Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

1; 102 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. though, in truth, his wife Dorothy seems to have had a great hand in that happy work."* Bale no sooner experienced the power of converting grace, than he publicly professed his renunciation and abhorrence of popery. In one of his books, speaking of the idolatrous and superstitious worshippers in the Romish church, he pathetically adds : " Yea, I ask God mercy a thousand times ; for I have been one, of them myself."+ Having felt the power of divine truth on his own mind, he conferred not with flesh and blood, but began, openly and fervently, to preach the pure gospel of Christ, in opposition to the ridiculous traditions and erroneous doctrines of the Romish church. This exposed him to the resentment and persecution of the ruling clergy ; and for a sermonwhich he preached at Doncaster, in which he openly declared against the invocation of saints, he was dragged from the pulpit to the consistory of York, to appear before Arch- bishop Lee, when he was cast into prison. Nor did he meet with more humane treatment in the south. For a similar offence, he experienced similar, usage from Stokesly, bishop of London. But by the interference of the cele brated Lord Cromwell, who had the highest opinion of him, andwas then in high favour with King HenryVIII., he was delivered out of the hands of his enemies. Upon the death of this excellent nobleman, and the publication of the Six Articles, with the shocking persecution which immediately ensued, he could find no shelter from the storm, and was obliged to flee for safety. He retired into Germany, where he became intimate with Martin Luther and other distin- guished reformers, and continued with them about eight years. While in a state of exile, he was not idle, but diligentlyemployed inhis own improvement, and inwriting and publishing several learned books, chiefly against the popish superstitions.t After the death of King Henry, and the accession of Edward VI., Bale was invited home, and presented to the benefice of Bishopstoke in Hampshire. While in this situation, as well as, when in exile, he wrote and published several books against the errors of popery. In the year 1550, he published awork, entitled " The Acts and un- chaste Example of religious Votaries, gathered out of their own Legends and Chronicles." Mr. Strype calls it a notable ° Biog. Britan. vol. i. p. 532. Edit. 1778. + Strype's Parker, p. 143. Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 68.-Abel Redivivus, p. 504-406,