To help people read the Bible, Cranmer wrote a preface to the Great Bible (1540), which was appointed by Henry VIII to be placed in churches across England. In the preface, the archbishop pastorally counsels two types of parishioners and shows his zeal for and devotion to Scripture.

For two sundry sorts of people it seemeth much necessary that something be said in the entry of this book.

For truly some there are that be too slow and need the spur; some other seem too quick and need more of the bridle; some lose their game by short shooting, some by overshooting; some walk too much on the left hand, some too much on the right.

In the former sort be all they that refuse to read, or to hear read the Scripture in the vulgar [common] tongues; much worse they that also let [hinder] or discourage the other from the reading or hearing thereof.

Neither can I well tell [which] of them I may judge the [greater] offender, him that doth obstinately refuse so godly and goodly knowledge, or him that so ungodly and so ungoodly doth abuse the same.

Food, Fire, Light

And as touching the former, I would marvel much that any man should be so mad as to refuse in darkness, light; in hunger, food; in cold, fire.

I would marvel (I say) at this, save that I consider how much custom and usage may do. So that if there were a people … which never saw the sun by reason that they be situated far toward the North Pole and be enclosed and overshadowed with high mountains, it is credible and like enough that if, by the power and will of God, the mountains should sink down and give place, [and] the light of the sun might have entrance to them—at the first some of them would be offended therewith.

Such is the nature of custom that it causeth us to bear all things ...

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