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praises of the rigour of his proceedings towards those ministers who had too much conscience to subscribe. He appeared, indeed, to have forgotten that he was himself at one time an exile for conscience sake. He was, say his admirers, extremely assiduous in public preaching, and very careful in examining the candidates for ordination, while, at the same time, he kept a strict eye over all dissenters, as well as papists and puritans. The zeal of the bishop for the church as by law established, led him to some measures which exposed him to the charge of being a persecutor. He kept a straiter rein over the puritans than over the papists; imprisoned a printer, named Woodcock, for vending a treatise, entitled, “ An Admonition to Parliament;' and procured a gentleman in Berkshire, named Welden, to be committed by the ecclesiastical commissioners. These proceedings roused the puritans, who treated him as an enemy to true religion. The bishop was resolved to keep the clergy of his diocese in due subordination to episcopal author. ity. On Sunday, the 27th of September, 1579, they were summoned to his palace at one o'clock, and forty appeared, the dean was also present—when the bishop cautioned them of two things,--not to meddle with the tibiquitarian controversy, nor with Stubb's book, entitled, The Discovery of a Gaping Gulph,' wherein the queen's marriage with the French king's brother was written against, and by which it was suggested the queen wavered in her religion. In 1581, the bishop had to content with the Lord Rich who kept a puritan minister in his house, named Wright, whom he would have compelled the bishop to license to preach in his diveese. The bishop had the powers that be on his side, in this struggle, and Wright was committed to the Fleet by the ecclesiastical commissioners. In 1583, he performed his triennial visitation, when he represented to the privy council many scandalous corruptions which he discovered in the ecclesiastical courts. About this time, he suspended certain ministers who were accused of nonconformity; and it appears that, after thorough examination of the matter, his lordship restored Mr Gifford, whom he had twice Suspended, when those who brought the charges against him could not substantiate them. In 1584, he obtained judgment against Archbishop
Sandys, for a thousand pounds. In this year, also, he committed to
Trison Mr Thomas Cartwright, the famous puritan minister, who had
written warmly against the hierarchy. In 1587, the bishop had much time on account of a school-master, named Robert Cawdry, whom the Burleigh had presented to the living of South Lufferton in Rutlandshire, where, after preaching sixteen years, he was convened before the ecclesiastical commission, the bishop sitting as judge, and by whom he was at length deprived. Cawdry would not submit to the sentence, upon which the matter was re-examined by the ecclesiastical commiss sion, at Lambeth, by whom degradation was added to the former sentence. Cawdry still refused to submit to the sentence, and made fresh representations to Lord Burleigh, who favoured him as much as with justice he could ; but, after a contest of five years, no redress could be obtained : the sentences of the bishop and archbishop being supported both by the civil and common lawyers. In 1591, he caused the famous and learned Mr Cartwright to be brought before him out of the Fleet, and exposturated with him in not very courteous language, on the disturbance he had occasioned to the church. The bishop was
now getting old and infirm, and was much disappointed in not obtaining the favour he strongly solicited on behalf of Dr Bullingham, Dr Cole, and Dr Bancroft, whom he wished to see preferred to bishoprics. It was his particular wish that Bancroft should succeed him, and, indeed, he solicited leave to resign his diocese to him. In 1592, the bishop assisted at the visitation of his son, as archdeacon of London, and exerted himself with as much zeal and spirit as he had ever mani. fested in his younger days. This is the last public act of the bishop's which we can trace; and, in 1594, he died, being seventy-three years
The bishop had a numerous family: viz. seven sons and two or three daughters. As to his personal qualities, the voice of his friends or his enemies will bear a testimony in perfect contrast.
He was we!! versed in the three learned languages, and was a good logician ; was deeply read in history, and well skilled in civil law. His religion appeared to greatest advantage while he was a sufferer for conscience sake. When the sunshine of royal favour, and the good things of a national establishment were enjoyed by him, he was too much lifted up with pride, and discovered a degree of passion, intolerance, and oppression, which must excite a blush for human nature. The bishop bequeathed large legacies to his children, and also some to his grandchildren. The early part of his life seemed to give promise of a brighter character than his concluding years displayed. The champion of protestant principles and of civil and religious liberty dwindled down into the abettor of arbitrary measures, and the factious oppressor of his fellow-christians, setting the dictum of an earthly sovereign above the authoritative oracles of God.
BORN A. D. 1530.-DIED A. D. 1595.
John Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., was of the family of the Whitgifts of Yorkshire, which boasted of considerable antiquity. His father, Henry, was a merchant of Great Grimsby in Lincolnshire. His uncle Robert, was Abbot de Wellow, near Grimsby,—a monastery of Black canons.
