Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

6 The HISTORY of the PURITANS.. Chap. I. and it may be put to death; of which fume hundreds of examples are upon record. King Thus flood the laws with refpeét to religion, when King Henry VIII. Heenry vIIII. fecond fon of King Henry ,VII. came to the crown. He was born in the His birthand year s491. and bred a fcholar: he underflood the purity of the Latin charmer. tongue, and was well acquainted with fchool divinity. No fort of flat- tery pleafed him better than to have his wifdom and learning commend- ed. In the beginning of his reign he was a molt obedient fon of the pa- pacy, and employed his talents in writing againft Luther, in defence of the feven facraments of the church. This book was magnified by the clergy as the molt learned performance of the age ; and upon prefenting it to the Pope, his holinefs conferred upon the King of England and his fuc- ceffors, the glorious title of DEFENDER OF THE FAITH: it WaS voted in full confiftory, and figned by twenty feven cardinals, in the year 152/. Cardinal At the fame time cardinal Woolfey, the king's favourite, exercifed a fo- Woolfey's vereign power over the whole clergy and people of England in fpiritual legantine matters ; he was made legate in the year 1519. and accepted of a bull power. from the Pope, contrary to the ltatute of preemunire, empowering him to fuperintend and corre& what he thought amifs in both the provinces of Canterbury and York ; and to appoint all officers in the fpiritual courts. Burnet's The king alfo granted him a full power of difpofing of all ecclefiaftical pHo. . Refor. benefices in the gift of the crown ; with a vifitatorial power over monaf- teries, colleges, and all his clergy, exempt or not exempt. By virtue of thefe vaft powers, a new court of juftice was ere6ted, called the legate's court, the jurifdi&ion whereof extended to all aétions relating to confcience, and numberlefs rapines and extortions were committed by it under colour of reforming mens manners; all which his majetty connived at out of zeal for the church. Xing moves But at length theking being wearyof his queen Katherine, after he had for a divorce lived with her almoft twenty years, or being troubled in confcience be- from his caufe he had married his brother's wife, and the legitimacy of hisdaughter queen. g y g having been called in queftionby fome foreign princes, he firft feparated from her bed, and then moved the Pope for a divorce ; but the court of Rome having held his majefty in fufpence for two or three years for fear of of- 1530. fending the emperor the queen's nephew, the impatient king by the ad- vice of Dr. Cranmer, appealed to the principal univerfitiesof Europe, and defired their opinion upon thefe two queflions. 1. " Whether it was agreeable to the law of God for a man to marry " his brother's wife ? z. " Whether the Pope could difpenfe with the lawof God?" All