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examined, in the Lent confessions, as to their ability to repeat the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in English; none, unless so qualified, were to be admitted to the Holy Communion; at high mass, the epistle and gospel were to be read in English ; at matins and vespers, on every Sunday and holiday, a chapter was to be read out of the English Bible; clergymen were to be diligent in visiting the sick, and to be prepared with texts of Scripture in English for their comfort; processions were to be discontinued and the English litany prepared for them under the late King to be said in future within the choir; all monuments of idolatry were to be removed from the walls, and windows of churches; in addition to a large English Bible, one copy of the paraphrase of Erasmus upon the Gospels was to be provided for every church; on every Sunday when no sermon should be preached, one of the new homilies was to be read; and in cases of simony the clerk was to forfeit his benefice, the patron his right of presentation for that turn!.
Besides these injunctions relating to the whole clerical body, the bishops were especially enjoined to preach, unless hindered by some sufficient cause, at least four times in every year, once in their cathedral church, and three times in some other places in their diocese; they were also enjoined to admit none into holy orders unless competently versed in Scripture, to deny ordination to none so qualified, being of irreproachable life;
and neither to preach, nor knowingly to permit any of their clergy to preach doctrine at variance with that of the homilies m.
The visitors appear principally, if not entirely to have discharged their prescribed duties in the cathedral churches". At these, the bishop and the chapter being summoned to attend on a particular day, an oath renouncing the papal and admitting the royal supremacy was administered to them; they were then examined as to the particulars contained in the articles of enquiry, sworn to observe the injunctions now delivered to them; and to every bishop for the use of his cathedral, to every archdeacon, for distribution among the clergy within his jurisdiction, were delivered copies of these injunctions, together with the new homilies. In fulfilling the objects of their commission the visitors encountered very little difficulty, and in obedience to their orders, the churches were farther cleared of incentives to superstition. In London the inanimate objects of popular veneration were generally removed on the 10th of September, a day rendered remarkable by the defeat of the Scots at Pinkey. When this coincidence was known, many superstitious Protestants drew from it an augury in favour of their principles, imagining that Providence, by crowning Somerset's enterprise with a success so decisive on that particular day, had unequivocally mani
m Foxe, 1182.
• " As we collect from what was done at St. Paul's, London." Strype, Mein. Cranm. 210.
fested an approval of his religious policyo. Many superstitious individuals, however, were indignant on seeing the churches again purged of objects long venerated, and in some cases, the clergy, to whom exclusively was entrusted the charge of effecting these removals, encountered considerable opposition. Several complaints of such obstructions were laid before the council, and the offenders being summoned to appear, that body dismissed some of them with a reprimand, and committed others to prison until they found security for their good behaviour P.
Bishop Boner was the first individual of note who shewed a disposition to impede the visitors. On the first of September that prelate attended, in obedience to a summons, at St. Paul's', where he took the oaths of abjuration and supremacy; but when he was required to receive the injunctions and homilies he formally protested against such compliance, unless these should appear to be in unison with the law of God, and with the
Burnet, Hist. Ref. II. 57. p Ibid. 60.
4 The enquiries made by the visitors at this cathedral brought to light some scandals which are worthy of notice, because they serve to expose the intolerable evils consequent upon the forced celibacy of the Romish clergy. “ One John Painter, one of the canons of the said cathedral church, there and then openly confessed, that he viciously and carnally had often the company of a certain married man's wife, whose name he denied to declare. In the which crime divers other canons and priests of the said church, confessed in like manner, and could not deny themselves to be culpable.” Foxe, 1192.
ordinances of the Church. This protestation àppears to have been considered as indicative of an intention to set the visitors at defiance, and they complained of it to the council. That body commanded the Bishop's attendance, and he then made some excuse for his conduct at St. Paul's". What he said not being considered satisfactory, on the 12th of September, he formally retracted his protestation as unadvised, unbecoming of a subject, and likely to do mischief in the
of example. This submission, however, did not content the government, and probably, with a view of intimidating others from offering any obstruction to the visitors, the Bishop was committed to the Fleet'. He remained in confinement there only a few weeks, being at liberty again in the middle of November. During the time of his restraint, the English litany was sung at St. Paul's, and at high mass there the epistle and gospel were read in the vernacular tongue.
When Bishop Gardiner perceived, that the visitation was upon the point of being carried into effect, he wrote both to the Protector, and to the council. In his letter to the former he urged the expediency of delay, until the books which it was proposed to circulate should be more carefully considered, or at all events, until, the Scottish expedition being terminated, all the leading men
?“ Full of vain quiddities ; so it is expressed in the council: book." Burnet, Hist. Ref. II. 58. • Foxe, 1192.
Heylin, Hist. Ref. 42.
might be enabled to give their undivided attention to the proceedings of the visitors. In his reply, Somerset seems to have mentioned the religious dissensions then prevailing, and to have intimated that had he not been " pressed on both sides,” he should have been well contented to let the visitation stand over until after his return from the North“. As matters stood, however, he did not choose to place any impediments in the way of those ecclesiastical arrangements which had been ordered before his departure from the seat of government.
To the council Gardiner wrote, representing in earnest language the danger of precipitation; the probability that the contemplated visitation would prove illegal and consequently prejudicial to those who advised it; the gratification likely to be felt by Somerset should the visitors be restrained from beginning their operations until after his return from Scotland; and the expediency of allowing himself to appear before the board for the purpose of detailing there his objections to the proposed measures *. In this desire to be heard, it was resolved to gratify the Bishop, and he repaired to town for the sake of being in readiness to appear when summoned, and with an intention, as it has been thought, to remain at a distance from his cathedral during the visitation
" Extract of a letter from Bp. Gardiner. Strype, Mem. Cranm. 215.