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most humbly thank Thy Majesty that Thou hast called me from the state of death unto the light of thy heavenly word, and now unto the fellowship of Thy saints, that I may sing and say,–Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts! And, Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. Lord, bless these Thy people, and save them from idolatry.”
It has been observed by Sir James Mackintosh, that Gardiner's diocess was bloodless. But we have seen him concerned in the death of almost every eminent martyr; and the remark of Sir James may be amply explained : Gardiner died early in the murderous career ;-and again, most blood was shed in those districts in which the word of God had been most read.-Calamities ensued;—war, tumult, and various distress. To complete the picture of woe, endemic sickness prevailed to such an extent that harvests were unreaped, and pulpits of parish churches unserved. Amid accumulating griefs and disappointments, the Queen died of the prevailing fever. It was the “ carnival of death.” Mr. Anderson furnishes a most remarkable passage regarding the bench of Bishops:-“In the short space of four years, from the death of Gardiner (the next after Latimer and Ridley) in November, 1555, to that of Tunstal inclusive, in November, 1559, twenty-four had died : nay, fourteen of these had expired in less than sixteen months, before and after the Queen's own decease.” Among these was Reginald Pole, the last Cardinal known in England, who went to his account the day after his royal mistress. Bonner survived for years, to languish in disgrace, to die in prison, and to be “ buried, under the cloud of night, among the condemned, in Southwark churchyard.”
The Annalist will not allow that “ all things went backward,” even in the days of Mary. He refers, not to the commercial treaty with Russia, or to any advantage of an earthly kind ; but to the progress of Scriptural truth. Rogers and Coverdale were early seized by Government; and the former became the proto-martyr of Mary's reign. Gardiner willingly condemned him ; but not on a charge of publishing the Scriptures, though he was the editor of Tyndale. Hooper was condemned the same day, but was to be sent to Gloucester: Rogers, therefore, seized the earlier crown,the fires of Smithfield being re-lighted after a cessation of nearly nine years. Coverdale was singularly extricated from danger. King Christian, of Denmark, had interceded for him ; but other circumstances also favoured his rescue. It was politic for King Philip at the instant to appoint his Spanish Confessor to preach AGAINST religious persecution! Collier hints that Philip “had no mind to lie under” the “imputation” of having kindled the martyr-fires. Hence a truce ensued. The debates of a perplexed Council were renewed. The Queen wrote to Denmark, with the view of parrying a statement in which Gardiner had ascribed the persecution to Her Majesty ; and, at the crisis, Coverdale escaped. After three years he returned to England; where he peacefully died in 1569, in his eighty-first year.
Of the pliant Spaniard's sermon, we have related the only happy result. The blood of saints soon flowed afresh, and by royal order too !—The year 1555 must ever remind us of LATIMER and RIDLEY; and the scene of CRANMer's suffering, in March, 1556, all England has contemplated with emotions unusually mingled. . During Mary's reign, Government observed a remarkable silence with regard to the English Bible. Copies were burned, and the press was restrained; but neither the Throne, nor the Convocation, nor Cardinal Pole, denounced the sacred record. Ainid these circumstances the Geneva revision of the New Testament was executed, and sent into England. This work engaged the best care of the learned exiles ; versions in various languages being compared, and the original being submitted to wakeful examination. “ It is the first English New Testament divided into verses, and formed an important preliminary step to the revision of the whole Bible.”-If we follow the stream of bibliographers, we shall suppose that several scholars, at least, were employed in this revision of Tyndale ; but Mr. Anderson thinks that William Whittingham, Calvin's brother-in-law, was THE REVISER.*
ELIZABETH, the last of the Tudors, ascended the throne at the age of twenty-five. Long and brilliant, we need not here remark, was her reign. According to Mr. Anderson's principle, however, the story of the Bible does not blend with that of political events. This separation he maintains, (of course, with all the advantage of reality against fable,) as steadfastly as the ancients affirmed that the Alpheus, after irrigating the beautiful realms of Arcadia and Elis, flows westward without mingling with the salt waters of the Ionian Sea.
