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BOOK crifice, and worship of the Devil. And by means of his acII.
quaintance with some of them, would disclose their minds, Anno 1577. and by that means also he might be an instrument to save
many honest men's goods. And all, he protested on his salvation, he shewed of zeal and good will towards his country; and was ready to perform as much as he had said, and more. And at last he expressed, how he desired nothing else for this service, but that her majesty would allow him something by the day for his maintenance in the mint. This letter of Phaer's contains some matters of curiosity;
and therefore the copy may deserve to be read in the ApNumb. XI. pendix. But what credit and success this man found, I
forth in the English tongue. Bullinger's Decads : to be read by unlearned curates instead of sermons. Sarcerius Common Places. H. N. the author of the family of love, his epistles. The Courtier, by Balthazar Castilio. The high esteem that book obtained. Buchanan's History of Scotland. A blazing star. Gual ter's letter to bishop Cox about it. Dr. Wylson made secretary of state. Some account of him. Put into the inquisition. His book of the Art of Rhetoric. T. Cartwright marries a sister of Stubbs ; whose right hand was cut off. Tho. Lever dies. His excellent letter about impro
priations belonging to colleges and hospitals. SOME of the books that came forth this year, composed by foreigners, and esteemed worthy the translating and pub
lishing in our English language, were these that follow. Bullinger's The Decads of Bullinger, the chief minister of Zuric in
Helvetia, a man very eminent for learning, piety, and wisdom, and particularly, well deserving of this nation for his
kind entertainment and harbour of our divines and scholars, 506 that fled abroad in queen Mary's reign : and of note for that
friendship and correspondence ever after maintained between
him and them. These Decads were practical sermons upon CHAP.
X. the chief heads of religion. This book thus translated was partly intended for the use of such ministers as could not Anno 1577. compose or preach sermons of their own; to read these in their congregations to the people. The publisher, a person of eminency in the church, in his preface before the book, speaking of the want of preachers in those times, writes thus; “ That what there was wanting in many to discharge To be read “their duty in this behalf was very lamentable, and as to supply "much as was possible by some means to be supplied and the want of “ remedied, rather than to be made a common theme and ar
gument of railing; which at that day," as he added, “ many “ did. But therein they shewed themselves like unto those “ which find fault at other men's garments, not for that “ they loved them, or minded to give them better; but for " that they were proud of their own, and would scornfully “ shame and vex others, (who could not wear so good as “ themselves."]
And then proceeding to excuse the cause of this inability The reason in
many of the clergy, he subjoined, “ That the cause of of the want “ this great want needed not here to be disputed. But in preachers. “very deed any man might judge, how impossible it was “ for so populous a kingdom, abounding with so many se“veral congregations, to be all furnished with fit and able “pastors: and that immediately after such a general corrup" tion and apostasy from the truth. For unless they should “ suddenly have come from heaven, or been raised up mi“ raculously, they could not have been. For the ancient “ preachers of king Edward's time, some of them died in “ prison; others perished by fire; many otherwise. Many “also fled into other countries. Of whom some there died, “and a few returned : which were but as an handful to fur“ nish this whole realm. The universities were also at the “ first so infected, that many wolves and foxes crept out, who “detested the ministry; wrought the contempt of it every “where. But very few good shepherds came abroad. And “ whereas since that time, now eighteen years, the uni“ versities being well purged, there was good hope that all
VOL. II. PART II.
BOOK “ the land should have been overspread and replenished
56 with able and learned pastors, the Devil and corrupt paAnno 1577.66 trons had taken such order, that much of that hope was The Devil and corrupt
cut off. For patrons nowadays search not the universities patrons. “ for a most fit pastor; but they post up and down the
country for a most gainful chapman: he that hath the biggest purse, to pay largely, not he that hath the best
gifts, to preach learnedly, is presented. The bishops
“ The bishops bare great blame for this matter; and they
“ admit, they say, unworthy men. See the craft of Satan, cused.
falsely to charge the worthiest pillars of the church with “the ruin of the church; to the end that all church-robbers “ and caterpillars of the Lord's vineyard may lie unespied. “ There is nothing that procureth the bishops of our time
more trouble and displeasure, than that they zealously “ withstand the covetousness of patrons, in rejecting their “ unsufficient clerks. For it standeth them upon of all “ others, that the church of God doth prosper: in the de“ cay and fall thereof they cannot stand, but perish. But “ however it comes to pass, certain it is, that many are far “ behind in those gifts which are necessary for their func
“ tion. And small likelihood is there yet, that the church 507 “ shall be served with better, but rather with worse : for it
“ seemeth not, that patrons hereafter will bate one penny, 6 but rather more and more raise the market.”
