Imatges de pÓgina

which are The Wicked Mammon, The Practice of Prelates, The Revelation of Anti-Christ, The Sum of Scripture, The Book of Beggars, and The Obedience of a Christian Man. In the latter of these works, which is considered the most valuable of his original compositions, he maintains, at some length, the necessity of a free circulation of the Scriptures in the vernacular language of every country; and after his Christian salutation, proceeds: Let it not make thee dispayre, neither yet discorage thee (oh reader) that it is forbidden thee in payne of lyfe and goodes, or that it is made breakynge of the kynges peace, or treason vnto his highnes to reade ye worde of thy soules health. But much rather be bold in the Lorde, and comfort thy soule. For as much as thou art sure and haste an euydent token thorow suche persecutyon, that it is the true worde of God, which worde euer hated of the worlde.' But the literary performance of Tyndale which should embalm his name in the heart of every Christian reader of the English language, is his translation of the New Testament. From this great work we extract the Lord's Prayer in the original spelling, and the third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, in the spelling of Offor's edition published in 1836.


Oure Father which arte in heven, halowed be thy name. Let thy kingdom come. Thy wyll be fulfilled as well in erth, as hit ys in heven. Geve vs this daye oure dayly breade. And forgeve vs oure treaspases, even as we forgeve them which treaspas vs. Leede vs not into temptacion, but delyvre vs from yvell. Amen.


In those dayes Jhon the baptiser cam and preached in the wildernes off iury saynge: Repente the kingdome of heven is at honde. This is he of whom it is spoken be the prophet Esay, which sayeth: The voyce off a cryer in wyldernes prepare the lordes way, and make hys pathes strayght.

This Jhon had his garment off camels heer, and a gerdell off a skynne about his loynes. Hys meate was locustes and wyld hony. Then went out to hym Jerusalem, and all Jury, and all the region rounde aboute Jordan, and were baptised of hym in Jordon, knoledging their synnes.

When he sawe many of the pharises and off the saduces come to his baptism, he sayde vnto them: 0 generacion of vipers, who hath taught you to fle from the vengeaunce to come? brynge forthe therefore the frutes belongynge to repentaunce. And se that ye ons thinke not to saye in yourselves, we have Abraham to oure father. For I say vnto you, that God is able off these stones, to rayse up chyldren vnto Abraham. Even nowe is the ax put vnto the rote of the trees: soo that every tree which bringeth not fforthe goode frute, shal be hewne downe, and cast into the fyre.

I Baptise you in water in token of repentaunce, but he that cometh after me, is myghtier than I: whose shues I am not worthy to beare, he shal baptise you with the holy gost, and with fyre, which hath also his fan in his hond, and will pourge his floore, and gadre the wheet into his garner, and will burne the chaffe with everlastynge fyre.

Then cam Jesus from Galile into Jordon, to Jhon, ffor to be baptised off hym. But Jhon fforbade him,sayinge: I ought to be baptised off the: and commest thou to me? Jesus answered and sayde to hym: Lett hyt be so nowe. For thus hyt becommeth vs to fulfyll all rightewesnes. Then he suffred hym. And Jesus as sone as he was

baptised, came strayght out of the water: And lo heven was open vnto hym: and he saw the spirite of God descend lyke a dove, and lyght vpon hym. And lo there came a voice from heven sayng: thys ys my deare sonne in whom is my delyte.

In translating the Pentateuch, Tyndale was assisted by Miles Coverdale, who, in 1535, while Tyndale was in prison at Velvoord, published the first English translation of the whole Scriptures, with this title :—Biblia, the Bible; That is, the Holy Scriptures of the Olde and New Testament, faithfully translated out of the Doutche and Latyn into English.

COVERDALE was born in Yorkshire, in 1487, and educated at the university of Cambridge. He early became a Protestant, in consequence of which he left England for the continent. In 1551, he was made bishop of Exeter, but on the accession of Mary he again retired to the continent, where he remained until Elizabeth ascended the throne. He then returned to England, and lived in retirement until his death, which occurred in 1568, in his sixtyeighth year.

The translations of Tyndale and Coverdale were soon followed by others, so that the desire of the people for Scriptural knowledge was amply gratified. The dissemination of so many copies of the sacred volume, where neither the Bible nor any considerable number of other books had previously been in use, produced very remarkable effects. The people being now allowed to read the Scripture for themselves, and to form their own judgment with regard to their meaning, perused them with such avidity, that their minds thence received that impulse for reading which is generally allowed to have been one of the causes of the flourishing literary era which so soon followed.

