A History of the Articles of Religion:
To Which Is Added a Series of Documents, From A.D. 1536 to A.D. 1615;
Together With Illustrations From Contemporary Sources.
By Charles Hardwick
Herman Hooker, 1852
[Spelling selectively modernized. Footnotes moved into or near point of citation.]
The following Chapters were drawn up with the idea of contributing, in some measure, to the satisfaction of a want which is felt more especially by Students in the Universities and elsewhere, who are reading for Holy Orders.
Notwithstanding the multitude of authors who continue to enrich our stock of literature by expositions of the doctrine of the Articles, there has been no regular attempt to illustrate the framing of the Formulary itself, either by viewing it in connection with the kindred publications of an earlier and a later date, or still more in its relation to the period out of which it originally grew.
Very much of the material which is wanted has been doubtless gathered to our hands in the course of historical inquiries respecting the rise and progress of the English Reformation: yet as there must always be a large class of readers, anxious to be accurately informed, but precluded from consulting the voluminous collectors, such as Strype, Le Plat, or Wilkins, it has been thought that a handbook like the present, if compiled in a fair and discriminating spirit, cannot fail to be as generally useful to the Church as some of the similar attempts to elucidate the Book of Common Prayer.
St. Catharine�s Hall, Cambridge, March 19, 1851.
Table of Contents.
Chapter I � The Reformation
General Cry for Reformation in the Fifteenth Century; Council of Pisa (1409) a �reforming� Council; Memorial of Richard Ulverston; Council of Constance (1414�1418) �reforming�; Hottric Abendon�s Sermon; �Reformation-College�(1415); Anxiety of the English for Reformation (1425); Council of Basle (1431) �reforming�; Letter of Pisan prelates (1511); Final outbreak of the Reformation; Reforming character of Adrian VI; Centum Gravamina (1522); Reforming committee of Cardinals (1538); Fatal effects of the prejudice against Luther; Bellarmine on the corruption of the Church; De M�zeray; Bossuet; Frederic von Schlegel; M�hler; Regularity of the English Reformation; Principle on which it proceeded; Antiquity and catholicity of the principle; Papal supremacy � its growth, excess, and synodical abolition; Reasons for resisting it, from contemporary sources; Restorative aim of the Reformers (1) English, (2) Lutheran.
Chapter II � The Augsburg Confession
Its intimate connection with England; Condition of the German Reformers in 1530; Divergence of the Lutheran and Zwinglian tenets; Elements of the Augsburg Confession; Schwabach Articles, 1529; Augsburg Confession strictly Lutheran; Mode of its composition; Presented to the Emperor (June 23, 1530); Analysis of its contents; Desire of the Reformers to mediate; Confutation of the Augsburg Confession (1530); Its nature and contents; Fresh attempt to mediate; Final breach with the Lutherans; Subsequent hope of reunion at Ratisbon; How frustrated.
Chapter III � The English Articles of 1536
Two great parties in the Church of England; �Old and new learning�; Gardiner and Cranmer; Revolutionary faction; General disquiet of the Church; Origin of the Ten Articles (1536); Remonstrance of the Lower House of Convocation; False opinions then current; Germs of truth among them; Proceedings of the Upper House of Convocation; The royal message, conveyed by Cromwell; Disputes on the state of the Church; Ten Articles, the result of a compromise; Variations in the Title; By whom composed; Two Lists of subscriptions; Transitional character of these Articles; Analysis of their contents; How far they were accepted; Disaffection in the North of England; Publication of the Articles followed by revolt; How superseded; Institution of a Christian Man and Necessary Doctrine.
Chapter IV � The Thirteen Articles; Conferences With the Lutherans
General sympathy between English and German Reformers; Actual negotiations (1535); Frustrated or deferred by Gardiner; Private Conferences at Wittenberg; Articles drawn up; Negotiation resumed; Lutheran Legation to England; Its proceedings; When and why it failed; Six Articles (1539); Result of the Conference with the Lutherans extant; Importance of the XIII Articles; Connection with other Articles exhibited; (?) Articles drawn up in 1540.
Chapter V � The Forty-Two Articles of 1552
Accession of Edward VI (1547); Influence and character of Cranmer; His opinions, with one exception, Lutheran; His present doctrine of the Eucharist; His reverence for antiquity; Plan of a General Reformed Confession; How frustrated; First sketch of the Forty-two Articles (1551); Sent to the bishops; Revised by Cranmer; Submitted to Cheke, Cecil, and six royal chaplains; Returned to the Council, Nov. 24, 1552; Mandate for subscription, June 19, 1553; Publication of the Articles; Separately and in company of the Catechismus Brevis; Traces of the Articles during their formation; Records of Hooper�s Visitations, 1551 and 1552; Controversy with Joliffe and Johnson; Nature of his �Articles�; Their resemblance to the Articles of 1552; Their number; Why so few were answered by Joliffe; Against whom were the Articles directed; Internal evidence; The Reformatio Legum: its value as a commentary; Sittings of the Council of Trent; Evidence from the history of the times; Rise of the �Anabaptists�; Their numerous heresies; Progress in England; Royal commission against them, 1548; Growth of Arianism in England; Royal commission against a new sect (Family of Love?); Domestic controversies; Distinct aim of the several Articles; Did the Articles of 1552 ever pass the Convocation?; Objections and answers; Positive proof of their synodical authority; Summary of the steps taken for this purpose; Effects of the death of Edward; Gardiner�s series of XV Articles (1555); Four Articles compiled by Convocation (1558).
Chapter VI � The Elizabethan Articles
Accession of Elizabeth, and her early measures; Conservative character of Parker; Suspension of the Edwardine Articles for some years; The Eleven Articles compiled; Analysis of their contents; Articles of the Principal Heads of Religion; Eleven Articles enjoined in Ireland; How superseded in England; Rapid return to the reformed doctrines; Forty-Two Articles revised; Corrected by Archbishop Parker; Many of the corrections from the Wirtemberg Confession; Four new Articles; Other Additions; Substitutions; Omissions; Meeting of Convocation 1562/3; Deliberation of the Bishops; Have we an authentic record of their labours; The Parker MS.; Three more Articles erased in Convocation; Clause dropped in Article III and reason; The Art. respecting the Lord�s Supper, and reason; Remaining alterations of the Upper House; Articles sent to the Lower House, and subscribed; Approved by the Queen and printed in Latin; Contents of this copy; Evidence respecting the disputed clause in Art. XX; Proceedings in connection with the Articles in 1566; Plan for legalizing subscription; Opposed by the Queen, but finally carried; Puritanical Attempt to establish a New Confession; Light thrown by it on the Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12; Proceedings in connection with the Articles in the Convocation of 1571; Were the Articles, now revised by the prelates, submitted to the Lower House?; No allusion made to the Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12; Nature of the alterations in 1571; Are the Latin and English Articles equally authoritative?; The Articles not a solitary standard of doctrine.
Chapter VII � The Lambeth Articles
Repute of St. Augustine among the Reformers; Influence of Calvin, and his school; His system divergent from that of St. Augustine; Embraced by many of the Marian exiles; But not engrafted on the Anglican Formularies; Increase of Calvinism� in the reign of Elizabeth; Origin of the Lambeth Articles; The Calvinistic contest at Cambridge; Professor Baro�s teaching; Proceedings against William Barrett; Appeal to the Primate; Whitgift at first somewhat favourable to Barrett; Influence of Dr. Whitaker; Controversy renewed; The Primate endeavours to mediate; Calvinistic Conference in London, Nov. 1595; First draught of the Lambeth Articles; Conduct of Whitgift in assenting to them; Changes introduced into the original draught; The Articles destitute of all ecclesiastical authority; Their immediate suppression; Reaction from �Calvinism�.
Chapter VIII � The Irish Articles of 1615
Irish Reformation like the English; Brief Declaration of 1566; Were the English Articles of 1562 authorized in Ireland?; Causes leading to the formation of a new series; Influence of Ussher; Said to have made the first draught of the Irish Articles; Summary of their contents; Their general character; Amount of their authority before 1635; Were the Bishops empowered to demand subscription?; Proceeding of Convocation, 1635; English Articles synodically accepted; Irish Articles virtually withdrawn.
Chapter IX � Synod of Dort, and the Royal Declaration
State of the Quinquarticular controversy; Rise of �Arminianism� (1604); The Remonstrance (1610); Meeting of the synod of Dort (1618); Patronised by James I; His deputation of Divines; Their character and instructions; Proceedings of the Synod; Expulsion of the Arminians; Moderation of the English delegates; Their parting advice; Fresh outbreak of disputes in England on the Five Points; Attempt of the King (James) to repress them; Similar attempts of Charles; Proclamation of 1626; His Majesty�s Declaration prefixed to the Articles (1628); Its general nature; Effects of its circulation; Vow of the House of Commons; Bearing of this agitation on the true character of the Articles.
Chapter X � Objections to the Articles at Different Periods
Earliest example (1562); Admonitions to the Parliament (1572); Puritans opposed to the general doctrine of the Church; And in some measure to the Articles; Bolder denunciation of the Articles (1587); Dissatisfaction betrayed by the Lambeth and Irish Articles; Attempt to annex the Lambeth Articles (1604); Objection of the Puritans to Art. XVI, to Art. XXIII, to Art. XXV; Proposed addition to Art. XXXVII; Revision of the Articles by the Assembly of Divines (1693); Nature of the changes; Further agitation against the Articles, 1660, 1689, and subsequently; How affected by the Act of Toleration.
Chapter XI � Historical Notices of Subscription to the Articles
Purport of subscription; Mode of interpreting the Articles; Five canons proposed; Subscription first publicly enjoined, June 19, 1553; Intermitted as a general rule from 1559 to 1571; Enjoined afresh by Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12; Was any limitation granted as to the number of the Articles?; Evidence, affirmative and negative; Proceedings of Convocation on the same subject; Resistance of the Non-Conformists; Laxity of other prelates repaired by Whitgift; Fresh laxity and complaints of Bancroft; Subscription ordered by the Canons of 1604; Extended to the Universities; Revived at the Restoration; Subsequent efforts to remove it; Agitation headed by Blackburn (1771); Repelled in the House of Commons; Present state of the question.
Appendix I � Ten Articles of 1536
Appendix II � Thirteen Articles of 1538
Appendix III � Articles of Edward VI. and Elizabeth (1552�1571)
Appendix IV � Eleven Articles of 1559
Appendix V � Lambeth Articles of 1595
Appendix VI � Irish Articles of 1615
Contemporary Illustrations of the Thirty-Nine Articles
Chapter I � The Reformation
The Articles of Religion were compiled under the pressure of those memorable circumstances, in which the Church of England found herself at the time of the Reformation.
Their design will, accordingly, be understood in proportion to the clearness of our view respecting the character of the event which brought them into being.
The present is not indeed the place for enlarging upon the details of a question so vast, momentous, and complicated; but no history of the Articles can be regarded as complete, which does not at least enable the reader to occupy the position of the compilers, and from thence to estimate the claim, which has been subsequently exercised by the Church, in requiring the adherence of the clergy to a formulary of that nature.
For this end it will be desirable to establish the two following propositions:
(1) The universal prevalence of abuses anterior to the Reformation.
(2) The regularity of the means adopted by the English Church in their correction or abatement.
SECT. 1. The general cry for Reformation.
The early part of the fifteenth century was already marked by the struggles of the Church after a revival of religion, and by the gradual concentration of this movement against the corruptions of the Roman court. As an older and purer literature was rapidly diffused on all sides by the agency of the press, it enabled the earnest and critical scholar to detect the spuriousness of a multitude of documents, which had been long respected by the Church as the principal ground of the papal pretensions: [e. g. The fabrication, entitled the �Gift of Constantine,� exposed by Laurentius Valla. The same searching criticism has subsequently removed the strongest remaining proof of the extreme papal claims, viz., the Spurious Decretals. They were boldly assailed by the Magdeburg Centuriators, and have since been abandoned by the most respectable writers belonging to the Roman Communion.] while a comparison of the actual Christianity with the New Testament and the Primitive Fathers was gradually convincing him of the errors which had been superinduced upon the Gospel, and of the rank and deadly weeds which had mingled with its growth, during the torpor of the Middle Ages.
Causes of a secondary kind were doubtless conspiring, tinder the guidance of God, to extend this healthy fermentation. The cupidity of laymen was excited by the large possessions of the Church, or rather of the monastic orders: the spread of intelligence among the middle classes increased their impatience of a rule which had too often degenerated into harshness and oppression: and the statesman in particular, galled by the preponderance of the spiritualty and their exemptions from his intermeddling or control, was bent upon evoking the secular principle to help in regaining his dominion over the entire body of the people.
When we realize the existence and the strength of these feelings, our surprise must be, that reformation had been so long thwarted and delayed, or that when it actually commenced its sanitary progress, so few of its sanguine promoters were driven by the violence of reaction into extremes upon the other side.
There is no greater mistake than to suppose that the reforming spirit was confined, in the fifteenth century, to a single spot or nation, to a few enthusiastic individuals, or to a capricious and undiscriminating class. The highest authorities in Church and State [Even the Spanish cardinal Ximones, was affected by this movement. For an account of his ecclesiastical reforms, see Prescott�s Hist. of Ferdinand and Isabella, II. 481, seqq. ed. 1838.] were then equally forward in aiding its propagation, and in deploring the virulence of the disease by which Western Christendom was afflicted.
These questions had been in some measure forced upon their notice by bold and desultory movements in Bohemia [In the 14th century, before the time of Ibis, Matthias von Janow, confessor to the emperor, Charles IV, had pressed the importance of commencing a reformation. Guerike, Kirchen-geschichte, I. 774, Halle, 1843.] and elsewhere; but principles far more certain of success, because less tainted by revolutionary elements, were equally at work in the great mass of society, paving the way to a gradual restoration of discipline and of morals:, to a reorganization of the ecclesiastical system fast dying and decomposing, and ultimately to the recovery of the Primitive Faith, which is embodied in our English Service-Books and the Articles of Religion.
But this general cry for reformation will be most clearly illustrated by a few striking examples from the public documents of the age.
Let us first turn to the council of Pisa, assembled on the 25th of March, 1409, and universally allowed to be one of the most numerous and august of the later ecclesiastical synods. It was convoked, on account of the papal schism, by twenty-two cardinals, who were induced to pledge themselves that whoever was elected pope, the council should not be dissolved until it had commenced a purification of the Church, �both in head and members.� [Schr�ckh, Kirchen-geschichte, XXXI. 364, 365, Leipzig, 1800.] Their choice fell unanimously upon Peter of Candia (Alexander V), and one of the first promises which he made after his election, betokened the willingness of the pontiff �to forward the work of Reformation.� [Lenfant, Histoire du Concile de Pise, i. 290, Amst. 1724. See also a very important paper drawn up by our countryman, Richard Ulverston (or Ullerstone,) as a memorial for the Bishop of Salisbury at the same council of Pisa. Von der Hardt, Concil. Constant. I. 1126, seqq.]
Other subjects, however, intervened during the sessions of the council; and when several of the prelates had departed, it was judged expedient to proceed no further in the correction of abuses, till the assembling of a future synod.
The Reformers experienced a similar disappointment, when the next opportunity was offered at Constance (Nov. 5, 1414): for although one of the objects of that council was the �Reformation of the Church,� [Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Constance, I. 46, 373, Amsterdam, 1727.] the chief care of the prelates was directed to the healing of the papal schism. Von der Hardt has collected all the sermons delivered on the occasion (during the years 1414�1418); and it is interesting to observe that among others who dwelt upon the urgent necessity of reform, was an Oxford man, Hottric Abendon. [His sermon was preached Oct. 29, 1415. For an account of it, see Lenfent, Liv. IV. s. xxxvi.] The most cursory perusal of these sermons will demonstrate the general corruption of the Church, and also the very ardent desire which was then manifested in all quarters for an immediate and effectual remedy. At the same synod, Gerson, the Chancellor of the University of Paris, exhibited a long catalogue of abuses: [In Bp. Jewell�s Epistola de Concilio Tridentino (Works VIII. 86, ed. Jelf) the number is stated at seventy-five.] and while it must be confessed that few of them proceed further than temporal and disciplinary matters, [Lenfant, II. 136.] there can be little doubt that the sifting of these would have brought into greater prominence a variety of questions �de Fide,� with which they are closely intertwined.*
[*That such a connection was felt by many writers of the period, is proved by Schr�ckh, Kircheng. selt der Reform. I. 100, 101. �Ther are olde wrytynges of certayne lerned men, that haue flouryshed in other nacions which dyd lament the calamities of the churche, and touched the selfe same errours which our men do reproue.� The causes why the Germanes wyll not go nor consents vnto the councel of Mantua; Sowthwarke, 1537, printed by James Nicolson. Cf. Bp. Taylor�s Dissuasive Works, VI. 225, ed. Eden.]
It is also remarkable that during the council of Constance (June 15, 1415), a committee was formed under the title of the �Reformation-College,� [For a list of their resolutions, see Lenfant, n. 309, seqq.] including among its members three cardinals and deputies from each �nation,� together with divines and civilians.
The plan of a general reformation of the Church suggested at this period, was again agitated on all sides before the assembling of the council of Basle. An instructive proof of the anxiety with which men were looking forward to the redress of their grievances, may be seen in the Propositiones super acceleratione Generalis Concilii pro reformatione Ecclesae,* addressed in the name of our own king (Henry VI) to pope Martin V (Nov. 27, 1425). The tone of these papers is dutiful throughout, and were other evidence wanting, they alone would abundantly prove, that even among those who were most devoted to the support of the papal chair, a feeling had been gradually awakened of the absolute need of amelioration, if the Church was to retain her hold upon the heart and intellect of Europe.
[*Brown�s Fasciculus, Praef. pp. x�xxi. The following is a speeimen �Prefecto, beatissimo pater, ni fallitur ipse rex, ni falluntur cum, ipso viri doctissimi multumque per V. Sanctit. devotissimi, hac misericordia nullum V. S. offerro potest Deo sacrificium acceptabilius, nullam populo Christiano vobis commisso gratiam conferre potestis ampliorem: sed et nulla laus durabilior, nullumque magis perenne decus vestris operibus virtuosis potest retribui, quam si diebus vestris sanctam hanc Ecelesiae Dei reformationem, concilio Constantiensi solenniter promissam, concorditerque per omnes nationes, in concilio ad Christum (sic) tunc quinquennium celebrando, neceseario fieri debere conclusam, adimplere merueritis in populo Dei.� p: xiv.]
On the 23rd of July, 1431, the council of Basle was opened: yet here also attention was diverted from the subject of reformation by the angry and protracted disputes respecting the subordination of the pope to the authority of an oecumenical synod. Doubtless this quarrel tended indirectly to strengthen the cause of the Reformers, by lowering the pretensions of the papacy; and when the council at length ventured to pronounce the deprivation of the Roman pontiff, in language no less measured than the fulminations of Luther, [See Schr�ckh, XXXII. 78�85.] an earnest was given of the boldness and decision which found utterance a century later in the decree of the English Convocation.
During the interval which elapsed from the council of Basle, little or nothing was effected in the removal of corruptions; and we might have thought that the reforming principle had been suppressed, or had sunk down into lethargic despair, were there not some evidence surviving to assure us of the prolongation of the struggle.*
[*e. g. The Pisan prelates addressed a letter to the emperor Maximilian (Nov. 12, 1511) of which the following is a portion: �Assurge, igitur, Caesar Optime, adesto, vigila, labitur Ecclesia, opprimuntur boni, impii efferuntur, mergitur justitia, colitur impietas, surgunt in sinumque recipiuntur infideles; qui vero pro Ecclesia consilium capiunt, illique opem et auxilium ferunt, quasi hostes ejiciuntur, opprimuntur, obruuntur. Age, Caesar Maxime, majestatem tuam appellat ipsa cujus advocatem et protectorem te fecit Omnipotens, Ecclesia, videlicet Romana ac universalis. Tuum magna miserabilique voce auxilium rogitat.� Apud Richer. Histor. Concil. Lib. IV. Part I. 121, 122. Colon. 1681.]
On the rising of the council of Lateran, however, in 1517, the unlimited dominion of the papacy was synodically re-established; and hardly one sign appeared on the surface of the Church to indicate the deep and violent convulsion, which, before the close of the reign of Leo, was to rend Christendom to its centre. The Hussites had dwindled into obscurity; the Lollards and other kindred sects had ceased to provoke the sword of persecution; France also, at one time a formidable malcontent, was on the point of composing her quarrel with the pope, by the abrogation of the �Pragmatic Sanction;� and if any apprehension was felt by the earnest churchman of the day, it must have arisen from the paganizing tendency of religion, and the frequent association of the Greek philosophers with our Lord and His Apostles.
But this lull in the cry for Reformation was at length followed by the storm: men woke still more consciously to the perception of their bondage and the magnitude of the evils by which they were encompassed; and refusing all the opiates administered by fear, would not rest* till they had vigorously attempted the purification of the Church.
[*�When I see His vineyard overgrown with thorns, brambles, and weeds, I know that everlasting woe appertaineth to me, if I hold my peace and put not my hands and tongue to labour in purging His vineyard.� Archbishop Cranmer, Preface to the �Book on the Sacrament.�]
In this case, as before, the agitation was aroused by the prevailing disciplinary abuses, and continued for a while to attract the cooperation even of the Roman pontiffs. Adrian VI (the successor of Leo) did not hesitate to declare by his nuncio Chieregati, [Instructions to Francisco Chieregati, apud Rainald. Annal. Eccl. Tom. XX. ad an. 1522, n. 66.] at the imperial diet at Nuremberg (1522), �We know that, for a long time there have existed many abominations in this holy see, abuses of spiritual things, excesses in the exercise of jurisdiction: all things, in short, have been changed and perverted. Nor need we wonder that corruption has descended from the head to the members, from the supreme pontiff to the inferior prelates. We have all, that is, prelates and ecclesiastics, turned aside each one to his own way: for none of us have done well, no, not one.�
On the same occasion the German princes drew up the memorable document, entitled �Centum Gravamina adversus sedem Romanam, totumque ecelesiasticum ordinem,� [See them at length in Brown�s Fasciculus, I. 354, seqq., and an abstract in Herbert�s �Henry VIII.,� 125, seq.] than which no stronger evidence can be quoted of the enormities then prevalent in the administration of the Church, and of the fearless manner in which they were assailed by the temporal authorities of the age. At Rome these complaints were naturally construed into a latent sympathy with the school of Luther, to which the pope, as a Dominican divine, was peculiarly opposed; and on that account, among other causes, they were either ill-received or wholly disregarded when at length submitted to his notice. The reforming pontiff himself expired in the course of the following year, and with him all reasonable hope that a satisfactory system of reformation would proceed from the court of Rome.
Yet even there evidence continued to exist of the urgent necessity of change. Long after the Lutheran theology had struck its roots in the heart of Germany, and had thus prejudiced the minds of many against all salutary measures,* �select committee of cardinals and other prelates� was appointed in 1538, by pope Paul III. to consider what could possibly be done �de emendanda Ecclesia.�** Among the signatures appended to the report are the names of Gaspar Contarini, and our own Reginald Pole. �It is the will of. God,� was their unhesitating language, �to rescue the tottering and all but subverted Church by your instrumentality, to lend a succouring hand to her ruin, to raise her to the eminence of old, and to retrieve her ancient honour. We have the best reason for this inference respecting the Divine will, since your holiness has instructed us, that, without reference to your own advantage or the advantage of any other, we should point out to you the abuses, yea, rather diseases, by which for a long time the Church of God, and especially this Roman court, have been most grievously afflicted: from which also it has resulted, that as the pestiferous disease became gradually inveterate they have been almost involved in a general ruin.�
[*The effect of this feeling was manifest at the council of Trent, where Cardinal Pole in vain warned the assembly not to reject an opinion solely because it was held by Luther. Ranke, Hist. of Popes, I. 204, 209 (note;) Engl. Transl. 1841. The same fatal prejudice prevented the success of the plan alluded to in the text. When it was discussed in a full consistory, the following opinions of Cardinal Schomberg prevailed: �Il ajouta que par-i� l�on donneroit lieu aux Luth�riens de se vanter d�avoir force le Pape �, cette r�forme; it insista beancoup � faire voir que ce seroit un pas non seulement pour retrancher les abus, mais aussi pour abolir les bons usages, et pour exposer � un plus grand danger toutes les choses de la religion: parceque r�formation que l�on feroit, �tant une esp�ce d�aveu que les Luth�riens avoient eu raison de reprendre les abus ausquels il avoit fallu rem�dier, serviroit � fomenter tout le reste de leur doctrine.� Sarpi, Hist. du Concile de Trente, I. 151; ed. Courayer.]
[**Consilium Delectorum Cardinalium et aliorum Praelatorum de emendanda Ecclesia, in Le Plat, Monumenta Concil. Trident. II. 598, Lovan. 1782. One of the first abuses animadverted upon is the unfitness of the clergy, particularly the priests: �Hinc innumera scandala, hinc contemptus ordinis ecelesiastici, hinc divini cultus veneratio non tantum diminuta sed etiam prope jam extincta.� It is a significant fact, that this document has been itself thrust into the �Index Expurgatorius.�]
The evidence supplied by the above extracts might seem enough to demonstrate the prevalence of corruption in the times preceding the Reformation: but since it is not unusual in our day to extol the perfections of the mediaeval system, and to decry the movement of the sixteenth century as an outbreak of individual fanaticism, a few passages may be profitably subjoined from distinguished historians and polemics of the later Roman communion.
Let us hear the avowal of the learned cardinal Bellarmine: [Concio XXVIII. Opp. VI. 296; Colon. 1617.] �Some years before the rise of the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresy, according to the testimony of those who were then alive, there was almost an entire abandonment of equity in the ecclesiastical judgments; in morals no discipline, in sacred literature no erudition, in divine things no reverence; religion was almost extinct.�
In the same candid spirit is the following statement of de M�zeray, the historiographer of France: [Abrege� Chronol. VIII. 691, seqq. a Paris, 1681.] �As the heads of the Church paid no regard to the maintenance of discipline, the vices and excesses of the ecclesiastics grew up to the highest pitch, and were so public and universally exposed as to excite against them the hatred and contempt of the people. We cannot repeat without a blush the usury, the avarice, the gluttony, the universal dissoluteness of the priests of this period, the licence and debauchery of the monks, the pride and extravagance of the prelates, and the shameful indolence, ignorance and superstition pervading the whole body .... These were not, I confess, new scandals: I should rather say that the barbarism and ignorance of preceding centuries, in some sort, concealed such vices; but,, on the subsequent revival of the light of learning, the spots which I have pointed out became more manifest, and as the unlearned who were corrupt could not endure the light through the pain which it caused to their eyes, so neither did the learned spare them, turning them to ridicule and delighting to expose their turpitude and to decry their superstitions.�
Bossuet* in the opening statements of his �Histoire des Variations,� admits the frightful corruptions of the Church for centuries before the Reformation; and he has been followed in our own times by Frederic von Schlegel [Philosophy of History, 400, 401, 410, Engl. Transl. 1847.] and M�hler. [Symbolik, II. 31, 32, Engl. Transl.] While all of them are most anxious to prove that the Lutheran movement was revolutionary and subversive of the ancient faith, they are constrained to admit the universality of the abuses, which, in the language of Schlegel, �lay deep, and were ulcerated in their very roots.�
[*�Qui me donnera,� disoit saint Bernard, �que je voie, avant que de mourir, l�Eglise de Dieu comme elle �toit dans les premiers jours? Si ce saint homme a eu quelque chose � regretter en mourant, �a �t� de n�avoir pas vu un changement si heureux. Il a g�mi toute sa vie des maux de l�Eglise ... Les d�sordres s��toient encore augment� depuis. L�Eglise Romaine, la m�re des Eglises, qui durant neuf si�cles entiers, en observant la premi�re avec une exactitude exemplaire la discipline eccl�siastique, la maintenoit de toute sa force par tout l�univers, n��toit pas exempte de mal; et d�s le temps du concile de Vienne [1311,] un grand �v�que charg� par le pape de pr�parer les mati�res qui devoient y �tre trait�es, mit pour fondement de l�ouvrage de cette sainte assembl�e, qu�il falloit r�former l�Eglise dans is chef et dans le membres.�]
SECT. 2. The regularity of the English Reformation.
We may now, therefore, pass to the question more immediately bearing upon our own country: How did the Church of England reply to. the general clamour of the age for the correction of the prevalent evils?
The principle upon which she proceeded may be briefly stated thus: � A national Church, [The phrase, �Ecelesia Anglicana,� is at least as old as Magna Charta.] through the medium of its representative synod, duly convened with the royal sanction, has inherent authority from its Divine Founder to remove every species of abuse, whether of doctrine or discipline, existing within its own jurisdiction; nay, is absolutely bound by its allegiance to Christ and its regard for the people committed to its charge, to vindicate and extend the truths of the Gospel, as once for all delivered to the saints and taught in the Early Church.