He was one among the many, who, just before the Reformation, began to see the enormous corruptions of the Romish church, and to anticipate the changes that were soon to take place. “The religion we profess," said he to the subject of this memoir, “ cannot long continue; I have read the whole scripture through; but never found it sanctioned there.” To this man-50 much before the generality of his contemporaries—the education of Whitgift was intrusted.
The year of Whitgift's birth cannot be exactly ascertained. Strype and Paul fix it in 1530; Francis Thynne in 1533. The place of his birth all agree was Great Grimsby. When quite young, he was sent to St Anthony's school, in London. He lodged in St Paul's church-yard at his aunt's, the wife of a verger of that church. Here our young scholar displayed an unequivocal preference for the doctrines of the Reformation. This provoked his aunt, who was a most zealous catholic.
After bearing with his heresies for some time, and making some ineffectual attempts to correct them, she dismissed him, affectionately assuring him at parting, that “ she thought, at first, her lodger was a saint,—but she now perceived he was a devil.”
On his return home, his uncle advised that he should be sent to the university. In 1548, therefore, he was entered of Queen's college, Cambridge ; but soon exchanged for Pembroke-hall. Here he enjoyed the instructions of the celebrated John Bradford, the martyr. At his l'ecominendation and that of Mr Grindal, afterward archbishop of Canterbury, Whitgift became scholar of that town and Bible-clerk. In 1553-4, Whitgift took his degree of bachelor of arts. Another year saw him elected fellow of Peter-house; and in 1557, he commenced master of arts. About this time, Cardinal Pole visited the university, to make search for heretics, and to expel them. Wbitgift, at first, thought of doing what so many of his countrymen were compelled to do both then and afterwards—seeking safety by self-banishment. At the solicitation of Dr Perne, however, a professed papist—who pledged himself for his safety, he ventured to remain. To the honour of Dr Perne—that pledge was fully redeemed. In 1560, Whitgift entered into holy orders, and his first sermon at St Mary's was heard with much approbation. A few months after this, he became chaplain to the bishop of Ely, who gave him the rectory of Feversham in Cambridgeshire. In 1563, he became bachelor of divinity, and succeeded
. Matthew Hutton, as Lady Margaret's professor of divinity. The lectures he delivered in this character, he prepared for the press; but for some unknown cause they were never published. Strype tells us, that he had seen the MSS. It was while thus engaged, that Whitgift joined the other professors in a petition to Sir W. Cecil for certain fresh regulations in reference to the election of the public officers of the university, the want of which had been much felt.
Not long after this, his fame as a preacher became so great, that Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Napier, sent for him to preach before the court. This ended in his becoming chaplain to the queen. Learning, in 1565, that some statutes enjoining uniformity of habits at the university, were about to be passed, he joined with others in writing to Cecil, to implore the court to desist. He soon had reason, however, to repent his temerity; and becoming an apt scholar as a courtier, not only apologized for this unlucky letter, but henceforth found that there was much more in hoods and surplices than he had been previously aware of. But so great a favourite did he continue at Cambridge, that a license to preach throughout the realm was granted to him under the common seal, and his salary raised from twenty marks to lwenty pounds. About 1567, he was appointed regius professor of divinity in Pembroke-hall. He remained here, however, only three months, being promoted by the queen to the mastership of Trinity college. This he owed to the patronage of Sir William Cecil. Soon after this, he became doctor of divinity. In 1570, he compiled a body of laws for the university.
