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and taking his leave of him ; but the Archbishop being then engag. ed in a dispute with a Spanish friar, could not attend there. When he came to the stake, he stood with his hands and eyes lifted up to wards heaven, and prayed a short space. After which, spying Bishop Latimer, who was to be burnt at the same stake with him, he ran to him, embraced and kissed him, and with a cheerful countenance exhorted him to be of good courage, for God would either
assuage the fury of the flame, or give them strength to abide it. Then he went to the stake and kissed it; and kneeling down, prayed earnesto ly to God, that he would enable him to endure, with Christian for. titude, that fiery trial ; and blessed his holy name, that he had been pleased to call him to so great an honour, as to suffer for the truth. This prayer ended, he went aside and talked in private with Bishop Latimer, till the sermon, ordered to be preached at their execution, was to begin. This harangue was very short, not lasting above a quarter of an hour. When the sermon was ended, Bishop Ridley and Bishop Latimer, on their knees, requested leave to speak a few words in answer to it. But this was not allowed them ; for Dr. Marshall, the Vice Chancellor, and some of the baliffs, ran hastily to Bishop Ridley, and stopped his mouth with their hands, and told him, if he would revoke his erroneous opinions, he should not only have liberty to speak, but have his life also; but that otherwise they would not hear him. To which he replied, that so long as his • breath was in his body, he would never deny the truth of Christ; that he resigned himself to the will of Almighty God, and commit, ted his cause to his just and righteous judgment.
Then they were ordered to undress themselves, and make ready for the fire; which they accordingly did. Bishop Ridley took off his gown and tippet, and gave them to his brother-in.law; who had staid at Oxford all the time of his imprisonment, on purpose to sup. ply his wants, and furnish him with necessaries. He gave away other small presents to the gentlemen there attending, to keep in memory of him; and when he was stripped to his shirt, he lifted up his hands, and said, “O heavenly father, I give thee most hearty thanks, for that thou hast called me to be a professor of thy truth, even un. to death ; and I beseech thee, O Lord God, to have mercy of this realm, and deliver it from all its enemies.” Then he recommended the cause of his sister, and his poor tenants to lord Williams, who promised to serve them to the uttermost of his power. After this he was fastened to the stake, and a bag of gun-powder tied about his neck. By reason of the ill making of the fire, his nether parts were quite consumed before the flame reached his upper; which grievous torture he endured with the constancy and fortitude of a primitive martyr. At last one of the standers-by pulled off, with his bill, some of the uppermost faggots, and gave vent to the flame; Bishop Ridley in the mean time praying to God, to have mercy upon him, and to receive his soul. When the flame reached the gun-pow. der, he expired and fell down over the chain into the fire. The great station he had formerly been in, the many excellent virtues he was endowed with, and the singular learning for which he was admired, could not but heighten the melancholy of this dismal spectacle; and extorted tears from his bitterest enemies. The lord Dacres, who
was his kinsman, offered the Queen ten thousand pounds, to save him from the stake: but she refused it, and would hear of no intercession for hirp, Gardiner and Bonner having made her inflexible, and deaf to all petitions for mercy.
Nature had enriched him with the most exquisite abilities and endowments; he had a clear apprehension, a prompt wit, an acute method of reasoning, a pregnant invention, a graceful and ready utterance, and a strong and lively memory. His unwearied application to his studies, while at Cambridge, and his great proficiency in philosophy and divinity, were the subject of universal admiration. He set himself particularly, with all possible seriousness and industry to read and understand the holy scriptures; and above all, peculiarly studied St. Paul's epistles, which he could repeat by heart, in the original Greek. In the pulpit he distinguished himself, by the clearness and perspicuity, the beauty and exactness of his discourses, and by the great insight he gave his audience, into the true sense of the most difficult passages of scripture ; in expounding which, there were none who could go before him, and few who came near him. He reproved the vices of those times with the greatest impartiality, and yet with that sweetness and tenderness, that gentle and mild insinuation, that the most obstinate offenders could not but love and thank him, for his charitable corrections and admonitions. His humility was as great as his learning ; he was a stranger to all ostentation and vain glory, and abhorred no vice more than pride and selfsuficiency. His letter to Bishop Hooper, is a lasting monument of his wonderful humility, meekness, and modesty, in which he so far extenuates the faulty obstinacy of that mistaken man, as to choose rather to charge himself with folly, than to seen, at that juncture, to lay the least blame on one who was a prisoner for the common faith,
When promoted to the see of Rochester, and afterwards to that of London, though it might seem requisite for him to have entered into a married state, that his domestic concerns and household cares might be the better discharged and looked after; yet he chose rather to confide entirely in the honesty and industry of his servants, than divorce himself so much from his beloved studies, and private exercises of his religion, as he foresaw a conjugal state would re: quire. He is indeed reckoned by Saunders, in his book de Schismate Anglicano, among the married clergy: But no regard is to be had to that author, in any thing; his whole book being stuffed with false and idle tales, and the most groundless and absurd calumnies on the reformed Church of England.
