were developed simul- 
taneously with the graces. She began to read, without thoroughly 
understanding it, the holy book ia which her mistress (as Bran- 
tome informs us) found consolatiun and repose, and to direct a 

1 Caveaduh'. VVoU«y. p. i:'3. Cavendkh WM prwent at thi. convereaUoa. 


few light and pacing thouglits to that '•' mild Emmanuel," to 
whom Margaret addressed such beautiful verses. 

At last Anne i-eturned definitively to England. It has been 
asserted that the queen-regent, fearing that Henry after the 
battle of Pavia vrould invade France, had sent Anne to London 
to dissuade him from it. But it was a stronger voice than hers 
which stopped the king of England. "Remain quiet," wrote 
Charles V to him; *•! have the stag in mj net, and we have 
only to think of sharing the spoils." Margaret of Valois having 
married the king of I\avarre at the end of January 1527, and 
quitted Paris and her brother's court, it is supposed that Sir 
Thomas Boleyn, who was unwilling that his daughter should 
take up her abode in the Pyrenees, recalled her to England 
probably in the winter or spring of the same year. '• There is 
not the least evidence that she came to it earlier," says a modern 
author.^ She appeared once more at court, and the niece of the 
Duke of Norfolk soon eclipsed her companions, " by her excel- 
lent gesture and behaviour,'"'- as we learn from a contemporary 
unfriendly to the Boleyas. All the court was struck by the 
regularity of her features, the expression of her eyes, the gentle- 
ness of her manners, and the majesty of her carriage.'' '"'She was a 
beautiful creature," says an old historian, " well proportioned, 
courteous, amiable, very agreeable, and a skilful musician.* 

While entertainments were following close upon each other 
-at the court of Kenry Yiil, a strange rumour filled all Eng- 
land with surprise. It was reported that the imperialist soldiers 
had taken Rome by assault, and that some Englishmen were 
among those who had movmted the breach. One Thomas Crom- 
well was specially named"* — the man who nearly twenty years 
before had obtained certain indulgences from Julius II, by offer- 
ing him some jars of English confectionary. This soldier carried 
with him the New Testament of Erasmus, and he is said to 
have learnt it by heart during the campaign. Being gay, brave, 
and intelligent, he entertained, Irom reading the gospel and see- 
ing Rome, a great aversion for the policy, superstitions, and dis- 
orders of the popedom. The day of the 7th May 15:^7 decided 
the tenor of tiis life. To destroy the papal power became his 
dominant idea. On returning to England he entered the cardi- 
nal s household. 

However, the captive pope and cardinals wrote letters ''filled 

i Turner. Hist. Henrr Till. u. p. 1^. a Caveniijh'i Life of WoSsey, p. I'M. 

3 Memcirs of Sir Thomas Wjat, in Careudiih'i Liie of WoUe;. p. 421 4 Met«iea'« 

■Hist, of the Low Goonuica, folio, iX * f oxe, rol- r- p.:j<i^. 


■witli tears and groans."^ Full of zeal for the papacy, Wolsey 
ordered a public fast, ' " The emperor will never release the 
pope, unless he be compelled," he told the king. " Sir, God 
has made you defender of the faith; save the church and its 
head!" — ''My lord," answered the king with a smile, "I assure 
you that this war between the emperor and the pope is not for 
the faith, but for temporal possessions and dominions." 

Eut Wolsey would not be discouraged; and, on the 3rd of 
July, he passed through the streets of London, riding a richly 
caparisoned mule, and resting his feet on gilt stirrups, while 
twelve hundred gentlemen accompanied him on horseback. He 
was going to entreat Francis to aid his master in saving Clement 
VII. He had found no difficulty in prevailing upon Henry;. 
Charles talked of carrying the pope to Spain, and of permanently 
establishing the apostolic see in that country .2 Now, how could! 
they obtain the divorce from a Spanish popeT During the proces- 
sion, Wolsey seemed oppressed with grief, and even shed tears;^ 
but he soon raised his head and exclaimed : "My heart is inflamed, 
and I wish that it may be said of the pope per secula sempiterna^ 

" Rediit Henrici octavi virtute serena." 

Desirous of forming a close union between France and Eng- 
land for the accomplishment of his designs, he had cast his eyes- 
on the princess Rence, daughter of Louis XII, and sister-in-law 
to Francis 1, as the future wife of Henry VIII. Accordingly 
the treaty of alliance between the two crowns having been signed 
at Amiens on the 18th of August (lo27), Francis, with his 
mother and the cardinal, proceded to Compiegne, and there 
Wolsey, styling Charles the most obstinate defender of Luther- 
atiism,* promising " perpetual confundioa on the one hand [be- 
tween France and England], and perpetual disjunction on the 
other." [between England and Germany],^ demanded Reuee's 
hand for king Henry. Staffileo, dean of Kota, affirmed that the 
pope had been able to permit the marriage between Henry and 
Catherine only by an error of the keys of St. Peter .*^ This avowal, 
so remarkable on the part of the dean of one of the first juris- 
dictions of Rome, induced Francis' mother to listen favom'ably 
to the cardinal's demand. But whether this proposal was dis- 
pleasing to Renee, who was destined on a future day to profess 

I rienas lacrj-marnm fit niisciia!. State I'npeis, vol- i. 2 The see apostolic should 

peiiietually remain in Spain. Ibid. i. p. '■i27. 3 I saw the lord cardinal weep 

very tenderly. Cavendish, p- 151. 4 Umnlam maxirae dolosus ct haaresi* Latberi- 

•niB fuutor acerriuius. (Stjite I'apers, i- p- i74.) By iar the niuat cunning and violent fa- - 
Tourer of the Lutheran heresy. 6 Du liellay to Alontinoreucy. Le Grand, I'reuvei, . 

1. p. ISG, • Nisi clave erranie, (dtate X'ap«n, i- p. 27;;-) Uuleu by an eniug key. 


tbe pure faitt of the Grospel with greater earnestness than 
Margaret of Yalcis, or whether Francis was not over-anxious for 
a union that would have given Henry rights over the duehj 
of Brittany, she was promised to the son of the Duke of Ferrara. 
It was a check to the cardinal; but it was his ill fortune to receive 
one still more severe on his return to England. 

The daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, (who had been created 
Viscount Rochford in 1525,) was constantly at court, '•' where 
she flourished in great estimation and favour," says Cavendish, 
" having always a private indignation against the cardinal for 
breaking off the pre-contract made between Lord Percy and 
her," little suspecting that Henry had had any share in it.^ Her 
beauty, her graceful carriage, her black hair, oval face, and 
bright eyes, her sweet voice in singing, her skill and dignity in 
the dance, her deare to please which was not entirely devoid of 
coquetry, her sprightliness, the readiness of her repartees, and 
above all the amiability of her character, won every heart. She 
brought to Greenwich and to London the polished manners of 
the court of Francis L Every day (it was reported) she in- 
vented a new style of dress, and set the fashion in England. But 
to all these quahties, she added modesty, and even imposed it 
on others by her example. The ladies of the court, who had 
hitherto adopted a different fashion (says her greatest enemy), 
covered the neck and bosom as she did-- and the malicious, uu-- 
able to appreciate Anne's motives, ascribed this modesty on the 
yormg lady's part to a desire to hide a secret deformity.^ Nu- 
merous admirers once more crowded round Anne Boleyn, and 
among others, one of the most illustrious noblemen and poets of 
England, Sir Thomas Wyatt, a follower of "Wickliffe. He how-^ 
ever, was not the man destined to replace the son of the Percies. 

Henry, absorbed in anxiety about his divorce from Cathe- 
rine, had become low-spirited and melancholy. The laughter, 
songs, repartees, and beauty of Anne Boleyn struck and captiv- 
ated him, and his eyes were soon fixed complacently on the 
young maid of honour. Catherine was more than forty years 
old, and it was hardly to be expected that so susceptible a man 
as Henry would have made, as Job says, a covenant with his eye* 

1 For all Uiis whUe slie knew noUung of the king's uit«Eded ptupose. svd one of hi* ad- 
Teniine» Carecdishlt Wols«j, p- 129- 2 Ad illios imiUtionem reliquc regis 

andilje coUi tt [icctorw sapehora, ^oie aitUa nnoA gwubant. openre c(B(:«nmu Sanders,, 
p. 16. In imiuuioa of her, the other ladies of th« coon began to cover their neck and 
bcscm which fomKiij they had worn expoaed 3 See Sanders, Ibid. It is oaeless 

to reiute Saudera' stories. We refer cur readers to Bomet's Hist of the Befoimation, u»- 
Ixird Herbert's Life of Uecr; YIII, to W;at, and others. We need only read Sander* to- 
estiiiute at their troe Taloe the/oui c<tlumni€$, as theae wiiten (cnn Uiem. of Um man wtaon. 
Utej stjle U« Jioman UntHdarg. 


not to tJiinh upon a maid. Desirous of showing his admiration, 
h.Q presented Anne, according to usage, with a costly jewel; she 
accepted and wore it, and continued to dance, laugh, and chatter 
as before, without attaching particular importance to the royal 
present. Henry's attentions became more continuous; and he 
took advantage of a moment when he found Anne alone to de- 
clare his sentiments. With mingled emotion and alarm, the 
joung ladj' fell trembling at the king's feet, and exclaimed, 
bursting into tears: "I think, most noble and worthy king, 

your majesty speaks these words in mirth to prove me 

I will rather lose my life than my virtue." ^ Henry gracefully 
rephed, that he should at least continue to hope. But Anne, ris- 
ing up, proudly made answer: "I understand not, most mighty 
king, how you should retain any such hope; your wife I cannot 
be, both in respect of mine own unworthiness, and also because 
you have a queen already. Your mistress I will not be." 
Anne kept her word. She continued to show the king, even 
after this interview, all the respect that was due to him; but on 
several occasions she proudly, violently even, repelled his ad- 
vances '^ In this age of gallantry, we find her resisting for near- 
ly six years all the seductions Henry scattered round her. Such 
an example is not often met with in the history of courts. The 
books she had read in Margaret's palace gave her a secret 
strength. All looked upon her with respect; and even tlie queen 
treated her with politeness. Catherine showed, however, that 
she had remarked the king's preference. One day, as she was 
playing at cards with her maid of honour, while Henry was in 
the roonij Anne frequently holding the Mng, she said : " My 
Lady Anne, you have good hap to stop ever at a king; but 
you are not like others, you will have all or none." Anne 
blushed: from that moment Henry's attentions acquired more 
importance; she resolved to withdraw from them, and quitted the 
court with Lady Kochford. 

The king, who was not accustomed to resistance, was extreme- 
ly grieved; and having learnt that Anne would not return to the 
court cither with or without her mother, sent a courier to Hever 
with a message and a letter for her. If we recollect the manners 
ol" the age ol Henry VHI, and how far the men, in their relations 
with the gentler sex, were sti'angcrs to that reserve which society 
now imposes upon them, we cannot but be struck by the king's 
respectful tone: He writes thus in French: — 

1 Sloane MSS., No '.'■t95; Turner's Hist- Enjt >i.P- 196. 2 Tanto vehementias 

I'leces reKiHS ilia rcpuiit. (Saudeis, (i. \'i^ iio nmcU the more vehcmeuU/ she repelled the 
Iui'k'i eulrettliei. 

hknbt's letteb to akxe. 273 

" As the time seems to me very long since I heard from you 
or concerning your health, the great love I have for you has 
constrained me to send this bearer to be better informed both 
of your health and pleasure; particularly, because since my last 
parting with you, I have been told that you have entirely 
changed the mind in which I left you, and that you neither 
mean to come to court with your mother nor any other 
way; which report, if true, I cannot enough marvel at, being 
persuaded in my own mind that I have never committed any 
offence against you; and it seems hard, in return for the great 
love I bear you, to be kept at a distance from the person and 
presence of the woman in the world that I value the most. And 
if you love me with as much affection as I hope you do, I am 
sure the distance of our two persons would be equally irksome 
to you, though this does not belong so much to the mistresii as 
to the servant. 

" Consider well, my mistress, how greatly your absence afflicts 
me. I hope it is not your will that it should be so; but if I 
heard for certain that you yourself desired it, I could but mourn 
iny ill-fortune, and strive by degrees to abate of my great 

" And so for lack of time I make an end of this rude letter, 
beseeching you to give the bearer credence in all be will tell 
you from me. ^Vritten by the hand of your entire servant, 

"H. R."i 

The word servant (serviteur) employed in this letter explains 
the sense in which Henry used the word mistress. Jn the lan- 
guage of chivalry, the latter term expresed a person to whom 
the lover had surrendered his heart. 

It would setm that Anne's reply to this letter was the same 
she had made to the king from tne very first; and Cardinal Pole 
mentions more than once her obstinate refusal of au adulterous 
love.* At la-t Henry understood Anne's vutue; but he was 
far from ahating of his great foUy, as he had prumu«ed. That 

1 FaiiiidtUt««r. No- \1, p. c47. It is drfficolt to fix the order acd chioDolosr of Hciut'* 

letten to Anue Uoleyu. This is the second in the Vatican Coiitcuuu, but ii. appean to ns to 

be of older diitt. U is cutsidtnd as wiitun in ^ay .i.b; wckrc iii>.l.i.t(l to place it in 

the aotonm of 152 . The ori^iuals of thest- Utters, chicfljr ia old Frnic.. , mk tciU preaerreU 

, in the Vatican, baring been stolen from the rojal cabinet and cuiiT. y<.d luiiiier. 

'i Concnbiiu enim la* fieri podica mnlier uolebat, uxor Tolebat- iila cgus jtnore rei de- 
peribat. pertinacisaime nt-eiibat soi corporis potcStatcm- (foliu a i lit;i;t:>ii, p- .70.) For ■ 
modest woman, tboo^h wilUui; to be thy wife refosed to become th.. cu eubine. Tboagh m 
kia« waa constuiied bjr )otc for her. she olstinatelj refused to jirl.. to b,.ii tiie f-ower OTet 
her penoB. Cardinal i'ole is a fiir more tmst-worttajr anUioritj tuau Sanuers, 

4« S 

274 ■wolsey's opposition. 

tyrannical selfisliness, whict the prince often displayed in his- 
life, was shown particularly in his amours. Seeing that ho 
could not attain his cud by illegitimate means, he determined 
to break, as quickly as possible, the bonds which united him 
to the queen. Anne's virtue was the third cause of Henry's- 

His resolution being once taken, it must needs be caiTied out.. 
Henry having succeeded in bringing Anne back to court, pro- 
cured a private interview with her, offered her his crown, and 
seizing her hand, took off one of her rings. But Anne, who 
would not be the king's mistress, refused also to be his wife. 
The glory of a crown could not dazzle her, said Wyatt, and two 
motives in particular counterbalanced all the prospects of great- 
ness which were set before her eyes. The first was her respect 
for the queen : " How could I injure a princess of such great 
virtue?" she exclaimed.'^ The second was the fear that a union 
with " one that was her lord and her king," would not give her 
that freedom of heart and that liberty which she would enjoy 
by marrying a man of the same rank with herself.- 

Yet the noblemen and ladies of Henry's court whispered to 
one another that Anne would certainly become queen of Eng- 
land. Some were tormented by jealousy; others, her friends, 
were delighted at the prospect of a rapid advancement. "Wolsey's 
enemies in particular were charmed at the thought of ruining 
the favourite. It was at the very moment when all these emo- 
tions were so variously agitating the court that the cardinal, 
returning from his embassy to Francis, re-appeared in Loudon, 
where an unexpected blow struck him. 

AVolsey was expressing his grief to Henry at having failed in 
obtaining either Margaret or Kenee for him, when the king in- 
terrupted him: "Console yourself, I shall marry Anne Boleyn." 
The cardinal remained speechless for a moment. What would 
become of him, if the king placed the crown of England on the 
head of the daughter and niece of his greatest enemies? AVhat 
would become of the church, if a second Anne of Bohemia should, 
ascend the throne? Wolsey threw himself at the leet of his 
master, and entreated him to renounce so fatal a project.^ It 
was then no doubt that he remained (as he afterwards said) an 
hour or two on his knees belbre the king iu his privy chamber,* 
but without prevailing on lieury to give up his design. W olsey, 

1 Tho love she bare even to tbe queen whom she served, that was also a personage of great 
virtue. Wjatt, Mem.of A Ji.p. 4;i8. ^ lliid. » Whose persuasion to 

the contrary, made to the l;iij|{ upon hit kneei. Caveuduh, p. 'Mi- i ibid, p- V88. 

bilney's preaching. 275 

persuaded that if he continued openly to oppose Henry's will, he 
would for ever lose his confidence, dissembled his vexation, 
■waiting an opportunity to get rid of this unfortunate rival by 
some intrigue. He began by vrriting to the pope, informing 
him that a young lady, brought up by the queen of Navarre, 
and consequently tainted by the Lutheran heresy, had captivated 
the kind's heart; ^ and from that hour Anne Boleyn became the 
object of the hatred and calumnies of Rome. But at the same 
time, to conceal his intentions, Wolsey received Henry at a series 
of splendid entertainments, at which Anne outshone all the ladies 
of the court. 


Bilney'B Preaching — His arrest — Arthur's Preaching and Imprisonment 
— Bilney's Examination — Contest between the Judge and the Pris- 
oner — Bilney's weakness and Pall — His Terrors — Two Wants — Ar- 
rival of the Fourth Edition of the New Testament— Joy among the 

While these passions were agitating Henry's palace, the most 
moving scenes, produced by Christian faith, were stirring the ' 
nation. Bilney, animated by that courage whicb God sometimes 
gives to the weakest men, seemed to have lost his natural timi- 
dity, and preached for a time with an energy quite apostolic. 
He taught that all men should first acknowledge their sins and 
condemn them, and then hunger and thirst after that righteous- 
ness which Jesus Christ gives.'^ To this testimony borne to the 
truth, he added his testimony against error. " These five hun- 
dred years," he added, *' there bath been no good pope; and in 
all the times past we can find but fifty : for they have neither 
preached nor lived well, nor conformably to their dignity; 
wherefore, unto this day, they have borne the keys of sim- 
ony." ^ 

As soon as he descended from the pulpit, this pious scholar, 
with his friend Arthur, visited the neighbouring towns and 

1 Meteren. Hist, of the Low Conntri.i, folio. iO. 2 Ct omnes primum pece»ta 

MM agiioscaiit et damuent, deinde esuriaiit et sitiant jastitiam ilUm. Foxe, It, p. 634- 
S Ibid. p. e/7. 



villages. "The Jews and Saracens would long ago have be- 
come believers," he once said at Wilsdown, "had it not been 
for the idolatry of Christian men in offering candles, wax, and 
money to stocks and stones." One day when he visited Ipswich, 
where there was a Franciscan convent, he exclaimed: "The 
cowl of St. Francis wrapped round a dead body hath no power 
to take away sins. , . . Ecce agnus Dei qui tollit peccaia 
mundi" (John i, 29.) The poor monks, who were little versed 
in Scripture, had recourse to the Almanac to convict the Bible 
of error. " St. Paul did rightly affirm," said Friar John Brusi- 
erd, '' that there is but one mediator of God and man, because ' 
as yet there was no saint canonized or put into the calendar." — 
"Let us ask of the Father in the name of the Son," rejoined 
Bilney, "and he will give unto us." — "You are always speaking 
of the Father and never of the samts," replied the friar; " you 
are like a man who has been looking so long upon the sun that 
he can see nothing else.''^ As he uttered these words the monk 
seemed bursting with anger. " If I did not know that the saints 
would take everlasting vengeance upon you, I would surely with 
these nails of mine be your death." ' Twice in fact did two 
monks pull him out of his pulpit. He was arrested and taken 
to London. 

Arthur, instead of fleeing, began to visit the flocks which his 
friend had converted. "Good people," said be, "if I should 
suffer persecution for the preaching of the Gospel, there are 
seven thousand more that would preach it as I do now. There- 
fore, good people! good people!" (and he repeated these words 
several times in a sorrowful voice) " think not that if these 
tj-rants and persecutors put a man to death, the preaching of 
the Gospel therefore is to be forsaken. Every Christian man, 
yea every layman, is a priest. Let our adversaries preach by 
the authority of the cardinal; others by the authority of the 
university; others by the pope's; we will preach by the authority 
of God. It is rot the man who brings the word that saves the 
soul, but the word which the man brings. Neither bishops nor 
popes have the right to forbid any man to preach the Gospel; ^ and 
if they kill him he is not a heretic but a martyr," * The priests 
were horrified at such doctrines. In their opinion, there was no 
God out of their church, no salvation out of their sacrifices. 
Arthur was thrown into the same prison as Bilney. 

On the 27th of No\embcr 161:7 the cardinal and the arch- 

1 FoM iv. p. (H9. S Ibid. p. GiO- J Ibid- p. 62i « CoUjert 

Churcn UUtory. Tol. ii, p 26. 


ILshop of Canterbury, with a great number of bishops, divines, 
d lawyers, met in the chapter-house of AYestminster, when 
j^ilnej and Arthur were brought before them. But the king's 
prime minister thought it beneath his dignity to occupy his 
time with miserable heretics. TVolsey had hardly commenced 
the examination, when he rose, saying: ''The affairs of the realm 
ill me away; all such as are found guilty, you will compel 
. aem to abjure, and those who rebel you will deliver over to the 
secular power." After a few questions proposed by the bishop 
of London, the two accused men were led back to prison. 

Abjuration or death — that was Wolsey's order. But the 
conduct of the trial was confided to Tonstall; Bilney conceived 
some hope.^ " Is it possible," he said to himself, '* that the 
bishop of London, the friend of Erasmus, will gratify the monks? 
. . . . I must tell him that it was the Greek Testament of 
his learned master that led me to the faith." Upon which the 
humble evangelist having obtained paper and ink, set about 
writing to the bishop from his gloomy prison those admirable 
letters which have been transmitted to posterity. Tonstall, who 
•was not a cruel man, was deeply moved, and then a strange 
struggle took place: a judge wishing to save the prisoner, the 
prisoner de iring to give up his lite. Tonstall, by acquitting 
Bilney, had no desire to compromise himself. '' Submit to the 
church," said the bishop, " for God speaks only through it." 
But Bilney, who knew that God speaks in the Scriptures, re- 
mained ii.flexible. "Very well, then," said Tonstall, taking up 
the prisoner "s eloquent letters, "in discharge of my conscience I 
shall lay these letters before the court." He hoped, perhaps, 
that they wouli touch his colleagues, but he was deceived. Me 
determined, therefore, to make a Iresh attempt. On the 4:th 
of December, Bilney was brought again be:bre the court. "Ab- 
jure your errors," said Tonstall. Bilney refusing by a shake of 
the head, the bishop continued: "Retire into the next room 
and consider." Bduey withdrew, and returning shortly after 
with joy beaming in his eyes, Tonstall thought he had gained 
the victory. " You will return to the church, then?" said he. 
. . . The doctor answered calmly: "Fiat Judicium in no- 
mine Domini." ^ "Be quick," continued the bishop, " this is the 
last moment, and you will be condemned." "Moec est dies quam 
fecit IJominus/' answered Bilney, " exuUemus d lodemur in ea!" 

1 In Ulem nunc me jndicem incidUse graJulor. (Fcxe, iv, p 633-) Xow I coDgratriUta 
mjscli th.1'. 1 tuv« IkiUn intu the tuada of sach a jadfe. 2 jaJ«;meat be dune 

is Ui« name of the ix>rd. 



(Psalm cxviii, 24). Upon this Tonstall took off his cap, and 
^i^: " In nomine Patris d Filii et Sinritus Sancti. . . . . 
Eocsurgat Deus et dissipentur inimid ejus!" (Ps, Ixviii, 1). 
Then making the sign of the cross on his forehead and on hij 
breast, he gave judgment: "Thomas Bilnej, I pronounce thee 
convicted of heresy/"' He was about to name the penalty. . 
. . . a last hope restrained him; he stopped: "For the rest 
of the sentence we take deliberation until to-morrow." Thus 
was the struggle prolonged between two men, one of whom de- 
sired to walk to the stake, the other to bar the way as it were, 
with his own body. 

" "Will you return to the unity of the church?" asked Tonstall 
the next day. " I hope I was never separated from the church," 
answered Bilney. '' Go and consult with some of your friends," 
said the bishop, who was resolved to save his life; "I will give 
you till one o'clock in the afternoon." In the afternoon Bilney 
made the same answer. "I will give you two nights' respite 
to deliberate," said the bishop; " ou Saturday at nine o'clock in 
the forenoon, the court will expect a plain definitive answer." 
Tonstall reckoned on the night with its dreams, its anguish, and 
its terrors, to bring about Bilney's recantation. 

'Ihis extraordinary struggle occupied many minds both in 
court and city. Anne loicvn and Henry VHI watched with 
interest the various phases of t..;^ tragic history. What will 
happen? was the general question. Will he give way? Shall we 
see him live or die? One day and two nights still remained; 
everything was tried to shake the Cambridge doctor. His friends 
crowded to his prison; he was overwhelmed with arguments and 
examples; but an inward struggle, far more terrible than 
those without, agitated the pious Bilney. " Whoever will save 
Ms soul shall lose it," Christ had said. That selfish love of his 
soul, which is found even in the advanced Christian,— that self, 
which after his conversion had been not absorbed, but over- 
ruled by the Spirit of God, gradually recovered strength in his 
heart, in the presence of disgrace and death. His friends who 
wished to save him, not understanding that the fallen Bilney 
would be Bilney no longer, conjured him with tears to have pity 
on himself; and by these means his firmness was overcome. The 
bishop pressed him, and Bilney asked himself: " Can a young 
soldier like me know the rules of war better than an old soldier 
like Tonstall? Or can a poor silly sheep know his way to the 
Ibid better than the chief pastor of London?" ^ His friends 

> Foxe, iv. p. 

bilsey's falx. 279 

quitted him neither night nor day, and entangled by their fetal 
affection, he believed at last that he had found a compromise 
which would set his conscience at rest. " 1 will preserve my 
life," he said, " to dedicate it to the Lord." This delusion had 
scarcely laid hold of his mind before his views were confused, 
his faith was vailed, the Holy Ghost departed fix)m him, God 
gave him over to his carnal thoughts, and under the pretext of 
being useful to Jesus Christ for many years, Bilney disobeyed 
him at the present moment. Being led before the bishops on 
the morning of Saturday the 7th of December, at nine o'clock, 

he fell.- (Arthxir had fallen before him), and whUst the false 

friends who had misled him hardly dared raise their eyes, the 
living church of Christ in England uttered a cry of anguish. 
" If ever you come in danger," said Latimer, " for God's quarrel, 
I would advise you, above all things, to abjure all your friend- 
ships; leave not one unabjured. It is they that shall undo you, 
and not your enemies. It was his very friends that brought 
JBilney to it." ^ 

On the following day (Sunday, 8th December) Bilney was 
placed at the head of a procession, and the fallen disciple, bare- 
headed, with a fagot on his shoulders, stood in front of St. 
Paul's cross, while a priest from the pulpit exhorted him to re- 
pentance; after which he was led back to prison. 

V.'hat a solitude for the wretched man! At one time the 
cold darkness of his ceil appeared to him as a burning fire; at 
another he fancied he heard accusing voices crying to Mm in 
the silence of the night. Death, the very enemy he had wished 
to avoid, fixed his icy glance upon him and filled him with fear. 
He strove tu escape from the horrible spectre, but in vain. 
Then the friends who had dragged him into this abyss, crowded 
round and endeavoured to console him; but if they gave utter- 
ance to any of Christ's gentle promises, Bdney started back with 
afeight and shrank to the farthest part of the dungeon, with a 
cry '• as though a man had ruu him through the heart with a 
sworJ." 2 Having denied the word of God, he could no longer 
endure to hear it. The curse of the Apocalypse : Ye jnountains, 
hide me /rom the wrath of tJie Lamb.' was the only passage of 
Scripture in harmony witii his souL His mind wandered, the 
blood froze in his veins, he sank un ier his terrors; he lost aU 
senso^ and almost his life, and lay motionless in the :;rms of his 
astonished friends. " God," exclaimed those unhappy individuals 
<who had caused his faU, " God, by a just judgment, delivers 

1 Latimer's Somans (I'wker Sodetj), p. 22. 3 Ibid. 


up to the tempests of their conscience all who deny his- 

This was not the only sorrow of the church. As soon as 
Richard Bajrfield, the late chamberlain of Bury, had joined 
Tyndale and Fryth, he said to them: " I am at your disposal j. 
you shall be ray head and I will be your hand; I will sell your 
books and those of the Grerman reformers in the Low Countries, 
France, and England." It was not long indeed before he re- 
turned to London. But Pierson, the priest whom he had 
formerly met in Lombard Street, found him again, and accused 
him to the bishop. The unhappy man was brought before 
Tonstall. " You are charged," said the prelate, " with having, 
asserted that praise is due to God alone, and not to saints or 
creatures." -^ Bayfield acknowledged the charge to be true. 
" You are accused of maintainitig that every priest may preach 
the word of God by the authority of the Gospel without the 
license of the pope or cardinals." This also Bayfield acknow- 
ledged. A penance was imposed on him; and then he was sent 
back to his monastery with orders to show himself there on the 
2oth of April. But he crossed the sea once more, and hastened 
to join Tyndale. 

The New Testaments, however, sold by him and others, re- 
mained in England. At that time the bishops subscribed to 
suppress the Scriptui'es, as so many persons have since done to 
circulate them; and, accordingly, a great number of the copies 
brought over by Bayfield and his friends were brought up.^ A 
scarcity of food was erelong added to the scarcity of the word 
of God; for as the cardinal was endeavouring to foment a war 
between Henry and the emperor, the Flemish ships ceased to 
enter the English ports. It was in consequence of this that the 
lord mayor and aldermen of Loudon hastened to express their 
apprehensions to ^Volsey almost before he had recovered from 
the fatigues of his return from France. " Fear nothing," he 
told them; " the king of France assured me, that if he had 
tl>iee bushels of wheat, England should have two of them." 
But none arrived, and the people were on the point of breaking 
:»ut into violence, when a fleet of ships suddenly appeared off 
the mouth of the Thames. They were German and F'lemisL 
vessels laden with corn, in which the worthy people of the Low. 
Countries had also concealed the New Testament, An Antwerp, 
bookseller, named John Raimond or Ruremond, from his birtk- 

1 Thttt all laud luid praise Bhould be siven to God aluue- Jt'oxe, iv, p- CSi- 
3 Andersuu, Aiimdi of the iiibU, >• p. 198- 


LiCe, had printed a fourth edition more beautiful than the 
vious ones. It was enriched with references and engravings 
. wood, and each page bordered with red lines. Fiaimond 
-jself had embarked on board one of the ships with five hun- 
-d copies of his Xew Testament.'^ About Christmas 1527, 
J book of God was circulated in England along with the 
. ad that nourishes the body. But certain priests and monks 
ving discovered the Scriptures among the sacks of corn, they 
carried ceverai copies to the bishop of London, who threw Rai- 
mond into prison. The greater part, however, of the new 
e-iition escaped him. The New Testament was read everywhere, 
and even the court did not escape the contagion. Anne Boleyn, 
notwithstanding her smiling face, often withdrew to her closet 
at Greenwich or at Hampton Court, to study the GospeL 
Frank, courageous, and proud, she did not conceal the pleasure 
she found in such reading; her boldness astonished the courtiers, 
and exasperated the clergy. In the city things went stiU 
farther: the New Testament was explained in frequent conven- 
ticles, particularly in the house of one RusseU, and great was 
the joy among the faithful. " It is sufficient only to enter 
London," said the priests, *'' to become a heretic 1" Ihe Relbr- 
mation was taking root among the people before it arrived at 
the upper classes. 


The Papacy intercepts the Gospel — The King consults Sir Thomas 
More — Ecclesiastical Conferences about the Divorce — The Univer- 
sities—Clark- The Xun of Kent — Wolsey decides to do the king's 
Will — Mission to the Pope — Four Documents — Embarrassment of 
Charles V — Francis Philip at iladrid — Distress and Resolution of 
Charles — He turns away from the Reformation — Conference at the 
Castle of St. Angelo — Knight arrives in Italy — His Flight — Treaty 
between the Pope and the Emperor — Escape of the Pope — Confu- 
sion of Heniy VllI — Wolsey's Orders— His Entreaties. 

The sun of the word of God, which daily grew brighter io- 
the sky of the sixteenth century, was sufficient to scatter all 
the darkness in England; but popery, like an immense wall, in- 
tercepted its rays. Britain had hardly receiyed the Scripture* 

1 FoxcT,p.2»> 


in Grreek and Latin, and then in English, before the priests be- 
gan to make war upon them with indefatigable zeal. It was 
necessary that the wall should be thrown down in order that the 
sun might penetrate freely among the Anglo-Saxon people. And 
new events were ripening in England, destined to make a great 
breach in popery. The negotiations of Henry VlII with Cle- 
ment VII play an important part in the Eeformation By 
showing up the Court of Rome, they destroyed the respect which 
the people felt for it; they took away that power and strength 
as Scripture says, which the monarchy had given it; and the 
throne of the pbpe once fallen in England, Jesus Christ uplifted 
and strengthened his own. 

Eenry, ardently desiring an heir, and thinking that he had 
found the woman that would ensure his own and England's 
happiness, conceived the design of severing the ties that united 
iim to the queen, and with this view he consulted bis most 
favourite councillors about the divorce. There was one in par- 
ticular whose approval he coveted: this was Sir Thomas More. 
One day as Erasmus's friend was walking with his master in the 
beautiful gallery at Hampton Court, giving him an account of 
•a mission he had just executed on the continent, the kinf sud- 
denly interrupted him : " My marriage to the queen," he said, 
*•' is contrary to the laws of Gud, of the church, and of nature." 
He then took up the Bible, and pointed out the passages in his 
favour.^ " I am not a theologian," said More, somewhat em- 
barrassed; '•' your majesty should consult a council of doctors. 

