Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

BALE. 11 reformers, while in a state of exile, and living among foreign protestants, were led to examine more minutely the grand principles of the reformation ; and they acted upon those principles, as we have al?eady observed, while dwelling in a foreign land. Nor did they forget their principles on their return to their native country. Notwithstanding their want of success, they constantly endeavoured, as the times would permit, to obtain a more pure reformation of the English church. This was the case with Dr. Bale, and was undoubtedly the reason of his refusing to accept his former preferment. Though it does not appear that he gave his reasons for this refusal ; yet it is evident, says our author, that, while he was a zealous opposer of the Romish superstitions, he was a leading person among the non- conformists, and was against the use of the English rites and ceremonies : he opposed the divine institution of bishops, and was a zealous advocate for the discipline of the foreign reformed churches. It was a settled principle with him, that the government of the church by bishops, did not exist till the beginning of the seventh century. These are his own words :---" In the year 607, the church " began to be ruled by the policy and government of " bishops, which government was especially devised and " invented by the monks. "* From the above facts, Dr. Bale, with great justice, stands first on the list of our puritan worthies. He was summoned to assist in the con- secration of Archbishop Parker, but refused to attend, no doubt on account of his puritanical principles.+ He died at Canterbury in the month of November, 1563, aged sixty- eight years ; and his remains were interred in the cathedra/ at that place.t Several of our historians are greatly mis- taken in both the time and place of his death.s The character of no man has been more variously repre- sented than that of our author, as will appear from the different testimonies concerning him. Bishop Montague censures him for his unjustifiable freedom in speaking and writing; yet he thinks him of credit and weight in many things. Valerius Andreas calls him an impious wretch and a wicked apostate ; but at the same time allows him his merit as a writer. Vossius charges him with disingenuity in his accounts of ancient writers. But of all the authors, who have censured Bale, no one has fallen upon him with MS. Chronology, vol. i. p. 49. (2.) Strype's Parker, p. 54. Biog. Britan. vol. i. p. 534. Lupton's Modern Divines, p. 201.-Fuller's Worthies, part iii. p. 61.