Everything was done most cautiously by the maiden-Queen. There was a royal injunction that every parish church should be provided with a large Bible ; but this was buried among fifty items. Elizabeth would not hastily commit herself to any prominent measure. Meanwhile Whittingham and a few others were willingly devoting their life-bloom, at Geneva, to the preparation of their English Bible. “These men tell us that they thought they could bestow their labours and study in nothing more acceptable to God, and comfortable to His church ;' and they add,—God knoweth with what fear and trembling we have been for the space of two years and more, day and night, occupied herein.'” Many of the exiles gave of their substance, to defray the cost : but it is probable that the execution was achieved by the learning of Whittingham, Gilby, and Sampson; who, as we gather from Wood's Athence, “ did tarry at Geneva a year and a half after Queen Elizabeth came to the crown, being resolved to go through with the work.” (At this, and many other points, we do well to consult the list of editions at the end of Mr. Anderson's second volume.) A Dedication to the Queen is followed by an “ Epistle,” “ To our beloved in the Lord; the brethren of England, Scotland, and Ireland.” This translation, which was read in families through Great Britain for more than half a century, was ardently promoted by John Bodley, Esq., father of the founder of the Bodleian,—that founder himself pursuing his early studies in Geneva. A patent from the Queen, in favour of Bodley, introduced this Bible to public notice; and hence its free circulation, in edition after edition, for seven years to come. Before the end of 1561, the people had Tyndale and Coverdale, Cranmer and the Geneva version, all before them. After seven years, Parker's or the Bishops' Bible came into the competition. All these were “personal undertakings.” Parker wished to limit Bodley to episcopal direction, but in vain : Bodley valued liberty more than a patent. It may be added to these particulars, that Ri. Grafton lived to bring out the first edition of the English Bible (Cranmer's) in one volume octavo.
It was in the tenth year of Elizabeth that Parker's Bible appeared. The Archbishop had been assisted by more than fifteen learned men; the majority of whom, being of episcopal dignity, gave the title of “ Bishops' Bible.” Cranmer is revised ; and in some particulars there is an improvement on him. But, on the whole, we see no reason to depart from the judg
* Whittingham had been once chosen one of the senior students in Christ Church, formerly Cardinal College.
ment expressed in a former volume of this Magazine. (August, 1846, page 797.) Mr. Anderson denies that this revision was undertaken by royal command. Parker indeed begged for its protection and “commendation,” in order to public reading in the churches ; but the success of his appeal seems doubtful. The Queen must not be longer regarded as the partisan of any particular version. From Parker to Whitgift, and later still, the Geneva Bible was often quoted in public, as well as used in private. Our author does not fail to remark on the monopolies, and patents of privilege, granted or sold by the Queen ; especially as they involve the publication of the Bible, and the plea of Barker's superior printing. But still no one translation is preferred.
In contemplating this long and power. inclusive, there had been certainly not ful reign, with immediate reference to fewer than 130 distinct issues of Bibles the sacred volume, there are three dis- and Testaments, or about 85 of the former tinct points alike worthy of notice and and 45 of the latter, which presents an recollection. The first is, the number of average of three issues annually througheditions on the whole, so very far beyond out the entire reign, and notwithstandthat which has ever been observed. A ing all the caution exercised for the first second peculiarity is very manifest, or the sixteen years. With reference to the number of impressions in what is usually Geneva version, out of the gross issues styled the Geneva version, in comparison now stated, the number approaches to 90 with others, or with Cranmer's and Park- editions, thus leaving only 40 for all er's versions taken together. But the others. Or if we speak of Bibles alone, third point......cannot escape notice,-the while the number of Cranmer's and Parklarge number of Bibles, as compared er's versions put together we state as 25, with the editions of the New Testament that of the Geneva Bible had amounted separately.
at least to 60 editions.