Accordingly, by Henry's order, "Warham assembled the most 
learned canonists at Hampton Court; but weeks passed away 
before they could agree." Most of them quoted in the kind's 
favour those passages in Leviticus (xviii, lG;xx, 21,) which fur- 
bid a man to take his brother's wife? But Fisher, bishop of 
Eochcster, and the other opponents of t he divorce, replied tliat, 
according to Deuteronomy (xxv, u,) when a woman is leit a 
widow wit:. out children, her brother-in-law ought to take her 
to wife, to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel. " This law 
concerned the Jews only," replied the partisans of the divorce; 
they added that its object was " to maintain the inheritances 
distinct, and the genealogies intact, until the coming of Christ. 
The Juduicul dispensation has passed away; but ti.e law o^ 

1 Laid the Bible open 'before met and shoired me the words. More to Cromwell, Strjpe, 
i. 2nd pttrt, p- 197. ■ 2 Consiiltingfrom day today, and time to time, Cavcudish, 

\t-'^'^- 3 Exhis doctoribuiiasseiiturquod I'apa noii pute^t (lispcDgore in prima 

Kradu ai&uitutis- (Uurnet's llel'orm., ii. Ue^ords, p. 8 . Lond- 18a.) Hy thise doctors it 
4* auerted that the Pope ii not able to ffraut a diBpensatiou in the lirst degree of affiuity. 

Clarke's OBJBcnoir. 283 

LeTiticus, whicK is a moral law, b binding upon all men ia all 

To free themselves from their embarrassment, the bishops 
demanded that the most eminent universities should be con- 
sulted; and commissioners were forthwith despatched to Oxford, 
Cambridge, Paris, Orleans, Toulouse, Louvain, Padua, and Bo- 
logna, furnished with money to reward the foreign doctors for 
the time and trouble this question would cost them. This 
-caused some little delay, and every means was now to be tried 
to divert the king from his purpose. 

TTolsey, who was the first to suggest the idea of a divorce, 
■was now thoroughly alarmed. It appeared to him that a nod 
from the daughter of the Boleyns would hurl him from the post 
he had so laboriously won, and this made him vent his ill-humoui- 
on all about him, at one time threatening Warham, and at 
another periGcutiog Pace. But fearing to oppose Henry openly, 
he summoned from Paris, Clarke, bishop of Bath and Wells, at 
that time ambassador to the French court. The latter entered 
into his views, and alter cautiously preparing the way, he 
ventured to say to the king: ''The progress of the inquiry will 
be so slow, yoiu" majest}-, that it will take more than seven 
jears to bring it to an endl" — *• Since my patience has already 
held out for eighteen years," the king replied coldly, "1 am will- 
ing to wait^ar or five more."^ 

As the pohtical party had failed, the clerical party set in 
motion a scheme of another kind. A young woman, Elizabeth 
Barton, known as the holy maid of Kenc, had been subject from 
•childhood to epileptic hts. The priest of her parish, named 
Iklasters, had persuaded her that she was inspired of God, and 
coulederating with one Booking, a monk of Canterbury, he 
turned the weakness of the prophetess to account. Elizabeth 
wandered over the country, passing from house to house, and 
from convent to convent; on a sudden her hmbs would become 
rigid, her features distorted; violent convulsions shook her body, 
and strange uninteUigible sounds iell from her lips, which the 
amazed by-standers received as revelations from the Virgin and 
the saints. Fisher, bishop of Rochester, Abel, the queen's 
ecclesiastical agent, and even Sir Thomas More, were among the 
jiumber of Elizabeth's partisans. Rumours of the divorce hav- 
ing reached the sauit's ears, an angel commanded her to appear 
before the cardinal. As soon as she stood in his presence, the 
•colour fled from her cheeks, her limbs trembled, and lalhng into 

I Since his {tatieuce lud alie&dy held oat lor eigUeea jean. CoUjcr, u. p. 2i. 


an ecstasy, she exclaimed: '-Cardinal of York, God has placed 
three swords in your hand: the spiritual sword, to range the 
church under the authority of the pope; the civil sword, to 
govern the realm; and the sword of justice, to prevent the di- 
vorce of the king Ifyou do not wield these three swords 

faithfully, God will lay it sore to your charge." ^ After these 
■words the prophetess withdrew. 

But other influences were then dividing Wolsey's breast: 
hatred, which induced him to oppose the divorce; and ambition, 
which foreboded his ruin in this opposition. At last ambition 
prevailed, and he resolved to make his objections forgotten by 
the energy of his zeal. 

Henry hastened to profit by this change. "Declare the 
divorce yourself," said he to Wolsey, "has not the pope named 
you his vicar-general."^ The cardinal was not anxious to raise 
himself so high. " If I were to decide the affair," said he, " the 
queen would appeal to the pope; we must therefore either apply to 
the holy father for special powers, or persuade the queen to retire 
to a nunnery. And if we fail in either of these expedients, 
■we will obey the voice of conscience, even in despite of the 
pope."^ It was arranged to begin with the more regulnr 
attempt, and Gregory Da Casale, secretary Knight, and t ;a 
piothonotary Gambara, were appointed to an extraordinary 
mission at the pontifical court. Casale was Wolsey's man, and 
Knight was Henry's. Wolsey told the envoys: "You will 
demand of the pope, Istly, a commission authorizing me to in- 
quii-e into this matter; 2ndly, his promise to pronounce the 
nullity of Catherine's marriage with iienry, if we should find 
that her marriage with Arthur was consummated; and 'drdbj, a 
dispensation permitting the king to marry ag;uu." In this 
manner Wolsey hoped to make sure of the divorce without 
damaging the papal authority. It was insinuated that false 
representations, with regard to the consummation of the first 
marriage, had been sent from England to Julius II, which had 
induced the pontifi" to permit the second. The pope beinf 
deceived as to the fact, his infallibility was untouched. Wolsey 
desired something more; knowing that no confidence could be 
put in the good faith of the pontifi) he demanded a fourth in- 
strument by which the pope should bind himself never to recoil 

1 Strype, vol. i- part i. p. 279- « When Napoleon, from simiUr motives, desired to 

■eparate from Josephine, fenring the unwillinKncss of the pope (iia llcury UiU), he eutertaiu- 
ed, like him, the design of doini; without the poutiif, and of getting bis muriia^e annulled 
bjf the French bishops. As he was more powerful, he succeeded. ^ Quid possit clau^ 

fieri quoad lotum couscieulia:. Collyer, ii . p. 1'1> 



tne other three; he only forgot to take precautions in case Clement 

should withdraw iJie fourth. "With these four snares, skilfully 

mbined," said the cardinal, ^'1 shall catch the hare; if he 

apes from one, he will fall into the other." The courtiers 

LDticipated a speedy termination of the afiair. Was not the 

emperor the declared enemy of the pontiff? Had not Henry, 

on the contra'-y, made \ixax?j^i protector of tlie Clementine league? 

Could Clement hesitate, when called upon, to choose between 

^ jailor and his benefactor? 

Indeed, Charles V, at this moment, was in a very embarrass- 

_' position. It is true, his guards were posted at the gates of 

castle of St. Angelo, where Clement was a prisoner, and 

- pie in Rome said to one another with a smUe: " Now indeed 

it is true, Fapa non potest errarc"^ But it was not possible to 

keep the pope a prisoner in Rome; and then what was to be 

done with him? Tbe viceroy of ^'aples proposed to Alcrcon, 

the governor of St. Angeio, to remove Clement to Gaeta* but 

the afeighted colonel exclaimed : " Heaven forbid that I should 

drag alter me the very body of God!" Charles thought one 

time of transporting the pontiff to Spain; but might not an 

enemy's fleet carry him off on the road? The pope in prison 

was far more embarrassing to Charles than the pope at 


It was at this critical time that Francis Philip, Queen Cath- 
erine's servant, having escaped the snares laid by Henry VIH 
and W olsoy, arrived at Madrid, where he passed a whole day in 
conference with Charles V. This prince was at first astonished, 
shocked even, by the designs of the king of England. The 
curse of God seemed to hang over his house. His mother was 
a lunatic; his sister of Denmark expelled from her dominions; 
his sister of Hungary made a widow by the battle of Mohacz; 
the Turks were encroaching upon his lerritoriesj Luutrec was 
victorious in Italy, and the catholics, irritated by the pope's 
captivity, detested his ambition. This was not cuuugh. Henry 
VllI was etriving to divorce his aunt, and the pope uoiJdnatur- 
aUy give his old to this criminal design. Ctiaries must choose 
between tue pontiff and the king. 'I he frieniisaip of the kinc 
of England might aid him in breaking the league formed to 
expel him Italy, and by sac.ificing Cathcr.iie ho would be 
sure to ohtaiu his support; but placed t>etvveeu ruasuus of state 
and his aunt's honom-, the emperor did not husiute; ue even re- 
Jiounccd certain projects of rclorm tuat he had at ueart. He 

' lue i'«pe cuu;ui err.— • jjUy upon Uie doable m&uiiii^ of itie Wura «< T,xTt. 


suddenly decided for the pope, aud from that very hour followed 
a new course. 

Charles, who possessed great discernment, had understood his 
age; he had seen that concessions were called for by the move- 
ment of the human mind, and would have desired to carry out 
the change from the middle ages to modern times by a care- 
fully managed transition. He had consequently demanded a 
council to reform the church and weaken the Romish dominion 
iu Europe. But very different was the result. If Charles, 
turned away from Henry, he was obliged to turn towards Cle- 
ment; and after having compelled the head of the church to 
enter a prison, it was necessary to place him once more upon 
the throne. Charles V sacrificed the interests of Christian' 
society to the interests of his own family. This divorce, whick 
in England has been looked upon as the ruin of the popedom,, 
was what saved it in continental Europe. 

But how could the emperor win the heart of the pontiff, filled 
as it was with bitterness and anger? He selected for this 
difficult mission a friar of great ability, De Angelis, general of 
the Spanish Observance, and ordered him to proceed to the 
castle of St. Angelo under the pretext of negotiating the libera- 
tion of the holy father. The cordelier was conducted to the 
strongest part of the fortress, called the Rock, where Clement 
was lodged; and the two priests brought all their craft to bear 
on each other. The monk, assisted by the artful Moncade, 
adroitly mingled together the pope's deliverance and Catherine's 
marriage. Ho affirmed that the emperor wished to open the 
gates of the pontiff's prison, and had already given the order; ^ 
and then he added immediately: " The emperor is determined 
to maintain the rights of his aunt, and will never consent to the 
divorce."- — ''If you are a good shepherd to me," wrote Charles 
to the pope with his own hand on the 22nd of November, " 1 
will be a yood sheep to you." Clement smiled as he read these 
words; he understood his position; the emperor had need of the 
priest, Charles was at his captive's feet; Clement was saved! 
The divorce was a rope fallen from the skies which could not 
I'ail to drag him out of the pits; he had only to cling to it quietly 
in order to reascend his throne. Accordingly from that hour 
Clement appeared less eager to quit the castle than Charles to 
liberate him. " So long as the divorce is in suspense," thought 
the crafty De' Medici, " 1 have two great friends; but as soou 

I La Cn.'«aiea Majesta si come grandainente dcsidera la liberatioue de mstro nignor, cosi 
tfflcaccmente la maiida- Cupituli, etc. Le Grand, iii. p. 48- 2 Xli»t ia auywue he 

■bgiUd uot coBMDt to the aaue. State I'apen, vol. vii. p. ii. 


as I declare for one, I shall have a mortal enemy in the other/* 
lie promised the monk to come to no decision in the matter 
V. itliout informing the emperor. 

Meantime Knight, the envoy of the impatient monarch, hav- 
ing heard, as he crossed the Alps, that the pope was at liberty, 
hastened on to Parma, where he met Gambara: "He is not 
free yet," replied the prothonotary; '• but the general of the 
1 .anciscans hopes to terminate hLs captivity in a few days.^ 
tinue your journey," he added. Knight could not do so 
....liout great danger. He was told at Foligno, sixty miles from 
the metropolis, that if he had not a safe-conduct he could not 
reach Rome without exposing his life; Knight halted. Just 
then a messenger from Henry brought him despatches more 
pressing than ever; Knight started again with one servant and 
a guide. At !Monte Eotondo he was nearly murdered by the 
inhabitants; but on the next day (25 th November), protected 
by a violent storm of wind and rain,* Henry's envoy entered 
Rome at ten o'clock without being observed, and kept himself 

It was impossible to speak with Gement, for the emperor's 
ordfers were positive. Knight, therefore, began to practise upon 
the cardinals; he gained over the Cardinal of Pisa, by whose 
means his despatches were laid before the pontiff. Clement 
after reading them laid them down with a smile of satisfaction.* 
" Good!" said he, "here is the other coming to me now!" But. 
night had hardly closed in before the Cardinal of Pisa's secre- 
tary hastened to Knight and told him: "Don Alercon is 
informed of your arrival; and the pope entreats you to depart 
immediately." This officer had scarcely lefl him, when the 
prothonotary Gambara arrived in great agitation: "His holi- 
ness presses you to leave; as soon as he is at liberty, he will 
attend to your master's request." Two hours after this, two 
hundred Spanish soldiers arrived, surrounded the house ia 
which Knight had concealed himself, and searched it from top 
to bottom, but to no purpose; the English agent had escaped.* 

Knight's safety was not the true motive which induced Cle- 
ment to urge his departure. The very day on which the pope 
received the message from the king of England, he signed a 

1 Quod spenbat intra paacos dies aoferre ease Sanctitati aqoalorem et tenebnts. (Stat« 
Papers, vol- vii. p- 13.) Uecause he hoptd that within a few days the miserable captivity of 
his Holiness wuuld be terminated. ^ Veari trobeloos with wynde and rayne, and 

therelore more mete for tur voyage. Ibid- p. 16, ^ Kepoaed the tame saofly, . 

as Gambara showed unto me. ibid- p. 17. ♦ I was not pasjed out of Home, by 

the r.pace of two houTB, ere two hundred Spaniards invaded and searched the houa«. Burnet, 
Bocordf , ii- p. U. 



treaty with Charles V, restoring him, under certain conditions, 
to both his powers. At the same time the pontiff, for greater 
security., pressed the French general Lautrec to hasten his march 
to Rome in order to save him from the hands of the emperor. 
Clement, a disciple of Machiavelli, thus gave the right hand to 
Charles and the left to Francis; and as he had not another for 
Henry, he made him the most positive promises. Each of the 
three princes could reckon on the pope's friendship, and on the 
same grounds. 

The 10th of December (1527) was the day on which Clem- 
ent's imprisonment would terminate; but he preferred owing 
his freedom to intrigue rather than to the emperor's generosity. 
He therefore procured the dress of a tradesman, and, on the 
evening before the day fixed for his deliverance, his ward being 
already much relaxed, he escaped from the castle, and, accom- 
panied only by Louis of Gonzago in his flight, he made his way 
to Orvieto. 

While Clement was experiencing all the joy of a man just 
escaped from prison, Henry was a prey to the most violent agi- 
tation. Having ceased to love Catherine, he persuaded himself 
that he was the victim of his father's ambition, a martyr to 
duty, and the champion of conjugal sanctity. His very gait 
betrayed his vexation, and even among the gay conversation of 
the court, deep sighs would escape from his bosom. He had 
frequent interviews with ^Volsey. " 1 regard the safety of ray 
soul above all things," ^ he said; " but 1 am concerned also for 
the peace of my kingdom. For a long while an unceasing re- 
morse has been gnawing. at my conscience,' and my thoughts 
dwell upon my marriage with unutterable sorrow:^ God, in his 
wrath, lias taken away my sons, and if 1 persevere in this un- 
lawful union, he will visit me with siill uioro terrible chastise- 
ments.* My only hope is in the holy lather. " Wolsey replied 
with a low bow: "Please your majesty,! am occupied with 
this business, as if it were ray only means of winning heaven." 

And indeed he redoubled his exertions, iin wrote to Sir 
Gregory Da Casale on the 5th of December (16J7): ** You will 
procure an audience of the pope at any prije. Disguise your- 
self, appear belbre him as the servant of some nobleman,^ or as 
a messenger Irom the duke of Fcrrara. (Scatter money pleuti- 

1 Dcomciue primo et ante omnia ac animso sua quietem et salutem respiciens- 13urnet',-i 
Kefjimmioii, ii. Uccurds p.vii. ^ Lona;o jam tuin pore uiumo sujb cooicieutis re- 

naorau. lliid. 3 liiKentl cum inolcstia corJisquo ptrturOati.iUe. Ibid- 

♦ Ur.iviu»|ue a Deo supplicium oxpavescit. Ibid- p- viii- 6 MiiUto liabitu e( 

UiKiaain uiieujus miuisttr. (luiii-J i'he dress buiuu cliauied, and as U lomebody'a servant. 

wolset's alteukative. 280 

folly: sacrifice every tting, provided you procure a secret inter- 
view with his holiness; ten thousand ducats are at your disposal. 
You will explain to Clement the king's scruples, and the neces- 
aty of providing for the continuance of his house and the peace 
of his kingdom. You will tell him that in order to restore him 
to liberty, the king is ready to declare war against the emperor, 
and thus show himself to all the world to be a true son of the 

Wolsey saw clearly that it was esential to represent the 
divorce to Clement VII, as a means likely to secure the safety 
of the popedom. The cardinal, therefore, wrote again to Da 
CJasale on the 6th of December: "Night and day, I revolve in 
my mind the actual condition of the church,^ and seek the 
means best calculated to extricate the pope from the gulf into 
which he has fallen. While I was turning these thoughts over 
in my mind during a sleepless night . . . one way suddenly 
occurred to me. I said to myself, the king must be prevailed 
upon to undertake the defence of the holy father. This was no 
€asy matter, for his majesty is strongly attached to the emperor;* 
however, I set about my task. I told the king that his holiness 
was ready to satisfy him; I staked my honour; 1 succeeded. . 
To save the pope, my master will sacrifice his treasures, subjects, 
kingdom, and even his life.^ ... I therefore conjure his 
holiness to entertain our just demand." 

Never before had such pressing entreaties been made to a 


The English Envoys at Orvieto— Their Oration to the Pope— Clement 
gains Time — The Envoys and Cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor — Strata- 
gem of the Pope — Knight discovers it and returns — The Transforma- 
tions of Antichrist — 'i he English obtain a new Document — Fresh 
Stratagem — Demand of a second Cardinal-legate — The Pope's new 
Expedient — End of the Campaign. 

The envoys of the king of England appeared in the character 
of the saviours of Rome. This was doubtless no stratagem; and 

1 Diuqne ac noctu mrnt* volvens qno facto. (State Papers, vol- vii, p. 18.) Day ar.d night 

rerolviib! in mj mind the state of mattera. 2 Adeo teuacit«r Casari adhaerebat 

flbid.) He sUU adhered closelj to Caaar- 3 Laqae ad mortem. (Ibid- p- 19. 
Eyen to death. 

46 X 


Wolsey probably regarded tbat thought as coming from heaven^ 
which had visited him during the weary sleepless night. The- 
zeal of his agents increased. The pope was hardly set at liberty^ 
before Knight and Da Casale appeared at the foot of the preci- 
pitous rock on which Orvieto is built, and demanded to be in- 
troduced to Clement VII. Nothing could be more compromising 
to the pontiff than such a visit. How could he appear on good 
terms with England, when Rome and all his states were still in 
the hands of Catherine's nephew? The pope's mind was utterly 
bewildered by the demand of the two envoys. He recovered 
however; to reject the powerful hand extended to him by Eng- 
land, was not without its danger; and as he well knew how to 
bring a difficult negotiation to a successful conclusion, Clement 
regained confidence in his skill, and gave orders to introduce 
Henry's ambassador's. 

Their discourse was not without eloquence. " Never was the 
church in a more critical position," said they. "The unmeas- 
ured ambition of the kings who claim to dispose of spiritual 
affairs at their own pleasure (this was aimed at Charles V) holds- 
the apostolical bark suspended over an abyss. The only port 
open to it in the tempest is the favour of the august prince- 
whom we represent, and who has always been the shield of the 
faith. Butj alas! this monarch, the impregnable bulwark of" 
your holiness, is himself the prey of tribulations almost equal to 
your own. His conscience torn by remorse, his crown without 
an heir, his kingdom without security, his people exposed once- 
more to perpetual disorders. . . . Nay, the whole Christian 
world given up to the most cruel discord.^ . . . Such are 
the consequences of a fatal union which God has marked with 
his displeasure. . . There are also," they added in a lower 
tone, "certain things of which his majesty cannot speak in his 
letter . . . certain incurable disorders under which the 
queen suffers, which will never permit the king to look upon her 
again as his wife.'^ If your holiness puts an end to such wretch- 
edness by annulling his unlawful marriage, you will attach his 
majesty by an indissoluble bond. Assistance, riches, armies,, 
crown, and even life — the king our master is ready to employ 
all in the sei-vice of Home. He stretches out his han'd to you, 
most holy father . . . stretch out yours to him; by your 
union the church will be saved, and Europe will be saved with 

1 Discordiae cnidelissimn per omnem chrialiaoam orbem. State I'aperg. vol. vU, p. IS- 

2 Noiiuulla Buut sccrcta iiD-ii- gecreto expoueuUa et nou cred«ud*icriplia . • . • ob morbos 
B0ui>uik>»<|uibi)8 ubbijue remedio regiua laborat. ibid. 


Clement was cruellj embarrassed. His policy consisted in 
holding the balance between the two princes, and ho was now 
called upon to decide in favour of one of them. He began to 
regret that he had ever received Henry's ambassadors. " Con- 
sider my position," he said to them, '• and entreat the king to 
wait until more favourable events leave me at liberty to act." — • 
""What!" replied Knight proudly, "has not your holiness pro- 
mised to consider his majesty's prayer? If you fail in your pro- 
mise now, how can I persuade the king that you will keep it 
some future day?" ^ Da Casale thought the time had come to 
strike a decisive blow. '•' TVhat evils," he exclaimed, •' what 
inevitable misfortunes your refusal will create! . . . The 
emperor thinks only of depriving the church of its power, and 
the king of England alone has sworn to maintain ic." Thea 
speaking lower, more slowly, and dwelling upon every word, he 
continued: "We fear that his majesty, reduced to such extremi- 
ties ... of the two evUs will choose the least j' and sup- 
ported by the purity of his intentions, will do of his own auiJtO' 
rity . . . what he now so respectfully demands. . 
TYhat should we see then? . . . I shudder at the thought. 
. . . . Let not your holiness indulge in a false security 
which will inevitably drag you into the abyss. . . . Eead 
all . . . remark aU . „, : . divine aU . . . take, 
note of all.^ . . . Most ibly father, this is a question of 
life and death." And Da Casale 's tone said more than his 

Clement understood that a positive refusal would expose him 
to lose England. Placed between Henry and Charles, as be- 
tween the hammer and the forge, he resolved to gain time. 
"Well then," he said to Knight and Da Casale, "I will do; 
"what you ask; but 1 am not familiar with the forms these 

dispensations require I will consult the Cardinal 

Sandcruin Quatuor on the subject . . . and then wiU in- 
form you." 

Knight and Da Casale, wishing to anticipate Clement YU, has- 
tened to Lorenzo Pucci, cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor, and inti- 
mated to him that their master would know how to be grateful. 
The cardinal assured the deputies of his affection for Henry 
VllI, and they, in the fulness of their gratitude, laid before 
him the four documents which they were anxious to get ex&- 

1 rcrfcrra the V remise once broktn. Bnrnet'sKtf-ii, Record*, p.iiii. 2 Ex do- 

obni mtl.i uiiiios niiilum eli^at. State Tapers, rii, p-2ft 3 Ut non gmmat, 

coDtU legere, tt bsne uotore. Ibid, p- 18- 


cuted. But the cardinal had hardly looked at the first — the 
proposal that Wolsey should decide the matter of the divorce 
in England — when he exclaimed: "Impossible ! . . . a 
bull in such terms -would cover with eternal disgrace not only 
his holiness and the king, but even the cardinal of York him- 
self." The deputies were confounded, for Wolsey had ordered 
them to ask the pope for nothing but his signature.^ Recover- 
ing themselves, they rejoined: "All that we require is a com- 
petent commission." On his part, the pope wrote Henry a letter, 
in which he managed to say nothing.^ 

Of the four required documents there were two on whose 
immediate despatch Knight and Da Casale insisted: these were 
the commission to pronounce the divorce, and the dispensation 
to contract a second marriage. The dispensation without the 
commission was of no value; this the pope knew well; accord- 
ingly he resolved to give the dispensation only. It was as if 
Charles had granted Clement when in prison permission to visit 
his cardinals, but denied him liberty to leave the castle of St. 
Angelo. It is in such a manner as this that a religious system 
transformed into a political system has recourse, when it is 
without power, to stratagem. " The commission" said the art- 
ful Medici to Knight, ''must be corrected according to the style 
of our court; but here is the disp)ensation." Knight took the 
document; it was addressed to Henry VIII and ran thus: "We 
accord to you, in case your marriage with Catherine shall be 
declared nuU,^ free liberty to take another wife, provided she 
have not been the wife of your brother. ..." The 
Englishman was duped by the Italian. "To my poor judg- 
ment," he said, '•' this document will bo of use to us." After 
this Clement appeared to concern himself solely about Knight's 
health, and suddenly manifested the greatest interest for him. 
" It is proper that you should hasten your departure," said he, 
" for it is necessary that you sliould travel at your ease. Gam- 
bara will follow you post, and bring the commission." Knight 
thus mystified, took leave of the pope, who got rid of Da Casale 
and Gambara in a similar manner. He then began to breathe 
once more. 'J here was no diplomacy in Europe wliich Home, 
even in its greatest weakness, could not casUy dupe. 

It had now become necessary to elude the commission. While 

1 Alia nulU re esset opus, pisBterquam cju3 Saiictitatis slRnatura- (State Fapera, vii, p. 
29-) There was lued of uo olhtr tluii.; litwUis llie sixiiaiuie ol tiia lioUutsS- 
i Cbarisgiiiic iii t'liristo tili, etc., datnl 7lh DecciiiUir 15.'7. Ibid. p. 27. 
3 Mtttiiiiiuiiium cum Cuihurinu nullum lub^e tt esse decUrttri. Herbert's Uenr; VIII, 



the king's envoys were departing in good spirits, reckoning on 
the document that was to follow them, the general of the Span- 
ish Observance reiterated to the pontiff in every tone : "Be careful 
to give no document authorising the divorce, and above all, do 
not permit this affair to he judged in Henry's states." The 
cardinals drew up the document under the influence of De 
Angelis, and made it a masterpiece of insignificance. If good 
theology ennobles the heart, bad theology, so fertile in 
subtleties, imparts to the mind a skill by no means common; 
and hence the most celebrated diplomatists have often been 
churchmen. The act beiug thus drawn up, the pope despatched 
three copies, to Knight, to Da Casale, and to Gambara. 
Knight was near Bologna when the courier overtook him. 
He was stupefied, and taking post-horses returned with all 
haste to Orvieto. * Gambara proceeded through France to 
England with thfe tiseless dispensation which the pope had 

Knight had thought to meet with more good faith at the 
court of the pope than with kings, and he had been outwitted. 
What would Wolsey and Henry say of his folly? His wounded 
self-esteem began to make him believe all that Tvudale and 
Luther said of the popedom. The former had just published 
the Obedience of a Christian Man, and the Parable of the 
Wicked Mammon, in which he represented Rome as one of the 
transformations of Antichrist. "Antichrist," said he in the latter 
treatise, " is not a man that should suddenly appear with won- 
ders; he is a spiritual thing, who was in the Old Testament, and 
also in the time of Christ and the apostles, and is now, and shall 
(I doubt not) endure till the world's end. His nature is (when 
he is overcome with the Word of God) to go out of the play for 
a season, and to disguise himself, and then to come in again 
■with a new name and new raiment. The Scribes and Pharisees 
in the gospel were very Antichrists; popes, cardinals, and bishops 
have gotten theiir new names, but the thing is all one. Even 
so now, wheu we have uttered [detectedj him, he wiU cJiunget 
himself once more, and turn himself into an angel of light. Al- 
ready iAe heast, seeing himself now to be sought for, roareth and 
seeketh new holes to hide himself in, and changeth himself 
into a thousand fashions."' This idea, paradoxical at first, 
gradually made its way into men's minds. The Romans, bj 
their practices, familiarized the English to the somewhat coarse 
descriptions of the reformers. England was to have many such 

1 Burnet's Refornuttion, Recordi, ii. p. ziii. 3 Xyndale, Socti- Ti- p. 42, 43. 


lessons, and thus by degrees learn to set Rome aside for the sake 
of her own glory and prosperity. 

Knight and Da Casale reached Orvieto about the same time. 
Clement replied with sighs: "Alas! I am the emperor's pris- 
oner. The imperialists are every day pillaging towns and 

castles in our neighbourhood.^ Wretch that I am ! I 

have not a friend except the king your master, and he is far 

away If I should do anything now to displease Charles, 

I am a lost man To sign the commission would be to 

sign an eternal rupture with him." But Knight and Da Casale 
pleaded so efiPectually with Cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor, and so 
pressed Clement, that the pontiff, without the knowledge of the 
Spaniard De Angelis, gave them a more satisfactory document, 
but not such as Wolsey required. '' In giving you this com- 
mission," said the pope, "I am giving away my liberty, and per- 
haps my life. I listen not to the voice of prudence, but to that 
of affection only. I confide in the generosity of the king of Eng- 
land, he is the master of my destiny." He then began to weep,^ 
and seemed ready to faint. Knight, forgetting his vexation, 
promised Clement that the king would do everything to save 
him. — " Ah!" said the pope, " there is one effectual means." — 
" What is that ?" inquired Henry's agents. — "M. Lautrec, who 
says daily that he will como, but never does," replied Clement, 
" has only to bring the French nviuy promptly before the gates 
of Orvieto; then I could excuse myself by saying that he con- 
strained me to sign the commission."^ — "Nothing is easier," 
replied the envoys, " we will go and hasten his arrival." 

Clement was not even now at ease. The safety of the Ro- 
man church troubled him not less than his own Charles 

might discover the trick and make the popedom suffer for it. 
There was danger on all sides. If the English spoke of inde- 
pendence, did not the Emperor threaten a reform ? I'he 

catholic princes, said the papal councillors, are capable, without 
perhaps a single exception, of supporting the cause of Luther to 
gratify a criminal ambition.* The pope reflected, and withdraw- 
ing his word, promised to give the commission when Lautrec 
was under the walls of Orvieto; but the English agents insisted 

1 The imperialiita do daily spoil cftstles and towns abo t Rome they hare t^bB 

within ttiree duyi two ca»lks h'mn withiji six miles of thisi. Hurnet's lief, vol, ii- Kecorda, 
p. xiii. !i Cum saspiriis ct Ucrymis. (IbiJ. p, aii.) With sitflis and teurs. 

3 And by this colour be would cover the matter. Ibid- *■ Mon potest ^^ua Sitnctita* 

Mbi p«rsuiidere Ipsos piiudpes (at forte aliqui jactimt)aA3 mpturus st^ctum Lutherauain 
contra cccleaiam. (State I'apers, vii. p. 47.) IMs Jlolinefsi-: not able to persuade himse'.i 
<hat these princes (as some perchance assert) uxe ceixiblc of supporting the Latherau sect 
ai;aLuat the church. 


on having it immediately. To conciliate all, it was agreed that 
the pope should give the required document at once, but as soon 
as the French army arrived, he should send another copy bearing 
the date of the day on which he saw Lautrec. " Beseech the 
king to keep secret the commission I give you,"^ said Clement 
VII to Knight; "if he begins the process immediately he receives 
it, I am undone forever."- The pope thus gave permission to act, 
on condition of not acting at all. Knight took leave on the 1st of 
January lo2S; he promised all the pontiff desired, and then, as if 
fearing some fresh difficulty, he departed the same day. Da Car 
sale, on his ade, after having offered the Cardinal Sanctorum 
Quatuor a gift of 4000 crowns, which he refused, repaired to 
Lautrec, to beg him to constram the pope to sign a document 
which was already on its way to England. 

