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reformation, we may plainly see that it had its origin in the passions of men. Henry denied the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, because he wanted to get rid of his wife; and Cranmer assisted in forwarding these views, because he wanted to get one. not at all surprized to hear it said, that such a man as this had the Protestant cause at heart. We believe that he had, because it was his only resource for the gratification of his passions and the preservation of his means of subsistence; and we can easily understand the reasons of his lingering at Nuremberg, when it was announced to him that the see of Canterbury was vacant, and that the king intended him to fill it. It was not the nolo episcopari that detained him on the continent; indeed his biographer confesses it was his wife, that kept him abroad seven weeks beyond the period when he was expected in England.
It is really pitiable to observe the manner in which Cranmer's panegyrists flounder in the affair of his second marriage. Gilpin is not surprized that it made him reluctant to accept the episcopal dignity, because, “ however liberal his own sentiments might be on the subject of his marriage, he knew the prejudices of the world ran strongly against him. I call them prejudices only, because I think it does not appear that the secular clergy,' at that time, were absolutely required to take the vow of celibacy.” Gilpin might have easily made it not appear to him, simply by avoiding to make due inquiry upon the subject, that the secular clergy were absolutely required to take such a vow : but if he had looked into the ritual of their ordination, he would have found that the vow of celibacy was absolutely required to be taken by the secular clergy, and, moreover, that it was not in the power of the ordaining bishop to dispense with its being taken in any one instance. Again, Mr. Todd is very anxious to have it understood, that Cranmer was guilty of no double dealing with Henry upon this subject, and wishes to have it believed that the former communicated to the latter the circumstances of his marriage. For our parts, we entertain not a doubt of it. The permission to Cranmer to retain his wife, was but a small part of the price which Henry would most willingly have paid in order to get rid of his, and hence we find the new Archbishop of Canterbury, in the very first year after his consecration, sending for the lady, however privately, from Germany, where he had left her on his recall to England ! We further find, that from the year 1534 to 1539, she lived with him as his known though not publicly acknowledged wife,' and such was Henry's anxiety to indulge the prelate on this point, that when he issued his royal proclamation against the marriage of priests, (for the example of Cranmer had already become contagious,) he took good care, says Todd, that the penalty should be limited not to such as were then married, and kept their wives privately, but to such as kept them openly, and to such as should subsequently marry.' We hardly know which to consider the grosser act of turpitude, the
base truckling sophistry of the king, or the remorseless effrontery of the Bishop, in daring to officiate at the altar of God, which he had polluted by his perjury.
Another scene of this man's life now opens upon us, which, for the sake of human nature, we would gladly have passed over, if it had not been defended by Mr. Todd, in terms which shew that Mr. Todd would himself have pursued the same abominable line of conduct. We have seen that, from the beginning, Cranmer, who certainly was at best but a shallow theologian, affected to doubt, and indeed, on more than one occasion, denied the spiritual supremacy of the Pope. Now he well knew that he could not be consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, without having the sanction of the Holy see, formally expressed in a solemn document, and without taking an oath of fidelity to the Pontiff. It was never for a moment supposed, that this oath interfered, in any manner whatever, with the allegiance which the subject owed to his sovereign-that is to say, with the civil allegiance, for none other had been rendered, or been required to be rendered, to the sovereign of England at least, until an act of parliament made him also the head of the church of England. "Cranmer, however, in order to sustain bis argument upon the divorce question, held that the king was, without any act of parliament, supreme head of the church here, and that to him alone the oath of fidelity was due. But what was to be done ? No oath of the kind had yet been framed, and this unwilling Archbishop elect, as he is represented, could not be consecrated unless he agreed to take the oath to the Pope. Well, the bulls of consecration are received from Rome, and are forthwith accepted by the very man who denied their validity; and the oath is taken with a protest, signifying, in plain terms, that it was not taken at all! We think that we need do no more than cite the passage which gives an account of this transaction, in order to raise up every honourable mind in arms against the perpetrators, as well as the defender, of as deliberate and as unblushing an example of prevarication and perjury, as any that ever has been recorded at the Old Bailey.
