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The fate of Cranmer, it has been justly
observed by the present archbishop of Cashel," has been peculiarly hard. Living in evil days, and exposed after his death to the malice of evil tongues, he has suffered in almost every part of his reputation. Papists have impeached the sincerity, while Protestants have doubted the steadiness, of his principles; and a too general idea seems to prevail, that his opinions were for ever fluctuating, or at least were so flexible, as to have rendered him little better than a weak instrument in the hands of those, who possessed more talent and more consistency. But the fact was far otherwise. He was in truth the chief promoter and the ablest advocate of the Reformation, planning it with the discretion of a prudent and the zeal of a good man, and carrying it on towards perfection with a firmness, a wisdom, and a liberality, which obtained
"Laurence's Bampton Lectures, Serm. I.
him no less credit for the endowments of his head, than for the impressions of his heart."
As a general answer to the observations of modern writers upon his life and labours, a new biography of the archbishop seems requisite; and it is my purpose to attempt it. The criminations of him by the writer of the life of Cardinal Pole, by Dr. Mil
b Dr. Lingard observes, in a note, Vindic. p. 74. "I do not notice the strictures of Mr. Todd on Dr. Milner and Mr. Butler, which he frequently mixes up with his animadversions on my work. Of these two writers the first can make no defence; death has removed him from the petty quarrels, which agitate the inhabitants of this earth."
Dr. Milner was unable, I say it with confidence, to answer at least one grievous charge I brought against him. He lived many months after the accusation. He was silent, as I am sorry to add he was, upon other occasions, when the fidelity of his references and assertions was questioned.
"The latter, (Mr. Butler,) Dr. Lingard continues, though seventy-seven winters have passed over his head, still wields the pen with the energy of youth. He has replied, and as far as I can judge, most satisfactorily replied, to Mr. Todd, in his Letters to Charles Blundell, Esq.”
That is, in his Book of the Roman Catholic Church; in a second edition of which he has favoured me with additional observations, which first met my eye while
ner, Dr. Lingard, Mr. Butler, and other Romanists of minor name, may thus be concentered; and the system of aggression, which has been adopted against him, be overthrown.
the following pages were passing through the press. They are courteous, they are even complimentary, as the manner of Mr. Butler always is; but they seem to require no separate answer, like the present to Dr. Lingard; they contain indeed a considerable portion of animadversion similar to what the latter has bestowed upon me; and there the reply to one is the reply to both. I might indeed, by a regular address to Mr. Butler, give further occasion to the exercise of his good opinion of me; for as he acknowledges in the first edition of his Book, that he should not have said what he did say of bishop Taylor, if he had known what I produced upon the subject; and as in his second, he thanks me for detecting an unjust reprehension of myself in the matter of bishop Gunning; so now I should lead him, I think, at least as to one or two of his passages, ingenuously to grant that they might be withdrawn. That I should misrepresent him in the smallest degree, was certainly never my intention: but I notice this, because he is pleased to say, " Mr. Todd cites my expression, wickedly-treated prelate, as the expression of Dr. Parr.” It is a satisfaction to find, that this venerable and entertaining writer is himself of opinion, that Cranmer was wickedly treated.
6 line 8 from bottom, read, to understand or misunderstand my
8 from bottom, read, double perjured
10, the reference in the note to Bale's Yet a Course, &c. should
be to p. 119, instead of p. 120.
REPLY TO DR. LINGARD'S VINDICATION, &c.
I. "The first objection. The elevation of Cranmer to the see of Canterbury is thus described by Dr. Lingard. I know not why Burnet is so anxious to persuade his readers that Cranmer was unwilling to accept the archbishopric, and found means to delay the matter six months. There were few instances of the see of Canterbury being filled so soon after a vacancy. Six months, indeed, elapsed before his consecration; but that arose from the negotiation with Rome to procure his bulls. He must have given his consent at least three months before.' Lingard, 2d ed. vol. vi. pp. 253, Now," proceeds Mr. Todd, ought not Dr. Lingard here to have given Cranmer's own account of his declining the archbishopric? And is not Burnet right in believing the solemn asseveration of the primate, made in the presence of his enemies? I protest before you all, said Cranmer, there never was a man came more unwilling to a bishopric than I did to that; inso
* Dr. Lingard's Vindication, 2d edit. p. 72.