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to engage by her husband. She was deeply afflicted at this loss, and declared that at her death the name of Calais would be found engraven on her heart. Her health had never been strong, and she was constitutionally melancholy. Soon after her accession she had been afflicted with dropsy, and died of that complaint, Nov. 17, 1558; nor was her death much regretted even by the Romanists.
ELIZABETH was at Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, at the time of her sister's death. She had often been in great danger during the late reign, and was once even committed to the Tower. Her prudence led her to live in retirement, and employ herself in cultivating a mind which was naturally highly gifted. She learnt wisdom in the school of adversity. When the news of her accession was brought her, she fell on her knees, saying, “It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. And on entering the Tower, she again gave thanks to God for the change in her condition, since the time when she was taken there as a prisoner.
Her accession was hailed with joy by the whole nation ; especially as she was known to be attached to the reformation of religion, which she took measures again to set on foot. Her chief adviser was the great statesman Sir William Cecil, whom she afterwards made Lord Burleigh.
One of the first works which Elizabeth undertook was the issuing a commission to certain learned men to make a review of King Edward's Prayer Books, and to frame from them both a book for the use of the Church of England.
The later book of King Edward was chosen as the basis of the book now adopted; but some important alterations were made in it, especially in reference to the omission of a remarkable petition in the Litany, "to be delivered from the Bishop of Rome and his detestable enormities," and the correction of the sentences used in the delivery of the Holy Eucharist to communicants, so as to bring them nearer to the ancient form, and remind the recipient more forcibly ' of the dignity of that sacrament."
A bill for restoring the Prayer Book, with these alterations, was brought into the House of Commons, and passed without much opposition. It met with a good deal of resistance in the House of Lords; but was at length passed under the title of "An Act for the Uniformity of Common Prayer and Service in the Church, and Administration of the Sacraments," and was to come into operation on the day of St. John the Baptist, June 24th, then ensuing.
This Act had been preceded by others-some of them of a very questionable character-as tending to impoverish the remaining resources of the Church, and subject her too completely to the civil power. But the re-enactment of the royal supremacy, and the Act for Uniformity, were the tests by which the sincerity of the adherents to the papal party was to be tried. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Pole, had died within a few hours of Queen Mary. Some of the other bishoprics were vacant. Of the actual occupants of English and Welsh' sees at the time, only one, Kitchen, bishop of Llandaff, would conform. The rest, together with all the clergy who followed their example, were deprived of their sees. The emperor and other foreign princes interceded for them in vain, That they might be restored to their offices and dignities, or that they might at least be allowed some churches in cities and great towns." But the queen replied, that "there was no reason for such an indulgence; for there was no new faith propagated in England; no religion set up but that which was commanded by our Saviour, practised by the primitive Church, and unanimously approved by the Fathers of the best antiquity."
The deprived bishops, however, could not see the pro
9 The bishops of the Irish Church generally conformed [H. s. 1.]
priety of this argument, and refused to comply. It became necessary, therefore, to fill the places which had become void by death or deprivation. It was not thought desirable to resort to the Irish bishops, and at length four English bishops were found to officiate at the consecration of Matthew Parker as archbishop of Canterbury. Their names were William Barlow, late bishop of Bath and Wells, now elect of Chichester; John Scory, late bishop of Chichester, now elect of Hereford; Miles Coverdale, late bishop of Exeter; and John Hodgskins, suffragan bishop of Bedford. None of the solemnities essential to the occasion appear to have been omitted, and a full record of the consecration has been preserved 1o. Thus by God's mercy, our chain of bishops was kept unbroken, even when it seemed most likely to fail. Parker and his colleagues immediately proceeded to lay their hands on other faithful men, and to commit to them the trust they had themselves received.