(Vol. ii., pp. 352, 353.) From the year 1560 to that of 1603
The purchase was in truth most remarkable ! and, let us not forget, at ten times the present cost. That there were comparatively few editions of the New Testament alone, seems to have been the selfish contrivance of the privileged printer. But the word of the Lord was not bound. Though Elizabeth discouraged preaching, and thought the reading of the Homilies quite sufficient, and though liberty of conscience was most imperfectly estimated, the truth was hourly diffused. “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater :” so descended the “ doctrines” which “ drop as the rain;" so spread the “ speech ” which “ distils as the dew.” — grateful and insinuating “as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”
The important section, “JAMES I. to the COMMONWEALTH,” is introduced by the following syllabus :-“ Accession of James-his journey to London his strange progress through the country-his heedless profusion-Conference at Hampton Court explained— Revision of the Scriptures—our present Version
consequent letters—the Revisers—Instructions given-Progress made-Revision of the whole—Money paid, but not by His Majesty, nor by any Bishop, after the King's application, but by the Patentee—the present Version published no Proclamation, no Order of Privy Council, nor any Act of the Legislature upon record, on the subject-did not become the Version generally received throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, till about forty years afterwards
—the London Polyglot Bible published by the people, for the people—the last attempt to interfere with the English Bible by a Committee of Parliament, representing England, Ireland, and Scotland—utterly in vain—that acquiescence of the people at large in the existing Version of the Scriptures soon followed, which has continued unbroken ever since.”—Mr. Anderson shows that historians and jurists have ascribed far too much to James, “ high and mighty.” The Dedication was “ prefixed to many copies, though not to many others.” The work depended on no personal bounty; and it was controlled by neither Prince nor oligarchy. In January, 1604, the famed “ Conference” sat at Hampton Court; the sovereignty of James not having been yet formally acknowledged by Parliament. A fresh revision of the Bible was proposed, on this occasion, by Dr. John Rainolds the Puritan ; one of an illustrious triumvirate of whom an old writer says,—“ As Jewell's fame grew from the rhetoric, and Hooker's from the logic, so that of Rainolds arose from the Greek lecture in Corpus-Christi College, Oxford.” Bancroft said that “if every man's humour should be followed, there would be no end of translating ;” but the King acceded to the motion, concurring also in the recommendation that no marginal notes should be added. The list of the “translators, and their respective tasks,” carefully prepared, is given in vol. ii., pp. 374—377. Out of fifty-four who were named, fortyseven sat down to the work. We do not amplify here, as this chapter of bibliography is comparatively familiar. It is sufficient to note that 1611 was the memorable year of publication; and that the revisers, not the translators, were paid at the rate of thirty shillings each for the week. But by whom? Not by the King, impoverished by his prodigality; not by the Stationers Company, excluded by an offensive monopoly from any part in the enterprise ; but by Barker, the second patentee,-a party deeply interested. Many, who have taken on trust the current praises of King James, will be startled by Mr. Anderson's conclusion : “If we inquire for any single royal grant, or look for any act of personal generosity, we search in vain.” The version made its way, but not by authority interposed, or canon, or statute.
In the beginning of 1653, a Bill—quite unexampled—was brought into the Long Parliament, the object being a new translation. The interregnum makes it the more remarkable : but the uncrowned sovereign people were not thus to interfere with the sacred cause of the Bible, any more than the Princes of other days. The Bill sunk into oblivion by the dissolution of the House. This period was distinguished by the arrangement for bringing out Walton's Polyglot. It was the first of numerous works published in this kingdom by subscription; and it is gratifying to add that the elaborate collection surpasses, in important respects, the Complutensian, the Antwerp, and the Parisian. Meanwhile, the “grand Committee for Religion,” chosen by the republican Senate, testified the superiority of the authorized version ; and in this judgment, affirmed by Walton, Castell, and other masterly critics, a grateful nation has wisely acquiesced.
