« НазадПродовжити »
he conducted himself so inoffensively, that his enemies had nothing substantial to urge against him. While he was seen in public going. about from town to town, and from village to village, preaching the word of truth—and administering needful correction with the strictest impartiality—to the great and rich as well as to the poor—in the privacy of domestic life he was a pattern of the like diligent and faithful zeal. The time which he had to spare from preaching he bestowed, either in hearing public causes, or else in private study, prayer, and visiting schools. He governed his house so, that there was throughout it the savour of virtue—good example—honest conversation—and knowledge of the Scriptures. Such was his care in bringing up his own children in learning and good manners, that, as Fox well observes, it could not be discerned “whether he deserved more praise for his fatherly usage at home, or for his bishop-like doings abroad. For every where he kept one religion, in one uniform doctrine and integrity. So that if you entered into the Bishop's palace, you would suppose to have entered into some church or temple.” A striking instance of his impartiality is shewn in his reproof of Sir Anthony Kingston, a man of great consequence in that part of the country, who was accused of adultery. Immediately on the charge being laid before him, Hooper cited the offender into his court. Sir Anthony Kingston at first refused to appear, but at last came, and when Hooper severely reproved him for the crime, instead of submitting to the censure, retorted abusive language on the Bishop, and even proceeded to the indignity of striking him. He was, however, fined in five hundred pounds, and obliged to do penance for his crime. Nor was this correction lost upon him, for he became afterwards a penitent, and felta friendship and gratitude to Hooper for his conduct towards him. He was much given to hospitality. Though both his bishoprics united, did not produce him a very ample revenue, he bestowed the surplus of it above his wants, on the relief of the poor. At Worcester, the poor were entertained in his hall, in regular course, day after day, by four at a mess, with a wholesome meal-nor would he sit down to dinner himself until they were first served. At the same time he made a point of examining them, either himself, or by some one else in his stead, concerning the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, and the Ten Commandments. Thus he continued in the laborious discharge of his pastoral office, until the death of King Edward, and the consequent accession of Mary put a period to his ministerial usefulness, and deprived the Church of one of her brightest lights. At the deprivation of Bonner in the year 1549, Hooper had been a witness, together with Latimer, against him, of his seditious doctrines preached at Paul's Cross. When Bonner's party therefore was triumphant, he had to expect his full portion of malicious retribution. And indeed his extraordinary labours in the Reformation, rendered him a conspicuous mark to the bigoted counsellors with whom Mary was surrounded.
observation, that Hooper's “firmness and sufferings afterwards raised his character more than his conduct in his diocese had done.” WOL. VII, NO. II. . L o
Letters were accordingly dispatched, August 22d, 1553, requiring his immediate repair to the Court, to attend before the Lords of the Council—on two distinct causes. 1st, To answer to Dr. Heath, who had been deprived of the bishopric of Worcester in King Edward's days. 2ndly, To render an account to Dr. Bonner, Bishop of London, for the accusation brought against him which had led to his ejection. The evil which was about to befal him, was not unforeseen by Hooper, for he had been expressly admonished by certain of his friends, to take measures for his safety by escape, but he would not take shelter from the impending storm. “Once did I flee,” he said in answer to their warnings, “and took me to my feet, but now, because I am called to this place and vocation, I am thoroughly persuaded to tarry, and to live and die with my sheep.” Proceeding then to London in obedience to the summons, before he could reach Heath and Bonner, he was intercepted and commanded b force to appear before the Queen and her Council at Richmond, on the 29th of August, in answer to certain bonds and obligations, wherein he was said to be indebted to the Queen. As soon as he appeared before them, the Bishop of Winchester received him very opprobriously, and began to accuse him of his religion. In reply, he freely and boldly declared his sentiments, and defended himself. The result was, that he was committed to the Fleet-prison on the 1st of September—it being declared to him that the cause of his imprisonment was only for certain sums of money for which he was indebted to the Queen, and not for religion. On the 19th of March of the following year, he was again cited before the Bishops of Winchester, London, Durham, Chichester, and Llandaff, acting as the Queen's Commissioners, and further questioned. The examination first turned on the subject of his marriage. When ‘he acknowledged that he was married, “and would be so until death unmarried him,”—the Bishop of Durham observed, that this confession was matter enough for his deprivation. To this Hooper excepted, as contrary to law. . An interruption here took place from the indecent outcries and laughter of the Commissioners and other persons present. Day, Bishop of Chichester, looking