• The bull for Cranmer to succeed Warham was dated Feb. 22, 1532-3, He was consecrated, March 30, following, by the bishops of Lincoln, Exeter, and St. Asaph. Before he took the oath of obedience, on this occasion, to the see of Rome, the Roman Catholics assert that he retired into a private room and protested against it. So far was the transaction from being private, that the protest, in conformity to the resolution he had made, was delivered openly, and publicly, before witnesses specially and officially named, and doubtless before those who were appointed to consecrate him, as well as other attendants. The protest, before it be further investigated, requires to be presented to his countrymen in their own language. It was as follows.
"" In the name of God, Amen. I, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury elect, do before you, persons of authority and credible witnesses, here present, say, allege, and, by this present instrument in writing, openly, publicly, and expressly protest, that whereas before my consecration, or at the
time thereof, I am obliged to take the oath, or oaths, usually taken by the archbishops of Canterbury elect to the pope, for form sake, rather than for any essentiality or obligation there is in the thing, in order to my obtaining the same: It neither is, nor shall be, my will or intention to oblige myself by the said oath, or oaths, howsoever the same may seem to be worded, to any thing hereafter to be said, done, or attempted, by reason thereof, which shall be, or seem to be, contrary to the law of God, or contrary to our most illustrious king of England, or the commonwealth of this his kingdom of England, or to the laws or prerogatives of the same : And that I do not intend to oblige myself by the said oath, or oaths, in any manner whatsoever, so as to disable myself freely to speak, consult, and consent, in all and singular the matters, and things, any way concerning the reformation of Christian religion, the government of the Church of England, or the prerogatives of the crown thereof, or the good of the commonwealth ; and every where to execute and reform those things, which I shall think fit to be reformed in the Church of England. And I do protest and profess, that I will take the said oath, or oaths, according to this interpretation and this sense, and none other, nor in
other manner. And I do further protest, that whatsoever the oath may be, which my proctor hath already taken to the pope in my name, it was not my intention or will to give him any power, by virtue whereof he might take any oath in my name contrary to, or inconsistent with, the oath by me already taken, or hereafter to be taken, to our said illustrious king of England: And, in case he hath taken any such contrary or inconsistent oath in my name, I do protest, that the same being taken without my koowledge, and without my authority, shall be null and invalid. And these mny, protestations I will have to be repeated, and reiterated, in all the clauses and sentences of the said oaths : From which [protestations] I do not intend, in any manner whatsoever, by deed or word, recede, nor will recede, but will always hold the same to be firm and binding to me.”
• This instrument accordingly was thrice interposed at the ceremony of his consecration ; first in the chapter-house of St. Stephen, Westminster, before those who were directed not only to witness but to record it; next on his proceeding from the chapter-house to the altar in the church, to receive consecration; and lastly, after the consecration, on receiving the pall.'—vol. i. pp. 58–60.
The weight of the evidence goes to shew, that this protest was privately made, and was intended to be kept secret.
But we confess that it does not appear to us to make the slightest difference in the conduct of the new archbishop, whether the protest was private or public. A protest before hand against an oath, in which the name of the deity is called upon to attest the obligation which its plain and inflexible terms impose upon the person who takes it! Is it possible, that an honourable mind, an upright conscience, could defile itself by such an act? If the oath were, as undoubtedly it was, a necessary preliminary to the archbishop's consecration, would it not have been his duty rather to decline the dignity with firmness, than to accept it, laden as it was with a stipulation which he could not faithfully perform? Duplicity and perjury are here joined together in one crime, from which not all the declamation
vol. II. (1831.) NO. 11.
and sophistry of all the Protestant authors who ever have written on this subject, can vindicate the tainted memory of Cranmer.
The new archbishop having, of course, pronounced the divorce, for the accomplishment of which he had been consecrated, the king was married to Anne Boleyn; for which services, we suppose, in addition to his episcopal dignities, he received from Henry the loan of 5001. He now eagerly assisted the king in devising laws for the complete abolition of the papal supremacy in this kingdom, which he took very good care, however, to transfer, partly to the king, as head of the church, and partly to himself, as grand inquisitor of the nation, a character in which, even his panegyrists must admit, he appears to very little advantage. One of his first acts, in this capacity, was to cause a Black Friar to be removed from some paltry appointment which he held in the university of Cambridge, because he “defended the authority of the Bishop of Rome,” and “ as he (the inquisitor) was credibly informed,” "" was a man of very small learning, sinister behaviour, ill qualities, and of suspected conversation of living.” But the inquisitor marked out the prior of these Black Friars for his special vengeance. This unfortunate man, it seems, did not agree with the archbishop in the new doctrines which were now propounded; and accordingly he addressed a long letter to the king, in which he argued that the prior, who had controverted some of those doctrines as preached by the archbishop, had committed not only errors in point of faith, but treason in point of law, for which he ought to be made amenable.