But while the business seemed to be clearing at Rome, it was 
becoming more complicated in London. The king's project got 
wind, and Catherine gave way to the liveliest sorrow. " I shall 
protest," said she, " against the commission given to the cardinal 
of York, Is he not the king's subject, the vile flatterer of his 
pleasures?" Catherine did not resist alone; the people, who 
hated the cardinal, could not with pleasure see him invested 
with such authority. To obviate this inconvenience, Henry re- 
solved to ask the pope for another cardinal, who should be em- 
powered to terminate the affair in London with or without 

The latter agreed to the measure : it is even possible that he 
was the first to suggest it, for he feared to bear alone the 
responsibility of so hateful an inquiry. Accordingly, on the 
27th of December, he wrote to the king's agents at Rome : " Pro- 
cure the envoy of a legate, and particularly of an able, easy, 

manageable legate desirous of meriting the king's favour,' 

Campeggio for instance. You will earnestly request the cardinal 
who may be selected, to travel with all diligence, and you wiU 
assure him that the king wiU behave liberally towards him." * 

Knight reached Asti on the 10th of January, where he found 
letters with fresh orders. This was another check: at one time 
it is the pope who compels him to retrograde, at another it is 
the king. Henry's imlucky valetudinarian secretary, a man 
very susceptible of fatigue, and already wearied and exhausted 

1 state Fapers, vu. p. 36. 2 Is fully in your paissacee vrith publishing of the com- 

jnission to destroy for ever. Ibid. 3 Eruditus, indiffcreos. tiacubiiis, de regia 

majestate bene merendi capidas- Ibid- p. 33. 4 Regiik majestaa somptus, laborea, 

.Atqae iuolestiu3 liberaliisime compeoaet- (Ibid. p. 31-) Uia nuueity will Ubenlly compensate 
Jus outlay, toil, and labour- 

296 THE pope's new expedient. 

by ten painful journeys, was in a very bad humour. He deter- 
mined to permit Gambara to carry the two documents to Eng- 
land; to commission Da Casale, who had not left the pope's 
neighbourhood, to solicit the despatch of the legate; and as re- 
garded himself, to go and wait for further orders at Turin: — •'•'If 
it be thought good unto the king's highness that I do return un- 
to Orvieto, I shall do as much as my 2'>oor carcass may endure."^^ 

When Da Casale reached Bologna, he pressed Lautrec to go 
and constrain the pontiff to sign the act which Gambara was al- 
ready bearing to England. On receiving the new despatches he 
returned in all haste to Orvieto, and the pope was very much 
alarmed when he heard of his arrival. He had feared to grant 
a simple paper, destined to remain secret; and now he is required 
to send a prince of the church! Will Henry never be satisfied? 
" The mission you desire would be full of dangers," he replied; 
*' but we have discovered aoother means, alone calculated to 
finish this business. Mind you do not say that I pointed it out 
to you," added the pope in a mysterious tone; *'but that \X, 
was suggested by Cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor and Simonetta." 
Da Casale was all attention. " There is not a doctor in the 
world who can better decide on this matter, and on its most 
private circumstances, than the king himself.'^ If therefore he 
sincerely believes that Catherine had really become his brother's 
wife, let him empower the cardinal of York to pronounce the 
divorce, and let him take another vtifo without any further 
ceremony;^ he can then afterwards demand the confirmation of 
the consistory. The affair being concluded in this way, I will 
take the rest upon myself." — " But," said Da Casale, somewhat, 
dissatisfied with this new intrigue, ''I must fulfil my mission,, 
and the king demands a legate." — "And whom shall I send," 
asked Clement. " Da Monte? he cannot move. Do Cicsis? he 
is at Naples. Ara Coeli ? he has the gout. Piccolomini ? he is 

of the imperial party Campeggio would be the best, but 

he is at Rome, where he supplies my place, and cannot leave 

without peril to the church." And then with some emotion 

he added, ''I throw myself into his majesty's arms. The em- 
peror will never forgive what I am doing. If he hears of it he 
will summon me before his conned; I shall have no rest until he 
has deprived me of my throne and ray life."*- 

Da Casale hastened to forward to London the result of the con- 

1 Uarnet'* Uef. vol. ii. Kccords. p. ziii. 2 NuUiu doctor in mundo eat, qui de b«e. 

re melius dcci'i-uere possitqiiHin ipse rvx. Ibld.p. xW. 5 AlUiu uxoreiii Ibid- 

i Vuci«bit vuiu ud couciliuin, vel uihU uliud quasrot, mat at euQi omui stutu el vita priveU. 
ibid, p. xxvi. 


rence. Clement being unable to untie tlie knot, requested 
unry to cut it. ^Vill this prince hesitate to employ so easy a 
eans, the pope (Clement declared it himself) being -willing to- 
,tify everything? 

Here closes Henry's first campaign in the territories of thfr 
pedom. We shall now see the results of so many efforts. 


Disappointment in England — AVar declared against Charles Y — 
Wolsey desires to get him deposed by the Pope — A new Scheme — 
Embassy of Fox and Gardiner — Theii" Arrival at Orvieto — Their 
first interview with Clement — The Pope reads a treatise by Henry 
— Gardiaer's Threats and Clement's Promise — The Modern Fabius 
— Fresh Interview and ilenaccs — The pope has not the i:ey — 
Gardiners Proposition — Diificulties and delays of the Cardinals — 
Gardiner's last Blows^ Reverses of Charles Y in Italy — The 1 'ope's 
Terror and Concession — The Comuiission granted — Vrdsey demands 
the Engagement — A Loophole — The Pope's Distress. 

Never was disappointment more complete than that felt by 
Henry and Wolsey after the arrival of Gambara with the com- 
mission; the king was angry, the cardinal vesed. What Cle- 
ment called the sacrifice of Ms life was in reality but a sheet of 
paper fit cnly to be thrown into the fire. "This commission is 
of no value/'' said Wolsey. — " And even to put it into execu- 
tion," added Henry, " we must wait until the imperialists have 
quitted Italy! The pope is putting us off to the Greek calends." 
— " His holiness," observed the cardinal, " does not bind himself 
to pronounce the divorce; the queen will therefore appeal from 
our judgment." — "^And even if the pope had bound himself," 
added the king, " it would be sufficient for the emperor to smilo 
upon him, to make him retract what he had promised." — • 
" It is all a cheat and a mockery," concluded both king and 

What was to be done next? The only way to make Cle- 
ment ours, thought Wolsey, is to get rid of Charles; it is time 
his pride was brought down. Accordingly, on tiie 21st of 
January lo2S, France and England declared hostilities against 
the emperor. When Charles heard of this proceeding he cst- 

1 2«aUiiusitroborUTelefi°«ctas- (Sute Papers, tu- p. SO.) It is of no power or e:i'ee& 


• claimed : '' I know the hand that has flung the torch of war into 
the midst of Europe. My crime is not having placed the car- 
dinal of York on St. Peter's throne." 

A mere declaration of war was not enough for Wolsey; the 
l)ishop of Bayonne, ambassador from France, seeing him one 
day somewhat excited/ whispered in his ear: "In former times 
popes have deposed emperors for smaller offences." Charles's 
deposition would have delivered the king of France from a 
troublesome rival; but DuBellay, fearing to take the initiative in 
so bold an enterprise, suggested the idea to the cardinal. AYolsey 
reflected: such a thought had never before occurred to him. 
Taking the ambassador aside to a window, he there swore 
stoutly, said Du Bellay, tliat he should be delighted to use all 
his influence to get Charles deposed by the pope, " No one is 
more likely than yourself/' replied the bishop, " to induce 
Clement to do it." — " I will use all my credit," rejoined 
Wolsey, and the two priests separated. This bright idea the 
cardinal never forgot. Charles had robbed him of the tiara; 
he will retaliate by depriving Charles of his crown. An 
eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Staffileo, dean of the 
Kota, was then in London, and still burning with resentment 
against the author of the Sack of Rome, he favourably received 
the suggestions Wolsey made to him; and, finally, the envoy 
from John Zapolya, king-elect of Hungary, supported the pro- 
ject. But the kings of France and England were not so easily 
induced to put the thrones of kings at the disposal of the priests. 
It appears, however, that the pope was sounded on the subject; 
and if the emperor had been beaten in Italy, it is probable that 
the bull would have been fulminated against him. His sword 
preserved his crown, and the plot of the two bishops failed. 

The king's councillors began to seek for less heroic means. 
" We must prosecute the afiair at Home/' said some. — " No," 
said others, " in England. The pope is too much afraid of the 
emperor to pronounce the divorce in person." — "If the pojie 
fears the emperor more than the king of England," exclaimed 
the proud Tudor, " we shall find some other way to set him at 
ease." ^ Thus, at the first contradiction, llunry placed his hand 
on his sword, and threatened to sever the ties which bound his 
kingdom to the throne of the Italian pontiff. 

"I have hit it!" said Wolsey at length; "we must combine 

: the two clans — judge the affair in London, and at the same time 
bind the PontiS' at Rome." And then the able cardinal pro- 
posed the draft of a bull, by which the pope, delegating his 

I Da Uclluy to Frauds L te Grand, L'reuves, p- CI. - Boruet's Ueforniatiun, i, p. 00 

ttolsey's new pbojeot. 299 

authority to two legates, should declare that the acts of that 
delegation should have a perpetual effect, notwithstanding any 
contrary decrees that might subsequently emanate from his in- 
fallible authority.^ A new mission was decided upon for the 
accomplishment of this bold design. 

Wolsey, annoyed by the folly of Knight and his colleagues, 
desired men of another stamp. He therefore cast his eyes ou 
his owu secretary, Stephen Gardiner, an active man, intelligent, 
supple, and crafty, a learned canonist, desirous of the king's 
favour, and, above all, a good Romanist, which at Rome was not 
without its advantage. Gardiner was in small the living image 
of his master; and hence the cardinal sometimes styled him 
the half of himself J^ Edward Fox, the chief almoner, was joined 
with him — a moderate, influential man, a particular friend of 
Henry's, and a zealous advocate of the divorce. Fox was named 
£rst in the commission; but it was agreed that Gardiner should 
be the real head of the embassy. " Repeat without ceasing," 
.Wolsey told them, " that his majesty cannot do otherwisa than 
separate from the queen. Attack each one on his weak side. 
J)eclare to the pope that the king promises to defend him 
against the emperor; and to the cardinals that their services 
will be nobly rewarded.^ If that does not sufl&ce, let the energy 
of your words be such as to excite a wholesome fear in the 

Fox and Gardiner, after a gracious reception at Paris (23rd 
February), by Francis I, arrived at Orvieto on the 20th of 
Llarch, after many perils, and with their dress in such disorder, 
that no one could have taken them for the ambassadors of 
Henry YIII. " What a city!" they exclaimed, as they passed 
through its streets; " what ruins, what misery! It is indeed 
truly called Orvieto {urhs vetus) !" The state of the town gave 
them no very grand idea of the state of the popedom, and they 
imagined that with a pontiff so poorly lodged, their negotiation 
could not be otherwise than easy. " I give you my house," said 
Da Casale, to whom they went, " my room and my own bed;" 
and as they made some objections, he added: " It is not possible 
to lodge you elsewhere; I have even been forced to borrow what 
was necessary to receive you." * Da Casale, pressing them to 
■change their clothes, which were stiU dripping (they had just 

I Non obsUDtibos qaiboscanqae decretis revocatoriis pnesentis eoncessionis nostne- Btf- 
net, Kecords, ii, p. 17.) "So reTocatory decrees whatsoever shall iuvalidate my present oaii> 
cession. z Mei dimiditun- Ibid- p- 15. 3 Muuey to present the cardinab- 

.Sto'te'^ Mem- i, p. 137- ^ liorroiriiijE of dirers men so much as might fomiah thiM 

iMd^. Ibid. p. 139. ' 



crossed a river on their mules), they replied, that beino- oblic^ed 
to travel post, they had not been able to bring a ehano^e of rai- 
ment. _" Alas!" said Casale, " what is to be done? there are few 
persons in Orvieto who have more garments than one- ^ even the 
shopkeepers have no cloth for sale; this town is quite a prison 
People say the pope is at liberty here. A pretty liberty indeed' 
Want, impure air, wretched lodging, and a thousand other in- 
conveniences keep the holy father closer than when he wa« in 
the Castle of St. Angelo. Accordingly, he told me the other 
day. It was better to be in captivity at Rome than at libdftv 
here. - "^ 

In two days, however, they managed to procure some new 
clothing; and being now in a condition to show themselves 
Henry s agents were admitted to an after-dinner audience on 
Monday the 22nd of March (1528). 

Da Casale conducted them to an old building in ruins " This 
is where his holiness lives," he said. They looked at one another 
with astonishment, and crossing the rubbish lying about, passed 
through three chambers whose ceilings had fallen in, whose win- 
dows were curtainless, and in which thirty personk " rif-ra// 
were standing against the bare walls for a garnishirient." » This 
was the pope's court. . 

At length the ambassadors reached the pontirs ■ room, and 
placed Henry's letters in his hands. -'Your holiness," said 
Crardmer, " when sending the king a dispensation, was pleased 
to add, that if this document were not sufficient, you would 
willingly give a better. It is that favour the kin- uow desires." 
The pope with embarrassment strove to soften liis refusal " I 
am inlbrmed," he said, " that the king is led on in this affliir by a 
secret inchnation, and that the lady he loves is far from bein- 
worthy of him." Gardiner replied with firmness: "The kin| 
truly deserves to marry again after the divorce, that he may 
have an heir to the crown; but the woman he proposes to take 
IS animated by the noblest sentiments; the cardinal of York and 
all England do homage to her virtues." * The pope appeared 
convinced. " Besides," continued Gardiner, " the king has writ- 
ten a book on the motives of his divorce."— •'Good! come and 
read it to me to-morrow," rejoined Clement. 

The next day the English envoys had hardly appeared, b6fo» 
Clement took Henry's book, ran over it as he walked up and down 
the room, and then seating himself on a long bench covered 

1 St,rjpe's Mem. i. p. 139. 2 state Papers, vii. p. G3. 3 strvpc. i. p. 189 

lUe cardinal's judgment m to the good quaUiie. of the ^euUewoiuau. Ibid, p, 141. 


•ff-ith an old carpet, *' not worth twenty pence," says an anna- 
list, he read t'le book aloud. He counted the number of argu- 
iiients, made objections as if Henry were present, and piled them 
one upon another without waiting for an answer. " The mar- 
riages forbidden in Leviticus," said he, in a short and quick tone 
of Toice^ " are permitted in Deuteronomy; now Deuteronomy 
coming after Leviticus, we are bound by the latter. The hon- 
our of Catherine and the emperor is at stake, and the divorce 
lid give rise to a terrible war." ^ The pope continued 
iking, and whenever the Englishmen attempted to reply, he 

le them be silent, and kept on reading. '• It is an excellent 
. jk," said he, however, in a courteous tone, when he had end- 
ed; " I shall keep it to read over again at my leisure." Grardi- 
ner then prcicnting a draft of the commission which Henry re- 
quired, Clement made answer: *•' It is too late to look at it now; 
leave it with me." — ''But we are in haste," added Gardiner. — 
^' Yes, yes, I know it," said the pope. All his eftorts tended to 
protract the business. 

On the 2Sth of March, the ambassadors were conducted to 
the room in which the pope slept; the cardinals Sanctorum 
Quatuor and De Monte, as well as the councillor of the Rota, 
Simonetta, were then with him. Chairs were arranged in a 
semicircle. '• Be seated," said Clement, who stood in the mid- 
dle." " Master Gardiner, now tell me what you want." — 
" There is no question between us but one of time. You pro- 
mised to ratily the divorce, as soon as it was pronounced; and 
we require you to do be/ore what you engage to do after. What 
is right on oue day, must be right on another." Then, raising 
his voic-e, the Englishman added: *' K his majesty perceives that 
no more respect is paid to him than to a common man,^ he 
wiU have recourse to a remedy which 1 will not name, but which 
will not fail in its effect." 

The pope and his coimcillors looked at one another in alencej* 
they had imderstood him. The imperious Gardiner, remarking 
the effect which he had produced, then added in an absolute 
tone: ''We have our instructions, and are determined to keep 
to them." — '• 1 am ready to do everything compatible with my 
honour," exclaimed Clement, in alarm. — " What your honour 
would not permit you to grant," said the proud ambassador, 
'• the honour of the king, my master, would not permit him to 
to ask." Gardiner's language became more imperative every 

1 Qais pnesUbit ne hoc divoniani magni alicujus belli caasam prsbeat. Sandenu, p. 2& 

2 In medio stniicucuU. Strjpe. Records, i, p. »L » Promisciue plebi»- Ibid, p- Si' 
^ £T«rj Duu iouked on oUier acd so aUfed. lUd. 


minute. '' Well, then," said Clement, driven to extremity, " I 
will do what the king demands, and if the emperor is angry, I 
cannot help it." The interview, which had commenced with a 
storm, finished with a gleam of sunshine. 

That bright gleam soon disappeared : Clement, who imagined he 
saw in Henry a Hannibal at war with Rome, wished to play the 
temporizer, the i^a6ms (7onctator. '' Bis dot qui cito dat," ^ said 
Gardiner sharply, who observed this manoeuvre. — " It is a ques- 
tion of law," replied the pope, " and as I am very ignorant in 
these matters, I must give the doctors of the canon law the 
necessary time to make it all clear." — " By his delays Fabius 
Maximus saved Rome," rejoined Gardiner; "you will destroy it 
by yours." ^ — ^' Alas! " exclaimed the pope, '^ if I say the king 
is right, I shall have to go back to prison. " ^ — " When truth is 
concerned," said the ambassador, ''of what consequence are the- 
opinions of men?" Gardiner was speaking at his ease, but Cle- ' 
ment found that the castle of St, Angelo was not without 
weight in the balance. " You may be sure that I shall do 
everything for the best," replied the modern Fabius. With 
these words the conference terminated. 

Such were the struggles of England with the popedom^ 
struggles which were to end in a definitive rupture. Gardiner 
knew that he had a skilful adversary to deal with; too- 
cunning to allow himself to be irritated, he coolly resoiv-' 
ed to frighten the pontifi": that was in his instructions. Oa 
the Friday before Palm ^junday, he was ushered into the 
pope's closet; there he found Clement attended by De Monte, 
Sanctorum Quatuor, Simonetta, Staflileo, Paul, auditor of the 
Rota, and Gambara. " It is impossible," said the cardinals, 
'• to grant a decretal commission in which the pope pronounces 
dejure in favour of the divorce, with a promise of confirmation 
de facto." Gardiner insisted; but no persuasion, " neither dulce 
nor poynante," * could move the pontiff. The envoy judged the 
moment had come to discharge his strongest battery. " per- 
verse race," said he to the pontiff's ministers, "instead of being 
harmless as doves, you are as full of dissimulation and malice as 
serpents; promising everything but performing nothing.^ Eng- 
land will be driven to believe that God has taken from you the 
key of knowledge, and that the laws of the popes, ambiguous to 
the popes themselves, are only fit to be cast into the fire.^ The 

* He Kives twice who xives quickly. 2 In Fabio Maximo qui rem Komauam 

cuDcUiitlo reitituiU SUypc.p-iM. s Materia uuvui oiptiriuus, Ibid-p-titi. 

• Ibid- (I- U4. a i'leniomni dulu tlversalioueet (linaimulatiouc. Verbis omnia 
poUicuutur, re'ipsa nihil pra>8Uut. Ibid'P.i^S. U itiKiiu esse qiiiv iiiaiiUruiur 
iljiitiiiiU loi.tiiii'i^ iiiru. Uii.l 


king has hitherto restrained his people, impatient of the Romish 
yoke; but he will now give them the rein." A long and gloomy 
silence followed. Then the Englishman, suddenly changing his 
tone, softly approached Clement, who had left his seat, and con- 
jured him in a low voice to consider carefully what justice re- 
quired of him. " Alas!" replied Clement, " I tell you again, I 
am ignorant in these matters. According to the maxims of the 
cTi.non law the pope carries all laws in the tablets of his heart^ 

: unfortunately God has never given me the hey that opens 
:_cm." As he could not escape by silence, Clement retreated 
■under cover of a jest, and heedlessly pronounced the condemnar 
tion of the popedom. If he had never received the famous key, 
there was no reason why other pontiffs should have possessed it. 
The next day he found another loophole; for when the ambas- 
sadors told him that the king would carry on the matter with- 
out him, he sighed, drew out his handkerchief, and said as he 
wiped his eyes:'- " Would to God that I were dead!" Clement 
employed tears as a political engine. 

" "\^'e shall not get the decretal commission," (that which pro- 
nounced the divorce) said Fox and Gardiner after this, •' and it 
is not really necessary. Let us demand the general commission 
(authorizing the legates to pronounce it), and exact a promise 
that shall supply the place of the act which is denied us." Cle- 
ment, who was ready to make all the promises in the world, 
swore to ratify the sentence of the legates without delay. Fox 
and Gardiner then presented to Simonetta a draft of the act 
required. The dean, after reading it, returned it to the envoys, 
saying, " It is very well, I think, except tlie endf show it Sanc- 
torum Quatuor." The next morning they carried the draft to 
that cardinal: "How long has it been the rule for the patient 
to write the prescription? I always thought it was the physic- 
ian's business.'' — " No one knows the disease so well as the pa- 
tient," replied Gardiner; '' and this disease may be of such a 
nature that the doctor cannot prescribe the remedy without 
taking the patient's advice." Sanctorum Quatuor read the pre- 
scription, and then returned it, saying: "It is not bad, with the 
exception of the beginning* Take the draft to De Monte and 
the other councillors." The latter liked neither beginning, mid- 
dle, nor end. " "We will send for you this evening," said De 

Three or four days having elapsed, Henry's envoys again 

1 Pontifex babet omnia jam ia bcrii^io p«ctQris. Strype, p. 99. 2 Ibid- p. lOO- 

3 Ihe maiur was good suTmg in ;iie \aXiet «Dd- Ibi<t p. iOw*. i Xbe begiuiuig 

pleaied bim not- 


■waited on the pope, who showed them the draft prepared by his 
councillors. Gardiner remarking in it additions, retrenchments, 
:and corrections, threw it disdainfully from him, and said coldly: 
" Your holiness is deceiving us; j-ou have selected these men to 
be the instruments of your duplicity." Clement, in alarm, sent 
ibr Simonetta; and after a warm discussion,^ the envoys, more 
discontented than ever, quitted the pope at one in the morn- 

The night brings wisdom. '•' I only desire two little words 
more in the commission," said Gardiner next day to Clement 
and Simonetta. The pope requested Simonetta to wait upon 
the cardinals immediately; the latter sent word that they were 
■at dinner, and adjourned the business until the morrow. 

When Gardiner heard of this Epicurean message, he thought 
the time had come for striking a decisive blow. A new tragedy 
hegan? " \Ye are deceived," exclaimed he, " you are laughing 
.at us. This is not the way to gain the favour of princes. Wa- 
ter mixed with wine spoils it;'' your corrections nullify our docu- 
ment. These ignorant and suspicious priests have spelled over 
our draft as if a scorpion was hidden under every word.* — You 
made us come to Italy," said he to Staffileo and- Gambara, •'•'like 
hawks which the fowler lures by holding out to them a piece of 
meat;^ and now that we are here, the bait has disappeared, and, 
instead of giving us what we sought, you pretend to lull us to 
sleep by the sweet voice of the sirens."*' Then, turning to 
Clement, the English envoy added, "Your holiness will have to 
answer for this." The pope sighed and wiped away his tears. 
*'It was God's pleasure," continued Gardiner, whose tone be- 
•came more threatening every minute, " that we should see with 
our own c} es the disposition of the people here. It is time to have 
<ione. Henry is not an ordinary prince, — bear in mind that you 
SLTO insuhiu'^ the defender of the/ailh. . . . You are going 
to lose the lavour of the only monarch who protects you, and 
the apostolical chair, already tottering, will fall into dust, and 
disappear entirely amidst the applause of all Christendom." 

Gardiner paused. The pope was moved. The state of Italy 
seemed to conlirm but too strongly the sinister predictions of 
the envoy of Henry YUI. The imperial troops, terrified and 
pursued by Lautrec, had abandoned Kome and retired on Na- 
ples, 'iiic I-Tcnch general was following up this wretched armj 

1 lucaltBCeute UispuUiione. Stri pe, p. 101. - Here bixan ft new trasjedy. Ibid, 

p. lOJ. 'i \ ii.uni (.01181 ureal iiiAisa aijDa, Ibid. * rutautttii 8Vb uumi 

vtibu luUie svuipuiiieiii. Ibid- 6 Pruuudere poguo carDcui' Ibid- 

* iiukibua tutiiuiii vuciliiu iucaiitare. Ibid. 


THE pope's terror. 805 

of Charles V, decimated bv pestilence and debauchery; Doria, 
at the head of his galleys, had destroyed the Spanish fleet; Gaeta 
and Naples only were left to the imperialists; and Lautrec, who 
was besieging the latter place, wrote to Henry on the 26th of 
Ausrost that all would soon be over. The timid Clement VII 
had attentively watched all these catastrophes. Accordingly, 
Oardiner had hardly denounced the danger which threatened 
the popedom, before he rurned pale with affright, rose from his 
seat, stretched out his arms in terror, as if he had desired to 
repel some monster ready to devour him, and exclaimed, "Write, 
write! Insert whatever words you please.'' As he said this, 
he paced up and down the room, raising his hands to heaven 
and sighing deeply, while Fox and Gardiner, standing motionless, 
looked on in silence. A tempestuous wind seemed to be stirring 
the depths of the abyss; the ambassadors waited until the storm 
was abated. At last Clement recovered himself,^ made a few 
trivial excuses, and dismissed Henry's ministers. It was an 
hour past midnight. 

It was neither morality, nor religion, nor even the laws of 
the church which led Clement to refuse the divorce; ambition 
and fear were his only motives. He would have desired that 
Henry should first constrain the emperor to restore him his ter- 
ritories. But the king of England, who felt himself unable to 
protect the pope against Charles, required, however, this un- 
happy pontiff to p.ovoke the emperors anger. Clement reaped 
the fruits of that fatal system which had transformed the 
church of Jesus Christ into a pitiful combination of policy and 

On the next day, the tempest having thoroughly abated,* 
Sanctorum Quatuor corrected the commission. It ««s signed, 
completed by a leaden seal attached, to a piece of string, and 
then handed to Gardiner, who read it. The bull was addressed 
to Wolsey, and '* authorized him, in case he should acknowledge 
the nullity of Henry's marriage, to pronounce judicially the sen- 
tence of divorce, but without uoise or display of judgment; •" for 
that purpose he migbt take any English bishop lur his col- 
league." — " All that we can do, }oa can do," said the pope. 
" We are very doubtful," said the importunate Garainer aftdr 
reading the bull, " whetner tliis commission, without the clauses 
of confrrmation and revocation, will satisfy his majesty; but we 

> Compocitis affectibus. Strype, p. lOJ. 2 The divers tempesU passed over. Ibid. 

3 Sine sticpuu ci ti«ura juOicii aeutciiiiun diToitii jadici^liKr protoiadua. Uvmer, Foe- 
dsa, vi. i)ars- ii. P. »o- 

46 n 


will do all in our power to get him to accept it." — '•' Above all, 
do not speak of our altercations," said the pope. Gardiner, like 
a discreet diplomist, did not scruple to note down every particu- 
lar in cipher in the letters whence these details are procured, 
"Tell the king," continued the pontiff, " that this commission 
is on my part a declaration of war against the emperor, and 
that I now place myself under his majesty's protection." The 
chief-almoner of England departed for London with the precious 

But one storm followed close upon another. Fox had not 
long quitted Orvieto when new letters arrived from Wolsey,. 
demanding the fourth of the acts previously requested, namely, 
the engagement to ratify at Ilonie whatever the commissioners 
might decide in England. Gardiner was to set about it in sea-- 
son and out of season; the verbal promise of the pope counted 
for nothing; this document must be had, whether the pope was- 
ill, dying, or dead.^ " Ugo et Hex mens, his majesty and I com^ 
mand you;" taid Wolsey; " this divorce is of more consequence 
to us than twenty popedoms."^ The English envoy renewed 
their demand. " Since you refuse the decretal, ' he said, '•there 
is the greater reason why you should not refuse the engagement." 
This application led to fresh discussion and fresh tears. Cle- 
ment gave way once more; but the Italians, more crafty than. 
Gardmer, reserved a loophole in the document through which 
the pontiff might escape. The messenger Thaddeus carried it 
to London; and Gardhier left Orvieto for E,ome to confer with. 

Clement was a man of penetrating mind, and although he 
knew as well as any how to deliver a clever speech, he was. 
irresolute and timid; and accordingly the commission had not • 
long been despatched bcibre he repented. Full of distress, he 
paced the ruined chambers of his old palace, and imagined ho 
saw hanging over his head that terrible sword of Charles the 
Fifth, whose edge he had already lelt. " Wretch that 1 am," 
said he; "cruel wolves surround me; they open their jaws to swal- 
low me up. . . . 1 tee none but enemies around me. At 
their head is the emperor. . . . AVhat will he do? Alsml 
I have yielded that latal commission which the general of the 
Spanish observance had enjoined me to refuse. Jiehind Charles ■ 
come the Venetians, the Florentines, the duke of Ferrara. . . . 

I In casu mortis poutilicis, quod Deus avertat. (Uuiiiet, llccords, p. xxviil) In ciue ot 
the deulh of the iiu|>e, which iiiu^ Uud avert. " The liiiuK which the kiiiti'ii hiKhiicitS 

•ud X more cateeiu thuu twenty painUiliei. Ibid- P' xvY> 

fox's eepobt to henry and axxe. 307 

Thoj have cast lots upon my vesture.^ . . . Next comes 
the king of France, who promises nothing, but looks on with 
folded arms; or rather, what perfidj I calls upon me at this criti- 
cal moment to deprive Charles V of his crown. . . . And 
last, but not least, Henry ViU, iAe defender of the faith, 'md\jlges 
in frightful menaces against me. . . . The emperor desires 
J maintain the queen on the throne of England; the latter, to 
ut her away. . . . Would to God that Catherine were in 
or grave! But, alas! she lives ... to be the apple of 
iscord dividing the two greatest monarchies, and the inevitable 
ause of the ruin of the jiopedom. , . Wretched man that 
I am ! how cruel is my perplexity, and around me, I can see no- 
thing but horrible confusion." ^ 


Fox's Report to Henry and Anne — Wolsey's Impres&ion — He demands 
the Decretal — One of the Cardinals petty ilanoeuvres — He sets his 
Conscience at Rest — Gardiner fails at Rome — Wolsey's new perfidy 
— The King's Anger against the Pope — Sir T. More predicts Relig- 
ious Libeny — Immorality of Ultramontane Socialism — Erasmus in- 
invited — Wolseys last Tlight — Energetic Efforts at Rome — Clement 
grants all — Wolsey triumphs — Union of £ome and England. 

During this time Fox was making his way to England. Gn 
the 27th of April he reached Paris; on the 2ud of May he landed 
at Sandwich, and hastened to Greenwich, where he arrived the 
next day at five in the evening, just as Wolsey had left for 
London. Fox's arrival was an event of great importance. 
" Let him go to Lady Anne's apartments," said the king, '• and 
wait for me there." Fox told Anne Boleyn of his and Grardi- 
ner's exertions, and the success of their mission, at which she 
expressed her very great satisfaction. Indeed, more than a 
year had elapied since her return to England, and she no longer 
resisted Kenry's project. '• Mistress Anne always called me 
Master Stephen," wrote Fox to Gardiner, "her thoughts were so 
lull of you." The king appeared and Anne withdrew. 

1 Koto f<£deTe inlto svpf r yesUm soam misenint sortem. (Sti7pe>Sceordl, i. p. 109} A 
new treatj b<:ii.g euuicd upon tbcy u^ye Cast lute apou hU TeMure. 2 Hig ] 

fiadeUi Iuu-kU in a manreiuiiu ptrpteuij and coiiius;on- Ibid- p- U& 


■' Tell me as briefly as possible what you have done," said 
Henry. Fox placed in the king's hands the pope's insignificant 
letter, which he bade his almoner read; then that from Staffileo, 
•which was put on one side; and lastly Gardiner's letter, which 
Henry took hastily and read himself. " The pope has promised 
us," said Fox, as he terminated his report, " to confirm the sen- 
tence of the divorce, as soon as it has been pronounced by the 
commissioners." — '^Excellent!" exclaimed Henry; and then he 
ordered Anne to be called in. " Repeat before this lady," he 
said to Fox, " what you have just told me." The almoner did 
60, ''The pope is convinced of the justice of your cause," he 
said in conclusion, '*' and the cardinal's letter has convinced him 
that my lady is worthy of the throne of England." — "Make 
your report to Wolsey this very night," said the king. 

It was ten o'clock when the chief almoner reached the car- 
dinal's palace; he had gone to bed, but immediate orders were 
given that Fox should be conducted to his room. Being a 
churchman, \\ olsey could understand the pope's artifices better 
than Henry; accordingly, as soon as he learnt that Fox had 
brought the commission only, he became alarmed at the task 
imposed upon him. '"What a misfortune!" he exclaimed; "'your 
commission is no better than Gambara's. . . . However, 
go and rest yourself; I will examine these papers to-morrow." 
Fox withdrew in confusion. '' It is not bad," said Wolsey the 
next day, "but the whole business still falls on me alone! — 
Never mind, I must wear a contented look, or else. ..." 
In the afternoon he summoned into his closet Fox^ Dr. Bell, 
and Viscount Rochford: "Master Gardiner has surpassed him- 
self," said the crafty supple cardinal; " \\ hat a man! what au 
inestimable treasure! what a jewel in our kingdom!"^ 

He did not mean a word he was saying. Wolsey was dissat- 
isfied with every thing, — with the retusal of the decretal, and 
with the drawing up of the coiamiasion, as well as of the engage- 
ment (which arrived soon after in good condition, SJ liir as the 
outside was concerned). But the king's ill humour would in- 
fallibly recoil on \\ olsey; so putting a good face on a bad matter, 
he ruminated in secret on the means of obtaining what had 
been refused him. " Write to Gardiner," said he to Fox, "that 
e\ciy thing makes me desire the pope's decretal — the need of 
unburdening my conscience, of being able to reply to the calum- 
niators who will attack my judgment,*' and the thought of the 

' O non sstimondam thcsaurum nmiKaritamquc regni noatri- Strjpe, liccoroa, i, p- 119. 
•i J luiisai tue obmruere oi» cHJuintiiuuUum et temcre uiMentieuUuiu. Ibid' p. 1;'U. 

wolsey's fraud. 309 

accidents to which the life of maa is exposed. Let his holiness, 
then, pronounce the divorce himself; we engage on our part to 
keep his resolution secret. But order Master Stephen to cm- 
ploy every kind of persuasion that his rlietoric can imagine." 
In case the pope should positively refuse the decretal, Wolsey 
required that at least Campeggio should share the responsibility 
of the divorce with him. 

This was not aU: while reading the engagement, Wolsey dis- 
covered the loophole which had escaped Gardiner, and this is 
what he contrived: — '-'The engageinent which he pope has sent 
us," he wrote to Gardiner, " is drawn up in such terms that he 
can retract it at pleasure j we must therefore find some good 
u-ay to obtain another. You may do it under this pretence. 
You wUl appear before his holiness with a dejected air, and t«ll 
him that the courier, to whom the conveyance of the said en- 
gagement was intrusted, fell into the water with his despatches, 
so that the rescripts were totally defaced and illegible; that I 
have not dared deliver it into the king's hands, and unless his 
holiness wiU grant you a duplicate, some notable blame will be 
imputed unto you for not taking better care in its transmission. 
And further, you will continue: I remember the expressions of 
the former document, and to save your holiness trouble, I will 
dictate them to your secretary. Then," added Wolsey, "while 
the secretary is writing, you will find means to introduce, with- 
out its being perceived, as many fed, pregnant, and available 
words as possible, to bind the pope and enlarge my powers, the 
politic handling of which the king's highness and I commit unto 
your good discretion." ^ 

Such was the expedient invented by Wolsey. The papal 
secretary, imagining he was making a fresh copy of the original 
document (which was, by the way, in perfect condition), was at 
the dictation of the ambassador to draw up another of a differ- 
ent tenor. Tne '• politic handling " of the cardinal-legate, which 
was not very unlike forgery, throws a disgraceful light oa the 
policy of the sixteenth century. 