Nor in asserting and acting out this principle did the Church of England exceed the power which had been claimed by domestic synods in the purest ages of the faith. They had always been considered competent to discuss the heresies, errors, and abuses which sprang up in particular Churches. �This right of provincial synods, that they might decree in causes of faith, and in cases of reformation, where corruptions had crept into the sacraments of Christ, was practised much above a thousand years ago by many, both national and provincial synods. For the council at Rome under pope Sylvester, anno 324, condemned Photinus and Sabellius; (and their heresies were of high nature against the faith). The council of Gangra about the same time [between 325 and 380] condemned Eustathius for his condemning of marriage as unlawful. The first council at Carthage, being a provincial, condemned rebaptization, much about the year 348. The provincial council at Aquileia, in the year 381, in which St. Ambrose was present, condemned Palladius and Secundinus, for embracing the Arian heresy. The second council of Carthage handled and decreed the belief and preaching of the Trinity; and this a little after the year 424. The council of Milevis in Africa, in which St. Augustine was present, condemned the whole course of the heresy of Pelagius, that great and bewitching heresy, in the year 416. The second council of Orange, a provincial too, handled the great controversies about grace and free-will, and set the Church right in the in the year 444. The third council of Toledo (a national one), in the year 589, determined many things against the Arian heresy, about the very prime articles of faith, under fourteen several anathemas. The fourth council of Toledo did not only handle matters of faith, for the reformation of that people but even added also some things to the Creed which were not expressly delivered in former creeds. Nay, the bishops did not only practise this to condemn heresies in national and provincial synods, and so reform these several places and the Church itself by parts, but they did openly challenge this as their right and due, and that without any leave asked of the see of Rome; for in this fourth council of Toledo they decree, �That if there happen a cause of faith to be settled, a general, that is, a national synod of all Spain and Galicia shall be held thereon;� and this in the year 643: �where you see it was then catholic doctrine in all Spain that a national synod might be a competent judge in a cause of faith. And I would fain know what article of faith doth more concern all Christians in general, than that of Filioque? and yet the Church of Rome herself made that addition to the Creed without a general council .... And if this were practised so often and in so many places, why may not a national council of �the Church of England do the like?� [Archbp. Laud, against Fisher. Sect. 24, 126, 127, Oxf. 1539.]
The first act, which the recovery of these principles accomplished, was the rejection of the papal supremacy. Originally independent of the Latin Church, this country had been gradually drawn into a comparative subjugation. The Roman element in our Anglo- Saxon Christianity had overpowered the influence exerted by the surviving British communion and the missionaries from Ireland; till at length a Considerable degree of deference, and even of servility, was manifested by the king, the clergy, and the people, towards the dominant court of Rome. Anterior to the Conquest the feeling was that of gratitude and affection, such as we may now trace in the language of the American Church with regard to the Church of England: but when the papal pretensions had grown into the form which they assumed under Gregory VII and his successors, � being developed from a primacy of order into a supremacy of power, � the tone of the English was frequently altered, and symptoms appear in their intercourse with the popes, of the warm and unflinching nationality which effected the Reformation. From the time of the dispute on the subject of investitures, � when �the, king and his nobles, the bishops also, and others of inferior rank, were so indignant as to assert that rather than surrender the privileges of their forefathers, they would depart from the Roman Church�* � till the final struggle in the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth, the encroachments of the pope had been calling forth a spirited opposition; and if we allow that his interference was in some cases salutary, and as such cordially desired by a large body of the nation, it is impossible to study the civil enactments of the period, [See a list of protestant acts during the Middle Ages, in Fullwood, Roma Ruit, chapters VIII�XIII.] without perceiving the growth of that deep exasperation, which eventually repelled the papal aggressions, and secured the freedom of the Church.
[*Archbp. Anselm�s letter to Paschal II; in Twysden�s Vindication, 16, new edit. The constitutions of Clarendon �were an actual subversion, as far as they went, of the papal policy and system of hierarchy introduced by Gregory VII.� Turner, Middle Ages, I. 246, ed. 1830; and at one time there was a general idea that Henry II would have anticipated the resistance of his eighth namesake, 259.]
These aggressions, separately attempted after the time of the Norman Conquest, and either absolutely denied or impatiently conceded, were made up of the following particulars:
(1) A judicial power in matters ecclesiastical, or cases of appeal.
(2) A power of granting licences and dispensations.
(3) A liberty to send legates into England and to hold legatine courts.
(4) A power of granting investiture of bishops, of confirming episcopal elections, and of distributing ecclesiastical patronage.
(5) A privilege of receiving first-fruits, the tenths of English benefices, and the goods of the clergy who died inestate.
The motives of the monarch, in whose reign our country was providentially relieved from these foreign encroachments, have no necessary connection with the English Reformation. The Church herself, duly convened and canonically represented, was the real judge of the questions at that time mooted in her communion: and, after examining them severally upon their distinctive merits, pronounced her authoritative sentence, as similar points had been uniformly decided by the Church of the earliest ages. For example, in the year 1534, after a few limiting statutes had been carried in parliament, it was solemnly proposed to the bishops and clergy, in the provincial synods. of Canterbury and York, Whether the bishop of Rome has in Holy Scripture any greater jurisdiction, within the kingdom of England, than any other foreign bishop? � and the question was answered in the negative with only four dissentient voices. In this judgment the universities, after five weeks of deliberation, also cordially acquiesced, and were followed by the cathedral chapters and the various conventual bodies; so that, excepting the single bishop of Rochester, the votes of the ecclesiastical authorities were all unanimously recorded against the pretensions of the Roman pontiff. [Burnet, Hist. Reform. III. 158, 159, Oxf. 1816; Records, No. 26, 27: Rymer�s Foedera, XIV. 487�527, ed. 1728; Wilkins, Concil. III. 771.]
The ground, upon which this decision was rested, will be seen in the following extracts from an almost contemporary document. They prove that the English divines of the period were actuated by no spirit of revolution, but proceeded with their critical task upon the principles which they had, drawn from the study of Christian antiquity.
�I believe that these particular Churches, in what place of the world soover they be congregated, be the very parts, portions or members of this catholic and universal Church. And that between them there is indeed no difference in superiority, pre-eminence or authority, neither that any one of them is head or sovereign over the other; but that they be all equal in power and dignity, and be all grounded and builded upon one foundation .... And therefore I do believe that the Church of Rome is not, nor cannot worthily be called the catholic Church, but only a particular member thereof, and cannot challenge or vindicate of right, and by the Word of God, to be head of this universal Church, or to have any superiority over the other Churches of Christ which be in England, France, Spain, or in any other realm, but that they be all free from any subjection unto the said Church of Rome, or unto the minister or bishop of the same. And I believe also that the said Church of Rome, with all the other particular Churches in the world, compacted and united together, do make and constitute but one catholic Church or body .... And therefore I protest and knowledge that in my heart I abhor and detest all heresies and schisms whereby the true interpretation and sense of Scripture is or may be perverted. And do promise, by the help of God, to endure unto my life�s end in the right profession of faith and doctrine of the catholic Church.� [Institution of a Christian Man; A. D. 1537; �Formularies of Faith,� 55�57, Oxf. 1825.]
If it be alleged that the rejection of the papal supremacy is here almost exclusively based upon a theory of the Church, the following passage from the same book will exhibit the historical reasons which influenced the English synod:
�As for the bishop of Rome, it was many hundred years after Christ before he could acquire or get any primacy or governance above any other bishops, out of his province in Italy. Sith the which time he hath ever usurped more and more. And though some part of his power was given unto him by the consent of the emperors, kings and princes, and by the consent also of the clergy in general [This epithet was applied at the time of the Reformation to other synods besides those which were strictly oecumenical. Cf. Art. xxi.] councils assembled; yet surely he attained the most part thereof by marvellous subtilty and craft, and specially by colluding with great kings and princes; sometime training them into his devotion by pretence and colour of holiness and sanctimony, and sometimes constraining them by force and tyranny: whereby the said bishops of Rome aspired and arose at length unto such greatness in strength and authority, that they presumed and took upon them to be heads, and to put laws by their own authority, not only unto all other bishops within Christendom, but also unto the emperors, kings, and other the princes and lords of the world, and that under the pretence of the authority committed unto them by the gospel; [For this reason the point brought before Convocation in 1534 was respecting the Scripturalness of the papal claims.] wherein the said bishops of Rome do not only abuse and pervert the true sense and meaning of Christ�s word, but they do also clean contrary to the use and custom of the primitive Church, and also do manifestly violate as well the holy canons made in the Church immediately after the time of the Apostles, as also the decrees and constitutions made in that behalf by the holy fathers of the Catholic Church, assembled in the first general Councils: and finally they do transgress their own profession, made in their creation. For all the bishops of Rome always, when they be consecrated and made bishops of that see, do make a solemn profession and vow, that they shall inviolably observe and keep all the ordinances made in the eight first general Councils, among the which it is specially provided and enacted, that all causes shall be finished and determined within the province where the same be begun, and that by the bishops of the same province; and that no bishop shall exercise any jurisdiction out of his own diocese or province. And divers such other canons were then made and confirmed by the said Councils, to repress and take away out of the Church all such primacy and jurisdiction over kings and bishops, as the bishops of Rome pretend now to have over the same. And we find that divers good fathers, bishops of Rome, did greatly reprove, yea and abhor, (as a thing clean contrary to the Gospel, and the decrees of the Church,) that any bishop of Rome, or elsewhere, should presume, usurp, or take upon him the title and name of �the universal bishop,� or of �the head of all priests,� or of �the highest priest,� or any such like title. For confirmation whereof, it is out of all doubt, that there is no mention made, neither in Scripture, neither in the writings of any authentical doctor or author of the Church, being within the time of the apostles, that Christ did ever make or institute any distinction or difference to be in the pre-eminence of power, order, or jurisdiction between the apostles themselves, or between the bishops themselves; but that they were all equal in power, order, authority and jurisdiction. And that there is now, and sith the time of the apostles any such diversity or difference among the bishops, it was devised by the ancient fathers of the primitive Church, for the conservation of good order and unity of the Catholic Church; and that either by the consent and authority, or else at the least by the permission and sufferance of the princes and civil powers for the time ruling.� [Ibid. 117, 118.]
This subject was authoritatively resumed in the �Necessary Doctrine for any Christian Man,� A. D. 1543, and discussed in the same spirit, with the aid of still more historical precedents against the usurpations of the papacy. [282�286.] The whole drift of the arguments employed convince us, that the aim of the Reformers was not to establish a new system of their own, but to re-establish one which they saw falling to decay, � not to depart from the communion of the rest of catholic Christendom, but to suppress the unlawful jurisdiction of a proud and daring pontiff, � and by following in the steps of the primitive Church, to regain for the whole of the English nation many pure and practical elements of the faith, which in the lapse of the Middle Ages had been gradually obscured, distorted, or denied by the dominant class of schoolmen.* This point has been so frequently urged with regard to the Church of England, that the production of further evidence is altogether superfluous:** but the reader will be interested to find the same principles no less strongly affirmed in a document drawn up by the Lutheran states (March 5, 1537), and immediately translated into English: �For the sklaunder is moost fals, (they write,) which our aduersaries do oftentymes cast forth, that errours sometyme condemned are scattred abrode and olde heresyes renewed of our men; and therfore they denye that ther is any nede of tryall. Nother is it onye harde thynge to refute this sklaunder, our Confession*** once shewed fourth. For thys pure doctryne of the Gospel whiche we haue embraced is, wythout doute, euen the verye consente of the catholyke Church of Christ: as the testimonies of the olde Church and of holye fathers do euydentlye declare. For we do not receaue or approue any wycked opynions, or such as fyghte with the consent of the holy fathers; yee rather in many artikles we do renew the teachynges of the old synodes and fathers, which the latter age had put out of the way, and for them had geuen forth other false and conterfette doctrynes, wyth the which oure aduersaryes do shamefully fyghte wyth the judgementes of the fathers and authoryte of the synodes.� [The Causes why the Germanes will not go, nor consente vnto that Councel, &c. (the proposed synod of Mantua) A. v. Sowthwarke, 1537. The original is printed in Le Plat, Monumenta, II. 567.]
[*See Field, �Of the Church,� I. 165 seqq., and especially Appendix to Book III, �wherein it is clearly proved that the Latine, or West Church in which the Pope tyrannized, was, and continued a true, orthodox, and protestant Church, and that the devisers and maintainers of Romish errors and superstitious abuses, were only a faction in the same, at the time when Luther not without the applause of all good men, published his propositions against the prophane abuse of papal indulgences.� II. 1�387, ed. E. H. S. 1849.]
[*e.g. �Reformatio non aurum abstulit, sed purgavit a luto: non vel fundamenta evertit, vel parietes diruit nut tecta, sed vepres solum exscidit, et finum ejecit: non carnem, ossa aut sanguinem corpori detraxit, sed saniem et humores pestiforos expulit. Aut si clarius haec dici velis: quicquid aureum, solidum, fundamentale, quicquid catholicum et antiquum est, retinuit: ea solum quae internis sordibus vestra, lutea, morbida, et fundamento assuta, quiequid novum, haereticum, idololatricum, aut antichristianum erat, amputavit. De substantia antiquae et catholicae fidei, nihil quidquam a nobis immutatum; quicquid tale est amplectimur ambabus ulnis, exosculamur, tuemur.� Crakanthorp, Defensio Eccl. Anglican. 601, ed. Oxon. 1847.]
[***The allusion is to the Augsburg Confession, where among other statements of a like character, it is declared: �Haec fere summa est doctrinae apud nos, in qua cerni potest, nihil inesse, quod discrepet a Scripturis, vel ab ecclesia Catholica, vel ab ecclesia Romana, quatenus ex Scriptoribus nota est (Germ. aus der V�ter Schrift.)� Confessio August. Pars I. � XXII: Libri. Symbol. Eccl. Lutheran. 25 ed. Francke, 1847.]
Chapter II � The Confession of Augsburg.
The observations at the close of the foregoing chapter have enabled us in some measure to anticipate the design of the first Reforming Confession, compiled in the spring of 1530, and presented at the diet of Augsburg to the emperor Charles V. It was this very remarkable document which suggested the idea so generally adopted in the middle of the sixteenth century; and had no further affinity subsisted between it and the Articles Of Religion, it would at least have demanded some cursory notice.
But there is a far more imperative reason for embracing the history of the Augsburg Confession within the scope of the present volume. It is intimately connected with the English Reformation; and in addition to the influence which it cannot fail to have exerted by its rapid circulation in this country, it contributed directly, in no inconsiderable degree, to the construction of the public Formularies of Faith approved by the Church of England. The XIII Articles, drawn up, it would seem, in 1538, were almost entirely based upon the language of the Germanic Confession; while the same sort of respect is no less apparent in the Articles of Edward VI, and consequently in those [The amount of this influence will be exhibited in the Appendix.] which are now binding on the whole body of the clergy.
On this account, therefore, it is necessary to understand the position of the Wittenberg Reformers in the year 1530, when they laid a formal record of their opinions before the imperial States.
Since the time of the diet of Worms in 1521, the movement, of which Luther was the ruling spirit, had become far more moderate in its tone, and far more purely theological. Its earlier vehemence had been expended in decrying the disciplinary abuses of the age, and the extravagant claims of the Roman pontiff: it had afterwards entered into a partial union with the bolder followers of Zwingli, and was accordingly in danger of imbibing his strong political maxims, as well as some portion of his peculiar theology: but the conference at Marburg [Ranke, Reformation, III. 189, seqq. Engl. Trans. 1847.] in 1529 was conclusive, both to themselves and others, that the two schools of foreign reformers were essentially divergent, and that however warmly they agreed in protesting against errors maintained in the Church at large, it was impossible to bring them, either by means of persuasion or of pressure, to subscribe the same standard of faith.
Ranke supplies an epitome of the two contending factions in the masterly contrast he has drawn between the character and feelings of their leaders: �Whereas Luther wished to retain everything in the existing ecclesiastical institutions that was not at variance with the express words of Scripture, Zwingli was resolved to get rid of everything that could not be maintained by a direct appeal to Scripture. Luther took up his station on the ground already occupied by the Latin Church; his desire was only to purify, to put an end to the contradictions between the doctrines of the Church and the Gospel. Zwingli, on the other hand, thought it necessary to restore, as far as possible, the primitive and simplest condition of the Church; he aimed at a complete revolution.�*
[*Ibid. in. 86; 87. �The reformers [i. e. the Zwinglians, as opposed to the Lutherans] would have nothing but the simple Word. The same end was proposed in all the practices of the church. A new form of baptism was drawn up, in which all the additions which have no ground in God�s Word� were omitted. The next step was the alteration of the mass. Luther had contented himself with the omission of the words relating to the doctrine of sacrifice, and with the introduction of the sacrament in both kinds. Zwingli established a regular love feast (Easter 1525.)� p. 88.]
This contrast was strongly imprinted on the minds of the Wittenberg reformers, when they proceeded in March, 1530, to frame the Augsburg Confession.
The idea of such an apology was conceived by Pontanus (or Br�ck,) the chancellor of Saxony;* and with the consent of his master, the elector John, the divines took as the basis of their work a series of somewhat older Articles, which had been carefully drawn up in the year preceding. This document was known by the name of the �Schwabach Articles,� where it had been exhibited, Oct. 16, 1529, as the preliminary step of a contemplated alliance with the rest of the foreign reformers. It was in its turn no more than the corrected version of a test which had been also offered to the Zwinglian delegates, in the previous meeting at Marburg** (Oct. 3, 1529.)
[*The following was the advice given by Pontanus (March 14, 1530:) �Dieweil Kais. Mt. Ausschreiben vermag, dass eins Itzlichen Opinion and Meinung, goh�rt soll werden [i.e. at the ensuing Diet,] will uns fur gut ansehen, dass solche meinung darauf unsers Theils bisanher gestanden und verharret, ordentlich in Schriften zusammen gezogen werden mit gr�ndlicher Bew�hrung derselbigen ans g�ttlicher Schrift, damit man solchs in Schriften furzutragen hat, wo man den St�nden auch die Prediger in den Handelungen die Sachen furzutragen lassen je nit w�rde verstatten wollen.� F�rsteman, Urkundenbuch zu d. Gesch. d. Reichstages zu Augsburg in J. 1530, I. 42 seqq. It is clear from the imperial edict, as well as from other sources, that the Augsburg Confession was not meant to be a complete system of doctrine, but only an apologetical statement of the Lutheran position with respect to the different subjects actually in dispute: cf. Guerike, Kircheng. II. 174 (note.)]
[**Ranke, Reform. III. 197.]
The Articles are seventeen in number, [See them at length in Weber, Kritische Gesch. der Augsb. Conf. I. App. 2.] and manifest in the whole of their structure the deep and fundamental separation, which was then thought to have grown between the Lutheran body and those who persisted in their attachment to the rival school of Zwingli.
We have no reason, therefore, to anticipate that when Melancthou was deputed to remodel the �Schwabach Articles,� and to introduce some additional matter respecting ecclesiastical abuses, he was acting in any way as the representative of more than his own communion; and after perusing the result of his labours as they stand in the Augsburg Confession, the inference which might have been drawn from the circumstances of the times, is entirely supported by internal testimony. That document is exclusively Lutheran, opposed to the Zwinglian tenets upon every controverted point, and distinguished by the same cordial respect for the authority of the past, which we trace in a greater or less degree among all the writings of Melancthon. In gentleness of tone, in gracefulness of language, and in general perspicuity and arrangement, it is also highly characteristic of the compiler: while in substance it is careful to adhere as closely as the truth permitted to the existing standards of Western Christendom. Melancthon seems to have felt distinctly that he was treading in the steps of St. Augustine and the rest of the Early Fathers; his protests were, accordingly, confined to a number of modern innovations by which the schoolmen had been gradually corrupting the faith and discipline of the Church.
A rough draught of this venerable Confession was first made in Latin, and sent (May 11) to Luther at Coburg, with a request from the Saxon elector, that he would revise it with the greatest caution. His answer, which is dated May 15, expresses the satisfaction with which he had perused the production of his colleague. �I have read over Mr. Philip�s Apology (the original name of the Confession:) it pleases me very much. I know not how to improve or alter anything, if that indeed would not be unbecoming, for I cannot tread so gently and softly. Christ our Lord grant that it may bring forth abundant fruit, even as we hope and pray.� [Guerike, II. 172.]
A further revision by Melancthon and others especially by the chancellor Pontanus, was not terminated until the 31st of May, [Libri Symbolici Eccl. Lutheran. ed. Franke, Lips. 1847, Prolegom. XVI. note (10.)] when a copy of the Latin Articles [Melancthon next undertook the German version which was completed on the 14th of June. Ibid. xvii.] was placed in the hands of the Lutheran princes then present at the diet. To the effect of the criticism which it received during this interval may be attributed some portion of the various readings which appear in the earlier editions. [See Ranke, III. 274; Guerike, II. 176. Notwithstanding the prohibition of the emperor, the Confession passed through seven editions in the course of 1530. Franke, ubi supra, XXIV.] The work of revision was still proceeding when a message from the emperor informed the Lutherans that he would bear their Apology on the 23rd of June, and on that day a German version, also from the pen of Melancthon, was read aloud to the assembled States in the chapter-room of the episcopal palace. [Ranke, III. 277.] This copy as well as the Latin original was then delivered to the emperor, having previously received the, signatures of the elector and the other members of the diet, who were in favour of the Lutheran cause. [The names stand in the following order: John, the elector of Saxony; George, the markgrave of Brandenburg; Ernest, duke of L�neburg; Philip, landgrave of Hesse; John Frederick, electoral prince of Saxony; Francis, duke of L�neburg; Wolfgang, prince of Anhalt; the senate and magistracy of Nuremberg; and the senate of Reutlingen.]
After the above description of the circumstances which attended its origin and presentation, we may now proceed to a review of some of its principal contents. It consists of two parts, the first having reference to matters of faith, and the second to ecclesiastical or disciplinary abuses. The former are distributed into twenty-two articles, and the latter into seven.
The first article is entitled �De Deo,� and in it the Lutherans express their entire acceptance of the Nicene Statements respecting the Unity of the Divine Essence, and the Trinity of Divine Persons. They also condemn all the heresies by which this doctrine had been impugned both in ancient and modern times. [Some of the �neoterici� here condemned were Servetus and his party, whose opinions were then spreading in Germany. Francke, 13, note 7.]
The second article treats �de peccato originis,� and affirms that all men naturally sprung from Adam are born in sin, and that this original disease (morbus seu vitium) is sin, entailing eternal death on all who are not born again (per baptismum et Spiritum Sanctum). This article also condemns the Pelagians and others. [In the �Apologia Confessionis,� 57, ed. Francke, Melancthon specifics �scholastici doctores.�]
The third article reiterates the received language of the Creeds respecting the incarnation of our Lord; His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, with all their saving fruits; adding (in the German copy of the Confession) a condemnation of all heretics who impugn these articles of the faith.
The fourth section approaches the doctrine of justification, declaring that men are not made acceptable in the sight of God by any works or merits of their own, but are justified gratuitously for the sake of Christ through faith (propter Christum per fidem.)
The fifth article, �de ministerio ecclesiastico,� affirms that the Holy Ghost, who produces faith, is given by means of the Word and Sacraments (tanquam per instrumenta). It also condemns the Anabaptists and others, who were circulating a different tenet.
The sixth article, �de nova obedientia,� maintains that faith must result in good works (debeat bonos fructus parere,) but denies that we may hope by their means to deserve justification before God. It appeals, in proof of this statement, to the language of Holy Scripture, and to ancient ecclesiastical writers.
The seventh article, admitting that the church is one, holy, and perpetual, defines it as a congregation of saints (or of all the faihful,) in which the Gospel is rightly taught, and the sacraments rightly administered: adding, that these two conditions are enough for the true unity of the Church.
The eighth article explains, that notwithstanding the former definition, there are hypocrites always mingling in the communion of the faithful. It affirms also, that the Word and Sacraments are efficacious, even when administered by evil men (propter ordinationem et mandatum Christi,) and condemns the Donatists and others[The followers of Wiclif were included; see Apol. Confess. 149.] by whom this doctrine had been impugned.
The ninth article, �de Baptismo,� declares that this sacrament is necessary to salvation, that the grace of God is offered by it, (per baptismum offeratur) and that children ought to be baptized, in order to be thereby admitted into the favour of God. It also repudiates the errors of the Anabaptists.
The tenth article, �de Ccena Domini,� declares that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present (vere adsint,) [Germ. wahrhaftglich unter Gestalt des Brots and Weins im Abendmahl gegenw�rtig sey.] and are distributed to the recipients. It also censures those who maintained a contradictor tenet.
The eleventh article, �de Confessione,� declares that private absolution ought to be retained, but denies that the enumeration of all sins is to be regarded as essential.
The twelfth article, �de Poenitentia,� affirms the remissibility of sin committed after baptism, and defines penitence as consisting of contrition and faith together with the fruits of penitence, viz., good works. It condemns the Anabaptists, who asserted that persons once justified could not lose the Holy Spirit; the Novatians, and other kindred sects; and repudiates the opinions then current respecting the merit of human satisfactions.
The thirteenth article, �de usu sacramentorum,� teaches that sacraments are not only badges (notae) of our Christian calling, but rather signs and testimonies of God�s will towards us, ordained for the purpose of exciting and confirming faith. It also condemns those who maintained that sacraments justify �ex opere operata,�* and neglected to teach that faith is required to the profitable use of sacraments.
[*This phrase is explained in Apol. Confessionis, �quod sacramenta non ponenti obicem conferant gratiam ex opere operato sine bona motu utentis,� 203. (cf. the ninth English Article of 1538, Append. No. II.) The further explanations of Luther with respect to the question of infant baptism may be seen at length in his �Catechismus Major,� Part. IV. s. 41 seqq.]
The fourteenth article, �de ordine ecclesiastico,� simply states that no one ought to preach or administer sacraments who is not rightly called (rite vocatus.)
The fifteenth article, �de ritibus ecclesiasticis,� affirms that festivals and other similar institutions, though not essential to salvation, are to be retained, so long as they be celebrated without sin, and conduce to tranquility and good order in the Church. It adds a protest against the error that human traditions have any virtue in meriting the grace of God, or in making satisfaction for sins.
The sixteenth article, �de rebus civilibus,� vindicates the authority of the civil powers from the lax and revolutionary opinions of the Anabaptists, declaring also the lawfulness of war, of property, of oaths, and marriage.
The seventeenth article, �de Christi reditu ad judicium,� affirms the doctrine of the resurrection and final judgment, the everlasting happiness of the holy, and the endless misery of wicked men and devils. It condemns the Anabaptists, who maintained that future punishment would be finite, and those also who were circulating �Judaical opinions� respecting a reign of the faithful upon earth before the resurrection.
The eighteenth article, �de libero arbitrio,� while admitting that the human will has a certain liberty of choice and action, [�Ad efficiendam civilem justitiam (Germ. �usserlich ehrbar zu leben) et deligendam res rationi subjectas.�] denies that man can work out spiritual obedience, or things pleasing to God, without the grace of the Holy Spirit. It bases this doctrine upon the language of St. Augustine, and condemns the Pelagians and others who overrated the powers of nature.
The nineteenth article, �de causa peccati,� declares that the cause of sin is to be found in the will of the ungodly, viz. of the devil and wicked men, which has turned itself away from God.
The twentieth article, �de fide et bonis operibus,� is a detailed answer to the objection that the Lutherans discouraged or prohibited good works.* It affirms, chiefly on the authority of St. Paul, and in the language of St. Augustine, that we are received into the favour of God solely for the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, as opposed to any merits of our own, that we obtain this gratuitous justification by faith only (tantum fide, or fiducia), and that as the result of this acceptance and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we put on new affections and are fruitful in good works.
[*It begins by noticing an improvement in the general language of the clergy; �De quiebus rebus olim parum docebant concionatores; tantum puerilia et non necessaria opera urgebant, ut certas ferias, certa jejunia, fraternitates, peregrinationes, cultus sanctorum, rosaria, monachatum et similia. Haec adversarii nostri admoniti nunc dediscunt, nec perinde praedcant haec inutilia opera, ut olim. Praeterea incipiunt fidei mentionem facere, de qua olim mirum erat silentium: docent nos non tantum operibus justificari, sed conjungunt fidem et opera, et dicunt, nos fide et operibus justificari. Quae doctrina tolerabilior est priore, et plus afferre potest consolationis, quam vetus ipsorum doctrina.�]
The twenty-first article, �de cultu sanctorum,� while it recognizes the duty of imitating the good examples of the saints, affirms, as the doctrine of Holy Scripture, that Christ is the one Mediator, Priest, and Intercessor, and on that ground prohibits the invocation of any other.
The twenty-second article concludes the First Part of the Confession, by declaring that there is nothing in the doctrine of the Lutheran body which differs either from the Scriptures, or the ancient Church. The dissension (it goes on to state) rose out of certain abuses (de quibusdam abusibus) which had crept into the churches without competent authority. The promoters of the German Reformation felt it their duty to interpose and correct these growing evils, but had no wish to set up a new standard of doctrine, or even to abolish the ancient usages of the Church when freed from their abuses.
The corruptions to which the Lutherans had alluded form the subject of the Second Part of their Confession.
The first article, �de utraque specie,� is occupied in vindicating the right of the layman to communion in both kinds. This right is based upon the clear language of Holy Scripture and the practice of the Early Church.
