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Edward Gellibrand . . . ... 311 Edward Lord ............
John Walward . . . . . . . . ... 314 Malancthon Jewell .......
Nicholas Crane .......... 362 & Daniel Wright ...........
LIVES OF THE PURITANS,
CONTAINING A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF NONCONFORMITY FROM THE REFORMATION, TO THE PASSING OF THE ACT OF UNIFORMITY, IN 1662.
From the Commencement of the Reformation, to the Death of Queen Mary.
Previous to the accession of King Henry VIII. popish darkness overspread the whole island of Britain. This was followed by a train of most unhappy consequences. Ignorance, superstition, immorality and persecution were predominant in every part of the kingdom. Those who presumed to think for themselves on religious subjects, and to dissent from the national church, underwent all the oppressions and severities of persecution. From the days of Wickliffe to this time, great numbers of excellent christians and worthy subjects, fell sacrifices to popish cruelty. This proud monarch being at first a most obedient son of the pope, treated the bold confessors of truth as obstinate rebels; and because their piety and integrity condemned his licentiousness, he put multitudes to cruel tortures and to death. Soon after Luther arose in Saxony, England became affected by his bold and vigorous opposition to the errors of the church of Rome. The young king, vain of his scholastic learning, was unwise enough to meet the bold reformer on the field of controversy, and published a book
against him." Luther treated his royal antagonist with sarcastic contempt, contending that truth and science knew no difference between the prince and the plebeian. The pope, however, craftily flattered the vanity of the royal author, by conferring upon him the title of Defender of the Faith, which Henry was weak enough to value as the brightest jewel in his crown. This pompous reward from his holiness was conferred upon him in the year 1521.f The haughty king soon discovered his ingratitude. He quarrelled with the pope, renounced his authority, and became his avowed enemy. Being weary of Queen Katharine his wife, with whom he had lived almost twenty years; and having long sought, but in vain, to be divorced by the pope, he was so much offended, that he utterly rejected the papal power, authority and tyranny in England. This was a dreadful blow against the Romish supremacy. But the king soon after procured the dignified and flattering title of Supreme Head of the Church of England. This additional jewel to his crown was conferred upon him, first by the clergy in convocation, then by act of parliament. Thus, in the year 1534, Henry VIII, having renounced the supremacy of the pope, and having placed himself in the chair of his holiness, at least as far as concerned the English church, did not fail to manifest his usurped power and authority. He did not intend to ease the people of their oppressions, but only change their foreign yoke for domestic fetters, dividing the pope's spoils betwixt himself and his bishops, who cared not for their father at Rome, so long as they enjoyed honours and their patrimony under another head." - o
* Mr. Fox observes, that though “this book carried the king's name in the title, it was another who ministred the motion, and framed the style. But whosoever had the labour of the book, the king had the thanks and the reward.”—Acts and Monuments of Martyrs, vol. ii. p. 57.
# It has been said, that the jester whom Henry, according to the custom of the times, retained at court, seeing the king overjoyed, asked the reason; and when told, that it was because his holiness had conferred upon him this new title, he replied, “ my good Harry, let thee and me defend each other, and let the faith alone to defend itself.” If this was spoken as a serious joke, the fool was undoubtedly the wisest man of the two. f Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. i. p. 19.—King Henry afterwards got this sacred title united to the crown, by act of parliament; and, curious and inconsistent as it may appear, it is retained to this day.-Heylin's Hist. of Pres. p. 235.
$ Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. i. p. 112. 136. 157.
| Memoirs of Col. Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 105. Edit. 1810.