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The “ Injunctions” were thirty-six in number. They required that all ecclesiastical persons should observe the laws abolishing the pretended and usurped power of the bishop of Rome, and in confirmation of the king's authority and supremacy; that once a quarter, at least, they should sincerely declare the word of God, dissuading their people from superstitions, fancies of pilgrimages, praying to images, etc., and exhorting them to works of faith, charity, and mercy; that images abused with pilgrimages and offerings be forthwith taken down and destroyed; and that no more wax candles or tapers be burned before images, and only two lights be allowed on the high altar before the sacrament; that on every holy-day, when there was no sermon, the pater noster, credo, and ten commandments, in English, should be plainly recited in the pulpit to the people;* that within three months after this visitation, the Bible of the largest volume in English, and within twelve months, Erasmus' paraphrase on the gospel, in English, be placed in the churches conveniently, to be read by the people; that all who come to confession in Lent be examined, whether they can recite the creed, pater noster, and ten commandments in English, before they receive the blessed sacrament; that they detect such as are letters (hinderers) of God's word in English; that every ecclesiastical person under the degree of bachelor of divinity shall provide for his own use the New Testament in Latin and English, with Erasmus' paraphrase thereon; and that the bishops or their officers examine them on their proficiency in the study of Scripture; that in the time of high mass the epistles and gospel in English be read, and one chapter from the New Testament at matins, and one from the Old Testament at evening. All processions about the churches or church-yards were forbidden. It was required that the Sabbath be wholly given to God, in hearing his word read and taught, in private and public prayers, in receiving the sacrament, and in works of charity and mercy; that they take away and destroy all shrines, coverings of shrines, tables, candlesticks, trindles, or rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and other monuments of feigned miracles, so that no memory of them remain in walls or windows; and that a comely pulpit be provided in a convenient place. It was also enjoined, that because of the lack of preachers, curates shall read homilies, which are and shall be set forth by the
to be without it, for any word that could be understood.” — Strype, vol. II. pt. 1. bk. I. ch. 5, p. 49.
* In 1547, Strype tells us : “ There was now great care taken that the vulgar sort might arrive to some understanding of religion, which they were for the most part most barbarously ignorant of before. And for this purpose, provision was made that the people might learn in English the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, Ave, that used always to be said before in Latin; but especially the Lord's Prayer, commonly called the Pater Noster. And therefore, the better to inculcate it into the memories of the people, Latimer used to say this prayer constantly, both before and after the sermon, in the country where he was." -- Ecc. Mems., vol. 11. pt. I. ch. 9, p. 112.
king's authority; that no forms of prayer shall be used except such as are set forth in the primer of Henry VIII., translated into English; and that all graces before and after meat be said in English."
These injunctions produced great excitement among the papists, especially the clergy. Gardiner and Bonner and the Lady Mary protested against any alterations in religion during the king's minority, and urged that everything should remain precisely as left by Henry. The Reformers replied, that the late king had left things quite unsettled in religion, and greatly lamented that he must die before he had finished the work; and that for them to make further reforms was but to do what the late king had intended to do, and what he had left them, as the executors of his will, power to do, in the act of parliament which he had obtained during his lifetime, giving to the proclamations of his son's councillors, while he was under age, all the power which the king's own proclamation would have.t
* Wilkins' Concilia, vol. iv. pp. 3-8; Fox, vol. II. bk. IX. pp. 5-7. Fuller (Ch. Hist., bk. Vil. sect. 1) gives a very good abstract of the Injunctions.
† Burnet, vol. 11. pt. I. bk. I. p. 51. Strype says, that “this visitation *** was generally very acceptable to most of the lay people, and grievous only to the clergy, who could not endure to be unsettled from their old ways and courses in the observances of religion.” – Ecc. Mems., vol. 11. pt. 1. bk. 1. ch. 7, p. 83. In another place he tells us that the papists cried out of Edward's doings, as being done in his minority, and done by others, the chief men about him. They would ordinarily say: 'Tush, this
But though the council was evidently in earnest to promote further reformation in the church of England, its movements were quite too slow for the more ardent reformers.
The exiles, who had suffered deeply under the workings of the semipapal church establishment of Henry VIII., on getting back to their native land inveighed against the remaining impurities of the English church, and earnestly recommended the more simple and scriptural models of church organization and government with which they had become familiar abroad. Some of the clergy and many of the English laity sympathized with these views. Ridley, in his Lent sermons, early in the spring of 1546-47, so preached against images and holy water, as to raise a “great heat over England.” Dr. John Haley, of Magdalen College, Oxford, about the same time, declaimed with great violence against the pope and the old tenets. Images, and pictures of saints, and the crucifix, were taken down from St. Martin's church, London; and on May-day (1547) the people of Portsmouth pulled down and broke in pieces images of Christ and of the saints.* These Portsmouth iconoclasts were denounced by Bishop Gardiner as hogs, or worse than hogs, even Lollards.f Collier attributes all these unauthorized attacks on old rites and superstitions to "the gospellers, as they were then called," who "overran the motions of the State, and ventured to reform without public authority.”
gear will not tarry; it is but my lord protector's and my lord of Canterbury's doings. The king is a child, and he knows not of it. But old father Latimer upon this hath these words : · Have we not a noble king? Was there ever so noble, so godly, brought up with such noble councillors, so excellent and welllearned schoolmasters? I will tell you this, (and I speak it even as I think,) his majesty hath more godly wit and understanding, more learning and knowledge at this age, than twenty of his progenitors, that I could name, had at any time of their life."! Ecc. Mems., vol. 11, pt. 1. bk. I. ch. 4, p. 38.
On the 4th of November, Edward's first parliament met. Why it was not called together at an earlier day does not satisfactorily appear; for it was generally among the first acts of a new reign to summon the high court of parliament. The Reformers might have wanted time to mature their plans, send out their commissioners, infuse something of their own spirit into the people at large, and get some returns from the visitors, before meeting a parliament. The feud with Scotland, too, which broke out into open hostilities during the summer of 1547, and which required the protector's personal presence with the English army in the invasion of that country, may have contributed to defer the calling of parliament. However this may be, one thing is certain, the English parliament did not assemble until nine months and more after the accession of Edward VI. to the English throne. But when parliament did meet,
* Burnet, vol. II. pt. I. bk. 1. pp. 17-23. † See ante, p. 5; Burnet, ut sup.
Ecc. Hist. of Eng., v. 181, 182. London, 8vo. 1852.