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resentment of the priesthood was roused to a high degree, because on one occasion, at Doncaster, he openly declared against the invocation of saints. For this offence he was dragged from the pulpit to the consistory of York, to appear before Archbishop Lee, when he was cast into prison. Stokesly, bishop of London, subsequently treated him with equal severity, and doubtless would have proceeded to extremities but for the seasonable and powerful interference of Lord Cromwell, who was at that time a favourite with King Henry VIII. After the decease of this eminent nobleman, he withdrew from the storm of persecution which threatened the land, and retired into Germany. There he found, in the society of Martin Luther, and his distinguished coadjutors, a hospitable and safe retreat for about eight years, and pursued his studies with avidity, and employed his pen in writing against the superstitions of popery, and defending the principles of the reformation.
After the death of King Henry, when the pious Edward VI. had ascended the British throne, Bale was invited home, and presented to the benefice of Bishopstoke, in Hampshire. Here he lived in retirement, and was deeply engaged in various publications which the peculiar state of the times called for. So entirely was he secluded from the busy world, that when he waited on his majesty at Southampton, the king was greatly surprised and delighted to see him, having heard that he was dead. He then appointed him to the see of Ossory, in Ireland, which was then vacant. Bale, at first, declined the proffered elevation, and pleaded his age, ill health, and poverty ; but the king not admitting his excuses, he at length consented, and was installed without any expense to himself, according to the new form, as he positively refused being consecrated according
to the old popish fashion. The influence and facilities for study which his new situation afforded him were sedulously employed in furthering the object which was dearest to his heart. He preached the gospel, used every means in his power to bring the people to renounce popery, and to embrace Christ Jesus, and employed his purse to enrich his library with such books and manuscripts as would enable him to employ his pen with the greater effect for the cause of God, of truth, and of the Reformation. Upon the accession of Queen Mary, popery returned with all its horrors to scourge the land. Bale was again exposed to the bitter resentment of his enemies. He had laboured with assiduity to reform his diocese, and to correct the abominable vices of the priests, to abolish the mass, and to establish the new Book of Common Prayer, but his zealous and well-meant efforts exasperated his enemies, who were excited by their rage and malice to seek his life. Five of his domestics were murdered near his house, and but for the seasonable arrival of the governor of Kilkenny with a troop of soldiers, he must have shared the same fate. Having heard that the Romish priests had seized his books and moveables, and were then conspired to take away his life, his only alternative was to seek security in flight. He first went to Dublin, where he concealed himself till an opportunity offered which appeared favourable for his escape to Scotland. He took his passage in a trading vessel bound for that country, but was taken prisoner by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war, who robbed him of all his property. This ship was driven bv distress of weather into St Ives, in Cornwall, where Bale was taken up on suspicion of treason. The accusation was brought against him by one Walter, an Irishman, the pilot of the Dutch ship. The captain and purser, however, fearing lest they should be deprived of the property they had taken from him, deposed in his favour, and he was honourably acquited. The fugitive was soon brought into circumstances of still more imminent peril. In a few days the ship arrived in Dover roads, where one Martin persuaded the captain and his crew that Bale had been the principal instrument of pulling down the mass in England, and in keeping Dr Gardiner so long in the Tower, and that he had poisoned the king. With this information, the captain and purser went ashore, carrying along with them his episcopal seal and several letters from Melancthon and other eelebrated reformers, with the council's letter of his appointment to the bishopric of Ossory. It was proposed to send Bale to London, or to send two persons to the privy council with information, but, upon his strong remonstrances to the captain, and offering to pay fifty pounds for his ransom, on his arrival in Holland, he was carried into Zealand, and lodged in the house of one of the owners of the ship, by whom he was treated with great kindness. He had only six days allowed him to raise the money agreed on for his ransom, and was not permitted to go abroad to find his friends. While in this state of perplexity and distress, he was sometimes threatened to be thrown into the common gaol, sometimes to be brought before the magistrates, or the clergy, at other times, to be sent to London, or to be delivered to the queen's ambassador at Brussels. At length his kind host interposed, and obtained his discharge on paying thirty pounds for his ransom.
