« السابقةمتابعة »
she was preived to be with child; and it was indeed by the Holi Ghoost. 19. But Joseph her husband, being a just man, and loth to use extremitie toward her, entended privili to divorse himself from her. 20. And being in this mind, lo the angel of the Lord appeired by dream, &c.
Chap. ii. ver. 16. Then Herod seeing that he was plaid withal by the wise-heards, &c.
In this translation he used such words as the following: desirful, ungrevous, tollers, for publicans, &c. &c.
The points of view, in which perhaps we are most indebted to Sir John Cheke for the improvement of our language, are the following. He recommended and practised a more minute attention to the meaning of words and phrases, and adopted a more skilful arrangement of them in composition. Before him, the sentences were long, and too frequently involved. He recommended and used short sentences; and thus he has the merit of introducing greater precision of language, more perspicuity and force of stile.
In the arrangement and flow of words, there is often a great similarity between the English language and the Greek. Sir John was accus
tomed to read off his Greek lectures from the original into English; and hence, he was very probably led to the adoption of those improvements of which we have been speaking.-It is not unworthy of remark, that the scholars of this age were particularly attentive to the writing of a fine hand. Thus Sir John Cheke, with Roger Ascham and others, were not only the first scholars, but also the finest mechani cal penmen of their age.
I am probably right in saying, that the only English work extant of Sir John Cheke (except some letters published by Strype in his Life, and a few others in Harrington's Nuge Antique) is his tract entitled, "The Hurt of Sedition, how grievous it is to a Commonwealth;" and I should perhaps scarcely have thought it worth while to have ranked him in the present series of writers in English, were it not for his eminence as a scholar, and for the intimate connection of his character with the literary history of our country. The tract just mentioned was written and published in 1549. It is inserted in Holinshed's Chronicle, under the year 1549, and was reprinted in 1576. In 1641, it was printed a third time, by Dr. Gerard Langbaine, of Queen's College,
Oxford, with a brief life of the author prefixed; and was designed, on this occasion, as a check upon those who took arms against Charles I. in the time of the civil wars. The occasion which gave birth to it is the following:
In the summer of 1549, a formidable rebellion broke out in many of the counties in England; particularly in Devonshire and Norfolk. The respective pleas of the rebels, in these distant parts of the kingdom, were different. Those in the West were desirous of restoring the popish religion, those of Norfolk and Suffolk rebelled from political motives and insisted on a reform in the government, Sir John, in his address, endeavoured to adapt himself to each of these classes of malcontents; the former of whom he addresses in the following manner;
Ye rise for religion. What religion taught you that? If ye were offered persecution for religion, ye ought to flee. So Christ teacheth you, and yet you intend to fight. If ye would stand in the truth, ye ought to suffer like martyrs; and ye would slay like tyrants. Thus for religion, ye keep no religion, and neither will follow the council of Chris the constancy of martyrs, Why rise ye for religion?
Have ye any thing contrary to God's book? Yea, have ye not all things agreeable to God's word? But the new [religion] is different from the old; and therefore ye will have the old: If ye measure the old by truth, ye have the oldest. If ye measure the old by fancy, then it is hard, because men's fancies change, to give that is old. Ye will have the old stile. Will ye have any older than that as Christ left, and his apostles taught, and the first church did use? Ye will have that the canons do establish. Why that is a great deal younger than that ye have of later time, and newlier invented; yet that is it that ye desire. And do ye prefer the bishops of Rome afore Christ? Men's inventions afore God's law? The newer sort of worship before the older? Ye seek no religion; ye be deceived; ye seek traditions. They that teach you blind you, that so instruct you, deceive you. If ye seek what the old doctors say, yet look what Christ, the oldest of all, saith. For he saith, "before Abraham was made I am." If ye see the truest way, he is the very truth. If ye seek the readiest he is the very way, way. If ye seek everlasting life, he is the very life. What religion would ye have other how than his religion? You would have the bibles in again. It is no mervail; your blind guides should lead you blind still. *
But why should ye not like that [religion] which
God's word establisheth, the primitive church hath authorized, the greatest learned men of this realm have drawn the whole consent of, the parliament hath confirmed, the king's majesty hath set forth? Is it not truly set out? Can ye devise any truer than Christ's apostles used? Ye think it is not learnedly done. Dare ye, commons, take upon you more learning than the chosen bishops and clerks of this realm have?
Learn, learn to know this one point of religion, that God will be worshipped as he hath prescribed, and not as we have devised. And that his will is wholly in the scriptures, which be full of God's spirit, and profitable to teach the truth, &c.
The political seditionists, he addresses thus:
Ye pretend to a commonwealth. How amend ye it by killing of gentlemen, by spoiling of gentlemen, by imprisoning of gentlemen? A marvellous tanned' commonwealth. Why should ye hate them for their riches, or for their rule? Rule, they never took so much in hand as ye do now. They never resisted the king, never withstood his council, be faithful at this day, when ye be faithless, not only to the king,
1 Ket, their ringleader, was a tanner.