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Whiles I did grudge at those

That glorey in their golde,
Whose lothsom pryde rejoyseth welth

In quiet as they wolde.
To se by course of yeres

What nature doth appere,
The palayces of princely fourme

Succede from heire to heire.

When I behelde their pryde,

And slackness of thy hand,
I gan bewaile the wofull state

Wherin thy chosen stand;
And as I sought wherof

Thy sufferaunce, Lord, shold groo,
I found no witt could perce so far,

Thy holy domes to knoo;

And that no mysteryes

Nor dought could be distrust,
Till I com to the holly place,

The mansion of the just;
Where I shall se what end

Thy justice shall prepare,
For such as buyld on worldly welth,

And dye their colours faire.

Oh! how their ground is false,

And all their buylding vayne;
And they shall fall, their power shall faile

That did their pryde mayntayne,
As charged harts with care,

That dreme some pleasaunt tourne,
After their sleape fynd their abuse,

And to their plaint retourne:

So shall their glorye faade ;

Thy sword of vengeaunce shall
Unto their dronken eyes in blood

Disclose their errours all.
In other succour, then,

O Lord, why should I trust;
But only thyn, whom I have found

In thy behight so just ?

And suche for drede or gayne

As shall thy name refuse,
Shall perishe with their golden godds

That did their harts seduce;
Where 1, that in thy worde

Have set my trust and joye,
The high reward that longs thereto

Shall quietlye enjoye:

And my unworthye lypps,

Inspired with thy grace,
Shall thus forespeke thy secret works,

In sight of Adams race. Of the mental activity of this period an admirable writer* has said of the Reformation, “ This event gave a mighty impulse and increased activity to thought and inquiry, and agitated the inert mass of accumulated prejudices throughout Europe. The effect of the concussion was general; but the shock was greatest in this country. It toppled down the full-grown, intolerable abuses of centuries at a blow, heaved the ground from under the feet of bigoted faith and slavish obedience; and the roar and clashing of opinions, loosened from their accustomed hold, might be heard like the noise of an angry sea, and has never yet subsided. Germany first broke the spell of misbegotten fear, and gave the watchword; but England joined the shout and echoed it back with her island voice, from her thousand cliffs and craggy shores, in a longer and a louder strain. With that cry the genius of Great Britain rose and threw down the gauntlet to the nations. There was a mighty fermentation; the waters were out; public opinion was in a state of projection; liberty was held out to all to think and speak the truth. Men's brains were busy, their spirits stirring, their hearts full, and their hands not idle. Their eyes were opened to expect the greatest things, and their ears burned with curiosity and zeal to know the truth, that the truth might make them free. The death blow that had been struck at scarlet vice and bloated hypocrisy loosened their tongues, and made the talismans and love tokens of popish superstition, with which she had beguiled her followers and committed abominations with the people, fall harmless from their necks.

* William Hazlitt's “Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth.”

6. The translation of the Bible was the chief engine in the great work. It threw open, by a

secret spring, the rich treasures of religion and morality which had been there locked up as in a shrine. It revealed the visions of the prophets and conveyed the lessons of inspired teachers to the meanest of the people.

It gave them a common interest in the common cause. Their hearts burned within them as they read. It gave a mind to the people by giving them common subjects of thought and feeling. It cemented their union of character and sentiment. It created endless diversity and collision of opinion. It found objects to employ their faculties, and a motive, in the magnitude of the consequences attached to them, to exert the utmost eagerness in the pursuit of truth, and the most daring intrepidity in maintaining it. Religious controversy sharpens the understanding by the subtlety and remoteness of the topics it discusses, and braces the will by their infinite importance. We perceive in the history of this period a nervous, masculine intellect. No levity, no feebleness, no indifference; or if there were, it is a relaxation from the intense activity which gives a tone to its general character.”

Such were the effects arising from the Bible being thrown open to the people of England. It was not, however, all at once that they obtained that inestimable boon. The importance of the subject demands a separate chapter.



The oldest printed Bible in Europe is that known as the Mazarin Bible. The earliest practisers or inventors of the art of printing resolved on this great work, and brought it out as early as 1455-6, or some assert even earlier. The learned historian of the middle ages says, “We may see in imagination this venerable and splendid volume leading up the crowded myriads of its followers, and imploring as it were a blessing on the new art by dedicating its first fruits to the service of Heaven."*

The first English translation of the Bible that was printed was set forth in May 6. 1541, with a grave and pious preface of Archbishop Cranmer, and authorised by the king's (Henry VIII.) proclamation. Seconded also with instructions from the king “to prepare the people to receive benefit the better from so heavenly a treasure,” it was called “the Bible of the greater volume, rather commended than commanded to the

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* “Literature of the Middle Ages," vol. i. p. 151,

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