Images de page

This is a fhort Hiftory of the English Liturgy, of its Birth and Progrefs to this Day. And now we fhall examine a little into the Characters of thofe who compiled it, for they must be all Papifts, if you spoke Truth: What Part Archbishop Cranmer acted in the Reformation is clearly to be feen by any that will please to read but fo much of the English Hiftory, as contains the Lives of Hen. VIII. Edw. VI. and Queen Mary. Sir Richard Baker in his History tell us, that Cranmer for his Skill in Divinity was picked out, and * fent to Rome, to prove the Marriage of Henry VIII. with his Brother Prince Arthur's Widow, Katharine of Spain, to have been from the firft beginning of it contrary to the Laws of GOD, and therefore null and void. We find him afterwards maintaining the fame Argument at the Emperor's Court, even to the Conviction of Cornelius Agrippa, the most learned Man there at that Time; and indeed he fo well fatisfied the King and Ciergy in that Matter, which had for a long time not only troubled them, but even moft of the Universities in Europe, that immediately thereafter the Divorce was pronounced by the Bishops and Clergy, and he for his good Services promoted to the See of (e) Canterbury. By what follows in that Hiftory, you will fee he was all along the great Inftrument of forwarding the Reformation, and that in it, with admirable Piety he perfevered, 'till at last he fealed it with his Blood, dying a Martyr for the fame in the Flames at Oxford, March 21, 1556, where two other famous Martyrs, Ridley and Latimer had fuffered after the fame manner fome

*P. 281. (e) P. 282,
C 2


five Months before. (f) Nay, in that Year no fewer than eighty four Perfons fuffered Martyr dom, for refufing to leave the English Liturgy, and joyn with the Mafs. Ridley, Bishop of Rochefter, who fuffered before Cranmer (as is faid) was efteemed the most learned and pious of all the Reformers. In fhort, as to the reft of the Compilers, there was not one of them that lived 'till Q. Mary's Time, but were either MARTYRS or Confeffors, becaufe they would not return to Popery. At that Time there were of the Laity as well as Clergy, Women as well as Men, to the Number of two hundred feventy seven, (g) that fuffered Martydom for adhering to the Eng lib, and refufing to joyn in the Roman Liturgy. Dr. Cox, Councellor and Almoner to K. Edward, and one of the Compilers, in Q. Mary's Perfecu tion (with a good many others) fled to Frankfort, and there kept up the English Liturgy, 'till in Q Eliz. Time he came home, and was confecrated Bishop of Lincoln.

Thus, and by these holy Martyrs and Confef fors, was the Service Book compiled and ufed; and is it poffible there can be any fo obftinate as to affirm there can be a more convincing Proof advanced for any Matter of Fact, than this is, to prove the English Liturgy free from the Corruptions complained of in the Mafs Book, than that fuch a Number of eminent, pious, and learned Divines, and others, chofe rather to fuffer moft painful Deaths, than leave the one, and joyn with the other? Will Mr. Mfay they

(f) Baker, p.321. (g) Speed, p. 1142.


did not understand it fo well as he does? Or that they were mad; or that it was not for this they fuffered? I do not think that even the large Share of Affurance of which he is Master, will allow him to affirm any of thefe Things; and if he does not, the Question is at an End, and Mr. M muft acknowledge he affirmed what is not true. It is undeniable that at that Time it had not enter'd in the Minds, neither of Clergy, nor Laity in Scotland, or England, that there were any of the Corruptions in the Romish Worship retained in the English Liturgy; for the Laity as well as the Clergy were robbed, banished, and put to Death, for no other Caufe (as I have observed) but that they would not renounce the Worfhip of the Church of England, and joyn with that of Rome. If they had believed them to have been one and the fame, they must be reckoned no better than fo manySelf-Murtherers: That they had Learning to understand both, is fufficiently acknowledged, fo they had no Plea of Ignorance to plead; you would have found them then defend it against the Papifts, but no Body alledging against them that it was Popery, no not the Puritans themfelves. If Mr. M. will be pleased to let me fee a clearer Demonftration of Matter of Fact than this is, viz. that the English Liturgy and the Mass Book, were not at that Time thought one and the fame, Erit mihi magnus Apollo.

It follows next to enquire, what Opinion foreign Divines had of the English Liturgy and its Compilers, this will drive the Nail to the Head, and put the Question beyond all Controverfy, and I fhall advance none against whom the leaft Exception can be brought: Nay, I am


mistaken if you do not pretend to have them all on your Side whom I fhall bring to vouch for


I fhould think it fufficient for all, that Peter Martyr, Martin Bucer, and Paulus Fagius, three eminent Promoters of the Reformation abroad, gave Teftimony for the English Service; they were brought over in Edw. VI. Time, the firft was placed Divinity Reader in Oxford, and the other two in Cambridge. (h) All of them joyned very heartily in the Worfhip of the Church of England. (i) Bucer fpeaks thus of it: I give Thanks to GOD who hath given you Grace to reform thofe Ceremonies in fuch a Purity; for I have found nothing in it (speaking of the Service Book) which is not taken out of the Word of GOD, or is in the leaft contrary to it, being rightly interpreted. You pretend thefe Divines were Presbyterians; I am fure they were not efteemed Papifts in Q. Mary's Time, (k) for then the Bodies of Bucer and Fagius were taken out of their Graves, and burnt as Hereticks. I think thefe three famous Witneffes might fatisfy you; but left they should not, to clear you farther, the next I fhall advance is your great Friend Calvin, whofe Authority you cannot honeftly disclaim. The Duke of Somerset then Protector of England, had fuch an Opinion of him, that immediately upon the Liturgy's being compiled, he fent it over to him, and had his Opinion returned, in a Letter he wrote to him, in thefe Words: As for the Form of Prayers and Ecclefiaftical Ceremonies, I much ap

(h) Baker,p.310. (i)Scrip, Ang, p.455. (k)Bak.p.321.


prove that they should be established as a conftant Form, from which it may not be lawful for the Paftors to recede in the Execution of their Charge (1). Can any thing be clearer than this? He advises the Protector to enjoyn the Ufe of it. What Opinion would Calvin have had of Mr. M. if he had told him what he told his Hearers, that it was nothing but the Mafs in English; that it was Idolatry, and it was not lawful to ufe it? If he had been in Geneva, he would have inflicted the Cenfures of the Church upon him. (m)Calvin calls Cranmer, A most accomplished Prelate, who hath the Cure not only of England, but of the whole Chri ftian World. Doth this clear him of Popery

or not?

Beza in Refp. ad Saraviam, fpeaking of the Church of England, fays: It happened in our Memory, that he had Men of that Calling, (viz. Bishops) not only conftant' Martyrs for GOD, but also excellent Paftors and Doctors. (n) He defires thofe under the Goverment of Grindal Bishop of London, to fubmit to him, holding him worthy of much Punishment that should defpife his Authority.

(0) Saravia confeffes himself to wonder at the Reformers in England, for not any way devia¬ ting from the antient Church of Chrift. I fhall conclude my Geneva Evidences with the Teftimony of the famous Ifaac Caufabon; he says, (p) No Church doth come nearer to the Form of the Primitive Church than it doth, so that they who envy her.

(1) Bucer Epift. ad Proteft. Angl. (m)Ep. ad Cranmer. (n) Ad Grindal Ep. 3. (0) De Minft, Grad. Ep. ad Lett. (p) Prefat, ad Exercit.


« PrécédentContinuer »