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who denied the doctrine of transubstantiation. When Henry died, he found out that the doctrine was false." True, he did find out that the doctrine was false, and deserves he blame for that? Does the man deserve abuse who owns his errors ? Found out the doctrine false !"
Oh, shameful words, that under guise of truth
Or cause of cheating was removed. Is Luther to be blamed because he did not declare the Romish Church anti-Christ, when he first opposed the indulgences of Tetzel ?
“When Henry died.” He found his error before Henry died.
Fifthly. “When Somerset had been destroyed, his destroyer (Northumberland) received the support of Cranmer, in his attempt to change the succession." These are the facts : Edward VI., fearful of leaving his kingdom in the hands of a Romish Queen, wished to annul the will of Henry and give the crown to Lady Jane Grey. All of his counselors he easily brought over to his opinion, excepting Cranmer. He alone refused, and it required all the entreaties of his own royal pupil
, the influence of the King, and the decision and arguments of the judges, to induce him lo change bis determination. We intend not to justify him in an act that has been considered wrong by nearly all of his biographers and historians; but while condemning, let us make some allowance for the circumstances under which he was placed. The act of the King was to establish upon the throne a Queen favorable to the Reformation, under whose rule Cranmer could hope to see the principles and truths which he loved extended down to future ages. On the other hand, was to be sustained one whose title was doubtful, (she had been declared illegitimate,) who would undoubtedly delight to restore England to the Papal power, bringing again the dark night of ignorance over the fair dawn of true religion, thus overthrowing all the efforts of the reformers for a hundred years. Wavering between these two alternatives, when the learning of the first legal advisers assured him of its lawfulness, when his monarch from his death-bed made a last appeal to his love; can we do less than pity him for the circumstances under which he was compelled to decide? But “he
support to Northumberland.” Verbally true, for Northumberland was supported by the King, and in yielding to his King he must support the other; but love was not the cause, as the words imply.
Lastly. “ The plot failed, Popery triumphed, and Cranmer recanted." Good! Cranmer arose, put on his shirt, and was burned at the stake. There is just about as much connection between the triumph of Popery and his recantation, as there would be between his pulling on a shirt and being burned. Each, taken by itself, is true, but from the connection a deduction is drawn that is not true.
“ Glendower. At my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
The frame and huge foundations of the earth
But kittened, though yourself had ne'er been born." The Jews triumphed, the Saviour was crucified, and Peter denied him. Is that a fair sketch of the life of St. Peter ?
Upon Mary's accession and the triumph of Popery, the very first act of Cranmer was to contradict a rumor that he had said mass, and offered to repeat this Popish ceremony at Edward's funeral, at the same time re-asserting the principles of the Reformation, he offered to sustain them in dispute, against any one. Then, as though foreseeing the trouble and persecution about to fall upon the Church, he wrote to his friends, advising their removal to Gerinany, he himself disregarding the entreaties of his friends, urging the same advice upon him, paid all his debts, and made all his arrangements to await the coming storm:
The charge of treason, which was first brought forward, was changed to that of heresy, and upon this charge Cranmer was found guilty, degraded, and condemned to die. His enemies, thinking to benefit their Church, by making him recant, removed him from prison, gave him greater liberty, treated him kindly, and he recanted. We know not what offers were made to induce him thus to act; but charity would prompt us to think, that an old man, wbom threats, nor persecution, nor opposition, could move, and yet did change, was not an ordinary apostate. His age pleads for him ; the circumstances plead for him; and all, who ever sinned themselves, would plead for him.
