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“ which I took utterly to be of mine opinion. And that SECT. “ when men were more deceived, as they relented from “ the life and doctrine of the primitive Church, which Anno 1556. “I took most of all to be in our days, when the Clergy “ were so far gone from the ensample of life of their first fathers, and
themselves more to all kind of studies “ than to the Scriptures. Which experience greatly con“ firmed me to think that God had blinded them, and with “ the study of Scriptures had brought in more light; and
especially in this article of the Sacrament of the Altar: “ wherein I judged them utterly blinded, that had not so “ well boulted the Scriptures as they have done in Ger
many, which hold most this opinion that I was in. “ So that you see now how I fell: which I counted no fall; but that all other fell, that held the contrary opin“ ion; I standing in the true faith of the primitive Church : “ thinking withal, that Lanfrancus, Archbishop of Canter-Lanfrank,
bury, which was one of the first writers that set forth Archbishop “the opinion of the real presence of the body and blood of bury. “ Christ, impugning the contrary, did defend his own opin“ion, and not that of the Church; and that opinion which “ he defended began with him, when all true knowledge “ was much obscured, and the life of the Clergy more de« formed.
“ Thus far I was gone: which was not only to go in “ consilio impiorum, et stare in via peccatorum, but to “firm my seat in cathedra irrisorum et pestilentiæ. Which “ I did, making myself judge of the catholic doctrine and “ the Doctors; scorning the same in the greatest article “ of all, touching the Sacrament; and infecting with my
pestilent opinion as many as I was conversant withal. “ In the which chair I was so fixed, that no power, but “ only God, could subvert the same, to make me know “ myself. Which so now the hand of God, by his mira“ culous power, as I do knowledge it, hath done of his “ high mercy, both for mine own self, and, as I trust, for “the edification of many, whom I had afore ruinate, sitting “ in my chair of pestilence. In which hope standeth now
CHAP. “ all the joy of my life. And this is that tempereth the
sorrow of my mind, that I take for mine horrible offence; Anno 1556.6 trusting that God will turn all the more to his glory.
“ Without the which trust, now that I know my fault, I “ were not able surely to bear myself. But if I have any
part of contentation in this life, all standeth in this, as I
may see God glorified by my sin, giving me true repent“ance thereof, that the good may be confirmed in their
good faith, and the ill returned to the same; as I trust “ this day the same grace that hath worked in me shall « work in
many “ This only I will warn all that have been tempted with “ the same false doctrine that I have been, and now shew “ themselves outwardly to refuse the same, that they be “well ware of another great temptation, and a pernicious “ counsel, which to follow is more odious to God, than to
profess openly the false opinion; that is, if they should, “ for policy sake, shew themselves to follow the Prince's “ opinion, which is catholic; and to think otherwise in “ their mind of God: which we have seen hath lighted
upon some already: for nihil est occultum, quod non 6 revelabitur. And this is a more mocking of Christ, and
more dishonouring, than when the Jews saluted him,
saying, Ave Rex Judæorum! with their mouth, the same “ time they brought him to be crucified as a malefactor. “ Wherefore let all men beware of this; whereof I do the “ more earnestly warn you, because there hath not lacked “ that would have given like counsel to me: from the “ which the mercy of God hath utterly delivered me, and “ maketh me the more earnestly warn you of the same.
“ Now having none other thing to say at this present, « but to desire you all, upon my knees prostrate, and “ especially my noble Mistress, that it will please her to “ give thanks for me to God, for recovering a servant of “ hers that was utterly lost. And though I am not worthy “ of myself to be remembered, yet if the angels in heaven “ make more joy of one sinner converted, than of so many “just men, my conversion, being to the glory of God, is
“ not unworthy to be remembered on earth, with due sect. “ thanks to the goodness of God, by whose grace I am “ returned. In the rest, submitting myself with all humi- Anno 1556.
lity to all the order of penance and satisfaction, that it “ will please my Lord Legate to put unto me: which can$ not be so sore, as
trust God shall give me grace and 66 will to fulfil it to the uttermost.
“ And thus Almighty God, that hath begun to shew his mercy on me, of the same his infinite, mercy, may do the
upon all the rest that be either contrary or waver“ing. Amen.”