JOHN Fox, another of the theologians of this period, whose adoption of the principles of the Reformation brought them into difficulty, was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, in 1517. He was of respectable though not distinguished parentage, and having lost his father in infancy, his mother, by a second marriage, placed him under the care of a step-father; by whom, however, his early education was so carefully attended to, that he entered the university of Oxford at the age of sixteen. He took the degree of bachelor of arts in 1538, and for ability and learning was so distinguished that he was immediately after chosen fellow of the Magdalen College, and received thence his master's degree, in 1543.

Fox early discovered a genius for poetry, and while at the university, and before he had commenced the study of divinity, he wrote, in the Latin language, several comedies, the subjects of all of which were taken from Scripture. One of the comedies, De Christo Triumphante, was translated into English during the reign of Elizabeth by Richard Day, and has since been repeatedly bpulished under the title of Christ Jesus Triumphant, wherein is described the glorious triumph and conquest of Christ over sin, death, and the law.

After a few years passed in this manner, Fox abandoned poetry altogether, and turned his exclusive attention to the study of divinity. He was still at Oxford; and so closely did he now apply himself to his studies, particularly to the investigation of those controverted points which were then engaging so much of the public attention, that he entirely withdrew from society, and often sat up during the greater part of the night. Becoming, after the most painful investigation, convinced of the errors of Popery, he avowed his conversion when examined on a charge of heresy in 1543, and was in consequence expelled from his college. After this event, being deserted by his friends, he passed some time in extreme poverty, but was at length employed by a gentleman of Warwickshire as tutor to his family. He must have remained in this situation, however, but a very short time; for toward the close of the reign of Henry the Eighth he went to London, where he again became so reduced in circumstances that he would have perished through absolute want, had not relief been afforded him by some unknown person, who was deeply affected by his wretched appearance as he was sitting in St. Paul's Cathedral.

The unknown stranger who so unexpectedly relieved Fox's wants, bade him, at the same time, not to give way to despondency, as a happy change was about to occur in his fortunes. The truth of this seasonable encouragement was almost immediately realized; for within a very few days, the Duchess of Richmond invited him to take up his residence in her family at Ryegate, in Surrey, as tutor to the children of her nephew, the Earl of Surrey. In this peaceful retreat, he remained until the persecutions of Mary's reign compelled him to flee for safety to the continent. Proceeding through Antwerp and Strasburg to Basle, in Germany, he there, for some years, supported himself by correcting the press for Oporimus, a celebrated printer; but upon the accession of queen Elizabeth to the throne he returned to England, and was kindly received and provided for by the Duke of Norfolk, who had been his pupil at Ryegate. Through other powerful friends, such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Francis Walsingham, Bishop Grindal, and Bishop Pinkington, he might now have obtained considerable preferment; but entertaining conscientious scruples as to the articles to which it would be necessary for him to subscribe, and disapproving of some of the ceremonies of the church, he declined all offers made to him except that of a prebend in the church of Salisbury, which he accepted with great reluctance. He died on the eighteenth of April, 1587, in the seventieth year of his age, much respected for the piety, modesty, humanity, and conscientiousness of his character, as well as for his extensive acquirements in ecclesiastical antiquities, and other branches of learning.

Fox was the author of a number of Latin treatises, chiefly on theological subjects; but the work on which his fame rests is his history of the Acts and Monuments of the Church, popularly deminated Fox's Book of Martyrs. This celebrated production, on which the author labored for eleven years, was published in 1563, and was received with great favor by the

Protestants; but, of course, occasioned much exasperation among the opposite party, who did every thing in their power to undermine its credit. That the author has frequently erred, and, like other controversial writers of the time, sometimes lost his temper and sullied his pages with coarse language, can not be denied; but that mistakes were willfully or malignantly committed by him, no one has ever been able to prove. With regard to what he derived from written documents, Bishop Burnet, in the preface to his 'History of the Reformation,' bears strong testimony in his favor, by declaring that, 'having compared the Acts and Monuments with the records, he had never been able to discover any error or prevarication in them, but the utmost fidelity and exactness.'

Few writers of the period that we are at present considering, afford more ample scope for extracts than Fox; but our limits will permit us to introduce only the following:


What man soever was the instrument (whereby this invention was made), without all doubt God himself was the ordainer and disposer thereof, no otherwise than he was of the gift of tongues, and that for a similar purpose. And well may this gift of printing be resembled to the gift of tongues: for like as God then spake with many tongues, and yet all that would not turn the Jews; so now, when the Holy Ghost speaketh to the adversaries in innumerable sorts of books, yet they will not be converted, nor turn to the gospel.

