Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

12 The HISTORY of the PURITANS; Chap. I. Ring The feparation of the church of England fromRome, contributed fome- RieÌ. VIII. thing towards the reformation of its doctrines, though the body of the in- 3ti ferior clergy were as fliff for their old opinions as ever, being countenanced Reformation and fupported by the duke of Norfolk, by the lord chancellor More, by pf DoEtrine. Gardiner bifhop of Winchefter, and Fifher of Rocheller; but fome of the nobility and bishops were for a further reformation: Among thefe were the, new queen, lord Cromwell afterwards earl of Efx, Dr. Cranmer archbifhep of Canterbury, Shaxton bifhop of Salifbury, and Latimer of Worceer. As thefe were more or lefs in favour with the king, the reformation of religion went forwards or backwards throughout the whole courfe of his reign. Books prin- The progrefs of the reformation in Germany, by the preachingof Luther, ted. Melantlon, and others, with the number of books that were publifhed in thofe parts, Tome of which were tranflated into Englifh, revived learning, and railed people's curiofities to look into the frate of religion here at home. One of the firft books that was publifhed, was the tranflation of the New Supplication Teftament by Tyndal, printed at Antwerp, 1527. The next was the Sup- of the Beg- plication of the Beggars, by SimonFifh of Grays Inn, 1529. It was levell'd tar'' againft thebegging Friars, and complains that the common poor were ready to ftarve, becaufe the alms of the people were intercepted by great compa- nies of lofty idle Friars who were able to work, and were a burden to the Bnfwer'd commonwealth. More and Fer anfwer'd the book, endeavouring to with Severi-move the peoples pallions, by reprefenting the fupplications of the fouls in ties, purgatory, which were relieved by the maffes of thefe Friars. But the ftrength of their arguments lying in the (word of the magiftrate, that was not now in their hands; for while thefe gentlemen were in power, the clergy made fad havock among thofe peoplewho were feeking after Chriftian know- ledge: Some were cited into the bishops courts for teaching their children the Lord's prayer in Englifh; Tome for reading forbidden books; tome for (peaking againft the vicesof the clergy ; force for not coming to confefiion and the facrament; and force for not obferving the church faits ; molt of whom through fear of deathdid penance and were difmif ed; but feveral of the clergy refuting to abjure, or after abjuration falling into a relapfe, fuffered death. Among thefe were the reverend Mr: Hittan, curate of Maidfone, burnt in Smithfield153o. the reverendMr. Bilney, burnt at Norwich 1531. Mr. Byfield a monk of St. Edmondfbury, Mr. Bainham of the Temple, befides FuJ1. Ref two men and a woman at ,York. In the year 1533. Mr. john Frith, an ex- to. 267. cellent fcholar of the univerfityof Cambridge, was burnt in Smithfield, with one Hewet a poor apprentice, for denying the corporal prefence of Chrift in the facrament; but upon the rupture between the king and pope, and the repealof the as ofking Henry IV. again ft hereticks, the wings of the clergy were clip'd, anda flop put to their cruelties for a time. None