The second article, �de conjugio sacerdotum,� relates to the many scandals which arose from the compulsory celibacy of the clergy. It asserts the honour of the married state, and quotes St. Cyprian as maintaining that even those who have promised to live single are not absolutely bound by their promise.
The third article is entitled �de missa.� It begins by declaring that �the mass� had not been abolished by the Lutherans, but was performed by them with the greatest reverence, [�Falso accusantur ecclesiae nostrae, quod missam aboleant. Retinetur enim missa apud nos et summa reverentia celebratur.�] only with a slight change in the ceremonial, and the addition of some German hymns for the instruction of the people. The �private masses� had, however, been discontinued on account of the profane and mercenary spirit in which they were too generally celebrated. The �opinion� was repelled which taught men to regard the mass as a work which effaces the iniquities both of the living and the dead, �ex opere operato;� and great stress was laid upon the Eucharist as a communion, after the example of the ancient Church.
The fourth article, �de Confessione,� while denying the necessity of a particular enumeration of sins, declares that confession had not been abolished by the Lutherans, but was positively enjoined as a prerequisite to participation in the eucharist. They taught also that absolution is a very great benefit (maximum beneficium).
The fifth article, �de discrimine ciborum et traditionibus,� affirms that an opinion had prevailed in all quarters respecting the eflicacy of these human ordinances in making satisfaction for sin, and proceeds to recount the disastrous consequences which resulted from such an error. The Lutherans, however, did not prohibit individual discipline and mortification of the flesh, and retained all the traditional usages which conduced to a seemly performance of divine service, though refusing to them any meritorious value.
The sixth article, �de votis monachorum,� maintains that in the time of St. Augustine religious associations were purely voluntary, and that vows were only introduced as discipline was corrupted. It refutes the idea that the monastic is the highest order of Christian life; and after vindicating the dignity of marriage, declares the dangerous effects of confiding in recluse habits as the ground of some special sanctity.
The seventh article, �de potestate ecclesiastica,� distinguishes between the functions of the spiritual and civil authorities, about which the disputes had been long and vehement. To the former, as the representatives of the apostles, it assigns the preaching of the word, the power of the keys, and the administration of the sacraments: while the secular princes are engaged in protecting the persons and property of their subjects, and in illustrating the ordinance of God under a very different aspect. It ends by declaring that the Lutherans had no wish to wrest the spiritual power out of the hands of the lawful bishops, but that a schism was likely to ensue if these latter persisted in their ritual demands with the same imperious rigour.
In the �Epilogue,� subjoined to the Confession, it is stated, that the above are �the principal articles which seemed to be the subjects of controversy;� that a longer list of abuses might have been drawn up, extending to the question of indulgences, pilgrimages, &c.; but that the Lutherans had acted mainly on the defensive, confining themselves to matters respecting which they were constrained to speak out distinctly, lest a handle should be left for the prevalent imputation, that they had excepted as part of their doctrine and ceremonial what was contrary to Scripture or to the Catholic Church. [�Tantum ea recitata sunt quae videbantur necessaria dicenda esse, ut intelligi possit in doctrina ac caeremoniis apud nos nihil esse receptum contra scripturam aut ecclesiam catholicam, quia manifestum est, nos diligentissime cavisse, ne qua nova et impia dogmata in ecclesias nostras serperent.� 50.]
The abstract here given of the Augsburg Confession is enough to convince us that in presenting it to the emperor, the Reformers indicated a strong desire to keep within the boundaries of the Latin Church, and to approximate as closely as possible to the generally received doctrines.* Their moderation is peculiarly discernible in the silence which they maintained respecting the encroachment of the papal power, as well as respecting the scandalous abuses which had called forth their original protest. They were now manifestly anxious to justify their own ecclesiastical position, to keep clear of the Zwinglian and Anabaptist reformers, and to win from the emperor and the Romish states at least a plenary toleration, until their grievances could be authoritatively redressed by the meeting of a general council.**
[*Ranke, Reform. III. 270, 271. �They wished for nothing but peace and toleration; they thought they had proved that their doctrines had been unjustly condemned and denounced as heretical. Luther brought himself to entreat his old antagonist, the Archbishop of Mainz, who now seemed more peaceably disposed, to lay this to heart: Melancthon addressed himself in the name of the princes to the legate Campeggi, and conjured him not to depart from the moderation which he thought he perceived in him, for that every fresh agitation might occasion an immeasurable confusion in the Church.� 276.]
[**The following points were at this time regarded as indispensable by Melancthon � sacrament in both kinds, marriage of priests, omission of the canon in the mass, concession of the secularized church-lands, and lastly, discussion of the other contested questions at a council. Ranke, 286.]
Yet the gentleness of Melancthon and his colleagues was very far from conciliating their opponents. Some of the more violent advocated an immediate appeal to the sword, in execution of the edict which had been promulgated against Luther at Worms: but the counsels of a party somewhat more moderate and forbearing were at last adopted by the emperor. At their suggestion, a committee of divines, then present at Augsburg, including Eck, Faber, and Cochlaeus, was appointed to draw up a formal confutation of the articles recently submitted to their notice; but it was not till the third of August that the princes, by whom they were employed, could be induced to accept their elaborate production. [Ranke, 283.] On that day, however, it was read in public amid the applause of the enemies of Luther. [See it at length in Francke, Append. 44�69. A more candid statement of the objections taken by the Romish party to the Augsburg Confession is the �Consilium� of Cochlaeus, presented to the king of the Romans, at his own request, June 17, 1540; in Le Plat, II. 657�670; of. also the � Consultatio� of G. Cassander, A. D. 1564, ibid. VI. 664 seqq.]
This document is most interesting to the student in theology, because it gives him an opportunity of judging how far the representatives of the scholastic system, at a later period of the conflict, were disposed to soften the extreme opinions which had roused the zeal of the reformers. Some of the articles of the Augsburg Confession are therein absolutely approved, others are as absolutely rejected; while the rest are in part accepted and in part condemned.
Those which come under the first division relate to the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, the necessity of baptism, and the efficacy of the sacraments (the only objection being that the number �seven� is not specified,) the mission of the clergy, the authority of the magistrates, the final judgment and the resurrection. To these may be added the holy Eucharist, with the statement of which no fault is found, but the Lutherans are required as a further exposition to admit the doctrine of concomitance; i.e., to deny the necessity of communion in both kinds.
With regard to those points where approval was positively withheld, it is still important to observe bow the Romish theologians had modified their language. They no longer taught that the sacraments justify, �ex opere operato,� i.e., by the mere performance of the act, nor that works which are done without grace are of the same nature as those which are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They also approached nearer to the repudiation of human merit, and while condemning the Lutheran formula of �sola fides,� maintained that faith and good works are the free gifts of God, and are absolutely nothing (nulla sunt et nihil,) when compared with the rewards which He has mercifully attached to them. The article �de ecclesia,� was rejected, because it seemed to imply that sinners are in no way members of the Church; and those relating to the invocation of saints, the denial of the cup, and the compulsory celibacy of the priesthood, were assailed by references to Holy Scripture, to the usage of the Early Church, and to the statements of the forged decretals. The propitiatory sacrifice of the mass, the use of the Latin language, monastic vows, and other kindred topics, were in like manner reaffirmed and supported by the citation of ecclesiastical authorities: and while hopes were afforded that some disciplinary abuses should be hereafter corrected or removed, there is no abatement of the claims which had long been propounded by the Latin Church to the absolute obedience of all the faithful.
Among the articles accepted in some measure only, was that which related to original sin, (objection being taken to the term �concupiscence�,) and those which affirmed the Lutheran view of confession and penitence; the first being regarded as somewhat too lax, and the second as underrating the necessity of satisfaction.
The general impression of the diet after listening to this confutation was hostile to the cause of the Wittenberg Reformers. The emperor more particularly declared his determination to act as became the protector of the Roman Church; and had he not been deterred by the elector of Saxony and the threatened invasion of the Turks, no further attempt at pacification would have met with his sanction. As it was, however, he consented to the suggestions of the more moderate of his party, and, on the 16th of August, a conference was opened with the view of eliciting some scheme of mediation and of re-establishing the unity of the German Churches.
�The dogmatical points at issue presented no insuperable difficulties. On the article of original sin, Eck gave way as soon as Melancthon proved to him that an expression objected to in his definition was, in fact, merely a popular explanation of an ancient scholastic one. Respecting the article on justification �through faith alone,� Wimpina expressly declared that no work was meritorious, if performed without grace; he required the union of love with faith, and only in so far he objected to the word �alone�. In this sense, however, the protestants had no desire to retain it; they consented to its erasure; their meaning had always been merely that a reconciliation with God must be effected by inward devotion, not by outward acts. On the other hand, Eck declared, that the satisfaction which the catholic Church required to be made by penitence, was nothing else than reformation; an explanation which certainly left nothing further to be objected to the doctrine of the necessity of satisfaction. Even on the difficult point of the sacrifice of the mass, there was a great approximation. Eck explained the sacrifice as merely a sacramental sign, in remembrance of that which was offered on the cross. The presence of Christ in the Eucharist was not debated. The protestants were easily persuaded to acknowledge not only a true, but also a real or corporal presence. It was certainly not the difference in the fundamental conceptions of the Christian dogma which perpetuated the contest... The real cause of rupture lay in the constitution and practices of the Church.� [Ranke, III. 306, 307. The truth of this statement is illustrated by the whole history of the papacy. To recognize the supreme authority of the Roman pontiff was the one indispensable condition required of our own Church in the time of Queen Elizabeth (Twysden, 198, et seqq, Cam. ed.), and it is still exacted with the same rigour of all who submit to the Roman communion. In the case of the Russian �Uniates� we are told that �nothing is required but the one capital point of submission to the pope.� Mouravieff�s Hist. of the Russian Church, 142, Engl. Transl. cf. 390 (note).]
The zeal of the papal legate Campeggi put an end to these pacific measures, by inflaming the emperor still more strongly against the whole of the Lutheran body. He insisted that the ordinances of the Church, to some of which they had ventured to object, were immediately dictated by the Holy Spirit; and as the result of his untiring efforts the States were at length brought to decree, that until the decision of the expected council, the reformers should appoint no more married priests; that they should enforce confession with the minuteness of former years; that they should neither omit the canon of the mass, nor abolish private masses; and, above all, should admit that communion in one kind is no less valid than in both. [Ranke, 310. The refusal of the Lutherans to comply with this edict, and the project of a Recess which was based upon it, suggested the composition of their second symbolical book, the �Apologia Confessionis� in which the main points of their system are stated more fully, and in a somewhat less Roman style.]
It was this arbitrary edict of the diet of Augsburg which extinguished the hope of reconciliation so warmly cherished by the moderate on both sides of the discussion; and although one more effort was made under the auspices of Contarini, whom the pope sent as his legate to a meeting at Ratisbon, in 1541, it was thwarted in the same maner as before, by the unyielding pretensions of the Roman court, and the intractability of party spirit.*
[*The Pope, as usual, had required in the first place the acknowledgement of his ecclesiastical supremacy; but Contarini kept it back till other questions had been settled. Melancthon and Bucer advocated the cause of the Reformers. It is most remarkable that the whole assembly came to an agreement on the four important articles of the nature of man, original sin, redemption, and even justification. The friends of Contarini congratulated him on the success of his endeavours; and among others, we find Cardinal Pole addressing him in these terms: �When I observed this unanimity of opinion, I felt a delight such as no harmony of sounds could have inspired me with; not only because I see the approach of peace and concord, but because these articles are the foundation of the whole Christian faith. They appear, it is true, to treat of divers things, of faith, works, and justification; upon the latter, however, � justification � all the rest are grounded; and I wish you joy, and thank God that the divines of both parties have agreed upon that. We hope that He who hath begun so mercifully will complete His work.� Quoted from Pole�s Letters, in Ranke, �Popes,� I. 164, 165. The proceedings at Ratisbon were, however, repudiated by Luther in violent language, and afterwards by some of the Cardinals and the Pope. Bucer�s remark on this occasion was too sadly verified in the result: �Most reverend Sir,� he declared to Contarini when overruled by fresh instructions from Rome, �the people are sinning on both sides; we, in defending some points too obstinately, and you in not correcting your many abuses.� Reccatelli, Vit. Contarini, apud Quirini Diatrib. III. 110.]
The approbation of the pope and of Luther was equally denied to the mediating body, and in a few years the council of Trent put an insuperable bar to all similar endeavours, by its rigorous definition of the Romish doctrines, and its absolute denunciation of all their opponents.
Chapter III � The English Articles of 1536.
The first triumph of the English Reformation was the synodical rejection of the papal supremacy, in 1534. In the execution of this important measure the intelligent members of the Church had very generally acquiesced. But notwithstanding so much harmony of action at the outset of the reforming movement, there existed little or no ground for hope that its progress would continue to conciliate the same uniform approbation.
The Church of England, like the rest of Christendom, was distracted by a number of hostile parties, widely differing in the details of their systems, but reducible under two popular designations, as favourers of the �old� or of the �new learning.�* The first may be said to have symbolized more or less with Gardiner, bishop of Winchester; the second, if we exclude the more violent of them, with Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury. Gardiner was a prelate of no ordinary powers, but like many of his gifted contemporaries, he deemed the work of reformation complete, when the encroachments of the foreign pontiff had been successfully resisted. He had himself acted a conspicuous part in this emancipation of the English Church; [See his Treatise �de Vera Obedientia,� with Bonner�s Preface, in Brown�s Fasciculus, II. 800�820.] but when the established religion of the country became an object of vigorous assault, and not unfrequently of furious vituperation, he placed himself at the head of the reactionary or anti-reformation school, and contested every inch of the ground, which he was finally forced to abandon.
[*See Archbishop Laurence, �Bampton Lectures,� 198. In strictness of language, however, this distinction was untrue, and as such was combated by the reforming party: �Surely they that set asyde the blynde iudgemente of the affeccion, and loke earnestly vppon the matter, iudge otherwyse of vs: For the olde auncient fathers dyd neuer know or heare tell of the moost parte of these thynges whyche oure condempners do teache: than ye maye be sure that theyr learnynge oughte not to be rekened for olde learnynge and apostolicall. Farthermore not euery thynge that the olde fathers wrote sauoureth of the syncerenesse and purenesse of the sprete of the apostles. Certayn thynges whyche were deuised wythin these foure hundreth yeares, yee rather euen of late haue bene receaued by and by of them, as soone as they were made, namely thyr is theyr learnynge and so olde, that they desyre for thys, that the Gospell almoost shoulde be cast awaye, and counted as a new teachyng and learnynge.� A comparison betwene the Olde learnynge and the Newe, translated out of Latyn unto Englysh by Wyliam Turner, 1538, A. III: cf. Archbp. Cranmer�s Works: I. 375, ed. Jenkyns.]
Cranmer, on the contrary, while ranking far higher than his rival, both in the extent of his theological learning and in his deep religious earnestness, was the champion of the doctrinal reformers: he was gradually perceiving the errors and abuses in his own provinces of the Christian Church, and, as became �the primate of all England,� was zealously promoting the work of restoration.
It would, however, be most undiscriminating and unfair to identify the opinions of Cranmer and his party, with those of the many turbulent spirits, both at home and on the continent, who were assailing the first principles of religion, and erecting upon the ruins of the papal supremacy their own eccentric institutions. We have seen that the views adopted by Luther and the rest of the Wittenberg divines, were incapable of all sympathetic union with the revolutionary tenets of Zwingli; and the same kind of discrimination will be necessary still, if we would ascertain the actual position of the early English reformers. Their conflict with the numerous adherents of Gardiner was only one aspect of a diversified struggle, which the truth in that stirring crisis had been destined to encounter. Very soon after the rejection of the papal supremacy, a host of misbelievers, known by the general name of �Anabaptists,� but differing from the Church at large on almost every fundamental doctrine, [Ranke (III. 588 seqq.) has an excellent chapter on the �Unitarian� and other Anabaptists. More evidence will be adduced respecting their extreme heresies, when we come to consider the misbelievers against whom the XLII Articles were directed.] began to propagate their creed in this country. A royal commission �contra Anabaptistas,� [Wilkins, Concil. III. 836.] bearing date October 1, 1538, describes their system as pestiferous and heretical, and urges the archbishop and his comprovincials to enter upon instant measures for their conviction or extermination. The introduction of these foreign elements gave fresh warmth and acrimony to the disputes already raging in the bosom of the Church of England. �Too many there be,� says the homilist, [Sermon against Contention and Brawling, 135. Camb. ed. The same kind of language is employed in a more nearly contemporary document, entitled �The King�s proclamation for uniformity in religion,� cir. A. D. 1536; Wilkins, III. 810.] �which upon the ale-benches or other places, delight to set forth certain questions, not so much pertaining to edification, as to vain-glory, and showing forth of their cunning; and so unsoberly to reason and dispute, that when neither part will give place to other, they fall to chiding and contention, and some time from hot words to further inconvenience.� A specimen of the taunts, which appear to have been at that time in every man�s mouth is then added* by the same writer: �He is a pharisee, he is a gospeller, he is of the new sort, he is of the old faith, he is a new-broached brother, he is a good catholic father, he is a papist, he is an heretic.�
[*Ibid. We have a curious illustration of these disputes in the last speech of Henry VIII, whose great object had been to bring about uniformity: �I hear daily that you of the clergy preach one against another without charity or discretion: some be too stiff in their old mumpsimus, others be too busy and curious in their new sumpsimus. Thus all men, almost, be in variety and discord, and few or none preach truly and sincerely the Word of God as they ought to do.� Herbert�s Life of Henry VIII. 600.]
In the midst of this strife of tongues, daily waxing louder and more virulent, was put forth the first code of doctrine produced by the English Reformation. It is aptly entitled �Articles to stablyshe christen quietnes and unitie amonge us, and to avoyde contentious opinions.� [These Articles will be found at large in Appendix, No. I., together with collations of the several forms in which they have been recorded.]
The proximate cause of their compilation will be found in the history of the Church in the year 1536, and more particularly in certain acts of the convocation which assembled on the 9th of June. The lower house seem to have proceeded at once to draw up a representation of the errors �then publicly preached, printed and professed;� and on the 23rd of June Richard Gwent, archdeacon of London and prolocutor, brought their complaint before the notice of the upper house, [Wilkins, III. 804.] requesting that order might be taken to stop the further propagation of all such dangerous positions. They are divided into sixty-seven heads; and though Fuller, who transcribed them from the records of convocation, is disposed to regard them as �the protestant religion in ore,� there is justice in the critique, which Collier has passed upon his language, that �unless we had found a richer vein, it may very well be questioned, whether the mine had been worth the working.� [II. 121; ed. 1714.] Fuller admits, indeed, that �many vile and distempered expressions are found therein;� and it is impossible to read through the list without feeling how much both of profaneness and of dogmatic mischief was calling for �special reformation� in this quarter, �as well as on the Romish side.� The majority of them are most truly described by Carte, as �erroneous opinions, which had been held by the Lollards formerly, or started now by the Anabaptists and others.�* At the same time, it cannot be denied, that in more than one of the propositions thus censured by the convocation, we may discern the rudiments of a purer faith;** and in these Cranmer and the more moderate of the reforming party, must have felt a secret satisfaction. It is indeed probable that one of the concluding articles of the remonstrance was directed against the archbishop and his colleagues; for the lower house complain, that �when heretofore divers books have been examined by persons appointed in the convocation, and the said books found full of heresies and erroneous opinions, and so declared; the said books are not yet by the bishops expressly condemned, but suffered to remain in the hands of unlearned people, which ministreth to them matter of argument and much unquietness within this realm.� [Wilkins, III. 807.]
[*III. 137; ed. 1752. The following are a few of the objectionable tenets: �Divers light and lewd persons be not ashamed or afraid to say, Why should I see the sacring of the high mass? Is it any thing else but a piece of bread, or a little pretty round Robin?� � �Priests have no more authority to minister sacraments than the laymen have.� � �All ceremonies accustomed in the Church, which are not clearly expressed in Scripture, must be taken away, because they are men�s inventions.� � �A man hath no free will.� � �God never gave grace nor knowledge of Holy Scripture to any great estate of rich men, and they in no wise follow the same.� � �It is preached and taught that all things ought to be common.� � �It is idolatry to make any oblations.� � �It is as lawful at all times to confess to a layman as to a priest.� � �Bishops, ordinaries, and ecclesiastical judges have no authority to give any sentence of excommunication or censure, ne yet to absolve or loose any man from the same.� � �All sins, after the sinner be once converted, are made by the merits of Christ�s passion venial sins, that is to say, sins clean forgiven.� � �The singing or saying of mass, mattens, or even-song, is but a roring, howling, whistling, murmuring, tomring, and juggling; and the playing at the organs a foolish vanity.� � �It is sufficient and enough to believe, though a man do no good work at all.� � �No human constitutions or laws do bind any Christian man but such as be in the Gospels, Paul�s epistles, or the New Testament; and that a man may break them without any offence at all.�
[*e. g. �They deny extreme unction to be a sacrament.� � �All those are antichrists that do deny laymen the sacrament of the altar, sub utraque specie.� � �Priests should have wives.� � �There is no mean place between heaven and hell wherein souls departed may be afflicted� (referring to the prevalent doctrine of purgatory, and not to that of the intermediate state, as now taught by the English Church).]
While these and other controversial topics were under the review of the lower house, the bishops seem to have been disputing in their turn upon the unhappy prospects of the Church. They were divided into nearly equal parties, the one side being favourable to some further reformation, the other, with the exception of the papal supremacy, adhering to the state of things which existed at the time of their consecration. In the first division we may reckon Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, Goodrich, bishop of Ely, Shaxton, bishop of Salisbury, Latimer,* bishop of Worcester, Fox, bishop of Hereford, Hilsey, bishop of Rochester, Barlow, bishop of St. David�s. The second consisted of Lee, archbishop of York, Stokesley, bishop of London, Tonstal, bishop of Durham, Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, Sherburne, bishop of Chichester, Kite, bishop of Carlisle, Nix, bishop of Norwich.
[*By Cranmer�s appointment he had preached the Sermon at the opening of the Convocation (Latimer�s Sermons, 33 seqq. ed. P. S.), and had remonstrated in his plain-spoken manner with the rest of his brother prelates for tolerating superfluous ceremonies and a variety of superstitions. He had also condemned the �monster, purgatory,� and the impious sale of masses: 50, 55.]
During the first session of the assembly, Cromwell, in his character of �vicar-general of the realm,� delivered an oration in the name of the king, assuring them of the concern felt by his majesty for the speedy termination of religious discord. �The king studyeth day and nyght,� he says, �to set a quietnesse in the Churche, and he cannot rest vntil all such controuersies be fully debated and ended, through the determination of you and of his whole parliament. For although his speciall desire is to set a stay for the vnlearned people, whose consciences are in doubt what they may beleue, and he himselfe by his excellent learning, knoweth these controuersies wel enough, yet he will suffer no common alteration, but by the consent of you and of his whole parliament.� [See the speech at length in Fox, 1182, ed. 1583. Atterbury (Rights of Convocation, 367, ed. 1700) contends that this meeting of the bishops took place in the year 1537: but Collier, Burnett, and others, refer it to the present year.] His majesty next admonishes the prelates �to conclude all thinges by the Word of God, without all brawling or scolding,� and will not suffer �the Scripture to be wrasted and defaced by any gloses, any baptisticall lawes, or by any authority of doctours or counselles, and muche lesse will he admitte any article or doctrine not conteyned in the Scripture, but approued onley by continuance of time and olde custome, and by vnwritten verities.�
A disputation instantly arose, in which Stokesley was the chief speaker on one side, and Cranmer on the other. The speech of the archbishop is preserved, [Fox, ibid.] and opens with an exhortation to cease from debating about words, so long as agreement is obtained �in the very substance and effect of the matter.� �There be waighty controuersies,� he continues, �nowe moued and put forth, not of ceremonies and light thinges, but of the true vnderstanding, and of the right difference of the lawe and of the gospell; of the manner and waye how sinnes be forgeuen, of comforting doubtfull and wauering consciences; by what meanes they may be certified, that they please God, seeing they feele the strength of the lawe, accusing them of sinne: of the true vse of the sacramentes, whether the outward worke of them doth iustifie men, or whether we receaue our justification by fayth. Item, which be the good workes, and the true seruice and honour which pleaseth God: and whether the choyse of meates, the difference of garmentes, the vowes of monkes and priestes, and other traditions which haue no worde of God to confirms them, � whether these (I say) be right good workes, and ruche as make a perfect Christian man or no. Item, whether vayne seruice and false honouring of God, and mans traditions, doe binde mens consciences or no? Finally, whether the ceremony of confirmation, of orders, and of annealing, and such other (whiche cannot be proued to be institute of Christ, nor haue anye worde in them to certifie vs of remission of sinnes) ought to be called sacraments, and be compared with Baptisme and the Supper of the Lord, or no?�
This statement of the questions more especially demanding the attention of the upper house, is an important illustration of the Articles, to which those questions led the way. According to Fox, the debate itself turned chiefly upon the meaning of the word �sacrament,� and the number of Christian rites to which it may be legitimately affixed. Aless, a Scotch refugee, whom Cromwell had introduced as a learned guest to the council of the bishops, contended that the term sacrament, though capable of a wider signification, should be confined to those ordinances of the Gospel �which haue the manifest word of God, and be institute by Christ to signify vnto us the remission of our sinnes.� [Fox, 1183. It is worth observing that when the bishops were assembled on the following day, Cranmer sent a message to Aless �commanding him to abstain from disputation.� Ib. 1184.] He grounded this limited definition upon the authority of St. Augustine: but Fox, bishop of Hereford, who had lately returned from a negotiation with the foreign reformers, exhorted him to conduct his argument by a simple reference to Holy Scripture, declaring that the Germans had made �the text of the Bible so playne and easye by the Hebrue and Greeke tongue, that now many thinges may be better understand without any gloses at all, then by all the commentaries of the doctours.� The chief disputant on the opposite side of this question, as of others, was Stokesley, the bishop of London, who �endeauoured himselfe with all his labour and industry, out of the olde schoole gloses, to maynteyne the seuen sacramentes of the Churche.� He was not unwilling to regard the Bible as the written Word of God, but asserted that by the language of the Bible itself we are commanded to receive a number of oral traditions, which may worthily be called �the Word of God unwritten,� as of equal authority with the Holy Scriptures.
The irreparable loss of the convocation-records has prevented us from pursuing these discussions to their close, and has at the same time left us uncertain as to the manner in which the above-mentioned remonstrance of the lower house was handled by the bishops. Enough is, however, surviving to evince the disunion of the rulers no less than of the Church at large, and the consequent necessity of adopting some mild and pacific measures.
It is probable that the contest was in both houses followed by a considerable compromise of opinions, and that the �Ten Articles about Religion,� of which we are now treating, were the immediate result of this mutual concession.
They seem to have been brought into the convocation by Cromwell, [Herbert�s Henry VIII, 466.] and were, therefore, drawn up in private; but the manuscript varieties and corrections existing in the several copies of them demonstrate that men of different principles were employed in their compilation or revision. [An example of this is given by Dr. Jenkyns (Cranmer�s Works, I. xv.) where Tonstal inserted a sanction of the practice of invoking saints, while Cranmer added a qualification that it must �be done without any vain superstition.� Both clauses are retained in the printed copies.]
According to one of the present versions [See the edition of Thomas Berthelet (the king�s printer) Lond. 1536, reprinted in the Appendix. This was also the title in Fox�s copy, 1093.] they are entitled �Articles devised by the King�s Highness,� &c., and are said to have been �also approved by the consent and determination of the hole clergie of this realme:� while another copy [In Burnett, Addend. to Vol. I. 459 seqq. from a MS. in the Cotton Library (Cleop. E. V. fol. 59.)] describes them as �Articles about Religion, set out by the convocation, and published by the King�s authority.� The former of these titles has created a belief that the document was composed entirely by the king, when he saw the inextricable quarrels in which the houses of convocation were entangled; nor is other testimony wanting to give this supposition a still greater degree of plausibility. In the royal �Injunctions� issued during the same year (1536), it is stated that �certain Articles were lately devised and put forthe by the King�s highnesse authority, and condescended upon by the prelates and clergy of this his realme in convocation.� [Wilkins, III. 813.] In like manner the king declares in a letter written at the same time, that the increasing discord constrained him �to put his own pen to the book, and to conceive certain Articles, which were by all the bishops and whole clergy of the realm in convocation agreed on as catholic;� [Ibid. 825.] and he proceeds to charge the bishops whom he is addressing openly in their cathedrals and elsewhere, to read and declare �our said Articles,� plainly and without any additions of their own.