We have mentioned Cranmer's recantation ; but haste was now requisite, lest the good heart of the degraded Bishop should once more assert its power, and he declare the recantation false. Immediate orders were issued for his sacrifice. To complete their triumph, his disgrace must be known to the world, from his own lips, and a place was so arranged in St. Mary's that he might be seen by all, in this great act of self-condemnation. But how fatally were their hopes to be blasted! During his funeral sermon, Cranmer is seen in tears; that brow wrinkled, and that head, whitened by the frosts of sixty-four winters, hides itself for very shame; that tongue, which his enemies were believing would publish its own disgrace, was pleading with his Saviour for strength in his resolve ; so that, when called upon to declare his belief, he pronounced the whole recantation to be rejected, asserting that it was the only lie to which he had ever placed his hand; which, having sinned contrary to his heart, should be the first to feel the burning flame. Interrupted by the disappointed priests, he was dragged to the pile, where, amidst the fire that consumed his body, he commended his soul to Him who had saved it. Thus died Archbishop Cranmer. He had his faults, we well know. He did lend himself to the divorcement of Anne of Cleves, on too frivolous grounds; he did persecute the AnaBaptists, and urge the young King, to whom blood was an abhorrence, to affix his name to the death-warrant of a woman; he did seduce Lady Jane Grey into usurpation : all these we confess; but looking at what
the Church, Christianity, yea, and civil liberty also, owes to him, we can well afford to confess that faults stain the life of this man. His life seems not, like the night, black, yet illuminated here and there by bright stars; but day, clear, -warm,-a few clouds scattering on the face of the sky, the darkest lying in the west, but showing a beautiful sunset beneath.
That he was not, as Mr. Macaulay remarks, “a supple, timid, interested courtier," is evident from some of his acts. The stand which he took against the six articles, opposing, even when Henry appeared in person to support them, refusing to leave the house at the King's command, replying, “ It is God's cause that keeps me here, not my own;" his strenuous opposition to the appropriation of the wealth of the monasteries to the King's use ; his conduct, when, to oppose the articles brought forward by the Romanists to crush the reformers, he, unordered, forced his way to the King's presence, remonstrating against them in such a manner as to draw upon himself the frowns of one, whose disapprobation was death ; his successful efforts to obtain a mitigation of the six bloody articles, even when opposed by the whole force of the Papal party, supported by the King, prove such an assertion to be unwarranted.
Cranmer, naturally a timid man, loved retirement rather than public life, and being of a yielding disposition, showed no great decision of character in his own cause, or even in opposing the King, excepting where the subject of religion was involved ; then, indeed, governed by principle, he seemed ready to risk all, rather than allow the Reformation to recede. For this, his darling project, he more than once braved every danger, and if we could overlook his few faults, he would stand forth as one worthy of the admiration of all.
It is not meet to complain of the stars for twinkling, or to chide the sun for the few dark spots seen on its disc.
BROUGHAM is very aptly and prettily criticized by Gilfillan, in the following words: "In physical science, what is he to Sir John Herschel ? in jurisprudence, to Bentham? in language, to De Quincey? in history, to Macaulay ? in philosophical lore, to Macintosh ? in the gayer and lighter region of the Belles Leures, to Jeffrey?" This truly great man is an eminent specimen of his class—he zealous and successful searchers after knowledge. Such as him form a sort of neutral ground, whereon the old and deep-thoughted past and the superficial present meet, to battle for their claims. They yet draw from the earnest student a sigh for those great days when science was a religion, and its worshipers the holy and the high ; when truth was sought for itself, and its discovery made subservient to the twin ends of beneficence and progress. Why is it that we no longer see instances of that singular and intense greatness, which have appeared in the “ Ancient of days ?” Why is it that genius is stripped of its kingly attributes and enslaved to the lowest drudgery? Not surely because Nature is void of her grand and beautiful antiquity of memories, or the heart of man of passion and power!
The structure of society is different, and the results of study are made subordinate to more selfish and practical ends. Men of genius do not live as they were wont, with an eye single to posterity and to the nurture of a large and world-wide philanthropy. They are cribbed to narrow spheres of association : they no longer make their age ; their age makes them, and chained to its vulgar cares, shuule-cocks of its low
caprices, they live panders to its vices and die victims to its ban. Comparatively nothing is known of the private life of Shakspeare, while the lightest bon mot of our worldling great ones is embalmed more sacredly than their strongest efforts. This difference does not arise from the seclusion of his life, and the open activity of theirs. His life was a stormy and various history; but he appealed to the great heart of all time, while they stoop to coax and dally with the pet prejudices of a single age. He was the resultant of all the forces which his age created; they are representatives of individual powers. The men of his era were men of action, and constituent lineaments in the portraits they drew. It may be claimed, that authors of modern date are men who share in the pursuits and obey the motive of the society in which they move ; but how different the springs which urge! Those were heroic days. The age of chivalry had passed away, but its nobler features still remained. Those were days when knightly faith and stalwart deed were sureties of the highest guerdon, and over all hung woman's softer spell. Now, listing his plumed crest amid the shout of hosts, and now lapped in the graceful dalliance of brilliant courts, the knight yielded to the triune thrall of valor, beauty, and of wit. The impetuous part of man's nature ruled. Cold philosophy and shameless dogmatism were dumb. Even those who adventured into the regions of speculation were men of sensibility and imagination. Bacon was a poet in more senses than one.