^\ olsey read this letter to the chief-almoner; and then, to set 
his conscience at rest, he added piously: "In an affair of such 
high importance, on which depends the glory or the ruin of the 
realm, — my honour or my disgrace — the condemnation of my 
soul or my everlasting merit — i will listen solely to the voice of 
my conscience,-' and i shall act in such a manner as to be able 
to render an account to GoJ without fear." 

1 BoTuet, Kcc^rds, p . xxx. 'i Ket.liimiinte conxientuk- Stope, Keeorda, i, |^ Uk 

310 wolsby's hypoorist. 

"Wolsey did more; it seems that the boldness of his declara- 
tions reassured him with regard to the baseness of his works. 
Being at Greenwich on the following Sunday, he said to the 
kingpin the presence of Fox, Bell, Wolman, and Tuke: "I am 
bound to your royal person more than any subject was ever 
bound to his prince. I am ready to sacrifice my goods, my 
blood, my life for you. ... But my obligations towards 
God are greater still. For that cause, rather than act against 
\m will, I would endure the extremest evils. ^ I would suffer 
your royal indignation, and, if necessary, deliver my body to the 
executioners that they might cut it in pieces." What could be 
the spirit then impelling Wolsey? Was it blindness or impu- 
dence? He may have been sincere in the words he addressed 
to Henry; at the bottom of his heart he may have desired to 
set the pope above the king, and the church of Rome above the 
kingdom of England; and this desire may have appeared to him 
a sublime virtue, such as would hide a multitude of sins. What 
the public conscience would have called treason, was heroism to 
the Romish priest. This zeal for the papacy is sometimes met 
with in conjunction with the most flagrant immorality. If 
Wolsey deceived the pope, it was to save popery in the realm of 
England. Fox, Bell, Wolman, and Tuke luitened to him with, 
astonishment.''* Henry, \vi.o thought he knew his man, received 
these holy declarations without aiurm, and the cardinal having 
thus eased his conscience, proceeded boldly to his iniquities. It 
seems, however, that the inward reproaches which he silenced ia 
public, had their revenge in secret. One of his officers entering 
his closet shortly afterwards, presented a letter addressed to 
Campeggio for his signature. It ended thus: "I hope all things 
shall be done according to the will of God, the desire of the 
king, the quiet of the kingdom, and to our honour with a good 
coT^cience." The cardinal having read the letter, dashed out 
the four last words.^ Conscience has a sting from which none 
can escape, not even a Wolsey. 

However, Gardiner lost no time in Italy. When he met 
Campeggio (to whom Henry VIU had given a palace at Rome, 
and a bishopric in England), he entreated him to go to London 
and pronounce the divorce. This prelate, who was to be em- 
powered in 1530 with authority to crush Protestantism in Ger- 
many, seemed bound to undertake a mission that would save 

1 Extreme qu»que c»iitra consclentiam BUftin- (Strype Record.. ^P-m.) ^ 

eitr«me wlial«ver couUary to his conscience. -i To my great m«V»U M* 

no lM» Joy •ad comfort. Iblip.Wfr » Bumefs ttet voL I. p. 41- 


Eomanism in Britain. But proud of his position at Rome, 
where he acted as the pope's representative, he cared not for a 
charge that would undoubtedly draw upon him either Henry's 
hatred or the emperor's anger. He bogged to be excused. The 
pope spoke in a similar tone. When he was informed of this, 
the terrible Tudor, beginning to believe that Clement desired to 
entangle him, as the hunter entangles the lion in his toils, gave 
vent to his anger on Tuke, Fox, and Gardiner, but particularly 
on Wolsey. Nor were reasons wanting for this explosion. The 
cardinal, perceiving that his hatred against Charles had carried 
him too far, pretended that it was without his orders that 
Clarencieux, bribed by France, had combined with the French 
ambassador to declare war against the emperor; and added that 
he would have the English king-at-arms put to death as he 
passed through Calais. This was an infallible means of prevent- 
ing disagreeable revelations. But the herald, wiio had been 
forewarned, crossed by way of Boulogne, and, without the car- 
dinal's knowledge, obtained an interview with Henry, before 
•whom he placed the orders he had received from Wolsey in three 
consecutive letters. The king, astonished at his minister's im- 
pudence, exclaimed profanely : " Lord Jesu, the man in whom 
I had most confidence told me quite the cootrary." He then 
summoned Wolsey before him, and reproached him severely tor 
his falsehoods. The wretched man shook like a leaf. Henry 
appeared to pardon him, but the season of his favour had passed 
away. Henceforward he kept the cardinal as one of those in- 
struments we make use of for a time, and then throw away 
when we have no further need of them. 

The king's anger against the pope far exceeded that against 
Wolsey; he trembled from head to foot, ro;e from his seat, then 
sat down again, and vented his wrath in the most violent lan- 
guage: — " AVhat!" he exclaimed, "1 shall exhaust my political 
combinations, empty my treasury, make war upon my friends, 
consume my forces . . . and for whom? . . . for a 
heartless priest who, considering neither the exigencies of my 
honour, nor the peace of my conscience, nor the prosperity ot 
my kingdom, nor the numerous benefits which I have lavished 
on him, refuses me a tavour, which he ought, as the common 

father of the iaithful, to grant even to an enemy 

Hypocrite! . . . You cover yourself with the cloak ot 
friendship, you flatter us by craity practices,^ but you give us 
only a bastard document, and you say like Pilate: It matters 

1 Bj cnil} means and nnder the face »nd rUage of entire amitj. Strjpe, vol i, p. 1S& 

312 SIR T. more's prophecy. 

little to me if this king perishes, and all his kingdom with him* 
take him and judge him according to your law 1 .... I 
understand you . . you wish to entangle us in the briers/ 
to catch us in a trap, to lure us into a pitfall. . . . But 
we have discovered the snare; we shall escape from your am- 
buscade, and brave your power." 

Such was the language then heard at the court of England, 
says an historian.^ The monks and priests began to grow 
alarmed, while the most enlightened minds already saw in the 
distance the first gleams of religious liberty. One day, at a 
time when Henry was proving himself a zealous follower of the 
Romish doctrines, Sir Thomas More was sitting in the midst of 
his family, when his son-in-law. Roper, now become a warm 
papist, exclaimed : " Happy kingdom of England, where no 
heretic dares show his face !" — " That is true, son Roper," said 
More; '' we seem to sit now upon the mountains, treading the 
heretics under our feet like ants; but I pray God that some of 
us do not live to see the day when we gladly would wish to be 
at league with them, to suffer them to have their churches- 
quietly to themselves, so that they would be content to let us 
have ours peaceably to ourselves." Roper angrily replied:^ "By 
my word, sir, that is very desperately spoken!" More, howevei*, 
was in the right; genius is sometimes a great diviner. The 
Reformation was on the point of inaugurating religious liberty, 
and by that means placing civil liberty ou an immovable foun- 

Henry himself grew wiser by degrees. He began to have 
doubts about the Roman hierarchy, and to ask himseitj whether 
a priest-king, embarrassed in all the political complications of 
i^urope, could be the head of the chm'ch of Jesus Christ. Pious 
individuals in his kingdom recognized in Scripture and in con- 
science a law superior to the law of Rome, and refused to sacri- 
fice at the command of the church their moral couvicdous, 
sanctioned by the revelation of God. The hierarchical system, 
which claims to absorb man in the papacy, had oppressed the 
consciences of Christians for centuries. When tlio Romish 
Chm-ch had required from such as Berengarius, Johu liuss, 
Savonarola, John Wesel, and Luther, the denial of their 
consciences enlightened by the word, that is to say, by the voice 
of God, it had showu most clearly how great ia the immoraUty 
of ultramontane socialism. " if the Christiau consents to thia 

To involve and cait us su In the biieig and fett«n> Stryp*. vol- L p. 19e> 2 Ibid. 

3 Hy uncle uid in a rag*. Moi'«'t Hie, p. Hi- 


enormous demand of the hierarchy," said the most enlightened 
men; " if he renounces his own notions of good and evil in favour 
of the clergy; if he reserves not his right to obey God, who 
q)eaks to him in the Bible, rather than men, even if their 
agreement were universal; if Henry YIII, for instance, should 
alence his conscience, which condemns his union with his 
brother's widow, to obey the clerical voice which approves of itj 
by that very act he renounces truth, duty, and even God him- 
self." But we must add, that if the rights of conscience were 
beginning to be understood in England, it was not about such 
holy matters as these that the pope and Henry were contending. 
They were both intriguers — both dissatisfied, the one desirous 
of love, the other of power. 

Be that as it may, a feeling of disgust for Rome then took 
root in the king's heart, and nothing jould afterwards eradicate 
it. He immediately made every exertion to attract Erasmus 
to London. Indeed, if Henry separated from the pope, his old 
friends, the humanists, must be his auxiliaries, and not the 
heretical doctors. But Erasmus, in a letter dated 1st June, 
alleged the weak state of his health, the robbers who infested 
the roads, the wars and rumours of wars then afloat. •' Our 
destiny leads us," he said; "let us yield to it."^ It is a 
fortunate thing for England that Erasmus was not its re- 

"Wolsey noted tiiis movement of his master's, and resolved to 
make a strenuous effort to reconcile Clement and Henry; his 
own safety was at stake. He wrote to the pope, to Campe^'gio, 
to Da Casale, to all Italy. He declared that if he was ruined, 
the popedom would be ruined too, so far at least as England 
was concerned; •• I would obtain the decretal bull with my owu 
blood, if possible,"^ he added. '• Assure the holy father on my 
life that no mortal eye shall see it." Finally, he ordered the 
chief-almoner to write to Gardiner: "If Campeggio does not 
come, you shall never return to England;"^ an infallible means 
of stimulating the secretary's zeal. 

This was the last effort of Henry VIII. Bourbon and the 
Prince of Orange had not employed more zeal a year before iu 
scahng the wails of Rome. ^N'olsey's fire had inflamed his 
agents; they argued, entreated, stormed, and threatened. The 
alarmed cardinals and theologians, assembling at the pope's call, 
uisousfied the matter, mixing pohtical interests with the affairs 

I Fatis aKimor, iatis oedeodom. Erasm. Epp. p. 10^ * Ut Tel proprio 'ippiin^ 

Id vcUcmm poseaS. D- >'.impetnre. Bnmet, Becccdi, ii. p. Ui 3 KeiUicr AoalA. 

Ukrdicer «ver rewus. Sujpe, i. p- 1G7- 


of the church.^ At last they understood what Wolsey now 
communicated to them. " Henry is the most energetic defender 
of- the faith," they said. "It is only by acceding to his de- 
mand that we can preserve the kingdom of England to the 
popedom. The army of Charles is in full flight, and that of 
Francis triumphs." The last of these arguments decided the 
question; the pope suddenly felt a great sympathy for Wolsey 
and for the English Church; the emperor was beaten; therefore 
he was wrong. Clement granted everything. 

First, Campeggio was desired to go to London. The pontiff 
knew that he might reckon on his intelligence and inflexible 
adhesion to the interests of the hierarchy; even the cardinal's 
gout was of use, for it might help to innumerable delays. Next, 
on the 8th of June, the pope, then at Viterbo, gave a new 
commission, by which he conferred on Wolsey and Campeggio 
the power to declare null and void the marriage between Henry 
and Catherine, with liberty for the king and queen to form new 
matrimonial ties.^ A few days later he signed the famous decretal 
by which he himself annulled the marriage between Henry and 
Catherine; but instead of intrusting ib to Gardiner, he gave 
K it to Campeggio, with orders not to let it go out of his hands. 
Clement was not sure of the course of events: if Charles 
should decidedly lose his power, the bull would be published 
in the face of Christendom; if he should recover it, the bull 
would be burnt.^ In fact the flames did actually consume some 
time afterwards this decree which Clement had wetted with hia 
tears as he put his name to it. Finally, on the 23rd of July, 
the pope signed a valid engagement, by which he declared be- 
forehand that all retractation of these acts should be nvll and 
void.* Campeggio and Gardiner departed. Charles's defeat 
was as complete at Rome as at Naples; the justice of his cause 
had vanished with his army. 

Nothing, therefore, was wanting to Henry's desires. He had 
Campeggio, the commission, the decretal bull of divorce signed 
by the pope, and the engagement giving an irrevocable value to 
all these acts. Wolsey was conqueror, — the conqueror of Cle- 
ment! .... He had often wished to mount the restive courser 
of the popedom and to guide it at his will, but each time 

, * Ncgotitt ccclcsiastica politicis ratiouibus intcrpolantes. Sand. p. ^7. 2 Ad allA 

■"tofa conimigraiidi. ilerbert, p. V6i i Sut« I'apcrs, vol. vii. p- 78. Dr. Ungard 

. acknowledKts the exisleiice of this bull ami the order to burn it. 4 Si (quod absit) 

ali(iuid contrii pra;iiii8«a luciomui, illuil pro casso, irrito, in;uii et vacuo omniiiu habcri vol- 

umut. (Uerberti p. UO) If (which, howtvcr, let it not happen) we should do aio'thing 
«outrary to.this despatch, we wrsh it to be regarded as useless, iuyalid, worthless, and 

altoKuther void. 

JOY ly EyaLAro), 315 

the unruly steed had thrown him from the saddle. Now he 
was firm in his seat, and held the horse in hand. Thanks to 
Charles's reverses, he was master at Rome. The popedom, 
whether it was pleased or not, must take the road he had 
chosen, and before which it had so long recoiled. The king's 
joy was unbounded, and equalled only by Wolsey's. The car- 
dinal, in the fulness of his heart, wishing to show his gratitude 
to the officers of the Roman court, made them presents of 
carpets, horses, and vessels of gold.^ All near Hem-y felt the 
cfiects of his good humour. Anne smiled; the court indulged 
in amusements; the great affair was about to be accomplished; 
the New Testament to be delivered to the flames. The union 
between England and the popedom appeared confirmed for 
ever, and the victory which Rome seemed about to gain in the 
British isles might secure her triumph in the west. Vain 
omens! far diflFerent were the events in the womb of the future. 

1 Nnni UU. auls^ , tjs aarenm ant eqai maxime probentor. Batnet, Records , i- p- XT. 




Progress of the Reformation — The two Divorces — Entreaties to Ann& 
Boleyn — The Letters in the Vatican — Henry to Anne — Henry'a 
Second Letter — Third — Fourth — Wolsey's Alarm — His fruitless Pro- 
ceedings — He turns — The Sweating Sickness — Henry's Fears — New 
Letters to Anne — Anne falls sick; her Peace — Henry writes to her — 
"Wolsey's Terror — Campeggio does not arrive — All dissemble at 

While England seemed binding herself to the court of Romf^, 
the general course of the church and of the world gave strong r 
presage every day of the approaching emancipation of Chris- 
tendom. The respect which for so many centuries had hedged 
in the Roman Pontiff was everywhere shaken; the Reform, 
already firmly established in several states of Germany and 
Switzerland, was extending in France, the Low Countries, and 
Hungary, and beginning in Sweden, Denmark, and Scotland. 
The South of Europe appeared indeed submissive to the Romish 
church; but Spain, at heart, cared little for the pontifical infal- 
libility; and even Italy began to inquire whether the papal 
dominion was not an obstacle to her prosperity. England, not- 
withstanding appearances, was also going to throw off the yoke 
of the bishops of the Tiber, and many faithful voices might 
already be heard demanding that the word of God should be 
acknowledged the supreme authority in the church. 

The conquest of Christian Britain by the papacy occupied 
all the seventh century, as we have seen. The sixteenth was 
the counterpart of the seventh. The struggle which England 
then had to sustain, in order to free herself from the power 
that had enslaved her during nine hundred years, was full of 
sudden changes; like those of the times of Augustine and Oswy. 
This struggle indeed took place in each of the countries where 
the church was reformed; but nowhere can it be traced in all 


its diverse pliases so distinctly as in Great Britain. The poative 
\fork of the Reformation — that which consisted in recovering 
the truth and life so long lost — was nearly the same every- 
where; but as regards the negative work — the struggle with the 
popedom — we might almost say that other nations committed 
to England the task by which they were all to profit. An 
unenlightened piety may perhaps look upon the relations of the 
•court of London with the court of Rome, at the period of the 
Reformation, as void of interest to the faith; but history will 
not think the same. It has been too often forgotten that the 
znam point in this contest was not the divorce (which was only 
the occasion), but the contest itself and its important conse- 
•quences. The divorce of Henry Tudor and Catherine of Aragon 
is a secondary event; but the divorce of England and the pope- 
•dom is a primary event, one of the great evolutions of history, 
a creative act (so to speak) which still exercises a normal in- 
fluence over the destinies of mankind. And accordingly every- 
thing connected with it is full of instruction for us. Already a 
great number of pious men had attached themselves to the 
authority of God; but the king, and with him that part of the 
nation, strangers to the evangelical faith, clung to Rome, which 
Henry had so valiantly defended. The word of GoJ had spir- 
itually separated England from the papacy; the great matter 
separated it materially. There is a close relationship between 
these two divorces, which gives extreme importance to the 
process between Henry and Catherine. When a great revolu- 
tion is to be effected in the bosom of a people (we have the 
^Reformation particularly in view), God instructs the minority 
by the Holy tScriptuves, and the majority by the dispensations 
of the divine government. Facts undertake to push forward 
those wh^m the more spiritual voice of the word leaves behind. 
England, profiting by this great teaching of facts, has thought 
it her duty ever since to avoid all contact with a power that 
had deceived her; she has thought that pofery could not have 
the dominion over a people without inlriuging on its vitality, 
and that it was only by emancipating themselves from this 
priestly dictatorship that modern nations could advance safely 
in the paths of liberty, order, and greatness. 

For more than a year, as Henry's complaints testify, Anne 
continued deaf to his homage. The despairing king saw that he 
must set other springs to work, and taking Lord Rochford aside, 
he unfolded Lis plans to him. The ambitious father promised 
to do all in his power to influence his daughter. " The divorce 

31 8 anne's hesitation. 

is a settled thing," he said to her; " you have no control over it. 
The only question is, whether it shall be you or another wha 
shall give an heir to the crown. Bear in mind that terrible re- 
volutions threaten England, if the king has no son." Thus did 
every thing combine to weaken Anne's resolution. The voice 
of her father, the interests of her country, the king's love, and 
doubtless some secret ambition, influenced her to grasp the 
proffered sceptre. These thoughts haunted her in society, in 
solitude, and even in her dreams. At one time she imagined 
herself on the throne, distributing to the people her charities 
and the word of God; at another, in some obscure exile, leading 
a useless life, in tears and ignominy. When, in the sports of 
her imagination, the crown of England appeared all glittering 
before her, she at first rejected it; but afterwards that regal 
ornament seemed so beautiful, and the power it conferred so 
enviable, that she repelled it less energetically. Anne still re- 
fused, however, to give the so ardently solicited assent. 

Benry, vexed by her hesitation, wrote to her frequently, and 
almost always in French. As the court of Kome makes use of 
these letters, which are kept in the Vatican, to abuse the lle- 
. formation, we think it our duty to quote them. The theft 
committed by a cardinal has preserved them for us; and we shall 
see that, far from supporting the calumnies that have been 
spread abroad, they tend, on the contrary, to refute them. "We 
are far from approving their contents as a whole; but we cannot 
deny to the young lady, to whom they are addressed, the pos- 
session of noble and generous sentiments. 

Henry, unable to su})port the anguish caused by Anne's re- 
fusal, wrote to her, as it is generally supposed, in May 1528:^ 

" By revolving in my mind the contents of your last letters, 
I have put myself into great agony, not knowing how to inter- 
pret them, whether to my disadvantage, as I understand some 
passages, or not, as I conclude from others. I beseech you 
earnestly to let me know your real mind as to the love between 
us two. It is necdlul for me to obtain this answer of you, hav- 
ing been for a whole year wounded with the dart of love, and 
not yet assured whether I shall succeed in finding a place iu. 
your heart and affection. This uncertainty has hindered me of 
late from declaring you my mistress, lest it should prove that 
you only entertain for me an ordinary regard. But if you please 

1 VaUcau Letters. I'amphleteer, No. 43, p- 114. The d«(e ii\ the text U that assigned by 
the eaitor; we are inclined to place it somewhat earlier. 

henry's b£COND LETTEB. 319 

to do the duty of a true and loyal mistress, I promise you that 

not only the name shall be given to you, but also that I will 
take you for my mistress, casting off all others that are in com- 
petition with you, out of my thoughts and affection, and serving 
you only. I beg you to give an entire answer to this my rude 
letter, that I may know on what and how far I may depend. 
But if it does not please you to answer me in writing, let me 
know some place where I may have it by word of mouth, 
and I will go thither with all my heart. No more for fear of 
tiring you. Written by the hand of him who would willingly^ 
remain yours, 

"H. Rex." 

Such were the affectionate, and we may add (if we think or 
the time and the man) the respectful terms employed by Henry 
in writing to Anne Boleyn. The la'^ter, without making any 
promises, betrayed some little affection for the king, and added. 
to her reply an emblematical jewel, representing " a solitary 
damsel in a boat tossed by the tempest/' wishing thus to make 
the prince understand the dangers to which his love exposed, 
her. Henry was ravished and immediately replied : — 

" For a present so valuable, that nothing could be more (con- 
sidering the whole of it,) I return you my most hearty thanks^ 
not only on account of the costly diamond, and the ship in which 
the solitary damsel is tossed about, but chiefly for the fine interpre- 
tation, and the too humble submission which your goodness hath 
made to me. Your favour I will always seek to preserve, and 
this is my firm intention and hope, according to the matter, aut 
illic aut niUlibi. 

"The demonstrations of your affections are such, the fine 
thoughts of 3 our letter so cordially expressed, that they obUge 
me for ever to honour, love, and serve you sincerely. I beseech 
you to continue in the same firm and constant purpose, and 
assuring you that, on my part, I will not only make you a suita- 
able return, but outdo you, so great is the loyalty of the heart 
that desires to please you. I desire, also, that if, at any time 
before this, I have in any way offended you, that you would 
give me the same absolution that you ask, assuring you, that 
hereafter my heart shall be dedicated to you alone. I wish my 
person were so too. God can do it, if he pleases, to whom I 
pray once a-day for that end, hoping that at length my prayers- 
tvill be heard. I wish the time may be short, but I shall think 

320 heniiy's third and fourth letters. 

it long till we see one another. Written by the hand of that 
secretary, who in heart, body, and will, is 

" Your loyal and most faithful Servant, 

« H. T. Rex."i 

Henry was a passionate lover, and history is not called upon 
to vindicate that cruel prince; but in the preceding letter we 
cannot discover the language of a seducer. It is impossible to 
imagine the king praying to God once a-day, for anything but 
•ti lawful union. These daily prayers seem to present the matter 
in a different light from that which Romanist writers have im- 

Henry thought himself more advanced than he really was. 
Anne then shrank back; embarrassed by the position she held 
at court, she begged for one less elevated. The king submitted, 
although very vexed at first : 

"Nevertheless that it belongeth not to a gentleman," he 
wrote to her, " to put his mistress in the situation of a servant, 
yet, by following your wishes, I would willingly concede it, if 
by that means you are less uncomfortable in the place you shall 
choose than in that where you have been placed by me. I 
thank you most cordially that you are pleased still to bear me 
in your remembrance. 

" H. T." 

Anne, having retired in May to Hever castle, her father's 
residence, the king wrote to her as follows: — 

" My Mistress and my Friend, 
'' My heart and I surrender ourselves into your hands, and 
we supplicate to be commended to your good graces, and that 
by absence your affections may not be diminished to us. For 
that would be to augment our pain, which would be a great 
pity, since absence gives enough, and more than I ever thought 
could be felt. This brings to my mind a fact in astronomy, 
which is, that the longer the days are, the farther off is the sun, 
and ^ct the more scorching is his heat. Thus is it with our 
love; absence has placed distance between us, nevertheless fervour 

1 ramjihletetr, Ho- 43, p. lli. AlUr the lignature come* the foUowius device: 
/' '^ ■^ '\ 
i^iUU autre que \ A U / ne chache S. T. 



rncreaaes, at least on my part. I hope the same from you, 
assuring you that in my case the anguish of absence is so great 
that it would be intolerable were it not for the firm hope I have 
of your indissoluble affection towards me. In order to remind 
YOU of it, and because I cannot in person be in your presence, 
I send you the thing which comes nearest that is possible, that 
Ls to say, my picture, and the whole device, which you already 
know of,^ set in bracelets; wishing myself in their place when it 
pleases you. This is from the hand of " Your Servant 

and Friend, 

«H. T. Rex." 

Presed by her father, her uncles, and by Henry, Anne's 
firmness was shaken. That crown, rejected by Renfee and by 
Margaret, dazzled the young Englishwoman; every day she found 
£ome new charm in it; and gradually familiarizing herself with 
her new future, she said at last : " If the king becomes free, I 
shall be willing to marry him." This was a great fault; but 
Henry was at the height of joy. 

The courtiers watched with observant eyes these developments 
of the king's affection, and were already preparing the homage 
which they proposed to lay at Anne Boleyn's feet. But there 
■was one man at court whom Henry's resolution filled with sor- 
row; this was Wulsey. He had been the first to suggest to the 
king the idea of separating from Catherine; but if Anne is to 
succeed her, there must be no divorce. He had first alienated 
Catherine's party; he was now going to irritate that of the Boleyns; 
accordingly he began to fear that whatever might be the issue 
of this affair, it would cause his ruin. He ttok frequent walks 
in his park at Hampton Court, accompanied by the French am- 
bassador, the ctnidant of his sorrows: "i wuuld willingly lose 
one of my fingers," he said, " if I could only have two hours' 
conversatiun \sitn the king of France." At another time, 
fancying all England was pursuing him, be said with alarm, 
*' The king my uiaster and aU his subjects will cry murder against 
me; they will tall upon me more fiercely than on a Turk, and 
all Christendom will rise against me!" The next day \\ olsey, 
to gain the French ambassador, gave him a lon^ history of what 
he had done ior France wjainii the witJies of all England: " I 
need much dexterity in my afeirs," he added, '• and must use a 
terrible alchyintf."' But alchymy could not aave him. Rarely 

1 DoabUess the out iUie aut nxiUibi. For thu letter tee tlw FamphletMr, Ho- 42, p. SKa, 
3 Uue tenible Alquemie. Le Gr«iid, I'reaTes, p. U7, 

46 X 


has so much anguish been veiled beneath such grandeur. Du: 
Bellay was moved with pity at the sight of the unhappy man's 
sufferings. "When he gives way," he wrote to Montmorency, 
" it lasts a day together; — he is continually sighing. — You have 
never seen a man in such anguish of mind."^ 

In truth Wolsey's reason was tottering. That fatal idea of 
the divorce was the cause of all his woes, and to be able to re- 
call it, he would have given, not a finger only, but an arm, and 
perhaps more. It was too late; Henry had started his car down 
the steep, and whoever attempted to stop it would have beea 
crushed beneath its wheels. However, the cardinal tried to 
obtain something. Francis I had intercepted a letter from 
Charles V in which the emperor spoke of the divorce as likely 
to raise the EngUsh nation in revolt. Wolsey caused this letter 
to be read to the king, in the hope that it would excite his seri- 
ous apprehensions; but Henry only frowned, and Du Bellay, to 
whom the monarch ascribed the report on these troubles fore- 
boded by Charles, received " a gentle lash."^ This was the sole 
result of the manoeuvre. 

Wolsey now resolved to broach this important subject in a. 
straightforward manner. The step might prove his ruin; but 
if he succeeded he was saved and the popedom with him. Ac- 
cordingly one day (shortly before the sweating sickness broke 
out, says Du Eellay, probably in June 1528) Wolsey openly 
prayed the king to renounce his design; his own reputation, he 
told him, the prosperity of England, the peace of Europe, the 
safety of the church, — all required it; besides the pope would 
never grant the divorce. AVhile the cardinal was speaking, 
Henry's face grew black; and before he had concluded the king's 
anger broke out. " The king used terrible words," said Du 
Bellay. He would have given a thousand Wolseys for one Anne 
Boleyn. " No other than God shall take her from me," was 
his most decided resolution. 

Wolsey, now no longer doubting of his disgrace, began to take 
his measures accordingly. He commenced building in several 
places, in order to win the affections of the common people; he 
took great care of his bishoprics, in order that they might en- 
sure him an easy retreat; ho was affable to the courtiers; and 
thus covered the earth with flowers to deaden his fall. Then, 
he would sigh as if he were disgusted with honours, and would 
celebrate the charms of solitude.^ He did more than this. 

I iCth April, lO.'S. Le Gr.ind. Frcuva. p. Sa « <^uel<JHe pttit ooup dc/ouec. 

24th May, 16W/ l>b JB«U«y to Montmorency. Ibid- p- 10!J- S XOth Ausuit, IMS.. 

Ibut. p. 166. 


Seeing plainly that the best vray of recovering the king's favour 
would be to conciliate Anne Boleyn, he made her the most 
handsome presents.i and assured her that all his efforts would 
now be directed to raise her to the throne of England. Auue 
believing these declarations replied, that she would help him in 
her turn, ''As long as any breath was in her body.''- Even 
Henry had no doubt that the cardinal had profited by his 

Thus were all parties restless and uneasy — Henry desiring to 
marry Lady Anne, the courtiers to get rid of Wolsey, and the 
latter to remain in power — when a serious event appeared to 
put every one in harmony with his neighbour. About the mid- 
dle of June, the terrible sweating sickness (sudor anglicus) 
; loke out in England. The citizens of London, " thick as flies/' 
-aid Du Bellay,^ suddenly feeling pains in the head and heart, 
rushed from the streets or shops to theii* chambers, began to 
sweat, and took to their beds. The disease made frightful and 
rapid progress, a burning heat preyed on their limbs; if they 
• hanced to uncover themselves, the perspiration ceased, delirium 
ame on, and in four hours the victim was dead and " stiff as a 
wall," * says the French ambassador. Every family was in 
moiuning. Sir Thomas iiore, kneeling by his daughter's bed- 
side, burst into tears, and called upon God to save his beloved 
Margaret.^ "Wolsey, who was at Hampton Court, suspecting 
nothing amiss, arrived in London as usual to preside in the 
court of Chancery; but he ordered his horses to be siiddled 
again immediately and rode back. In four days, 2000 persons 
died in London. 

The court was at first safe from the contagion; but on the 
fourth day one of Aune Boleyn's ladies was attacked; it was as 
if ;i thunderbolt had fallen on the palace. The king removed 
with all haste, and staid at a place twelve miles off, lor he was 
not prepared to die. He ordered Anne to return to her father, 
invited the queen to join him, and took up his residence at 
AValtham. His real conscience awoke only in the presence of 
deatb. Four of hLs attendants and a friar, Anne's confessor, 
as it would appear,^ falling ill, the king departed for Himsdon. 
He had been there two days only when Powis, Carew, Carton, 
and others of his court, were carried off in two or three hours. 
Henry had met an enemy whom he could not vanquish. He 

1 Piunphletccr, No. 43> p: )50l ''2 Ibid. 3 Dm conune moaches. Le 

Orand. I'rcuve*, p- iSS. 4 Raide cumme un paa de mur. luid. 5 Mores 

■Ijfe, p. ot>. t Votre peie mui;re Jesouere esi t^mbe maUde. Heur; to Anna, 

f aupuiete«r, .No. ii, p. 3t7- 

324 hesry's terror. 

quitted the place attacked by the disease; he removed to another 
quarter; and when the sickness laid hold of any of his attend- 
ants in his new retreat, he again left that for a new asylum. 
Terror froze his blood; he wandered about pursued by that 
terrible scythe whose sweep might perhaps reach him; he cut 
off all communication, even with his servants; shut himself up 
in a room at the top of an isolated tower; ate all alone, and 
would see no one but his physician;^ he prayed, fasted, confessed, 
became reconciled with the queen; took the sacrament every 
Sunday and feast day; received his Maker ^ to use the words of 
a gentleman of his chamber; and the queen and Wolsey did the 
same. Nor was that all : his councillor. Sir Brian Tuke, was 
sick in Essex; but that mattered not; the king ordered him to 
come to him, even in his litter; and on the 20th of June, Henry 
after hearing three masses (he had never done so much before 
in one day) said to Tuke: " I want you to write my will!' He 
was not the only one who took that precaution. " There were 
a hundred thoiisand made," says Du Bellay. 

During this time, Anne in her retirement at Hever was calm 
and collected; she prayed much, particularly for the king and 
for Wolsey.^ But Henry, far less submissive, was very anxious. 
'* The uneasiness my doubts about your health gave me," he 
wrote to her, " disturbed and irightened me exceedingly; but 
now, since you have as yet felt nothing, I hope it is with you 
as it is with us. .... 1 beg you, my entirely beloved, not to 
frighten yourself, or be too uneasy at our absence, for wherever 
I am, 1 am youis. And yet we must sometimes submit to our 
misfortunes, for whoever will struggle against fate, is generally 
but so much the farther from gaining his end. Wherefore, com- 
fort yourself and take courage, and make this misfortune as easy 
to you as }0U can."* 

As he received no news, Henry's uneasiness increased; he sent 
to Anne a messenger and a letter: " to acquit myself of the 
duty of a true servant, 1 send you this letter, beseeching you to 
apprize me of your welfare, which i pray may continue as long 
aa I desire mine own." 

