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“ Counselled," as he tells us, by others, it is evident that the writer had obtained the palm for scholarship among his brethren : now as Whittingham will come before us, presently as the chief person engaged with the entire Scriptures, or the Geneva Bible of 1560, there can remain little or no doubt that he is the man now speaking in this preface. Afterwards he will appear to have availed himself of the learning of some other individuals, though by no means to the extent which has been all along so vaguely reported.

This New Testament, in duodecimo, neatly printed in roman and italic types, consists of 456 leaves, including the title_“ The Newe Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ, conferred diligently with the Greke and best approued translations. With the arguments as wel before the chapters as for every Boke and Epistle ; also diversities of readings and moste proffitable annotations of all harde places; whereunto is added a copious table.—At Geneva, printed by Conrad Badius, M.D.LvII.” And at the end, “ Printed by Conrad Badius, M.D.LVII. this x day of June.” The date is worth notice on one account, that Whittingham died only six miles from the spot where he was born, or at Durham, on the very same day, twenty-two years afterwards, the 10th of June 1579. A copy of this book, at public sale, has brought as much as £11, 58.

Here, then, was one set-off for the reign of Queen Mary, which she and her husband would have gladly dispensed with. Literally, in the time of “ blood and fire, and vapour of smoke,” in a dark and cloudy day for England, that was accomplished which had never been overtaken all the time of King Edward. The New Testament did require revision, but it must be done by an exile upon foreign ground, and be printed much nearer to Rome than London, while the book, as we have seen, was already in the kingdom. More than this, the entire Bible, still more improved by a careful comparison of the original Hebrew and Greek, was already commenced ; nay, during the last year of this Queen's reign, the revisers at Geneva were engaged with it literally night and day. Whatever, therefore, had been overturned or trodden down in England, this cause had sensibly advanced. The storm had only enlivened its progress, and actually brought it into a far better state than it was before. We have yet to see how it fared with “ the Exiles”” Bible, and what a blessing it proved to the families of our native land, for a period equal to ten times the duration of Queen Mary's reign. The Queen expiring on the 17th of November 1558, she was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth.

SECTION III. REIGN OF ELIZABETH.

A REIGN, EXTENDING TO MORE THAN FORTY-FOUR YEARS, BUT HOWEVER

POWERFUL IN EVERY OTHER DEPARTMENT, HAVING NO ACTUAL CONTROL OVER THE CHOICE OR PREFERENCE OF THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND, WITH REGARD TO THE SACRED SCRIPTURES IN THEIR NATIVE TONGUE, AND THUS PRESENTING THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO UNLIMITED SWAY.

he second daughter and only surviving child of Henry VIII., or the last branch of the Tudor family, now

ascended the throne, at the age of twenty-five. Born with the finest natural capacity, the education of Elizabeth, followed by the discipline through which she had passed, enabled her to hold the sceptre with a firmer grasp than that of any of her family who had preceded her; and throughout the long period of above forty-four years, England had no occasion to complain for want of what certain persons have styled a strong government. The preservation of the Queen to the present hour was very remarkable, and it proves, in the most striking manner, that a nation can no more judge of what may contribute to its stability, than any single man can tell what is good for him all the days of his vain life, which he spendeth as a shadow. Thus, the English people, when Mary was proclaimed, had drowned with joy the voice of the heralds ; but their hearts revolted at the very prospect of her marriage to a Spanish prince, and the step once taken was never forgiven. Yet that prince must come into the country, and enjoying, as he did, entire sway over his English Queen, thus prove one instrument, and in no inferior degree, of preserving her sister from the block. The life of no heir to a throne was ever worth less than that of Elizabeth at one period; and had Mary only renained single, with Stephen Gardiner for her adviser, humanly speaking, her sister might have ended her days on the scaffold. One providential purpose for which Philip had come to England being answered, he may live abroad, and another day, with his armada, seem to be bent on the ruin of the princess he had saved; but she will outlive him, as well as every storm that shall be raised against

her.

Without entering into politics, or the character of particular acts, it is allowed by all, that capacity for ruling formed the leading feature of the entire reign, whether we look to the Queen herself, or to the men by whom she was surrounded. Under other monarchs, it is by no means difficult to fix upon one man, as minister, who was, in fact, the presiding genius of the age, but Elizabeth, in her own person, formed a striking exception. Of all her ministers, it has been remarked, that they owed their advancement to her choice, and that they were supported by her constancy, but, with all their abilities, they were never able to acquire any undue ascendancy over her. “ In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress.” Inflexibly resolved never to divide her power with any man living, and never to marry, her object throughout life was to reign alone, a course which she pursued with a sagacity which has seldom, if ever, been exceeded. Should there happen, therefore, to be one palpable exception to her imperative sway, more especially should there be only one, and that one embrace the continued history of the Sacred Volume, this will not merely extend that line of distinction between it and all other affairs, which we have beheld as unbroken, throughout three successive reigns; but it will show that, as far as the current of events had any voice, the God of providence was lending increasing energy to that course which He had maintained from the beginning.

The first months of this able monarch were, however, remarkably distinguished by caution. At once she discovered a mind which seemed to have been accustomed to consult only with itself. As far as worldly prudence could foresee, she had resolved to mark out her own path, and in the meanwhile to do absolutely nothing rashly. On this account, her future course became the subject of deep solicitude and anxious speculation, rather than that of certain hope to either of the two parties, into which her council, as well as her kingdom, was divided. Had the Queen at once listened to either party, and implicitly followed its advice, there can be no question that persecution must have been the immediate result; for notwithstanding all that had passed over both, still neither the one nor the other understood how to separate power from persecution, or the exercise of mental freedom from obedience to civil authority. No more did Queen Elizabeth, or rather less, but determined, if possible, to make herself beloved by her people as a whole ; some time was required, for a mind like hers, to trace out such a path as she supposed was most likely to secure that end.

