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twenty-two. Among the majority were several individuals then unmarried, and who continued so to the end of their lives. On the other hand, some of those who had voted for clerical celibacy, were notwithstanding, soon after tempted to renounce that state themselves.
On the eighth of January, Bishop Gardiner was brought before the council, and set at liberty, being informed that his case came within the general pardon which had been announced from the throne on the prorogation of Parliament”. He was then admonished upon the subject of his former contumacy, and required to state plainly whether he would undertake to receive the royal injunctions, the homilies, and such other points of doctrine or ecclesiastical discipline as might hereafter emanate from the King and clergy. He replied, that, with respect to his future conduct, he should be guided by that of his brethren upon the episcopal bench, and that as to the homilies, he admitted the general soundness of their doctrine. He added, however, that he must still protest against the homily treating of justification, and he begged to be allowed four or five days in order to consider that subject more fully. Bishop Ridley, accordingly was sent to him together with Cecil'. Whether the doctrinal argusignation of Pius II, filled the papal chair from 1458, to 1464, said that “there were very good reasons why clergymen should be compelled to live in celibacy, but that there were much better reasons why they should be allowed to marry.”
9 Burnet, Hist. Ref. II. 89. * Life of Bp. Ridley, 221.
ments urged by these distinguished persons produced any effect upon his mind does not appear, but he certainly parted from them with a disposition to obey the mandates of authority. For he retired to his diocese, and there, both by his precepts and example, he induced the clergy to acquiesce in such alterations as their superiors thought proper to sanction.
About the end of January, was debated in council the first remarkable case of divorce which had occurred since England's emancipation from the papal yoke. The Marquess of Northampton, who was brother to the Queen Dowager, Catharine Parr, had married Anne Bourchier, daughter to the last Earl of Essex of that name. happy female had disgraced the long line of her illustrious ancestry by the foul crime of adultery. Her infamy had been fully established before the ecclesiastical court in the preceding spring, and she had accordingly been divorced in the usual way from her injured husband's bed and board. It was, however, justly doubted whether this relief was so complete as to warrant Northampton in contracting a new marriage. For the purpose of deciding this question, a commission was is. sued in the last May to Archbishop Cranmer, the Bishops Tunstall and Holbeach', Dr. Ridley, and six others, who were to enquire, whether by God's law, the Marquess would be justified in marrying again. Cranmer immediately applied
• Then Bishop of Rochester, but translated to Lincoln before the end of the summer.
himself to the task imposed upon him with that unshrinking diligence which he never failed to use in an enquiry of importance. He collected a volume of authorities bearing upon the case, and the impression of his mind appears to have been, that the innocent party might lawfully contract a new marriage'. Our Saviour, it was shewn, had described marriage as that state in which the individuals entering into it became one flesh, and he had condemned divorces upon every ground but that of adultery": by which, indeed, according to his definition of matrimony the tie is broken. The Master's views were then shewn to be those of his Apostles, by whom marriage is represented as a state in which the contracting parties acquire personal rights over each other *. Nay, so broadly does this principle seem to be maintained by St. Paul, that he is considered as authorising divorce, in case a converted wife or husband should be deserted on that account by an unconverted partnery. On the other hand, however, authorities were collected to shew that Christ only admitted divorce, in order to mitigate the rigour of the Jewish law, which denounced death to the adulteress and her paramour; and some of his words were cited to prove the absolute indissolubility of marriage'. To the same purport were alleged St. Paul's words, in which
Strype, Mem. Cranm. 226. • St. Matt. xix. 6, 9. * 1 Cor. vii. 4.
♡ Ibid. 15. ? " What, therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." St. Matt. xix. 6. St. Mark x. 9.
he declares that the wife is bound to the husband so long as she lives'. These passages, however, were considered as not admitting an interpretation strictly literal; since, if they did, every kind of separation between married persons must be deemed unlawful. Upon the whole, therefore, it was rendered probable from Scripture, that Christians are to consider marriage as indissoluble, except on the ground of adultery, which naturally breaks the tie; and that the innocent party, after disruption, is in no manner bound to the guilty
From Scripture, the Archbishop's collections proceed to the fathers; but these venerable authorities were found to throw no certain light upon the subject: they agreed as to the propriety of divorce in case of adultery, but they differed as to the lawfulness of a new marriage contracted either by the innocent party, or by the guilty one. Something, however, it was thought, might be inferred from their silence upon this subject. By the civil law, divorce, together with the liberty of marrying again consequent upon it, was allowed not only in case of adultery, but also upon many other grounds. Yet it did not appear that any of the fathers had written against this licence. The ancient laws of divorce were, indeed, admitted by Justinian into his celebrated code ; which is a very strong presumption, that they were not considered as highly objectionable by the divines of his day,
a Rom. vij. 2.
The early Roman canonists were also found to affirm the lawfulness of marriage contracted by a man divorced from an adulterous wife. Pope Gregory denied this privilege to the guilty party, but conceded it to the innocent one. The early councils appeared generally to have admitted the lawfulness of divorce in case of adultery, and also of a second marriage, at least by the unoffending party. By the council of Milevi, however, both the parties released from each other by divorce were inhibited from marrying again. From the mass of authorities collected by himself the laborious Primate could scarcely fail to infer the lawfulness both of divorce in case of adultery, and of a new marriage by the injured party. There was, however, an individual engaged in the enquiry who collected authorities of a different character. But the passages cited in this paper are chiefly from writers of a later date, who, living at a time when it was the fashion to extol celibacy above measure, might be reasonably expected to display something of that prejudice which had taken general possession of the human mind In order that the question might be set at rest upon the most satisfactory grounds, eight queries were submitted to certain learned men whose names are unknown. They decided that by the Divine law, the act of adultery dissolves the band of matrimony, and that neither of the parties so released was prohibited from marrying again :
+ Burnet, Hist. Ref. II. 90.
¢ Ibid. Records. 175.