scornfully at him, using vehement language, called him hypocrite; Tonstal, Bishop of Durham, called him beast, which expression was repeated by several of the by-standers. Amidst this clamour they proceeded to argue to him the impropriety of the marriage of the Clergy—but the uproar was so great that Hooper could not be fairly heard in reply,–Judge Morgan, who was present, interposing much insulting calumny against Hooper's proceedings at Gloucester, saying, “that there never was such a tyrant as he was.” After this, Tonstal asked Hooper whether he believed the Corporal Presence in the Sacrament. ... He answered plainly “that there was none such, neither did he believe any such thing.” Tonstal was then about to read out of some book, but the noise was so great that he was obliged to give up the attempt. Gardiner next asked Hooper “what authority moved him not to believe the Corporal Presence?" He said, “the authority of God's word,” and alleged this text—Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things. Gardiner urged “that this text served nothing to his purpose-that Christ might be in heaven and in the Sacrament also, Hooper would have proceeded to enlarge on the text, but those who stood about Gardiner so seconded his saying with their clamours, that Hooper was not permitted to say any thing more in reply. Upon this, they bade the notaries write “that he was married, and that he said he would not leave his wife;—and that he believed not the Corporal Presence in the Sacrament: —wherefore he was worthy to be deprived of his bishopric.” And he was accordingly deprived of his bishopric, and again committed to the Fleet. - He had already been imprisoned nearly seven months, and in the course of that time had endured the greatest privations and sufferings. He paid on entering the prison five pounds, as fees for his liberty, to Babington, the Warden, who immediately on the receipt of the money, complained to Gardiner, and he was then put in close confinement in the Tower Chamber of the Fleet, where he experienced the worst usage. Through the kind offices of a female friend, he obtained liberty to come down to dinner and supper, though still not suffered to speak with any of his friends, but compelled immediately after those meals to return to his chamber. Even during these times of comparative relaxation, he received nothing but unkindness from the Warden and his wife, who took those opportunities of quarrelling with him, and complaining of him to their patron, the Bishop of Winchester. These persons having reported him to Gardiner, on account of an altercation with him on the subject of the Mass; in consequence of this information, he was placed in the wards of the 'prison. Here he continued "a long time, having nothing for his bed but a straw pallet, with a few feathers in it, and a rotten covering, in a loathsome chamber, on one side of which was the sink of the house, and on the other the town ditch, so that the offensive effluvia, with which he was assailed, infected him with disease. By means of some charitable persons however, he was supplied, after some time, with a more comfortable bed. Lying in this miserable state, secured closely with bars and chains, he would often in his distress call for help. But the unpitying Warden, though he knew him to be almost in a dying state, would suffer none of his men to come to his relief; only saying, “Let him alone, it were a good riddance of him.” Notwithstanding all this cruel usage, he paid, as he says of himself, always “like a Baron” to the Warden, as well in fees, as for his board, which was twenty shillings a week, and besides for his servant, up to the time when he was deprived of his bishopric. His deprivation was succeeded by a similar course of treatment. He still continued to pay for his accommodation in the prison. “ as the best gentleman in the house,” though he was used “more vilely than the veriest slave that ever came to the Hall Commons.” William Downton, his servant, was also imprisoned, and was searched for letters. But all they could find on his person, was a list of some compassionate friends whose alms had relieved his master in prison. This list the Warden delivered to Gardiner, to work the ruin of these persons. But it was some consolation to him, in the midst of these afflictions, to receive a letter, full of affectionate sympathy and encouraging consolation, from Ridley, then also a prisoner for the Gospel, in reply to two letters which he had addressed to him. These two sincere disciples of Christ then felt that they were brothers indeed, notwithstanding their temporary alienation, and could not forbear pouring forth their hearts to each other in friendly correspondence. “Your wisdom and my simplicity,” says Ridley, in the course of his letter, “I grant, hath a little jarred, each of us following the abundance of his own sense and judgment; now, I say, be you assured, that even with my whole heart, God is my witness, in the bowels of Christ, I love you in the truth and for the truth's sake, which abideth in us, and, as I am persuaded, shall, by the grace of God, abide in us for evermore"—words, which must have carried the balm of comfort into the very bosom of the poor sufferer. When about ten months more had elapsed of this miserable confinement, he was again brought, in the custody of the Warden, before the Bishop of Winchester and other Commissioners, at the house of the Bishop, on the 22d of January, 1555. Gardiner then, in the name of himself and the