Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/387

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


the discontented adherents of the Marian church, and in arguing against them he discovered the strength of the Elizabethan system. When the puritan party began to press for further changes, and demanded the abolition of the surplice, Jewel vigorously opposed them in the interests of peace and order. He had unconsciously shifted his position, and was somewhat inconsistent. Thus in February 1566 he wrote to Bullinger that he wished all vestiges of popery were swept out of the church (Works, iv. 1267), while at the same time he refused to accept the presentation of his friend Laurence Humphrey [q. v.] to a benefice in his diocese because he declined to wear a surplice (Strype, Annals, i. ii. 133; {{sc|Strype}, Parker, i. 369). He regarded all attempts to alter the settlement of the church with increasing disfavour, and wrote some notes of an answer to Cartwright, ‘Certain Frivolous Objections against the Government of the Church of England,’ which were first published by Whitgift in his ‘Answer to the Admonition,’ and drew on Jewel's memory a good deal of reproach from the puritans.

On 26 May 1565 Jewel received the degree of D.D. by special decree of the university of Oxford, and it was conferred on him in his absence. In August of that year he accompanied Elizabeth on her visit to the university, and acted as moderator in the disputation which formed part of her entertainment. After this failing health and literary occupations kept Jewel almost entirely in his diocese; but he seems to have served as general literary adviser. Parker wrote to him about Saxon manuscripts, and Cecil consulted him about the purchase of a collection of Greek manuscripts. In 1570 the publication of the bull excommunicating Elizabeth roused Jewel to write ‘A View of a Seditious Bull,’ which was published after his death. He dragged himself to the parliament of 1571, and was empowered by convocation to supervise the publication of the revision of the Thirty-nine Articles. He returned home in a condition of great bodily weakness, but nevertheless undertook a visitation of his diocese, which was a task beyond his power. A friend remonstrated with him on his rashness, but was answered, ‘A bishop had best die preaching.’ He preached his last sermon at Laycock in Wiltshire, and with difficulty rode to Monkton Farleigh, where he took to his bed, and died on 23 Sept. 1571. He was buried in Salisbury Cathedral, where an epitaph composed by Laurence Humphrey was placed upon his simple tomb. By his will he bequeathed 600l. to relatives and friends (Works, iv., Introduction, p. xxv).

Jewel throughout his life was a diligent student, and made methodical notes of all that he read. He thus collected a mass of knowledge which was easily available for controversial purposes. He possessed a remarkable power of verbal memory, which made him a prodigy in the eyes of his friends. These qualities gave his writings an air of cold and mechanical precision, which was the natural result of his deliberate method. First he considered carefully the points which he wished to prove; then he selected the authorities whom he wished to quote in support of his position; he gave the references to a secretary, who copied out in full the passages specified; finally he arranged his argument in proper shape and embodied his quotations. Thus Jewel's writings are always clear, and the argument is conclusive within the limits which he has prescribed; but they are strictly logical, and make no appeal to the emotions. For that very reason they corresponded with the temper of England at the time, and did much to stamp upon anglican theology its distinguishing characteristics of reasonableness and sound learning. Personally Jewel had the kindliness and evenness of temper which characterise a true scholar. He was diligent in the discharge of his episcopal duties, and strove to set an example to his clergy of assiduous preaching. He showed his zeal for the advance of learning by building a library for the cathedral of Salisbury. He also used to maintain in his house and train for the university a few boys of promise. Among others whom he thus befriended was Richard Hooker, whom he educated at his expense and sent to Oxford. Hooker spoke of him as ‘the worthiest divine that Christendom had bred for some hundreds of years;’ and it is clear that Hooker learned from Jewel the method and fundamental principles which he afterwards employed with greater fervour and literary skill than his master. In appearance Jewel always looked worn and emaciated; in his later years he seemed a living skeleton. There is a portrait of him in the hall of Merton College, Oxford; an engraving is in Holland's ‘Herωologia.’

Besides the works mentioned above, his ‘Short Treatise of Holy Scripture,’ gathered out of his sermons at Salisbury, was edited by his friend John Garbrand (1542–1589) [q. v.] in 1582; ‘Certain Sermons preached before the Queen and at St. Paul's Cross,’ together with ‘A Short Treatise of the Sacraments,’ in 1583, reprinted 1603; ‘An Exposition of the Epistles to the Thessalonians,’ 1583, reprinted 1584, 1594; ‘Seven Godly Sermons,’ 1607. The complete works of Jewel were collected and issued in a folio under the