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without license, exposed the offender to loss of goods, fine, and imprisonment during the king's pleasure; and all disputing or arguing about the sacrament of the altar, except by the learned in their schools of divinity and other appointed places, exposed the disputants, not only to fine and imprisonment and confiscation of property, but to loss of life even.*

Early in 1540 was passed a bill entitled " An Act abolishing Diversity in Opinions”; which is better known as the 6 Six Articles Act, or Bloody Statute." This, so far as its influence went, tended to reinstate the doctrines of popery in the church of England. These articles maintained: 1. That in the sacrament of the altar, after the consecrating words of the priest, the natural body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ were present under the form of bread and wine. -- 2. That communion in both kinds is not necessary. 3. That priests may not marry. - 4. That vows of chastity and widowhood are binding. —5. That it is meet and necessary that private masses be maintained.-6. That auricular confession is expedient and necessary. Any person who, by word, writing, etc., should impugn the truth of the first of these articles, was doomed to death by burning, and to a forfeiture of lands and goods. Any person who should preach, teach, or affirm contrary to the other five articles, and any priest or person, having vowed chastity, who should marry, was declared to be a felon, without benefit of clergy. And, not contented with this enactment, the parliament of 1540 confirmed and strengthened the statute by two additional acts; one of which gave the decisions of the clergy in matters of religion, confirmed by the king, the validity and authority of an act of parliament.

66 the

* "As the Lord of his goodness had raised up Thomas Cromwell to be a friend and patron to the gospel ; so, on the contrary side, Satan (which is adversary and enemy to all good things) had his organ also, which was Stephen Gardiner, by all wiles and subtle means to impeach and put back the same. Who, after he had brought his purpose to pass in burning good John Lambert (as ye have heard), proceeding still in his crafts and wiles, and thinking under the name of heresies, sects, anabaptists, and sacramentaries, to exterminate all good books and faithful professors of God's word out of England, so wrought with the king that the next year following, which was of our Lord 1539, he gave out these injunctions.” Fox, 11. 369.

“ The Bloody Statute" kindled at once the spirit of persecution; or rather, gave vent to that spirit, which the popish clergy had for a season, though with difficulty, been compelled to restrain.

Complaints, and arrests, and imprisonments were heard of on every side. In two weeks' time, five hundred persons in London alone were under indictment for violating the six articles; and Fox tells us that the persecution was not confined to London, but extended “to Salisbury, Norfolk, Lincoln, and all other shires and quarters of the realm”; and that “ such a number out of all parishes in London, and out of Calais, and divers other quarters, were then apprehended through the said Inquisition, that all prisons in London were too little to hold them; insomuch that they were fain to lay them in the halls. At the last, by the means of the good Lord Audley, such pardon was obtained of the king that they were all discharged, being bound only to appear in the star chamber the next day after All-Souls, there to answer, if they were called; but neither was any person called, neither did any appear." *

* Statutes, 31 Henry VIII. ch. 14, and 32 Henry VIII, chaps.

15, 26.

Shaxton, bishop of Salisbury, and Latimer, bishop of Worcester, both resigned their bishoprics within a week after the adjournment of parliament, and were subsequently imprisoned for speaking against the Six Articles. They lay in prison several years. Cranmer was as much opposed to these articles as either Shaxton or Latimer; but was protected by Cromwell and the king


* Acts and Mons., 11. 447-52, where may be found a long list of sufferers under these Six Articles. Fox raves against these articles, which he calls “the whip with six strings,” denouncing them

erroneous, pernicious, repugnant and contrarious to the true doctrine, Christian religion, and the word of God, to nature also itself, all reason and honesty"; and he says, in view of the unreasonable and extreme penalty attached to a breach of them, " that a man may deem these laws to be written, not with the ink of Stephen Gardiner, but with the blood of a dragon, or rather the claws of the devil." - Acts and Mons., II. 418. He devotes nearly fifty folio pages to a consideration of these articles. - Vol. II. pp. 370-419.

from the popish commissioners who were appointed to see to the enforcement of the statute.*

In July, 1540, fell — “under the weight of popular odium rather than guilt" — that great man, sagacious statesman, and hearty reformer, Thomas Cromwell. His fall left Cranmer almost alone

* Burnet, vol. 1. pt. 1. bk. III. pp. 514-34. Burnet says, that " there were also commissions issued out for proceeding upon that statute; and those who were commissioned for London were all secret favorers of popery; so they proceeded most severely, and examined many witnesses against all who were presented; whom they interrogated, not only upon the express words of the statute, but upon all such collateral or presumptive circumstances as might entangle them or conclude them guilty. So that, in a very little while, five hundred persons were put in prison and involved in the breach of the statute. Upon this, not only Cranmer and Cromwell, but the Duke of Suffolk, and Audley the chancellor, represented to the king how hard it would be, and of what ill consequence, to execute the law upon so many persons. So the king was prevailed with to pardon them all; and I find no further proceeding upon this statute till Cromwell fell.” — Burnet, vol. 1. pt. I. bk. III. p. 534.

Statutes, 31 Henry VIII. ch. 14; Froude, III. 303; Hall's Chronicle, p. 828; Fox, 11. 447–52. There were eight charges in the bill of attainder against Cromwell, four of which related to his heretical character. This fact reveals the true ground of the enmity against him. He had risen, by the force of his genius and capacity for business, from a very humble origin to be the most powerful and influential subject in the kingdom. For this, he was hated by the old nobility. But Cromwell's hatred of popery was undoubtedly his great offence. A forged confession and recantation was published after his death, as was done in the case of that gallant old Lollard, Lord Cobham, who was hanged and burned for his protestantism a century and a quarter before Cromwell's death. The dying prayer of the great statesman and leader of the Reformation contradicts the calumny that he recanted his faith in his last hours : “Lord Jesu ! Merciful Lord Jesu Christ!

among the king's counsellors, to support the Reformation; and he was in constant danger. The crafty Gardiner was constantly on the alert to overthrow the great bulwark of the Reformation. Repeatedly were snares laid and plots contrived for the ruin of the good archbishop; and nothing but the inextinguishable confidence of the king in the sterling integrity of Cranmer, or the danger and difficulty of supplying his place, should he be removed, saved him from the block or the stake.*

The happiness of Henry, with his young and amiable wife, Jane Seymour, was of short contin

Soon after the birth of Edward VI. she


I see and acknowledge that there is in myself no hope of salvation; but all my confidence, hope, and trust is in thy most merciful goodness.” Such was Cromwell's dying supplication and confession. See the whole prayer, and an interesting account of this great statesman, in Froude's Hist. Eng., III. 483-526; also Fox's Acts and Mons., II. 419–34. See also Warner's Ecc. Hist., vol. II.

p. 197.

He says :

* Anderson (Annals of the English Bible, 11. 67) suggests — and it is a suggestion of great force —- that friendship for Cranmer had less weight in the king's mind than regard for his own interest.

Henry made but one Archbishop of Canterbury, and in a very strange way; but he could not have made a second without the greatest personal hazard. Had Cranmer been removed, Tunstall and Gardiner stood in the way, and could not have safely been passed over; but though Henry had been listening to their insidious advice, he had no confidence in either. Besides, bulls could not now have been obtained from Rome ; and though the king certainly had gone a great way as head of the English church, an archbishop of his making, without them, would even yet have stood but a poor chance of acceptance with the priests. In the king, therefore, it was nothing but policy to uphold his primate."

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