rest, earnestly besought Hooper to return to the unity of the Catholic Church, and to acknowledge the Pope to be the Head of the Church, according to the determination of the Parliament— promising, “that as he himself, with others, had received the Pope's blessing, and the Queen's mercy, so mercy was ready to be shewn to him and others, if he would arise with them, and condescend to the Pope's Holiness.” Hooper answered, “that for as much as the Pope taught doctrines altogether contrary to the doctrine of Christ, he was not worthy to be accounted as a member of Christ's Church, much less to be Head thereof: wherefore he would in no wise condescend to any such usurped jurisdiction, neither esteemed he the Church, whereof they call him Head, to be the Catholic Church of Christ: for the Church only heareth the voice of her spouse Christ, and flieth the strangers. Howbeit, said he, if in any point to me unknown, I have offended the Queen's majesty, I shall most humbly submit myself to her mercy, if mercy may be had with safety of conscience, and without: the displeasure of God.” To this it was replied, “that the Queen would shew no mercy to the Pope's enemies.” Whereupon the Warden was commanded to take him back again to the Fleet. - He was then removed from his late cell to a chamber near the Warden's own apartment. In the mean time, his cell was searched by Dr. Martin and others, for writings and books, but none were found. ' After an interval of six days, he was again brought before the same Commissioners, at the church of St. Mary Overies. Having first undergone the harassing of disputation, he was set aside for a time, until Rogers, who was also brought up to receive a similar condemnation, had been examined. The examinations being ended, the Sheriffs of London were commanded, about four o'clock, to carry them both to the Counter in Southwark, there to remain until nine on the following morning, to see whether they would relent and return to the Roman Catholic Church. Hooper then went first with one of the Sheriffs, and Rogers after him with the other. When they were out of the Church, in which the Commissioners had assembled, Hooper, looking back and waiting until Rogers came near him, said, “Come, Brother Rogers,
must we too take this matter first in hand, and begin to fry these faggots 7” “Yea, Sir, (said Rogers) by God's grace.” “ Doubt not (said Hooper) but God will give strength.” As they went forwards, the press of the multitude was so great in the streets, that it was with great difficulty that they could pass, persons thronging around them in admiration of their great constancy and fortitude. The Sheriff expressing, on the way, his wonder to Hooper that he had not been more patient towards Gardiner, Hooper answered, “Master Sheriff, I was nothing at all impatient, although I was earnest in my Master's cause, and it standeth me so in hand, for it goeth upon life and death, not the life and death of this world only, but also of the world to come.” Arriving at the Counter, they were committed to the Keeper, and confined in separate apartments, with orders that they should not be suffered to speak to each other, nor that any one should have access to them. On the following day, the 29th of January, the Sheriffs conducted them once more into the presence of the Commissioners, at the church of St. Mary: and when, after long and earnest discourse, it was found that Hooper would by no means condescend to them, the Commissioners condemned him to be degraded, and read to him his condemnation. He was condemned on three points:—first, for maintaining the lawfulness of the marriages of the Clergy, both secular and religious; secondly, for his doctrine respecting divorce ; and thirdly, for denying the Corporal Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Rogers also being condemned in like manner, they were both delivered to the secular power, to be conveyed first by the Sheriffs to the Clink, a prison not far from the Bishop of Winchester's house, where they were to remain until night. When it was dark, Hooper was led by one of the Sheriffs, with many bills and weapons, first through the Bishop of Winchester's house, then over London Bridge, through the City to Newgate. From the fear of -some attempt at a rescue of their prisoner on the part of the people, some of the Sergeants were sent forward to put out the candles of the costermongers, who used to sit with lights in the streets. But in spite of this precaution, the people having some notice of his passing that way, came out of their houses with lights and saluted him, praising God for his constancy in the true doctrine which he had taught them, and praying that he might be strengthened in the same to the end. As he passed on, he besought them to make their earnest prayers to God for him, and going through Cheapside, at length reached Newgate. In Newgate he continued closely confined for six days; during which time, no one was allowed to come to him or talk with him except the Keepers, and such as might be appointed to visit him. Among such visitors were Bonner, Feckenham, Chedsey, and Harpsfield, who exerted their utmost endeavours to seduce him from his better persuasion. Disputations were not the only means which they employed for this purpose. On the one hand, they shewed all gentleness, making proffers of friendship and worldly advantages—on the other, they tried to intimidate him with grievous threats. But they found him always one man, stedfast and immoveable. Perceiving that they could