Dr Bale, having obtained his liberty, retired to Frankfort, where the English exiles were favoured by the magistrates with the use of one of the churches. The exiles having found a quiet home in a foreign land, first settled their new congregation and then entered into a correspondence with their brethren who had found refuge in other places. Their harmony was interrupted by the arrival of Dr Cox, when Dr Bale retired to Basil, in Switzerland, where he remained until the death of Queen Mary. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, he returned to England, but not to his bishopric in Ireland. The queen had, during her minority, and while exercised with troubles under her sister Mary, showed him the highest respect, but it was very manifest afterwards, that she had withdrawn her affections from him. Probably he had imbibed too deeply the principles of the reformed churches to be acceptable to so bigotted an episcopalian as Elizabeth. The Doctor contented himself with a prebend in the church of Canterbury, the rest of his days, and refused to accept of his bishopric. Many of the pious reformers, while living among foreign protestants, examined more minutely the grand principles of the Reformation; on those principles they acted while in a foreign land; nor could they forget them on their return to their native country. They laboured to obtain a more perfect reformation of the English church. Dr Bale was among their mumber, and this accounts for his having refused preferment, as he was a zealous opposer of the Romish superstitions, and was against the English rites and ceremonies. It was a settled principle with him, that the government of the church by bishops did not commence till the beginning of the seventeenth century, and consequently he was opposed to the divine institution of bishops. When summoned to assist in the consecration of Archbishop Parker, he refused to attend, doubtless because he entertained these principles. He died at Canterbury, November, 1563, aged sixty-eight years, and his remains were interred in the cathederal at that place. The character of Dr Bale has been drawn by his friends and his enemies; the representation of the latter being in perfect contrast with that of the former. His writings against the papacy were both voluminous and pungent, and they stung his enemies to madness: but, in reading the testimony of such men in such times, it becomes us to bear in mind that they were wont to call evil good and good evil, and therefore the censure of his enemies may be reckoned as his highest commendation.
Dr Bale wrote much, but his most celebrated work consisted of the • Lives of the most Eminent Writers.' It came out at three different times. His “Summarium illustrium majoris Brytanniæ Scriptorum was published at Wesel, 1549. This was addressed to King Edward, and contained only five centuries' of writers. Afterwards, he added four more, and made several corrections and additions. The book, thus enlarged, was entitled, “Scriptorum illustrium majoris Brytanniæ, quam nunc Angliam et Scotiam vocant, Catalogus; a Japheto per 3618 annos, usque ad annum hunc Domini 1557, &c.” It was completed and printed at Basil, while the author was in a state of exile. The writers whose lives are contained in this celebrated work, are those of Great Britain, including England and Scotland. The work commences from Japhet, one of the sons of Noah, and is carried down through a series of 3618 years, to the year of our Lord 1557.
BORY A. D. 1487.- DIED A. D. 1567.
Miles COVERDALE, one of the most important names which occur in the history of biblical literature, was bishop of Exeter in the reign of Edward the Sixth. He was born in Yorkshire, 1487. For this we have the authority of his epitaph. He received his education at Cambridge, in a house of Augustine friars, of which Dr Barnes, afterwards one of the protestant martyrs, was then prior. Godwin tells us that he received the degree of D.D. from the university of Tubingen, but has neglected to mention the date of this transaction. It was not till many years after this, that Cambridge conferred upon him the same honour. Early impressions in favour of the religion in which he had been educated, induced him to become an Augustine monk. In 1514 he entered into holy orders, and was ordained at Norwich ; but he afterwards renounced popery, and Bale tells us that he and Dr Barnes, his former superior, were amongst the very first who preached the doctrines of the Reformation. It was about 1530 that the reformed reli. gion began to make progress at Cambridge. Men of learning, both from colleges and monasteries, met together for friendly conference on those points which had been discussed by the reformers in various parts of Europe. Their usual place of assembling was called the White House,' and being close to King's, Queen's, and St John's colleges, was
easily accessible. Here Miles Coverdale imbibed the principles of the Reformation, and was certainly one of the earliest converts to them. Soon after this, he appears to have been abroad assisting Tyndale in his translation of the Bible; and in 1535 he published his own, dedicating it to King Henry VIII. It was printed in one volume folio. From the appearance of the types, it has been conjectured that it wa printed by Christopher Froschower, at Zurich. As his revision of the press was most careful and accurate, he must have resided in the place —wherever it was—at which his Bible was printed. This translation was called special, because it differed from the former translations; as may be seen by a comparison of it with Tyndale's. The Psalms are those now used in the Book of Common Prayer. Coverdale, then, is entitled to the honour of having been the first who had translated the whole Bible into English, and of bringing it out under the express sanction of royal authority.
No sooner had Coverdale finished this great work, than he commenced another. In 1538, a quarto Latin (Vulgate) Testament appeared, with Coverdale's English, and a dedication by him. In this dedication is found the following passage :" He does not doubt but such ignorant bodies as, having cure of souls, are very unlearned in the Latin tongue, shall, through this small labour, be occasioned to attain unto true knowledge, or at least be constrained to say well of the thing which they have heretofore blasphemed.”