I have taken notice of his regular economy, his constant devotion, his diligence in preaching, his zeal, not only against Popery, but against all dangerous deviations into contrary extremes, and his brave opposition to the sacrilegious designs of some of the leading men at court; and shall therefore add nothing more on these heads.
The irregularities of his clergy, which were much increased by the connivance, not to say example, of his predecessor Bonner, he corrected sharply; and, though it created him no small envy and opposition, went through it severely and impartially ; suspending and discharging those, whom no exhortations and admonitions could reclaim. He neither feared nor spared the greatest, nor overlooked and despised the meanest. In all the course of his life, he showed himself of too brave a spirit, to be awed from a faithful anti censcientious discharge of his duty, by any terrors or threatenings; and of too generous a lieart, to be brived from it by any temporal interest, or the most large and tempting promises.
If in any thing he seems to have fallen short of a fair character, it was in his conduct on the death of King Edward ; when he preached so strenuously against the succession of the princess Mary.And yet, even as to this, much may be said in his vindication. The marriage of that lacly's mother with King Henry, was evidently contrary to the law of God, as interpreted by the universal consent of primitive antiquity : and in consequence thereof, her birth was to be Jooked upon as incestuous, and her pretended hereditary right as absolutely null and void. She could indeed claim by a parliamentary right; but of the validity of that right, and whether it could not be legally set aside by King Edward's will, was the province of the judges and counsellors, not the bishops, to deterınine. And it is no great wonder that a man of Bishop Ridley's humility, should resign his own private judgment to their authority, in an affair which lay so entirely within their sphere, and was altogether foreign to his own.
His charity kept pace with, if it did not rather exceed, his other virtues : and whatsoever he could spare from charges absolutely necessary, he set apart for pious and charitable uses. He was continually exciting the rich to acts of mercy and liberality; and to lay out the superfluities of their estates, in clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, relieving the sick, and refreshing the bowels of the poor. He would often visit the hospitals, and contribute liberal. ly to the poor miserable objects of charity there under cure; and when he took any person with him, whose circumstances would not allow them to give as generously as he did, he would privately supply them with money, that they might contribute in as ample a manner as himself. He was very kind and liberal to the.exiles at Frankfort, and in other foreign parts, in the reign of Queen Mary; and when he could spare any thing from his own necessary expences, being then in prison, he sent it over to them, for the relief and supe port of the poor destitute sufferers, sojourning there amongst then. And when those unhappy differences broke out, about the use of the Liturgy, he wrote a very moving letter, exhorting them to adhere steadfastly to the form of public worship prescribed in that excellent book; expressing the utmost astonislıment at the rashness and presumption of Mr. Knox and his party; and challenging them, to shew any particular contrary to the holy Word of God, in the whole English Liturgy; the purity and perfection of which he every day expected to be called to confirm with the testimony of his blood.
To sum up the whole of his character in a few words : He had the good nature of a gentleman, the eloquence of an orator, the acuteness of a school-man, the profoundness of a philosopher, the wisdom of a counsellor, the fortitude of a primitive martyr, the zeal of an apostle, the mortification of a recluse, and the charity and piety of a saint. He was the delight of the city, court, and country,
and the admiration of his own age ; and those noble foundations of Christ's Church, St. Thomas, and St. Bartholomew, will be his lasting monument, and make his memory precious to all succeeding generations.
REMARKABLE ANAGRANI; AND THE CHRISTIAN'S ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, WHAT IS GOD ?
THOUGH anagrams are generally trifling, an exception for the following, we think will be readily granted :-It is certainly confine:l to the Latin version of John xviii. 5, 58. Quid est veritas? these letters being transposed, they make the most accurate and striking answer that can be given, thus, Est vir qui adest : i.e. It is the man who is present; and who had, in another place, said expressly, I am the way and the TRUTH.
