Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

10 INTRODUCTION. Christ's human nature, with his receiving flesh from a sinful creature ; for which she was declared an obstinate heretic, and delivered over to the secular power to be burnt. The compassionate young king thought, that burning persons for their religious opinions savoured too much of that for which they censured the papists ; therefore, when he could not prevail upon himself to sign the warrant for her execution, Cranmer, with his superior learning, was em- ployed to persuade him. He argued from the practice of the Jewish church in stoning blasphemers ; which silenced, rather than satisfied the king. He still looked upon it as cruel severity. And when at last he yielded to the archbishop's importunity, he told him, with tears in his eyes, " That if he did wrong, since it was in submission to his authority, he should answer for it to God." This is said to have struck the archbishop with much horror ; yet he suffered the sentence to be executed.. Besides those denominated anabaptists, there were also many others who administered the sacraments in other manner than was prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. To prevent the number of these nonconformists from increasing, and to crush all who had already imbibed their sentiments, another commission was issued, empower- ing the archbishop and others to correct and punish them.+ And in the year 1552, Cranmer and others received a third commission from the council, to examine a certain sect newly sprung up in Kent.t This was a sect of noncon- formists, though their peculiar sentiments do not appear. Mr. Fox, in the Latin edition of his " Martyrs," observes, " That one Humphrey Middleton,§ with some others, had been kept prisoners in the last year of King Edward by the archbishop, and had been dreadfully teazel by him and the rest in commission, and were now just upon the point of being condemned ; when in open court he-said Well,, reverend Sir, pass what sentence you think fit upon Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. III, 112. -This female sufferer, according to Mr. Strype, " was a great reader of the scriptures, and formerly a great disperser of Tindal's New Testament ; which book she dispersed in the court, and so became acquainted with certain women of quality. She used, for the greater secrecy, to tie the books with strings under her apparel, and so pass with them into the court." Thus she exposed her own life, in dangerous times, to bring others to a knowledge of God's holy word.-Strype's Eccl. Memorials, vol. ii. p. 214. Strype's Parker, p. 27. 4+; Strype's Cranmer, p. 291. § This person, a native of Ashford, in Kent, was afterwards burnt in the days of Queen Mary.-Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 313.