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had wooden chalices and golden priests, but they golden chalices and wooden priests.”
The second book on Reformation begins thus :
“Sir,—It is a work, good and prudent, to be able to guide one man; of larger extended virtue, to order well one house; but to govern a nation piously and justly, which only is to say happily, is for a spirit of the greatest size and the divinest mettle.
“ Now for their second conclusion,-That no form of church government is agreeable to Monarchy, but that of Bishops ; although it fall to pieces of itself, by that which hath bin said; yet, to give them play, front and rear, it shall be my task to prove that Episcopacy, with that authority which it challenges in England, is not only not agreeable, but tending to the destruction of monarchy.”
As a proof of the pious spirit which he manifested in writing this work, take the following most scriptural prayer; containing, as the reader will perceive, distinct addresses to each person in the ever blessed Trinity in Unity. “Thou therefore that sitst in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels and men! Next, Thee I implore, Omnipotent King, Redeemer of that lost remnant, whose nature thou didst assume; ineffable and everlasting Love! And Thou, the third subsistence of Divine Infinitude, Illuminating Spirit, the joy and solace of created things, One tri-personal Godhead,-look upon this, thy poor, and almost spent and expiring church; leave her not thus a prey to those importunate wolves, that wait and think long, till they devour thy tender flock; these wild boars that have broken into thy vineyard, and left the prints of their polluted hoofs upon the souls of thy servants. O let them not bring about their damned designs, that stand now at the entrance of the bottomless pit, expecting the watchword, to let out those dreadful locusts and scorpions, to reinvolve us in that pitchy cloud of infernal darkness, where we shall never more see the Sun of thy truth again, never hope for the cheerful dawn, never more hear the bird of morning sing. Be moved with pity at the afflicted state of this our shaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and struggling against the grudges of more dreadful calamities.”
It is gratifying to hear him thus state the purity of his motives in this admirable work. herewithal I invoke the immortal Deity, reveler and judge of hearts, that wherever I have in this BOOK, plainly and roundly (though worthily and truly) laid open the faults of Fathers, Martyrs, or Christian Emperors; or have otherwise inveighed against error and superstition, with vehement expressions; I have done it, neither out of malice, nor lust to speak evil, nor any vain glory,
but of mere necessity, to vindicate the spotless truth from an ignominious bondage, whose native worth is now become of such low esteem, that she is like to find small credit with us for what she can say, unless she can bring a ticket from Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley; or prove herself a retainer to Constantine, and wear his badge. More tolerable it were for the church of God, that all those names were utterly abolisht, like the Brazen Serpent, than that men's opinions should thus idolize them, and the heavenly truth be thus captivated.”
As for the Bishops, he says that he denied not but many of them had been good men, though not infallible, nor above all human frailties. He affirmed, however, that, though at the beginning they had renounced the Pope, yet they had hugged the Popedom, and shared the authority among themselves, “by their six bloody Articles, persecuting the Protestants no slacker than the Pope would have done." He again states, that, in the reign of EDWARD the Sixth, they lent themselves as the tools of the semi-popish king's ministers, to accomplish every politic fetch that was then on foot. If a toleration for mass were to be begged of the king for his sister Mary, lest CHARLES the Fifth should be angry, who but the grave prelates, CRANMER and RIDLEY, should be sent to extort it from the
king? But out of the mouth of that godly and royal child, Christ himself returned such an awful repulse to those killing and time-serving prelates, that after much bold importunity, they went their way, not without shame and tears. “And when the Lord SUDLEY, Admiral of England, and the Protector's brother, was wrongfully to lose his life, no man could be found fitter than LATIMER to divulge, in his sermon, the forged accusations laid to his charge, thereby to defame him with the people. Cranmer, one of king Henry's executors, and the other Bishops did, to gratify the ambition of a traytor, consent to exclude from the succession, not only Mary, the Papist, but also ELIZABETH, the Protestant, though before declared by themselves the lawful issue of their late mas
Speaking of the reign of ELIZABETH, he still imputes the obstructions of a further Reformation to the Bishops, and then proceeds to prove from antiquity, that, in the primitive church, elections to ecclesiastical offices belonged to the people. “But,” he added, “ in those early ages, after the Apostles' days, even if they favoured episcopacy, it would not much concern the age in which we live; because, since the best times were speedily infected, the best men of those times were foully tainted, and the best writings of those men dangerously adulterated;" all which propositions he
labours to prove at large, and in his own strong and powerful style.
In contemplating the glorious event of the Reformation, he expresses himself with perfect rap
“How the bright and glorious Reformation (by divine power,) shone through the black and settled night of ignorance and Antichristian tyranny ; methinks a sovereign and reviving joy must needs rush into the bosom of him that reads or hears, and the sweet odour imbueth his soul with the fragrancy of heaven. Then was the sacred BIBLE brought out of the dusty corners, where profane falsehood and neglect had thrown it; the schools opened; divine and human learning raked out of the embers of forgotten tongues; princes and cities trooping apace to the new-erected banner of salvation ; the martyrs with the irresistible might of weakness, shaking the powers of darkness, and scorning the fiery rage of the old red dragon.”
He thus continues his discourse of prelatical episcopacy, and displays its politics, which he contended had always been opposed to liberty. He traces its history from its most remote origin, and proves, that as it existed in England particularly, it was so far from being, as they commonly allege, the only form of church discipline agreeable to monarchy, that the most mortal diseases and convulsions of the govern