Henry's fears were well founded; the malady became more 
severe; m lour Jioura eighteen persons died at the archbishop of 
Canterbury's; Anne Bole^n herself and her brother also caught 
ihe infection. The king was exceedingly agitated; Anne alone 

1 With his physician in a chamber within a tow«r to sup apart- State Caper*, vol. i, p. 
396. 2 l!)id. p. :!<J0- 3 1 thuuk uur Lurd that tliLiii tbut 1 dcklred aud 

pni>'i;(l for ore escaped, aud Ibiit is the Kini{'< )(i'ii(''s'"'<i yuu- Auiie to VVuisey. jt'aiuplile- 
Uer, ^o, 4il, p. lao. « Ibin. .No. iU, p. ui. 

wolsey's tereobs. 325 

appeared calmj the strength of her character raised her above 
exaggerated fears; but her enemies ascribed her calmness to 
other motives. "Her ambition is stronger than death," they 
said. " The king, queen, and cardinal tremble for their lives, 

but she she would die content if she died a queen," 

Henry once more changed his residence. All the gentlemen of 
his privy-chamber were attacked with one exception; '• he re- 
mained alone, keeping himself apart," says Du liellay, and con- 
fessed every day. He wrote again to Anne, sending her his 
physician. Dr. Butts: ' "The most displeasing news that could 
occur came to me suddenly at night. On three accounts I must 
lament it. One, to hear of the illness of my mistress, whom I 
esteem more than all the world, and whose health 1 desire as I 
do my own. I would willingly bear half of what 3 ou suffer to 
cure you. The second, from the fear that I shall have to en- 
dure my wearisome absence much longer, which has hitherto 
given me all the vexation that was possible; and when gloomy 
thoughts filled my mind, then I pray God to remove far from 
me such troublesome and rebellious ideas. The third, because 
my physician, in whom I have most confidence, is absent. Yet, 
from the want of him, I send you my second, and hope that he 
will soon make you well, 1 shall then love him more than 
ever. I beseech you to be guided by his advice in your illness. 
By your doing this, I hope soon to see you again, which will be 
to me a greater comfort than all the precious jewels in the 

The pestilence soon broke out with more violence around 
Henry; he fled in alarm to Hatfield, taking with him only the 
gentleman of his chamber; he next quitted this place for Titten- 
hanger, a house belonging to W olsey, whence he commanded 
general processions throughout the kingdom in order to avert 
this scourge of God,* At the same time he wrote to Wolsey: 
'* As soon as any one falls ill in the place where you are, fly to 
another; and go thus from place to place." The poor cardinal 
was still more alarmed than Henry. As soon as he felt the 
slightest perspiration, he fancied bimself a dead man. " I en- 
treat your highness," he wrote trembling to the king on the oth 
of July, " to sbow yourself fuU of pity for my souJ; these are 

perhaps the last words 1 shall address to you the whole 

world will see by my last testament that you have not bestowed 
jour favour upon an ungrateful man." The king, perceiving 
that Wolsey's mind was affected, bade him •' put apart fear and 

1 f ampblctecr, ho, «3, p. liO- 2 SU(« Fapen. i. p. 30^. 


fantasies," i and wear a cheerful humour in the midst of death. 

A.t last the sickness began to diminish, and immediately the 
desire to see Anne revived in Henry's bosom. On the 18th of 
August she re-appeared at court, and all the king's thoughts 
were now bent on the divorce. 

But this business seemed to proceed in inverse ratio to his 
desires. There was no news of Campeggio; was he lost in the 
Alps or at sea? Did his gout detain him in some village, or was 
the announcement of his departure only a feint? Anne Boleyn 
herself was uneasy, for she attached great importance to Cam- 
peggio's coming. If the church annulled the king's first mar- 
riage, Anne seeing the principal obstacle removed, thought she 
might accept Henry's hand. She therefore wrote to Wolsey: 
" 1 long to hear from you news of the legate, for 1 do hope (an' 
they come from you) they shall be very good." The king added 
in a postscript : " The not hearing of the legate's arrival in 
France causeth us somewhat to muse. Notwithstanding we trust; 
by your diligence and vigilancy (with the assistance of Almighty 
God) shortly to be eased out of that trouble." - 

But still there was no news. AVhile waiting for the long 
desired ambassador, every one at the English court played hb 
part as well as he could. Anne, whether li:om conscience, pru- 
dence, or modesty, refused -...c honours which the king would 
have showered upon her, and never approached Catherine but 
with marks of profound respect. Wolsey had the look of de- 
siring the divorce, while in reality he dreaded it, as fated to 
cause his ruin and that of the popedom. Henry strove to con- 
ceal the motives which iuioelled him to separate from the queeuj 
to the bishops, he spoke of his conscience, to the nobiUty of an 
heir, and to all of the sad obligation which compelled him to 
put away so justly beloved a princess. In the meanwhile, he 
seemed to live on the best terms with her, from what Du Bellay 
says.2 But Catherine was the one who best dissembled her 
sentiments; she lived with the king as during their happiest 
days, treated Anne with every kindness, adopted an elegant 
costume, encouraged nmsic and dancing in her apartments, ol'teu 
appeared in public, and seemed desirous of captivating by her 
gracious smiles the good-will of England. This was a mournful 
comedy, destined to end in tragedy full of tears and agony. 

I SUte l*apen, i, p. 314. 2 Pamphleteer, No. 48. p. 119. 3 Itith Octob«C 

l£i^ Du B«llay to Moutmorency. Ij«<i»uJ,i'reuve«, p-iiU- 



Coverdale and Inspiration — He undertakes to translate the Scriptures 
— His Joy and Spiritual Songs — Tjbail and the Lavmen — Cover- 
dale preaches at Bumpstead — Revival at Colchester — Incomplete 
Societies and the B^ew Testament — Persecution — Monmouth ar- 
rested and released. 

While these scenes were acting in the royal palaces, far 
different discussions were going on among the people. After 
having dwelt for some time on the agitations of the court, we 
gladly return to the lowly disciples of the divine word. The 
Reformation of England (and this is its characteristic) brings 
before us by turns the king upon his throne, and the laborious 
-artisan in his humble cottage; and between these two extremes 
we meet with the doctor in his college, and the priest in his 

Among the young men trained at Cambridge under Barnes's 
instruction, and who had aided him at the time of his trial, was 
Miles Coverdale, afterwards bishop of Exeter, a man distin- 
guished by his zeal for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some time 
after the prior's fall, on Easter Eve, lo27, Coverdale and Crom- 
well met at the house of Sir Thomas j\Iore, when the former 
■exhorted the Cambridge student to apply himself to the study 
of sacred learning.^ The lapse of his uniiappy master had 
■alarmed Coverdale, and he felt the necessity of withdrawing 
firom that outward activity which had proved so fatal to Barnes. 
He therefore turned to the Scriptures, read them again and 
again, and perceived, like Tyudale, that the reformation of the 
church must be effected by the word of God. The inspiration 
of that word, the only foundation of its sovereign authority, 
had struck Coverdale. " AVherever the Scripture is known it 
reformeth all things. And why? Because it b given hy 
■the inspiration of God." '^ This fundamental principle of the 
Reformation in England must, in every age, be that of the 

J Coverdale's Remains (Parker Society), p. <80- The authority for thi» statement is a letter 
from Coverdale to Cromweil, which the editor ol the " remiiius" assigns to the year 1527. Mr. 
Audersoo (Annals of the Bible, i- p. '^), places it four years later, in 1531. Foxe asserts 
that Cromwell was at ttie siege of Home in itay 15^7, on the authority of Cranmer and 
Cromwell himself (Acts and Mon- t- p- £65). If so. the letter caunot belong to that year; 
jKit 1531 is improbable- I am inclined to think it was written in ISiS; but any way there ia 
« difficulty with the date. '■* Ibid, p- 10. 


Coverdale found happiness in his studies: "Now," he said 
I begin to taste of Holy Scriptures! Now, honour be to God r 

«fr.r \ f T"^ r"'^ ''^'" "^ ^'^^ ^'^^'''- ' He did not 
stop there but thought it his duty to attempt in England the 
work which lyndale was prosecuting in Germany. The Bible 
was so important in the eyes of these Christians, that two tran- 
slations were undertaken simultaneously. -Why should other 
natjons, said Coverdale, "be more plenteously provided for 
with the Scriptures in their mother-tongue than we^ "2_«Be 
ware of translating the Bible! " exclaimed the parti;ans of the 
schoolmen; "your labour will only make divisions in the faith 
and m the people of God." W' God has now given his church," 
replied Coverdale, "the gifts of translating and of printing: we 
must improve them." And if any friends spoke of Tyndlle's 
translation, he answered: ''Do not you know that when many 
are starting together, every one doth his best to be nighest the ' 
w ^ T ^'^'^^Pture ought to exist in Latin only » 

objected the priests.-^No," replied Coverdale again, "the HolV 
Ghost IS as much the author of it in the Hebrew, Greek, French, 

Dutch, and English, as in Latin The word of God is of 

t^% ""T:*?" jJ"' '" ''^** language soever the Holy Ghost speaketh 
It. ^ Ihis does not mean that translations of Holy Scripture 
are mspired, but that the word of God, faithfully translated, 
always possesses a divine authority, 

Coverdale determined therefore to translate the Bible, and 
to procure the necessary books, he wrote to Cromwell, who, dur' 
ing his travels, had made a collection of these precious writings. 
Nothing m the world I desire but books," he wrote: "like 
Jacob, you have drunk of the dew of heaven. . I ask to 

drink of your waters." c Cromwell did not refuse Coverdale hia 
treasures. '^ Since the Holy Ghost moves you to bear the cost 
ot this work, ' exclaimed the latter, "' God gives me boldness to 
labour in the same." ' He commenced without delay, saying: 
Whosoever believeth not the Scripture, believeth not Christ; 
and whoso refuseth it, refuseth God also."« Such were the 
toundations of the relbrmed church in England. 

Coverdale did not undertake to translate the Scriptures as a 
mere literary task: the Spirit which had inspired him spoke ta 
his heart; and tasting their life-giving promises, he expressed his 
nappmees in pious songs: — 

Mw;p'S*'*"''^'iVr. , ^^Ibi'I-P"- 'Ibid. .ibM.p.U 

^ Ibid. p. 10. \ ibi^"*' "'*'' '*"""' muxime potm «xopto. Ibid. p. iOl. 


Be glad now, all ye christen meii. 

And let us rejoyce unfayncdly. 
The kindnesse cannot be written with penne. 

That we have receaved of God's mercy ; 
Whose love towarde us hath never ende : 
He hath done for us as a frende; 

Kow let us thanke him hartely. 

These lo^•ynge words he spake to me. 

I wyll delyver thy soule from payne; 
I am desposed to do for thee. 

And to myne owne selfe thee to retajTie. 
Thou shalt be with me, for thou art myne ; 
And I with thee, for I am thyne ; 

Such is my love, I cannot layne. 

They wyll shed out my precyous blonde. 

And take away my lyfe also ; 
Which I wjil suSi-e all for thy good : 

Beleve this sure, where ever thou go. 
For I will yet ryse up agayne; 
Thy sjTines 1 beare, though it be payne, 

To make thee safe and free from wo. 

Coverdale did not remain long in the solitude he desired- 
The study of the Bible, which had attracted him to it, soott 
drew him out of it. A revival was going on in E^sex; John Ty- 
ball, an inhabitant of Bumpstead, having learnt to find in Jesus- 
Christ the true bread from heaven, did not stop there. One day 
as he was reading the first epistle to the Corinthians, these words t 
" eat of this bread" and " drink of this cup," repeated four tinies- 
within a few verses, convinced him that there was no tran- 
substantiation. '' A priest has no power to create the body of 
the Lord," said he, '• Christ truly is present in the Eucharist,, 
but he is there only /or him that believeth, and by a spiritual 
presence and action only." Tyball, disgusted with the Rom- 
ish clergy and worship, and convinced that Christians are 
called to a tmiversal priesthood, soon thought that men could 
do \sithout a special ministry, and without denying the offices 
mentioned in Scripture, as some Christians have done since, he-. 
attached no importance to them. " Priesthood is not necessary,' " 
he said: " every layman may administer the sacraments as well 
as a priest." The minister of Bumpstead, one Richard Foxe,. 
and next a grey friar of Colchester named Meadow, were succes- 
sively converted by Tyball's energetic preaching. 

Coverdale, who was living not far from these parts, having 
heard speak of this rehgious revival, came to Bumpstead, and 

1 Stijpc, Kccordf , 1- p. SL 


•went into the pulpit in the spring of 1528, to proclaim the 
treasures contained in Scripture. Among his hearers was an 
Augustine monk, named Topley, who was supplying Foxe's 
place during his absence. This monk, while staying at the 
parsonage^ had found a copy of WicklijQPe's Wicket, which he read 
eagerly. His conscience was wounded by it, and all seemed to 
totter about him.^ He had gone to church full of doubt, 
and after divine service he waited upon the preacher, exclaiming : 
*' my sins, my sins! " "Confess yourself to God," said Cover- 
dale, "and not to a priest. God accepteth the confession which 
•Cometh from the heart, and blotteth out all your sins."^ The 
monk believed in the forgiveness of God, and became a zealous 
evangelist for the surrounding country. 

The divine word had hardly lighted one torch, before that kin- 
dled another. At Colchester, in the same county, a worthy 
man named Pykas, had received a copy of the Epistles of Saint 
Paul from his mother, with this advice: " My son, live accord- 
ing to these writings, and not according to the teaching of the 
clergy." Some time after, Pykas having bought a New Testa- 
ment, and "read it thoroughly many times/' ^ a total change took 
place in him. " AVe must be baptized by the Holy Ghost," he 
said, and these words pasfeed like a breath of life over his simple- 
minded hearers. One day, Pykas having learnt that Bilney, the 
first of the Cambridge doctors who had known the power of God's 
word, was preaching at Ipswich, he proceeded thither, for he never 
refused to listen to a priest, when that priest proclaimed the truth. 
*'0, what asermon! howfuUof the Holy Ghost! "exclaimed Pykas. 

From that period meetings of the brothers in Christ (for thus 
they were called) increased in number. They read the New 
Testament, and each imparted to the others what he had received 
for the instruction of all. One day when the twenty-fourth 
chapter of Matthew had been read, Pykas, who was sometimes 
wrong in the spiritual interpretation of Scripture, remarked: 
"When the Lord declares that not one stone ofi/ie temple shall be 
left upon anotJier, he speaks of those haughty priests who persecute 
those whom they call heretics, and who pretend to be the 
temple of God. God will destroy them all." After protesting 
against the priest, he protested against the host: "The real 
body of Jesus Christ is in the Word," he said; "God is in the 
Word, the Word is in God.* God and the Word cannot be 
separated. Chriat is the living Word that nourishes the soul." 

*■ I felt in mjr conscience a gTea,i vraverini;- Anderson's Annals of the Ulble, vol. i. p. 18&, 
3 CuverOiUe's ilemaius, p. 4S1. it Stryi>e, vol' i. ch. i- p. Ul. Ibid. p. loU. 


These humble preachers increased. Even women knew the 
Epistles and Gospels by heart; Marion Matthew, Dorothy Long, 
Catherine Swain, Alice Gardiner, and, above all, Gyrling's wife, 
who had been in service with a priest lately burnt for heresy, 
t ook part in these gospel meetings. And it was not in cottages 
only that the glad tidings were then proclaimed; Bower Hall, 
the residence of the squires of Bumpstead, was open to Foxe, 
Topley, and Tyball, who often read the Holy Scriptures in the 
irreat hall of the mansion, in the presence of the master and all 
their household: a humble Eeformation more real than that 
effected by Henry YIH. 

There was, iiowever, some diversity of opinion among these 
brethren. "All who have begun to believe," said Tyball, Pykas, 
and others, "ought to meet together to hear the word and in- 
crease in laith. We pray in common and that constitutes 

a church." Coverdale, Bilney, and Latimer willingly recognised 
these incomplete societies, in which the members met simply as 
disciples; they believed them necessary at a period when the 
church was forming. These societies (in the reformers' views) 
proved that organization has not the priority in the Christian 
church, as Rome maintains, and that this priority belongs to the 
faith and the life. But this imperfect form ihey also regarded 
3& provisional. To prevent numerous dangers, it was necessary 
that this society should be succeeded by another, the church of 
the New Testament, with its elders or bishops, and deacons. 
The word, they thought, rendered a ministry of the word ne- 
<^ssary; and lor its proper exurcL»e not only piety was required, 
but a knowledge of the sacred languages, the gift of eloquence, 
its exercise and perfection. However, there was no division 
among these Christians upon secondary matters. 

For some time the bishop of Loudon watched this movement 
•with uneasiness. He caused Hacker to be arrested, who, for 
.sii years past, had gone Irom house to house reading the Bible 
in London and Essex; examined and threatened him, inquired 
<jarefiilly after the names of thosj who had shown him nospi- 
tality; and the poor man in alarm had given up about forty of 
his brethren. Sebastian Harris, priest ot Kensington, Forman, 
rector of All Hallows, John and William Pykas, and many 
others, were summoned before the bishop. Ihey were taken 
to prison; they were led before the judges; they were put in the 
stocks; they were tormented in a thousand ways. Their minds 
became confused; their thoughts wandered; and many made the 
<sonfessions required by their persecutors. 


The adversaries of the gospel, proud of this success, now 
desired a more glorious victory. If they could not reach Tyn- 
dale, had they not in London the patron of his work, Mon- 
mouth, the most influential of the merchants, and a ioUower of 
the true faith? The clergy had made religion their business, 
and the Reformation restored it to the people. Nothing offend- 
ed the priests so much, as that laymen should claim the right 
to believe without their intervention, and even to propagate the 
faith. Sir Thomas More, one of the most amiable men of the 
sixteenth century, participated in their hatred. He wrote to 
Cochlseus: "Germany now daily bringeth forth monsters more 
deadly than what Africa was wont to do; ^ but, alas! she is not 
alone. Numbers of Englishmen, who would not a few years 
ago even hear Luther's name mentioned, are now publishing his 
praises! England is now like the soa, which swells and heaves 
before a great storm, without any wind stirring it."' More felt 
particularly irritated, because the boldness of the gospellers had 
succeeded to the timidity of the Lollards. " The heretics," he 
said, "have put ofi' hypocrisy, and put on impudence." He 
therefore resolved to set his hand to the work. 

On the 14th of May 1529, Monmouth was in his shop, when 
an usher came and summoned him to appear before Sir o. 
Dauncies, one of the privy council. The pious merchant obeyed, 
Ktrlving to persuade himself that he was wanted on some matter 
of busmess; but in this he was deceived, as he soon found out. 
*' What letters and books have you lately received from abroad?"-* 
asked with some severity, Sir Thomas More, who, with Sir 
William Kingston, was Sir John's colleague. "None," replied 
Monmouth. " What aid have you given to any persons livin-i- 
on the continent?" — "None, for these kst three years. W illiam 
Tyndale abode with me six months," he continued, " and his 
lile was what a good priest's ought to be. I gave him tea 
pounds at the period of his departure, but nothing since, be- 
sides, he is not the only one 1 have helped; the bishop of 
London's chaplain, ibr instance, has received of me more than 
i/'50." — " What books have you in your possession?" The 
merchant named the New Testament and some other works. 
*' All these books have lain more than two years on my table, 
and 1 never heard that either priests, friars, or laymen learnt 
any great errors Irom them."* More tossed his head, "It is 
a hard matter," he used to say, " to put a dry stick in the fire 

X Uon't life. p. K. I Ibid. p. 117. S Stoype'* K«cor«U, p. 363. 

• Ibid. p. iOi. 


xvithout its burning, or to nourish a snake in our bosom and 
not be stung by it.' — That is enough," he continued, " we shall 
go and search your house," Not a paper escaped their curios- 
ity; but they found nothing to compromise Monmouth; he was 
however sent to the Tower. 

After some interval the merchant was again brought before 
his judges. " You are accused," said More, '' of having bought 
Martin Luther's tracts; of maintaining those who are translating 
the Scriptures into English; of subscribing to get the New 
Testament printed in English, with or without glosses; of hav- 
ing imported it into the kingdom; and, lastly, of having said 
that faith alone is sufHcient to save a man."^ 

There was matter enough to burn several men. Monmouth, 
feeling convinced that Wolscy alone had power to deliver him, 
resolved to apply to him. '^ What will become of my poor 
workmen in London and in the country during my imprison- 
ment?" he wrote to the cardinal. " They must have their 
money every week; who will give it them ? . . . . Besides, I 
make considerable sales in foreign co"mtries, which bring large 
returns to his majesty's customs.' Tt I remain in prison, this 
commerce is stopped, and of course all the proceeds for the 
■exchequer." Wolsey, who was as much a statesman as a 
churchman, began to melt; on the eve of a struggle with the 
pope and the emperor, he feared, besides, to make the people 
discontented. Monmouth was released from prison. As alder- 
man, and then as sheriff of London, he was faithful until death, 
and ordered in his last will that thirty sermons should be 
preached by the most evangelical ministers in England, *• to 
make known the holy word of Jesus Christ."' — ''That is better," 
be thought, ''than foundmg masses." The Reformation showed, 
in the sixteenth century, that great activity in commerce might 
be allied to great piety. 

1 More'i tife, p. U6. ^ i>tr;pc't Jlcnk L p. 48a S Sttjpe, Recotda. t p. 367. 



Political Changes — Fresh Instructions from the Pope to Campeggio 

His delays — He unbosoms himself to Francis — A Prediction — Arrival 
of Campeggio — Wolsey's Uneasiness— Henry's Satisfaction — The 
Cardinal's Project — Campeggio's Reception — First Interview with 
Mt. v^ueen and with the King — Useless Efforts to make Campeggio 
part with the Decretal — The Nuncio's Conscience — Public Opinion 
— Measures taken by the King — His Speech to the Lords and Alder- 
men — Festivities —Wolsey seeks French Support — Contrariety. 

While these persecutions were agitating the fields and the 
capital of England, all had changed in the ecclesiastical world,, 
because all had changed in the political. The pope, pressed by 
Henry VIIT and intimidated by the armies of Francis I, had 
granted the decretal and despatched Campeggio. But, on a 
sudden, there was a new evolution; a change of events brought 
a change of counsels. Doria had gone over to the emperor; his 
fleet had restored abundance to Naples; the array of Francis I, 
ravaged by famine and pestilence, had capitulated, and Charles 
V, triumphant in Italy, had said proudly to the pope : " We are 
determined to defend the queen of England against King Henry's 

Charles having recovered his superiority, the affrighted pope 
opened his eyes to the justice of Catherine's cause. " Send four 
messengers after Campeggio," said he to his officers; "and let 
each take a different road; bid them travel with all speed and 
deliver our despatches to him."^ They overtook the legate, 
who opened the pope's letters. "In the first place," said Cle- 
ment VII to him, " protract your journey. In the second place, 
when you reach England, use every endeavoiu' to reconcile the 
king and queen. In the third place, if you do not succeed, 
persuade the queen to take the veil. And in the last place, if 
she refuses, do not pronounce any sentence favourable to the 
divorce without a new and express order from me. This is the 
essential: Summum et maximum mandatum." The ambassador' 
of the sovereign pontiff had a mission to do nothing. This in- 
struction is sometimes as effective as any. 

Campeggio, the youngest of the cardinals, was the most in— 

* Cum CiBsar matertcraa suae causam contra injuma Uenrici (iropuguaverit. Sauden, p.. 
38- '<t (^uutuor DuuciuK cekniuiu diversla itiueribus ad Canipegium muit Ibid., 

ct Herbert, p. ibi. 

ANXK's •LETTEft Hy tTOBSET. 33^- 

telligent and the slowest; and this slowness caused his selection 
by the pope. He understood his master. If Wolsey wa» 
Henry's spar to urge on Campeggio, the latter was Clement's 
bridle to check Wolsey.^ One of the judges of the divorce was 
about to pull forwards, the other backwards; thus the business 
stood a chance of not advancing at all, which was just what the 
pope required. 

The legate, very eager to relax his speed, spent three months 
on his journey from Italy to England. He should have em- 
barked for France on the 23rd of July; but the end of Augusts 

- approaching, and no one knew in that country what had 
.. me of him."- At length they learnt that he had reached 
Lyons on the 22nd of August. The English ambassador ia 
France sent him horses, carriages, plate, and money, in order to- 
hasten his progress; the legate complained of the gout, ani 
Grardiner found the greatest difficulty in getting him to move. 
Henry wrote every day to Anne Boleyn, complaining of the slow 
progress of the nuncio. *• He arrived in Paris last Sunday or 
Monday," he says at the beginning of September; '• Monday- 
nest we shall hear of his arrival in Calais, and then I shall 
obtain what I have so longed for, to God's pleasure and both 
our comforts."^ 

At the same time, this impatient prince sent message after 
message to accelerate the legate's rate of travelling. 

Anne began to desire a future which surpassed aU that her 
youthful imagination had conceived, and her agitated heart ex- 
panded to the breath of hope. She wrote to Wolsey: 

"This shall be to give unto your grace, as I am most bound,, 
my humble thanks for the great pain and travail that your 
grace doth take in studying, by your wisdom and great diligence, 
how to bring to pass honourably the greatest wealth [well-beingj 
that is possible to come to any creature living; and in especial 
remembering how wretched and unworthy 1 am in comparison 
to his highness Kow, good my lord, your discre- 
tion may consider as yet how little it is in my power to recom- 
pense you but alonely [only] with my good will; the which I 
assure you, look what thing in this world I can imagine to do- 
you pleasure in, you shall find me the gladdest woman in the 
world to do it."* 

But the impatience of the king of England and of Anne 
seemed as if it would never be satislied. Campeggio, on his way 

* l^*p ^^ '■ **■ ^"* * ^'*'* ^'*** lii. p. 8X 9A 3 ramphlet«er. No. 49^ P- UU 


through Paris, told Francis I that the divorce would never take 
place, and that he should soon go to Spain to see Charles V. 

This was significative. " The king of England 

ought to know," said the indignant Francis to the duke of 
Suffolk, " that Campeggio is imperialist at heart, and that his 
mission in England will be a mere mockery/'^ 

In truth, the Spanish and Roman factions tried every man- 
oeuvre to prevent a union they detested. Anne Boleyn, queen 
of England, signified not only Catherine humbled, but Charles 
ofiended; the clerical party awakened, perhaps destroj-ed, and 
the evangelical party put in its place. The Romish faction 
found accomplices even in Anne's own family. Her brother 
George's wife, a proud and passionate woman, and a rigid Roman 
catholic, had sworn an implacable hatred against her young 
sister. By this means wounds might be inflicted, even in the 
domestic sanctuary, which would not be the less deep because 
they were the work of her own kindred. One day we are told 
that Anne found in her chamber a book of pretended prophecies, 
in which was a picture representing a king, a queen shedding 
tears, and at their feet a young lady headless. Anne turned 
away her eyes with disgust. She desired, however, to know 
what this emblem signified, and oificious friends brought to her 
one of those pretended wise men, so numerous at all times, who 
abuse the credulity of the ignorant by professing to interpret 
such mysteries. " This prophetic picture," he said, " represents 
the history of the king and his wife." Anne was not credulous, 
but she understood what her enemies meant to insinuate, and 
dismissed the mock interpreter without betraying any signs of 
fear; then turning to her favourite attendant, Anne Saville, 
" Come hither, JS'an," said she, " look at this book of prophecies; 
this is the king, this the queen wringing her hands and mourn- 
ing, and this (putting her finger on the bleeding body) is myself, 
with my head cut off." — The young lady answered with a shud- 
der: '• if 1 thought it were true, 1 would not myself have him 
were he an emperor." — '• Tut, lN[an," replied Anne Boleyn with 
a sweet smile, " i think the book a bauble, and am resolved to 
have him, that my issue may be royal, whatever may become of 
me.' * This story is based on good authority, and there were 
so many predictions of this kind afloat that it is very possible 
one of them might come true; people afterwards recollected only 
the prophecies confirmed by the events. But, be that as it may, 

1 The cardinui intended not that your Grace's matter sboold take effect, but only to um 
liUiiimuluUoa with your Orace, lor he U entirely imperial. buUollt to Utury, State I'apeil, 
>u.p.M». a Wy»tt.|>.iJ«. 


this voung lady, 'o severely chastised in after-days, found in her 
God an abundant consolation. 

At length Campeggio embarked at Calais on the 29th of 
September, and unfortunately for him he had an excellent pass- 
age across the channel. A storm to drive him back to the 
Trench coast would have suited him admirably. But on the 
1st of October he was at Canterbury, whence he announced his 
arrival to the king. At this news, Henry forgot all the delays 
which had so irritated him. " His majesty can never be suffici- 
ently grateful to your holiness for so great a favour," wrote 
Wolsey to the pope; " but he will employ his riches, his king- 
dom, his life ever, and deserve the name of Bestorer of the 
Church as justly as he has gained that of Defender of the Faith." 
This zeal alarmed Campeggio, for the pope wrote to him that 
any proceeding which might irritate Charles would inevitably 
cause the ruin of the church.^ The nuncio became more dilatory 
than ever, and although he reached Canterbury on the 1st of 
October, he did not arrive at Dartford until the oth, thus tak- 
ing four days for a journey of about thirty mUes.-' 

Meanwhile preparations were making to receive him in Lon- 
don. Wolsey, feeling contempt for the poverty of the Roman 
cardinals, and very uneasy about the equipage with which his 
colleague was likely to make his entrance into the capital, sent 
a number of showy chests, rich carpets, litters hung with 
drapery, and harnessed mules. On the other hand Campeggio, 
whose secret mission was to keep in the back-ground, and above 
all to do nothing, feared these banners, and trappings, and all 
the parade of a triumphal entry. Alleging therefore an attack 
of gout in order to escape from the pomps his colleague had 
prepared lor him, he quietly took a boat, and thus reached the 
palace of the bishop of Bath, where he was to lodge. 

While the nuncio wasthus proceedingunnoticeJ up the Thames, 
the equipages sent by ^\olsey entered London through the midst 
of a gaping crowd, who looked on them with curiosity as if they 
had couie Irom the banks oT the Tiber. Seme of the mules 
however took iright and ran away, the coflfers fell off and burst 
open, when there was a general rush to see their contents; but 
to the surprise of all they were empty. This was an excellent 
jest for the citizens of London. " Fine outside, empty inside; 
a just emblem ot the popedom, its embassy, and foohsh pomps," 
ihey said; " a sham legate, a procession ot masks, and the whole 
a farce!" 

1 S«nga to CuD[«eRio. &om ViUrbo, mh S«ptefflb«i Bauke, Denticbe Gesch. iii, p- 
135. 2 St*U Taper*, ri p. M, W. 

46 V 

338 a2«ne's indecision terminated. 

Campeggio was come at last, and now what he dreaded most- 
was an audience. "I cannot move," he said, '^ or endure the- 
motion of a litter."^ Never had an attack of gout been more 
seasonable. Wolsey, who paid him frequent visits, soon found 
him to be his equal in cunning. To no purpose did he treat 
him with every mark of respect, shaking his hand and making 
much of hiin;2 it was labour lost, the Roman nuncio would say 
nothing, and Wolsey began to despair. The king, on the con- 
trary, was full of hope, and fancied he already had the act of 
divorce in his portfolio, because he had the nuncio in his king- 

The greatest effect of the nuncio's arrival was the putting an 
end to Anne Boleyn's indecision. She had several relapses: the 
trials which she foresaw, and the grief Catherine must neces- 
sarily feel, had agitated her imagination and disturbed her mind- 
But when she saw the church and her own enemies prepared ta 
pronounce the king's divorce^ her doubts were removed, and she 
regarded as legitimate the position that was offered her. The 
king, who suffered from her scruples, was delighted at thi& 
change. ^' I desire to inform you," he wrote to her in Enghsh, 
"what joy it is to me to understand of your conformableness 
with reason, and of the suppressing of your inutile and vain 
thoughts and fantasies with the bridle of reason. I assure you 
all the greatness of this world could not counterpoise for my 
satisfaction the knowledge and certainty thereof. . . . The 
unfeigned sickness of this well-willing legate doth somewhat re- 
tard his access to your person."^ it was therefore the deter- 
mination of the pope that made Anne Boieyn resolve to accept 
Henri's hand; this is an important lesson for which we are in- 
debted to the Vatican Idlers. We should be grateful to the 
papacy Ibr having so carefully preserved them. 

But the more Henry rejoiced, the more Wolsey despaired; he 
would have desired to penetrate into Clement's thoughts, but 
could not succeed. Imagining that De Angelis, the general of 
the Spanish Observance, knew all the secrets of the pope and of 
the emperor, he conceived the plan of kidnapping him. " If he 
goes to Spain by sea," said he to Du Bellay, " a good brigantine 
or two would do the business; and if by land, it will be easier 
still." Du Bellay I'ailed not (as ho informs us himself) " to 
tell him plainly that by such proceedings he would entiiely for- 

1 Ueipatch from the bishop of Uayonne. 16th October, 1529- Le Grand. I'reuvea. p- IC9, 

2 Quem Bffipius viBituvi et nniantissiine sum complexui. (State I'apers, vii. p- lOS.) Whom 
eftou I have vi»it«d, aud most loviDKly embiuced. 3 i'aniphktwr. No- 43- p. iti. 


felt the pope's good will." — " What matter?" replied Wolaey, 
•' I have nothing to lose." As he said this, tears started to his 
eyes.* At last he made up his mind to remain ignorant of the 
pontiffs designs, and wiped his eyes, awaiting, not without fear, 
the interview between Henry and Campeggio. 

On the 22nd of October, a month after his arrival, the nuncio, 
borne in a sedan chair of red velvet, was carried to court. He 
was placed on the right of the throne, and his secretary in his 
name delivered a high-sounding speech, saluting Henry with the 
name of Saviour of Eome, Lileraior urbis. " Hi^ majesty,"' 
' replied Fox in the king's name, " has only performed the duties 
incumbent on a Christian prince, and he hopes that the holy 
see will bear them in mind." — ''Well attacked, well defended," 
said Bu Bellay. For the moment, a few Latin declamations got 
the papal nuncio out of his difficulties. 

Campeggio did not deceive himself: if the divorce were re- 
fused, he loresaw the reformation of England. Yet he hoped 
still, for he was assured that Catherine would submit to the 
judgment of the church; and being fully persuaded that the 
queen would refuse the holy father nothing, the nimcio began 
" his approaches," as Du Bellay calls them. On the 27th of 
October, the two cardinals waitel on Catherine, and in flattering 
terms insinuated that she might prevent the blow which threat- 
ened her by voluntary retirement into a convent. And then, to 
end all indecision in the queen's mind, Campeggio put on a severe 
look and exclaimed: '•'How is it, madam, explain the mystery 
to us? From the moment the holy father appointed us to ex- 
amine the question of your divorce, you have been seen not only 
at court, but in public, wearing the most magoificent ornament^ 
participating with an appearance of gaietj- and satisiactiou at 
amusements and festivities which you had never tolerated be- 
lure. . . . The church is in the most cruel embarrassment 
with regard to you; the king, your husband, is in the greatest 
perplexity; the princess, your daughter, is taken from you . . 
and instead of shedding tears, you give yom-self up to vanity. 
Eenounce the world, madam; enter a nunnery. Our holy father 
himself requires this of you."' 