Respecting the question proposed to Simonides, what God is, and for the solution of which the philosopher took more than three days; a correspondent observes, an Apostle could, and has answered in three words, viz, God is LOTE.
Orth. Ch. Mig.
THE CHRISTIAN'S CONSOLATION
IN THE HOUR OT DISTRESS.
IN such a world as this, where man is continually obnoxious to trouble and calamity, where every thing he enjoys is held by so uncertain a tenure that he knows not what moment he may be deprived of it, and wliere the object of his warmest wishes and his brightest hopes is frequently snatched from him on a sudden ; it is necessary to support his drooping spirits, till he be supplied with soine source of solid comfort. Man is born to trouble as the sparks fiy upwards ; it is the law of his nature, it is the fruit of his father's transgression, and each individual has mcrited it by his own folly and misconduct. The history of ages does but record the varied miseries of man, and daily experience testifies the fidelity of the relation. Nor could it be otherwise. A mixture of nature good and evil, would necessarily arise from the mixture of moral good and evil in the actions of men, even had not God made one the consequence and punishment of the other. But it is not our present purpose to reason on the origin of evil; it is sufficient that we feel our present infirmity, that we cannot but acknowledge our helpless con-' dition. Against the violent incursions of calamity, our prudence and our strength avail us nothing: the hour of suffering is come, and who shall stay the iron hand of affliction ? To us it is often given to endure, to lose our most valued possessions, and to lament our irreparable loss; to mourn in sackcloth and ashes, and bewail the day of our birth. But amidst all this inevitable distress, is there not to the sons and daughters of affliction a source of comfort ? Is there no consolation to those who have drank deep of the cup of sorrow? Can reason discover nothing to mitigate the violence of grief? And
464 A Christian's Consolation in the hour of Distress. what does reason say to bim who has lost the wife of his bosom; to him, who has followed his children to the grave; to him, who high with expectations of a happiness, limited only by the power of imagination, loses all in the loss of one, on whom these prospects depended ?
What can it say more, than that they are irrevocably gone, that it is absurd to lament what cannot be recalled; that we should not neg. lect the good that remains, because we have lost a part though the most valuable ; and that patience makes our burden really lighter. O ye who have felt the heart-rending pangs of separation ; ye who have bewailed the loss of one dear to your souls and the delight of your eyes, ye know the futility of such consolation as this. Reason with all its subtlety of argument but convinces man of his misery, and leaves him a prey to wretchedness, with the extent of which it has served to make him more fully acquainted. Is there then no relief, no comfort to the afflicted? Yes, blessed be God! there is one source of solid consolation, and effectual support; it is to be found in religion, in contemplating the government of a wise and beneficent Providence, in carrying our views and expectations beyond this world to the seat of heavenly majesty, beyond this life, to that of honour, glory, and immortality. In this view every thing assumes a new aspect. Instructed by the sacred volume of inspired knowledge, we adore the wisdom, the goodness and justness of God, even while we tremble under the chastisement of his rod.
Possessed of just ideas of the divine attributes, we acknowledge that whatever the unerring wisdoin of the Almighty sees fitting must be best, and we presume not to accuse his decress of unneces sary severity, whose mercy is as essential as his justice. Viewing ourselves as the creatures of his power, as owing our existence to his goodness, and as being his, by an absolute right of dominion, as being entirely dependent on him and subject to him ; we cannot but allow that he has a right to use us as he pleases, for the furtherance of his designs, however incomprehensible to us. But we are not only dependent, but simple creatures; we have made ourselves. justly obnoxious to his anger, and have incurred his heavy displeasure. Whatever, therefore, are our sufferings, whatever of evil we endure, it is still in this world, far short of our deserts. To creatures who have merited the extreme of punisliment, every thing is mere cy that befals them in this transitory state ; and they may well give thanks to God under the most afflicting circumstances, while he continues to them the means of grace, and supports them with the hope of everlasting glory. But though all affliction is justly considered as the consequence and punishment of sin, yet to the sufferers it may even here be the best proof of God's favour, and produce the most beneficial effects on their hearts and lives. It will teach them humility, by convincing them of their own weakness, and demonstrate how insufficient man is to make or secure his own happiness. It will prove to them the transitory nature of all things here below, and they will feel of a truth that the fashion of this world passeth away. And while they are thus instructed, how vain are all sublunary enjoyments! their love to them will be diminished, and