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SIR William Barlowe was a descendant of the ancient family of the Barlowes in Wales, and born in the county of Essex. He was at first a monk in the Augustine monastery of St. Osith in Essex; and was educated at Oxford, where he took the degree of doctor in divinity. He was afterwards friar of the canons of his order at Bisham in Berkshire; though at the dissolution of the monasteries, he resigned his house, and prevailed upon several other abbots and friars to follow his example.
He was promoted successively to the sees of St. Asaph, St. David's, Chichester, and finally to that of Bath and Wells. He died in 1568.
Sir William Barlowe was the author, of several compositions; as "The Godly and Pious Institution of a Christian Man," commonly called the "Bishop's Book;" 1537, London.
During this reign, he is said to have translated into English the "Apocrypha," as far as the Book of Wisdom. But the work whence I have taken the following short extracts is entitled " A Dialogue describing the original ground of these Lutheran factions, and many of their abuses. Compiled by Sir William Barlowe chanon, late bishop of Bath. Anno 1553.” A MS. note adds-" Mariæ I. the second edition (which appears by the preface). This author sir William Barlowe was first bishop of St. Asaph, then bishop of St. David's, then bishop of Chichester, lastly bishop of Bath and Wells. In Edward VI. days began heresy, and in queen Elizabeth's days established."
There can be no question that this is the doctor William Barlowe of the Biog. Brit.; and it is as certain, that that article is very erroneous. For, it is there stated, and likewise in Dr. Rees's new Cyclopedia on that authority, that upon Mary's accession in 1553, he deprived of his bishopric of Bath and Wells, and committed to the Fleet prison, on account of his attachment to the protestant religion, and his being married; but escaping to Germany, that he remained there till the
accession of Elizabeth; when he returned, and was then promoted to the see of Chichester, 1559. Now, here is an attack upon the reformation, published for the second time by sir William Barlowe, the very year when he is said to be degraded and imprisoned as a reformer himself. The book is a remarkably good one; by no means superstitious, but quite the work of a sensible and prudent man; arguing against the reformation, from the excesses of the reformers; just as such a man, ten years ago, would have written about the French. As it is evident that neither the writer of Barlowe's article in the Biographia, nor his copyist in the Cyclopedia, has seen the book in question, it is proper to observe that it is in the possession of Mr. Southey. This is one instance, among many others, in which bibliology corrects an error in biography. This little book is probably very scarce, Indeed, the author himself might have wished to suppress it: for having resolved to swim with the stream, he resigned his house to Henry VIII. took an active part in the divorce, and was rewarded with one of the new bishoprics.
The Printer's Preface.
In the present treatise following (gentle reader) is not only uttered and disclosed the beastly beginning of Luther's furious faction, in Saxony, with the seditious schisms of the sacramentaries Suinglius, Oecolampadius, and other of Switzerland; but also very plainly here is shewed their monstrous manners and mutability, their cankered contentions and horrible hypocrisy, their devilish devices and bitter blasphemy, with infinite like reliques of that railing religion, whereby the christian reader shall right well perceive what filthy fruit buddeth out of this frantic fraternity and sinful synagogue of Satan, infernally invented, to seduce simple souls to the end that such as now be addict to their horrible and heinous heresies when they shall perceive and see in their life and learning their crafty and colourable juggling, lewd living, and devilish disagreeing of a muster of monstrous married monks and false fleshly friars, shall by God's grace both forsake their fashions, detest their doctrine, and leave their learning.
Popery has seldom had an abler, and never a more temperate advocate.
Christian readers, I exhort you, all partially set
a part to fix yourself upon the living word of God which may save your souls, and walk directly after it, bowing neither on the one side nor on the other. I mean not that fleshly word nor their gospel which say, ye have no free will, your good deeds shall not save you, nor your ill deeds shall not damn you; the sacraments of the church be nothing of necessity ye need not to be confessed to a friar; ye are not bound to obey the laws of the church, &c.; but that true word of God and very gospel of our Saviour Christ, of whose first sermon the ante-theme was this, do ye penance for the kingdom of God is at hand and at his last farewel from his disciples he affirmed the same, saying, that in his name it behoved penance to be preached in remission of sins.
A great occasion why that many be so fervent in favouring this Lutheran doctrine, is the vague praises of much people coming from thence, reporting that there is so good order, such charitable liberality, and evangelic conversation, which is altogether false. And divers of such tiding-carriers, lest they might seem ignorant in a few things, they frame themselves without shame to lie in many. It is hard for a renegate friar, a faithless apostate, a forlorn