The agitated queen was almost fainting; stifling her emotion, 
however, she said mildly but hrnily : " AlasI my lords, is it now 
a question whether I am the king's lawful wife or not, when I 
have been married to him ulmoat twenty j^eac* and 1.0 objection 

1 l>a iiiikj to MaBtoMCCKj, 3lK October. Le Gaud. Pn-arM, p. li^ Z IbuL 

3st Svfa.,'.,^, ,. 'u^ 

340 oatheuink's keply. 

raised before? . . . Divers prelates and lords are yet alive 
who tlien adjudged our marriage good and lawful, — and now to 
gay it is detestable ! this is a great marvel to me, especially when 
I consider what a wi^e prince the king's father was, and also the 
natural love and affection my father, King Ferdinand, bare unto 
me. I think that neither of these illustrious princes «ould have 
made me contract an illicit union." At these words, Catherine's 
emotion compelled her to stop. — " If I weep, my lords," she 
continued almost immediately, " it is not for myself, it is for a 
person dearer to me than my life. What! I should consent to 
an act which deprives my daughter of a crown? No, I will not 
sacrifice my child. I know what dangers threaten me. I am 
only a weak woman, a stranger, without learning, advisers, or 
friends . . and my enemies are skilful, learned in the laws, 
and desirous to merit their master's favour . . . and more 
than that, even my judges are my enemies. Can I receive as 
such," slie said as she looked at Campeggio, " a man extorted 
Irom the pope by manifest lying? , . . And as for you," 
added she, turning haughtily to Wolsey, ''having failed in at- 
taining the tiara, you have sworn to revenge yourself on my 
nephew the eniperur . . . and you have kept hiui true 
promise; ibr all his wars and vexations, he may only thank you. 
One victim was not enough for you. Forging abominable sup- 
positious, you desire to plunge his aunt into a frightful abyss. 
. . But my cause is just, and i trust it m the Lord's baud." 
After this bold language, the uuhappy Catherine withdrew 
to her apartments. The imminence of the danger eflected 
a salutary revolution in her ; she laid aside her brilliant 
ornaments, assumed the sober garments in which she is usually 
represented, aud passed days and nights in mourmng and in 

Thus Campeggio saw his hopes deceived; he had thought to 
find a nun, and had met a queen aud a mother. . . . lie 
now proceeded to set every imaginable spring at work; as Cath- 
erine would not renounce Henry, ho must try and prevail upon 
Henry to renounce his idea of separating from the queen. The 
Eoman legate thereiore cliauged nis batteries, and turned theui 
against the king. 

Henry, always impatient, went one day unannounced to Cam- 
peggio's iodguig, accouipauied by VVoisey only:'' "As we are 
Without witneatics," he baid, taking his seat tamiliarly between 

1 Regioa in lucta et lacrymif noct«i diesqne e^l- Sandera, p. 29, t U«gu ma. 

}««tiu «l ego ad «aui creUro uccsuui-iu. buie i'apdg, vii- 1>, M- 


the two cardinals, '•' let us speak freely of our affairs.^ — How 
shall you proceed?" But to his great astonishment and grief,* 
the nuncio prayed him, with all imaginable delicacy, to renounce 
the divorce.' At these words the fiery Tudor burst out : '•' Is 
this how the pope keeps his word? He sends me an ambassador 
to annul my marriage, but in reality to confirm it." He made 
a pause. Cauipeggio knew not what to say. Henry and Cath- 
erine being equally persuaded of the justice of their cause, the 
nuncio was in a dilemma. Wolsey himself suffered a martyr- 
dom.* The king's anger grew fiercer; he had thought the legate 
would hasten to withdraw an imprudent expression, but Cam- 
peggio was dumb. "I see that you have chosen your part," 
said Henry to the nuncio; "mine, you may be sure, will soon be 
taken also. Let the pope only persevere in this way of acting, 
and the apostolical see, covered with perpetual infamy, will be 
visited with a frightful destruction." ^ Tlie lion had thrown off 
the lamb's skin which he had momentariiy assumed. Campeggio 
felt that he must appease the monarch. " Craft and delay " 
were his orders from Eome; and with that view the pope had 
provided him with the necessary aims. He hastened to produce 
the famous decretal which pronounced the divorce. '• The holy 
father," he told the kin:;, '• ardently desires that this matter 
should be terminated by a happy recouciiiation between you and 
the queen; but it" that is impossible, you shall judge yourself 
whether or not his holiness can keep his promises." He then 
read the bull, and even showed it to Henry, without permitting 
it, however, to leave his hands. This exhibition produced the 
desired effect: Heury grew calm. "JS'ow I am at ease again," 
he said; "this miraculous talbman revives all my courage. 'Ihis 
decretal is the efiicacious remedy that will restore peace to my 
oppressed conscience, and joy to my bruised heait.'^ Write to 
his holiness, that this immense benefit binds me to him so closely, 
that he may expect from me more than his imagination can 

And yet a few clouds gathered shortly after iu the king's 

Campeggio having shown the bull had hastened to lock it up 
again. \\ ould he presume to keep it in his own handii? Henry 

1 liex et duo catdinalea , remotia arbicris, de lois reboj mnltom et dia coUocati. S«iiden 
P- ^ -^ iLctedibili ntiioMiUe uoetiam auimi mcerore. HtMe I*a[i«n, vii- p. IM 

» Cocatns est omne divouium inter regiaia mjueiutem et ittinam diisnadcrfi- Ibid- 
* ^on absque iugenti auciatu. Ibid. s Ingemiacendum titidium, ptipetok 

iiilAoia. Ibid. 6 Ktmedimu levauecqae a^cte uptressaquc couecitctMi 



and Wolsey will leave no means untried to get possesion of it; 
that point gained, and victory is theirs. 

Wolsey having returned to the nuncio, he asked him for the 
decretal with an air of candour as if it was the most natural 
thing in the world. He desired, he said, to show it to the 
king's privy-councillors. " The pope," replied Campegglo, "has 
granted this bull, not to be used, but to be kept secret; ^ he 
simply desired to show the king the good feeling by which he 
was animated." Wolsey having failed, Henry tried his skill. 
" Have the goodness to hand me the bull which you showed 
me," said he. The nuncio respectfully refused. " For a single 
moment," he said. Campeggio still refused. The haughty 
Tudor retired, stifling his anger. Then Wolsey made another 
attempt, and founded his demand on justice. ^' Like you, I am 
delegated by his holiness to decide this affair," he said, " and I 
wish to study the important document which is to regulate our 
proceedings." — This was met by a new refusal. "What!" ex- 
claimed the minister of Henry VHI, "am I not, like you, a 
cardinal? . . . like you, a judge? your colleague?" It 
mattered not, the nuncio would not, by any means, let the 
decretal go.2 Clement was not deceived in the choice he had 
made of Campeggioj the amba^j^aJor was worthy of his mas- 

It was evident that the pope in granting the bull had been 
acting a part : this trick revolted the king. It was no longer 
anger that he felt, but disgust. Wolsey knew that Henry's 
contempt was more to Lc feared than his wrath. He grew 
alarmed, and paid the nuncio another visit. " The general com- 
mission/' he said, " is insufficient, the decretal commission alone 
can be of service, and you do not permit us to read a word of 
it.^ . . . The king and I place the greatest confidence in 
the good intentions of his holiness, and yet we find our expecta- 
tions frustrated.* \Vhere is that paternal aftection with which 
we had flattered ourselves? What prince has ever been trifled 
with as the king of England is now? If this is the way in which 
the Defender of Uie Faith is rewarded, Christendom will know 
what those who serve Rome will have to expect from her, and 
every power will withdraw its support. Do not deceive yourselves: 

1 Noil lit la uteretniir. Bed ut secreta haberetur. State Papers, vii, ji. 101. 2 Nullo 

pacto adduci volt, ut mUii, tuo colUgce, cuinniiesioneni banc dccretalciii o suis nionibus ere* 

iliit. (H.iil p. )0& li> iio (iiKttKtment could lie be induced, to trust out of his hands, to me, 
hU colliimue tbat decretal comniission. S Nee ullum verbnm nee meiitionem nllaia. 

J'''<1- * Esse ouiiii spe Irustratos quann in preliita SaucUtatc tam ingenue repofia- 

eramui. Ibid 


the foundation on which the holy see is placed is so very inse- 
cure that the least movement will suffice to precipitate it into 
everlasting ruin.^ What a sad futurity! . . . what inex- 
pressible- torture I . . . whether I wake or sleep, gloomy 
thoughts continually pursue me like a fiightful nightmare." * 
This time "Wolsey spoke the truth. 

But all his eloquence was useless; Campeggio refused to give 
Tip the so much desired bull. ^^ hen sending hira, Rome had 
told him: "Above all, do not succeed!" This means having 
failed, there remained for AVolsey one other way of effecting the 
divorce. "Well, then," he said to Campeggio, "let us pronounce 
it ourselves." — " Far be it from us," replied the nuncio; " the 
anger of the emperor will be so great, that the peace of Europe 
will be broken lor ever." — " I know how to arrange all that," 
replied the English cardinal, "in political matters you may trust 
to me." 3 The nuncio then took another tone, and proudly 
"wrapping himself up in his morality, he said: "I shall foUow 
the voice of my conscience; if I see that the divorce is possible, 
1 shall leap the ditch; if otherwise, I shall not." — "' Your con- 
science! that may be easily satisfied/' rejoined Wolsey. "Holy 
Scripture forbids a man to marry his brother's widow; now no 
pope cau grant what is forbidden by the law of Grod." — "' The 
Lord preserve us from such a principle,"' exclaimed the Roman 
prelate; " the power of the pope h unlimited." — The nuncio had 
iardly put his conscience forward before it stumbled; it bound 
him to Rome and not to heaven. But for tiiat matter, neither 
public opinion nor Campeggio's own friends had any great idea 
of his morality; they thought that to make him leap the ditch, 
it was only requisite to know the price at which he might be 
bought. The bishop of Bayonne wrote to Montmorency : " Put 
at the close of a letter which 1 can show Campeggio something 
^n'omissori/, that he shall have benefices . . . That will cost 
you nothing, and may serve in this matter of the marriage; for 
1 know that he is longing for something of the sort." — " AVhat 
is to be done then," said Wolsey at lust, astonished at meeting 
•with a resistance to which he was unaccustomed. '* I shall 
inform the pope of what 1 have seen and heard, ' replied Cam- 
peggio, •' and I shall wait tor his instructions."' Henry was 
forced to consent to this new course, lor the nuncio hinted, that 
if it were opposed he would go in person to Rome to ask the 

1 A fimdamcoto tun leri, incertxtoe sUiUr& pendeat, at in sempitemani ruiium. SUta 
Papcn, Tii> p. 1(J6- > Qiunto aiiuiii ciucUtn • . ■ Tixiiaiu dormieuaqoe- Ibid. 

!»■ lu& 9 Su BeUfty to Jdontiuureuc;. Le Graud l^reuTes, p '26& 


pontiff*s orders, and he never would have returned. By thfs 
means several months were gained. 

During this time men's minds were troubled. The prospect 
of a divorce between the king and queen had stirred the 
nation ; and the majority, particularly among the women, 
declared against the king. " Whatever may be done," the peo- 
ple said boldly, " whoever marries the princess Mary will be 
king of England." ^ Wolsey's spies informed him that Catherine 
and Charles V had many devoted partizans even at the court. 
He wished to make sure of this. '•' It is pretended," he said one 
day in an indifferent tone, " that the emperor has boasted that 
he will get the king driven from his realm, and that by his 
majesty's own subjects. . . . What do you think of it, my 
lords?" — " Tough against the spur," says Du Bellay, the lorda 
remained silent. At length, however, one of them more im- 
prudent than the rest, exclaimed : " Such a boast will make the 
emperor lose more than a hundred thousand Englishmen." This 
was enough for W'olsey. To lose them, he thought, Charles 
must have them. If Catherine thought of levying war against 
her husband, following the example of former queens of Eng- 
land, she would have, then, a party ready to suj^port her; this 
became dangerous. 

The king and the cardinal immediately took their measures. 
More than 15,000 of Charles's subjects were ordered to leave 
London; the arms of the citizens were seized, " in order that 
they might have no worse weapon than the tongue;''^ the Flem- 
ish councilloi'S accorded to Catherine were dismissed after they 
had. been heard by the king and Campeggio, *' ibr they had no 
commission to speak to the other [Wolsey] " — and linally, they 
kept •' a great and constant watcu " upon the country. Mea 
liiared an invasion of England, and Henry was not of a humour 
to subject his kingdom to the pope. 

This was not enough; the alarmed king thought it his duty 
to come to an explanation with his people; and having summon- 
ed the lords spiritual and temporal, the judges, the members of 
the privy-council, the mayor aud aldermen of the city, and 
many of the gentry, iv meet him at his palace of Bridewell oa 
the i3tli of l\ovember,"'lie said to them with a very condescend- 
ing air: " You know, my lords and gentlemen, that for these 
twenty yeai-s past divine i'rovidence has giuutod our country 

1 Du Bella; to .MoDtiuoriTicy. 8th November )6i6. Le Grand, Preuvti, p. 2U4. 
I* Ibid- p. ko:^ SXhia act i« liuted Idibiu Kovembriii. WUkius, ConcUui,iX|)>' 

711. ilirbcit and Cull>er lay lim bUi NuV«nibci. 

hesry's speech. 345> 

h prosperity as it had never known before. But in the 
1st of all the glory that surrounds me, the thought of my 
I hour often occurs to me,' and I fear that if I should die with- 
,: an heir, my death would cause more damage to my people 
;in my life has done them good. God forbid, that for want 
a legitimate king England should be again plunged into the 
: rors of civil war !" Then calling to mind the illegahtics in- 
. idating his marriage with Catherine, the king continued: 
i uoie thoughts have filled my mind with anxiety, and are 
atinually pricking my conscience. This is the only motive, 
and God is my witness,* which has made me lay thb matter be- 
fore the pontiflu As touching the queen, she is a woman income 
parable in gentleness, humility, and buxomness, as I these twenty 
years have had experiment of; so that if I were to marry again, 
if the marriage migiit be good, 1 would surely choose her above 
all other women. But if it be determined by judgment that 
our marriage was agaiiist God's law, and surely void, then I 
shall not only sorrow in departing from so good a lady and 
loving companion, but much more lament and bewail my -onfor- 
tunate chance, that I have so long lived in adultery, to God's- 
great displeasure, and have no true heir of my body to inherit 
this realm. . . Therefore 1 require of you all to pray witk 
us that the very truth may be known, for the discharging of our 
conscience and. the saving of our soul." ^ These words, though 
wanting in sincerity, were well calculated to soothe men's minds. 
Unfortunately, it appears that after this speech from the crown^ 
the official copy oi which has been preserved, Henry added a 
lew words of his own. " If, however," he said, according to 
Du Bellay, casting a threatening glance around him, " there 
should be any man whatsoever who speaks of his prince in other 
than becoming terms, 1 will show him that 1 am the master, 
and there is no head so high that I will not rod it from his 
shoulders."* This was a speech in lienry's style; but we cannot 
give unlimited credit to Du Bcllay's assertions, this diplomatist 
being very fond, like others of his class, of '■ seasoning " hiar 
despatches. But whatever may be the fact as regards the post- 
script, the speech on the divorce produced an effect. From that 
time there were no more jests, not even on the part of the 
Boleyns' enemies. Some supported the king, others were con- 
tent to pity the queen in secret; the majority prepared to take 
advantage of a court-revolution which every one foresaw. "The 

1 In meDt«m nr.a venit et concunit mortis coiitatio- Ibid. 2 Haec nca res quod. 

Deo teste et in regis crik.alo iffiimamos- Wilkics, CoDcilii^ iii. p. 7H. 3 Uall, p. la^ 

* DaBellAy toiioatiuoit&cj.i;ih>'bvuabtxl&i& Le Gniui, fieaTes, p. :aii> 


king so plainly gave them to understand his pleasure," says the 
French ambassador, " that they speak more soberly than they 
have done hitherto." 

Henry wishing to silence the clamours of the people, and to 
allay the fears felt by the higher classes, gave several magnifi- 
cent entertainments at one time in London, at another at Green- 
wich, now at Hampton Court, and then at Richmond, The queen 
accompanied him, but Anne generally remained "in a very 
handsome lodging which Henry had furnished for her," says Du 
Bellay. The cardinal, following his master's example, gave re- 
presentations of French plays with great magnificence. All his 
hope was in France. " I desire nothing in England, neither in 
word nor in deed, which is not French," ^ he said to the bishop 
of Bayonne. At length Anne Boleyn had accepted the brilliant 
position she had at first refused, and every day her stately 
mansion (Suffolk House) was filled with a numerous court,' — • 
^' more than ever had crowded to the queen " — "Yes, yes," said 
Du Bellay, as he saw the crowd turning towards the risiiig sun, 
" they wish by these little things to accustom the people to en- 
dure her, that when great ones arc attempted, they may not be 

. found so strange." 

In the midst of these festivities the grand business did not 
slumber. When the French ambassador solicited the subsidy 
intended for the ransom of the sons of Francis I, the cardinal 
required of him in exchange a paper proving that the marriage 
had never been valid, Du Bellay excused himself oa the ground 
of his age and want of learning; but being given to understand 
that he could not have the subsidy without it, he wrote the 
memoir in a single day. The enraptured cardinal and king 
entreated him to speak with Campeggio,^ The ambassador con- 
sented, and succeeded beyond all expectation. The nuncio, fully 
aware that a bow too much bent will break, made Henry by 
turns become the sport of hope and fear, " Take care how you 
assert that the pope had not the right to grant a dispensation 
to the king," said he to the French bishop, " this would be 
denying his power, which is injinite. But," added he in a mys- 
terious tone, " 1 will point out a road that will infallibly lead 
you to the mark. IShow that the holy father has been deceived 
by false information, Fvsh me hard on that," he continued 
" so as to force me to declare that the dispensation was granted 

on erroneous grounds."^ Thus did the legate himself reveal 

1 DuUiUay to Alontmorcucy, 1st January. Le Grand, p. 20). 'Ibid. p.20a 

3 roUMM-moi Mi* raide. Du iJelUj to Moutmortncj. Jbe Grand. l*reuve». p- 217. 


the breach by which the fortress might be surprised. "Victory!" 
exclaimed Henry, as he entered Anne's apartments all beaming 
-with joy. 

But this confidence on the part of Campeggio was only a new 
trick. '' There Ls a great rumour at court," wrote Du Bellay 
soon after, " that the emperor and the king of France are com- 
inc together, and leaving Henry alone, so that all will fall oa 
hi.^ shoulders."^ "Wolsey, finding that the intrigues of diplom- 
acy had failed, thought it his duty to put fresh springs in 
motion, " and by all good and honest means to gain the pope's 
favour." - He saw, besides, to his great sorrow, the new catho- 
licity then forming in the world, and uniting, by the closest 
bonds, the Christians of England to those of the continent. To 
strike down one of the leaders of this evangelical movement 
might incline the court of Eome in Henry's favour. The car- 
dinal undertook, therefore, to persecute Tyndale; and this resol- 
ution will now transport us to Germany. 


True Catholicity — 'Wolsey — Harman's Matter — "West sent to Cologne 
— Labours of Tyndale and Fiyth — Eincke at Frankfort — He makes a 
Discovery — Tyndale at ilarburg — West returns to England — His 
Tortures in the Monastery. 

The residence of Tyndale and his friends in foreign coun- 
tries, and the connections there formed with pious Christians, 
testify to the fraternal spirit which the Reformation then re- 
stored to the church. It is in protestantism that true catholic- 
ity is to be found. The Romish church is not a catholic 
church. Separated from the churches of the east, which are 
the oldest in Christendom, and from the reformed churches, 
which are the purest, it is nothmg but a sect, and that a degen- 
erated one. A church which should profess to believe in au 
■episcopal unity, but which kept itself separate from the episco- 
pacy of Rome and of the East, and from the evangelical 
churches, would be no longer a catholic church; it would be a 
sect more sectarian still than that of the Vatican, a fragment 

i Da Bella}- to Hontmoreccy. Le Gnod. leaves, p. 219. 3 ibid. p. 32&> 


of a fragment. The church of the Saviour requires a traer, a 
diviner unity than that of priests, who condemn one another. 
It was the reformers, and particularly Tyndale/ who proclaimed 
throughout Christendom the existence of a lody of Christ, of 
which all the children of God are memhers. The disciples of 
the Reformation are the true catholics. 

It was a catholicity of another sort that Wolsey desired to 
uphold. He did not reject certain reforms in the church, par- 
ticularly such as brought him any profit; but, before all, he wished 
to preserve for the hierarchy their privileges and uniformity. 
The Romish Church in England was then personified in him^ 
and if he fell, its niin would be near. His political talents and 
multiplied relations with the continent, caused him to discern 
more clearly than others the dangers which threatened the 
popedom. The publication of the Scriptures of God in English 
appeared to some a cloud without importance, which would 
scon disappear from the horizon; but to the foreseeing glance of 
Wolsey, it betokened a mighty tempest. Besides, he loved not 
the fraternal relations then forminfr between the evangelical 
Christians of Great Britain and of other nations. Annoyed by 
this spiritual catholicity, he resolved to procure the arrest of 
Tyndale, who was its principal organ. 

Already had Hackett, Henry's envoy to the Lo\v Countri. s, 
caused the imprisonment of Harman, an Antwerp merchant, Oije 
of the principal supporters of the English reformer. But Hac- 
kett had in vain asked Wolsey for such documents as would 
convict him of treason (for the crime of loving the Bible was 
not sufficient to procure Harmau's condemnation in Brabant); 
the envoy had remained without letters from England, and the 
last term fixed by the law having expired, Harman and his w ife 
were liberated after seven months' imprisonment. 

And yet Wolsey had not been inactive. The cardinal hoped 
to find elsewhere the co-operation which Margaret of Austria 
refused. It was Tyndale that he wanted, and everything seem- 
ed to indicate that he was then hidden at Cologne or in its 
neighbourliood. Wolsey, recollecting senator Rincke and the 
services he had already performed, determined to send to hira, 
one John A\'est, a friar of the Franciscan convent at Greenwich. 
West, a somewhat narrow-minded but energetic man, was very 
desirous of distinguishing himself, and he had already gained 
some notoriety in England among the adversaries of the Kefor- 

> Tbc Church of Clirist. a the multitude of all them that believe in Chriat, «t» Kiiioutioik 
o(«w, I'lologue. 


xnation. Flattered by his mission, this vain monk immediately 
set ofiF for Antwerp, accompanied by another friar, in order to 
seize Tyndale, and even Boy, once his colleague at Greenwich, 
and against whom he had there ineffectually contended in argu- 

While these men were conspiring his ruin, Tyndale composed 
several works, got them printed, and sent to England, and prayed 
God night and day to enlighten his fellow-countrymen. " Why 
do give you give yourself so much trouble," said some of his 
friends. •' They will burn your books as they have burnt the 
Gospel." '• They will only do what I expect," replied he, " if 
they bum me also." Already he beheld his own burning pile 
in the distance; but it was a sight which only served to increase 
his zeal. Hidden, like Luther at the Wart burg, not however 
in a castle, but in a humble lodging, Tyndale, like the Saxon 
reformer, spent his days and nights translating the Bible. But 
not having an elector of Saxony to protect him, he was forced 
to change his residence from time to time. 

At this epoch, Fryth, who had escaped from the prisons of 
Oxford, rejoined Tyndale, and the sweets of iriendship softened 
the bitteruess of their exile. Tyndale having finished the New 
Testament, and begun the translation of the Old, the learned 
Fryth was of great use to him. The more they studied the 
word of (jod, the more they admired it. In the beginning of 
lo29, they published the books of Genesis and Deuteronomy, 
and addressing their fellow-countrymen, they said: -'As thou 
readest, think that every syllable pertaineih to thine own self, 
and suck out the pith of the Scripture." ^ Then denying that 
visible signs naturally impart grace, as the schoolmen had pre- 
tended, Tyndale maintained that the sacraments are effectual 
only when the Holy Ghost sheds his influence upon them. " The 
ceremoni>.s of the Law," he wrote, " stood the Israelites in the 
same stead as the sacraments do us. We are saved not by the 
power ot the sacrifice or the deed itself, but by virtue of faith 
in the p-cmise, whereof the siicrifice or ceremony was a token 
or sign. The Holy Ghost is no dumb God, no God that goeth 
a jnumming. Wherever the word is proclaimed, this inward 
witness woiketh. If baptism preach me the washing in Christ's 
blood, so doth the Holy Ghost accompany it; and that deed of 
preaching through faith doth put away my sins. 1 he ark of 
iSoah saved them in the water through faith." ^ 

1 i*rolo(nie to the liook of GenesU (Doctr. Tr ) p. 400. 

2 1*1011 KUi: tu the i.04<lk ol Lt\ iUcua (Ductr. 1 1 J p- iH, 434, 4':£. 


The man wlio dared address England in language so contrary 
to the teaching of the middle ages must be imprisoned. John 
West, who had been sent with this object, arrived at Antwerp; 
Hackett procured for him as interpreter a friar of English des- 
cent, made him assume a secular dress, and gave him " thre& 
pounds" on the cardinal's account; the less attention the em- 
bassy attracted, the more likely it would be to succeed. But 
great was West's vexation, on reaching Cologne, to learn that 
Eincke was at Frankfort. But that mattered notj the Green- 
wich monk could search for Tyndale at Cologne, and desire 
Eincke to do the same at Frankfort; thus there would be two 
searches instead of one. West procured a " swift" messenger, 
(he too was a monk,) and gave him the letter Wolsey had ad- 
dressed to Eincke. 

It was fair-time at Frankfort, and the city was filled with 
merchants and their wares. As soon as Rincke had finished 
reading Wolsey 's letter, he hastened to the burgomasters, and 
required them to confiscate the English translations of the 
Scriptures, and, above all, to seize " the heretic who was troub- 
ling England as Luther troubled Germany." " Tyndale and his 
friends have not appeared in our fairs since the month of March 
1528," replied the magistrates, " and we know not whether 
they are dead or alive." 

Eincke was not discouraged. John Schoot of Strasburg, 
who was said to have printed Tyndale's books^ and who cared 
less about the works he published than the money he drew 
from them, happened to be at Frankfort. '' Where is Tyndale'?" 
Eincke asked him. " I do not know," replied the printer; but 
he confessed that he had printed a thousand volumes at the re- 
quest of Tyndale and Eoy, "Bring them to me," continued 
the senator of Cologne — " If a fair price is paid me, I will give 
them up to you." Eincke paid all that was demanded. 

Wolsey would now be gratified, for the New Testament an- 
noyed him almost as much as the divorce; this book, so dan- 
gerous in his eyes, seemed on the point of raising a conflagra- 
tion which would infaUibly consume the edifice of Eomaa 
traditionalism. Eincke, who participated in his patron's fears, 
impatiently opened the volumes made over to him; but there 
was a sad mistake, they were not the New Testament, not even 
a work of Tyndale's, but one written by AVilliam Eoy, a change- 
able and violent man, whom the reformer had employed for 
some time at Hamburg, and who had followed him to Cologne, 
but with whom he had soon become disgusted. " I bade him fare- 


well for our two lives," said Tjndale, '' and a day longer." Roy, 
on quitting the reformer, had gone to Strasburg, where he boast- 
ed of his relations with him, and had got a satire in that city 
] rinted against Wolsey and the monastic orders, entitled The- 
Burial of the Mass: this was the book delivered to Rincke. The 
nionk's sarcastic spirit had exceeded the legitimate bounds of' 

ntroversy, and the senator accordingly dared not send the 

lames to England. He did not however discontinue his in* 
ijuiries, but searched every place where he thought he could 

-cover the New Testament, and having seized all the suspect- 

. volumes, set oflf for Cologne.^^ 

Yet he was not satisfied. He wanted Tyndale, and went 
about asking every one if they knew where to find him. But 
the reformer, whom he was seeking in so many places, and 
especially at Frankfort and Cologne, chanced to be residing at 
about equal tiiatunces from these two towns, so that Rincke^ 
while travelling from one to the other, might have met him. 
face to face, as Ahab's messenger met Elijah.^ Tyndale was at 
Marburg, whither he had been draAvn by several motives. 
Prince Philip of Hesse was the great protector of the evangeli- 
cal doctrines. The university had attracted attention in the 
Reform by the paradoses of Lambert of Avignon. Here a 
young Scotchman named Hamilton, afterwards illustrious as a 
martyr, had studied shortly before, and here too the celebrated 
printer, John Lufl, had his presses. In this city Tyndale and 
Prvth had taken up their abode, in September 1526, and, hid- 
den on the quiet banks of the Lahn, were tran-slating the Old 
Testament. If Rincke had searched this place he could not 
have failed to discover them. But either he thought not of it, 
or was afraid of the terrible landgrave. The direct road by the 
Rhine was that which he followed, and Tyndale escaped. 

NVhen he arrived at Cologne, Rincke had an immediate in- 
terview with West. Their investigations having failed, they 
must have recourse to more vigorous measures. The senator,, 
therefore, sent the monk back to England, accompanied by his 
son Hermann, charging them to tell Wolsey: " To seize Tyndale 
we require fuller powers, ratified by the emperor. The traitors 
who conspire against the life of the king of England are not 
tolerated in the empire, much less Tyndale and all those who 
conspire against Christendom. He must be put to death; noth- 
ing but some striking example can check the Lutheran heresy. — 

1 Anderson, AiioaIs of the Bible, i p. 303: "I satbered together and packed op all the 
books ftom every qiuner. ' 'i i Kiuss XTiii, 7. 

352 west's annoyances. 

And as to ourselves," they were told to add, " by the favour 
of God there may possibly be an opportunity for his royal high- 
ness and your grace to recompense us." ^ Rincke had not for- 
gotten the subsidy of ten thousand pounds which he had re- 
ceived from Henry VII for the Turkish war, when he had gone 
to London as i\Iaximilian*s envoy. 

West returned to England sorely vexed that he had failed in 
ills mission. What would they say at court and in his monas- 
tery? A fresh humiliation was in reserve for him. Roy, whom 
West had gone to look for on the banks of the Rhine, had paid 
a visit to his mother on the banks of the Thames; and to crowrx 
all, the new doctrines had penetrated into his own convent. The 
warden, father Robinson, had embraced them, and night and 
-day the Greenwich monks read that New Testament which West 
had gone to Cologne to burn. The Antwerp friar, who had 
accompanied him on his journey, was the only person to whom 
he could confide his sorrows; but the Franciscans sent him back 
again to the continent, and then amused themselves at poor A\^st's 
expense. If he desired to tell of his adventures on the banks 
of the Rhine, he was laughed at; if he boasted of the names of 
Wolsey and Henry VHI, they jeered him still more, rie desired 
to speak to Roy's mother, hoping to gain some useful infor- 
mation from her; this the monks prevented. " It is in my com- 
mission," he said. They I'idiculcd him more and more. Rob- 
inson, perceiving that the commission made West assume unbe- 
coming airs of independence, requested Wolsoy to withdraw it; 
and West, iancymg he was about to be tlirown into prison, 
exclaimed in alarm: "I am weary of my life!" and conjured a 
friend whom he had at court to procure him before Christmas an 
obedience under his lordship's hand and seal, enabling him to 
leave the monastery; " What you pay him for it," he added, 
*' I shall see you be reimbursed. ' Thus did West expiate the 
fanatical zeal which had urged him to pursue the translator of 
the oracles of God. What became of hnn, we know not: he is 
never heard of more. 

At that time Wolsey had other matters to engage him than 
this " obedience." While West's complaints wore going to 
London, those of the king were travelling to Rome, The great 
business in the cardinal's eyes was to maintain liarmony between 
Henry and the church. There was no more thought about in- 
vestigationa in Germany, and for a time Jyndalo was saved. 

1 CoUjn MSS. ViUUios. U zxi. fol- 43. Bible Aonala, i, p. -JOl- 




Necessity of the Refonnation — Wolsey's Eamestne^ \rith Da Casale — 
An Audience with Clement VII — Cruel Position of the Pope — A 
Judas' Kiss — A new Brief — Bryan and Vannes sent to Rome — Henry 
and Du Bellay — Wolsey's Reasons against the Brief — Excitement in 
London — Metamorphosis — Wolsey's Decline — His Anguish. 

The king and a part of his people still adhered to the pope- 
dom, and so long as these bonds were not broken the word of 
God could not have free course. But to induce England to re- 
nounce Rome, there must indeed be powerful motives: and these 
were not wanting. 

