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Penes me.

Cheke also translated the New Testament into English, with annotations; which was printed both in octavo and decimo sexto, but this last without the notes; which copy Christopher Barker, Queen Elizabeth's printer, gave to the Company of Stationers anno 1583, with some others, for the relief of the poor of the said Company; as appears by a MS. relating to the Company in these words: “The "profit and benefit of the two most vendible volumes of "the New Testament in English, commonly called Mr. "Cheke's translation, that is, in the volume called octavo, “with annotations as they be now, and in the volume "called decimo sexto of the same translation, without "notes in the Brevier English letter onely.

"Provided that Mr. Barker himself print the said Tes"taments at the lowest value, by the direction of the "Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers for “the time being. Provided always, that Mr. Barker do "retein some smal number of these for divers services "in her Majesties Courts, or elsewhere."


Some observations upon Sir John Cheke's religion and principles. His fortune and his fall. The Conclusion.


Cheke's religion.

BUT that which advanced the value of Cheke's learning How Cheke

came to reject Popery.

was, that it was seasoned with religion and the fear of God. This sanctified his learning, and put him upon study, to render his parts and abilities useful for the promoting and doing of good. To stay therefore a little upon that great consideration of him, viz. his religion. Upon good and substantial grounds, he was a hearty professor of the reformed religion, which he took not up upon a precarious account, or any secular reason or interest; but upon mature examination and trial of the principles of that religion that generally swayed, and was professed in his time. He, being of an inquisitive philosophical mind, first of all began to doubt of the great distinguishing Popish doctrine, That the body and blood of Christ is substantially and carnally present in the Sacrament; because he saw it so far beyond all possibility of being reconciled to reason and sense. Afterwards also, he heard other learned men call this doctrine into question, by inquiring, whether those words, that the Papists built their doctrine upon, This is my body, were not a figurative way of speech, as many other expressions were in Scripture, or were to be understood in the very letter.


And for the better enlightening himself, and satisfying His course his mind in this controversy, he took the right course, viz. to inform to examine the Scriptures, which were the word of God; and likewise the ancient Doctors of the Church, that had their writings still extant. Many places, both in them and in the Scripture, he found to impugn that opinion, and to

CHAP. favour the figurative sense. He considered also, that VIII. whereas the literal sense made all men, and particularly the Jews, to abhor the doctrine, and consequently the religion too; the other sense would take off that abhorrency out of their minds. Then he became confirmed in this opinion of the spiritual sense, partly by reading the late books of the learned Germans, and observing what numbers in those parts fell off from Popery, and partly by taking notice of the providence of God in this realm, that is, in King Edward's days, wherein this doctrine was generally embraced; and all masses and other superstitions rejected, and thrown out of the Church. He observed also, how the Scriptures were more studied by learned men, and well examined, much beyond what was done in former times, when that doctrine was less doubted of: and he concluded, that it was brought in when men began to fall from the study of the Scriptures, and gave themselves to their own inventions, which was in the days after the Apostles and primitive age; and that as men grew more and more slack and loose in their lives, and sensibly fell short of the primitive Christians, so they sunk further into errors and mistakes in religion. And observing, how in the latest times the Clergy was visibly and fearfully apostatized from the holy lives of the ancient Fathers; and gave themselves to other studies, almost wholly neglecting the study of the Scriptures, (whereby they became by God's just judgment blind,) and that as the study of the Scriptures came into Germany and other parts, so more light in matters of religion came in with it; upon these firm and sure grounds, he concluded that the faith he stood in was the true faith of the Catholic Church. And all this was but the sum of what he confessed at his recantation; but was forced to revoke it, and to acknowledge it to have been the very ground of his running into error and heresy.

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His religious practices.

AND his life bore a proportion unto his principles. He His life. made it his business to do good, and to help persons in necessity, and to promote works of charity. For these ends he used his interest with the King, whensoever there was occasion, or application made to him. He was one of the three, Cecil and Cook being the two other, (to which we may add Sir John Gates, the Vice-Chamberlain, for a fourth,) noted for their furthering all good causes at Court, that respected either religion or learning. Hence it was, that Bishop Ridley called him "one of Christ's principal proctors.


When the reverend Miles Coverdale, anno 1551, was Forwards appointed Bishop of Exeter, an excellent and able preacher verdale's Bishop Coof the Gospel, and thence judged very fit to govern the business. Church, and to preach in those western parts, much overrun with Popery and ignorance, and to settle matters of religion there after a dangerous rebellion: yet notwithstanding his business stuck at Court, whereby his going down was hindered. Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was troubled at these delays, and sent a letter to Secretary Cecil, joining Cheke with him, to get this business hastened; that so he, the Archbishop, might have order for his consecration, (which some, it seems, obstructed,) and so he might go down unto his bishopric, which, the Archbishop said, needed him. And it was soon after despatched.

to poor

But to poor strangers, chiefly divines or scholars, that Charitable had fled their country for the preserving of their religion, strangers. and had left friends, and habitations, and livelihood, for the sake of their consciences; to these he had a special compassion, and v was their sure friend. There is a letter I A Greek have seen in Greek of Cheke's writing to his brother Cecil, plies to him. in behalf of a poor foreign Bishop, whose name indeed I cannot retrieve, but he was one that came over into Eng


CHAP. land, and seemed to have business with the Protector, and

VIII. applied himself first to Sir John Cheke: whose cause he


cative of knowledge.

espoused, and wrote earnestly in his letter to the said Cecil, who was now Master of Requests to the Lord Protector, to get him speech of the said Protector, and to assist him in his matters; adding, that what he should do for him, should be as well taken as though it were his own business. This was, I suppose, some poor persecuted Greek Bishop; and that to be the reason why Cheke wrote his letter in Greek, that this Bishop, who was the bearer of it, might understand the import of it; which, being short, I shall here insert.

Δέομαί σοι ἀδελφὲ φίλτατε βοηθεῖν τούτῳ τῷ καλῳκαγαθῷ ἀνδρὶ ἐπισκόπῳ ξένῳ, ἀπόρῳ, ἠγνοημένῳ. θέλει προθύμως ἰδεῖν καὶ λαλεῖν μετὰ τοῦ προτέκτωρος. σὺ δὲ εἰ ἀντιλαμβάνεις τῶν πραγμάτων αὐτοῦ, οὕτως χαρίεν ποιήσεις μοι, ὡς ἂν εἴη τὰ πράγματα μοῦ· ἔῤῥωσο τῇ δεκάτῃ τοῦ ὀκτοβροῦ. ̓Ασπάζομαι τὴν ἀδελφὴν μοῦ.

ὁ σὸς ἀδελφὸς Ἰωάννης Κῆκος.

τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ κῷ Γουλιελμῷ Σισέλλῳ
τῷ δούλῳ κοῦ Προτέκτωρος ἐν σχήνῃ.

Which is thus in English;

“I pray you, dearest brother, to help this good honest man, a Bishop, a stranger, needy, unknown. He would "willingly see and speak with the Protector. If you are

assisting to his affairs, you shall do me such a favour, as “though the business were mine own. Farewel the 8th "of October. My commendations to my sister,

"Your brother,


To my brother Mr. Will.
Sicell, servant to the L.
Protector, in Shene.


Another point of his charity appeared, in that he was so communicative of his learning and knowledge: an excellent disposition observed in some persons of the greatest learning. This generous spirit of his was taken notice of by one who had received great advantage by it; namely, Dr. Wylson before-mentioned: who occasionally speaking to Cecil concerning Cheke, after he was dead and gone,

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