Page images

persons of high rank, they proceeded toward London, and being met on Blackheath by the Bishop of Ely and the foreign ambassadors, were conducted to the king's Golden Tent, which had been pitched for this occasion about two miles from London. The first persons of the realm were waiting them there; and the legate then put on his pontificals, that his entrance might be made in due form. From St. George's to London-bridge the road was lined on either side by all the monks and friars of the metropolis and the adjacent parts, and a great multitude of secular clergy; the latter were in their richest vestments; no fewer than sixty crosses of gold or silver were displayed in the ranks as so many standards: they received him singing hymns propemodum divino ex more, and, reverencing him as he passed, fumigated him with frankincense, and sprinkled him with holy water. There were four thousand horsemen in his train, and the procession extended two miles in length. At the foot of London-bridge two prelates awaited him in their pontificals, and presented him some relics to kiss, and such salutes were then fired, ut multi aërem ipsum ruiturum opinarentur. With such honours Cardinal Campeggio made his first entrance into this kingdom, where his second coming was, in its consequence, to deprive him of his bishopric, and bring about our deliverance from the bondage of Papal superstition and priestcraft.

Shaxton was his successor, and the most honourable hour of his life was that in which he resigned the see rather than subscribe the law of the Six Articles-happy if his after-conduct had corresponded to this magnanimous and virtuous action. John Capon was then translated to Salisbury from Bangor, a timeserving and unprincipled man, who qualified himself for this motion by assenting to those bloody articles; held it by conforming to, and feigning to approve the principles of the Reformation under Edward VI.;--and continued to hold it by becoming an actor in the Marian persecution. He sat in judgement upon Hooper; and at Newbury, says Fuller, 'he sent three martyrs to heaven in the same chariot of fire. One of these was Julius Palmer, who having been so zealous a Romanist, that he incurred expulsion from Magdalen College in Edward's reign, was so impressed by witnessing the death of Latimer and Ridley, that he began to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain the ground of that faith for which they had been content to suffer; and the result of that search was that he acknowledged the truth, and bore witness to it in the same manner. Capon's chancellor, Dr. Geffery, was more violent in carrying on the persecution than the prelate himself. It is said that he did not wait for the legal niceties of calling in the aid of the secular arm, but, when




the point of heresy was proved, hurried his victims at once to the stake. This man was cut off by sudden death the very day before that on which he had appointed more than ninety persons to be examined by inquisition.

Upon Capon's death there was a contest between the pope and the queen concerning the next presentation. It was terminated by the happiest event for these kingdoms which it ever pleased God to dispense to them in his mercy, the death of Mary; an event of such transcendant importance to the Protestants, that it is recorded one man died of joy at the tidings, and another, being desperately diseased, was instantaneously restored to health. Elizabeth never made a worthier promotion than when she appointed Jewell to the vacant see. This excellent person had been qualified for such a station in such times, as well by the circumstances of his life, as by severe and methodized studies from his youth up. Parkhurst (afterwards Bishop of Norwich) whose portionist and pupil he was at Merton College, said of him at an early age, Surely Paul's Cross will one day ring of this boy!. It was his custom to begin his studies at four in the morning, and continue them till ten at night; his very recreations being studious, and his mind of that strength that it could bear continual tension, without losing its elasticity. His collections from what he read were digested so methodically, that the stores of his knowledge were always at command, but they were written in a short-hand of his own invention, which rendered them useless to others after his death; he had also, by some self-devised system of mnemonics, assisted his memory, which was by nature strong. • Whosoever,' says Fuller, seriously considereth the high parts Mr. Jewell had in himself, and the high opinion others had of him, will conclude his fall necessary for his humiliation.' Jewell had shrunk from martyrdom; but when he had escaped beyond sea to a place of safety, he did not shrink from publicly confessing his contrition for having, in a moment of human infirmity, signed the Popish articles; he pronounced his recantation in the pulpit at Frankfort, and saying, it was my abject and cow- . ardly mind and my faint heart, that made my weak hand to commit this wickedness,' he asked pardon of God and of his church.

On Jewell's return to his own country, after the accession of Elizabeth, he was appointed one of the commissioners whom the queen sent into different dioceses to root out superstition, and plant the religion of the Gospel in its stead. When tl commission was discharged, he accepted, not without much luctance, the see of Salisbury, often saying in the words Apostle—he who desireth a bishopric desireth a wor! work, indeed, he made it, and literally spent his life in


formance. His persecuting predecessor had so impoverished the see, that there was scarcely a living left to it sufficient for the maintenance of a learned man. * The Capon,' he used to say, • has devoured all. To supply the want of able ministers thus occasioned, he travelled through his diocese, preaching in all parts, with exertions greater than his constitution could support. This service was needful in those times; but it was only when Jewell addressed all Christendom from his study, that his great abilities and sound learning were adequately employed. Not Paul's Cross alone, according to the prediction of Parkhurst, who lived to see his prediction verified, but all Europe also, rang from side to side, with the challenge which he delivered at that Cross in his famous sermon, calling upon the Romanists to produce any evidence that the Romish doctrine concerning the mass and the monstrous superstition 'connected therewith, were known during the first six hundred years of the church. That challenge was accepted, but to the utter discomfiture of his opponents: and at this very day the champions of our church may find weapons of proof ready for their use in Jewell's armoury.