Mr. Anderson gives a most interesting chapter on Scotland. We offer a few memoranda,—especially for the sake of our young friends who are engaged in historical readings. Wickliffe's labours seem to have attracted early attention, north of the Tweed. The vernacular New Testament, in Ms., was also “in the best use" under James IV. In 1534, Ales
“ Alesius”) was pleading with James V. in favour of domestic Scripturereading, and alleging the sanction of that Sovereign's father. Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and other places, as well as the English Metropolis and Universities, received in 1526 the treasure of Tyndale's New Testament, by the hands of merchants who visited the Low Countries. The resolute
Protestants of North Britain are reminded that there was a time in their country's history, “ when, if a vessel arrived at Leith or St. Andrews, at Dundee, Montrose, or Aberdeen, with copies of the New Testament on board, the ship and cargo were liable to confiscation, and the Captain to imprisonment !” We regret that we cannot pursue the story-exquisitely beautiful and tender-of young Patrick Hamilton, Scotland's enlightened proto-martyr. Within the hours of a single day he was tried, condemned, and reduced to ashes. One of his many Judges was that meritorious Bishop of Dunkeld who, at a later date, said, “ I thank God that I never knew what the Old and New Testament was !” The martyr's last words ascended amid the noise of kindling flames and murmuring crowds,“ How long, O Lord, shall darkness cover this realm! How long wilt Thou suffer this tyranny of men ! Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” About the same time Friar Alexander Seton, after proclaiming long-forgotten truth, fled to Berwick ; but a spirit of inquiry was awakened, of which the results are beyond our calculation. · Alexander Ales distinguished himself, years before Henry VIII. broke off from Rome, by contending for the sufficiency of Scripture. Born in Edinburgh, educated at St. Andrews, he became a Canon in the metropolitan cathedral of his day. He was impressed and agitated by Hamilton's reasoning. After no slight sufferings for an awaking conscience' sake, he escaped to the Continent; whence he addressed his King, against the men who were forbidding the use of the vernacular New Testament. John Cochlæus, abroad, professed to answer ; and, notwithstanding a triumphant rejoinder, wrangled still, ascribing the works of Ales to Melancthon. We find Ales at Cologne ; then at Antwerp ; then in London and Cambridge ; then Professor of Divinity at Frankfort-onthe-Oder; and finally, Professor at Leipsic-where, after an honourable residence of twenty-three years, and numerous efforts in sacred literature, he died in peace. The only tribute to his memory seems to be contained in a few Latin elegiacs, of the 16th century ; but “he, being dead, yet speaketh.”
Forrest, of Linlithgow, was the second martyr. That the “new learning ” was spreading, there is ample evidence in the consternation of Churchmen, and the vain opposition of Parliament. The lesson may be read, as one says, “ by a Smithfield light.” In 1534, Edinburgh began to gleam with the frightful illumination ; and some of the best scholars in the country became refugees. Henry was urging Scotland, like England, to throw off the Romish yoke ; but his embassy to his kinsman on the throne of the North, every one is aware, was political. Notwithstanding many a difficulty, the reading of Scripture in the vulgar tongue was publicly prohibited in May, 1536. Thus, before Tyndale suffered, his influential books were condemned both in North and South Britain. It was the clerical policy to promote alliance with France ; and when David Beaton was made Cardinal, persecution was in that very month renewed. The tragic sequel we leave. It yields proof of a malignant hostility to the word of God, and, primarily, to that alone. George Buchanan and others escaped by flight; but blood, more than patrician, freely flowed. The comfort is, however, that thousands were perusing the Bible in secret.
At the death of James V., Beaton aspired to the regency ; but, by a remarkable change in his fortunes, he was soon in prison. During the fiery Cardinal's imprisonment, the Scottish Parliament, now in advance of the English, affirmed the common right of using the Scriptures in the