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9

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND WRITINGS

OF

LANCELOT RIDLEY, D. D.

Dr. Lancelot RIDLEY was the descendant of a very ancient family, which had been seated through a long descent of Knights for many generations, in the county of Northumberland. His father, John Ridley, was uncle to Nicholas Ridley, successively Bishop of Rochester and London, in the reign of Edward VI. and who afterwards, in the reign of Mary, obtained the crown of martyrdom.

He was educated at King's Hall, in the university of Cambridge; was admitted Bachelor in Divinity, A. D. 1535; and Doctor in Divinity, A. D. 1540. He was deeply skilled in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages. Dr. Ridley was promoted to the office of one of the six preachers in the cathedral church of Canterbury, by. Archbishop Cranmer, about the same time that his kinsman, Nicholas Ridley, was preferred to a prebend in the same church. He defended the cause of the reformation with great energy, during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI.. and with peculiar eloquence and zeal, constantly preached the sincere word of God to the people of this country. He also wrote and published

Commentaries on the following books of holy Scripture, viz.

Joshua,
Gospel of St. Mattheið,
Epistle to Ephesians,

Philippians,
Colossians,
2 Thessalonians,
2 and 3 John,

Jude; Also a book on “ The thirteen Abuses of the Mass," and a treatise on The Marriage of Priests.

He was himself ejected from his ecclesiastical station, by the Papists in the reign of Mary, on account of his being married. Little is known of him during the latter part of his life. He is thought by some to have concealed himself, and by others to have recanted, during that solemn and eventful period. Be this as it may, he certainly was for many years a bright ornament to the cause of the Reformers, and contributed no little to the overthrow of Popery, as well by his writings as his preaching.

His writings were peculiarly obnoxious to the Po. pish party, as appears by the following extract from a book entitled, “Yet a Course of the Romish Fox, compiled by John Harrison, alias Bale*, Zurich, 1543."

“ The Commentary, which the virtuous, learned man, Master Lancelot Ridley, made upon St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, for the true erudition of his Christian brethren, hath my Lord Bonner here also condemned for heresy. But what the cause is, I cannot tell. Unless it be for advancing the Gospel, as the thing whereby we are made righteous,

* The author of this book, John Bale, who frequently published under the name of Harrison, was afterwards Bishop of Ossory. He was a very voluminous writer, and a zealous supporter of the Reo formation. See his own account of his works, in his Catal. Scrip. illust. Brit.

without either decree or ceremony. Or else, for admonishing us to beware of men's traditions and doctrines, lest we should by them trust in any other thing than in Christ; and lest we should, for their glittering gauds, refuse the spiritual armour against the devil and his members, whom Paul hath there prescribed unto us."

(See Bishop Bale, Catal. Script. illustr. Britann. : Tanner, Biblioth. Britan.: Strype's Life of Cranmer, p. 94: Do. Life of Parker, p. 72: Bishop Bale's Yet a Course at the Romish Fox,p. 49: Gloucester Ridley's Life of Nicholas Ridley, p. 2.)

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