Now turn we to a later age. The merry reign of Charles the Second intruded like a farce upon the stately scene of tragedy. The age for heroes and for hero-worship too had well nigh fled. Intrigue took the place of action, and suppleness of strength. Government became a machine, and society a dancing-board for automata. The last gasp of European heroism was the French Revolution ; the last hero, Napoleon of St. Helena. America began her career without a youth. One spasm attended the birth of a new government, and she stepped forth at once a compeer and a rival of the mightiest. All the great nations of the earth are now engaged in the same struggle, and tending, with their different but converging influences, to the same end-national aggrandizement. So entire is their monotony of aim that no two could be married into a distinct hero-nation. If we could inspire the indolent Italian with a Spaniard's soul, we might create a nobility in nationhood. We have thus glanced at the connection between a nation and
its great minds, and passed a hasty review of the leading features of this nineteenth century, and now come to an investigation of the minuter influences which bear upon individual minds in our own age, and especially country.
We have said that this era is practical, and in nothing is this more eminently shown than in the preparation given to our young for the great business of life. We are, figuratively as well as literally, devotees of steam. How to achieve the most in the least possible time is our chief study. Almost before the child is out of his nurse's arms he is snatched from his baby-glee and childhood pranks, and hurried to an infant-school. Here he is taught by symbols, and learns, from the first, to regard the attributes rather than the essences of things. The liule preferments given teach him that knowledge is at once a source of credit and envy ; in fine, that it is a means, not the highest of all ends, a beauty and a part of God. His moral nature is laced up in the same bandages. He must learn his little prayer and sing it over at the stated hours, and must be a man" at all the religious services. All his instincts are forced into a sickly precocity. He chaffers, he disputes, , he is a man before he has been a boy.
At a later period he is sent to a "boarding school," removed from the watch-care of paternal anxiety, and yielded to stranger-influences. Here the same course is pursued, only on an aggravated and absurder scale. Under this tutelage he gives the first unmistakable tokens of genius, the earnest of a splendid future, and while yet in his chrysalis the mincing and sputtering manikin is sent to college. This is the “ Ultima Thule" of his hopes, the great end for which he has tugged and strained in his literary small-clothes. See him now, in the halls of dignified and glorious study, thick-haunted with the spirits of a mighty past and the beckoning ministers of a dim future! How dwarfed this Colossus. He is a boy in giant's vest. College is to him and to all the threshold of a new being, a kind of purgatorial stage through which we must pass before our places are assigned us in the world of action. It is the decisive epoch, the largest segment of a life.
We shall now advert hastily to the popular systems of education adopted in our colleges, and conclude with a group of specimens from their offspring. When a young man enters a university at a proper age, and after suitable preparation, he is presumed (whether justly or not) to be capable of self-government. His choice of pursuit has been subject to no dictation, and the discretion which has determined his course promises to be his future guide. He begins, it is true, with all the wild, hot impulses of youth about him, but back of and motive to these, is a longing for something better and loftier than to-day can yield. The natural, (and we say it in all humbleness,) the proper schooling for such spirits, is that lenient but careful supervision which, while it detects the growing error, lays no check upon the inclinations of genial youth. The mind and body then grow up in the fullness of a tough and lusty energy. Instead of the arbitrary course of study prescribed in most of our universities, the predilection of the student should be consulted and obeyed. Invariable discipline for minds of every cali