These passages appear to claim the authorship of the Articles for the king himself exclusively; and yet it is difficult to reconcile that hypothesis with the language of the Declaration prefixed to them in nearly all the existing copies. He there states that being credibly advertised of the diversity of opinions which prevailed in all parts of England, he had �not only in his own person at many times taken great pain, study, labours, and travails, but also had caused the bishops, and other the most discreet and best learned men of the clergy to be assembled in convocation, for the full debatement and quiet determination of the same.�
After weighing this evidence together, the most natural inference is, that a rough draft of the Articles was made by a committee,* consisting of the more moderate divines, and presided over by the king himself, or at least in frequent communication with him by means of the �vicar-general.� After various modifications had been made to meet the views of discordant members, and after the revisions of the royal pen had been completed, [Burnett, III. 237, states that he had seen copies of some portions of it, with alterations by the king�s own hand: and Dr. Jenkyns adds (Crammer, I. xv.) that MSS. corresponding to Burnet�s description are still extant among the Theological Tracts in the Chapter-House at Westminster.] it was submitted to the upper house of Convocation, and perhaps to the criticism of those prelates who had taken no part in its compilation. There is also strong reason for supposing that the edition printed by Berthelet, in 1536, contains the most authentic record of the Articles, partly on account of the correction, in that copy, of errors which are found in the Cotton Manuscript, and partly from the incorporation of the Articles as they stand in the printed form with the �Institution of a Christian Man,� which was published in the following year. [Formularies of Faith, vii. Oxf. 1825.]
[*Strype (Cranmer, Lib. I. c. xi.: I. 83, ed. E. H. S.) conjectures that the Archbishop of Canterbury �had a great share therein,� but gives no proof or reason. Archbishop Laurence has noticed a correspondence between the article on justification and the definition contained in Melancthon�s �Loci Theologici� (Bampton Lectures, 201, Oxf. 1838), which, together with the Lutheran tendency of some of the other Articles, would point to the influence of Cranmer, and the reforming party. Professor Blunt, relying on evidence adduced by the same writer, believes that Melancthon had a voice in the drawing up of this document. Reform. 186, Lond. 1843.]
A further discrepancy has been found to exist between the different copies of the Articles, apart from those minor points, which will be exhibited hereafter. Collier has transmitted two lists of the subscriptions, one of which is considerably shorter than the other. The first is derived from a Manuscript in the State-paper Office, from which also he has printed the copy of the Articles [Probably one of the earliest draughts, as we may argue from its incompleteness, and the absence of the royal Declaration. Ibid.] contained in his � History of the Church.� It was probably intended as a record for the single province of Canterbury, and accordingly includes the signatures of those members only who belonged to that jurisdiction. The second and longer list of the assentients is found in the Cotton Manuscript [A facsimile of the signatures is prefixed to Vol. I, of Dodd�s Church History, ed. Tierney.] alluded to above: and as it comprises the names of both the Archbishops, we may conjecture that in the passing of this document, the two convocations of Canterbury and York had acted for once in concert. [Lathbury, Hist. of Convocation, 131.]
From the above sketch of the external history of the Articles, we may now pass to a survey of their object and contents.
As seen from our own point of view they are the work of a transition-period, of men who had not learned to contemplate the, truth in all the fullness of its harmonies and contrasts, and who consequently did not shrink from acquiescing in accommodations and concessions, which to their riper understanding might have seemed a betrayal of their sacred trust. It would be ungenerous to suppose with Fox, that the King and the reforming members of the council had deliberately consented to adulterate the Gospel, through a false tenderness for �the weakelings, which were newely weyned from their mother�s milke of Rome;� and yet a comparison of the fruits of the discussion with the principles avowed on its opening and its progress, must convince us how far the majority were disposed to recast or to modify their system. The truth is, they were treading upon ground with which few of them were as yet familiar, and we need not wonder if they sometimes stumbled, or even wholly lost their way. An example of this want of firmness may be traced in the conduct of bishop Latimer. Although one of the sermons which he preached at the assembling of Convocation is distinguished by a resolute assault upon the received doctrine of purgatory, [See 1st of 2 inset notes above.] he ultimately put his hand to the statement of the Article on that subject, enjoining men to �pray for the souls of the departed in masses and exequies, and to give alms to other to pray for them, whereby they may be relieved and holpen of some part of their pain.�* In the same manner Fox, as reported by his namesake, was strongly disinclined to lay stress on the testimonies of �doctors and scholemen, forsomuch as they doe not all agree in like matters, neither are they stedfast among themselves in all poyntes;� in which also he was but echoing the stronger speech of Cromwell. Nevertheless both their names are appended to the document, wherein it is absolutely enjoined that all bishops and preachers shall construe the words of Holy Writ according to the Catholic Creeds, and �as the holy approved doctors of the Church do entreat and defend the same.� [Art. I.]
[*In Collier�s copy, most probably an early draught, the language here italicized was much softer, but it still involved the doctrine against which the bishop had protested. It is just possible that he was contemplating an extreme view of purgatory, like those repudiated at the end of the same Article.
These and other like instances, while betraying the not unnatural oscillation of men�s minds, betoken also the depth and violence of the changes which were then proceeding in all quarters. And the Articles themselves are a reflection of the same convulsive struggles both in the soul of the single Christian and in that of the Church at large.
They begin by declaring that �the fundamentals of religion are comprehended in the whole body and canon of the Bible, and also in the three Creeds or symbols: whereof one was made by the apostles, and is the common creed which every man uses; the second was made by the holy council of Nice, and is said daily in the mass; and the third was made by Athanasius, and is comprehended in the Psalm Quicunque vult.� It declares that whosoever shall �obstinately affirm the contrary, he or they cannot be the very members of Christ and His espouse the Church, but be very infidels and heretics and members of the devil, with whom they shall perpetually be damned.� It also recognizes the authority of �the four holy councils, that is to say, the council of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedonense,� and reprobates all opinions condemned in those synods.
This article was manifestly directed against the tenets of �the Anabaptists,� many of whom denied (as we shall see hereafter) the entire doctrine of the Holy Trinity and of our Saviour�s Incarnation.
The second passes to the Sacrament of Baptism, and was intended to meet the same modern misbelievers, as the article itself informs us. It declares that Baptism was instituted by our Saviour �as a thing necessary for the attaining of everlasting life� (John 3); that by it all, as well infants as such as have the use of reason, obtain �remission of sins, and the grace and favour of God;� that infants and innocents ought to be baptized, because the promise of everlasting life pertains to them also; that dying in their infancy they �shall undoubtedly be saved thereby, and else not;� that they must be �christened because they be born in original sin,� and this sin can only be remitted �by the sacrament of baptism, whereby they receive the Holy Ghost;� that rebaptization is inadmissible; that the opinions of Anabaptists and Pelagians are �detestable heresies;� that in �men or children having the use of reason,� repentance and faith are needed in order to the efficacy of baptism.
The third article is entitled �The Sacrament*of Penance.� By contrasting it with the propositions which were condemned at the same time in the lower house of Convocation, its bearing upon the circumstances of the Church will be seen far more clearly. [See �� 26�31: Wilkins, in. 805, 806.] It begins by affirming that penance is a sacrament instituted by our Lord in the New Testament as a thing absolutely necessary to salvation, in the case of sins committed after baptism. According to it, penance consists of contrition, confession and amendment of life. The first of these parts is made up of a sorrowing acknowledgment of sin and of a deep confidence in God�s �mercy, whereby the penitent must conceive certain hope and faith that God will forgive him his sins, and repute him justified and of the number of His elect children, not for the worthiness of any merit or work done by the genitent, but for the only merits of the blood and passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ.� Respecting the second part of penance, it declares �that confession to the minister of the Church is a very expedient and necessary mean,� and must in no wise be condemned, for that �the words of absolution pronounced by the priest are spoken by authority given to him by Christ in the Gospel.� As to the third part of penance, amendment of life, it consists of prayer, fasting, almsdeeds, restitution in will and deed, and all other good works of mercy and charity. These must be diligently performed in order to obtain everlasting life, and also to �deserve remission or mitigation of pains and afflictions in this world;� for although Christ and His death be the sufficient oblation, sacrifice and satisfaction for the which God the Father forgiveth and remitteth to all sinners the eternal consequences of their sin, the temporal consequences are to be removed or abated by the efforts of the penitent himself.
[*Hall (Chron. fol. CCXXVIII. ed. 1583) noticed in the new book of Articles, as one of the most prominent points, that it specially mentions only three sacraments. This has become a very general observation; and the reintroduction of Matrimony, Confirmation, Orders, and Extreme Unction, with the title of sacraments, into the �Institution of a Christian Man� in the following year, is deplored as a retrogressive step. But Dr. Jenkyns (Cranmer�s Works, I. xv.) has called attention to a MS. fragment of the Articles of 1536, subscribed by Cranmer, and other members of the reforming party, in which the above sacred rites are actually styled after the manner of the �old learning,� though defined in such a way as to distinguish them entirely from the rest. This circumstance led Dr. Jenkyns to the conclusion that Stokesley, Gardiner, and others of the anti-reformation school, preferred to remain silent on the subject in 1536, rather than to adopt those restricted definitions.]
The fourth article, entitled the �Sacrament of the Altar,� is in like manner opposed to the �mala dogmata� condemned in the lower house of Convocation. It declares in emphatic language, that �under the form and figure of bread and wine, which we there presently do see and perceive by outward senses, is substantially and really comprehended the very self-same body and blood of our Saviour, which was born of the Virgin Mary and suffered upon the cross for our redemption:� that �the very selfsame body and blood of Christ, under the same form of bread and wine, is corporally, really, and in very substance, exhibited, distributed and received unto and of all them which receive the said sacrament;� and that as a consequence the sacrament is to be used with all due reverence and honour, and after careful self- examination.
The fifth article defines �justification� as �remission of our sins, and our acceptation or reconciliation unto the grace and favour of God, that is to say, our perfect renovation in Christ.� The question had been very warmly agitated, not only among the continental reformers, but also in this country, and the definition here adopted is most probably a compromise between the Lutheran tenet and that which was afterwards established as Roman by the divines of the Council of Trent. For the next paragraph asserts that justification is attained by contrition and faith, joined with Charity, �not as though our contrition, or faith, or any works proceeding thereof, can worthily deserve to attain the said justification,� but are required by the Almighty as accompanying conditions. He commandeth also, that �after we be justified we must have good works of charity and obedience towards God, in the observing and fulfilling outwardly of His laws and commandments.�
After the above articles relating to matters of faith, we come to those �concerning the laudable ceremonies of the Church;� [In the King�s Injunctions (Wilkins, III. 813), after drawing a like distinction between the two divisions of these Articles, he charges all �deans, persones, vicars, and other curates,� to open and declare it in their sermons.] under which designation are included many topics of the deepest practical moment. Like the former series of decisions, they are readily traceable to the circumstances of the times, and are all more or less illustrated by the collection of �mala dogmata,� to which the attention of the reader has been so frequently directed.
The first, �Of Images,� allows the use of them as �representers of virtue and good example, as kindlers and stirrers of men�s minds,� specifying the images of �Christ and our Lady;� but at the same time commands the clergy to �reform their abuses, for else there might fortune idolatry to ensue; which God forbid.� It also enjoins the bishops and preachers to instruct their flocks more carefully with regard to tensing, kneeling and offering to images, �that they in no wise do it, nor think it meet to be done to the same images, but only to be done to God and in His honour.�
The next is entitled �Of honouring of Saints,� and while it sanctions a modified reverence on the ground that �they already do reign in glory with Christ,� and �for their excellent virtues which He planted in them,� it is careful to guard against the error that they may be honoured with the kind or degree of confidence which is due unto God alone.
The next article, �Of praying to Saints,� declares that this custom, so long as it regards them as intercessors, praying with us and for us unto God, is in itself laudable; and adds a specimen of the kind of prayer which was thought to be exempt from the charge of superstition. It asserts, however, that �grace, remission of sin, and salvation, cannot be obtained but of God only by the mediation of our Saviour Christ, which is the only sufficient Mediator for our sins,� and cautions men against supposing that �any saint is more merciful, or will hear us sooner than Christ, or that any saint doth serve for one thing more than another, or is patron of the same.�
The next article enters on the general question of �Rites and Ceremonies,� vindicating many of them by name from the prevailing accusations, on the ground that they are �things good and laudable, to put us in remembrance of those spiritual things that they do signify;� yet adding the same kind of corrective as before, that �none of these ceremonies have power to remit sin, but only to stir and lift up our minds unto God, by whom only our sins be forgiven.�
The last article, �Of Purgatory,� commences by affirming that �it is a very good and charitable deed to pray for souls departed,� resting the exercise on �the due order of charity,� on the Book of Maccabees, on the plain statements of ancient doctors, and on ecclesiastical usage even from the beginning. It accordingly enjoins the duty of committing the departed to God�s mercy in our prayers, and of causing others �to pray for them in masses and exequies,� in order to accelerate their relief out of the state of present suffering. It adds, however, that we know little or nothing either of their place or the nature of their pains, and must refer the particulars of their lot to God, �trusting that He accepteth our prayers for them.� In the mean time it curtails the more flagrant abuses �which under the name of purgatory hath been advanced,� specifying popes� pardons, and masses said at Scala Coeli.
It is now impossible to ascertain the amount of the majority by which these Articles were passed in the two houses of Convocation. In the longer list of subscriptions there are eighteen bishops (including Stokesley, but not Gardiner,) and forty abbots and priors: while the number of assentients in the lower house is exactly fifty, all of them belonging to the province of Canterbury. They consist of four deans of cathedrals, twenty-five archdeacons, [Two of these were Italians, viz. Polydore Vergil, archdeacon of Wells, and Peter Vannes, archdeacon of Worcester.] three deans of collegiate churches, seventeen proctors for the parochial clergy, and one master of a college. [Some members of the lower house subscribed in double capacities, which makes the official signatures more numerous. Atterbury, Rights of English Convocation, 148, ed. 1700.] If the provincial synods were actually combined on this occasion, as the signatures of Lee, archbishop of York, and of Tonstal, bishop of Durham, would certainly indicate, at least with regard to the prelates, the lower house of the northern Convocation must have either withheld their assent almost [The only exception seems to be the archdeacon of Chester, William Knyght.] unanimously, or (what is difficult to conceive under the circumstances of the case) the record of their subscriptions was distinct from that of the southern province.
We may readily imagine that many members of the Convocation would be deterred by the inconvenience of a long journey to London, especially when they foresaw that it must end in angry disputations, or might involve them in oaths and protests, which they could not cordially adopt: and there, is reason to believe that in the province of York such reluctance existed in its strongest form. The �old learning� was there cherished with a peculiar fondness, without losing, as in the southern and midland counties, the central tenet of the papal supremacy. �The Opinion of the clergy of the north parts, in Convocation, upon Ten Articles sent to them,� has been printed in Strype and Wilkins; and although the articles referred to were not* identical with the document, which forms the subject of the present chapter, (bearing chiefly upon the royal supremacy,) the answers which they drew from the northern clergy abundantly testify the zeal of that province against the incipient reformation of the Church. Their intense feeling of disaffection appears to have been still more exasperated by the recent enactments of the civil legislature, which called upon them to exhibit their dispensations from the pope; and no sooner had the bishops begun to circulate** the new �Articles about Religion,� than they rose on all sides into actual revolt. �This booke,� as Hall observes, [Chronicle, fol. CCXXVIII. ed. 1583.] �had specially mentioned but three sacramentes, with the whiche the Lyncolneshyremen (I meane their ignoraunt priestes) were offended, and of that occasion deprauded the Kinges doynges.� He then gives us an account of the spreading insurrection, the leaders of which had complained, as one of their sorest grievances, [Collier, II. 131.] that �several bishops had made a change in the fundamental doctrines.�
[*They are dated 1536, and from their allusion to Stat. 28 Hen. VIII. c.16, respecting dispensations from the see of Rome, must have been written in the summer of that year. They prove beyond a doubt that the northern convocation was assembled at this time (cf. Wake, State of the Church, 491); whatever may be the true mode of solving the questions adverted to above. Besides advocating the extreme view of the papal jurisdiction, they �think it convenient, that such clerks as be in prison, or fled out of the realm, for withstanding the king�s superiority in the Church, may be set at liberty and restored without danger.� Wilkins, III. 812; Strype, Eccl. Mem. I. 247, 248, ed. 1721.]
[**They had been charged to do so on every holy-day by the king, (Wilkins, III. 825,) and a mandate of the bishop of Lincoln (Longland) enjoins the beneficed clergymen to avoid all controversial topics, and to preach four times a year, �secundum Articulos, qui nuper per serenissimam regiam majestatem, ac totum hujus regni Angliae cleri in convocatione suo sanciti fuere.� Ibid. 829.]
Nearly the last incident associated with the publication of the Ten Articles, arose out of this same rebellion in the north. To convince the formidable body of insurgents that the document had been duly authorized by the Church, and was consequently no mere innovation of the king and a handful of his counsellors, several printed copies of it were sent down in the month of October to the commander of the royal forces, and with them the original itself, as it had been subscribed in the houses of Convocation. [Strype, Cranmer, I. 84, ed. E. H. S.]
But its use and circulation appear to have been superseded in the following year (1537), by the compilation of a second Formulary of Faith, entitled the �Institution of a Christian Man;� upon which, however, the Articles of 1536 were to a great extent engrafted: and as the new work had not received the formal sanction* either of the Convocation or the Crown, their intrinsic authority remained until they were supplanted by the future determinations of the Church.**
[*Jenkyns� Cranmer, I. XVIII. and the �Letter� there referred to. The �Institution� was drawn up by a number of commissioners (Collier most erroneously affirms three years before its circulation, II 139;) but never regularly submitted to Convocation; and although published by the king�s printer, it was not, like the former book of Articles, provided with a preface by his Majesty, commanding it to be received by his subjects. Being thus destitute of the royal authority, it was called the Bishop�s Book. It consists of an Exposition of the Creed, the Seven Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the Paternoster, Ave-Maria, Justification, and Purgatory. The introduction to it is no more than a letter from the Commissioners to the king announcing its completion. This drew from him a very guarded answer (Jenkyns� Crammer, I. 188) which, while assenting to the publication of the Bishops� Book, does not commit him to a full sanction of the contents.]
[**e. g. �The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man,� or the King�s Book, set forth in 1543. It is on the whole a revised edition of the Bishop�s Book, although (as Collier observes) �it seems mostly to lose ground, and reform backwards� (II. 191: cf. Prof. Blunt�s Reform. 190 seqq.) Unlike its predecessor, however, it was not only drawn up by a committee of Divines, but actually approved in Convocation, and enjoined by a royal mandate: Wilkins, III. 868; Jenkyns� Cranmer, I. xxxviii. cf. I. 188, 189 (note). This account of the authority of the two �Books� is the reverse of what has been commonly received; but it is well supported by Dr. Jenkyns, and seems to him the only hypothesis which is capable of explaining all the evidence on the subject. For Burnet�s mistake, see Abp. Laurence, Bamp. Lect. I. note (4).]
Chapter IV � The XIII Articles: � Conferences with the Lutheran Reformers
Nothing could be more natural in the earlier stages of reformation, than the anxiety manifested by the English divines, to establish a good understanding with their fellow-workers in Germany. They had been equally burdened by the papal yoke: they had mourned over the same festering abuses in the Church of which they were members: they had embarked with like earnestness of purpose in the same remedial project; and despairing at last of a �true general council,� had simultaneously come to the conclusion, that it was the bounden duty of �every prince to redress his own realm.� [Cf. the �Causes� why the Germans did not recognize the Council of Mantua (quoted above, Chapter I.) with the contemporary �Protestation� of the English, in Fox, 1085.]
The greatest obstacle in the way of this friendly communication was the quarrel between Henry VIII. and Luther: but as they were neither of them unwilling to forget their early fulminations, the obstacle could no longer be considered insuperable. It was in fact ultimately removed by the moderation and good offices of Melancthon, for whom Henry appears to have manifested a peculiar partiality. As early as March, 1534, he was pressed to come over and help in the reformation of the English Church; and the same wish was repeated by the king himself on many subsequent occasions.* While cherishing the spirit of national independence, Melancthon and his associates could feel no sympathy with the lawlessness, impiety, and misbelief, which had followed in the track of the great religious movement. They had shown the firmness of their principles by standing aloof from Carlstadt and his rationalistic speculations: they had opposed the growth of the political, tumult which ended in the �Peasants� War,� and had subsequently repelled the followers of Zwingli, and denounced the swarm of sectarian fanatics who went under the name of �Anabaptists.� Their system was thus fully vindicated in the eyes of all thinking men: it was proved to be conservative of the truth no less than destructive of the modern perversions by which the truth had been wofully corrupted; and on this account the tone of the Wittenberg divines was far more nearly in harmony with the English Reformation than with the bolder and revolutionary measures adopted on the continent of Europe.
[*Archbp. Laurence, Bampton Lectures, Serm. I. note (3); Serm. II. note (3). In 1538, Henry wrote as follows, to the Elector of Saxony: �Pro his, qua, feliciter agi coepta sunt, felicius absolvendis concludendisque expectamus, ut Dominum Philippum Melancthonem, in cujus excellenti, eruditione et sano judicio a bonis omnibus multo spes reposita est, doctosque alios et probos viros, primo quoque tempore, ad nos mittat. Seckendorf, Histor. Luther. lib. III. � 66. add. 1: Francof. 1692.]
An increasing affinity in matters of religion, combined with diplomatic considerations, had already suggested the opening of a negotiation. with �the princes of the Augsburg Confession,� in the year 1535. The first accredited envoy was Robert Barnes, afterwards a victim of the reactionary school and the caprice of his royal master. He was followed in the winter of the same year by bishop Fox and Dr. Hethe, [Strype, Eccl. Mem. I. 225�228. They had an interview with Pontanus and Burckhardt, Dec. 15: Melancthon. Opp. II. 108, ed. Bretschneider.] who found the Lutheran states in consultation at Smalcald, respecting the political and religious alliance, which was called after the place of meeting. The admonitions of Henry, as delivered by his delegates (Dec. 24), were gratefully acknowledged by the �Smalcaldic League,� who added their willingness to admit him also as a member of the confederacy upon his acceding to the usual conditions. Among the rest it was stipulated that he should adopt, or at least approve in general language, [The English were required to conform to the Confession and Apology, �nisi forte quaedam ... ex verbo Dei merito corrigenda aut mutanda videbuntur.� Ranke, III. 661: cf. Strype, ubi sup. Append. No. LXVI.] the true doctrine of Christ, as laid down in the Confession of Augsburg, and unite in defending it, under the title of �Patron and Protector of the League.�
This design, so full of momentous bearings, is said to have been in a great measure frustrated through the instrumentality of bishop Gardiner, [Strype, ibid. 226, and Append. No. LXV.] at that time the English ambassador in France. He represented, that the king would be so entangled by this treaty in the affairs of Ole German nation, as to be unable without their consent �to do what the Word of God shall permit;� that as Henry was �head� of the Church of England, by the authority of scripture, so was the emperor �head� of the Germanic Churches, and that consequently the princes subject to his authority would not be justified in acting without his consent. By these and other similar arguments, applied with his peculiar skill, the bishop of Winchester was enabled to restrain the alacrity of his master, and eventually to thwart the projected alliance. At present, however, the reply of Henry, though less warm than his previous communication, continued to hold out a prospect of success. He does not absolutely decline the honour intended for him by the German princes, in placing him at the head of their league, but postpones the acceptance of it, until �agreement shall be had betwixt him and their orators,� respecting the terms of religious union. �For it should not be sure nor honourable for his Majesty, before they shall be with his Grace agreed upon a certain concord of doctrine, to take such a province upon his highness. And forasmuch as his majesty desireth much that his bishops and learned men might agree with theirs; but seeing that it cannot be, unless certain things in their confession and Apology should, by their familiar conferences, be mitigate; his Grace therefore would their orators, and some excellent learned men with them, should be sent hither, to confer, talk, and common upon the same.� [Strype, ibid. Append. No. LXVI. 163.]
But while Henry was thus hesitating on the subject of the religious confederation, a conference was actually proceeding in Germany between the members of the English legation and the foreign theologians. [Luther and Melancthon were of the number. The latter joined the conference Jan. 15, 1536. See his communication to Burkhardt; Opp. III. 26.] The place of meeting seems to have been at Wittenberg, in the house of Pontanus, the chancellor of Saxony, where Fox strenuously insisted on the Lutheran tendencies of the English, and more especially of his royal master.
An account is preserved in Seckendorf* of certain Articles of Religion, which were drawn up by those mediating parties, in the winter of 1535�6. One article relates to the Lord�s Supper, and is an expanded form of the Augsburg definition: a second denies in the name of the �League,� that �any primacy or monarchy of the Roman bishop doth now obtain, or ever hath obtained by divine right.� The Germans moreover insisted upon the abolition of private masses, and the relaxation of clerical celibacy; but on these, as on other points appertaining to the discipline of the Church, the English were unable to yield them an equal satisfaction.
[*Comment. de Lutheran. Lib. III. � XXXIX: �Extat elaborata a Wittenbergensibus, acceptata etiam et domum reportata a legatis Anglicis, repetitio et exegesis quaedam Augustanae Confessionis.� III, Francof. 1692. They are said to exist both in Latin and German: Melancthon. Opp. III. 104, note (2). An expression in a letter dated Nov. 28, 1536, implies that either the same Articles revised, or a fresh compilation, were again recommended by the English to the notice of their Saxon friends, III. 192.]
In the following year (1536) the negotiation, at least in its religious bearing, proceeded still more slowly [On the 9th of March, the divines were engaged in purely doctrinal discussions (Ibid. III. 45); and on the 30th, after much hesitation, they had agreed �de plerisque.� On the 24th of April, the English Ambassadors departed.] for the Wittenberg divines had now lost all confidence in Fox, and were suspecting the motives of Henry, who appeared to them far more anxious to gain his political objects, or their assent to the lawfulness of his divorce, than to forward the progress of religion and the purification of the Western Church. [Strype, ibid. 229, 230.]
In 1538, however, the apprehension of hostilities from the continent, combining with the earlier causes, induced him to reopen his negotiation with the Germans, and to urge the establishment of a religious alliance with corresponding vigour. The princes of the Augsburg Confession had assembled early in the year at Brunswick, whither he dispatched a confidential messenger, with certain preliminary questions. He spoke �of his Christian zele and propension of mind towards the Word of God, and his desire to plant the sound doctrine of Christian religion in his kingdoms, and wholly to take away and abolish the impious ceremonies of the bishop of Rome.� [Strype, ibid. I. 329.] As the Germans still persisted in their demand, that all who entered the confederacy should acknowledge their Confession, he begged them to carry out a former promise, and send a legation of divines (including the learned Melancthon), [Herbert, Life of Henry VIII. 494.] to confer upon the disputed points with some of the English theologians. To this wish the Lutheran princes appear to have readily assented, except so far as it concerned Melancthon, whose presence was needed at home to direct the counsels of the state, and the affairs of the University of Wittenberg. The chief persons actually chosen for this office were Francis Burckhardt, vice-chancellor to the elector of Saxony; George a Boyneburg, a nobleman of Hesse, and doctor of laws; and Frederic Myconius, superintendent of the reformers at Gotha. A recommendatory letter to the King, bearing date May 12, 1538, [Strype, ibid. App. No. XCIV.] was carried by Burckhardt as the head of the legation. It implores the English monarch to reflect on the imminent perils of the Church, and to aid in devising measures which may tend both to establish a firm consent among the promoters of the Reformation, and to dissuade the other European princes from participation in the papal cause.
As soon as the Lutheran Embassy arrived, a committee was nominated by the King, consisting of three bishops [Cranmer and Tonstal were of the number, and represented different schools. Herbert, 495.] and four doctors, to act as the representatives of the Church of England. The course of the discussion was regulated by the plan pursued in the Augsburg Confession; and we are told that the points of faith were alone sufficient to engage the interest of the disputants for a period of two months.* It is not easy to trace all the steps of this interesting conference, but it seems that the delegates had gradually come to an understanding upon the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, and had proceeded �to put their articles in writing.� [Cranmer�s Letters, ubi sup. and 264.] Strype asserts that the queries of the King were submitted in the first instance to the �Orators �(as the German envoys were entitled,) and that after the answers had been returned to him, they were examined by the English committee. [Eccles. Memor. t. 330: cf. Original Letters, ed. P. S. 612, 613.] Be this, however, as it may, the fact of their ultimate agreement on the principal points of the Christian faith is stated in a letter addressed by Myconius to Cromwell, [In Strype�s Eccles. Memor. I. Append. No. XCV.] a short time before his departure (Sept. 7, 1538).
[*See the �Brevis Summa� of the Germans, in Strype, App. No. XCIV, where they also inform us that �they could not stay for the rest of the disputation concerning abuses;� 261. This account tallies with a letter of Cranmer, (No. CCXXX; I. 261, ed. Jenkyns), dated Aug. 18, in which he states that the �Orators of Germany� durst not tarry, �forasmuch as they have been so long from their princes,� and were fully determined to depart within eight days from that time. They were finally induced to remain a month longer.]
But their labours in the second field of investigation did not lead to a similar issue; and when the German reformers took their leave of Henry, he still clung to the ancient abuses against which they had struggled from the first with unrelenting sternness. These abuses were, the Prohibition of both kinds in the ministration of the Lord�s Supper, the custom of private propitiatory masses, and the absolute injunction of clerical celibacy. [See the �Judgment concerning Abuses,� composed by the German envoys on this occasion. Ibid. No. XCVI.] Cranmer had in vain striven to engage the rest of the English committee in this part of the discussion; for in a letter to Cromwell (Aug. 23,) he remarks that when the Orators of Germany were anxious to proceed �in their book, and entreat of the abuses, so that the same might be. set forth in writing as the other articles are,� he had �effectiously moved the bishops thereto,� but they made him this answer: �That they knew that the King�s Grace hath taken upon himself to answer the said Orators in that behalf, and thereof a book is already devised by the King�s majesty; and, therefore, they will not meddle with the abuses, lest they should write therein contrary to that the King shall write.� �Wherefore,� he continues, �they have required me to entreat now of the sacraments of matrimony, orders, confirmation, and extreme unction; wherein they know certainly that the Germans will not agree with us, except it be in matrimony only. So that I perceive that the bishops seek only an occasion to break the concord.� [Works, I. 263, 264; ed. Jenkyns.]