I have extracted the more out of this preface, to represent the state of the clergy at this time; and to lay the blame of ignorant curates, and the no better supply of the churches, where it ought indeed to lie, and to shew the la
bours of the bishops to remedy the same. Many other
The epistler thereof exhorted the more unlearned sort learned foreigners'
to read these sermons of Bullinger out of the pulpit. And books put for the same purpose partly, as well as for the instruction of into Eng
such as were ministers of less learning and knowledge in the Latin tongue, many other learned foreigners' works of prac. tical divinity were translated into English before this time: as Calvin's Institutions, Musculus's Common Places, Marlorat upon St. John's Gospel, Peter Martyr upon the Book
of Judges, Gualter upon the smaller prophets, and many CHAP. others.
Now also came forth (being a second edition, the Com- Anno 1577. mon Places of Erasmus Sarcerius, a German divine; translated into English; entitled, Common places of scripture, Places. orderly, and after a compendious form of teaching, set forth with no little labour, to the great profit and help of all such students in God's word as have not had long experience of the same : by the right excellent clerk, Erasmus Sarcerius. It was translated by Ric. Taverner, clerk of the signet to king Henry VIII, who was a man of eminency for learning in that king's time, and afterwards. This book was of the greater esteem, the translator having dedicated it to the said king Henry, by the motion and instigation of Crumwel, when lord privy seal: supposing the book would find the better acceptance, and be the more read by the king's subjects, for their righter information in true religion : using these words to the king in his epistle: “ That the book un“ der your majesty's protection and patrociny may the 56 more plausibly and greedily be devoured of the common
people. For whose only cause and education, your high“ ness, and such as be your most prudent counsellors, have " provided divers wholesome books to be set forth in Eng
As for the book itself, in what esteem it was held of learned and religious men in those times, appears by what the translator styles it, viz. “ A treasure inestimable unto “ Christian men.
In which book he [the author] hath so " compendiously, so absolutely and fruitfully handled all " the common places of Christian religion, as never afore " this time hath been done of any; namely, in such form.”
In the matter of man's will and the divine decrees, Sar- Free-will cerius in this book understood and explained them much tination, as the other great German divine, Melancthon, did in his how set
forth in this Common Places, which he dedicated to the said king Henry.book. For thus the foresaid Taverner, in his epistle to that king, adds ; “ That a dangerous piece of work it was, and full of “ difficulty, so to handle these matters, as should in all
points satisfy the expectation of the readers: as declared
“ most eloquently, writing to his most excellent majesty, Anno 1579.“ Philip Melancthon, that excellent clerk, in his epistle be
“ fore his Common Places. Whose judgment this Sarcerius “ followed well near in all things: only in this they dif“ fered; that Melancthon directed his style to the under
standing only of the learned persons, well exercised in scripture: this, tempered his pen also to the capacity of
young students in scripture, and such as have not had
“ much exercise in the same, &c. I grant, as he after pro508“ ceeded, the godly and learned men in the principal ar
“ ticles of our faith do not vary, but do constantly sing all
one note. Yet nevertheless, in other disputable matters, “ (in which it is not meet for every man to wade,) as pre“ destination, contingency, free-will, and such like, there “ hath been always, and yet is some dissension. So that “ what one alloweth, another dispraiseth; what one dis“ proveth, another approveth. And yet it cannot be denied, “ but there is one simple, infallible truth, whoso can attain “ it, &c. That it was not unknown, what great alteration “ had lately been among learned men concerning free-will. “ Some had put free-will in nothing; some, on the other
part, have gone about to maintain free-will in all things. “ Again, others, going in the mean between both these ex“ tremes, as Melancthon and Sarcerius, with many other “ excellent clerks, have denied free-will only in spiritual “ motions; and that also in such persons as be not yet re
generate and renewed by the Holy Ghost. And yet in “the mean season they take it not so away, that they leave “ them also in spiritual motions a certain endeavour or will. “ing. Which endeavour nevertheless can finish nothing, “ unless it be holpen by the Holy Ghost. And this,” said he, “after my poor judgment, is the rightest and truest
H. N. [that is, Henry Nicolas,] a notable enthusiast, the epistles of chief author of the sect called the family of love, his epistles, the Family of Love. printed in Dutch, came forth this year. Numbers whereof
were brought over into England, and set on foot that sect
H. N. his