BLTC Press Titles

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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Bhagavad Gita


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

History of the reformation

by Benjamin Allen


The church of Rome has been adorned with a Fenelon, a Pascal, and a Massillon; she has now m her bosom some who are like diamonds amid abounding rubbish; and many, we hope, have passed through her to rest; but we can have no fellowship with her abominations. The work of reformation advances, and we rejoice to perceive it. Who that has wandered amid the darkness of night, but has hailed with rapture the full-orbed moon, rising from behind the clouds that surrounded it, and pouring its reflected radiance upon the gloomy path?

In 1538, an edition of the Bible was finished in London, and the king gave his warrant, allowing all his subjects to read it, without control or hazard. Cranmer rejoiced that he saw this " day of reformation, which he concluded was now risen in England, since the light of God's word did shine over it without a cloud." The printing of this edition waq commenced in Paris, but, though the king of France gave his permission, the clergy caused the press to be stopped, and most of the copies to be seized, and publicly burnt: in consequence of which, the workmen and forms were carried over to England. Injunctions were given to all incumbent clergymen, to provide one of these Bibles, and set it up publicly in the church, and to encourage all to read it a^ the true and lively word of God. All were exhorted not to contend about it. At the same time, it was ordained, that, in every church, there should be a sermon, every quarter of a year, at least, to declare to the people the true gospel of Christ, and to exhort them to the works of charity, mercy, and faith. Moreover, the clergy were directed to instruct the people in the principles of religion, by teaching the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments, hi English; and to inform them that they had better omit the prayers to the saints, than neglect the prayers to God.

But the king was a steadfast believer in transubstantiation, and, set on by Gardiner, he persecuted those who denied the truth of it, under the name of sacramentaries. One of these, Lambert, was burnt.

Cranmer's influence at court began to diminish, and that of the papists to gain ground. The princes of Germany, who were leaders of the reformation, applied to Henry to unite with them, accept the Augsburgh confession, and become the patron of their league; but Gardiner, and the other Romans, strove hard to prevent this union, and finally succeeded. Melancthon wrote the king a long letter, encouraging him to proceed in the good work of reformation.

The holy cause began sensibly to waver. Jn 1539, six popish articles were enacted in parliament. Cranmer argued long against them, but, such was the weight of his enemies, without effect. These declared—

1st. That in the sacrament of the altar, after the consecration, there remained no substance of bread and wine, but that, under these forms, the natural body and blood ol Christ were present.

2d. That communion in both kinds was not necessary to salvation to all persons, by the law of God; but that both the flesh and blood of Christ were together, in each of the kinds.

3d. That priests, after the order of priesthood, might not marry by the law of God.

4th. That vows of chastity ought to be observed, by the law of God.

5th. That the use of private masses ought to be continued, which, as it was agreeable to' God's law, so men received great benefit by them.

6th. That auricular confession was expectfent and necessary, and ought to be retained in the church.

It was ordained that persons denying the

first of these articles should be burnt as heretics, and forfeit their estates; and that those denying the other articles, should suffer death as felons.

When this bill was about to pass the house of lords, the king, who knew how displeasing it was to Cranmer, desired him to withdraw; but that faithful soldier of Jesus humbly excused himself, for he felt bound hi conscience to remain and oppose it.

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