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mind, and refused their allowance. Ridley was there. fore nominated to a deputation with Hooper, with a view to bring him to a compliance; but this proved ineffectual. Hooper still remained unconvinced, and prayed to be excused from the old symbolizing popish garments. These garments, he observed, had no countenance in scripture or primitive antiquity: they were the inventions of antichrist, and introduced into the church in the most corrupt ages: they had been abused to idolatry, particularly in the pompous celebration of the mass : and to continue the use of them, was, in his opinion, to symbolize with antichrist, to mislead the people, and inconsistent with the simplicity of the christian religion.” He could appeal to the Searcher of Hearts, that it was not obstinacy, but the convictions of his conscience alone, which made him refuse these garments. + Ridley's endeavours proving unsuccessful, Hooper was committed to the management of Cranmer, who, being unable to bring him to conformity, laid the affair before the council, and he was committed to the Fleet. Having remained in prison for several months, the matter was compromised, when he was released and consecrated.: He consented to put on the vestments at his consecration, when he preached before the king, and in his own cathedral; but was suffered to dispense with them at other times.; How this business was adjusted, and with what degree of severity he was persecuted, is related by Mr. Fox, in the Latin edition of his “ Acts and Monuments of the Martyrs.” The passage, says Mr. Peirce, he hath left out in all his English editions, out of too great tenderness to the party. “Thus,” says Mr. Fox, “ended this theological quarrel in the victory of the bishops, Hooper being forced to recant; or, to say the least, being constrained to appear once in public, attired after the manner of the bishops. Which, unless he had done, there are those who think the bishops would have endeavoured to take away his life : for his servant told me,” adds the martyrologist, “ that the Duke of Suffolk sent such word to Hooper, who was not himself ignorant of what they were doing.” Horrid barbarity Who, before Hooper, was ever thrown into prison, and in danger of his life, merely because he refused a bishopric It was certainly some kind of excuse, that the bishops would not consecrate him contrary to law ; but there can be no excuse for his imprisonment, and their conspiring to take away his life. When Hooper wished to be excused accepting the offered preferment upon the conditions of the ecclesiastical establishment, was there any law to constrain him, contrary to the convictions of his own conscience 2 Ridley, however, who was by far the most severe against Hooper, lived to change his opinions, as will appear hereafter. Most of the reforming clergy were of Hooper's sentiments in this controversy. Several who had submitted to the habits in the late reign, now laid them aside: among whom were Bishops Latimer and Coverdale, Dr. Rowland Taylor, John Rogers, John Bradford, and John Philpot, all zealous nonconformists. They declaimed against them as mere popish and superstitious attire, and not fit for the ministers of the gospel." Indeed, they were not so much as pressed upon the clergy in general, but mostly left as matters of indifference.4 During this reign, certain persons denominated anabaptists, having fled from the wars in Germany, and come to England, propagated their sentiments and made proselytes in this country. Complaints being brought against them to the council, Archbishop Cranmer, with several of the bishops and others, received a commission, April 12, 1550, “ to examine and search after all anabaptists, heretics, or contemners of the common prayer.” As they were able to discover such persons, they were to endeavour to reclaim them, and, after penance, to give them absolution; but all who continued obstinate, were to be excommunicated, imprisoned, and delivered over to the secular power. Several tradesmen in London being convened before the commissioners, abjured; but Joan Bocher, or Joan of Kent, was made a public example. She steadfastly maintained, “That Christ was not truly incarnate of the virgin, whose flesh being sinful, he could not partake of it; but the word, by the consent of the inward man of the virgin, took flesh of her.”f These were her own words; not capable of doing much mischief, and, surely, undeserving any severe punishment. The poor woman could not reconcile the spotless purity of * MS. Chronology, vol. i. p. 35. (30.)
* Neal’s Puritans, vol. i. p. 62. + Fuller's Church Hist. b. vii. p. 404. # Strype's Cranmer, p. 211—215.-Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xviii. p.269. § Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. 166. | Peirce's Windication, part i. p. 30.
+ Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. iii. p. 310, 311.
Christ's human nature, with his receiving flesh from a sinful creature; for which she was declared an obstinate heretic, and delivered over to the secular power to be burnt. The compassionate young king thought, that burning persons for their religious opinions savoured too much of that for which they censured the papists; therefore, when he could not prevail upon himself to sign the warrant for her execution, Cranmer, with his superior learning, was employed to persuade him. He argued from the practice of the Jewish church in stoning blasphemers; which silenced, rather than salisted the king. . He still looked upon it as cruel severity. And when at last he yielded to the archbishop's importunity, he told him, with tears in his eyes, “That if he did wrong, since it was in submission to his authority, he should answer for it to God.” This is said to have struck the archbishop with much horror; yet he suffered the sentence to be executed.* Besides those denominated anabaptists, there were also many others who administered the sacraments in other manner than was prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. To prevent the number of these nonconformists from increasing, and to crush all who had already imbibed their sentiments, another commission was issued, empowering the archbishop and others to correct and punish them.* And in the year 1552, Cranmer and others received a third commission from the council, to examine a certain sect newly sprung up in Kent. This was a sect of nonconformists, though their peculiar sentiments do not appear. Mr. Fox, in the Latin edition of his “ Martyrs,” observes, “That one Humphrey Middleton, with some others, had been kept prisoners in the last year of King Edward by the archbishop, and had been dreadfully teazed by him and the rest in commission, and were now just upon the point of being condemned; when in open court he said: PWell, reverend Sir, pass what sentence you think fit upon as ; but that you may not say you were not forewarned, I testify that your own turn will be newt. And accordingly it came to pass; for a little while after, King Edward died, when the prisoners were set at liberty, and the archbishop and bishops cast into prison.” The above severities, shewing the imperfect state of the English reformation, will be handed down to posterity, as monuments of lasting reproach to our famous reformers. Persecution, whoever may be the persecutors, deserves ever to appear in all its detestable and shocking features.
* Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. 111, 112.—This female sufferer, according to Mr. Strype, “was a great reader of the scriptures, and formerly a great disperser of Tindal's New Testament; which book she dispersed in the court, and so became acquainted with certain women of quality. She used, for the greater secrecy, to tie the books with strings under her apparel, and so pass with them into the court.” Thus she exposed her own life, in dangerous times, to bring others to a knowledge of God's holy word.—Strype's Eccl. Memorials, vol. ii. p. 214.
+ Strype's Parker, p. 27. # Strype's Cranmer, p. 291.
§ This person, a native of Ashford, in Kent, was afterwards burnt in the days of Queen Mary.—For’s Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 313.
In the year 1553, upon the death of King Edward, his sister MARY coming to the crown, soon overturned the reformation, and restored the whole body, of popcry. The queen was a violent papist; yet she at first declared, “That though her conscience was settled in matters of religion, she was resolved not to -compel others, only by the preaching of the word.” How far her majesty adhered to this sacred maxim, the numerous tragic scenes of her bloody reign, afford too strong a proof. She, within the same month, prohibited all preaching without her special license; and further declared, “That she would not compel her subjects to be of her religion, till public order should be taken.”; This was a clear intimation of the approaching storm. Many of the principal reformers were immediately cast into prison. Hooper was sent to the Fleet, and Cranmer and Latimer to the Tower, and above a thousand persons retired into foreign parts: among whom were five bishops, five deans, four archdeacons, and a great number of doctors in divinity, and celebrated preachers. In the number of worthy exiles were Coverdale, Turner, Sampson, Whitehead, Becon, Lever, Whittingham, and Fox, all afterwards famous in the days of Queen Elizabeth.| The two archbishops and most of the bishops were deprived of their sees. The most celebrated preachers in London were put under confinement, and no less than 12,000 of the clergy, for being married, were turned out of their livings; some of whom were deprived without conviction; some were never cited to appear; and many, being confined in prison, and unable to appear, were cited and deprived for non-appearance. In the mean time, the service and reformation of King Edward were abolished, and the old popish worship and ceremonies revived.T
* Peirce's Windication, part i. p. 35. + Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. 245. f Ibid. § Ibid. p. 247,250. | Strype's Cranmer, p. 314. I Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 276. * Burnet reckons the number of those who suffered in the flames to be 284; and Mr. Strype, 288; but it is said there were no less than 800. during Queen Mary’s bloody persecution.—1bid. p. 364.—Strype's Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. Appen. p. 291. + Heylin's Hist. of Refor. part i. p. 93.
During this queen's reign, several hundred persons suffered death under the foul charge of heresy;" among whom were great numbers of pious and learned divines, all zealous for the reformation. Many of these divines being avowed nonconformists in the reign of King Edward, maintained their principles even at the stake. Mr. John Rogers, the protomartyr, peremptorily refused to wear the habits, unless the popish priests were enjoined to wear upon their sleeves, as a mark of distinction, a chalice with an host. The same may be observed of Mr. John Philpot and Mr. Tyms, two other eminent martyrs. Bishop Latimer derided the garments; and when they pulled off the surplice at his degradation, he said, Now I can make no more holy water. In the articles against Bishop Farrar, it was objected, that he had vowed never to wear the cap, but that he came into his cathedral in his long gown and hat; which he did not deny, alleging that he did it to avoid superstition, and giving offence to the people.t When the popish vestments were put upon Dr. Taylor, at his degradation, he walked about with his hands by his sides, saying, “How say you, my lord, am I not a godly fool 2 How say you, my masters, if I were in Cheapside, should I not have boys enough to laugh at these apish toys and toying trumpery?” And it is observed, that when the surplice was pulled off, he said, Now I am rid of a fool's coat. The famous John Bradford excepted against the habits, and was ordained without them; and even Cranmer and Ridley, who, in the late reign had exercised great severity against Hooper and others, lived to see their mistakes, and to repent of their conduct. Cranmer bein clothed in the habits, at his degradation, said, “All this needeth not. I had myself done with this years ago.”h Ridley, when he refused to put on the surplice at his degradation, and they put it on by force, “ vehemently inveighed against it, calling it foolish and abominable, and too fond for a vice in a play.” And even during his confinement in prison, he wrote to Hooper, saying, “That
it Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 168, 172. § Ibid. p. 143.
| It is observed that both Cranmer and Ridley intended to have procured an act for abolishing the habits, but were prevented.—Peirce's Vindication, part i. p. 44.
1 Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 427.