Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More on Bullinger and the English Church

The following is taken from Gulley’s dissertation:

On August 12 (1538), Nicholas Eliot in England wrote Bullinger a brief note stating that the latter’s books ‘are wonderfully well received, not only by our king but equally so by the lord Cromwell ….’ He concluded with an interesting comment: ‘Your writings have obtained for you a reputation and honor among the English, to say nothing of other nations beyond what could possibly be believed.

In September of that year Partridge wrote again to Bullinger from Frankfort giving the official account of the distribution of Bullingers letters and books. Upon arriving in England, Partridge and his companions made a call upon Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who received Bullinger’s book ‘most courteously.’ They asked Cranmer to deliver on their behalf a copy of the book intended for Henry VIII. At first the Archbishop refused, saying that Cromwell should perform that service, but after reconsideration, he agreed to make the presentation on two conditions; first, he must read the book lest he be guilty of recommending something of which he knew nothing, and secondly, provided the youths would be present at the presentation in case the king had any questions. As it happened, the copy was sent to the king by Cranmer and evidently was received favourable, for the king expressed the desire ‘to those around him, that it should be translated into English.’ A third copy was presented to Cromwell who was so pleased with the present that he read through it immediately, ‘notwithstanding he was overwhelmed with business.’ Indications are that a copy was sent to Bishop Ridley of London, for we are informed that he inquired of Bullinger and desired to write ‘in reply.’ A fifth copy was presented to Sir Edward Wooton, who received the book ‘with the greatest satisfaction,’ and promised to be at Bullinger’s service ‘if he can oblige in any way.’ The sixth copy was presented to Bishop Latimer who was most eager to write in reply. Partridge commented to Bullinger of the presentation: ‘Nothing, believe me, was ever more gratifying to him in the whole course of his life, than the present you sent him.’”

This excerpt from Gulley’s dissertation “The Influence of Heinrich Bullinger and the Tigurine Tradition upon the English Church in the Sixteenth Century” (Vanderbilt) pp 37-40 clearly underlines Bulinger’s influence on the English Church.

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