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AMONG many obligations which I owe to Mr. Chalmers for many valuable hints in the progress of this work, the following communi: cation is certainly not one of the least which his kindness has conferred.
We have already, in a former part of this work, laid before the reader, Archbishop Cranmer's Catechism, of the year 1548, when the dawn of Reformation was fast approaching in England. We now submit to the reader, as an useful Supplement, some account of the Catechism of Archbishop Hamilton, of the year 1552, when the reformation was advancing with hasty steps to Scotland. The origin of this curious book may be traced to a provincial Synod of the Clergy which assembled at Edinburgh on the 26th of January, 1551-2, when an order was made for publishing a Catechism in the mother tongue; to contain a short explanation of the Commands, the Belief, and Lord's Prayer; and to enjoin the Curates to read a part thereof every Sunday and Holiday to the people. Archbishop Hamilton undertook this useful work. He seems to have induced some of the ablest of his clergy to coinpile this Treatise. And he certainly transplanted John Scott, the printer, from London
to St. Andrews, for the express purpose of multiplying a sufficient number of copies, by means of the typographic art, for the common use of the Scotish Clergy.
This work appeared in the subsequent year, in 205 folios, or 410 close printed pages, in a handsome quarto, with the following title: "THE CATECHISME: that is to say, ane Comõne & Catholick instructioun of the Christin people in materis of our Catholick faith and religioun quilk na gud Christin man or woman suld misknaw : set furth be ye maist reverend father in God Johne, Archbishop of Sanct Androus Legatnait and Primat of the Kirk of Scotland in his provincial Counsale haldin at Edinburgh, the xxvi day of Januarie the yeir of our Lord 1551; with the advise and counsale of the Bischoippis and uthir prelatis, with Doctours of Theologie and Canon Law of the said realme of Scotland, present for the tyme.
S. Aug. libro 4 de trinitate cap. 6, Contra rationem nemo sobrius, contra Scripturam nemo Christianus, contra ecclesiam nemo pacificus Senserit.
Agane reasone na sober man, agane Scripture na Christin man, agane the Kirk na peaceabil or quiet man will judge, or hald opinioun.” On the back of this title page there are some
“ Ad pium Lectorem.” Then follows the Archbishop's " Admonition to the Vicars
& Curattis of his Diocye, to have yis Catechisme usit and reid to their parishionours insteid of preaching, quibil God of his gudnes provide ane sufficient nowmer of Catholyk and abil precheouris, quilk sall be within few yeiris as we traist in God."
Now follows this Catechisme : and at the end, there is the following Colophon: “Prentit at Sanct Androus, be the Command and expēsis of the maist reuerend father in God Johne, Archbischop of Sanct Androus, and Primat of the hail Kirk of Scotland, the xxix day of August, the yeir of our Lord, M.D. lii.”
“ No divine at this day need be ashamed of such a work,” says honest bishop Keith, in his History of the Church and State of Scotland, p. 63. “ It is," continues he, “a judicious Commentary upon the Commands, Belief, Lord's Prayer, Magnificat, and Ave Maria : and the author shews both his wisdom and moderation, in avoiding to enter upon the controverted points."
The late Lord Hailes did not however, concur with bishop Keith, in his character of this elaborate Catechism * His Lordship insists, in opposition to the Colophon, that this Treatise
* A learned friend observes, that although the Catechism may not be the two-penny one, it cannot easily be disproved that it was not edited by Hamilton, or at his expence.
was not printed “ be the command and expensis” of Archbishop Hamilton. Neither can his Lordship be persuaded, whatever bishop Keith may say, that this Catechism is the Twopenny Faith, which was derided by Knox, and the other reformers of those times. Hist. Mem. of the Provincial Councils of the Scot Clergy, 35-6.
Of this worthy Prelate there is an account in Keith's Catalogues of the Scotish Bishop, p. 24. He was a natural obrother of the Regent Arran. He was translated from the See of Duokeld to the Primacy of St. Andrews, after the murder of Beaton. He adhered to his Sovereign, in opposition to the regent Murray, who dethroned hier. He attended her to the Solway, after all was lost, at the battle of Langside : and wading into the river, and seizing the bridle of her horse, the Archbishop conjured Mary Stuart not to trust her person in England. This affecting scene has been deemed a fit subject for the pericil, by the English painters. He now fled for security; to the strong castle of Dunbarton, wherein he was found, when this fortress was surprized by his enemies. By them,” says Keith,“ he was hanged publickly on a gibbet, in the towrì of Stirling, on the first day of April, 1570.” This act is one of those blots in the reformers of that country, which, according to Dryden, " Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains .!"
DR. COMBE, to whom Literature is considerably indebted in more than one of its branches, had made a Collection of English Bibles, many of which are of unexampled rarity and value.
He condescended to dispose of thein to the British Museum, for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds; which must be considered as a great instance of generosity, as they are certainly worth very much more.
The following is a description of them, in the. order of their respective dates. I give their titles at full length.
COVERDALE'S BIBLE. “ THE BIBLE that is the Holy Scripture of the Olde and New Testament, faithfully and truly tranlated out of Douche and Latyn into Englishe. By Myles Coverdale.
Printed in the yeare of oure Lorde, MDXXXV." Folio.
MATHEW'S BIBLE. “ The BYBLE, which is all the Holy Scrip. ture: in which are contained the Olde and Newe Testament, truly and purely translated into Englysh, by Thomas Matthew. Prynted and fynesshed in the yere of oure Lorde God, MDXXXVII," Folio.