When this great man was dying, he called his household about his bed, and said to them-confessing then a second time that strength had failed him in the hour of trial — It was my prayer always unto Almighty God, since I had any understanding, that I might honour his name with the sacrifice of my flesh, and confirm his truth with the oblation of this my body unto death, in defence thereof; which, seeing he hath not favoured me in this, yet I somewhat rejoice and solace myself, that it is worn away and exhausted in the labours of my holy calling.' Speaking too, at that solemn hour, of his works, he said, “I have contended in my writings, not to detract from the credit of my adversary, nor to patronize any error (to my knowledge), nor to gain the vain applause of the world ; but according to my poor abilities, to do my best service to God and his church. He had not completed his fiftieth year, but when his attendant, praying in the last hour beside his bed, came to the words · Cast me not away in the time of age, he made this application to himself; "he is an old man, he is truly grey-headed, and his strength faileth him who lieth on his death-bed.' The comprehensive elegy' upon Jewell

. in Abel Redivivus has been erroneously ascribed to Fuller; the compiler, and in part only, the author of that volume. Some of the poetry, he tells us, was written by Quarles, and indeed these verses bear his stamp.

* Holy learning, sacred arts,
Gifts of nature, strength of parts,

Fluent from

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Fluent grace, an humble mind,
Worth reform’d, and wit refin'd;
Sweetness both in tongue and pen,
Insight both in books and men,
Hopes in woe and fears in weal,
Humble knowledge, sprightly zeal,
A liberal heart and free from gall,
Close to friend and true to all,
Height of courage in Truth's duel,
Are the stones that made this Jewel.
Let him that would be truly blest

Wear this Jewel in his breast.' But Fuller has, in another work, not less characteristically, pronounced his eulogy in prose : 'So devout in the pew where he prayed ; diligent in the pulpit where he preached; grave on the bench where he assisted; mild in the consistory where he judged ; pleasant at the table where he fed; patient in the bed where he died ; that well it were if in relation to him secundum usum Sarum were made precedential to all posterity. But the Romanists, with their wonted charity and their wonted truth, reported that the eloquence and power of argument which he had used to the bane of so many souls, was derived from a familiar devil, whom he kept in the shape of a favourite cat! What a contrast does the life of Jewell afford to that of St. Edmund!

The Church of England is beholden to Jewell, not for his own works alone, which were of such excellent service in his own time, but for that great work of Hooker also, which is for all ages. Hooker must have been apprenticed to some poor trade, if Jewell had not allowed a pension for his maintenance and education seven years before he was qualified for the university, and then placed and contributed to support him there. Few of our readers can be unacquainted with the instance of his playful and fatherly kindness to good Richard,' as he called him, which is

+ so beautifully told by Izaak Walton, and which, to those who understand what these men were, and what the debt we owe to them, is perhaps the most touching recollection connected with Salisbury Cathedral;

• More sweet than odours caught by him wbo sails
Near spicy shores of Araby the blest,
A thousand times more exquisitely sweet,
The freight of holy feeling which we meet

In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales
From fields where good men walk, or bowers wherein they rest.'
Hooker was not the only object of this proper episcopal bounty,
Bishop Jewell maintained several students at the university; and
had, moreover, always in his house some six or more boys taken


of his unpopularity is said to have been, that, being clerk of the council and confessor to the king, he was so much occupied about the court as to neglect his see.

Lionel Woodville, his second successor, died more pitiably of a broken heart. This member of a conspicuous and unhappy family was brother to Edward the Fourth's queen, the most unfortunate in English history. His fortunes (being a churchman) were not overthrown in the wreck of that family, but he was unable to bear up against such repeated and cruel bereavements, and when Buckingham, who had married one of his sisters, was beheaded in the market-place at Salisbury, the bishop did not long survive the grief of this last affliction. His successor, Thomas Langton, was a man for whom it had been better if he had lived earlier or later, before the principles by which the Reformation was brought about began to work in this country, or after that great and happy change had been effected. For with a disposition to employ his wealth munificently and beneficially in adorning his churches, and in the encouragement of literature, we find him bearing a part, whether willingly or not, in the prevailing system of persecution. Allix, one of the many eminent men who have been beneficed in that cathedral, has preserved, from an old register, the abjuration of six persons' greatly noted, defamed, and detected' for heretics in the diocese of Sarum, made before the bishop as their ordinary and judge, and the sentence which he past upon Augustine Stere, who appears to have been considered the most guilty. The said Augustine had said, that the church was made a synagogue and a house of merchandize, and that the priests were but scribes and pharisees, not profiting the Christian people, but deceiving them. He had denied that the very body of our Lord was in the wafer, and had, moreover, said that the priests might buy thirty such gods for one penny, and would not sell one of them under two-pence. Harry Bennet, another of these unlucky men, confessed that he had not stedfastly believed in the sacrament of the altar, and had justified his unbelief by this argument, that if there were three hosts in one pix, one of them having been consecrated, and the others not, a mouse would just as readily eat the transubstantiated wafer as those which were mere flour and water, which he thought the mouse could not possibly have done if the actual body of our Saviour had been there. Gage, the Dominican, tells us that an accident of this kind which he witnessed, led him first to doubt the truth of this monstrous doctrine, and, finally, to withdraw from the Romish church. The illustration, however, was commonly used among the early reformers, and afforded them an argument which it was easier to silence by faggot and fire, than to confute. He maintained also that those persons who spent their money in performing pilgrimages

« PreviousContinue »