The �boke alluded to by Cranmer in this letter was actually drawn up by Henry, with the assistance of bishop Tonstal, [In Burnet, I. Add. Nos. 7, 8.] who was devoted to the �ancient learning.� It proves, what the archbishop had indeed suspected, that the anti-reformation party was now gaining a fresh ascendancy at court, [Prof. Blunt�s Reform. 189, note (5).] and that, however much Henry had been willing to approach the Lutheran standard of doctrine, there was no prospect of weaning him from the corruptions and abuses which had crept into the practice of the Church. It is true, that on the departure of the German envoys, he invited them to return to England, and resume the discussion of those points in which the conference was divided; and in the letter which Melancthon wrote to him, [In Strype, I. App. No. CI.] March 26, 1539, a hope is confidently indulged, that as he had begun to take away �wicked superstitions,� he would correct those which remained: but the feelings of Henry had in the mean time been still more estranged from the continental reformation; and when Burckhardt and his colleagues renewed their visit in the spring of the following year, [Strype. Eccl. Mem. r. 341.] the influence of Gardiner was sufficient not only to baffle all their negotiations, [In a document drawn up on this occasion (Strype, Ecd. Mem. I. 341; Collier, II. 171), it is remarkable how far the Lutherans were disposed to make concessions in favour of the �older learning;� cf. Luther�s Schriften, XVII. 342�345: ed. 1745.] but to carry, both in the convocation and the parliament, an �Act for the abolishing of Diversity of Opinions,� or, as it was not unfrequently entitled, the �bloody Statute of the Six Articles.�*
[*This �whip withe size strings,� as Hall terms it, enforces a belief in the following articles: (1) of transubstantiation, or the entire Physical change of the elements in the Eucharist, (2) the non-necessity of communion in both kinds, (3) the sinfulness of marriage after receiving the order of priesthood, (4) the absolute obligation of the vows of chastity or widowhood, (5) the propriety and necessity of �private masses,� (6) the expediency and continual obligation of auricular confession. (Stat. 31� Hen. VIII. c. 14). All these dogmas, excepting, perhaps, the first, refer to the recent negotiations with the Germans, and on that account are strongly censured by Melancthon, in a letter which he addressed to the English monarch, Sept. 22, 1539. Fox, 1172 seqq.: cf. Melancthon, Opp. III. 783, 784.
It does not fall in with our object to investigate the origin of those Articles, or to recount the frightful persecutions which accompanied their publication. A more pleasing and congenial inquiry is suggested by the mission of the foreign reformers, which the enactment of the �bloody statute� had so abruptly intercepted. Abundant memorials have survived of the partial disagreement which existed between them and the English committee: yet it is no less certain that union was effected to a very considerable extent, and that a number of Articles were actually compiled as the result of their deliberations on the leading verities of the faith. A document of this nature must be one of the deepest interest to all who engage in the study of the English Reformation; and it has been for the first time placed within their reach by the researches of a living writer. In looking for remains of Archbishop Cranmer, Dr. Jenkyns discovered among a bundle of papers belonging to that prelate, a thin folio manuscript, entitled, �A Boke conteyning divers Articles de Unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum, de Peccato Originali,� &c. He informs us that the documents tied up in the same bundle relate chiefly to the negociations with the Lutheran envoys in the year 1538, and believes that the �Articles� were those agreed upon at the conferences which were held in London at that time. �The boke itself is manifestly founded on the Confession of Augsburg, often following it closely, and departing from it exactly in those instances, where the mature of English and German theology might have been expected to cause a variation. It is also in Latin, and this circumstance adds to the probability of its having been composed in concert with foreigners; for such other Formularies of this reign as were designed for domestic use are in English. And, lastly, the Article, namely, that on the Lord�s Supper, which there is an opportunity of comparing with the conclusions approved by Fox and Hethe in Germany, is word for word the same.� [Cranmer�s Works. I. XXII. XXIII.] This argument is further supported by the fact, that the manuscript Articles do not embrace any of those topics on which the English and German delegates had failed to arrive at a perfect understanding; while three other separate papers,* also in Latin, of the same general form, and of nearly the same length, refer to points which were then actually disputed, and are most probably draughts of the articles which were not accepted by the Lutheran divines.
[*Ibid. IV. 292 seqq. This bundle has been re-examined for the benefit of the present work. It contains, among other valuable pieces, the exposition of the �Sacrament of confirmation,� contained in the �Institution of a Christian man� (which is said to have been �agreed upon communi consensu:�) and also �Certen Articles admitted in Germany,� endorsed by Sir Ralph Sadleyer, who became Secretary of State in 1540. The latter document seems to be an abstract of one alluded to above, a note early in this chapter.]
But there are other reasons for fixing our attention upon the Thirteen Articles of 1538, as the basis of the projected alliance with the Germans. While indicating the disposition of our leading reformers to acquiesce in the dogmatic statements which had been propounded by. the Augsburg Confession, they had a very important prospective bearing, and seem to have constituted the ground-work of the Articles now in use. No one can deny indeed that the framers of the Forty-two Articles in the reign of Edward VI. drew very largely out of the Lutheran Confession, which had been compiled in 1530; but the discovery of the Thirteen Articles has made it probable that the derivation, instead of being direct, as was hitherto generally supposed, took place through the medium of this later channel. Such an inference is at least supported by the fact, �that the expressions in Edward VI.�s Formulary, usually adduced to prove its connection with the Confession of Augsburg, are also found in the Book of Articles: while it contains others, which can be traced as far as the Book of Articles, but which will be sought for in vain in the Confession of Augsburg.� From what we know of their general character, the framers of Edward VI.�s Articles would be �anxious, in the execution of their undertaking, to meet, if possible, the views of their brethren on the continent, as well as of their countrymen at home; and they could scarcely pursue a surer method of attaining their object than by borrowing from a form of doctrine already approved by both.� [Ibid. I, XXIV.]
The Articles, thus serving as a link between the religious Formularies of the two countries, are drawn up under the following heads: (1) De Unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum; (1) De Peccato Originali; (3) De duabus Christi naturis; (4) De Justificatione; (5) De Ecclesia; (6) De Baptismo; (7) De Eucharistia; (8) De Poenitentia; (9) De Sacramentorum usu; (10) De Ministris Ecclesiae; (11) De Ritibus Ecclesiasticis; (12) De Rebus Civilibus; (13) De Corporum Resurrectione et Judicio extreme.
The means of comparing them minutely with the Augsburg Confession on the one hand, and with the subsequent English Articles on the other, will be provided in the Appendix [See App. No. II.] to the present volume: but �the most cursory perusal is enough to convince us how closely they adhere both in arrangement and in substance to the elder of those Formularies of Faith, and how much at the same time they have anticipated of the materials of the latter.
The first of the XIII. Articles, though bearing a different title, is almost a verbal copy of Art. I of the Augsburg Confession, and includes the first of the XLII Articles.
The second corresponds with Art. II of the Augsburg, but, like the eighth of the XLII Articles, it speaks of �peccatum originale� instead of �peccatum originis,� and contains the expression �originales justitia,� which is not in the Augsburg.
The third is identical with Art. III of the Augsburg, and includes the second of the XLII Articles.
The fourth is a much longer statement on the subject of justification than Art. IV of the Augsburg, yet both affirm that men are accepted by God �gratis propter Christum per fidem.� The English definition is, however, different in some measure from the German, including, like the Articles of 1536, the idea of a �true renovation in Christ� as equivalent to �remission of sins.� The Article also embodies a portion of Arts. V and VI of the Augsburg, but has no expressions in common with the corresponding Articles of 1552.
The fifth is a considerable departure from Art. VII of the Augsburg, though manifestly copying some expressions from thence, as also from Art. VIII. It views the Church under two aspects, either as completely holy and the mystical body of Christ, or as the congregation of those who have been baptized, and have not been excommunicated. This latter it describes as the catholic and apostolic church composed of all national and particular Churches. No trace exists in it of the twentieth Article of 1552: but, what is very remarkable, it includes the thirty-third and the twenty-seventh of that code, using language in both cases which is not found in the Augsburg Confession.
The sixth, on the subject of baptism, is much fuller than Art. IX of the Augsburg, though stating precisely the same doctrine. It seems to have much in common with the articles of 1536, and, so far as language is concerned, has no affinity with the twenty-eighth of the XLII Articles.
The seventh is also an expansion of Art. X of the Augsburg, and agrees verbatim with the statement adopted in Germany during the Conferences of 1535. It has no terms in common with the twenty-ninth of the XLII Articles.
The eighth is a long and for the most part original essay on �Penitence�. It may, however, be compared with Arts. XI and XII of the Augsburg.
The ninth, respecting the efficacy of the sacraments, has much in common with Art. XIII of the Augsburg, but far more with the twenty-sixth of the XLII Articles, where the language is almost identical. [A fuller example of this adoption of much older theology may be remarked in the Homilies for the Passion and Resurrection, which had appeared almost verbatim in Taverner�s �Postils,� as early as 1540.]
The tenth, though bearing a different title, is based upon Art. XIV of the Augsburg, and agrees still further with the twenty-fourth of the XLII Articles.
The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth, are long dissertations, in the main agreeing with Arts. XV, XVI, and XVII of the Augsburg; but if we except a few general sentiments, they are altogether without parallels in the later English Articles.
It is worthy of remark, that a number of rough draughts for different parts of the above document exist in our public repositories, and that several are corrected in the hand-writing of Cranmer, and one in that of the King. Until the discovery of the copy containing the XIII Articles in their collected form, it had been usual to assign those draughts to the labours of a committee appointed in April, 1540, to draw up a �Declaration of the principal Articles of the Christian belief.� [Archbp. Laurence, Bampton Lectures, Serm. I. note (5.) The names of the Commissioners are given in Strype (Mem. of Cranmer, I. 173;) who describes them as �generally learned and moderate men.� Gardiner was not of the number.] Henry, it is true, had been considerably appeased by the burning of the unhappy �Gospellers,� who persisted in rejecting the �Six Articles,� and had repeated his earnest desire of accommodation, denouncing the �rashness and licentiousness of some, and the superstition and stiffness of others:� [Strype, Eccl. Mem. I. 356.] but there is no satisfactory evidence to show that the commissioners undertook such a compilation as the document above described. Strype, who has collected six of the Articles,* assigning them to the labours of this commission, admits that many of the accompanying papers were �drawn up by the divines for the king�s use� in the discussions with the German envoys. [Mem. of Cranmer, I. 179.] And it is very doubtful whether the same statement does not also apply to the definitions of Christian doctrine preserved in his own �Appendix:� for besides their being composed in Latin, which would favour this conjecture, the records of the commission are confined almost entirely to �Questions and Answers concerning the sacraments, and the appointment and power of bishops and priests.�** Fox, indeed, intimates that �a book of Articles �was completed in accordance with the views of Cranmer, but no Formulary answering this description is now extant: and if such a work did exist, it appears to have been speedily suppressed, and to have gained neither royal nor ecclesiastical sanction. A corroboration of this view, which is derived from the absence of the document itself, as well as from the lack of historical testimony, was furnished by the Injunctions of Bonner in 1542, [Quoted by Dr. Jenkyns, ubi supra.] who directed his clergy to procure and study �The Institution of a Christian Man,� which he could hardly have done in this public manner, if there had been a more recent work invested with authority; and the same was subsequently implied in the spring of 1543, when an Act [Statutes of the Realm, 34� and 35� Hen. VIII. c. 1. Among other things it abolishes �all books comprising any matter of Christian Doctrine, Articles of the Faith, or holy Scripture, contrary to the doctrine set forth sithence A. D. 1540, or to be set forth by the King.�] �for the advancement of true religion� suggested the compilation of the last public Formulary in the reign of Henry VIII. [�A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man.�]
[*De ecelesia, de justificatione, de eucharistia, de baptismo, de poenitentia, de sacramentorum usu. Eccl. Mem. I. App. No. CXII, where they are printed with notes of the king in the margin. They present considerable variations in language, but accord in doctrine (so far as they go) with the XIII Articles.]
**Ibid. App. Nos. XXVI,* XXVII, XXVIII*; cf. Cranmer�s Works, ed. Jenkyns, I. XXIII, (note,) XXIX. seqq. Still it is a possible supposition, and by no means inconsistent with the view here advocated, that the Articles of 1538 were revived two years later by this commission. The operation of the �bloody statute� was suspended in 1540, as we know from a fresh correspondence, which took place in the spring of that year, between Henry VIII and the German princes. At the urgent request of the English monarch a number of well-digested arguments were also forwarded to him from certain of the Lutheran divines; but no further traces have been found of the correspondence after April 12, 1540. Melancthon, Opp. III. 1005�1016.]
Chapter V � The XLII Articles of 1552.
The death of King Henry VIII in 1547, like that of Luther in the year preceding, is said to have excited a most lively joy among the members of the Council of Trent. [Sarpi, I. 275, 467; ed. Courayer.] Yet their triumph was certainly premature, if not altogether illusive: for the reign of his successor was destined to widen the breach already existing between our own and the Roman Churches, and to establish the English Reformation upon a deeper and more lasting basis. The reactionary school, under Gardiner and his colleagues, had no chance of resisting the impetuous spirits who stood first in the royal favour; and if there was any subject for present apprehension, it rose out of the very opposite quarter, lest the flexibility of the youthful king should be made instrumental in propelling the Church into rash and revolutionary changes.
The man, who seems to have been raised up as our guide in the midst of those critical times, and who succeeded in the construction of a bulwark, not only against Romish corruptions, but against the rising flood of puritanical innovations, was the primate of all England. Though we may not exempt him from human failings, and though his gentleness in particular was apt to degenerate into weakness and indecision, the character of Cranmer, regarded as a whole, was one of the noblest of his age: to him, under God, we are principally indebted for the sobriety of the English Reformation, and the general accordance of our present system with pure and primitive models.
On this account it is important to ascertain what were his leading opinions at the accession of Edward VI; (for although we may not identify the teaching of the Church with that of the individual writer, the animus of a man like Cranmer must always, more or less, appear in the public decisions of the age.) A reply to our question is furnished by the fact, that in the first year of the new reign he �set forth� an English Catechism, of a decidedly Lutheran stamp, [Archbp. Laurence, Bampton Lect. 16, 17 (note).] having been originally translated from German into Latin, by a bosom-friend of the Wittenberg reformer. With the exception of one single tenet, respecting the nature of the presence in the holy Eucharist,* the views of Cranmer underwent no further variations upon any fundamental subject. His Lutheran predilections are also manifested in the formation of the First Service-Book of Edward VI, put forth in the month of June, 1549; for, like the corresponding work of the Saxon reformers, our own is derived almost entirely from the ancient, or the mediaeval Liturgies, and, in no inconsiderable degree, through the medium of a Lutheran compilation,** itself based upon the older Offices of Nuremberg.
[*This change seems to have taken place 1548, and is mainly attributed to the influence of John � Lasco, whose opinion at the same period may be drawn from the following passages: �Mysterium porro omnium summum in coena esse puto, communionem corporis et sanguinis Christi: in hoc vero nullum usque dissidium video. Omnes enim ingenue fatemur, nos in coena pero Christi corpori et sanguini vero etiam communicare, quicunque verbo illius credimus. Quod jam attinet, quo modo id fiat,� etc. Letters of � Lasco, quoted in Dr. Jenkyns� �Cranmer,� I. LXXX. This, however, is a very different dogma from that of the Zwinglians. See, for example, Zwingl. Opp. II. 546, b. Bucer and others attempted to harmonize the Lutheran and Helvetic doctrines, but without success.]
[**�The Consultation of Herman,� Archbp. of Cologne, drawn up by Melancthon with the aid of Bucer, published in 1543, and translated into English in 1547. Our present Litany, for example, is taken almost verbatim from this work.]
The conservative temper of the archbishop, in the adoption of these measures, is particularly felt on contrasting the English Prayer-Book, as it was arranged under his eye, with the modern forms of worship adopted at Geneva; where Calvin (according to Archbishop Laurence [Bampton Lect. I. note (6).]) �chose rather to become an author than a compiler, preferring the task of composing a new Liturgy to that of reforming an old one.�
Nor did the Second Service-Book of king Edward VI, though maimed in one or two particulars, abandon the uniform reverence for the past which had distinguished its predecessor. The bulk of the materials out of which it was constructed were the bequest of anterior ages; and while practically attesting the continuity of the Church, illustrated the spirit of the English reformers.
The same kind of deference may be seen in the First Book of Homilies (1547), especially in those portions which are the work of archbishop Cranmer: and even in his polemical Treatises on the subject of the Eucharist, where (if ever) he was at times betrayed into the use of unprimitive language, he is still true to his former professions of adherence to the Early Church. �Lest any man,� he writes, �should think that I feign any thing of mine own head, without any other ground or authority, you shall hear, by God�s grace, as well the errors of the papists confuted, as the catholic truth defended, both by God�s sacred Word, and also by time most old approved authors and martyrs of Christ�s Church.� And again: �This is the true catholic faith, which the Scripture teacheth and the universal Church of Christ hath ever believed from the beginning, until within these four or five hundred years past, that the bishop of Rome, with the assistance of his papists, hath set up a new faith and belief of their own devising.� [�Defence of the true and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament,� published in 1550: Works, II. 313, 356, ed. Jenkyns. Cf. �Answer to Smythe�s Preface,� III. �23: �Answer to Gardiner,� III. 41�43.] Or take an extract from his memorable appeal, in 1556, after the sentence of degradation had been passed, and he was standing on the brink of death: �Touching my doctrine of the sacrament, and other my doctrine, of what kind soever it be, I protest that it was never my mind to write, speak or understand, any thing contrary to the most Holy Word of God, or else against the holy Catholic Church of Christ; but purely and simply to imitate and teach those things only which I had learned of the Sacred Scripture and of the holy Catholic Church of Christ from the beginning; and also according to the exposition of the most holy and learned Fathers and Martys of the Church.� [IV. 126.]
Carrying with us a knowledge of these facts as to the kind of influence which presided over the compilation of our later Formularies of Faith, we may now pass on to the particular inquiry proposed in the present chapter.
It has been a subject of wonder to many writers, that so long an interval was suffered to elapse from the death of king Henry VIII to the publication of the XLII Articles in 1553; and that the �Necessary Doctrine� continued to be the standard of belief, so far as it was not overruled by the more recent circulation of the Homilies, the Ordinal, and the Prayer-Book. Whatever may have been the collateral causes of this delay, one is undoubtedly to be sought in the scheme which Cranmer was then cherishing for the comprehension of all the reformed Churches in one general communion. This idea had been suggested as early as 1539, in a letter of Melancthon, addressed by him to king Henry VIII; it was renewed in 1542, and again at the opening of the reign of Edward. [See Laurence, Serm. II. note (3): Cranmer�s Works, ed. Jenkyns, 337, 338, note (r).]
Captivated by a project, which, during the rage of religious disputation, must have been peculiarly attractive to a man like Cranmer, he seems to have lost no time in his arrangements for attempting its immediate execution. In July 1548, several learned men had already arrived from the continent; [�Accersivimus igitur et te (writing to � Lasco) et alios quosdam doctos viros; qui cum non gravatim ad nos venerint ita ut nullum fere ex iis praeter te et Melancthonem desideremus,� etc. Cranmer�s Letters, CCLXXII. I. 330.] and although the unwillingness of Melancthon to participate in the present plan deferred and eventually frustrated the proceedings of the conference, the anxiety of Cranmer to obtain his counsel is manifested by repeated applications, one of which was sent to him as late as March 1552. [Dr. Jenkyns� Pref. CV, and Letters there referred to.] His reluctance, and that of others, was occasioned in some measure by the political perplexities of the times, [Todd�s Cranmer, II. 226, ed. 1831.] and the increasing troubles of the Wittenberg reformers; but it is far more attributable to the inherent difficulties, or rather impracticability of the scheme, they were now invited to consider. A congress of the kind contemplated by Cranmer was to embrace a deputation from the Swiss reformers,* as well as the learned and pliant Bucer; it must therefore have necessarily turned upon the Eucharistic controversy, in which, after earlier attempts at mediation, there was no hope of a general concord. Indeed, a letter written by John � Lasco (July 19, 1548), before his own arrival in England, describes the adjustment of the �sacramentary contention,�** as the main object of the future meeting: and although Cranmer (March 20, 1552), was himself desirous of extending the discussion to a variety of controverted topics, � to �all the heads of ecclesiastical doctrine, and not only to the things themselves, but also to the forms of speech,� � he looked on the dissensions respecting the �sacrament of unity� as the sorest evil of the Church. [Letter cctocxxiv. passim.]
[*See Cranmer�s Letter to Melancthon (CCLXXXV), where he adds �Scripsi ad D. Calvinum et ad D. Bullingerum, eosque hortatus sum, ne operi tam necessario, adeoque utili reipublicae Christianae deesse vellent.� In writing to Calvin he asks, �Adversarii nostri habent nunc Tridenti sua concilia, at errores stabiliant, et nos piam synodum congregare negligemus, ut errores refutare, dogmata repurgare et propagare possimus?� Letter CCLXXXIV.]
[**Contentio Sacramentaria coepit illic exagitari per quosdam, estque instituta ea de re publica disputatio, ad quam magnis multarum precibus vocor. Bucerus expectatur. Franciscus noster Dryander jam adest. Et de Calvino mussatur, nisi quod Gallus est.� Ibid. I. 330, note (a). Bucer had arrived with Paul Fagius in May, 1549. Their influence over the Archbishop was looked forward to with apprehension by Burcher (who considered them to be Lutherans): �I wish they may not pervert him, or make him worse.� Original Letters, ed. P. S. 652.]
It is not easy to, ascertain the precise time when this project of a General Confession was finally abandoned in England, but there is reason to believe* that it was still cherished by the Archbishop and his friends long after they had actually begun to frame a domestic Formulary of Faith.
[*The last letter of invitation is the one above mentioned, bearing date, March 20, 1552, and in a subsequent communication of Calvin the project is spoken of as relinquished. Cranmer�s Works, I. 347: Laurence, Serm. II. note (4). Calvin himself revived it early in the reign of Elizabeth (Strype�s Parker, I. 69, ed. 1711,) but died immediately after it was submitted to the royal Council.]
The first sketch of this document was prepared as early as the summer of 1551, the king and his privy council having �ordered the Archbishop to frame a book of Articles of Religion, for the preserving and maintaining peace and unity of doctrine in this Church, that, being finished, they might be set forth by public authority.� [Strype, Cranmer, lib. II. c. 27: II. 366, ed. E. H. S.] It is indisputable that the principal burden of the work was borne by Archbishop Cranmer; for when questioned on this point in the following reign, he did not hesitate to admit that the book of Articles was one of the productions which had been framed under his own eye. [Fox represents the Archbishop as declaring that the work was one of �his doings,� but the official report of his language is somewhat different: �Quoad Catechismum et Articulos in eodem fateter se adhibuisse ejus consilium circa editionem ejusdem.� Lambeth MS. quoted by Todd, II. 286.]
The rough draught, however, as soon as it came from his pen, was transmitted to the rest of his episcopal brethren for their criticism and corrections. It remained in their hands until the spring of the following year, when a letter (May 2) was sent from the council to the Archbishop, requiring him to send the Articles that were �delivered the last year to the bishops, and to signify whether the same were set forth by any public authority, according to the minutes.� [Strype, ubi. sup.] They were forwarded to the council in obedience to this order, but soon afterwards returned to the Archbishop, in whose possession they remained till Sept. 19. He now digested them still more carefully, and after adding titles and introducing supplementary clauses, placing a copy of them in the hands of the two distinguished laymen, Sir William Cecil and Sir John Cheke, [�I have sent the book of Articles for Religion unto Mr. Cheke, sot in a better order than it was, and the titles upon every matter, adding thereto that which lacked.� Cranmer to Cecil, Sept. 19, 1552: Strype�s Cranmer, II. App. No. LXVI.] desiring them to take the work into their serious consideration. After a careful revision from these �two great patrons of the Reformation at the court,� it was again submitted to the King, with the request that it might be published, and enforced upon the clergy.
A fresh delay, however, intervened; for on the 21st of October following, a letter was addressed to the six royal chaplains, Harley, Bill, Horne, Grindal, Perne, and Knox, to reconsider the projected Formulary, and to �make report of their opinions touching the same.� [Ibid. II. 367: Todd, II. 288, who remarks that a version of the Articles in Latin, with copies of their names subscribed, is now in the State-Paper Office. It has been collated for the present work (App. No. III) and has supplied a number of important variations.] It was now remitted (Nov. 20) to the Archbishop at one of his country-houses for the �last corrections of his judgment and his pen,� and on the 24th of the same month he returned it to the council, accompanied by the following observations: �I have sent unto the same [your good lordships] the Book of Articles, which yesterday I received from your lordships. I have sent also a schedule inclosed, declaring briefly my mind upon the said book; beseeching your lordships to be means unto the King�s majesty, that all the bishops may have authority from him to cause all their preachers, archdeacons, deans, prebendaries, parsons, vicars, curates, with all their clergy, to subscribe to the said Articles. And then I trust that such a concord and quietness in religion shall shortly follow thereof, as else is not to be looked for many years.� [Strype�s Cranmer, II. App. No. LXIV.]
A further delay of six months ensued before this authority was publicly accorded, but on the 19th of June, 1553, a mandate in the name of the King was directed to the officials of the Archbishop of Canterbury, requiring them to see that the, new Formulary should be subscribed; [See the mandate in Wilkins, IV. 79. It extended also to schoolmasters, and apparently to members of the university on admission to degrees. Todd, II. 293.] which was accordingly carried into effect, at least in two or three dioceses of the realm. [On the 22nd of June (not the 2nd, as in Strype,) the clergy of Canterbury were cited for this purpose, but it is uncertain how many of them actually subscribed. According to Burnet, the Articles were not circulated widely on account of the death of Edward, which followed very soon after (July 6:) III. 365�367. When examined by Queen Mary�s commissioners, Cranmer declared that he only �exhorted such as were willing to subscribe; but against their wills he compelled none.� Fox, 1877. The bishops were permitted to suspend all compulsory measures for a period of six weeks. Todd, II. 296.]
Before this period, however, the Articles had been already put in general circulation; as we learn, among other sources, from the following title: �Articles agreed on by the bishops and other learned men in the synod at London, in the year of our Lord God, 1552, for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a godly concord in certain matters of religion. Published by the King�s Majesty�s commandment, in the month of May, 1553. Rich. Graftonus, typographus regius excudebat. Lond. mense Junii, 1553.� This work was printed separately, [An important consideration, proving (as Dr. Cardwell remarks) that the Articles were not treated as a mere appendage to the Catechism, with which they were often combined. Synod. I. 6.] and in English: but another edition of 1553, from the press of Raynold Wolfe, exhibits the Articles in Latin, appended to a distinct treatise, bearing the title �Catechismus Brevis Christianae Disciplinae.� [The author of the Catechism is unknown. It has been ascribed to Ridley, Ponet, and Nowell; but the reasons are strongest in favour of the second. See a Letter of Sir John Choke, June 7, 1553, and the remarks upon it, in Cranmer�s Works, ed. P. S. I. 422, note (2).] These two works, similarly connected, but in an English version, were published in the same year, �by the King�s Majesty�s authority,� and the royal Injunction prefixed to the Catechism is dated May 20, 1553.* The Articles are in both cases said to have been �agreed on by the bishops and other learned and godly men in the last Convocation� (in ultimo. synodo,) A. D. 1552; but their object is described with a slight variation from the copy as it was printed by Grafton. [�For to roote out the discord of opinions, and stablish the agreement of trew religion.�]
[*A very short interval must have elapsed between this order and the actual publication, for in a letter of Utenhovius to Ballinger, dated London, June 7, 1553, he remarks that �Articles are now printed in the king�s name, to which all persons must subscribe who are to be appointed to any office in the Church, as also those who are already appointed, under pain of deprivation.� Original Letters, ed. P. S. 594.]
It has been remarked already, that the original draft of this document was made by Archbishop Cranmer, and by him submitted to a number of revisions during an interval of eighteen months. In what particulars it was modified or augmented by this long and varied criticism we are unable to ascertain precisely; and yet the letter of the King to Ridley, bearing date June 9, 1553, as well as that of the Archbishop to Cecil in the previous September, would lead us to suppose that the amount of alteration had been very considerable; for it describes the Articles, which were then publishing in their final form, as �devised and gathered with great study, and by counsel and good advice of the greatest learned part of our bishops of this realm and sundry others of our clergy.� [Strype, Eccl. Mem. II. 421.] We cannot, therefore, resist the conclusion, that they had been exposed to a searching review, and freely discussed and amended by a number of auxiliary hands, before the date of their general circulation.