We now came to that part of Whitgift's life, which will ever be regarded as the deepest stain upon his character,—his ungenerous conduct towards his great antagonist, the celebrated puritan, Thomas Cartwright, at that time Margaret professor. Dr Whitgift procured an order from the vice-chancellor and heads of houses to forbid Cartwright
to read any more lectures, unless he would renounce his principles. Cartwright, of course, refused so mean a compliance, merely to save his professorship; preferring poverty with a safe conscience, to wealth or preferment without it. He justly complained, however, that this was but a miserable way of refuting his errors, if errors they were, and a clear substitution of authority for argument. Nevertheless, the strong arm of the law is assuredly the best reason which persecution was ever able to give. It would have been well for Whitgift's fame if he had stopped here, but in the controversy which afterwards ensued between him and his great antagonist, truth compels us to say, that he acted a yet more unworthy part; he had the meanness to reproach Cartwright with those very miseries of which he had himself been the cause. He upbraided him with living upon charity, when none knew better than himself who had robbed him of his honest livelihood, and of indolence, when he had himself silenced him. The controversy, however, which had commenced with an exercise of arbitrary power, was to be carried on with other weapons. Stimulated by the charges of oppression which Cartwright hesitated not to make, Whitgift attempted a confutation of his opinions : this work he addressed to Archbishop Parker. It was not published, however, in the form in which it was composed; but was afterwards embodied in his • Answer to the Admonition.' In 1571, he became vice-chancellor; in June, dean of Lincoln. Three months afterwards, he obtained a dispensation to hold with it his prebend of Ely and rectory of Feversham, and any benefice whatever. He was now, at the instance of the archbishop of Canterbury, engaged in the composition of his Answer to the Admonition.' The 'Admonition' was the first production of Field and Wilcox. In his reply to it, Whitgift received no small aid from Archbishop Parker and other learned men, so that this too may be almost considered as joint-production. To this performance-which undoubtedly displays great learning and no mean powers of reasoning-Cartwright replied in a work which has been called a masterpiece of controversy. In answer to this, with the promptitude which distinguished controvertists of those days, forth comes Whitgift's • Defence,' folio, 1574. Cartwright, not a whit behind, sends forth the same year a quarto rejoinder, entitled “The second reply of T. C. against Dr Whitgift's second answer touching church discipline.' This, however, only contained a part of his reply; the remainder was not published till two years after, during his banishment. To this book, Whitgift attempted no answer. For this, different writers, of course, assign opposite reasons; some affirming that the doctor thought it too contemptible to notice; others, with grcater probability, that he found contempt more easy than refutation. Here ended the great controversy between these two champions. Of the respective merits of the disputants, persons will form very opposite estimates according to their opinion on the subjects of ecclesiastical government and discipline. As the controvertists, however, proceeded in two opposite principles, it was impossible they should ever convince each other. While Whitgift contended that, on the subject of church discipline and polity, the Scriptures were not a sufficient guide, but that their deficiencies must be eked out by the testimonies of the fathers and the traditions of the primitive ages ; Cartwright, on the other hand, contended that the inspired writings were the only safe guide on these points,—that the fathers have too often and too glaringly departed from Scripture even where its language was explicit, to war. rant our following them as a guide where Scripture had not enjoined the opinions they adopted,—and that it was most safe for the church in all ages to conform itself, as nearly as possible, to the simplicity of the apostolic times. Of the talents and learning of both these disputants, there can be no doubt, though, from the testimony Beza gives concerning Cartwright, one would judge him to be the more profound scholar of the two. That the controversy was carried on with much asperity and personality on both sides must be admitted, while it must also be admitted, that Whitgift's ungenerous conduct in the first instance, and his unrelenting persecution afterwards, leaves no room to wonder that he was not treated with much ceremony or courtesy by one whom he had so deeply wronged. But that Whitgift should have descended to upbraid hi adversary with poverty and insinuate suspicions of his learning, is not less wonderful than humiliating. The controversy issued of course in very different results to the two parties. While Whitgift was footing to an archbishopric, poor Cartwright was consigned to poverty, and exile ; and at length died in obscurity and wretchedness. How pleasant would it have been to say—that none of his sufferings were inflicted by his great antagonist, but that he was treated by him with a generous magnamity! Instead of this, Whitgift followed him through life with inflexible animosity.
At each successive promotion, Whitgift displayed an accession of high church zeal, became a greater stickler for existing abuses, and more completely versed in all the most approved methods of checking the progress of puritanism. The bishop of Ely having proposed a plan for abolishing pluralities, and appropriating part of the superfluous wealth of the dignitaries of the church to the maintainance of the poorer clergy, Dr Whitgift opposed and ultimately succeeded in defeating it. In 1577, he was made bishop of Worcester.
At this time Archbishop Grindal had given displeasure to the queen by his honest plain dealing, and his forbearance towards the puritans. Elizabeth—1
—never very scrupulous where her ambition or thirst for vengeance were concerned-wished Whitgift to accept the see of Canterbury, even during Grindal's life. To the honour of Whitgift, he absolutely refused to accept this offer. As soon as Grindal died, which happened in 1583, Whitgift was immediately appointed his successor: and no sooner had he attained this elevated station than he began to correct the abuses, as he esteemed them, which his predecessor's leniency had encouraged—in other words, he proceeded to put into force all the formidable artillery against the puritans with which the law armed him. These unhappy men, on account of the indulgence which they had met with at the hands of Grindal, had sought his province as an asylum from persecution. For this blessed work of persecuting them, Whitgift obtained the queen's express orders. In 1563, he moved for an ecclesiastical commission ; and in 1584, issued twenty-four articles, which he sent to the bishops of his province, commanding them to demand from all the suspected clergy of their respective dioceses an answer to all those articles upon oath, as well as to subscribe to the queen's supremacy, the book of common prayer, and the thirty-nine articles. Subscription to these three last articles was demanded during the very first week after the archbishop's primacy. He knew very well