Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

1t) LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. elates in the regency. The Bible in the English language, which, having been published by authority in the preceding reign, had been soon afterwards, by the same authority, suppressed, was now again placed by royal proclamation in the parish churches. Wor- ship was performed in a language. "understanded of the people." The liturgy, first translated and established in the second year of this reign, was revised and purged from some of its imperfections three years afterwards, and then assumed nearly the form under which it is now used in the churches of the English Establishment and in the Episcopal Churches of America. , The design of the leadingreformers in this reign was to carry the workof reformation as far as the circumstances- in which they were placed would permit. They had their eye on the more perfect reformation of foreign churches; they were in the .full confidence of foreign reformers ; and their aim was tobring back the Church of England not only to the purity of scriptural doctrine, but to the simplicity of scriptural worship, and the strictness of scriptural discipline. In pursuance of this aim, foreign divines of eminence, hearty dis- ciples of the Swiss reformers, in discipline as well-as in doctrine, were made professors oftheologyin both the universities, and were placed in other stations of honor and influence. The progress of the work was hindered by the influence of a powerful Popish party, including the heir presumptive to the throne, manyof the bishops, the mass of the clergy, and perhaps the numerical majority of the people ; and its consummation was defeated by the premáture death of the king in the sixth year of his reign. , The crown and the ecclesiastical supremacy then devolved upon the "bloody Mary," in the year 1553. This princess inherited a gloomy temper and the circumstances ofher early life, while they inspired her with a bigoted attachment to the religion of Rome, co-operated with.that religion to aggravate all that was unfortunate in her native disposition. Under her government, a fewmonths was time enough to undo all that had been done towards a refor- mation in the two preceding reigns. It was found that the king's supremacy was as able to bring back the old doctrines and the old worship, as it had been to bring in the new. All King Edward's laws about religion were repealed by a single act of an obsequious parliament. A solemn reconciliation was effected with the See of Rome, and was ratified in the blood of an army of martyrs. Many of the active friends of the reformation, foreseeing the tem- pest, saved their lives by a timely flight to foreign countries. But God made the wrath of manto praise him ; for the six years ofthis reign contributed more, perhaps, thanall the labors ofCranmer and his associates, during the six years of Edward, to open the eyes and quicken the sluggish minds ofthe people, and to inspire them