The caution, however, to which we have referred, has been noticed here, on account of its having distinctly embraced the Sacred Volume. Even this, also, must be regarded with what Elizabeth imagined to be prudent expediency. It is true, that on Saturday, the 14th of January 1559, as has been often repeated, on proceeding through London, in public

procession, when an elegant English Bible was presented to her majesty, at the Conduit, in Cheapside, she received it with a grace peculiar to herself, and kissing it, said, while pressing it to her bosom, that she would “ oftimes read that holy book.” The Queen had just passed the spot where the Scriptures had been often burnt; and the present gift had been adopted, no doubt, with the view of drawing forth some pointed declaration; but it went no farther, and then, the very next morning, or that of her coronation, it was not to be understood that she had already signified her approbation of either printing or circulating the Sacred Volume !

" Queen Elizabeth,” says Lord Bacon, “ the morrow of her coronation, it being the custom to release prisoners at the inauguration of a prince, went to the chapel, and, in the great chamber, one of her courtiers, who was well known to her, either out of his own motion, or by the instigation of a wiser man, presented her with a petition, and, before a number of courtiers, besought her, with a loud voice,– That now this good time, there might be four or five principal prisoners more released. It was inquired who they were, when he replied,— These were the four Evangelists and the Apostle Paul, who had been long shut up, as it were, in prison, so as they could not converse with the common people, who were eager to see them abroad.' The Queen, however, answered very gravely, That it was best first to inquire of themselves, whether they would be released or no.'” 1

The last Queen had now been dead two months, but nothing definite had ever escaped from the lips of her successor. On the other hand, the steps actually taken conveyed no certainty of signification, so that the hopes and fears of two adverse parties were alike quivering in the beam. Thus, in reference to her Council, Elizabeth had retained a majority of professed disciples of “ the old learning," some of whom had been active in its defence, and all of them men distinguished either for capacity or influence ; but to these she added eight others of opposite sentiments, not exempting some who had suffered imprisonment or exile for their opinions.

Cecil, the Queen's principal adviser and Secretary, as well as herself, had conformed under the late reign, and though it was understood that they had merely bowed to the storm, from a Council so constituted, it was impossible to augur anything. There was in fact a very

or secret cabinet, of much smaller dimensions, with whom rested the power of control.

A number of steps had only prolonged the public uncertainty. Thus, on the 14th of December Elizabeth had buried her sister, with all the rites of the old learning, and on the 23d ordered a solemn dirge for the soul of the Emperor Charles : but then two days after, the prisoners on account of religious opinion were released, while on the 27th all preach

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This courtier, says Heylin, was named Rainsford, probably Sir John Rainsford, a Knight of Essex, said to have been the generous protector of George Buchanan on his flight from Scoting by any party was imperatively suspended, till consultation was held by the Queen with the three estates. She had passed through London indeed with great eclat; but the very next morning, as we have seen, checked her too forward courtier. The Princess Regnant must be let alone, to think out, and resolve upon, her own course, and to consult farther with Cecil and Bacon ; but this is not to be done now, in open Hall, and before the Crown has yet been set upon her head. Parliament itself must first assemble, as it did in ten days after, when her Majesty had no reason to be dissatisfied with the amount of power conferred upon her. Its very opening however must be distinguished by the characteristic ambiguity. It was on the 25th of January, when Elizabeth assisted, in state, at a solemn high mass; but after this followed a sermon, and by no other than Dr. Cox, the tutor of Edward, and one of the exiles just returned from banishment. Not a little business was done, while a cautious expediency is still very observable. Certain laws of Henry the Eighth were renewed, many of Edward's revived, and those of Mary repealed : but in Parliament there must not be a single movement as to faith of any kind. They were summoned to consult respecting an uniform "order" of religion. Analogous to Cranmer's proposal, twenty-three years ago, they must first decide upon the ceremonial or external order ; only now no “ Articles” in reference to doctrine or the fundamental truths of Christianity must be once propounded. In the Convocation indeed, also assembled, “and which, owing to the times," says Fuller, was very small and silent," the adherents of “the old learning," with Bonner for their leader, were broaching, for the last time, certain articles, but though presented to Bacon, the Lord keeper, and they led to a discussion afterwards, such subjects are not to be admitted within the walls of Parliament.

land in 1539.

The “Supremacy,” however, must now be both discussed, and settled. But here again, ber Majesty had objected decidedly to a title, first assumed by her Father, and one in which he gloried,—“the Head of the Church." The world, it has been said, is ruled by names ; and so the apparent rejection of a cherished title on the one hand, and non-interference, as to faith, at present, on the other, must have had their respective objects. Abroad at least, the first movement might sound auspiciously for the moment, and the last, if it had no softening effect at home, at least left the way still open for indulging a pleasing dream, or the hope of amalgamating two hostile parties. Meanwhile the title by which Elizabeth chose to be distinguished was that of " Governor of the Church ;” but according to Fuller, complaints were heard still, “ that the simplicity of poor people was abused ; because while the Queen declined the former title, and assumed the latter, though less offensive, it was more erpressive; so that while their cars were favoured, in her waving the word, their souls were deceived with the sense under another expression.

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