Observations upon Cheke's recantations. The Queen grants
him lands in exchange. I SHALL not make observations upon these foregoing Popish rirecantations, though many might be made; only I cannot but observe two or three things en passant. As, how ri- Cheke. gorously these Popish masters dealt with Cheke, now they had got him into their power, in putting him to make one long recantation after another : and in them prescribing him words and sentences, so grievous and grating upon his very heart; whereby he was fain so to belie and bespatter himself, as in effect to accuse himself to be one of the vilest wretches on earth : viz. “ That he blasphemed “ the name of God, and persecuted the name of Christ, “and that more than they that crucified him; and that “ the ignorance of the Jews that killed Christ was more « excusable than his. That he did what he could to bring “ the whole realm into blindness. That since he came “ into the Tower, he never came into place where he had
more cause to thank God. And that for an assured “ token to the auditors, that what he said with his mouth “ he thought with his heart, they put the very words of “ Berengarius's recantation into his mouth, to own all the “ absurdities of transubstantiation; and divers such like
Submits to penances.
I observe also, by a clause of the recantation, upon what
reason their anger and malice against Cheke was chiefly Anno 1556. grounded; namely, because he had been the great instruA reason
of ment of good religion unto King Edward, and other noble against youth of the Court, more than any other; whenas his
office, as he was instructed to say, was not to teach him matters of religion, an employment committed to others.
And, lastly, I make one remark with great commiseraguish and
and that is, in what a deplorable anguish and perperplexity.
plexity, not to be expressed, this poor gentleman was, whilst he was thus constrained to speak matters so utterly against his knowledge and conscience; and what a woful fall this good man made to save a poor life. Such weak frail creatures the best are, considered in themselves. Which makes me think what Archbishop Parker writ on the margin of the copy of one of these recantations, Homines sumus, i. e. We are but men.
Nor yet was this all the penance that Sir John Cheke was to do, (though one would think this had been enough of all conscience;) but further, after all this, he was to undergo penances, whatsoever they should be, (and -he promised it,) that should be enjoined him by the Pope's Le
gate, the Cardinal. The Queen And now, having done all this drudgery, and undergone exchanges all these hardships for his life, (wherein the Romanists
were to triumph and glory,) he makes all his interest to obtain his lands of the Queen again, which in his absence she had taken possession of. And his lands at length he had restored to him; but upon condition of an exchange with the Queen for others. And so he was required to make a surrender to her of all his lands and manors that he had obtained under his late royal master, King Edward. Which having been the revenues of religious houses or chauntries, the Queen thought fit to take into her hands, perhaps with an intention, in due time, to resettle them upon the old foundations, and restore them to their first purposes; yet granting him other Church lands at a greater distance from London, as in Devonshire and Somerset
shire : which it may be afterwards, means should have SECT. been made to dispose also to their original constitutions. Which required surrender, Cheke complying with the Anno 1556. Queen, granted him a patent, (which I have seen in the hands of my honoured friend, John Conyers, Esq.) dated April the 12th, in the 3d and 4th of King Philip and Queen Mary: wherein menţion is made of the manor of Brampton Abbot in Devonshire, given by King Henry VIII. to Sir Hugh Stukely, Knight; and of the customary lands and reversions in Freshford and Woodwick in Somersetshire, given by King Edward VI. to Philip Juys, one of the said King's gardeners, &c. All these lands and manors Sir John obtained of the Queen, in consideration, as the patent runs, of a certain recognizance of the town of Clare, and the site of the college of Stoke; and of the manors of Stoke, Clare, Hundon, Ashton, and Pitley, alias Pightley, with the appurtenances in the county of Essex; and of the advowsons of the churches of Clare, Hunden, and Ashton; and also of the office of Feodary of the honour of Clare, and the hundred of Chilton, Chibel, &c. in the county of Cambridge ; and of the manors of Preston, Beckwel, &c. in Sussex; and of the priory of Spalding, &c. in Lincolnshire; and other demeans in Norfolk; and of divers other manors and tenements; levied and done by Sir John Cheke, and Mary his wife, to the Queen and her heirs, at Westminster, in Hilary term, in the 3d and 4th of the said King and Queen. For which and other causes their Majesties moving, they of their special grace granted to the said Cheke and Peter Osborn, Esq. the reversion of the said manor of Brampton Abbot in Devon, belonging formerly to the monastery of Clive; and the annual rents of 371. 2s. 6ob.; and the reversion of the customary lands of Freshford and Woodwick in Somersetshire. They granted also to him and the said Osborn the manor of More in Devon; and the capital messuage of Batokysborough, and the manor of Aisshetote, alias Ayscote, in Somersetshire; and the manor of Northlode, parcel of the possessions of