« AnteriorContinuar »
reading of it, which was then the middle of July, and with such zeal, that by the end of the October following, he finished it; selecting the roots, and ranging the words in the form of a concordance. This was shewn to the famous Capnio, or Reuchlin, who declared himself astonished, not only at the work, but at the very short time in which it had been performed.
About this time flourished Paulus Scriptor, a countryman and friend of Pellican, and of the famous Staupitius the patron of Luther. This good man preached and maintained the same doctrines, which were afterwards called Lutheran: And it seems not improbable, that from these two excellent men, and from the writings of others, the great Reformer providentially received those intimations of the true understanding of the scriptures, which he afterwards promulgated with so much courage and success.
In the year 1501, he was ordained presbyter, at which time the plague raged exceedingly at Rubeac, and carried off both his father and mother. In condolence of himself. upon so afflictive a dispensation, he transcribed the seven penitential Psalms in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, subjoining many suitable prayers. The year following he proceeded to the degree of doctor in divinity at Basil, and was made divinity-reader of the convent. About this time John Amerbac printed St Austin's works at Basil, whom Pellican greatly assisted. Cardinal Raymund, the pope's legate, at whose instance Pellican was first made licentiate, and then doctor in divinity, and who was much attached to him on account of his great learning, purposed taking him with him to Rome ; but Pellican falling ill of a fever by the way, returned to Basil.
While Pellican continued a friar, he was universally esteemed for his learning and integrity, but when it pleased GOD, by the reading of Augustine, Jerom, Berengarius,
&c. and by the conversation of certain learned godly men, to shew him the errors and absurdities of the church of Rome, and he began publicly to exclaim against them, he was presently hated and persecuted. He had, upon an occasion, visited Rome itself; and the sight of so many stupid and preposterous superstitions, which there passed before him, not a little contributed to his conversion. And when, about the year 1518, Luther and Erasmus had published some of their writings, which attacked virtually some of the principal points of the Romish corruption, he soon declared himself of their persuasion, and soon became stigmatized for a Luthera:2. The senate of Basil
observing his very great abilities, chose him joint-lecturer in divinity with Oecolampadius in that city ; where he began to read, first upon Genesis, then on Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. In the year 1526, by the desire of Zuinglius, he was invited to Zurick, where he heard the first lectures upon Hebrew, from the excellent Leo Judæ. Here, in the forty-eighth year of his age, he renounced Popery, and, by the persuasion of the other divines, to confirm the propriety and holiness of marriage in ecclesiastics as well as other men, he married ; and having a son, while he was reading lectures on the history of Samuel, he called him Samuel. His wife dying, he married again, but had no children by his second wife. He was present at the religious disputation at Bern. In the year 1527 he published an edition of the Hebrew Bible, with the comments of Aben Ezra and R. Salomon.
He diligently applied himself to the study of the Turkish language, that he might be the better able to bring some that had become his neighbours to the Christian faith. He was Hebrew professor at Zurick for thirty years, where he was universally admired, and greatly beloved, both on account of his extensive learning and unwearied labours, and also for his life and conversation, which were hea. venly and devout. At length, being grievously afflicted with the stone and other diseases, he changed this life for a better on the day of Christ's resurrection, in the year 1556, and in the seventy-eighth year of his age.
Lavater says, he had often heard Pellican affirm, “ that “ when he first began to study the languages, there was “ not one Greek Testament to be got in all Germany at "5 any price; and that the first he ever saw, was one « brought out of Italy. But that he could not help re“ joicing in having lived to see the vast difference that « had obtained, as now many might be purchased for a « trifle.” Pellican, and the rest of the reformers, studied the holy scriptures. They indeed followed the rule of
Nocturna versate manu, versate diurna.
They had no idea of being true divines, without understanding the Bible, nor supposed that theology was really attainable by any other book without it, or beyond it. If some moderns, who presume to treat their knowledge in divine things with lightness and an air of superiority, had read God's word with a measure of the same industry, piety, and learning, it is possible they would have found that, among all their improvements in speculation, they
have still a height to climb, before they can equal the sacred erudition and attainments of these excellent men. · Pellican, complying with the earnest requisition of several learned men, published in his life-time, his lectures and annotations, which were upon the whole Bible, except the book of Revelation, which part of the scripture, not presuming through modesty to write upon himself, he added the commentary of Sebastian Meyer upon it, in order to render the commentary on the Bible complete. He translated many books out of Hebrew, which were printed by Robert Stephens. The Chaldee Bible also he translated into Latin. He wrote an exposition in Dutch upon the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, with a desire to convince the Jews : and, with the same laudable design, he translated the disputation of Ludovicus Vives with the Jews into the Dutch language ; and also many books of Aristotle and Tully ; saying, that, like the Grecians and Romans, they might acquire knowledge in their own language. He made indexes to several books; and with great labour compared the bible of Munster, printed at Zurick, and another of Leo Judæ and Bibliander, with the Hebrew text, word by word, lest any thing should have escaped their attention.