Wolsey had never given such pressing orders to any of Hen- 
ry's ambassadors: "Tlie king," he wrote to Da Casale on the 
1st of November 1528, " commits this business to your pru- 
dence, dexterity, and fideUty; and I conjure you to employ all 
the powers of your genius, and even to surpass them. Be very 
sure that you have done nothing and can do nothing that will 
be more agreeable to the king, more desirable by me, and more 
useful and glorious for you and your family." ^ 

Da Casale, possessed a tenacity which justified the cardinal's 
confidence, and an active excitable mind: trembling at the 
thought of seeing Rome lose England, he immediately requested 
an audience of Clement YII. "\Vhat!"said he to the pope, 
'•'just as it was proposed to go on with the divorce, your nun- 
cio endeavours to dissuade the king! . . There is no hope 
that Catherine of Aragon will ever give an heir to the crown. 
Holy father, there must be an end ot this. Order Campeggio 
to place the decretal in his majesty's hands." — " W hat say you'?" 
exclaimed the pope. " I would gladly lose one of my fingers to 
recover it a.^si\n, and you ask me to make it pubUc .... 
it would be luy ruin." Da Casale insisted : " we have a duty 
to perform," he said; " we remmd you at this last hour of the 
perils thrcateuiog the relations which unite Rome and England. 
The crisis is at hand. We knock at yoiir door, we cry, we urge, 
we entreat, wc lay before you the present and iuture dangers 
which threaten tue papacy.^ . . . The world shall know 

X VobU T"S!iK4jib! iuiiiUc atilins ant bonorificeDtiiu. State r«pen, tU, p. lit. 
'i Burnet, litx- r .», ii. i>. iO Ui.ius d jjiti jacur* .... quod {kctoni fuit reTi>CArem. 
3 Admuuvrt:, dcl.iiu.ire io.iitie msbirt^, iu.,ere, pulsore, i^ricula piKseutui et tuton d»> 
mousuote. Suiu i'itt<«il, Vik !>• tl.!- 

46 Z 


that the king at least has fulfilled the duty of a devoted son of 
the church. If your holiness desires to keep England in St. 
Peter's fold, I repeat . . . now is the time . . . now 
is the time." ^ At these words, Da Casale, unable to restrain 
his emotion, fell down at the pope's feet, and begged him to 
save the church in Great Britain. The pope was moved. 
'' Rise," said he, with marks of unwonted grief,^ " I grant you 
all that is in my power; I am willing to confirm the judgment 
which the legates may think it their duty to pass; but I acquit 
myself of all responsibility as to the untold evils which this 
matter may bring with it. . . . If the king, after having 
defended the faith and the churcli, desires to ruin both, on him 
alone will rest the responsibility of so great a disaster." Cle- 
ment granted nothing. Da Casale withdrew disheartened, and 
feeling convinced that the pontiff was about to treat with 
Charles V. 

Wolsey desired to save the popedom; but the popedom re- 
sisted, Clement VII was about to lose that island which Gre- 
gory the Great had won with such difficulty. The pope was iu 
the most cruel position. The Enghsh envoy had hardly left 
the palace before the emperor's ambassador entered breathing 
threats. The unhappy pontiff escaped the assaults of Henry 
only to be exposed to those of Charles; he was thrown back- 
wards and forwards like a ball. " I shall assemble a general 
council," said the emperor tbjough his ambassador, " and if you 
are found to have infringed the canons of the church in any 
point, you shall be proceeded against with every rigour. Do 
not forget/' added his agent in a low tone, *' that your birth is 
illegitimate, and consequently excludes you from the pontificate." 
The timid Clement, imagining that he saw the tiara falling fioia 
his head, swore to refuse Henry every thing. '' Alas!" he said 
to one of his dearest confidants, " I repent in dust and ashes 
that 1 ever granted this decretal bull. If the king of England 
so earnestly desires it to be given him, certainly it cannot be 
merely to know its coiitents. He is but too familiar with them. 
It is only to tie my hands iu this matter of the divorce; I i^ould 
rather die a thousand deaths." Clement, to calm his agitation, 
sent one of his ablest gentlemen of the bed-chamber, Francis 
Campana, apparently to feed the king with fresh promises, but 
in reality to cut the only thread on which Henry's hopes still 
hung. "We embrace your majesty," wrote the pope iu the 

1 Tempiw jam in promptu adett. State Papers, rii. P- U* •liuiiol's lief, i- il 

H. li«corU«, p. zx, - 


letter given to Campana, '*witli the paternal love your numer- 
ous merits deserve."-' Now Campana was sent to England to 
burn clandestinely the famous decretal; ^ Clement concealed his 
blows hy an embrace. Rome had granted many divorces not 
^ well founded as that of Henry YIII; but a very different 
matter from a divorce was in question here; the pope, desirous 
of upraising in Italy his shattered power, was about to sac- 
rifice the Tudor, and to prepare the triumph of the Reforma- 
tion. Rome was separating herself from England. 

All Clement's fear was, that Campana woujd arrive too late 
to burn the bull; he was soon reassured; a dead calm prevented 
the ffreat matter from advancing. Campeggio, who took care to 
be in no hurry about his mission, gave himself up, like a skilful 
diplomatist, to his worldly tastes; and when he could not, due 
respect being had to the state of his legs, indulge in the chase, 
of which he was very fond, he passed his time in gambling, to 
which he was much addicted. Respectable historians assert 
that he indulged in still more Ulicit pleasures.* But this could 
not last for ever, and the nuncio souj:ht some new means of 
delay, which offered itself in the most unexpected manner. One 
day an officer of the queen's presented to the Roman legate a 
brief of Julius II, bearing the same date as the hull of dispensa- 
tion, signed too, like that, by the secretary Sigismond, and in 
which the pope expressed himself in such a manner, that Henry's 
objections fell of themselves. '' The emperor," said CiithLrine's 
messenger, " has discovered this brief among the papers of Pu- 
ebla, the i^panish ambassador in England, -at tlie time of the 
marriage." — "It is impossible to go on," said Campeggio to 
Wolsey; '• all your reasoning is now cut from under you. TFe, 
niicst wait for fresh ii^struclioris." This was the cardinal's con- 
clusion at every new incident^ and the journey from London to 
the Vatican being very long (without reckoning the Roman 
dilatoriness), the expedient was infallible. 

Thus there existed two acts of the same pope, signed on the 
same day — the one secret, the other public, in contradiction to 
each other, Henry determined to send a new mission to Rome. 
Anne proposed for this embassy one of the most accomplished 
gentlemen of the court, her cousin. Sir Francis Bryan. With 
him was joined an Italian, Peter Vannes, Henry's Latin secre- 
tary. " You will search all the registers of the time of Julius 

1 2(os iUam patema charitate complecti, ut 8U;i er^a cos atque banc sedem t Inrima meribt 
reqniiunt. State Jfupers, vii- il6. 'i To charge Campegins to burn the decretal. 

Herbtrt, p. iSO- Burnet'* Ktf. i, Yi. '■= Unuling aiia gaming all the day long, tnd 

following luuluu &U ihe lUKbt- Ibid- p- &i- 

356 henry's conference with du bellay. 

II," said Wolsey to them; "you will study the hand-writing of 
secretary Sigismond, and you will attentively examine the ring 
of the fisherman used by that pontiflF.' — Moreover you will in- 
form the pope that it is proposed to set a certain grejrfriar, 
named De Angelis, in his place, to whom Charles would give 
the spiritual authority, reserving the temporal for himself. You 
will manage so that Clement takes 'alarm at the project, and 
you will then oflfer him a guard of 2000 men to protect him. 
You will ask whether, in case the queen should desire to em- 
brace a religious life, on condition of the king's doing the same, 
and Henry should yield to this wish,^ he could have the assur- 
ance that the pope would afterwards release him from his vows. 
And, finally, you will inquire whether, in case the queen should 
refuse to enter a convent, the pope would permit the king to 
have two wives, as we see in the Old Testament." ' The idea 
which has brought so much reproach on the landgrave of Hesse 
was not a new one; the honour of it belongs to a cardinal and 
legate of Rome, whatever Bossuet may say. " Lastly," contin- 
ued Wolsey, " as the pope is of a timid disposition, you will not 
fail to season your remonstrances with threats. You, Peter, 
will take him aside and tell him that, as an Italian, having more 
at heart than any one the glory of the holy see, it is your duty 
to warn him, that if he persists, the king, his realm, and many 
other princes, will ibr ever separate from the papac_y." 

It was not on the mind of the pope alone tliat it was neces- 
sary to act; the rumour that the emperor and the king of 
France were treating together disturbed Henry. Wolsey had 
vainly tried to sound Du Bellay; these two priests tried craft 
against craft. Besides, the Frenchman was not always season- 
ably informed by his coui-t, letters taking ten days to come 
from Paris to London.* Henry resolved to have a conference 
with the ambassador. He began by speaking to him of his 
matter, says Du Bellay, "■ and i promise you," he aUded, '' that 
he needs no advocate, he understands the whole business so 
•well." Henry next touched upon the wrongs of Francis I, 
*' recalling so many things the envoy knew not what to 
gay." — '' i pray you, Master Ambassador/' said ileury in con- 
clusion, " to beg the king, my brother, to give up a little of his 
amusements during a year only for the prompt despatch ot his 

1 State I'aptrs, Vii- p- l-C, note. '■i Only lo conduce tliu (luoeii thircuuto. 

lV»id. p. lc,6. iiole. 3 JL»e duabus uxoni^us- Henri's liistrucUous t,< Kiiisht, iu tlie 

IiiiUalc of J<ccaiib«r 16.U IbiO. p- .ai. Suuie steal reanous aud piecLdeuU ul tlie Old Ti»- 
taiiicui appear. iiiauucao..B tu n^iie. isi U ;i> Ibid- p- 1.^, note. * La dile letlr* 

du roi, couibieii qu'elie lut uu 6. j'l'ai rein, siuou lo ii: le parcil m'adviut ifiwsi de tuutua 
CiUireii. ilu JL*ella> to Jdouimoieucy, Mi.\i l>cO. i* liiaud» t'leuve*. 


afiairs. Warn those whom it concerns." Having given this 
spur to the king of France, Henry turned his thoughts towards 

In truth, the fatal hrief from Spain tormented him day and 
night, and the cardinal tortured his mind to find proofs of its 
non-authenticity; if he could do so, he would acquit the papacy 
of the charge of duphcity, and accuse the emperor of forgery. 
At last he thought he had succeeded. " In the first place," he 
said to the king, " the brief has the same date as the bull, 
Now, if the errors in the latter had been found out on the day 
it was diawn up, it would have been more natural to make 
another than to append a brief pointing out the errors. What ! 
the same pope, the same day, at the petition of the srime per- 
sons, give out two rescripts for one efiect,^ one of which contra- 
dicts the other! Either the bull was good, and then, why 
the brief? or the bull was bad, and then, why deceive princes 
by a worthless buU? Many names are found in the brief incor- 
rectly spelt, and these are faults wliich the pontifical secretary, 
whose accuracy is so well known, could not have committed.'' 
Lastly, no one in England ever heard mention of 1 his. brief; and 
yet it is here that it ought to be found." Henry charged 
Knight, his principal secretary, to join the other envoys with all 
speed, in order to prove to the pope tho supposititious character 
of the document. 

This important paper revived the irritation felt ia England 
against Charles V, and it was resolved to come to extremities. 
Every one discontented with Austria took refuge in London, 
particularly the Hungarians. The ambassador from Hungary 
proposed to Wolsey to adjudge the imperial crown of Germany 
to the elector of Saxony or the landgrave of Hesse, the two 
chiefs of protestantism.^ Wolsey exclaimed in alarm: "It will 
be an inconvenience to Christendom, Uiey are so liutheran." But 
the Hungarian ambassador so satisfied him that in the end he 
did not find the matter quito so inconvenient. These schemes 
•were prospering in London, when suddenly a new metamor- 
phosis took place under the eyes of Du ilellay. The king, the 
cardinal, and the ministers appeared in strange consternation. 
Vincent da Casale had just arrived from Rome with a letter 
from his cousin the prothonatory, intbrming Henry that the 
pope, seeing the triumph of Charles V, the indecision of Francis 

I State rapen.ToL Tii,p. U^O- * Qaeea laabtlla vras called EUsabeUi in the 

brief; but 1 tmve seeu il document Trom the coort of Madrid in which Qaeeu Elizabeth of 
£u«laiid WM called Isabella; it ii not therefore an error without a parallel- 

3 Da Bvllaj to Moounoreno , U Jau- 1^29. Le Grand, ^^ares, p. '^9- 

wolsey's trouble. 

I, the isolation of the king of England, and the distress of hia 
cardinal, had flung himself into the arms of the emperor At 
Rome they went so far as to jest about Wolsey, and to say 
that since he could not be St. Peter they would make him St 

While they were ridiculing Wolsey at Eome, at St. GermainV 
they were joking about Henry. '' I will make him get rid of the 
notions he has in his head," said Francis; and the Flemings who 
were again sent out of the country, said us they left London, 
that this year they would cany on the war so vigorously, that 
It would be really a sight worth seeing." 

Besides these public griefs, Wols°cy had his private ones 
Anne Boleyn, who had already begun to use her influence on 
behalf of the aespotic cardinal's victims, gave herself no rest until 
theyney, a courtier disgraced by Wolsey, had been restored to 
the kmgs favour. Anne even gave utterance to several bitinc^ 
sarcasms against the cardinal, and the duke of Norfolk and hS 
party began "to speak big," says Du Bellay. At the moment 
when the pope, scared by Charles V, was separating fi-om England, 
Wolsey himself was totteiing. Who shall uphold the papacy? 

... After Wolsey, nobody! Eome was on the point of 

losing the power which for nine centuries she had exercised in 
the bosom of this illustiuu.^ i.;rion. The cardinal's anguish can- 
not be described ; unceasingly pursued by gloomy images, he saw 
Anne on the throne causing the triumph of the Reformation- 
this nightmare was stifling him. " His grace, the legate, is in 
great trouble/' wrote the bishop of Bayonne. " However .... 
be is more cunning than they are/' ^ 

To stm the tempest Wolsey had only one resource left: this 
was to render Clement favourable to his master's designs. The 
crafty Campana, who had burnt the decretal, conjured him not 
to beiiuve all the reports transmitted to him concerning Eome. 
' .„ .^^^^y ^^'^ ^"^&" siiici lie to the cardinal, " the holy father 
will, if necessary, descend from the pontifical throne." '■^ Wolsey 
therefore resolved to send to Eome a more energetic agent than 
Vannes, Bryan, or Knight, and cast his eyes on Gardiner. His 
courage began to revive, when an unexpected event fanned ouco 
more his loftiest hopes. 

» he Grand, i'reuvcs. p. iW5, '£16. 2, Hist llfif. vol. i. p. 60. 

THE pope's illness. 3o9 


The Pope's Illness — Wolsey's Desire — Conference ahout the ilembera 
of the Conclave — Wolsey's Instructions — The Pope recovers — Speech 
of the English Envoys to the Pope — Clement willing to abandon 
England — The English demand the Pope's Denial of the Brief — 
"Wolsey's Alarm — Intrigues — Bryan's clearsightedness — Henry's 
Threats — Wolsey's new Eflbrts — He calls for an Appeal to Rome, 
and retracts — Wolsey and Da Belly at Richmond — The Ship of the 

On the 6th of January 1529, the feast of Epiphany, just as 
the pope was performing mass, he was attacked by a sudden ill- 
ness; he was taken to his room, apparently in a dying state. 
When this news reached London, the cardinal resolved to hasten 
to abandon England, where the soil trembled under his feet, and 
to climb boldly to the throne of the pontifls. Bryan and Vannes, 
then at Florence, hurried on to Eome through roads infested 
vith robbers. At Orvieto they were informed the pope was 
better; at Viterbo, no one knew whether he was alive or dead; 
at Ronciglione, they were assured that he he had expired; 
and, finally, when they reached the metropolis of the popedom, 
they learnt that Clement could not survive, and that the im- 
perialists, supported by the Colonnas, were striving to have a 
pope devoted to Charles V. ^ 

But great as might be the agitation at Home, it was greater 
atill at Whitehall. If God caused De' Medici to descend from 
the pontifical throne, it could only be, thought ^Volsey, to make 
Mm mount it. " It is expedient to have such a pope as may 
-save the realm," said he to Gardiner. " And although it can- 
not but be incommodious to me in this mine old age to be the 
common lather, yet, when all things be well pondered, the qualities 
■of all the cardinals well considered, I am tlie only one, without 
boasting, that can and wiU remedy the king's secret matter. And 
•were it not for the redintegration of the state of the church, and 
especially to relieve the king and his realm from their calamities, 
all the riches and honour of the world should not cause me to 
accept the said dignity. Nevertheless I contbrm myself to the ne- 
cessities of the times. Wherefore. Master Stephen, that this 
matter may succeed, I pray you to apply all your ingenuity, 
s^TQ neither money nor labour. I give you the amplest powers, 

I SUte P*pen, Tii. p. liS-UO- 


for hif/'f 1;°^ '" lin^itation.- Gardiner departed to mn 
lor his master the coveted tiara. 

Henry VIII and Wolsey, who could hardly restrain their im- 
patience soon heard of the pontiffs death fL different ^a. 

w ; J . f?P''"' ^^' *^^^» ^^^J Clement's life "^ said 
Wolsey, blinded by hatred. " Charles," rejoined the Un. "tm 

aesires Yes, to make him his chaplain," replied Wolsev 

and to put an end by degrees both to pop'e and popedom7^ 

'^a^d with t?^ ' " '1°^f ^' *'^ ^^" '^^' ---' Hen^' 
and w th that view, my lord, make up your mind to be pope/' 

— ihat alone, answered the cardinal, -can bring your Maiestv's 
weighty patter to a happy termination, and by sllin^ y ^ ale 
he church . .and myself also," he though^^ ia hisr.;!!! 
Let us see, let us count the voters." 

Henry and his minister then wrote down on a strip of parch- 
ment the names of all the cardinals, marking with the ktC ^ 
hose who were on the side of the kings of England and Fralf 
and with the letter B all who favoure^d the eSperor. 4Zo 
was no C says a chronicler sarcastically, ^'to signify any on 
am^. side." ^< The letter li designated the neutlk "^The 

and WP ^TT*' "^^ '^°^"^' "^^" -^ ^--^d ttirty-nine 
and we must have two-thirds, that is, twenty-six. Now there 
are twenty upon whom we can reckon; we must the efore a^ 
any price, gain six of the neutrals." aeiexore, at 

Wolsey deeply sensible of the importance of an election that 
would decide whether England was to be reformed or n Jcare 
my drew up the instructions, which Henry signed and wh'ct 
history must register. " We desire and ordain> the amlW 
dors were inibrmed in them, " that you secure \heeleeTionf 
the cardinal of lork; not forgetting that next to the salvation 
of h. own soul, there is nothing the king desires more earnestly! 

methods m particular. The first is, the cardinals being present, 
and having God and the Holy Ghost before them, you shall re 
mmd them that the cardinal of York alone can ive Christen. 

/'The second is, because human fragUity suffereth not aU 
things to be pondered and weighed in a just balance, it apper- 
taineth m matter of so high importance, to the comfort and re- 

hoIy*i"*ef '!brd".'''l^e'ki„.-s l^tlZ^'" '"''* ^'^ been advertieed of the dcuth of our 
"fitted fur the Uu po, e'. d 'rue o,L 1 id /io:. ' J"' T" "''*'''*"'' "^^ *""- 


lief of all Christendom, to succour the infirmity that may chance- 

not for corruption, you will understand but rather 

to help the lacks and defaults of human nature. And, there- 
fore, it shall be expedient that you promise spiritual offices, 
dignities, rewards of money, or other things which shall seem 
meet to the purpose. 

'' Then shall you, with good dexterity, combine and knit those 
favourable to us in a perfect fiistness and indissoluble knot. 
And that they may be the better animated to finish the election 
to the king's desire, you shall ofier them a guard of 2000 or 
3000 men from the kings of England and France, from the vis- 
count of Turin, and the republic of Venice. 

" If, notwithstanding all your exertions, the election should 
fail, then the cardinals of the king's shall repair to some sure 
place, aud there proceed to such an election as may be to God's 

" And to win more friends for the king, you shall promise, on 
the one hand, to the Cardinal de' Medici and his party our special 
favour; and the Florentines, on the other hand, you shall put ia 
comfort of the exclusion of the said family De' iledici. Like- 
trise you shall put the cardinals in perfect hope of recovering the 
patrimony of the church; and you shall contain the Venetians 
in good trust of a reasonable way to be taken for Cervia and 
Ravenna (which formed part of the patrimony) to their content- 
ment." ^ 

Such were the means by which the cardinal hoped to win the 
papal throne. To the right he said yes, to the left he said no, 
AVhat would it matter that these perfidies were one day dis- 
covered, provided it were after the election. Christendom 
might be very certain that the choice of the future pontiff 
would be the work of the Holy Ghost. Alexander VI had been 
a poisoner; Julius II had given way to ambition, anger, and vice; 
the Hberal Leo X had passed his life in worldly pursuits; the 
unhappy Clement VII had lived on stratagems and lies; A\ olsey 
would be their worthy successor: 

" All the seven deadly sins have worn the triple crown." ' 

Wolsey found his excuse in the thought, that if he succeeded^ 
the divorce was secured, and England enslaved for ever to the 
court of Rome. 

Success at first appeared probable. Many cardinals spoke 

1 Foxe, IT. p. eOi^oe. 2 Les t«pt p«che8 morUls ont porteUture. Canmiz- 

DeUrigne, D<:niit:n cbanti, k ConcUre. 



■-opeDly in favour of the English prelate; one of them asked for a 
detailed account of his life, in order to present it as a model to 
the church; another worshipped him (so he said) as a divinity. 
- . . . Among the gods and popes adored at Rome there 
"were some no better than he. But ere long alarming news 
reached England. What grief! the pope was getting better. 
^' Conceal your instructions," wrote the cardinal, " and reserve 
them in omnem eventum." 

Wolsey not having obtained the tiara, it was necessary at 
least to gain the divorce. *' God declares," said the English 
ambassadors to the pope, '^ except the Lord build tJie house, they 
labour in vain that build it} Therefore, the king, taking God 
alone for his guide, requests of you, in the first place, an en- 
gagement to pronounce the divorce in the space of three months, 
and in the second the avocation to Eome." — " Tlie promise 
first, and only after that the avocation," Wolsey had said; " for 
I fear that if the pope begins with the avocation, he will never 
pronounce the divorce." — "Besides," added the envoys, "the 
king's second marriage admits of no refusal, whatever bulls or 
briefs there may be.^ The only issue of this matter is the 
divorce; the divorce in one way or another must be procured." 

Wolsey had instructed his envoys to pronounce these words 
"with a certain air of familiarity, and at the same time with a 
gravity calculated to produce an effect.^ His expectations were 
deceived: Clement was colder than ever. He had determined 
to abandon England in order that he might secure the States 
of the Church, of which Charles was then master, thus sacrific- 
ing the spiritual to the temporal. "The pope will not do the 
least thing for your majesty," wrote Bryan to the king; " your 
matter may well be in his FcUer noster, but it certainly is not 
in his Credo. "^ "Increase in importunity," answei'ed the king; 
*' the cardinal of Verona should remain about the pope's person 
and counterbalance the influence of De Angelis and the arch- 
bishop of Capua. I would rather lose my two crowns tlum 
be beaten by these two fHars." 

Thus was the struggle about to become keener than ever, 
when Clement's relapse once more threw doubt on every thing. 
He was always between life and death; and this perpetual alter- 
nation agitated the king and the impatient cardinal in every way. 

I Where Christ is not the foundation, aurely no buildinK can be of good work- Stute 
I'apen, Til. p. i'ii, 'i Convolare ad secundas nuptias iioii iiatitur negativum. 

Jtiid . p. 138- 3 Which words , loshiuiicd with a tiuniliai it} and somewhat with 

-^arneitnesf and sravit;. Ibid- < Ibid, vol- i, p- i>30. 

THE pope's TERGITEBSATlOyS. 363 

The latter considered that the pope had need of merits to enter 
ihe kingdom of heaven. " Procure an interview with the pope,"* 
he wrote to the envoys, *' even though he be in the very agony 
of death ;i and represent to him that nothing will be more likely 
4o save his soul than the bill of divorce." Henry's commission- 
-ers were not admitted; but towards the end of March, the de- 
puties appearing in a body,- the pope promised to examine the 
letter from Spain. Vaunes began to fear this document; he re- 
presented that those who had fabricated it would have been 
able to give it an appearance of authenticity. " Rather declare 
immediately that this brief is not a brief," said he to the pope. 
" The king of England, who is your holiness's son, is not so like 
the rest of the world. We cannot put the same shoe on every 
foot."3 This rather vulgar argument did not touch Clement. 
"If to content your master in tliis business," said he, " I cannot 
•employ my head, at least 1 will my finger. '* — "' Be pleased to 
explain yourself," replied Vaimes, who found the Jiiiger a very 
little matter. — "''Imean," resumed the pontiff, '•that I shall 
•employ every means, provided they are honourabk." Vaunes 
withdrew disheartened. 

He immediately conferred with his colleagues, and ail together, 
-alarmed a: the idea of Henry "s anger, returned to the pontiff; 
they thruit aside the lackeys, who endeavoured to stop them, 
-and made their way into his bed-chamber. Clement opposed 
them with that resistance ot inertia by which the podedom has 
^ned its greatest victories; siluit, he reiaained silent. Of 
what consequence to the pontiff were Tudor, his island, and his 
ehurch, when Cnarles of Austria was threatening him with his 
-armies? Clement, less proud than Hddebrand, submitted will- 
ingly to the emperor's power, provided the emperor would pro- 
tect him. •• 1 had rather," he said, •• be Caesar's servant, not 
only in a temple, but in a stable it recessary, than be e^^posed 
to the insults of rebels and vagabonds."' At the same time he 
"wrote to Lampeggio: "JJo not irritate the king, but spin out 
this matter us much as possible;^ the Spanish brief gives us the 

In fact, Charles V had twice shown Lee the original docu- 
ment, and Wolsey, alter this ambassador's report, began to be- 
lieve that it was not Charles who had forged the briei, but that 

1 Burcei's Kcl i, p- 48. 2 Poctqatm eoojanctim omnes. SUte Papen, Tit p. IM. 

3 Cno eodemqae etlceo o""'"*" p,:d» veile Trsiire. Ibid- p. ia& 4 Qood (bnaa 

non iicebit totu capite «Tqni. in eo nijitnni unpoiiam- Ibid. p. 157. i iUUe Ccsui 

& siAbiiio Dcdam a saeiis iuserrire, qaam inlciionun hnminnm sabditoram. TdstUumm. i^ 
belliom iojnms sosUbck. ilerbert.T>>l.i. p-^gl- * Lc6mMl,TQl.i.p- UL 


Pope Julius II had really given two contradictory documents 
on the same day. Accordingly the cardinal now feared to see 
this letter in the pontiflf's hands. " Do all you can to dissuade 
the pope from seeking the original in Spain," wrote he to one 
of his ambassadors; " it may exasperate the emperor." We 
know how cautious the cardinal was towards Charles. Intrigue 
attained its highest point at this epoch, and Englishmen and 
Romans encountered craft with craft. "In such ticklish ne- 
gotiations," says Burnet, (who had had some little experience ia 
diplomacy) " ministers must say and unsay as they are instructed, 
■which goes of course as a part of their business."^ Henry's 
envoys to the pope intercepted the letters sent from Rome, and 
had Campeggio's seized.^ On his part the pope indulged in 
flattering smiles and perfidious equivocations. Bryan wrote to 
Henry VIII: " Always your grace hath done for him in deeds, 
and he hath recompensed you with fair tcords, and fair writings, 
of which both I think your grace shall lack none; but as for the 
deeds, I never believe to see them, and especially at this time." ^ 
Bryan had comprehended the court of Rome better perhaps than 
many politicians. Finally, Clement himself, wishing to prepare 
the king for the blow he was about to inflict, wrote to him : 
'* We have been able to find nothing that would satisfy youi- 

Henry thought he knew what this message meant: that he 
had found nothing, and would find nothing; and accordingly 
this prince, who, if we may believe AVolscj^, had hitherto shown 
incredible patience and gentleness,* gave way to all his violence. 
*' Very well then," said he; " my lords and I well know how to 
withdraw ourselves from the authority of the Roman sec." 
Wolsey turned pale, and conjured his master not to rush into 
that fearful abyss;^ Campeggio, too, endeavoured to revive the 
king's hopes. But it was all of no use. Henry recalled his 

Henry, it is true, had not yet reached the age when violent 
characters become inflexible Irom the hubit they have encour- 
aged of yielding to their passions. But the cardmal, who knew 
his master, knew also that his inflexibility did not depend upoa 
the number of his years; he thought Rome's power in England 

1 Bumet'i Ref. vol. i. p. 61. 2 De interciplendis Uteris. 8tat« Papers, vol- vii. p- 185. 

3 Ibia- p- 167. * He added: Tttmeui iioctes uc dies per uoa ipsi, ac per Jaris. 

peritissluiusvirosomneaviiu teiiteiniis (Ibid- p. 165) Although niuht and day bj- ourselves, 
•nd along with the must skilful lawyers, we try all ways. 6 lucreuibili pallentia. 

et huinauiUU. Burnet, Records, p. xxiii. « Ne pr««ep« hue vel iUuo rex hit 

ruat ciuumus. Ibid. p. zxxiii. 


was lost, and placed between Henry and Clement, he exclaimed: 
" How shall 1 avoid Scylla, and not fall into Charybdis?"' He 
Ijegged the king to make one last effort by sending Dr. Bennet 
to the pope with orders to support the avocation to Rome, and 
he gave him a letter in which he displayed all the resources of 
his eloquence. " How can it be imagined," he wrote, " that 
the persuasions of sense urge the king to break a union in which 
the ardent years of his youth were passed with such purity?- 
. . . . The matter is very different. I am on the spot, I 

know the state of men's minds ^^Yt believe me. 

. . . . The divorce is the secondary question; the primary 
one is the fidelity of this realm to the papal see. The nobility, 
gentry, and citizens all exclaim with indignation: Must our for- 
tunes, and even our lives, depend upon the nod of a foreigner? 
"We must abolish, or at the very least diminish, the authority of 
the Roman pontiff.^ .... Most holy father, we cannot 

mention such things without a shudder." This 

new attempt was also unavailing. The pope demanded of 
Henry how he could doubt his good will, seeing that the king 
of England had done so much for the apostolic see.* This 
appeared a cruel irony to Tudor; the king requested a favour of 
the pope, and the pope replied by calling to mind those which 
the papacy had received Irom his hands. *' Is this the way," 
men asked in England, " in which Rome pays her debis?" 

Wolsey had not reached the term of his misfortunes. 
Gardiner and Bryan had just returaed to London: they declared 
that to demand an avocation to Rome was to lose their cause. 
Accordingly Wolsey, who turned to every wind, ordered Da 
Casale, in case Clement shoiUd pronounce the avocation, to 
appeal Irom the pope, the false head of the church, to the true 
vicar of Jesus Christ.^ This was almost in Luther's style. Who 
•was tliis true vicar? Probably a pope nomiuated by the influ- 
ence of England. 

But thi proceeding did not assure the cardinal: he was losing 
his judgment. A short time bclore this Du Beilay, who had 
just returned irom Paris, whither he had gone to retain France 
on the siue of England, had been invited to Richmond by Wol- 
sey. As tliC two prelates were walking in the park, on that 
hill whence the eye ranges over the lenile and undulating fields 

1 ilanc ('harybiiic et hos scopulos evit isse. Baruet. Records- p. zxxiL 

2 Sei.suam auautU la-.n aLiUiKitic cupint cousuiiuii. cm. ibid. \i. xxxiii. 

3 Qui uuilaiu aut cciw diuiii.utaiii liic liuDiaLi iioiil.licis auckiitiit.iu. luid. 

4 DabiisTe uuu si quiutiu vuluciis leccitUre toa eiga u»g iiieriu tSUite Papen 
Til, p. IIH, i A iiuu \ii.ariu mi vtxuiu \iciiriuiu Jtta Ciuisti ibuL p. i^i. 

366 wolsey's grief. 

through which the -winding Thames pours its tranquil waters, 
the unhappy cardinal observed to the bishop: " My trouble is 
the greatest that ever was! . , I have excited and carried 
on this matter of the divorce, to dissolve the union between the 
two houses of Spain and England, by sowing misunderstanding 
between them, as if I had no part in it.^ You know it was ia 
the interest of France; I therefore entreat the king your master 
and her majesty to do every thing that may forward the 
divorce, I shall esteem such a favour more than if they made 
me pope; but if they refuse me, my ruin is inevitable." And 
then giving way to despair, he exclaimed: " Alas! would that 
I were going to be buiicd to-morrow!" 

The wretched man was drinking the bitter cup his perfidies 
had prepared for him. All seemed to conspire against Henry, 
and Bennet was recalled shortly after. It was said at court 
and in the city: "Since the pope sacrifices us to the emperor, 
let us sacrifice the pope." Clement Vil, intimidated by the threats 
of Charles V, and tottering upon his throne, madly repelled 
with his foot the bark of England. Europe was all attention,, 
and began to think that the proud vessel of Albion, cutting the 
cable that bound her to the poutifis, would boldly spread her 
canvass to the winds, and ever after sail the sea alone, wafted 
onwards by the breeze that comes irom heaven. 

The influence of E,ome over Europe is in great measure pol- 
itical, it loses a kingdom by a royal quarrel, and might ia 
this same way lose ten. 


Discussion Between the Evangelicals and the Catholics — Union o. 
' Learning and Life — The Laity — Tewkesbury — His Appearance before 
the Bishop's Court — Ue is toriurcd — Two Classes of Opponents — A 
Theological Duel — Scripture and the Church — Emancipation of the 
Mind — Mission to the Low Countries — T}-udale's Embarrassment — 
Tonstall wishes to buy the Books — I'ackington's Strat.igeui — Tyu- 
dale departs for Antwerp — His Shipwreck — Arrival at Hamburg — 
Meets Coverdalc. 