Now to consider to what end and purpose the Lord hath given this gift of printing to the earth, and to what great utility and necessity it serveth, it is not hard to judge, who so wisely perpendeth both the time of the sending, and the sequel which thereof ensueth.

And first, touching the time of this faculty given to the use of man, this is to be marked: that when as the bishop of Rome with all and full the consent of the cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, lawyers, doctors, provoses, deans, archdeacons, assembled together in the Council of Constance, had condemned poor John Huss and Hierome of Prague, to death for heresy, notwithstanding they were no heretics; and after they had subdued the Bohemians, and all the whole world, under the supreme authority of the Romish see; and had made all Christian people obedienciaries and vassals unto the same, having (as one would say) all the world at their will, so that the matter now was past not only the power of all men, but the hope also of any man to be recovered: in this very time so dangerous and desperate, when man's power could do no more, there the blessed wisdom and omnipotent power of the Lord began to work for his church, not with sword and target to subdue his exalted adversary, but with printing, writing, and reading to convince darkness by light, error by truth, ignorance by learning. So that by this means of printing, the secret operation of God hath heaped upon that proud kingdom a double confusion. For whereas the bishop of Rome had burned John Huss before, and Hierome of Prague, who neither denied his transubstantiation, nor his supremacy, nor yet his popish mass, but said mass, and heard mass themselves; neither spake against his purgatory, nor any other great matter of his popish doctrine, but only exclaimed against his excessive and pompous pride, his unchristian or rather antichristian abomination of life: thus while he could not abide his wickedness only of life to be touched, but made it heresy, or at least matter of death, whatsoever was spoken against his detestable conversation and manners, God of his secret judgment, seeing time to help his church, hath found a way by this faculty of printing, not

only to confound his life and conversation, which before he could not abide to be touched, but also to cast down the foundation of his standing, that is, to examine, confute, and detect his doctrine, laws, and institutions most detestable, in such sort, that though his life were never so pure, yet his doctrine standing as it doth, no man is so blind but may see, that either the pope is anti-christ, or also that anti-christ is near cousin to the pope: and all this doth, and will hereafter more and more, appear by printing.

The reason whereof is this: for that hereby tongues are known, knowledge groweth, judgment encreaseth, books are dispersed, the scripture is seen, the doctors be read, stories be opened, times compared, truth discerned, falsehood detected, and with finger pointed, and all (as I said) through the benefit of printing. Wherefore I suppose, that either the pope must abolish printing, or he must seek a new world to reign over: for else, as the world standeth, printing doubtless will abolish him. But the pope, and all his college of cardinals, must this understand, that through the light of printing, the world beginneth now to have eyes to see, and heads to judge. He can not walk so invisible in a net, but he will be spied. And although, through might, he stopped the mouth of John Huss before, and of Hierome, that they might not preach, thinking to make his kingdom sure; yet, instead of John Huss and other, God hath opened the press to preach, whose voice the pope is never able to stop with all the puissance of his triple crown. By this printing, as by the gift of tongues, and as by the singular organ of the Holy Ghost, the doctrine of the gospel soundeth to all nations and countries under heaven: and what God revealeth to one man, is dispersed to many; and what is known in one nation, is opened to all.

JOHN LELAND, another ornament of this period, was born in the city of London about 1495. He lost both his parents in his infancy, but was im mediately adopted by Mr. Thomas Myles, who not only supported him at school, but also, through admiration of his genius, sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, whence, however, he soon after removed to All-SoulsCollege, Oxford. At Oxford, Leland devoted himself for several years with very great assiduity to his studies, particularly to the Greek language and literature. Having left Oxford he went to Paris, and there continued to reside for some years, enjoying the friendship and even intimacy of most of the learned men of that city.

In addition to a very profound knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, Leland became, while abroad, familiar with the French, the Italian, and the Spanish; and what was still more unusual at that time, he gave, after his return to England, much attention to the Welsh and Saxon. Henry the Eighth, through admiration for his learning, appointed him one of his chaplains, and made him his librarian; and as he had a strong inclination for researches into the antiquities of his native country, the king gave him a commission to inspect records, wherever placed; and armed with this authority, he proceeded upon a tour of the whole kingdom, at once to visit the remains of ancient buildings, tumuli, and other objects surviving from an early age, and to make researches into the libraries of colleges, abbeys, and cathedrals. In the course of six years thus employed, he collected an immense mass of materials, some of which he deposited in the king's library, in consequence of which Henry named him his antiquarian.

The works which Leland subsequently composed with reference to his fa

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