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concessions and admissions as a mere Romish partizan would carefully avoid.
Gardiner, however, though unconnected with the government, was no inattentive or inactive spectator of passing events. On the first Friday in Lent, Bishop Barlow, of St. David's, preached a sermon in the chapel royal, and the Bishop of Winchester was one of his hearers. His discourse was levelled at the corruptions of the Roman Church, and it detailed the outlines of a plan for the reformation of religion. This tattling as Bishop Gardiner uncourteously designated the sermon, was heard by that prelate with extreme impatience, and he lost no time in writing to the Protector upon the danger of ecclesiastical innovation at that juncture, and upon the duty of those who desired a change to reserve their plans, until the King's majority; when the government might safely venture upon important acts, and when individuals would have had ample time to digest their schemes. This letter being transmitted by Somerset to Bishop Barlow was by him answered, and the reply was conveyed to the Bishop of Winchester; who, in another epistle to the Protector, animadverted with no little freedom upon his adversary's arguments'. Before Lent was over, Dr. Glazier, who had formerly been a friar, but was now Archbishop Cranmer's commissary for Calais, informed the people from the pulpit, at St. Paul's Cross, that the fast kept at that season was not of Divine appointment, but
y Strype, Eccl. Mem. II. 38.
a mere human institution which might be broken without incurring sin”.
The ablest attack, however, made upon Popery in the Lent sermons of this year proceeded from an illustrious divine, who henceforth to the termination of his earthly course filled that space in the public eye which was justly due to his eminent virtue, talents, and learning. Nicholas Ridley was born about the beginning of the century at Wilmontswick, in Northumberland, where the family, of which his father was a younger son, had occupied the knightly rank, during many generations". The younger Ridley was sent to school at Newcastle upon Tyne, and thence when verging upon manhood, he was transferred, at the expence of his uncle, Dr. Robert Ridley, to Pembroke Hall in Cambridge'. In the University he
• Ibid. 40. Dr. Glazier's opinion upon the Lent fast, might be derived from St. Austin, and others of the ancients, who say indeed that Christ left us the example of such a fast, but deny that either He or his Apostles expressly enjoined it. (Bingham. II. 340.) There is reason to believe that the Quadragesimal fast originally was kept only during the forty hours intervening between Good Friday and Easter-day, the time, namely, during which our Saviour lay in the grave. (Ibid. 338.) It is, however, certain, that until the beginning of the seventh century, the fast was not kept for more than thirty-six days, or six weeks, abstracting the Sundays. Ibid. 340.
a Nicholas Ridley's father was the third son of the gentleman in possession of the family estates. « The second son was John, father to Dr. Lancelot Ridley, preacher in the church of Canterbury; and a fourth son was Dr. Robert Ridley, a celebrated divine and canonist in the reign of King Henry VIII.” Ridley's Life of Bp. Ridley. 2. 6 “When he came to Cambridge, about the year 1518, he
became so conspicuous for piety and application, that the senior members of University College in Oxford would fain have elected him to one of their exhibitions. This appointment, however, he declined, and he was shortly afterwards elected to a fellowship of his own college. His uncle, who stood high in the confidence of Bishop Tunstall, from whom he had obtained a liberal provision in the Church, was determined, that so promising a genius should not remain in obscurity for want of sufficient culture, and accordingly he supplied the young Ridley with the means of studying at Paris and Louvain. After his return to England he filled the office of proctor at Cambridge, and while in that situation, it became his duty to sign the judgment of the University which denied that any jurisdiction over England is divinely assigned to the Roman bishop. But however firmly Ridley might have been persuaded of this unquestionable truth, he had not then shaken off the bulk of those prejudices amidst which his mind had been matured. His theological re
found it in some disturbance occasioned by setting up the Pope's indulgences upon the school-gates, over which was written this verse of the Psalmist, Blessed is the man that hath set his hope in the Lord; and turned not unto the proud, and to such about with lies. (Ps. xl. 5. Transl. of the Com. Pr.) The person who stuck it up, though then unknown, was excommunicated by the chancellor of that university, Bishop Fisher. It seems it was one Peter de Valence, a Norman.” Ibid. 48.
• “Cranmer and Ridley, so closely linked together afterwards, were both invited to accept fellowships in Oxford in the same year, and both refused." Ibid. 64.
searches had chiefly lain among the schoolmen, and although he had early directed his attention to Scripture, he was slow in discerning the corrupt innovations of Romanism. His well-known acquaintance, however, with Scripture and the fathers induced Cranmer to desire his assistance, and in the year 1537, he became, in quality of chaplain, a member of the archiepiscopal family. In the following year his patron preferred him to the vicarage of Herne in Kent, of which he personally performed the duties, greatly to the benefit of his parishioners. After two years' residence in this retirement, he was recalled to Cambridge as master of his college, and on the restoration of Canterbury cathedral to its ancient state, he was appointed one of its prebendaries. Professional engagements did not, however, induce him to discontinue his studies. On the contrary, his attention was ever anxiously and laboriously fixed upon
the controversies which have rendered his age so famous. The result of this honourable perseverance was, a gradual, but a firm conviction, that Popery being the religion neither of Scripture, nor ecclesiastical antiquity, must be steadily opposed by every Christian minister who knows his duty, and hopes to give no ill account of his important trust hereafter.
On Ash-Wednesday, Dr. Ridley, being appointed to preach in the chapel royal, expressed his determination to expose, as far as in him lay, the papal usurpations, and the evil of indulgences. He then adverted to the danger of using
images as instruments of devotion, and to the folly of supposing that devils could be repelled by the lustral water of Paganism, naturalised in the Roman Church, under the ridiculous name of Holy Water .
& “ The Pagans were sprinkled with water as they ectered the idol-temples. So are the Romish worshippers." (Oses on Image-worship. Lond. 1709. p. 282.) “Every persco ubo came to the solemn sacrifices among the Pagan Greeks, -as purified by water. To which end at the entrance of the temples there was commonly placed a vessel full of holy water." (Potter's Antiquities. Lond. 1728. L. 220.) Virgil, in the follos. ing passages mentions these sprinklings. “ Dic corpus properet furiali spergere lympha."
Ex. it. 633.
Ibid ri. 633. The Delphin editor makes the following remark upon the former of these passages. “Notant autem interpretes; ad sacra superorum Deorum ablutionem adhibitam; ad sacra inferorum, solam aspersionem.” A belief in the efficacy of lustral water to influence infernal spirits is, therefore, evidently of Pagan origin. It should be observed, that attached to churches in primitive times was commonly a cloistered court, in the midst of which stood a bason of water, used for washing the hands of persons about to enter the church. From this usage the Romisb writers would fain deduce their holy water, as they call it. This use of water, however, among the primitive “ Christians was only an indifferent ceremony of corporal decency, or at most but an admonishing emblem of that purity of soul, with which men ought to enter the courts of the most Holy God. And therefore any one that compares these matters nicely together, must conclude that the latter custom (that of using holy water) is but a fond imitation, or mere corruption of the former; if it owe not its original to a worse fountain, the tepparrúpra, or sprinkling with