“At my first examination of him," says Cranmer, writing from Ford to the king," which was before Christmas, he said that he preached not against me, nor that I had preached anything amiss. But now he saith that I preached amiss in very many things, and that he purposely preached against me. And this he reporteth openly. By which words I am marvellously slandered in these parts. And for this cause I beseech your Grace that I may not have the judgment of the cause, forasmuch as he taketh me for a party ; but that your Grace would commit the hearing thereof unto my Lord Privy Seal, or else to associate unto me some other persons at your Grace's pleasure, that we may hear the case jointly together.”—vol. i. pp. 117, 118.
Thus we may observe, that so far as liberty of thought and word was concerned, in religious matters, the country gained nothing whatever by the suppression of the papal supremacy. The only immediate effect of that measure was, as this letter demonstrates, to remove the seat of that supremacy from Rome to Lambeth, and, in fact, to create two popes in England, the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury, instead of one. But the latter claimed something more : desiring to exercise a power at all times peculiarly and deservedly odious in England, that of a judge sitting in judgment upon a cause to which he is himself a party, this reformer of all abuses first pretends that he seeks no such power, and yet concludes with requesting that it be given to himn in association with
some other persons, thus adding mockery to injustice. And yet this is the man who, in a long speech delivered by him in Parliament in the very year, apparently, in which the above letter was written, is reported upon good authority to have “ discoursed very largely what a person a judge ought to be: he must not be partial, nor a judge in his own cause, nor so much as sit on the bench when it is tried, lest his presence should overuwe others !” Are we not justified in asserting, that alınost every page of this Cranmer's life teems with instances of his hypocrisy and meanness? The sequel of the history of the prior has, unfortunately, not come down to us, and therefore we cannot say how the proceedings terminated. But as his accuser and judge had, before trial, convicted him of treason as well as heresy, we may conclude that but little mercy was shown him.
We pass over the dissolution and plunder of the monasteries, in order to contemplate Cranmer in another remarkable scene of his life. Henry, we need hardly say, soon grew tired of Anne Boleyn, his heart being now captivated by the charms of Jane Seymour, one of her maids of honour. One fine morning the queen discovered her new rival sitting on the king's knee, the effect of which was so overpowering that she was taken in premature labour, and delivered of a dead son. Henry did not fail to reproach her for disappointing him of an heir to the throne, and his consort retorted, assigning her misfortune to its true cause. He had already resolved upon her ruin, and without a shadow of proof, without even the semblance of a fact that could raise suspicion against her honour, accused her of adultery. To whom did he look at once as his prime instrument for ridding him of her who was so late“ his life, his sole delight?” To Cranmer. Henry's first step was to send for the archbishop from another of his residences, and to order him to remain at Lambeth for the present. For the rest, let this sordid slave speak for himself. We shall not defile our pages with the whole of his letters to the king upon this subject: a few extracts will be sufficient to display his utter destitution of conscientious feeling, and his almost incredible baseness.
Of all her (Anne Boleyn's) former adherents,' says his biographer, • Cranmer now alone retained his grateful regard for her. He therefore resolved to inform Henry by letter, though he had been persuaded (!) to think her guilty, how unwilling he was still to cherish the thought; and with equal tenderness and discretion, while under the restriction at his palace, thus he wrote.'-vol. i. pp. 153, 154.
Of the discretion with which Cranmer penned his thoughts upon this occasion no doubt will be entertained: but as to his tenderness, few, we suspect, would be very anxious to experience it in similar circumstances.
«« And if it be true," writes Cranmer, “ that is openly reported of the queen's Grace, if men had a right estimation of things, they should not esteem any part of your Grace's honour to be touched thereby, but her