A Second Book of Homilies which had been prepared, or nearly so, before the death of Edward VI., was now revised and finished by Parker and the other bishops. Jewel, by this time bishop of Salisbury, is supposed to have had the chief hand in its composition. Not long afterwards the Forty-two Articles, agreed upon in 1552, were examined, and assented to by the queen, under the title of "Thirty-nine Articles agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy, in the convocation holden at London in the 1562, for avoiding diversities of opinion, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion." These Articles were again revised, and some small alterations were made in them, in the year 1571. A more perfect translation of the Holy Scriptures was the chief remaining work in the way of reformation which marked the reign of Elizabeth. Many were to be found in that day who desired her to do more. During the reign of Mary, several of
10 An absurd story was invented by the papists, forty years afterwards, to the effect that Parker's consecration was not made by "laying on of hands" by bishops, but was merely a civil ceremony, which took place at the Nag's Head Tavern in Cheapside. But it has been fully refuted by the existence of authentic accounts, which prove that the consecration took place in due form at Lambeth.
those who were opposed to the restoration of Romanism had fled to Switzerland and Germany, and there imbibed the views of the foreign reformers, who in their zeal against whatever resembled Romanism, no matter how innocent it was, objected to many rites and usages which the Church of England had retained. On the return of these persons to England, they were clamorous for more extensive changes than Cranmer and those who acted with him had made; and it required much firmness and judgment on the part of Elizabeth and her advisers to preserve the mild and moderate character of the English Church. As long as Parker lived she possessed a sagacious and uncompromising counsellor on ecclesiastical matters. his successor, Grindal, was a favourer of "prophesyings," and other strange and undisciplined exercises of ministerial functions. Things assumed a better appearance in this respect under Archbishop Whitgift-at least, irregularities which struck at the very root of the episcopal office did not obtain episcopal sanction. The party which held views tending rather towards the German than the Roman direction-that is, which allowed too much scope to private judgment, rather than too little, as Rome didwere called generally Puritans'. But this name embraced a variety of forms of dissent; such as Anabaptists, Brownists or Independents, Sabbatarians, or even Pantheists. The country swarmed with small tracts and pamphlets, which carried in their very titles evidence of their defamatory and irregular character. Among these were Martin Marprelate" and "A Dialogue setting forth the tyrannical dealing of the Bishops against God's children." And Cartwright, a deposed Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, had endeavoured to frame their theology and government into a system.
1 The dissenters of Elizabeth's day were called Nonconformists, because they declined to comply with the liturgy, rites, and ceremonies of the Church ;-and Puritans, because they alleged that by the further reforms for which they contended, religion would be made more pure and spiritual.
The term Recusant, also, was sometimes used to denote all dissenters, whether popish or puritan; but it is generally applied to the papists, who refused to acknowledge the royal supremacy, or partake of the Holy Communion in parish churches.
All this was sadly perplexing at the time; but we shall see that the confusions of this kind during Elizabeth's reign were but the first-fruits of that narrow and self-sufficient temper which was to lead to greater evils by-and-by. Much of the division in religious opinions which still exists in England may trace its origin to this period.
As for the Romanists in England, they seem at first to have acquiesced in the reforms which Elizabeth brought in. They might well have been unsettled by the decrees of the Council of Trent, which pretended to be an Ecumenical * Council, holden for the purpose of settling the disputes in the Christian world, and which in no indirect terms alluded to the movement which was going on in England; but they did not cease to attend the authorized services of the English Church till the year 1570, when the queen was excommunicated by the pope. This is a fact which it is well
to bear in mind.
The person of Elizabeth was well formed, and her countenance was fair and noble. She was, however, far surpassed in. personal appearance by Mary Queen of Scots, who was at this time dauphiness, and shortly became Queen of France; and Elizabeth, in spite of her masculine understanding, was weak enough to be mortified at being thus outshone by her relative, who was one of the most -beautiful and accomplished women of the age.
The Queen of Scots was next to Elizabeth in succession to the English crown, and being warmly attached to the Roman Church, was regarded by the more bigoted papists as entitled to dispossess Elizabeth, who was disqualified in their opinion by her birth and religious views. Unhappily, Mary and her husband (Francis II.) assumed the royal arms of England; and thus a rivalry arose between the two queens, in which Elizabeth's just indignation at this invasion of her right was sharpened by a less worthy jealousy of Mary's personal advantages.
The love of admiration, which was shared by this great queen with the weakest of her sex, appeared not only in
2 An Ecumenical Council (derived from a Greek word signifying "the inhabited world"), is one which represents all the Christian world. The Council of Trent, therefore, was not oecumenical, for the British and Eastern Churches were not represented in it. It sat at intervals from A.D. 1545 to 1563.