At the close of 1538, Coverdale again visited the continent to superintend a new edition of the Bible. It appears that, on account of the superior skill of the workmen at Paris, as well as the greater cheapness and better quality of the paper, King Henry requested Francis I. to allow Grafton, the celebrated printer, to send forth an edition of the English Bible. To this the French monarch acceded; and the indefatigable Coverdale was despatched to superintend the press. But just as the work was completed, the Inquisition interfered, and demanded that the press should be stopped and the whole impression burnt. They dated their order, Dec. 17, 1538. It was forthwith executed, and 2,500 copies instantly committed to the flames. This shows at once the jealousy with which the Romanists regarded the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular tongues, as well as the irresistible power which they wielded. The will of monarchs was obliged to yield to theirs. That Providence, however, which can turn even the vices of men to account, not only defeated the machinations of the inquisitors, but rendered them subservient to the most important and beneficial results. It appears that one of the officers of the Inquisition, whose avarice got the better of his bigotry, rescued a few chests of the heretical volumes from the flames, and sold them to a haberdasher as waste paper. The English proprietors ventured to return to Paris, after the alarm had somewhat subsided, and succeeded not only in obtaining some of the copies of the condemned impression, but what was far more important—in bringing the presses, types, and printers, to England. Here they instantly set to work, and • Cranmer's, or the “Great Bible,' as it was called, issued, in 1539, from the work-shop of Grafton and Whitchurch. In this edition, Coverdale carefully compared the translation with the original ; but notwithstanding all his care, various suspicions were insinuated, not only of its inaccuracy, but even of the heterodoxy of some portions. Against this gross charge, Coverdale took an opportunity of vindicating himself, when he preached at Paul's cross,- -a task of which he acquitted himself with equal candour and courage. He said, “ that he himself now saw some faults, which, if he might review the book once again, as he had twice before, he had no doubt he should amend; but for any heresy, he was sure that there was none maintained in his translation."
In these arduous and most important labours, equally honourable to himself and beneficial to his country, Coverdale was not permitted to work—as too many have been—uncheered by the smiles of patronage. Thomas Lord Cromwell was a liberal patron of his. He was also almoner to Catharine Parr—the last of King Henry's queens—who was a decided friend of the Reformation. In virtue of this office, he officiat. ed at her funeral, at Sudely castle in Gloucestershire, the residence of her last husband, Thomas Lord Seymour ; on which occasion, by the bye, our reformer took an opportunity not only of giving utterance to the great doctrines of the Reformation, but of explaining away, in quite a protestant style, the popish trumpery with which, as usual, the funeral was celebrated. “ The offeringe,” he said, “ which was there don, was not don any thinge to profytt the deade, but for the poor onlye ; and also the lights which were caried, &c. were for the honour of the person, and for no other entente nor purpose.” &c. In 1547, he preached at St Paul's against some Anabaptists, whom, with greater effect than is found generally to accompany the efforts of the controversialist, he is said to have reclaimed. In 1551 he was raised to the see of Exeter, and his elevation was accompanied with the most flattering testimonials of the esteem in which King Edward held him. It was expressly stated, that “ he was promoted on account of his extraordinary knowledge in divinity, and his unblemished character.” The circumstances which, it is conjectured, were partly the cause of his elevation, are very curious, and deserve to be recorded. It appears that Lord Russel was sent, in 1549, to suppress the rebellion in the west, and Coverdale was appointed to accompany him. It is said that the reformer's preaching was the most effectual means of quieting the minds of the people. This probably suggested the propriety of choosing such a man for such a quarter; and upon the death of the then bishop-a bigoted catholic, and in every respect the opposite of Coverdale he was chosen his successor. At his first appointment, his poverty would not permit him to pay the first-fruits ; from which, therefore, the king, at the request of Cranmer, exempted him.
In his diocese, he, of course, favoured the spread of the reformed religion. In the administration of all its affairs, however, he displayed the strictest equity. So anxious was he that the law, both civil and ecclesiastical—in which he did not pretend to be very profoundly skilled should be justly executed, that he requested the university of Oxford to recommend a suitable chancellor for his diocese. They recommend. ed Dr Robert Weston, afterwards the Irish lord-chancellor, whom Coverdale treated with the greatest liberality.
All his noble qualities, however,-his integrity, his humility, his generosity, his hospitality, bis unwearied efforts to do good, his diligent discharge of his functions,—could not protect him from the slanders of the enemies of the Reformation. So long as Edward VI. lived, they