Other circumstances from day to day rendered the emanci- 
pation of the church more necessary. If behind these political 

1 Du BeU«7 to Moutmoren«j-, 23nd ilajr- IiC Grud, Preuvei, p ;il9- 


debates there had not been found a Christian people, resolved 
, er to temporize with error, it is probable that England, after™ 
;cw years of independence, would have fallen back into the 
?om of Rome. The affair of the divorce was not the only 
J agitating men's minds; the religious controversies, which, 
some years filled the continent, were always more animated 
Oxford and Cambridge. The Evangelicals and the Catholics 
ji very catholic indeed) warmly discussed the great questions 
ich the progress of events brought before the world. The 
: rmer maintained that the primitive church of the apostles and 
the actual church of the papacy were not identical; the latter 
affirmed, on the contrary, the identity of popery and apostolic 
Christianity. Other Komish doctors in later times, finding this 
position somewhat embarrassing, have asserted that Catholic- 
ism existed only in the germ in the apostolic church, and had 
suLsequently developed itseli. But a thousand abuses, a thous- 
and eiTors may creep into a church under cover of this theory. 
A plant springs from the seed and grows up in accordance with, 
immutable laws; whilst a doctrine cannot be transformed in the 
miud of man without falling under the influence of sin. It is 
true that the disciples of popery have supposed a constant action 
of the Divine Spirit in the Catholic church, which excludes every 
influence of error. To stamp on the development of tne church 
the character of truth, they have stamped on the church itself 
the character of infallibility; quod erat demonstrandum. Their 
reasoning is a mere begging of the question. To know whether 
the BAjmish development is identical with the Gospel, we most 
examine it by Scripture^ 

It was not university men alone who occupied themsdves- 
with Christian truth. ITie separation which has been remark- 
ed iu other times between the opinions of the people and of the 
learned, did not now exist. What the doctors taught, the 
citizens practised; Oxford and London embraced each other. 
The theologians knew that learning has need of life, and the 
citizens believed that life has need of that learning which de- 
rives the doctrine from the wells of the Scriptures of God. It 
was the harmony between these two elements, the one theolog- 
ical, the other practical, which constituted the strength of the 
EngUsh reformation. 

The evangehcal life in the capital alarmed the clergy more 
than the evangelical doctrine in the colleges. Since Monmouth 
had escaped; they must strike another. Among the Londoa 
merchants was John Tewkesbury; one of the oldest friends of 


the Scriptures in England. As early as 1512 he had become 
possessor of a manuscript copy of the Bible, and had attentively 
studied it; when Tjndale's New Testament appeared, he read it 
with avidity; and, finally, The Wicked Mammon had completed 
the work of his conversion. Being a man of heart and under- 
standing, clever in all he undertook, a ready and fluent speaker, 
and liking to get to the bottom of every thing, Tewkesbury 
like Monmouth became very influential in the city, and one of 
the most learned in Scripture of any of the evangelicals. These 
generous Christians, being determined to consecrate to God the 
good things they had received from him, were the first among that 
long series of layn;en who were destined to be more useful to 
the truth than many ministers and bishops. They found time 
to interest themselves about the most trifling details of the 
kingdom of God; and in the history of the Reformation in Britam 
their names should be inscribed beside those of Latimer and 

The activity of these laymen could not escape the cardinal's 
notice. Clement Vll was abandoning England: it was necessary 
for the English bishops, by crushing the heretics, to show that 
they would not abandon the popedom. \\e can understand 
the zeal pt' these prelates, and without excusing their persecu- 
tions, wt) are disposed to extenuate their crime. Tlie bishops 
determined to ru;n Tewkesbury. One day in April io:^U, as he 
was busy among his peltricS; the officer^ catered his warehouse, 
arrested him, and led him away to tuc bishop of Loudon's 
■chapel, where, besides the . ordinary ( i onstall), the bishops of 
Ely, St. Asaph, Batii, and Lincoln, with tlie ahbot of West- 
minster, were on the bench. Ihe composition of this tribunal 
indicated the iuipoitaace of his case, 'ihe emancipation of the 
laity, thought these judges, is pernaps a more daiij^erous heresy 
than justiUcation by iaith. 

" John lewkcsbuiy," said the bishop of London, " I exhort 
you to trust less to your own wit and learning, and more unto 
the doctrine of the holy mother the chuicu." Tewkesbury 
made answer, that in his judgment he hula no other doctrine 
than tiiat ol the church ol Christ. Tonstali tlien br^.ached the 
principal cliar^e, that of having read the Wicked .wamiuon, and 
alter (.juotuig several passages, he exclaimed: " iienounce these 
errors.'' — •*! find uo lauit in the book," replied Tewkesbury. 
*' It has enlightened my conscience and consoka my heart. But 
it is not my Oospel. 1 have .tudied the Holy boriptures these 
ticvcuteen years, and as a man sees the spois ol iiia lace iu a 

more's attack on tyndale, 3B9 

iss, so by reading them I have learnt the faults of my soul.^ 

I: there is a disagreement between you and the New Testament, 

put yourselves in harmony with it, rather than desire to put 

that in accord with you." The bishops were surprised that a. 

leather-seller should speak so well, and quote Scripture so 

happily that they were unable to resist him.- Annoyed at being 

catechised by a layman, the bishops of Bath, St. Asaph, and 

Lincoln thought they could conquer him more easily by the 

rack than by their arguments. He was taken to the Tower, they ordered him to be put to the torture. His limbs 

re crushed, which was contrary to the laws of England, and 

-' violence of the rack tore from him a cry of agony to which 

J priests replied by a shout of exultation. The inflexible 

rchant had promised at last to renounce Tyndale's Wicked 

immon. Tewkesbury left the Tower "almost a cripple,"^ 

iind returned to his house to lament the fatal word which the 

question had extorted from him, and to prepare iu the silence 

of faith to confess in the burning pile the precious name of 

Christ Jesus. 

We must, however, acknowledge that the '•' question " was not 
Eome's only argument. The gospel had two classes of oppon- 
ents in the sixteenth century, as in the first ages of the church. 
Some attacked it with the torture, others with their writings. 
Sir Thomas More, a few years later, was to have recourse to the 
first of these arguments; but for the moment he took up his 
pen. He had first studied the writings of the Fathers of the 
church and of the Reformers, but rather as an advocate than 
as a theologian; and then, armed at aU points, he rushed into 
the arena of polemics, and in his attacks dealt those '• technical 
convictions and that malevolent subtlety," sa3's one of his great- 
est admirers,* " from which the honestest men of his profession 
are not free." Jests and sarcasms had fallen from his pen in 
his discussion \\itli Tyndule, as in his controversy with Luther. 
Shortly after Te.vkesbury's affair (in June, 1529) there appear- 
ed A Dialogue of Sir Tnomas More, Knt., touching the pesiilent 
Sect of Luther and Tjndale, by the one begun in Saxony, and by 
the other laboured to be brought irUo England.^ 

Tyndale soon became informed of More's publication, and a 
remarkable combat ensued between these two representatives 
of the two doctrines that were destined to divide ChrLsteudom — 

> Foxe, ir. p. 690. - tbid- p- 689. * Ibid- * Nisard. Hommes Ulostret 

ie la reu&iHMUC£. Rcvw. dcs Deux Mondet. ^ The Dialosne cobsUtcd ul iba paiicS, 

acd waa printed by JuU > lUsWli, More'i broiher-in-law. Tyndale's answer did ooi appear 
nDtil later; we b.ive tuuit^ut it uur cutj u> iutroduce it here. 

46 2 A 


Tyndale the champion of Scripture, and More the champion of 
the church. More having called his book a dialogue, Tyndale 
adopted this form in his reply,' and the two combatants valiant- 
ly crossed their swords, though wide seas lay between them. 
This theological duel is not without importance in the history 
of the Reformation. The st! uggles of diplomacy, of sacerdot- 
alism, and of royalty were not enough; there must be struggles 
of doctrine. Rome had set the hierarchy above the faith ; the 
Reformation was to restore faith to its place above the 

More. Christ said not, the Holy Ghost shall ivnte, but shall 
teach. Whatsoever the church says, it is the word of God, 
though it be not in Scripture. 

Tyndale. What! Christ and the apostles not spoken of 
Scriptures! .... These are written, says St. John, that ye believe 
and through belief have life. (1 John ii, 1; Rom. xv, 4; Matthew^ 
xxii, 29.) 2 

More. The apostles have taught by mouth many things 
they did not ivrite, because they should not come into the 
hands of the heathen for mocking. 

Tyndale. I pray you what thing more to be mocked by 
the heathen could they teach than the rcsun'ection; and that 
Christ was God and man, and died between two thieves'? And 
yet all these things the apostles wrote. And again, purgatory, 
penance, and satisfaction for sin, and praying to saints, are 
marvellous agreeable unto the superstition of the heathen peo- 
ple, so that they need not to abstain from writing of them for 
fear lest the heathen should have mocked them.' 

More. We must not examine the teaching of the church 
by Scripture, but understand Scripture by means of what the 
church says. 

Tyndale. What! Does the air give light to the sun, or the 
sun to the air? Is the church before the Gospel, or the Gos- 
pel before the church? Is not the father older than the son? 
Ood begat us ivith his own wiU, with the word of truth, says St. 
James (i, 18.) if he who begetteth is before him who is be- 
gotten, the ^vord is before the church, or, to speak more correctly,, 
before the congregation. 

More. A\ hy do you say congregation and not church? 

Tyndale. Because by that word dmrch, you understand 
nothing but a multitude of shorn and oiled, which we now call 

1 Au»wer to Sir Thomiis Mores Dialogue. 2 Ibid. P- lOl- S ibid. 

p. %, a- 


the spirituality or clergy; while the word of right is common 
nnto all the congregation of them that believe in Christ.^ h 

More. The church is the pope and his sect are followers. ' 

TirsDALE. The pope teacheth us to trust in holy works for 
salvation, as penance, saints* merits, and friars' coats.^ Now, he 
that hath no faith to le saved through Christ, is not of Christ's 

More. The Romish church from which the Lutherans came 
out, was before them, and therefore is the right one. VI 

Tyxdale. In like manner you may say, the church of tlie 
Pharisees, whence Christ and his apostles came out, was before 
them, and was therefore the right churdi^ and consequently 
Christ and his disciples are heretics. 

More. No: the apostles came out from the church of the 
Pharisees because they found not Christ there; but your priests 
in Germany and elsewhere, have come out of our church, because 
they wanted wives. 

Ttsdale. Wrong:... .these priests were at first attached 
to what you call heresies, and then they took wives; but yours 
were first attached to the holy doctrine of the pope, and then 
they took harlots.* 

More. Luther's books be open, if you will not believe us. 

Ttsdale. Nay, ye have shut them up, and have even burnt 
them.* ...... 

More. I marvel that you deny purgatoi-y, Sir William, ex- 
cept it be a plain point with you to go straight to hell.^ 

Tyxdale. I know no other purging but faith in the cross of 
Christ; while you, for a groat or a sixpence, buy some secret 
pills [indulgences] which you take to purge yourselves of your 

More. Faith, then, is your purgatory, you say; there is no 
need, therefore, of works — a most immoral doctrinel 

Tyxdale. It is faith alone that saves us, but not a hare faith. 
When a horse beareth a saddle and a man thereon, we may well 
say that the horse only and alone beareth the saddle, but we do 
not mean the saddle empty, anl no man thereon.* 

In this manner did the cathoUc and the evangelical carry on 
the discussion. According to Tyndale, what constitutes the 
true church is the work of the Holy Ghost within; according to 
More, the constitution of the papacy without. The spiritual 
character of the Gospel is thus put in opposition to the formalist 

I Asaver to Sir Thomas More'a Dialogat, p 13. IS. 2 Ibid- p. 40- 3 Had, 

» a» * Ibid. p. 10(. » Ibid. p. Ibi. * Ibid, p- ,iU, 

I U>id- « ibid. p. 197. 


character of the Roman church. The Reformation restored to 
our belief the solid foundation of the word of God; for the sand 
it substituted the rock. In the discussion to which we have 
just been listening, the advantage remained not with the 
catholic. Erasmus, a friend of More's, embarrassed by the 
course the latter was taking, wrote to Tonstall: " I cannot 
heartily congratulate More."i 

Henry interrupted the celebrated knight in these contests to 
send him to Cambray, where a peace was negotiating between 
France and the empire. Wolsey would have been pleased to go 
himself; but his enemies suggested to the king, " that it was 
only that he might not expedite the matter of the divorce." 
Henry, therefore, despatched More, Knight, and Tonstall; but 
Wolsey had created so many delays that he did not arrive until 
after the conclusion of the Ladies' Peace (August 1529). The 
king's vexation was extreme. Da Bellay had in vain helped 
him to spend a good preparatory July to make him swaUow the 
dose'f Henry was angry with Wolsey, W'olsey threw the blame 
on the ambassador, and the ambassador defended himself, he 
tells us, " with tooth and nail." ^ 

By way of compensation, the English envoys concluded with 
the emperor a treaty prohibiting on both sides the printing and 
sale of "any Lutheran books"* Some of them could have 
wished for a good persecution, for a few burning piles, it may 
be, A sing-ular opportunity occurred. In the spring of 1529^ 
Tyndale and Fryth had left Marburg for Antwerp, and were 
thus in the vicinity of the English envoys. What West had 
been unable to efl'ect, it was thought the two most intelligent 
men in Britain could not fail to accomplish. " Tyndale must 
be captured, " said JMore and Tonstall. — " You do not know 
what sort of a country you arc in," replied Hackett. " Will 
you believe that on the 7th of April, Harman arrested me at 
Antwerp for damages, caused by his imprisonment? If you can 
lay anything to my charge as a private individual, I said to the 
officer, 1 am ready to answer for myself; but if you arrest me 
as ambassador, 1 know no judge but the emperor. Upon which 
the procurator had the audacity to reply, tiiat I was arrested as 
■ambassador; and the lords of Antwerp only set me at liberty on 
condition that 1 should appear again at the lirst summons. 
These merchants are so proud of their franchises, that they 

1 Thomw Moro noii aJinodum Kritulor. iirasm- lipi'. P- U'S a JuiUet prepariv- 

toire pour lui laiic uvuler U ^ i^^ bee et dcs ouslos. Uii Uellay to 

Jdoiiiiuoiviicy. Le Uraiii, iu. p SW « llerbeit. p- hlti. * lUckctt to 

Wolscj. bm^scls, lath ApiU. 14-9. U'Me Aiin.iU, vol. i. p. .W 

tyxdale's uaxger. 373 

irould resist even Charles himself." This anecdote was not at 
all calculated to encourage More; and not caring about a pur* 
suit, which promised to be of little use, he returned to England. 
But the bishop of London, who was left behind, persisted in the 
jjroject, and repaired to Antwerp to put it in execution. 

Tyndale was at that time greatly embarrassed; considerable 
debts, incurred with his printers, compelled him to suspend his 
labours. Nor was this all: the prelate who had spumed him so 
harshly in London, had just arrived in the very city where he 

lay concealed What would become of him? A merchant, 

named Augustin Packington, a clever man, but somewhat in- 
clined to dissimulation, happening to be at Antwerp on business, 
hastened to pay his respects to the bishop. The latter observed, 
in the course of conversation: " I should like to get hold of the 
books with which England is poisoned." " I can perhaps 
serve you in that matter," replied the merchant. '* I know the 
Flemings, who have bought Tyndale's booksj 8-3 that if your 
lordship will be pleased to pay for them, I will make you sure 
of them aL." — 'Oh, oh!" thought the bishop, "Now, as the 
proverb says, I shall have God by the toe.^ Gentle Master 
Packington," he added in a flattering tone, " I wUl pay for them 
whatsoever they cost you. 1 intend to burn them at S:. Paul's 
cross." The bishop, having his hand already on Tyndale's 
Testaments, fancied himself on the point of seizing Tyndale 

Packington, being one of those men who love to conciliate 
all parties, ran off to Tyndale, with whom he was intimate, and 
said: — " ^\ illiam, I know you are a poor man, and have a heap 
of New Testaments and books by you, for which you have 
beggared yourself; and I have now found a merchant who -vrill 
buy them all, and with ready money too." — " Who is the ma 
chant?" said Tyndale. — " The bishop of London." — " Tonstall? 

If he buys my books, it can only be to bum them."" — " No 

doubt," answered Packington; " but what will he gain by it? The 
whole world will cry out against the priest who burns God's word, 
and the e^ts of many will be opened. Come, make up your 
mind, William; the bishop shall have the books, you the money, 

and 1 the thanks." Tyndale resisted the proposal; Packinc^- 

ton became more pressing. "The question comes to this," 
he said; '' shall the bishop pay for the books or shall he not? 

for, make up your mind. he will have them." — <' I consent," 

said the Reformer at last; " I shall pay my debt^ and bring 

1 Foze, It, p- 6<0> 


out a new and more correct edition of the Testament." The 
bargain was made. 

Erelong the danger thickened around Tyndale. Placards, 
posted at Antwerp and throughout the province, announced that 
the emperor, in conformity with the treaty of Cambray, was 
about to proceed against the Reformers and their writings. 
Not an officer of justice appeared in the street but Tyndale's 
friends trembled for his liberty. Under such circumstances, 
how could he print his translation of Genesis and Deuteronomy? 
He made up his mind about the end of August to go to Ham- 
burg, and take his passage in a vessel loading for that port. Em- 
barking with his books, his manuscripts, and the rest of his 
money, he glided down the Scheldt, and soon found himself 
afloat on the German ocean. « 

But one danger followed close upon another. He had 
scarcely passed the mouth of the Mouse when a tempest bui'st 
upon him, and his ship, like that of old which bore St. Paul, 
was almost swallowed up by the waves. — " Satan^ envying the 
happy course and success of the Gospel," says a chronicler, ''set 
to his might how to hinder the blessed labours of this man. " ^ 
The seamen toiled, Tyndale prayed, all hope was lost. The 
reformer alone was full (if courage, not doubting that God 
would preserve him for the av;cu;i;plishment of his work. All 
the exertions of the crew proved useless; the vessel was dashed 
on the coast, and the passengers escaped with their lives. Tyn- 
dale gazed with sorrow upon that ocean which had swallowed 
up his beloved books and precious manuscripts, and deprived 
him of his resources.^ Vtliat labours, what perils! banishment, 
poverty, thirst, insults, watchings, persecution, imprisonment, 
the stake! Like Paul, he was in perils by his own country- 
men, in perils among strange people, in perils in the city, iu 
perils in the sea. Kecoveriug his spirits, however, he went oa 
board another ship, entered the Elbe, and at last reached Ham- 

Great joy was in store for him in that city. Coverdale, 
Foxe informs us, was waiting there to confer with him, and to 
help him in his labours.^ It has been supposed that Covordalo 
went to Hamburg to invite Tyndale, in Cromwell's name, to re- 
turn to England; * but it is merely a conjectme, anu requires 
confirmation. As early as 1627, Coverdale had made known 
to Cromwell his desire to translate the Scriptm-es.'' it was 

1 Fuxe, V, p. 120- 2 Lost both his money, his copies- .... Ibid. 3 Cover- 

dole tarutd fur him ami h. Xyvii biui- Ihii- l AuaeiBoii's Annals of the Uible, i, p. 

•ilft 6 I'his is the Unte ttssij;ui<l in CovcrdiUc'a Ileuiaiu!!' (I'ar. tSoc.) p. liKi 



natural tbat, meeting -vnth di£Bculties in this undertaking, he 
should desire to converse with Tyndale. The two friends lodged 
•with a pious woman named Margaret van Emmersen, and spent 
some time together in the autumn of 1529, undisturbed by the 
sweating sickness which was making such cruel havoc all around 
them. Coverdale returned to England shortly after; the two re- 
formers had, no doubt, discovered that it was better for each of 
them to translate the Scriptures separately. 

Before Coverdale's return, Tonstall had gone back to London, 

vaulting at carrying with him the books he had bought so dear- 

But when he reached the capital, he thought he had better 

-fer the meditated auto da fe until some striking event should 

' ve it increased importance. And besides, just at that moment, 

very different matters were engaging pubUc attention on the 

banks of the Thames, and the liveliest emotions agitated every 



The Royal Session — Sitting of the 18th June; the Queen's Protest 
— Sitting of the 21st June — Summons to the King and Queen — 
Catherine's Speech — She retires — Impression on the audience — 
The King's Declaration — AVolsey's Protest — Quarrel l>etween the 
Bishops — Xew sitting — Apparition to the Maid of Kent — Wolsey 
chafed by Henry — The Larl of Wiltshire at Wolsey 's — Private 
Conference between Catherine and the two Legates. 

Affairs had changed in England during the absence of Ton- 
stall and More; and even before their departure, events of a 
certain importance had occurred. Henry, finding there was 
nothing more to hope from Rome, had turned to Wolsey and 
Campeggio. The Roman nuncio had succeeded in deceiving the 
king. '-Campeggio is very different from what he is reported," 
said Henry to his friends; " he is not for the emperor, as I was 
told; I have said somewhat to him which has changed his mind." ^ 
No doubt he had made some brilliant promise. 

Henry therefore, imagining himself sure of his two legates, 
desired them to proceed with the matter of the divorce without 
>delay. There was no time to lose, for the king was informed 

i BuneW B«cords. p. xxxT. 

3 ( 6 THE commission: opened. 

that the pope was on the point of recalling the cominissiott 
given to the two cardinals; and as early as the 19th of March, 
Salviati, the pope's uncle and secretary of state, wrote to Cam- 
peggio about it.^ Henry's process, once in the court of the ponti- 
fical chancery, it would have been long before it got out again. 
Accordingly, on the 31st of May, the king, by a warrant under 
the great seal, gave the legates have to execute their commission, 
''without any regard to his own person, and having the fear of 
God only before their eyes."' The legates themselves had sug- 
gested this formula to the king. 

On the sume day the conmiission was opened; but to begin the 
process was not to end it. Every letter which the nuncio re- 
ceived forbade him to do so in tlie most positive manner. ''Ad- 
vance slowly and never finish," were Clement's instructions.* 
The trial was to be a farce, played by a pope and two cardinals. 

The ecclesiastical court met in the great hall of the Black- 
friars, commonly called the "parliament chamber." The two 
legates having successively taken the commission in their hands, 
devoutly declared that they were resolved to execute it (they 
should have said, to elude it), made the required oaths, and or- 
dered a peremptory citation of the king and queen to appear oa 
the 18th of June at nine in the morning. Campeggio was 
eager to proceed slmvly; the session was adjourned for three 
weeks. The citation caused a great stir among the people* 
" What! " said they, "a king and a queen constrained to appear, 
in their own realm, before their own subjects." The papacy set 
an example which was to be strictly followed in after-years both 
in England and in France. 

On the 16th of June Catherine appeared before the com- 
mission in the parliament chamber, and stepping forward with 
dignity, said with a firm voice: '' 1 protest against the legates as 
incompetent judges, and appeal to the pope." ^ This proceeding- 
of the queen's, her pride and firmness, troubled her enemies, and 
in their vexation they grew exasperated against her. " Instead 
of praying God to bring this matter to a good conclusion," they 
said, " she endeavours to turn away the people's aftections from 
the king. Instead of siiowing Henry tlie love of a youthful 
wife, she keeps away from him night and day. There is evea 
cause to I'ear," they added, *' that she is in concert with certain 

1 E quaiito altro non si possii, lorse u peuscni ad avvocare la causa a se. Lcttcre di XIII 
uomiiii iUusiri, luth March Xbl'i. 'i Ut solum l>eum pre ucuLs haheutcs- Uyiuur, 

Ada ad uiiMum. 3 Sua bcatitudiiie licorda, chc il procedere sia Jeiito cd in niodo 

•icuno nou si vtnglii al ffiudicio- To Card. CampctfKio, iDth May, IS.'U. Lett, di rrio- 
*>P>- * Se in illos Unquam judici'S suo> non aisrutire, ad piipam provocaviti 

(Saiideri, p. 32.) KefuiiiiK to acknowledije Ultra u« h«ir jud^ei, «hi! appealed to the pope. 


individuals who have formed the horrible design of killing the 
king and the cardinal.' ^ But persons of generous heart, seeing 
only a queen, a wife, and a mother, attacked in her dearest 
affections, showed themselves full of sympathy for her. 

On the 21st of June, the day to which the court adjourned^ 
the two legates entered the parliament chamber with all the 
pomp belonging to their station, and took their seats on a raised, 
platform. Near them sat the bishops of Bath and Lincoln, 
the abbot of Westminster, and Doctor Taylor, master of the 
Rolls, whom they had added to their commission. Below them 
were the secretaries, among whom the skilful Stephen Gardiner 
held the chief rank. On the right hung a cloth of estate where 
the king sat surroimded by his officers; and on the left, a little 
lower, was the queen, attended by her ladies. The archbishop- 
of Canterbury and the bishops were seated between the legates- 
and ilenry YIII, and on both sides of the throne were stationed 
the counsellors of the king and queen. The latter were Fisher, 
bishop of Rochester, Staudish of St. Asaph, West of Ely, and 
Doctor Ridley. The people, when they saw this procession de- 
file before them, were far from being dazzled by the pomp. 
'•Loss shoiv and more vu-tue," they said, " would better become^ 
such judges." 

The pontiacal commission having been read, the legates de- 
clared that they would judge without fear or favour, and would 
admit of neither recusation nor appeal.^ Then the usher cried i 
" Henry, king of England, come into court." The king, cited 
in his own capital to accept as judges two priests, his subjects,, 
repressed the throbbing of his proud heart, and replied, in the 
hope that this strange trial would have a favourable issuer 
'• Here I am." The usher continued : "Catherine, queen of Eng- 
land, come into court." The qucen handed the cardinals a 
paper in which, she protested against the legality of the court, 
as the judges were the subjects of her opponent,^ and appealed 
to Rome. The cardinals declared they could not admit this 
paper, and consequently Catherine was again called into court. 
At this second summons she rose, devoutly crossed herself, made 
the circuit of the court to where the king sat, bending with, 
dignity as she passed in front of the legates, and fell on her 
knees before her husband. Every eye was turned upon her.. 
Then speaking in English, but with a Spanish accent, which by. 

1 bumet's Ref. !• p. 6k 2 The kiog's letter to his ambassadors at Konie. 2ord Jane^ 

Ibid. Uecords, p. Uv. 3 Personals juoicam noD solum regi denncta^i venun et sal>> 

jectu esie- (Sanden, p. 35J lier jvidjies were uot only in the interest of the king, bat were. 
eTei: his sabjectt- 

378 THE queen's appeal to the kixg. 

recalling the distance she was from her native home, pleaded 
eloquently for her, Catherine said with tears in her ejea, and in 
. a tone at once dignified and impassioned : 

" Sir, — I beseech you, for all the love that hath been between 
xis, and for the love of God, let me have justice and right; take 
some pity on me, for I am a poor woman and a stranger, born 
out of your dominions. I have here no assured friend, much 
less impartial counsel, and I flee to you as to the head of justice 
within this realm. Alas! Sir, wherein have I offended you, or 
what occasion given you of displeasure, that you should wish to 
put me from you? I take God and all the world to witness, 
that I have been to you a true, humble, and obedient wife, ever 
conformable to your wiU and pleasure. Never have I said or 
done aught contrary thereto, being always well pleased and con- 
tent with all things wherein you had delight; neither did I ever 
grudge in word or countenance, or show a visage or spark of 
discontent. I loved all those whom you loved, only for your 
sake. This twenty years I have been your true wife, and by 
me ye have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to 
call them out of this world, which yet hath been no default in 

The judges, and even the most servile of the courtiers, were 
touched when they heard these simple and eloquent words, and 
the queen's sorrow moved them almost to tears. Catherine con- 
tinued : — 

'' Sir, — When ye married me at the first, I take God to be 
my judge I was a true maid; and whether it be true or not, I 

put it to your conscience If there be any just causj that 

ye can allege against me, I am contented to depart from your 
kingdom, albeit to my great shame and dishonour; and if there 
be none, then let me remain in my former estate until death. 
AVho united us? The king, your father, who was called the 
second Solomon; and my father, Ferdinand, who was esteemed one 
of the wisest princes that, for many years before, had reigned 
in Spain. It is not, therefore, to be doubted that the marriage 
between you and me is good and lawful. Who are my judges? 
Is not one the man that has put sorrow between you and me? ' 
a judge whom I refuse and abhor! — Who are the coun- 
cillors assigned me? Are they not officers of the crown, who 
have made oath to you in your own council ? . . . . Sir, I con- 
jure you not to call me before a court so formed. Yet, if you 

1 Qui dissensionem inter ipsam et vimm suum. (Poljd. Virg- p. 688.) Who put diwension 
'fceiwecn her and her buibaud- 


Tefbse me this favour your will be done I shall be 

silent, I shall repress the emotions of my soul, and remit my 
just cause to the hands of God." 

Thus spoke Catherine through her tears; ^ humbly bending, 
she seemed to embrace Henry's knees. She rose and made a 
low obeisance to the king. It was expected that she would 
return to her seat: but leaning on the arm of Griffiths, her re- 
ceiver-general, she moved towards the door. The king, observ- 
ing this, ordered her to be recalled; and the usher following 
her, thrice cned aloud: "Catherine, queeu of England, come 
into court." — "Madam," said Griffiths, "you are called back." 
— " I hear it well enough," replied the queen, " but go you on, 
for this is no court wherein I can have justice: let us proceed." 
Catherine returned to the palace, and never again appeared be- 
fore the court either by proxy or in person." 2 

She had gained her cause in the minds of many. Tlie dignity 
■of her person, the quaint simpHcity of her speech, the propriety 
with which, relying upon her innocence, she had spoken of the 
most delicate subjects, and the tears which betrayed her emotion, 
had created a deep impression. But " the sting in her speech." 
•as an historian says,"* was her appeal to the king's conscience, 
-and to the judgment of Almighty God, on the capital point in 
the cause. " How could a person so modest, so sober in her 
language," said many, '• dare utter such a falsehood? Besides, 
the king did not contradict her." 

Henry was greatly embarrassed: Catherine's words had moved 
him. Catherine's defence, one of the most touching in history, 
had gained over the accuser himself. He therefore felt con- 
strained to render this testimony to the accused: "Since the 
-queen has withdrawn, I will, in her absence, declare to you all 
present, that she has been to me as true and obedient a wife as 
I could desire. She has all the virtues and good qualities 
that belong to a woman. She is as noble in character as in 

But ^Volsey was the most embarrassed of all. "V^ hen the 
.queen had said, without naming him, that one of her judges was 
the cause of aU her misibrttmes, looks of indignation were 
turned upon him.* He was unwilUng to remain imder the 
weight of this accusation. As soon as the king had finished 
speaking, he said: "Sir, I humbly beg your majesty to declare 

1 Hxc ilia fitbiliter dic«nte. Foljd. Virg. p, IS6, aiid CavendUh. 2 Bornet, Re- 

'ConU, p. SGl In tbis letter the kiug u: s: Both we acd the qaeen appeared in person. 

3 Faller, p- IVi. * Viduset Wolseom mfesiis fere oauuuni ocniu cocspid. 

(foljd- Yirg. t'- 6S1) Yoa toight tee aliuoti iJl e^ es indignantljr toned on WuUej. 


before this audience, whether I was the first or chief mover inr 
this business." Wolsey had formerly boasted to Du Bellay, 
" that the first project of the divorce was set on foot by himself, 
to create a perpetual separation between the houses of England 
and Spain;" ^ but now it suited him to affirm the contrary. The 
king, who needed his services^ took care not to contradict him. 
"My lord cardinal," he said, "I can well excuse you herein. 
Marry, so far from being a mover, ye have been rather against 
me in attempting thereof. It was the bishop of Tarbes^ the 
French ambassador, who begot the first scruples in my con- 
science by his doubts on the legitimacy of the princess Mary." 
This was not correct. The bishop of Tarbes was not in Eng- 
land before the year 1527, and we have proofs that the king 
was meditating a divorce in lo26.2 "From that hour/' he 
continued, " 1 was much troubled, and thought myself in danger 
of God's heavy displeasure, who, wishing to punish my incestu- 
ous marriage, had taken away all the .sons my wife had borne 
me. I laid my grief before you, my lord of Lincoln^ then being 
my ghostly lather; and by your advice I asked counsel of the 
rest of the bishops, and you all informed me under your seals, 
that you shai'ed in my scruples." — ''That is the truth," said the 
archbishop of Canterbury. — " No, Sir, not so, under correction,"^ 
quoth the bishop of Rochester, ''you have not my hand ar.d 
seal." — " No?" exclaimed the king, showing him a paper whiuli 
he held in his hand; "is not this your hand and seal ? " — " No, 
forsooth," he answered. Henry's surprise increased, and turn- 
ing with a frown to the archbishop of Canterbury, he asked 
him : " What say you to that?" " Sir, it is his hand and seal," 
replied Warham. — "it is not/' rejoined Kochester; '-l told you 
1 would never consent to any such act." — "You say the truth," 
responded the archbishop, " but you were fully resolved at the 
last, that I should subscribe your name and put your seal."— - 
"All which is untrue," added Eochester, in a passion. The 
bishop was not very respectful to his primate. " Well, well,*' 
eaid the king, wishing to end the dispute, " we will not stand in 
argument with you; lor you are but one man." ^ The court 
adjourned. The day had been better for Catherine than for the 

In proportion as the first sitting had been pathetic, so the- 

1 Du UelUy to MoutiuoreDcy. Le Urund, i'rcuvcs, pi>. 186, 319. '•! See i'ace'* 

IctUr to llmry lu 16':C. Le Grand, I'rcuvcs, p. 1. I'ace there «how8 that it is incorrect to. 
lay: UtuUrotioiitium airugare LtvilicuM (Oeuteruuoiuy abrogates Leviticus) , so liiruicuu« 
ctrni the iirobibitiou to take the wile ol a deceased brother- 3 Cavcndish't WoU 

•cy, p. 'la 


'discussions in the second between the lawyers and bishops were 
calculated to revolt a delicate mind. The advocates of the two 
parties vigorously debated pro and con respecting the consum- 
mation of Arthur's marriage with Catherine. '• It is a very 
difficult question," said one of the counsel; "none can know the 
truth." — " But I know it," replied the bishop of Eochester. — 
*'What do you mean?" asked Wolsey. — ^'My lord," he answered, 
" he was the very Truth who said : " What God hath, joined to- 
gether, Id not man put asunder: that is enough for me." — '• So 
■everybody thinks," rejoined Wolsey; but whether it was God 
who united Henry of England and Catherine of Aragon, hoc re- 
■stat prolandum, that remains to be proved. The king's council 
decides that the marriage is unlawful, and consequently it was 
not God who joined them together." The two bishops then ex- 
changed a few words less edifying than those of the preceding 
day. Several of the hearers expressed a sentiment of disgust. 
^' It is a disgrace to the court," said Doctor Ridley with no little 
indignation, " that you dare discuss questions which fill every 
right-minded man with horror." This sharp reprimaud put au 
€nd to the debate. 

The agitations of the court spread to the convents; priests, 
monks, and nuns were every where in commotion. It was not 
long before astonishing revelations began to circulate through 
the cloisters. There was no talk then of