But some of the uncertainty in which this question has been thought to be enveloped is dispelled by the records appertaining to the visitations of bishop Hooper in 1551 and 1552; [Strype, Cranmer, Book II. ch. xviii., and Documents.] i.e. during the time when the Articles were in process of formation but had not been publicly sanctioned by the Crown. In a pastoral letter to the clergy of Gloucester, in the year 1551, signifying the intention of the bishop to visit that diocese in the summer, he informs them that �according to the talent and gift given him of the Lord, he had collected and gathered out of God�s holy Word, a few Articles, which he trusted would much profit and do them good.� In the course of the visitation he exacted subscription to these Articles, as he himself wrote to Cecil in a letter dated Gloucester, July 6, 1552. [Ibid. App. No. xlviii. One of his �interrogatories� on the same occasion was: �How many priests in the deanery have subscribed unto the Articles that I put forth unto them?� Eccl. Mem. II. 355.] This, however, must have been upon his individual authority; for in the same communication he expresses the strongest wish that a document still more binding on the clergy may proceed from higher quarters. �For the love of God,� he writes, �cause the Articles, that the King�s majesty spake of, when we took our oaths, [i.e. on his appointment to the bishopric of Worcester (which he held �in commendam�), May 20, 1552.] to be set forth by his authority.� In October, 1552, he proceeded to Worcester in continuation of the same visit, but was interrupted by two Romanizing prebendaries, whom he found unwilling to acquiesce in certain of the doctrines which he had propounded in his Articles of Religion. This act of resistance on their part led the way to a disputation with the bishop an account of the result of which was immediately communicated by him to the royal council (Oct. 25, 1552); while Joliffe, one of the prebendaries, after the accession of Elizabeth, gave the whole of the controversy to the world in a book published at Antwerp, in 1564. This volume* comprises the arguments of the objectors, together with the answer returned to them by Hooper, and a confutation of that answer by Gardiner, who was at the time a prisoner in the Tower; but, what is still more interesting and important, it has also presented us with a copy of the Articles which were the moving cause of the dispute.
[*See some account of it in Strype�s Eccl. Mem. II. 354. The title of a copy in the Library of the University of Cambridge is as follows: �Responsio venerabilium sacerdotum Henrici Ioliffi et Roberti Jonson, sub protestatione facta, ad illios Articulos Ioannis Hoperi, episcopi Vigorniae nomen gerentis in quibus a Catholica fide dissentiebat, etc. Antv. 1564.�]
At first sight we may be inclined to consider them altogether distinct from the Formulary which was subsequently circulated by the King, for subscription in the Church at large. Such indeed appears to have been the inference of Strype;* and the language of Hooper, where he speaks of the Articles � gathered � by himself out of the Holy Scriptures, would unquestionably tend to the same conclusion. Yet, on the other hand,, there is satisfactory proof that the two documents are very closely related, or had even proceeded from the common source; for out of the nineteen Articles animadverted on by the prebendaries, ten will be found to coincide precisely (a few cases of varying phraseology excepted) with the Latin Articles of 1552, though the order in which they occur is different throughout; while of the nine remaining Articles, seven are as obviously the same in substance, though not so fully enunciated as certain parallel definitions of the later Formulary. The only Articles of which no traces were preserved in those of 1552, are the first and the eighteenth in Joliffe�s publication; the former being directed against errors on the subject of our Saviour�s Incarnation, and the oneness of His propitiatory sacrifice;** the latter, against the superstitious services of the mass as they had been commonly celebrated, anterior to the Reformation. There are expressions also in the reply of Hooper, which although hardly reconcileable with his previous language, imply that the Articles tendered by him to the Worcester clergy were in some way sanctioned by the authority of the King, or perhaps in accordance with the Formulary drawn up at the royal order. These passages*** have prompted the idea that after the Articles were returned by Cranmer to the privy council in May, 1552, the King had by a private act [Soames, Reform. III. 651.] recommended the well-affected prelates to urge them upon the notice of the clergy, for the purpose of ascertaining their willingness on the matter of subscription. Yet on the contrary, it must be remembered that early in the year preceding, allusion had been made by Hooper to what he then designated his Articles; and since they in their turn are frequently identical with those, which he offered in 1552 to the prebendaries of Worcester, a rough sketch of the document, hereafter published by authority, was already in active circulation, at least among some of the reforming prelates.****
[*�When he visited them he gave them Articles concerning Christian religion, to the number of fifty.� Cranmer, II. 220. A full account of the visitation was perused by Strype in a certain folio MS. of which a copy from Dr. Williams� Library has been obligingly furnished for the use of the present writer, by the Editor of Bp. Hooper�s �Remains,� (preparing for immediate publication). The title there given describes the Articles as composed for �the unity and agreement as well as for the doctrine of God�s Word, as also for the conformity of the ceremonies agreeing with God�s Word.�]
[**�Christi corpus non ex virili semine, nec ex ulla alia materia nisi tantum ex substantia Virginis Maria, opera Spiritus Sancti factum est, idque somel, et semel tantum oblatum est.� Art. I. fol. 13. �Missa quae consuevit a sacerdotibus dici, superstitionis et abusus plena erat, at praeter epistolas, evangelia et verba coenae, perpauca instituta per Christum habuit: sed a Romanis Pontificibus et ab aliis ejusdem notae hominibus inventa et excogitata est.� Art. XVIII. fol. 188. b.]
[***Hooper (or, as some suspected, Harley or Jewel) began his confutation of it in the following terms: �Quod serius quam pro vestra expectatione, ad ea quae in Articulos regios scripsistis responderim,� etc. fol. 6. b.; and again: �Quid hic de regis majestate, qui mihi author fuit, ut haec suis omnibus, tam qui in clero sunt, quam qui in promiscua multitudine proponerem, suspicamini, aliis divinandum relinquo. Me vero, meique loci et ordis alios, qui his jam pridem subscripsimus quo ingenio αιρέσεως nota liberetis non video, postquam hos articulos, quos verbo veritatis freti approbavimus, sacrae Scripturae, analogiae fidei, et ecelesiae determinationi vestra censura adversantur.� fol. 7. b. It is clear also from Joliffe�s statement, that the authority was pleaded in the enforcing of subscription (fol. 5): but Gardiner�s Replication (fol. 8. b) implies that no such authority had been brought to bear, except directly and in terrorem.]
[****The truth seems to be that the Articles in Hooper�s �Visitation-Book� are a popular English form of this original draft, enlarged by ritual injunctions for the guidance of his clergy, as well as modified in different ways. Very many of his extreme statements are softened down in the authorized Articles, as may be seen from the collations in Append. No. III.]
Be this, however, as it may, there is not evidence enough to support the conclusion of archbishop Laurence, that the number of Articles as originally compiled at Lambeth, did not exceed nineteen, or that Cranmer in the first instance composed little or nothing more than a condemnation of �Romish� errors. [Bampton Lectures, II. note (6).] It is clear from an extant English copy, that the list of bishop Hooper amounted to no less than fifty Articles, and if some of these only were refuted by the disaffected prebendaries of Worcester, the reason might be that the remainder were considered less open to attack, or were even such as the objectors had no scruple in subscribing.
Nor is this view altogether unsanctioned by the testimony derivable from the work itself; for in the �argument� prefixed by Joliffe, he admits that while some of �the many Articles� were heretical and impious, others entitled to the name of �catholic� had been artfully interspersed, in order that the simple and incautious might be the more easily led astray.* In such a case, it is evident that we can hope to recover the Articles of 1552, from the records of the Worcester disputation, so far only as they were distasteful to the party who opposed the reformation movement: and accordingly when we ascertain the subjects which were handled in the longer of these lists, but omitted in the shorter, we find them generally bearing upon questions which were common to the �old� and the �new learning,� and therefore unlikely to have called for rebuke from the champions of the �Romish� tenets. It has been remarked, for example, as somewhat singular that the first Article of 1552, touching the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, has no equivalent definition in the report of the controversy between Hooper and the Worcester clergy, yet the existence of such an Article in the series which was actually submitted to their notice, appears to have been placed beyond reasonable doubt; for in the �True Copy of Bishop Hooper�s Visitation-Book,� there is an order to the following effect: �That they faithfully teach and instruct the people committed unto their charge, that there is but one God, everlasting, incorporate, almighty, wise and good, Maker and Conserver of heaven and earth, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also He will be called upon by us. And albeit there be but one God in essence and unity in the Godhead, nevertheless in the same unity there be Three distinct Persons,� [Art. II.] &c. The same view is further illustrated by the first Article in Joliffe�s publication. It was chiefly directed against the errors not of the Romanizing but of the Anabaptist party, as we learn from a contemporary work,** in which it has reappeared; yet as the closing observation was intended to glance at the scholastic dogma of a repeated oblation of our Lord in the sacrament of the altar, it was so far assailed in the reply of the Worcester prebendaries: and to this circumstance alone are we indebted for the preservation of all the Article.
[*�Is (i.e. Hoperus) sub annum sextum Edouardi Regis VI articulos multos, alios errore atque haeretica impietate plenos, alios catholicos, quo simplices et incautos magis deciperet ... probandos subscriptione postulavit atque decendos obtrusit.� fol. 6.]
[*The �Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum,� in process of construction at the same time with the Articles, was the work of nearly the same hands, and is therefore an excellent commentary (see Todd�s Cranmer, II. 325, seqq.). The section, �de Haeresibus� contains a denunciation of those forms of misbelief, at that time existing in the Church, �quarum praesens pestis in perniciem religionis nostrorum temparum, adhuc incubat.� In c. v. among other false opinions reprobated by the compilers there is one quite identical with that which stands first in the Worcester controversy (cf. above): �Qui errores omnes sacrarum Scripturarum authoritate sic corrigendi sunt ut Christus meliore natura Deus sempiternus accipiatur, et quidem aequalis sit Dei Patris; humana vero corpus habeat, ex tempore factum, neque saepius quam semel, neque ex alia materia quam ex Mariae virginis vera et sola substantia.�
But while the theory of Archbishop Laurence, as to the number and nature of the original draft, is thus shown to be wanting in solid proof, it may suggest an important investigation connected with the history of the Articles, and one which has not hitherto been pursued with the minuteness it deserves. What was the leading aim of the reformers in selecting the particular subjects which are handled in the Articles of 1552? On what principle may we explain the introduction of this point, or the omission of that? Were they designed to be a complete system of theology, or simply to express the judgment of the English Church on a variety of sacred topics at that time actually controverted within her own jurisdiction?
The internal evidence afforded in the solution of these queries may be stated in a few words. In the title of the English Articles [This translation, according to Dr. Cardwell, was probably made concurrently with the original Articles, and under the same direction. Synod. I.18.] as published by Grafton, in 1553, they are said to have been constructed with reference to �certain matters of religion,� and in all the copies, �for the establishment of a godly concord and the avoiding of controversies� apparently agitated at the time.* Two of them (the eighth and the thirty-seventh) deny the errors of the Anabaptists upon original sin and a community of goods; four others (from the thirty-ninth to the forty-second) arc directed against as many forms of misbelief affecting the resurrection, the state of the dead, the millenarian hypothesis, and the ultimate salvation of all men: the eighteenth anathematises all those who willfully deny the necessity of the Gospel: while the twelfth and thirteenth reject �the doctrine of the school-men,�** touching human merit and works of supererogation: and the twenty-third touching purgatory, indulgences, and other tenets which were in like manner strenuously defended by the anti-reformation party.
[*In the �Reformatio Legum,� where many of the Articles reappear in a somewhat different form, attention is distinctly confined to the heresies then in course of propagation. �Posset magna colluvies aliarum haeresum accumulari, sed hoc tempore illas nominare solum voluimus, quae potissimum hisce nostris temporibus per eeclesiam diffunduntur.� 22: ed. Oxon. 1850.]
[**This phrase in the Articles of 1562 was exchanged for �the Romish doctrines;� the council of Trent having in the mean while spoken out distinctly and adopted as portions of the Christian faith many of the opinions, which had been floating in the Church, and advocated in the schools. The council had commenced its sittings in Dec. 1545: they continued till 1549: after an interruption of two years they resumed; but before the business of the synod was completed a very long suspension intervened, and did not expire till Jan. 18, 1562. The �actions� were then reopened, and finally confirmed by a papal bull bearing date Jan. 6, 1564. In several letters of the reformers we may observe the interest with which they were watching the contemporary disputations at Trent: e.g. Cranmer�s Works, I. 346, 349.]
But although we are not able to state from internal evidence what were the heresies proscribed in the rest of the XLII. Articles, we have reason for expecting to meet with them in the contemporaneous history of the Church.* As in the case of the Augsburg Confession, from which those Articles have copied largely, they had an eye in the first instance to the existing necessities of the times, and were designed both as a protest against the scholastic corruptions, and as a curb on the licentiousness of private speculation, which the removal of the ancient yoke had too frequently occasioned. To borrow the strong but accurate language of a distinguished writer [Le Bas, Crammer, II. 88.] on this period, �the papal infallibility was sometimes transferred to the leader of a petty sect: at other times a dreaming enthusiast would become his own pope, and would consult nothing but the oracle within his own breast.� It was, indeed, a stirring crisis in the life of Western Europe, when the human soul, starting up from its long torpor and finding itself free, rushed headlong into the wildest misbelief or the darkest moral corruption; when the cold-hearted rationalist and the visionary mystic, presuming on their individual powers, overleapt all the boundaries of thought which had been imposed by the sacred Scriptures, and threatened to sweep away in their avenging blindness not only the mediaeval errors, among which they had been nurtured, but also the purer exhibition of the Gospel revived by the Anglican Reformers.
[*This was certainly the view of Cranmer when he requested, the continental reformers to take part in such a compilation: and Calvin understood him in this sense, as we read in a letter which he addressed to the Archbishop, while the English Articles were in progress. He there says that the doctors were invited, �ut ex diversis ecclesiis, quae puram Evangelii doctrinam amplexi sunt, convenirent precipui quique doctores, ac ex puro Dei verbo certam de singulis capitibus hodie controversis ac delucidam ad posteros confessionem ederent.� Cranmer�s Works, I. 347. Cf. Ridley�s language, In Strype�s Annals, I. 260; ed. 1725.]
The origin of these varied misbelievers may be traced, in nearly all cases, to the scene [�It is a matter of the first importance that the Word of God should be preached here in German, to guard against the heresies which are introduced by our countrymen.� Micronius to Bullinger, in a letter dated London, May 20, 1550: �Original Letters,� ed. P. S. 560.] of the earlier collisions between the �old� and the �new learning.� Their first and fundamental error was the rejection of infant baptism; and to this peculiarity of their system they owe the name of �Anabaptists�. Mistaking the language of Luther* as to the universal necessity of faith in the recipient of the holy sacraments, they postponed their administration of the initiatory rite until the subjects of it were (as they thought) actively exercising the pre-requisite conditions. But their divergencies from the, doctrine of the reformers were not confined to this single point. They proceeded to assail the Lutheran tenet of justification by faith only, and in this way fell into the further question respecting the two natures of our blessed Lord. Hans Denk, [Ranke, III. 559.] and others, affirmed that man may earn salvation by his own virtuous actions, and regarded the Founder of Christianity chiefly in His character of a Teacher. In Him, as one of the purest of our race, God was peculiarly manifested to the world, but to assert that He was our Saviour, in the received meaning of the term, was, in their view, to convert Him into an idol.
[*This connection was manifest in the case of Storch, who had been a disciple of Luther. His inference was, however, vehemently confuted in the Catechismus Major, Pars IV. � 21, seqq., and elsewhere in the works of the Saxon reformers, who uniformly maintained with Bishop Taylor, that faith and repentance are not absolutely necessary to the efficacy of the sacrament, but accidentally needed on account of the superinduced necessities of adults: Works, II. 248, ed. Eden.]
While these impious opinions were spreading on all sides, [Ibid. 561, 562.] a second school of �Anabaptists� had been devising a very different creed. [John Gastius �De Anabaptistarum exordio,� &c. ed. Basil, 1544, has specified seven distinct sects, 496�501.] They drew some false dualistic distinction between the �spirit,� and the �flesh,� and instead of holding, like the former sect, that we may be saved by our own efforts, alleged that the flesh only participated in the fall, and when, by impurity of living, it was most of all obnoxious to the indignation of God, the spirit was still free and uncontaminated by the vilest of the outward actions. They attributed the restoration of harmony between these two elements of our nature to the intervention of the Logos, but maintained that His humanity was altogether peculiar, deriving nothing from the substance of the Virgin. Not a few heightened the impiety of their creed, by abandoning the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and joining the Arian and Socinian schools, which were then rising in Switzerland, Italy, and Poland.
In addition to these extreme errors, some of the foreign Anabaptists inculcated the dogma of an absolute necessity; others preached the restoration of all things, and the final conversion of the devil; others maintained that the soul will sleep during the interval which elapses between death and judgment; while the majority of them were cherishing the belief that a millenial kingdom would be speedily established, and would subsist without any external magistracy, or without the guidance of the Written Word. In connection with this hope, they asserted the strictest community of goods; they refused all military service of a merely secular kind, and objected to the taking of an oath in negotiations with the world around them; some also held the observance of the Lord�s Day to be plainly anti-christian; others advocated polygamy, and affirmed even that to those who had received the Spirit, or the Anabaptist rite of initiation, adultery was no sin. All, however, were agreed in rejecting the authority both of the civil and ecclesiastical powers, denouncing the latter as an intolerable burden, and proclaiming the right of every Christian to circulate his creed, unrestrained by human legislation, or by the discipline of the Church.
If we add to this sketch of continental Anabaptism* another of its prominent features, we shall understand how formidable it must have looked in the eyes of the English reformers. It was a first principle of the sect that all who were duly initiated were not only able, but bound to execute the office of a teacher, as soon as they perceived within them the motions of the Holy Spirit. The effect of this immediate inspiration made them at once independent of the Sacred Volume, which they ventured to characterize as �a mere dead letter,� obsolete in itself, and in the course of its transmission so falsified by man as to be unworthy of the faith of Christians. In this way the last outward check on the presumptuous speculations of the individual mind was summarily demolished, and the entire system of Christianity abandoned to the fluctuations of the fevered fancy. [[M�hler, Symbolik, II. 173.]
[*These and other errors may be seen at large in Zwingli�s �Elenchus contra Catabaptistas;� Melancthon�s �Propositions against the Doctrine of the Anabaptists� (German), in Luther�s Schriften, XX. 2089 seqq. ed. 1745, where other evidence is given (2072�2229); Bullinger�s work �Adversus omnia Catabaptistarum prava Dogmata,� ed. Tiguri, 1535. See also Ranke, ubi sup. and M�hler�s Symbolik, II. 155�188.]
The precise date when the Anabaptist teachers found their way into England has not been banded down by the chroniclers of the period. As the sect had no single leader and no peculiar locality, its movements were desultory and obscure, and, at first, somewhat difficult to follow. In the year 1538, however, its appearance in the country was enough to attract the attention of the government, and to call out the royal commission adverted to above.* A letter, written at the same time, by some of the German princes,** implied that the revolutionary spirits who had long troubled the foreign reformers were actively propagating their tenets on this side of the channel: but the strong measures adopted by Henry for their immediate extermination, continued to retard their progress during the remainder of his reign. On the accession of Edward, the vigilance of the executive appears to have been relaxed; for they now rose into a considerable body, beginning �to look abroad and to disperse their dotages.�*** They flourished more particularly in Kent and Essex; [Original Letters, ed. P. S. 87.] and Hooper, who was remarkable for his zeal against them, has left us a frightful picture of the extremity of their errors. In writing to Bullinger, June 25, 1549, he says: �The Anabaptists flock to the place [i.e. of his lecture], and give me much trouble with their opinions respecting the Incarnation of our Lord; for they deny altogether that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary according to the flesh. They contend, that a man who is reconciled to God is without sin, and free from all stain of concupiscence, and that nothing of the old Adam remains in his nature; and a man, they say, who is thus regenerate cannot sin. They add, that all hope of pardon is taken away from those who, after having received the Holy Ghost, fall into sin. They maintain a fatal necessity, and that beyond and besides that will of His, which He has revealed to us in the Scriptures, God hath another will by which He altogether acts under some kind of necessity. ... How dangerously our England is affected by heresies of this kind, God only knows: I am unable indeed, from sorrow of heart, to express to your piety. There are some who deny that man is endued with a soul different from that of a beast, and subject to decay. Alas! not only are these heresies reviving among us which were formerly dead and buried, but new ones are springing up every day. There are such libertines and wretches who are daring enough in their conventicles, not only to deny that Christ is the Messiah and Saviour of the world, but also to call that blessed Seed a mischievous fellow, and deceiver of the world. On the other hand, a great portion of the kingdom so adheres to the popish faction as altogether to set at naught God and the lawful authority of the magistrates; so that I am greatly afraid of a rebellion and civil discord.� [Ibid. 65, 66: cf. Hooper�s English � Articles,� � 6.]
[*See above, Chapter III. For other traces of them at this period, see �Institution of a Christian Man,� 93, 94; Wilkins, in. 843, 847. By 32 Hen. VIII. c. 49. � 11, all who held the following tenets were excluded from the pardon which had been granted by the King, in July, 1540: �That infants ought not to be baptised, and if they be baptised they ought to be rebaptised when they corn to laufull age: That it is not leafull for a Christen man to beare office or rule in the Common Welth: That no mans lawes ought to be obeyed: That it is not leafull for a Christen man to take an othe before any judge: That Christe toke no bodily substaunce of our blessed lady: That Synners aftre baptisme cannot be restored by repentaunce: That every maner of Death, with the tyme and houre thereof, is so certainly prescribed, appointed and determyned to every man of God, that neither any prince by his sworde can altre it, ne any man by his owne wilfulnes prevent or chaunge it: That all things be common and nothing several�]
[**Seckendorf, lib. III. sect. XVII. � LXV. p. 181. The princes affirm that besides the hostility of Anabaptism to the civil magistrate, it had introduced an endless confusion of opinions, denying the Divinity and the two natures of Christ as well as original sin, and propagating false and absurd notions on the doctrine of justification.]
[***Heylin, Hist. Reform, I. 153; ed. E. H. S.: Carte, II 252. The latter authority, quoting Strype, mentions a very strange circumstance connected with the spread of Anabaptism. A letter dated Delft, May 12, 1549, was addressed to bishop Gardiner acquainting him that in consequence of the projected organization of the reformers, it became necessary to introduce divisions among them, and that this would be best effected by preaching up the Anabaptist doctrines.]
While Hooper and others like him were thus combating the errors by which they were daily beset in the midst of their parochial ministrations, a royal commission was vigorously at work in aid of the same object. Many of the leading misbelievers were either compelled to recant, or were soon condemned, in the language of the time, �to bear their faggots at Paul�s cross.� The record of the proceedings against them very frequently discloses the nature of their errors; and while some, like Champynes,* do not appear to have been directly impugning the fundamental articles of the faith, others, like Aseheton, [Ibid. 95.] had openly denied the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of our Saviour. [Joan of Kent was burnt May 2, 1550, for maintaining a heresy like that of the early Valentinians. She denied that our Lord took flesh of the Virgin, from a persuasion that He would in that case have shared the sinfulness of man�s nature.] Indeed, the very fearful spread of Arian and Socinian tenets was deplored by a contemporary writer, as one of the greatest evils at that time poisoning the life-blood of the Church and perplexing the spirits of her teachers. �We have not only (he writes) to contend with the papists, who are almost every where ashamed of their errors, but much more with the sectaries, and Epicureans, and pseudo-evangelicals. [Otherwise called �Gospellers.� For a sketch of them at this period see Bacon�s Works, (Catechism, &c.,) 415, 416. ed. P. S.] In addition to the ancient errors [The letter is dated London, Aug. 14, 1551.] respecting paedo-baptism, the Incarnation of Christ, the authority of the magistrate, the [lawfulness of an] oath, the property and community of goods, and the like, new ones are rising up every day, with which we have to contend. The chief opponents, however, of Christ�s divinity are the Arians, who are now beginning to shake our Churches with greater violence than ever, as they deny the conception of Christ by the Virgin.�**]
[*Strype, Cranmer, II. 92, 93. Among the propositions maintained by him were the following: (1) That a man, after he is regenerated in Christ cannot sin: (2) That the outward man might sin, but the inward man could not: (3) That God doth permit to all His elect people their bodily necessities of all worldly things.]
[*Original Letters, ed. P. S. 574: cf. 560. Among other subjects of inquiry during Hooper�s visitation in this same year, he asks �Whether any of them speak unreverently of God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost?� Strype, Eccl. Mem. II. 355. The same spirit of profaneness had before occasioned a legislative enactment, 1 Edw. VI., c. 1: �An Act against such as shall unreverently speak against the Sacrament of the Altar,� &c.]
A further commission, which emanated from the royal council in Sept. 1552, enjoins the Archbishop to institute, proceedings against the sect �newly sprung up in Kent.� [Strype, Cranmer, II. 410.] Neither the name nor the character of this sect has been distinctly put on record, but there is reason to conclude that it was the first wave of an inundation which afterwards created the greatest confusion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Becon,* writing at the time of their introduction, entitles them �Davidians,� classing their �wicked and ungodly opinions� with those of the Anabaptists and the Libertines. Their subsequent appellation was the �Family of Love,� under which title they grew up into a large and formidable body. Their leader and champion was a native of Amsterdam, [The displaying of an horrible secte of gmsse and wicked Heretiques, naming themselves the Family of Love, &c., by John Rodgers, Lond. 1579, sign. A. iiij.] Henry Nicholas by name, and the following is one of his directions to all who would join his standard: �They must pass four most terrible castles full of cumbersome enemies, before they come to the House of Love; the first is, of John Calvin, the second the papists, the third Martin Luther, the fourth the Anabaptists; and passing these dangers they may be of the Family, else not.� [Ibid. A. iiij. b.]
[*Works, (Catechism, &c.,) 415, ed. P. S. The name Davidians is derived from �David George,� a co-founder of the �Family of Love.� In a letter written from London, May 20, 1550, it is stated that �there are Arians, Marcionists, Libertines, Danists, and the like monstrosities, in great numbers.� Original Letters, ed. P. S. 560. The editor has added no explanation of this term, but may it not be intended for Davists or Davidians?]
If we now add to this crowd of foreign assailants, the unhappy divisions which had sprung up in the heart of the English Church, � the bitter altercations on the use of the vestments,* and other ecclesiastical �traditions�; or the scandal which had been raised by the controversies respecting the nature of the Divine decrees, [Below. For some account of disputes on the subject of justification, see a letter of John � Lasco, written from Croyden, in Gerdes, Miscell. II. 678.] and many kindred tenets, � we shall have no difficulty in appreciating the fitness of the Articles which attempted, at this very feverish epoch, to establish a more �godly concord in certain matters of religion.�
[*This vexed question, together with a second one respecting the posture on receiving the Lord�s Supper, seems to have been opened by � Lasco. Heylin, Hist. Ref. I. 193, 194. It was very stoutly contested by Hooper on one side, and Ridley on the other. Original Letters, ed. P. S. 486, 586; and more particularly, 672, 673, or Strype�s Cranmer, II. 208. seqq.]
Let us turn, therefore, to the document itself [See Appendix, No. III. where they are printed both in English and Latin.] and endeavour in the light of contemporaneous history to point out the primary aim of its several definitions.
The first article �Of Faith in the Holy Trinity,� is almost verbatim from the Augsburg Confession, and while condemning the heresy of Servetus, [See above.] like the corresponding article of its prototype, it glanced at the system of Delius Socinus, and a number of anti-trinitarian teachers, who were loud in their denial of the catholic doctrine.
The second article, respecting the Incarnation of the Word, is also derived from the Augsburg Confession. The truth which it undertook to vindicate was strenuously assailed by the Anabaptists [See above.] and others, who are described at length in the �Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum,� [De Haeresibus, c. v.] as actually infesting the Church of England.
The doctrine asserted in the third article (�Of the going down into Hell�) was in like manner agitated in this country at the time we are now considering. [Original Letters, ed. P. S. 561, (dated, London, May, 20, 1550.)] The violence of the controversy to which it had given rise induced the Convocation of 1562 to drop the concluding clause as it stood in the present version. [See Strype, Annals of Reform, I. 348, ed. 1725. See the various theories on this subject in Strype�s Whitgift, 504, ed. 1718.]
The fourth article, on the �Resurrection of Christ,� is a complement of the second and third, affirming the proper manhood of our Saviour, against the errors of the Anabaptists. The particular fact of His resurrection had been also distinctly impugned by a Silesian knight, named Gaspar Schwenkfels, [Hey, on the Articles, II. 388: Camb. 1798.] who died in 1561, and the heresy which he persisted in defending was doubtless inculcated by others of the same proselyting faction.
The fifth article, on the �Sufficiency of Holy Scripture,� appears to have been originally constructed with a twofold application. It asserted the necessity of scriptural proof for every doctrine of the Church, in reply to scholastic and Tridentine errors on the subject of �the Word unwritten;� [See above. The Council of Trent had stereotyped this error, in the year 1546. Sarpi, I. 266; ed. Courayer.] and also condemned the opposite misbelievers, whom we have seen disparaging the authority of the Bible, as compared with the immediate and fanatical inspirations, of which they were the favoured channel.* It is at the same time careful in the second clause to guard against a prevailing error, which maintained that all the usages of the Church must be clearly deducible from Holy Scripture. [See above.]
