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gent and hearty believers in the essential truths proclaimed by Wickliffe, than there had been at any previous period of English history. Denounced and persecuted by the church as heretics, and for more than a hundred years encompassed with fire, yet the Lollards, like the bush at Horeb, were not consumed. The name “ Lollard” does not, to be sure, appear so often on the blood-stained records of the episcopal courts of the sixteenth century as it does during the preceding century; but the thing itself was there. The very same sort of men and women, persecuted unto death by Arundel and Chicheley, were found in the episcopal dungeons of England, and fed the flames of Smithfield during the early part of the sixteenth century. A proclamation of Henry VIII., in 1525, against “ damnable heresies," requires all officers having “governance of the people, to make oath to give their whole power and diligence to put away, and to make utterly to cease, and destroy all manner of heresies and errors commonly called Lollardies." * And at a later date, 1536, we find another distinct recognition of the existence of Lollardism, or Wickliffism, in England. In that year there was the most extensive and dangerous insurrection of the commons which Henry's government ever encountered. The king was actually compelled to treat with the popish insurgents, who presented twenty-four articles as the basis of a settlement. The first of these read thus:-“I. Touching our faith, to have the heresies of Luther, Wickliffe, Huss, Melancthon, Ecolampadius, Bucer's Confessio Germanica, Apologia Melancthonius, the works of Tindal, of Barnes, of Marshal, Baskall, St. Germain, and such other heresies of Anabaptists, clearly within this realm, to be annulled and destroyed."* And at a still later period, 1547, Bishop Gardiner, complaining of certain acts of the people of Portsmouth, in pulling down and defacing images, charges these violences on the Lollards; saying that “such as were affected with this principle of breaking down images, were hogs, and worse than hogs, and were ever so taken in England, being called Lollards.|

* Fox's Acts and Monuments, vol. II. pp. 236, 237.

There were, then, men and women in England, by whatever opprobrious names called, who renounced and denounced the entire system of popery. Possessing the New Testament in a language which they understood, they studied diligently, though at the hazard of their lives, its inspired teachings, and yet failed to find any authority for a pope and cardinals, hierarchal archbishops and bishops, an exclusive priesthood, or those various orders of ecclesiastical persons whose ministrations were deemed essential to the maintenance of the hierarchal

system. Rejecting the system itself, these dissenters rejected, as a necessary consequence, all the ecclesiastical laws and constitutions, decrees and bulls, and prohibitory and excommunicatory acts, which emanated from the hierarchy; its holy-days, fasts and feasts; its priestly confessions and absolutions; praying to saints and worshipping images; making pilgrimages, and offerings to the dead; in fact, nearly everything that was peculiar to the Romish establishment. These people not only renounced all the trumpery claims of popery, but insisted that there was only one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; that repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, were the only terms indispensable to salvation; that the congregation of just men constituted the Church of God on earth; that the license of a bishop was by no means necessary to authorize a Christian man to preach the gospel ; but that every good man was justified in preaching to his fellowmen, and persuading them to repent and obey the gospel. There were at the beginning of the sixteenth century great numbers of men and women in England who held these and kindred sentiments, which ally them to modern Congregationalists. They were, it is true, for the most part hid beneath the surface of society, from the eyes of the rulers of the hierarchy, as live coals under the ashes, as precious ore in the rocks; still, there were Lollards all over the kingdom - men who heartily believed that the Scriptures were a sovereign and sufficient guide to the order as well as the faith of the Church.

* Froude, vol. 111. pp. 156, 157. † Strype's Annals, vol. 11. part 1. pp. 53, 54.

Lambert, alias Nicholson, who perished at the stake, November, 1538, held the following opinions on church order and government:— that priests and deacons were the only officers in the primitive churches, and that priests (sometimes called presbyters) and bishops were one; that laymen, and even women, might preach in cases of necessity, and baptize too; and that excommunication ought to be done by the congregation, assembled together with their pastor. He also maintained strenuously the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures, opposed auricular confession, denied the existence of any purgatory beyond this life, rejected the worship of saints, angels, etc., and declared that Christ was the only Mediator between God and man; that pilgrimages, and oblations to dead saints, etc., were not meritorious; that there should be no images in the churches; and that the Holy Scriptures ought to be given to the people in their own tongue. He utterly repudiated the right and authority of the pope to make laws and statutes for the control of Christian men, saying that Peter was no more vicar of Christ than all the apostles.

These sentiments, which are essentially those of the old Lollards, though derived probably directly from the New Testament --- Lambert disclaiming any special knowledge of Wickliffe's writings the martyr said he supposed were held substantially by nearly half of Christendom.

*“The multitude mounteth well-nigh unto the half of Christendom.” These opinions, and other kindred ones, were drawn out of Lambert by forty-five questions, which Fox tells us were “administered to him” by Archbishop Warham,“ about the year 1532, at what time the said Lambert was in custody in the archbishop's house in Oxford, being destitute of all help and furniture of books."

The existence of Lollardism in England at this time I know is inconsistent with the assertions of some English historians of good repute. Mr. Froude, for example, the latest and most attractive of the historians of the English Reformation, asserts positively that the Lollards became extinct more than a hundred years before the Reformation commenced. After describing briefly the end of Oldcastle, the Lord Cobham, in 1417, Mr. Froude continues :— “ Thus perished Wickliffe's labor not wholly, because his translation of the Bible still remained a rare treasure, a seed of future life, which would spring again under happier circumstances. But the sect which he organized, the special doctrines which he set himself to teach, after a brief blaze of success, sank into darkness ; and no trace remained of Lollardy except the black memory of contempt and hatred with which the

The archbishop died in 1533, before he had got the stake ready for Lambert; and thus for a while the good man escaped. But in 1538, Bishop Gardiner as bad a man as poor old Warham, and a much more cunning priest succeeded in getting Lambert into a trap, by inducing him to plead his cause before the imperi-. ous Henry VIII., who browbeat and denounced the prisoner to Gardiner's heart's content, and then sent him to the stake. Fox gives the particulars of this mock trial, and the questions and answers of a previous date. Acts and Mons., II. 331-355.

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