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charge. He traces the gradual enlightenment of Cranmer's mind as to the doctrine of transubstantiation with the legislation to which it led; he shows the revisions rendered necessary by these changes in the Missal, and gives a succinct and valuable review of our Liturgical offices from Augustine to Osmund, from Osmund to Cranmer, and from Cranmer to Juxon.
The Archbishop was far more at home in these pursuits than in the perplexing public affairs in which the sudden decay of young Edward VI. and the Northumberland conspiracy soon involved him. Here all the peculiar traits of his character come out. His honest reluctance to signing Edward's unjust and unconstitutional will—the overbearing of his judgment by the sig. nature of all the Judges except Hales, and of his convictions by his tenderness to the young King in his agony, and the fatal signature-all are in keeping with Cranmer's character from first to last. The scene is well drawn by the Dean in a few vigorous words : ‘Cranmer stood at the side of the couch to receive the last request of one whom he revered as a dying saint. “I hope,” said Edward, “I hope that you will not stand out, and not be more repugnant to my will than all the rest of the Council. The Judges have informed me that I may lawfully bequeath my Crown to the Lady Jane, and that my subjects may lawfully receive her as Queen, notwithstanding the oath which they took under my father's will.” The King had learned his lesson well. Cranmer still hesitated. He quitted the royal presence, he consulted the Judges who were in attendance, he returned to the sick chamber, he took a last look at his godson, and he signed the fatal document. This, considering the light in which Cranmer had regarded the subject, was an awful fall. He fell; but it was not from fear of death—he fell because he would not hurt the feelings of the dying youth.' * Yet to his honour it should be remembered that of the twenty-three names pledged to maintain Edward's device, one name only was withheld from immediate allegiance to Mary when her cause was triumphant, and that was the name of the uncertain but honest Cranmer.
On Mary's accession his long concluding troubles broke at once upon him. He might have fled the kingdom; but deeming it his duty to remain, and over-estimating his strength of purpose, he stood to his post. He was soon imprisoned in the Tower, where he 'found his friends Ridley and Bradford; and five days after in came a venerable octogenarian-as light-hearted, as hard-headed, and as strong-minded as ever-Bishop Latimer. The friends availed themselves of the opportunity to read over the New Testa
* Vol. ii. p. 301.
ment “with great delectation and peaceful study." But this was not long to last. His trial and condemnation for treason; his removal to Oxford; his distant view of the glorious martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer; his condemnation ; his degradation by the Pope through the triumphant hands of Bonner; followed one another in a rapid succession. Then came the cunning tampering with his weakness of those saddest days of Cranmer's lifethe genial dinners, the pleasant games at bowles, the deferential arguments, and all the other crafty wiles of the enemy-and then came their fruit—the first scarcely-extorted and scanty recantation —its aggravated repetitionstill, as it seems to us, ever turning in Cranmer's mind on a half-equivocation; on rejecting all heresies and adhering constantly to one holy and Catholic Church; and then, according to the certain course of every man who once allows himself to palter with the simple truth, the utter fall and the shameless degradation. A terrible sadness it was to all truehearted men-a fearful triumph for the children of lies. We would not by any word of ours lessen all its evil. And yet we cannot but feel an indignation, deep as our sad sympathy for him, with the shallow-hearted critics who—never having known the uttermost bitterness of that storm which was passing over himthe mingled addresses of softness and severity which tried every weak part of his great soul, and who themselves would probably in a less tempest make, if it were possible, a yet completer shipwreck-can find an evil pleasure in insulting and defaming the fallen man.
Better far is it to gather up the lights of his last revival, to remember his bold confession, his patient endurance of every godless violence, his self-revenge upon his traitorous right hand, to see him
Outstretching flame-ward his upbraided hand,
Amid the shudd'ring throng doth Cranmer stand,
To the head, the victory complete.'t So Cranmer passes from our view, kindly in character from first to last, persecuting not as Bonner persecuted, from a boisterous cruelty; not as Crumwell persecuted, from the dictates of policy, or for the satisfaction of his greed of gold and selfish lust of power; but reluctantly, on the constraint of principles then universally held to be indisputable, and with perpetual endeavours to save the victims whom he thought himself compelled to
* Vol. ii. p. 320. + • Eccles. Sonnets,' by W. Wordsworth, 27, p. 394. Vol. 125,-No. 250.
sacrifice. He believed as all then believed, that it was as much a duty to condemn to death the convicted murderer of souls as the convicted murderer of bodies. In common with the other Reformers of that day, he was ready to put men and women to death, not for holding, but for teaching, false doctrines; not for being heretics, but for being heresiarchs. He had not the power of mind or spirit which could raise him so far above the age in which he lived, that he could take a broader view of the great question with which circumstances compelled him to grapple.