[*�In quo genere teterrimi illi sunt, (itaque a nobis primum, nominabuntur,) qui sacras scripturas ad infirmorum tantum hominum debilitatem ablegant et detrudunt, sibi sic ipsi interim praefidentes, ut earum authoritate se teneri non potent, sed peculiarem quendam spiritum jactant, a quo sibi omnia suppeditari aiunt, quaecunque docent et faciunt.� Reform. Leg. Eccl. de Haeresibus, c. 3. Alley (Poore Mans Librarie, I. 171, a) speaks of �Swinckfeldians and other fantasticall heades, which do depraue the holye Scripture�: Lond. 1565.]
The sixth article, on a due reverence for the Old Testament, was manifestly leveled at the Anabaptist teachers,* many of whom, like Servetus, denied that the elder worthies had even the most indefinite expectation of a life beyond the present. [Calvin, Instit. Lib. II. c. 10. � 1: cf. Gastius, de Anabaptist. 305.]
[*�Multi nostril temporibus inveniuntur, inter quos Anabaptistm praecipue sunt collocandi, ad quos si quis vetus Testamentum alleget, illud pro abrogato jam et obsoleto penitus habent, omnia quae in illo posita sunt ad prisca majorum nostrorum tempera referentes.� Reform. Leg. Eccl. ibid. c. 4.]
The seventh article, like the first of those which had been published in 1536, accepted the authoritative definitions contained in the Three Creeds, and by this act condemned all the heresies both of modern and of ancient growth, which had assailed the fundamental verities of the Gospel.
The eighth article, �Of Original or Birth Sin,� is directed against the early misbelief which had been propagated by Pelagius and his party; �whiche also the Anabaptistes [Cf. Reform. Leg. Eccl. ibid. c. 7.] doe now-a-daies renue.� Like the second of the Augsburg Articles, from which it was evidently drain, it may also be intended to glance at the errors of the schoolmen touching the absolute extirpation of sin by the sacrament of baptism, or even at the formal determinations on that subject, which had been recently established in the Council of Trent. [See above. The question had been decided by the Tridentine divines, June 17, 1546; Sarpi, I. 319.]
The ninth article, �Of Free Will,� is intimately related to the one preceding, and was intended to repel the Anabaptist errors on the subject of preventing and co-operating grace. [See above. This reference is clearly established by the testimony of the �Reformatio Legum,� ibid. c. 7.]
The tenth article, �Of Grace,� was a reply to an opposite error entertained by a second school of Anabaptists, [See Bp. Hooper�s Letter, above cited.] and also by some of the more violent reformers, who went under the name of Gospellers. [Hooper�s Early Writings, 421, ed. P. S.] They pushed their belief in predestination so far as to render the acts of man altogether involuntary, and to attribute his evil choice to the direct agency of his Maker.
The eleventh article, touching our justification �by only faith in Jesus Christ,� coincides with the fourth of the Augsburg Articles, and like it was primarily directed against the notions of human merit, which had been long taught, more or less distinctly, in the whole of the Western Church. [For the existence of a sounder doctrine, even among the schoolmen, see Field on the Church, App. Book III. c. xii.] It was also designed to include under the range of its animadversion the kindred tenets of the Anabaptists on the same vital question. [See above; and compare Reform. Legum Eccl. ibid. c. 7.]
The twelfth article, entitled �Works before Justification,� repudiates the error of certain �scholeaucthores,� who had affirmed, and were still affirming, that the favour of God is recoverable (or that man may be entitled to receive grace), in consideration of the merit of actions, which resulted from his own strength, or had been wrought independently of the Holy Spirit. [The Dominicans, at the council of Trent, condemned this idea of merit de congruo as Pelagian: Sarpi, I. 344.]
The thirteenth article, on �Works of Supererogation,� is in like manner levelled against a well-known scholastic figment. [Cf. Reformat. Legum Eccl. ibid. c. 8: Field, On the Church, App. Book III. c. xiii: Joliffe against Hooper, fol. 175.]
The fourteenth article, affirming that our blessed Lord was alone born without sin, impugns the �Romish� doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin. [See Field, ibid. c. VI. Joliffe against Hooper, fol. 165.]
The fifteenth, �Of Sin against the Holy Ghost,� is derived for the most part from the Augsburg Confession, and asserts the remissibility of sins committed after baptism. The errors broached on this subject in the primitive Church, were revived (as we have seen) by the Anabaptists at the time of the Reformation. [See above, and compare Reform. Leg. Eccl. ibid. c. 9.]
The sixteenth article, entitled �Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost,� defines the nature of this unpardonable sin, apparently with the view of removing the strong temptations to despair, which had been introduced by the misbelief proscribed in the former article.
The seventeenth article, �Of Predestination, and Election,� was designed to allay the numerous altercations which had been raised in the reforming body,* as well as in the older �schools,� by these deeply speculative topics. It is at the same time careful to guard against the fatalistic errors, into which �curious and carnal persons� had fallen from a onesided view of the doctrines in question.**
[*Many of the particulars of these disputes have been transcribed by archbishop Laurence, from a MS. in the Bodleian, and published under the title of �Authentic Documents relating to the Predestinarian Controversy.� For still earlier traces of it, see Bp. Gardiner�s �Declaration� (against George Joye), fol. LI. seqq. Lond. 1546.]
[**The prevalence of these perversions is thus noted in the �Reformatio Legum:� �Ad extremum in Ecclesia multi feris et dissolutis moribus vivunt, qui eum re ipsa curiosa sint, differti luxu, et a Christi Spiritu prorsus alieni, semper praedestinationem et rejectionem, vel, ut usitate loquuntur, reprobationem, in sermone jactant.� Ibid. c. 22.]
The eighteenth article is manifestly intended to condemn the assertions of the Anabaptists, [See above: cf. �Reformatio Legum,� which characterizes this error as �horribilis et immanis audacia.� Ibid. c. 11.] that provided men are sincere in following their own systems the rejection of the one Saviour of the world will not hinder their salvation.
The nineteenth is directed against another branch of the same faction, [See above.] who, under the plea of internal illumination had dispensed with the moral law, and circulated opinions respecting it �most evidently repugnant to the Holy Scripture.�
The twentieth article, while defining the Church* in terms very similar to those employed in the seventh of the Augsburg Articles, proceeds to repel a prevalent objection respecting the infallibility of the particular Church of Rome.
[*The Worcester prebendaries thought this definition imperfect on account of its silence touching the oneness of the Church, and the �continuous succession of the vicars of Christ.� They admit that the Roman Church had erred in the �agenda� of religion, but not in the �credenda.� fol. 80: cf. Reform. Leg. Ibid. c. 21.]
The twenty-first article, �Of the Authority of the Church,� was directed in like manner against the Romanizing party, [Joliffe against Hooper, fol. 82, 83.] and though it claims for the Church the prerogative of acting as a witness and keeper of Holy Writ pronounces her incompetent to decree any thing at variance with that record.
The twenty-second article, �Of the Authority of General Councils,� vindicates the right of the civil power in convoking such assemblies, from the later encroachments of the pope: and maintains that some of the councils reputed �general� at the time of the Reformation,* had actually fallen into error.
[*The �Reformatio Legum,� is an excellent commentary on the meaning of this Article. It declares that wo reverently accept the four great oecumenical councils, and defer to the decisions of many of the later synods, so far as they upheld the fundamentals of religion. De Summa Trinitate et Fide Catholica, c. 14.]
The twenty-third pronounces the doctrine of school-authors, concerning purgatory, image-worship, and other similar superstitions,* to be follies and figments unsupported by holy Scripture, or rather repugnant to its teaching.
[*Cf. Reform. Leg. de Haeresibus, c. 10, and Joliffe against Hooper, fol. 90. seqq. It is remarkable that the copy of this Article, as signed by the royal chaplains, (see above, p. 83) contains a censure of �praying for the dead,� which had been subsequently dropped.]
The twenty-fourth is manifestly levelled against the Anabaptist error, that every one who fancied himself called to the work of the ministry was bound to assume the office of a teacher in defiance of the authority of the Church. It is based on the fourteenth of the Augsburg articles. [See above: and comp. Reform. Leg. Ibid. c. 16.]
The twenty-fifth declares, in opposition to the Romanizing party, that the language of the public Service-Books should be intelligible to the body of the people.
The twenty-sixth article, �Of the Sacraments,� had a twofold application to the circumstances of the times. The first and second clauses were designed to limit the number of evangelical rites to which the term �sacrament� may be properly affixed, and to guard against the error of supposing that Baptism and the Eucharist produce their effects without any regard to the state of their subjects. The third clause is, on the contrary, directed like the ninth of the Thirteen Articles, against the prevailing Zwinglian notion, that sacraments were no more than empty rites and external badges.*
[*This intention is clearly established by the testimony of the �Reformatio Legum.� In speaking of the �heresies� then current, it observes; �Magna quoque temeritas illorum est, qui sacramenta sic extenuant, ut ea pro nudis signis, et externis tantum indiciis capi velint, quibus tanquam nobis hominum Christianorum religio possit a ceteris internosci, nec animadvertunt quantum sit scelus, haec sancta Dei instituta inania et credere.� Ibid. c. 17: cf. Bp. Latimer�s Remains, 252; ed. P. S.]
The twenty-seventh, which is included in the fifth of the Thirteen Articles, maintains, in opposition to the sectaries of the day,* that the validity of sacraments is unimpaired by the personal unfitness of the clergy.
[*The same authority speaks of Anabaptists, who separated from the Lord�s Table on the plea that they were deterred, �vel ministrorum improbitate, vel aliorum fratrum,� c. 15. Luther (as quoted by Dr. Hey, IX. 255.) says of them: �Anabaptistae propter hominum vitia vel indignitatem damnant vetum baptiema:� cf. Alley, Poore Mans Librarie, I. 241, b.]
The twenty-eighth, �Of Baptism,� is a continuation of the censure which had been passed with reference to both the �sacraments of the Gospel� in Article XXVI. It distinctly affirms that baptism is far more than a professional badge or barely outward symbol, and proceeds to vindicate �the custom of the Church� in her retention of infant baptism. [Ibid. c. 18. �de Baptismo,� where we have a glimpse of certain errors rising, it would seem, out of an opposite quarter. One of them attributed the effects of baptism to a physical virtue in the element employed; a second absolutely denied the possibility of salvation without the intervention of the sacrament.]
The twenty-ninth, �Of the Lord�s Supper,� while avoiding the errors of the Zwinglian School, condemns the opposite dogma of a physical transubstantiation in the elements, as repugnant to the Word of God, and as inconsistent with the true humanity of our Saviour and his local residence in heaven. [Cf. Reform. Leg. Ibid. c. 19.]
The article, like the third in the Second Part of the Augsburg Formulary, affirms the perfection of the one sacrifice which our Lord offered on the cross, in reply to the current misbelief touching the repetition of that offering in �the sacrifices of masses.�
The thirty-first article is aimed at the mediaeval error which regarded the marriage of the clergy as absolutely sinful. [Cf. the third of the �Six Articles,� 72, note (7.)]
The thirty-second and thirty-third relate to the internal discipline and usages of the Church, which had been made the subject of vehement disputation in the reign of Edward VI. [See above.] The former denounces the excommunicate as unfit for the society of Christians; the latter declares that �traditions,� or ecclesiastical rites and customs, may not be violated by any at the mere impulse of his �private judgment.� It is observable that the language of the second of these laws is borrowed from Art. V of the Thirteen Articles.
The thirty-fourth simply authorizes the use of the First Book of Homilies, which had been circulating with the royal sanction since 1547.
The thirty-fifth, in like manner, authorizes and commands the Ordinal and the Service-Book which had been previously put forth �by the king and the parliament,� in 1550 and 1552.
The thirty-sixth, �Of Civil Magistrates,� is directed partly against the Romanizing faction who continued to assert the supremacy of the pope, [Reform. Leg. Ibid c. 21.] and partly against the Anabaptists, who impugned the rights of the civil power and the lawfulness of war. [Ibid. c. 13. See above.]
The thirty-seventh and the thirty-eighth are levelled at the same revolutionary spirits, the one proscribing their notion of a community of goods, the other refuting their scruples on the subject of taking oaths. [Reform. Legum, c. 14, and c.15.]
The four remaining articles, three of which were drawn from the Augsburg Confession, are condemnatory of four other notions zealously inculcated in the reign of Edward VI by the Anabaptist teachers. [See above: and compare Reform. Leg. Ibid. c. 12.] The first determines, that the resurrection of the dead will extend also to the body, and has not been already finished in the quickening of the soul. The second, that the spirit does not perish with the body, and is still possessed of its former consciousness in the state of separation; the third, that the heretical fable of the �Millenarii� is repugnant to the Word of God; the fourth, that to believe in the ultimate recovery of all men is a false and deadly notion.
Having thus shown in detail the intimate bearing of the XLII Articles on the circumstances of the times in which they were compiled, it remains for us to consider the amount of the authority by which they could originally challenge the adherence of the Church.
This consideration will resolve itself into an inquiry which has been the cause of vehement debates among the historians of the period:
Were the Articles of 1552 ever formally submitted to the English Convocation, or were they circulated during the brief remainder of this reign on the sole authority of the royal council?
The latter view has been adopted by writers of opposite theological opinions, as well as of considerable weight in all questions of this nature, [Palmer, Treatise on the Church, I. 388. 3rd ed.; Burnet, III. 361. seqq.; Lamb, Historical Account of XXXIX Articles, 4, 5.] and therefore is entitled to a full and impartial examination. They rest it mainly on the fact, that the registers of the Convocation, which had been summoned for March 19, 1552, [Wake, State of the Church, 598; yet he adds in the next page, that the Convocation actually met on the 2nd of March.] (i.e. in modern language 1553,) contain no mention of the Articles; being �but one degree above blanks,� and �scarce affording the names of the clerks assembled therein.� [This is the statement of Fuller, (Church Hist, 420, 421. fol. ed.,) who had the opportunity of examining the records, and Heylin (I. 256.) so far agrees with him, remarking that �the acts of this Convocation were so ill kept, that there remains nothing on record touching their proceedings, except it be names of such of the bishops as came thither to adjourn the house.�]
So long, however, as we may explain the absence of this public testimony, either on the supposition of carelessness in the time of Edward, or of deliberate mutilation in the following reign, it will create no absolute presumption against the synodical authority of the Articles. The Convocation may have been �barren,� (to use Fuller�s phraseology), because its proceedings were either unreported or subsequently destroyed, and therefore we cannot follow him in drawing the conclusion that it had �no commission from the king to meddle with Church-business.�
But it is alleged, in the second place, that the title prefixed to the Articles of 1552 betrays a like want of ecclesiastical sanction. They are merely said to have been agreed on �by the bishops and other learned men, in the synod at London� (�inter episcopos et alios eruditos viros):�* whereas, in the subsequent promulgation of them in 1562, they are described as �agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces and the whole clergy,� &c.
[*Heylin has struck out a theory by which this language is readily explained, but the theory is itself altogether conjectural; unless indeed he was alluding to the commission for framing ecclesiastical laws (see below). He thinks that the lower house of Convocation, to whom the Articles were submitted, �had devolved their power on some grand committee, sufficiently authorised to debate, conclude, and publish what they had concluded in the name of the rest.� I. 257.
A somewhat kindred solution has been proposed by Dr. Cardwell, who, while admitting the synodical authority of these Articles, supposes that the sanction of the upper House was given, if not directly, at least by delegation; and that this sanction was considered to involve the ratification of the whole synod. Synod. I. 4, 5.]
The apparent vagueness of the former statement is not, however, unparalleled in the contemporary records of the Church, even when no doubt can possibly exist touching the convocational authority of the document to which that language is applied. [See above: and compare �British Critic� for 1829; VI. 84.] The argument drawn from this source must therefore be deemed as inconclusive as the one adverted to above.
A third reason for disputing the synodical approbation of the Articles is based upon the language of Cranmer and Philpot, when questioned on this very subject at the opening of the reign of Mary.
It has been already noticed, that when the Articles were published in 1553, they appeared both in a separate form and in the company of a certain �Catechism.� Of this second work a complaint was introduced by Weston (the prolocutor of the Convocation, which had assembled in the following autumn), to the effect that �it bore the name of the honourable synod, although, as he understood, put forth without their consent.� Philpot, [Fox, 1410. The date was Oct. 20.] who was present as archdeacon of Winchester, explained at some length in what way �it might be well said to be done in the Synod of London,� although the members of the present house �had no notice thereof before the promulgation.� According to his view the clergy had authorised certain persons to make ecclesiastical laws, [He must have alluded to the Commission appointed in 1551 to draw up the �Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum.�] and had concentrated in this committee their own synodical rights: but Cranmer in his �Disputation at Oxford,� in April, 1554, appears to have given a somewhat different solution. When charged by Weston with publishing �a Catechism .in the name of the Synod of London,� he replied, [Cranmer�s Works, IV. 64, 65.] �I was ignorant of the setting to of that title; and as soon as I had knowledge thereof, I did not like it; therefore, when I complained thereof to the council, it was answered me by them, that the book was so entitled, because it was set forth in the time of the Convocation.� Both these testimonies, however, agree in denying that the Catechism in question had ever been formally submitted to the synodical revision of the clergy: and if the Articles are necessarily implicated in the disclaimers here adduced, we are compelled to accept the hypothesis that they were put in circulation by the civil power without obtaining the approval of the Church.
But no such necessity exists for involving any more than the Catechism itself, within the purport of Weston�s censure. The Articles, as we have seen, were an independent publication, [See above.] and although they were associated in some of the early copies with a more extensive work, there is not enough reason for believing that they were originally regarded as a mere appendage to it.* While it is declared to have been put forth �by certain bishops and other learned men,�** they claim to be the work of �the bishops,� and to have been agreed on by the Church assembled in Convocation. And as a further corroboration of the distinctness existing between these two contemporary publications, it is remarkable that notwithstanding the many animadversions*** which the Catechism excited in the reign of Mary, the Articles are never once treated, in all the surviving records, as if they had been published unfairly, or rather the assailant of the former work, appears to acknowledge the authority which they had repeatedly assumed. We may, accordingly, conclude in this case as in others, that no adequate reasons have been urged for denying the synodical approbation of the latter Formulary of Faith.
[*See Bp. Maddox, Vindication of the Church of England, 309. ed. 1733. The only instance where the two works seem to be actually united is found in the language of Cranmer above quoted, but this does not imply more than their publication in the same volume, which we have seen was not unusual.]
[**See the Royal Injunction prefixed to the Catechism of Edw. VI (ed. P. S.). The date is �20 Maii, anno regni 7,� (i.e. 1553). It is probable that Weston alluded to this expression when he spoke of the Catechism as claiming to have been set forth by Convocation: for there is no statement of that kind in the work itself, although Mr. Lathbury (145, 146) affirms that it was so sanctioned in 1552. A very competent writer in the �British Critic� for 1829, (VI. 85, 86,) to whom this part of our inquiry is much indebted, has shown cause for suspecting that the Catechism censured in the reign of Mary, was not the one usually called the Catechism of Edw. VI., but some other book with which we are now unacquainted. Still the evidence seems slightly to preponderate in favour of the identification. It is not very improbable that such a manual was printed in September 1552, and that a royal injunction to schoolmasters was prefixed to a subsequent edition in the spring of 1553. Strype thinks that the injunction for printing it was suspended in order that it might be submitted to the following Convocation.]
[***Two instances are given above. A third is supplied by the account of Bp. Ridley�s Examination (Fox, 1449), who distinctly disclaimed the authorship of the �Catechism,� but admitted with regard to the Articles, �They were set out, I both willing and consenting to them. Mine own hand will testify the same.�]
But, on the other hand, there is positive proof that it was submitted to the southern Convocation in the year 1552, and if not actually debated in that body, at least very generally sanctioned and subscribed.
The language of the title in every existing copy of the Articles has expressly affirmed their ratification �in the last synod of London.� They are publicly recited as possessing this authority on their subsequent revival and enactment in the Convocation of 1562, [Reg. Convocat. in Bennett, Essay on the Thirty-Nine Articles, 167: �Interim; proposuit (i. e. the Prolocutor) quod Articuli in Synodo Londoniensi tempore nuper regis, Edw. VI� (ut asseruit) editi,� &c.] and it is almost incredible that such an assumption should have been allowed to pass unchallenged, especially by men like archbishop Parker, and in the midst of a critical synod, if the document were not really invested with the sanction which it claims. Our belief in the veracity of this language is still more strongly established by a communication from the visitors to the Vice-Chancellor and Senate of Cambridge* (June 1, 1553), in which they speak of the Articles as having been prepared by good and learned men, and agreed upon in the synod of London: and also by a contemporary letter [Original Letters, ed. P. S. 142.] of Sir John Cheke to Bullinger (June 7, 1553), where he informs his correspondent that the Articles of the synod at London were then published by the royal order.
[*�Cum antea in reintegranda religione multum denique regime Majestatis authoritate et bonorum atque eruditorum virorum judiciis sit elaboratum, et de Articulis quibusdam in synodo Londoniensi, A. D. 1553, ad tollendam opinionum dissentionem conclusum, equissimum judicavimus eosdem regia authoritate promulgatos et omnibus episcopis ad meliorem dioceseos suae admiuistrationem traditos, vobis etiam commendare et visitationis nostrae authoritate praecipere, etc.� From a MS. in C. C. C. quoted by Dr. Lamb, Historical Account, 4, 5, note. This Convocation is placed in the year 1553, because it continued until April 1. It assembled in the early part of the month preceding, and therefore in what was (according to ecclesiastical computation) the year 1552.]
If further evidence be needed in support of their convocational authority, it may be gathered out of the memorials of a controversy on the subject of the clerical vestments [�An Answers for the Time,� printed in 1566, with other Tracts on the same question. It seems to have first arrested the attention of Archbishop Wake, (State of the Church, 599, 600.) A copy is in the Cambridge University Library, marked G. 6, 84.] in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. When certain ministers of London disputed the �tradition� of the Church, and exposed themselves to the censure of the Article for securing a public agreement on this and other similar questions, it was urged against them by an advocate of order,* that many of their number had actually subscribed the Edwardine Formulary in the Convocation of 1552, and had consequently departed from their own pledge by � breaking the traditions and ceremonies of the Church.� The reply of the puritan to this charge is a full admission of the truth, that many of the clergy, who were thus disaffected, had set their hands to the 33rd of the XLII. Articles in common with the rest, but had done so with the limiting condition that nothing was to be ordered by the Church repugnant to the Word of God.
[*151�153. The Examiner appeals to �the determination of this Church in Englande, both agreed vpon in Kyng Edwardes dayes, and also testified and subscribed by themselues, who nowe woulde gaynsay their owne doynges then.� He adds, �The wordes which the whole sinode were well pleased withall and whereunto all the cleargies handes are set to be these,� (quoting the 33rd of the XLII Articles). The remark of the �Aunswerer� is as follows: � �The Articles of the sinode have such conditions annexed to them, that wee nede not feare to subscribe to them againe,� &c.]
Such then being the natural deduction from all the surviving evidence, it is desirable to indicate the process which had been most probably adopted in the composition and ratification of the Articles. They were first drawn up by Archbishop Cranmer very early in 1551, and circulated by him among the other prelates till the May of the following year. On the 2nd of that month he was asked by the council, �whether they had been set forth by any public authority,� and this question naturally suggests the idea that some intention then existed of submitting the Articles to the notice of the Convocation, which had been recently dissolved (April 16. [Wake, State of the Church, 598.]). Whether that intention was executed or not we have no means of ascertaining; but in the interval which elapsed from the inquiry of the council till the autumn of the same year, the Formulary was made to undergo a still further examination. We lose sight of it until the 24th of November, when it was finally sent back to the royal council, but it seems to have continued in their hands till the opening of the Convocation in the March of 1552/3. If actually discussed at this time either in one or both of the houses, the debate was very speedily conducted to an amicable issue; for on the 1st day of the following month, the synod was itself dissolved, and the royal order for the printing of the Articles appeared on the 20th of May. [This general view of their history and ultimate ratification in the synod, accords with the able Article in the British Critic, alluded to above.] They were thus �prepared by the authority of the king and council, agreed to in Convocation, and there subscribed by both houses; and so presently promulgated by the King�s authority, according to law.� [Wake, 600.]
But this, like many other of the salutary fruits which had ripened in the reign of Edward, was soon to be crushed and buried under the force of the violent reaction produced by his early death. The young monarch breathed his last, July 6, 1553, and the Convocation which assembled on the 6th of October was either �so packed or so compliant,� that only six members of the lower house [Wilkins, IV. 88.] objected to reaffirm the corporal presence in the Eucharist, and to join in denouncing the obnoxious �Catechism,� alluded to above. In the course of the ensuing year the great body of the people were �reconciled� to the see of Rome, and Cardinal Pole,* as legatus � latere, convened the two houses of Convocation, and ministered the pontifical absolution, which they received on their bended knees. A fresh and impetuous vigour was thereby injected into the proceedings of the counter-reformation movement: and among the first things which were pressed on the notice of the intruding prelates, were the �pestilent books of Thomas Cranmer, late Archbishop of Canterbury.� [Wilkins, IV. 96: cf. the �Proclamation for the restraining of all books and writings against the pope,� &c. Ibid. 128, 129.] In the enumeration of those public Formularies of Faith which had been so extensively indebted to his learning, there is no particular mention of the XLII Articles; yet they are doubtless to be reckoned in the list of �the other books as well in Latin as in English, concerning heretical, erroneous, or slanderous doctrine.� Though not formally abolished, it would seem, by the acts of any future Convocation, they were in truth altogether superseded by the revival and ascendency of the Romanizing party. An example of this virtual suppression is supplied by a series of Articles,** (fifteen in number,) which were sent on the 1st of April, 1555, to the University of Cambridge, accompanied by the injunction of the Chancellor (Gardiner,) that no one should be allowed to graduate until he had proved the integrity of his faith by subscribing the new test of doctrine; and in the last year of the reign of Mary the zeal of the houses of Convocation was conspicuously expressed in compiling a number of dogmatic definitions, which are described as �the last of the kind that were ever presented in England by a legal corporation in defence of the popish religion.�***
[*In his Decree on the Reformation of England, dated Feb. 10, 1556, he lays it down as his future object, �ut in hoc legationis munera perseveremus, ut ea, quae jam in ejusdem unitatis negotio confecta erant, magis stabilirentur, utque ecclesia haec Anglicana, quae ob praeteriti schismatis calamitatem in doctrinea et moribus valde deformata esset ad veterum patrum et sacrorum canonum normam reformaretur.� Le Plat, Monument, IV. 571.]
[**Ibid. 127, 128. In the Injunctions of Pole for the diocese of Gloucester the clergy are ordered, when there is no sermon, to read some portion of the �Necessary Doctrine,� until such time �as Homilies by th�authoritie of the synode shall be made and published for the same intent and purpose.� Ibid. 146, 148. A small catechism in English and Latin was also in contemplation. Ibid. 156.]
***Fuller, Church History, Bk. IX. p. 55. The first three are affirmations on the nature of the Eucharist, the fourth on the papal supremacy, and the fifth on the propriety of committing ecclesiastical judgments to the pastors of the Church, instead of leaving them in the hands of laymen. Wilkins, IV. 179, 180.
Chapter VI � The Elizabethan Articles
The proclamation of Elizabeth, on the 17th of November, 1558, was one of the most memorable epochs in the annals of the English Church. During a long and eventful reign she presided over the completion of the work, which had been founded by her father and her brother, and promoted the restoration of the breaches it had suffered in the days of her sister Mary.
Yet the calm and calculating spirit, that appealed in her public measures on the subject of religion, was far from satisfying the hopes of the crowd of sanguine exiles, whom the news of her establishment on the throne brought back to the shores of Britain. [Their dissatisfaction is well illustrated by the Letters of Bp. Jewel, written at this period to some of his foreign friends.] The pulpits were all silenced by a royal order; [Dec. 27, 1558. Wilkins, IV. 180.] the service of the Church was still used in Latin [This practice continued till June 24, 1559, except in the case of the Litany, which was said in English on the 1st of January preceding.] excepting �the Gospel and Epistle of the day� and �the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue:� a majority [Turner, Hist. of England, III. 507 (note).] also of the state-council, as constituted by the Queen herself, were in favour of the �older learning,� and all things betokened her desire to conciliate the affections of the country, and to repress the indiscretion of the more ardent spirits both upon the right hand and the left. Bacon, the lord-keeper, [D�Ewes� Journals of Parliament, 12.] announced to the Parliament in the name of his royal mistress, �that no party-language was to be kept up in this kingdom, that the names of heretic, schismatic, papist and such like were to be laid aside and forgotten: that on the one side there must be a guard against unlawful worship and superstition, and on the other, things must not be left under such a loose regulation as to occasion indifferency in religion and contempt of holy things.�
Much, however, as this kind of policy was calculated to perplex the reforming party, it was no proof either of vacillation or of fear in the mind of the cautious monarch. She had firmly purposed at the outset of her reign, and while the festivities of the corronation were proceeding, to attempt the revival of the public worship, as it was celebrated in the time of Edward; and the enumeration of the perils she was going to encounter, when fully set before her by Sir Wm. Cecil, [See the statement in Burnet, V. 450�454.] only deepened her previous resolutions and invigorated all her measures.
