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Another of the significant public acts of the times was the supposititious trial and condemna

an image of Our Lady, with a taper in her hand, which burnt nine years together without wasting, till one, forswearing himself thereon, it went out, and was found to be but a piece of wood; the Rood of Grace, at Boxley, in Kent. This had cunningly contrived machinery, by means of which the image was made to move its eyes and lips. At Hales, in Gloucestershire, was shown the blood of Jesus, brought from Jerusalem, and kept for ages. This had drawn many offerings, even from remote places. On examination, it was found to be duck's blood, which was renewed every week. The blood was placed in a glass, one side of which was so thick that the blood could not be seen through it, while the other side was thin. If a visitor did not offer liberally, the thick side was presented; an increase of the offering brought round the thin side, and lo, the blood was visible ! - Herbert's Life of Henry VIII., p. 495. Fox tells us of the images of Walsingham, Ipswich, Worcester, the Lady of Willesdon, Thos. Becket, with many more, “having engines, to make their eyes open and roll about, and other parts of their body to stir; and many other false jugglings *** all which were espied out and destroyed.” – Vol. 11. p. 330. Dr. London, one of the visitors of the monasteries, reported among other things, that he found as many pieces of the cross of the Saviour as would make a large, whole cross; also, relics against rain, and for hindering weeds from springing, etc. Burnet, vol. I. pt. I. bk. III. p. 485.

As an illustration of the superstitious use made of the shrines and images in different parts of the kingdom, take the following account by Price, one of the visitors, of a huge wooden image which he found in Wales, called Darvel Gatheren. He says, “ that the people of the country had a great superstition for it; so that the day before he wrote (April 5th, 1537) there were reckoned to be above five or six hundred pilgrims there. Some brought oxen and cattle, and some brought money; and it was generally believed that if any offered to that image, he had power to deliver his soul from hell.” The image was brought to London, "where it served for fuel to burn friar Forrest." -- Burnets vol. I. pt. I. bk.

tion, in 1538, for rebellion, contumacy, and treason, of the world-renowned " Saint Thomas à Becket," archbishop of Canterbury, who had been in his grave between three and four hundred years. For these alleged crimes the bones of the old sinner were ordered to be dug up, his shrine at Canterbury demolished, its offerings forfeited to the crown, his day stricken from the calendar, and " the office" for his festivity dashed from the breviaries.

The significancy of these acts appears from the consideration that the Romish church had contrived to make Thomas à Becket - in whose person, or rather in whose death, the papal power had triumphed over the royal power in England - the most popular modern saint in all the calendar. His shrine was more visited than any other in the kingdom, and the offerings made to it were more numerous and richer. Pilgrims came to it from all parts of Christendom, bringing gifts and worship. Even princes and crowned heads thus honored the memory of Becket. One of the richest jewels in Europe was presented to this shrine, by Louis VII., of France. The very pavement

III. p. 487. Dr. Forrest belonged to the convent of “ Observant Friars," at Greenwich, and was confessor to Queen Catharine, and suffered in 1538 as a traitor and heretic, being suspended by chains round his waist and under his arms, and thus hung, while he was consumed by a slow fire; very much as was the brave old Lollard, Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, a century and a quarter before him.

around the shrine was worn away by the kneeling myriads of worshippers. There were two holydays, yearly, devoted to this papal martyr; and every fiftieth year there was a jubilee for fifteen days, during which indulgence was granted to all who visited the shrine of the martyr. About one hundred thousand persons are said to have paid their homage at this shrine during the fifteen days devoted to the sixth jubilee of Becket's translation, in 1420. Thus the Romish church was able to make Becket's bones a constant proclamation to Christendom of the superiority of papal over kingly power ; while, at the same time, she gathered enormous wealth from her impositions. The ever flowing stream of pilgrims to this altar, and the offerings laid thereon, were naturally enough regarded by Henry and his counsellors as so many intolerable protests against the royal supremacy. His saintship was therefore denounced as a traitor and rebel against his sovereign, and was summoned into court to answer to these charges. The dry bones, not obeying the summons, were pronounced contumacious, were dug up, and either burned or mixed with other bones; and, what was hardly less important in Henry's eyes, two chests full of gold, so heavy " that they were a load to eight strong men to carry them out of the church," were emptied into the royal treasury.*

* Herbert, p. 501; Burnet; vol. 1. pt. 1. bk. III. pp. 488–96; Lin gard, vol. VI. ch. IV. p. 275; Fox, 11. 369.

In 1539, Hilsey, bishop of Rochester, published a primer somewhat resembling Marshall's, though perhaps rather more like the Sarum Primer, or the King's Primer. This primer was submitted to Cranmer, and corrections were made by him, but they were not admitted by Hilsey; and “in many particulars, and especially in those connected with the peculiarities of Romanism, the book differed from the primer by Marshall. It rather receded on these points.”* But, like its predecessor, it contained various portions of Scripture, and was of considerable value in familiarizing the common people, among whom it was particularly designed to circulate, with the Word of God, and in preparing them to read that sacred book.

The “ Matthew Bible,” (Tyndale's,) we are told by Fox, did not a little offend the clergy, namely, the bishop of Winchester and his fellows; particularly on account of its prologues and its special table of texts about the Lord's supper, marriage of priests, and the mass; and Henry was importuned for a new version, without any prologues or annotations, which they said were made vehicles of heretical and defamatory matter. So the king committed the matter to Cromwell; and he authorized Grafton and Whitchurch, the London printers, to bring out an edition of the Bible which, for correctness' and elegance, should surpass any which had yet appeared. They employed Coverdale to superintend the printing, and chose Paris as the place to print it in, on account of the superiority of the workmen in that city, and the excellence of the paper to be had there. The work was immediately commenced; but, before it could be completed, the Inquisition interfered, arrested the printer, and seized the printed sheets and ordered them to be burned. Fortunately, however, Grafton and Coverdale, having some premonition of the approaching catastrophe, had previously sent off to England so much of the Bible as was

* Lathbury, 5–7.

inished; and of the condemned sheets, “four great dry fats of them," which had been sold to a haberdasher for waste paper, instead of being burned, were recovered by purchase, so that, probably, but a small portion of the entire edition of two thousand five hundred copies was lost to the publishers.* The Englishmen escaped unharmed; and after a while returned to Paris, secured the presses and types, and even the workmen, removed them all to London, and there finished the undertaking, and brought out the Bible in April, 1539. This was called the " Great Bible," and sometimes “ Cranmer's Bible," though the edition of 1540, which has a prologue by Cranmer, is more prop

* Anderson, 11. 28-30.

† The order from the Inquisition for the seizure of the sheets was dated Dec. 17th, 1538. The work must then have been very nearly finished, and very few sheets could have been lost, or it would not have been completed at this date.

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