Upon the whole, he left behind him a most amiable character in his private life, as well as a most respectable one in his public; being eminent for his sincerity, candour, integrity, humility, and truth.
TROTESTANT BISHOP IN IRELAND.
THIS first bishop, that embraced and promoted the
Reformation in Ireland, was by birth an Englishman, of the order of St Augustine in London ; and because of his learning, humility, and pacific temper, was made provincial of the friars of the same order in England. Where their convent stood is still known by the name of AustinFriars, in Throgmorton-street. He received his academical education in the house of his order, near Holywell in Oxford, where Wadhani college now stands.
About this time, namely, in the year 1523, he supplicated the university for the degree of bachelor of divinity; but it does not appear that he was then admitted. He took afterwards the degree of doctor in divinity, in some university beyond the sea, and was admitted to the same degree at Oxford, in the year 1534, and soon after at Cambridge. Before that time, having read some of Luther's writings, he conceived a liking for his doctrine ; and, among other doctrines he then began to teach, even while he was provincial of his order, was “ That they should o make their applications to CHRIST alone, and not to the « Virgin Mary, or the Saints.” This caused him to be much taken notice of, and K. Henry VIII. being informed of it, took him into his favour and promoted him to the archbishopric of Dublin. He had the assent, March 12th, 1534 5; was consecrated the nineteenth of the same, by Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishops of Rochester and Salisbury; and had restitu. tion of temporalities on the twenty-third following.
A few months after archbishop Browne's ai'rival in Ire land, the lord-privy seal, Cromwell, signified to him, that his majesty having renounced the papal supremacy in England, it was his highness's pleasure, that his subjects of Ireland should obey his commands in that respect as in England; and nominated him one of the commissioners for the execution of it. The twenty-eighth of November, 1535, he acquainted the Lord Cromwell with his success, in the following letter:
« My most honoured Lord, « Your humble servant receiving your mandate, as 66 one of his highness's commissioners, hath endeavoured, 66 almost to the danger and hazard of this temporal life, « to procure the nobility and gentry of this nation to due os obedience, in owning his highness their supreme head " as well spiritual as temporal, and do find much op“ pugning therein, especially by my brother Armagh, “ (George Cromer, then archbishop of Armagh] who hathi « been the main oppugner; and so hath withdrawn most 66 of his suffragans and clergy within his see and juris« diction. He made a speech to them, laying a curse on 66 the people, whosoever should own his highness's supre. « macy; saying, that isle, as it is in their Irish chroni« cles, Insula sacra, belongs to none but to the bishop of
not mahip sent in ignore they be say massom
« Rome, and that it was the bishop of Rome's predecessors “ gave it to the king's ancestors. There be two messen“ gers by the priests of Armagh, and by that archbishop,
now lately sent to the bishop of Rome. Your lordship « may inform his higliness, that it is convenient to call a “ parliament in this nation, to pass the supremacy by act; « for they do not much matter his highness's commission " which your lordship sent us over. This island hath “ been for a long time held in ignorance by the Romish " orders ; and as for secular orders, they be in a manner " as ignorant as the people, being not able to say mass, or “ pronounce the words, they not knowing what they them« selves say in the Roman tongue: The common people « of this isle are not more zealous in their blindness, than " the saints and martyrs were in the truth at the begin“ ning of the gospel. I send to you, my very good lord, " these things, that your lordship, and his highness, may “ consult what is to be done. It is feared O-Neal will be « ordered, by the bishop of Rome, to oppose your lord« ship's order from the king's highness ; for the natives « are much in numbers within his power. I do pray the « Lord Christ to defend you from your enemies. Dublin " 4 Kalend. Decembris, 1535."
In the parliament which met at Dublin, May 1st, 1536, the lord Leonard Grey being then K. Henry's viceroy of Ireland, our archbishop was very instrumental in having the act, for the king's supremacy over the church of Ireland, passed : And, therefore, though he had not been more than a year and a few months in his archiepiscopal chair in Dublin, he stood up and made this short speech following : “ My lords and gentry of this his majesty's “ realm of Ireland, behold your obedience to your king " is the observing of your, God and Saviour Christ; for « he, that. High-Priest of our souls, paid tribute to Cæsar, " though no Christian ; greater honour, then, surely, is « due to your prince, his highness the king, and a Chris“ tian one : Rome, and her bishops, in the fathers days, “ acknowledged emperors, kings, and princes to be su« preme over their dominions, nay, Christ's own vicars. " And it is as much to the bishop of Rome's shame, to « deny what their precedent bishops owned. Therefore « his highness claims but what he can justify the bishop « Eleutherius gave to St Lucius, the first Christian king « of the Britains : So that I shall, without scruple, vote « his highness K. Henry my supreme over ecclesiastic matVOL. II.