That the English Reformation was wrought by men of this calibre is perhaps its most notable characteristic. Undoubtedly it is to this fact that the Church of England owes its absolutely single and separate character amidst all the reformed communions. It bears the mark and impress of the intellectual or spiritual peculiarities of no single man. Herein at once it is marked off from the Lutheran, the Calvinist, the Zuinglian, and other smaller bodies. On each one of them lay, as the shadow on the sleeping water, the unbroken image of some master mind or imperial soul. The mind of that founder of the new faith, his mode of thought and argument, his religious principles, and his great defects were reproduced in the body which he had formed, and which by a natural instinct appropriated and handed on his name, And so it might have been with us too, had there been amongst the English Reformers such a leader. If Wycliffe—the great forerunner of the Reformation, whose austere figure stands out above the crowd of notables in English history--if Wycliffe had lived a hundred and thirty years later than he did, his commanding intellect and character might then have stamped upon the religion of England the essential characteristic of a sect. But from this the goodness of God preserved the Church of this land. Like the birth of the beautiful islands of the great Pacific Ocean, the foundations of the new convictions which were so greatly to modify and purify the mediaval faith were laid slowly, unseen, unsuspected, by ten thousand souls, who laboured, they knew not for what, save to accomplish the necessities of their own spiritual belief. The mighty convulsion which suddenly cast up the submarine foundations into peak and mountain, and crevasse, and lake, and plain, came not from man's devising, and obeyed not man's rule. Influences of the heaven above, and of the daily surrounding atmosphere, wrought their will upon the new-born islands. Fresh convulsions changed, modified, and completed their shape,
and so the new and the old were blended together into an harmony which no skill of man could have devised. The English Reformers did not attempt to develope a creed or a community out of their own internal consciousness. Their highest aim was only to come back to what had been before. They had not the gifts which created in others the ambition to be the founders of a new system. They did not even set about their task with any fixed plan or organised set of doctrines. Their inconsistencies, their variations, their internal differences, their very retractations witness to the gradualness with which the new light dawned upon them, and dispelled the old darkness. The charges of hypocrisy and time-serving which have been made so wantonly against Cranmer and his brethren, are all honourably interpreted by the real changes which took place in their own opinions. The patient, loving, accurate study of Holy Scripture was an eminent characteristic of all these men. Thus the opinions they were receiving from others who had advanced far before them in the new faith were continually modified by this continual voice of God's Word sounding in their ears, and by corresponding changes in their own views. Thus they were enabled by God's grace, out of the utter disintegration round them, to restore in its primitive proportions the ancient Church of England.
Surely, in bringing to an end this review of their great enterprise, we may well say with the late Professor Blunt, —
God grant that a Church which has now for nearly three centuries, amidst every extravagance of doctrine and discipline which has spent itself around her, still carried herself as the mediator, chastening the zealot by words of soberness, and animating the lukewarm by words that burn—that a Church which has been found on experience to have successfully promoted a quiet and unobtrusive and practical piety amongst the people such as comes not of observation, but is seen in the conscientious discharge of all those duties of imperfect obligation ... which laws cannot reach-that such a Church may live through these troublous times to train up our children in the fear of God when we are in our graves—and that no strong delusion sent amongst us may prevail to her overthrow to the eventual discomfiture (as they would find, too late, to their cost) of many who have thoughtlessly and ungratefully lifted up their heel against her.'' *
* Professor Blunt's • History of the Reformation,' pp. 233-4.
Art. V.-1. The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland and other
Parts of Europe. By Dr. Ferdinand Keller, President of the Antiquarian Association of Zürich. Translated and arranged
by John Edward Lee. London, 1866. 2. L'Homme Fossile en Europe. Par H. Le Hon. Brussels,
1867. 3. Pre-Historic Times; as illustrated by Ancient Remains, and
the Manners and Customs of Modern Savages. By John
Lubbock, F.R.S. London, 1865. 4. The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man ; with
Remarks on Theories of the Origin of Species by Variation. By Sir Charles Lyell, F.R.S. 3rd Edition, revised. London,
1863. 5. Lake Habitations and Pre-Historic Remains in the Turbaries
and Marl-Beds of Northern and Central Italy. By Bartolomeo Gastaldi. Translated and Edited by Charles Harcourt Chambers, M.A., &c. Published for the Anthropological
Society of London. 1865. 6. Habitations Lacustres des Temps Anciens et Modernes. Par
Frédéric Troyon. Lausanne, 1860.
an old traveller or historian than to point out that he tells improbable stories: things not perhaps physically impossible, but unfamiliar to the critic's experience, and therefore not set down by him in the catalogue of likely incidents. This kind of criticism, however, has the serious fault of going hand-in-hand with ignorance. The less the critic knows of the world, the more things, of course, seem unlikely to him ; and in the long run his assault is apt to strengthen the very evidence it was directed against. It comes out that what the old writer asserted does unquestionably happen somewhere else, and his credit at once stands higher than ever; the unbelieving critic is laughed at, and public opinion turns, by a natural reaction, towards the belief that everything an old book says must be true unless it be proved false. The argument from improbability has in this way been brought to bear against Herodotus, with the effect on the whole of strengthening our confidence in him. Thus fault has been found with his account of the broad-tailed sheep, with their tails fixed by the careful shepherds on little carriages, to protect them from being wounded by dragging on the rough ground; yet, allowing for some extravagance in the dimensions of the tails, we all know there are such breeds. So his stories of the Scythians killing and eating their sick and aged