One of the earliest examples of discernment in the choice of her advisers, and the brightest omen of her ultimate success, was the nomination of Matthew Parker to the archbishopric of Canterbury.
By nature as well as education, by the ripeness of his learning, the sobriety of his judgment, and the incorruptness of his private life, he was eminently fitted for the post of presiding over the Church of England in that stormy period of her being; and though unable to reduce the conflicting elements into rest and harmonious cooperation, the vessel which he had been called to pilot was saved, almost entirely by his foresight, from breaking upon the rock of mediceval superstitions, or from drifting away into the opposite whirlpool of lawlessness and unbelief.* Like Cranmer, his illustrious predecessor, whom he valued so highly, that he �wolde as moche rejoyce to wynne� some of his lost writings as he �wolde to restore an old chancel to reparation,� [Parker to Cecil, Aug. 22, 1563; in Strype�s Cranmer, Appendix, No. XC.] � he was intimately acquainted with the works of the ancient Church, and uniformly rested his vindication of our own upon its cordial adherence to the primitive faith and the practice of the purest ages. �His great skill in antiquity,� (to quote the language of his biographer, Strype) [Strype, Parker, 530.] �reached to ecclesiastical matters as well as historical; whereby he became acquainted with the ancient Liturgies and doctrines of the Christian Church in former times. He utterly disliked, therefore, the public Offices of the present Roman Church, because they varied so much from the ancient.� And in his last will Parker has himself declared, [Ibid. 500, and Appendix, No. C.] �I profess that I do certainly believe and hold whatsoever the holy Catholic Church believeth and receiveth in any Articles whatsoever, pertaining to faith, hope and charity, in the whole sacred Scripture.�
[*�These times are troublesome. The Church is sore assaulted; but not so much of open enemies, as of pretended favourers and false brethren, who, under cover of reformation, seek the ruin and subversion both of learning and religion.� Strype, Parker, 433: ed. 1711. In writing to Cecil he prays that God may preserve the Church from such a visitation as Knox had attempted in Scotland. State Papers, Domestic, Nov. 6, 1559.]
Under the guidance, therefore, of this calm and venerable primate we may proceed with the history of the Articles of Religion, tracing them out of the obscurity into which they were thrown by the death of Edward, and noting the modifications which they subsequently underwent during the Elizabethan period of the Church.
The Formulary of 1552, having passed the houses of Convocation, and remaining (so far as we can judge) unrevoked in the time of Mary, might have been at once propounded for the subscription of the clergy, as a, test of the purity of their faith. But no attempt of this kind appears to have been made at the opening of the new reign, nor indeed for a long time after the general restoration of the Prayer-Book. The Articles for the most part continued in the background,* till they were discussed by the houses of Convocation in 1562; and even after they had been thus authoritatively remodelled, subscription to them was required only in the year 1571, by a canon of the Convocation [Wilkins, IV. 275, �de Cancellariis,� etc.: cf. �English Review,� III. 165 seqq., where it is shown that occasional instances occurred in which men suspected of heterodoxy were called upon to subscribe as equivalent to recantation.] assembled at that period, and by a contemporary enactment of the civil legislature.
[*They are referred to, however, in the following passage of a document presented to the Queen, A. D. 1559, by some of the refugees, in answer to the charge that �their doctrine was nothing but heresy, and they a company of sectaries and schismatics�; �Although in this our Declaration and Confession we do not precisely observe the words, sentence, and orders of certain godly Articles by authority set forth in the time of King Edward of most famous memory ... yet in altering, augmenting or diminishing, adding or omitting, we do neither improve [i. e. call in question], nor yet recede from any of the said Articles, but fully consent unto the whole, as to a most true and sound doctrine, grounded upon God�s Word, and do refer ourselves unto such Articles there as in our Confession, for shortness� sake, we have omitted.� Strype, Annals of Reform. I. 115; who gives one or two specimens of �the Confession,� and adds (116) that �on the back-side of this Paper are writ these words by Grindal�s hand, (as it seems) Articuli Subscripti anno primo Reginae nunc.� The whole may be seen in a MS. belonging to C. C. C. C. (CXXI. � 20), and containing the signatures George Hovy, John Ploughe, John Opynshaw. The authors of it allude to the public Disputation at Westminster which began on the last day of March, 1559, and the document was, consequently, drawn up after that date.]
During the interval, however, which elapsed from the accession of Elizabeth to the latter date, the bishops had provided another independent test of doctrine, which for the sake of distinctness we may entitle the �Eleven Articles of Religion.� It was compiled in 1559, under the eye of archbishop Parker, [Strype, Annals, I. 220, ed. 1725.] with the sanction of the other metropolitan and the rest of the English prelates; and the clergy were required to make a public profession [Hooper seems to have considered this kind of acquiescence far more stringent than subscription: �Subscribing privately in the paper I perceive little availeth. For notwithstanding that, they speak as evil of good faith, as ever they did before they subscribed.� Strype�s Cranmer, App. XLVII.] of it, not only upon admission to their benefices, but twice also every year, immediately after the Gospel for the day, it was designed to further �uniformity of doctrine,� and appointed to be taught and holden of all parsons, vicars, and curates, as �well in testification of their common consent in the said doctrine, to the stopping of the mouths of them that go about to slander the ministers of the Church for diversity of judgment, as necessary for the instruction of their people.� [Wilkins, IV. 195, seqq. This document is reprinted below, Appendix, No. IV. It was first published by Richard Jugge (the Queen�s Printer) in 1561, and is said to exist in MS. among the treasures of C. C. C. C.]
According to Collier�s description these Articles were �drawn upon a very near resemblance with those published in 1552;* but while granting that there is some truth in his statement, with respect to their general spirit, an examination of the document itself must demonstrate how far it has varied from all the anterior models.
[*II. 463. A much nearer affinity is found between the Edwardine Formulary and a Latin series of XXIV Articles, described by Strype as �The Articles of the Principal Heads of religion prescribed to ministers:� Annals, I. 216, 217. They seem to have been drawn up by the Archbishop and his friends, along with the XI Articles in the year 1559 (Ibid. 215,) but he apparently failed in procuring the sanction of the Crown for their circulation among the clergy. They are important, however, as contemporary illustrations of the XXXIX Articles, and will be hereafter employed for that purpose.]
The first article is almost verbally drawn from the first of the XLII, laying down the necessity of a belief in the Holy Trinity in Unity. The second affirms the sufficiency of Scripture, for establishing the verity of the Gospel, and for the confutation of �all errors and heresies;� while it recognises the three catholic Creeds as summaries of the principal articles of our faith. The third acknowledges �the Church to be the Spouse of Christ, wherein the Word of God is truly taught, the sacraments orderly ministered according to Christ�s institution, and the authority of the keys duly used:� adding, with the 33rd of the older Articles, that every national Church may change its ritual institutions. The fourth excludes all from any office or ministry, either ecclesiastical or secular, who have not been lawfully thereunto called by the high authorities. The fifth asserts the royal supremacy, as expressed in an act of parliament, and as explained by her Majesty�s �Injunctions.� The sixth denies the papal monarchy, on the ground that it is contrary to Scripture and to the example of the primitive Church. The seventh acknowledges the English Prayer Book to be �agreeable to the Scriptures,� and �catholic, apostolic, and most for the advancing of God�s glory.� The eighth declares that exorcism, oil, &c., do not pertain to the substance of the sacrament of baptism, and that they have been reasonably abolished. The ninth denies that �private masses� were ever used amongst the fathers of the Primitive Church, and proceeds to declare that the doctrine of a propitiatory sacrifice in �the mass� for the quick and dead and �as a mean to deliver souls out of purgatory,� is neither agreeable to Christ�s ordinance nor grounded upon �doctrine apostolic.� The tenth maintains the right of the people to communion under both kinds; and from the language of our Saviour�s institution, and the practice of the ancient �doctors of the Church,� condemns the withholding of the �mystical cup,� as �plain sacrilege.� The eleventh disallows the extolling of images, relics, feigned miracles, and other superstitions, on the ground that they �have no promise of reward in Scripture, but contrariwise threatenings and maledictions,� and exhorts all men on the contrary to a diligent cultivation of good works.
It does not appear that this Formulary had been put in circulation by the authority of the royal council; and as the houses of Convocation did not assemble until the year 1562, it was destitute of all ecclesiastical sanction, excepting so far as the consent of the bishops involved the acquiescence of the lower clergy. Issuing, however, as it did, from the press of the Queen�s printer, and being enforced by episcopal injunctions upon the whole body of incumbents, it claims to be regarded as a public manifesto, and as an authentic record of the teachings of the Church through the interval which elapsed from the time of its appearance to the revival of the longer Articles in the ensuing Convocation. At a much later period (in 1566) it was prescribed verbatim to the Church of Ireland, �by order and authority as well of the Right Honourable Sir Henry Sidney, General Deputy, as by the Archbishops and Bishops, and other her Majesty�s High Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical in the same realm,� [This document was printed at Dublin, by Humfrey Powel, Jan. 20, 1566, and may be seen at length in Dr. Elrington�s �Life of Ussher:� App. XXIII�XXIX.] and was the only domestic Formulary, with the exception of the Irish Prayer Book, which the sister Church appears to have recognised, until [The English Articles of 1562 were subscribed in the mean time, at least in some few cases (Mant, I. 382, 2nd ed.;) but compare Elrington�s Ussher, ubi sup. 42, 43.] the �Articles of Religion� were agreed on by the Convocation of 1615.
With regard to our own country, the �Eleven Articles� were intended as a merely provisional test, and consequently began to be superseded,* at least on this side of the channel, when the Articles of the synod of 1562 were absolutely enjoined upon the clergy by the canons of 1571.
[*Among the �Ordinances� of Archbishop Parker in 1564, is one relating to this Formulary, which was regarded by him as an authority co-ordinate with the Articles of 1562; for after enjoining the clergy to read the Book of Articles, �without notinge or expoundinge as theye be sett owte in the English Tongue twyse in the yere,� he adds, �That they reade also the Declaration for the unitye of Doctrine sett owte for the same purpose.� Strype, Parker, App. XXVIII, 48.]
To the compilation, therefore, of this document our thoughts are now specially directed.
Though �many popishly-affected priests still kept their hold by their outward compliances,� [Strype, Parker, 91, ed. 1711. The number who refused to admit the English Prayer Book was one hundred and eighty-nine. Annals, I. 171, 172.] the majority of the Church had cordially acquiesced in the changes resulting from the accession of Elizabeth, and the appointment of Archbishop Parker. The labours of the royal commission, deputed in 1559 to visit the whole of the English diocesses, had largely contributed to this object, at one time by confirming the mind of the waverer, and at another by silencing the �recusant,� who either questioned the supremacy of the Queen, or rejected the English Service-Book. Jewel, who was himself one of the most zealous members of the commission, wrote an account of his progress to Peter Martyr, [Works, VIII. 128�130, ed. Jelf. The whole letter is curious.] November 2, 1559: �Every where,� he says, �we found the minds of the multitude sufficiently alive to religion, and that even where all things were supposed to be most difficult and disheartening. Still it is incredible what a harvest, or rather what a wilderness of superstition had shot forth again during the darkness of the Marian period. � The cathedrals were no better than dens of thieves. � If we had to encounter obstinacy and malice in any quarters, it was entirely among the priests, and especially those who had once been of our own way of thinking. I suppose they are now disturbing all things, in order that they may not seem to have changed their minds without sufficient consideration. But let them create as much confusion as they like: we have in the mean time ejected them (conturbavimus) out of their sacerdotal office.�
As a natural result of these cogent measures, and of the growing bias of the Church at large in favour of the Reformation, her representatives in the earliest of the Elizabethan synods were agreed in their hostility to the errors which had been revived in the previous reign; however much they differed from each other in their view of the truth itself, and of the manner in which the Romanizing tenets should be thwarted and replaced. A royal brief for summoning the convocations of Canterbury and York was issued Nov. 11, 1562, and the day appointed for their meeting was Jan. 12, 1563,* or, in the language of ecclesiastical computation, 1562.
[*The Conticil of Trent was sitting at the same time, see above, p. 92, note (3). Its twenty-second �action� commenced, Sept. 17, 1562, by publishing the doctrinal decree on the �sacrifice of the mass;� and while the English Convocations were assembled, a warm contest was proceeding between the Italian bishops on one side, and the French and Spanish on the other, touching the extent of the papal power. Sarpi, II. 568�570. The same spirit of national independence, exhibited by the French prelates on this occasion, had been witnessed in the autumn of 1561, at the �Colloquy of Poissy,� where an attempt was made to conciliate the Huguenots by means of a national synod, and without the aid of the Roman pontiff. Fleury, Hist. Eccl. liv. CLVII. s. 1�27; Bossuet, Variations, liv. IX. s. 90. In a contemporary letter of Parker to Cecil, we see the interest felt by the English with regard to the fruits of this �Colloquy,� (State Papers, Domestic, Aug. 11, 1561).]
During this interval, and it may be for some time anterior, the archbishop of Canterbury had been sedulously engaged in revising the Edwardine Articles, with the intention of submitting them to the synod as the basis of the Formulary of Faith about to be considered. He was probably assisted in this work �by his constant friends, bishops Grindal (of London), Horn (of Winchester), and Cox (of Ely).� They chose for the subject of revision the Latin Articles of 1552; and .it is interesting to find that the result of their criticism is preserved among the manuscripts of archbishop Parker. [Dr. Lamb, in 1829, published, among other documents, an exact copy of the Latin Articles of 1562, as presented by Parker to the Convocation. It contains also the marks of numerous corrections which the Formulary had itself experienced, while under the notice of that body.] We are in this way enabled to describe the changes introduced into the present Articles of Religion far more exactly than our authorities have permitted in tracing the compilation of the documents which have already passed under our notice.
It is very observable in the outset how the prelates who took part in this work of remodelling the Articles of 1552 have betrayed the same Lutheran leanings which appear in the earlier reformation, and especially in the language which had been adopted from the Saxon Formularies into the corresponding works of the Church of England. A large portion of the changes in dogmatic points which are found on comparing the Elizabethan Articles with those in the reign of Edward, may be traced to a Lutheran document which had been framed in accordance with the confession of Augsburg in 1551.* It is entitled the �Confession of Wirtemberg,� and was presented by the ambassadors of that state to the Roman Synod of Trent. [Sarpi, II. 104, ed. Courayer.] From it is derived the clause in our second Article, touching the eternal generation and consubstantiality of the Son; the agreement being absolutely verbatim. [�Credimus et confitemur Filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, ab aeterno a Patre suo genitum, verum et aeternum Deum, Petri suo consubstantialem.� De Filio Dei. For the corresponding English Articles, see App. No. III.] The same is true of the third Article, �Of the Holy Spirit,� which has no equivalent in the Edwardine series, but exists entire among the Wirtemberg Articles. [�Credimus et confitemur Spiritum Sanctum ab aeterno procedere a Deo Patre et Filio, et esse ejusdem cum Patre et Filio essentiae, majestatis, et gloriae, verum ac aeternum Deum.� De Spiritu Sancto.] An appendix to the sixth of our present list, affirming that those books are to be reputed as component parts of the Sacred Canon, of whose authority there has never been any doubt in the Church, is manifestly copied from the same quarter. [�Sacram Scripturam vocamus eos Canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti, de quorum authoritate in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.� De Sacra Scriptura.] The tenth Article [�Quod autem nonnulli amrmant homini post lapsum tantam animi integritatem relictam, ut possit sese naturalibus suis viribus et bonis operibus, ad fident et invocationem Dei convertere ac praeparare, haud obscure pugnat cum Apostolica doctrina, et cum vero Ecclesiae Catholicae consensus�. De Peccato.] on �Free Will,� the new portion of the eleventh [�Homo enim fit Deo acceptus, et reputatur coram eo justus, propter solum Filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, per fidem.� De Justificatione, and still more closely in the statement, �De Evangelio Christi.�] on �Justification,� and the twelfth [�Non est autem sentiendum, quod iis bonis operibus, quae per nos facimus, in judicio Dei ubi agitur de expiatione peccatorum, et placatione divines irae, ac merito aeternae salutis, confidendum, est. Omnia enim bona opera, quae nos facimus, aunt imperfecta, nec possunt severitatem divini judicii ferre.� De Bonis Operibus.] on �Good Works,� though not actually agreeing to the letter with the language of the same Formulary, are no less obviously adapted from it; while the disputed clause of our twentieth Article [�Credimus et confitemur quod ... haec Ecclesia habeat jus judicandi de omnibus doctrinis, etc. ... Quod haec ecclesia habeat jus interpretandae Scripturae.� De Ecclesia. Bishop Short seems to question the resemblance in this last case: Hist. of the Church, 325 (note a), 2nd. ed.] (about which more will be said hereafter) is allied to the statement of the Wirtemberg theologians respecting the judicial functions of the Church.
[*See it at length in Le Plat, Monum. IV. 420 seqq. The resemblance of our own to this Formulary was first pointed out in Laurence�s Bampton Lect., 40, and notes. It professes to be in exact accordance with the Augsburg Articles; and although designed for the single state of�Wirtemberg, will be found to be a compendium of the �Repetitio Confessionis Augustanae,� drawn up at the same period by the Saxon Churches, for presentation at the Council of Trent (Franeke, Libri Symbol. 69�116).]
But besides the important elucidations derived from this foreign source, the copy of the Formulary as submitted by archbishop Parker to the acceptance of the Synod, in 1562, exhibited a variety of other changes.
He introduced the twenty-ninth and the thirtieth of our present set, the former being directed against a prevailing error on the manducation of our Lord�s body by the wicked, [This article, as we shall see hereafter, disappeared in the printed copies.] the latter affirming the scripturalness of communion in both kinds. The fifth and twelfth on �the Holy Spirit� and on �Good Works� respectively, which have been traced to the Wirtemberg Confession, were also entirely new in the list of Elizabethan Articles. They were clearly designed to complete the dogmatic statements of the Church in opposition to the Arians and the Solifidians, at that time rampant on all sides.
In addition to the amplifications above mentioned in the second, fifth, and eleventh of the XLII Articles, with the view of guarding the truth more closely from its contemporary assailants,�the fifth was also enlarged by an enumeration of the canonical books, the sixth by appending a statement as to the present obligation of the moral law; which was however taken from the nineteenth of the same series. A fuller statement on the freedom of the will and its forfeiture at the fall of Adam, was introduced into the old article relating to that question. The twenty-sixth was now made to deny distinctly that Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are �Sacraments of the Gospel�; the thirty-third underwent a similar enlargement, by declaring the authority of a national Church to ordain and abolish ceremonies; the thirty-fourth, by a specification of the Homilies (excepting that against Rebellion, which was published afterwards); the thirty-sixth, by an exposition of the sense in which the royal supremacy is accepted in matters ecclesiastical. In almost every one of these amplifications [Other additions only verbal deserve to be carefully noted: e. g. in the Article �de Praedestinatione� the Edwardine reading is �decrevit eos quos elegit;� the Elizabethan, �decrevit eos quos in Christo elegit.�] we may discern the natural product of the times, and also a further corroboration of the views propounded in our last chapter, � that the Articles were primarily intended as negations of existing errors, �wherewith this Church (alas!) was almost overgone.� [Bp. Ridley, in Strype�s Annals, I. 260.]
The same will be equally observable with respect to the substitutions, which occur in the copy of the Articles revised by archbishop Parker, and afterwards sanctioned in the Synod. Certain dogmas which are in the twenty-third Article denounced as fictions of the �schoolmen,� are significantly described in 1562 as �doetrina Romanensium;� the use of any other than the vernacular tongue in the celebration of Divine worship is far more strongly interdicted; the baptism of infants is declared to be not only tenable, as the early Articles implied, but �most agreeable to the institution of Christ�; transubstantiation is now said to �overthrow the nature of a sacrament;� [This very point had been strongly urged by Beza at the recent �Colloquy of Poissy� (above), and had excited the deepest indignation. Fleury, liv. CLVII. s. 6.] yet while the Romish error was rejected, a paragraph was added to vindicate the truth from the opposite perversions, for it declares that �the Body of Christ is after a heavenly manner given, taken, and eaten in the Lord�s Supper.� The lawfulness of clerical marriage is positively asserted, in the place of the former affirmation that no commandment could be urged against it: the Ordinal is mentioned by itself, and defended from the cavils* of the Recusant party, to the effect that since the accession of Elizabeth all who had been consecrated or ordained, according to this form, had no legal claim to be regarded as the clergy of the Church of England.
[*In repealing the Prayer-Book, Queen Mary had also mentioned the Ordinal by name; but on the accession of Elizabeth, when the Prayer-Book was restored, the Ordinal was not so specified, being regarded as a part of the former. On the ground of this omission, it was urged by Bonner and others of his party, that ordinations which had been made since the year 1559, according to the Edwardine form, were in the eye of the law defective. See Courayer, �On English Ordinations,� 126 seqq. Oxf. 1844.]
The other modifications of the Articles as they stand in the copy of the Primate, may be classed under the head of omissions. These also were both numerous and important.
Four Articles were dropped entirely: (1) the tenth, on �Grace,� � part of its phraseology being transferred to Article X of the new series; (2) the sixteenth, on �Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost,� � from a reluctance, it may be, to define the exact nature of this sin, or from the disappearance of the sect against which it had been levelled; (3) the nineteenth, on the obligation of the moral Law, part of it being incorporated in the seventh of the new Articles; (4) the forty-first against the �Millenarii,� � probably on account of the suppression of the teachers who had formerly used the millenarian hypothesis [Some, however, denounced the hypothesis in toto. See a contemporary account of the �Milenaries,� in Alley�s �Poor Mans Librarie,� I. 222 seqq.] as the plea for lawlessness and crime.
Among the minor omissions may be noticed a passage in the Article respecting the holy Scriptures, which was dropped, it would seem, on the ground that toleration ought in no wise to be conceded to any ecclesiastical usage which may appear to oppose the injunctions of the Bible. A passage in the Article on Predestination, which affirmed that �the Divine decrees are unknown to us,� was in like manner abandoned. The Article �Of the sacraments,� in addition to certain other changes, no longer included a remark on the phrase �ex opere operato,� which had been formerly censured upon the ground that it was unknown to Holy Scripture and engendered a superstitious sense. The omission of it was perhaps due to the explanations both of the Council of Trent, [See Sarpi, I. 423, 424, and Courayer�s excellent annotations.] and of private writers,* as to the precise mode in which they were now not unwilling to employ it.
[*The following specimen occurs in Joliffe against Hooper, while commenting on this Article: � �Quod enim dicimus gratiam et remissionem peccatorum in nobis fieri ex opere operato, nihil est aliud quam eam fieri in nobis, non propter opus, aut meritum hominis operantis, sed propter opus Christi per visibile aliquod sacramentum largientis gratiam: veluti cum infans baptizatus justificatur, non per ullum opus suum, aut suscipientis, aut ministri, sed per ipsum opus operatum, hoc est, per ipsum baptismi sacramentum, gratiam et remissionem peccatorum assequitur, propter Christum in illo sacramento operatum.� fol. 173, b.]
The effect, therefore, of this criticism of Parker and his colleagues was first, to add four Articles, secondly, to remove an equal number, and thirdly, to modify by enlargement or subtraction, as many as seventeen of the remainder. No higher proof can be found of the caution with which all these changes were conducted than the very general adoption of them by the Synod to whom they were next submitted.
It assembled on the day appointed in the royal brief (Jan. 12, 1562/3 and on the following day, after a solemn service at St. Paul�s cathedral, lost no time in proceeding to the business for which it had been convoked. The primate of all England presided, with the following bishops at his side: � Edmund (Grindal) of London, Robert (Horne) of Winchester, William (Barlowe) of Chichester, John (Scory) of Hereford, Richard (Cox) of Ely, Edwin (Sandys) of Worcester, Roland (Merick) of Bangor, Nicholas (Bolingham) of Lincoln, John (Jewel) of Salisbury, Richard (Davis) of St. David�s, Edmund (Guest) of Rochester, Gilbert (Berkeley) of Bath and Wells, Thomas (Bentham) of Coventry and Lichfield, William (Alley) of Exeter, John (Parkhurst) of Norwich, Edmund (Scambler) of Peterborough, Thomas (Davies) of St. Asaph, Richard (Guest) of Gloucester and commendatory of Bristol.* The opening speech of Parker congratulated the Synod on the arrival of this opportunity for promoting the reformation of the Church, and signified the zeal of his royal mistress, as well as of the nobles, in forwarding the happy execution of his wishes. He then gave the usual order to the lower house touching the election of their Prolocutor, and on the 16th of January [Strype, Parker, ibid.] they presented Alexander Nowel, the dean of St. Paul�s, to serve them in that capacity. On the 19th the Synod reassembled at Westminster, instead of the more usual place of meeting in the chapter-house of St. Paul�s cathedral. The prolocutor in the name of the clergy, who were generally warm in the cause of reformation, carried up a report to the bishops, in which he stated that �The Articles published in the Synod of London, during the reign of Edward, had been handed to a committee of the lower house, in order that they might weigh and reconstruct them (if such changes were thought proper,) in time for the following session.� [Bennett, 167.] In the mean while the bishops had begun to deliberate on the same absorbing topics; and as the primate would naturally take the lead, it is probable that he submitted a copy of the Articles, as they had been revised by his own hand, for the approval of his brother prelates. On the 20th, the 22nd, the 25th, and the 27th of January, [Strype, Parker, ibid.] we may detect other traces, though generally faint and scanty, of the disputations which the projected Formulary was exciting in the upper house: and on the 29th, at an early session in St. Paul�s, [Inter horns 8am et 9m ante meridiem. Bennett, ibid.] a further discussion �respecting some of the Articles,� resulted in their unanimous subscription by all the assembled prelates.
[*Strype, Parker, 121. It may be observed, that the Original Registers of this Convocation are not extant, having been destroyed in the fire of London, 1666. An important extract, entitled �Acta in superiore Domo Convocationis anno 1562,� is however most fortunately preserved, (Strype, Annals, I. 315. Bennet, Essay, 165 seqq.) This paper not only assists us in tracing the Articles through the upper House of Convocation, but also illustrates the Proceedings of the lower during the same period.]
One at least of the copies which had been sanctioned by the upper house of Convocation, is the Latin Manuscript of Archbishop Parker adverted to above. The signatures which it contains are manifestly autographs; and as prelates of the province of York are included in the number of subscribers, [They are Thomas (Young) of York, James (Pilkington) of Durham, William (Downham) of Chester.] we might infer that this was the actual copy transmitted for the approval of the clergy at that time assembled in the northern Convocation. But a formidable doubt has been thrown on the authority of the Parker MS. by collating a portion of its contents with an extract from the register of this Convocation, as made in the time of Archbishop Laud, and attested by a public notary for the satisfaction of his accusers.* Besides exhibiting a different version of the article �On the Authority of the Church,� the extract from the original record belonging to the see of Canterbury, has preserved a list of the assentient prelates; varying in some points from that in the Manuscript of Archbishop Parker:** and to increase the perplexity of the question the two sets of episcopal signatures are said to have been appended to the Articles on the same day and in the same place.
[*He was accused of forging the contested clause in Art. XX, and after appealing to four printed copies of the Articles, one of them as early as 1563, and all containing the passage which the Puritans dislike, he added, �I shall make it yet plainer: for it is not fit concerning an Article of Religion, and an Article of such consequence for the order, truth, and peace of this Church, you should rely upon my copies, be they never so many or never so ancient. Therefore, I sent to the public records in my office, and here under my officer�s hand, who is a public notary, is returned to me the twentieth Article with this affirmative clause in it, and there is also the whole body of the Articles to be seen.� Remains, II. 83 (quoted by Bennett, 166.) The copy, thus taken before the destruction of the records, is said to be still extant; Bennett made use of it, and has printed it in his �Essay,� 167�169.]
[**The Parker MS. has the subscriptions of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of London, Winchester, Chichester, Ely, Worcester, Hereford, Bangor, Lincoln, Salisbury, St. David�s, Bath and Wells, Coventry and Lichfield, Exeter, Norwich, Peterborough, and St. Asaph, besides the three above mentioned belonging to the other province. The copy of the record produced by Archbishop Laud omits the three northern prelates, and also those of Chichester, Worcester, and Peterborough. The second includes the Bishop of Rochester, but it has been doubted whether he actually subscribed or not (Bennett, 184;) while the Bishop of Gloucester, though present at some meetings of the synod, appears to have finally dissented. (Strype, Annals I. 563). The bishopric of Oxford was not full, and Kitchen of Llandaff (from whatever cause) took no part in the proceedings.]
If one may lawfully hazard a conjecture in the midst of these clashing statements, is it not possible that after the house of bishops had subscribed the copy of the primate on the 29th of January, it was forwared to the northern Convocation, (without waiting for the criticism of the lower house, who continued their discussions for another week); and that on its return it was deposited as a private paper with the rest of the Parker Manuscripts, where it has remained till the present day; while the copy of the Articles as they stood when finally authorised by the whole Synod on the fifth of the following month, found its place among the records of Convocation in the registry appertaining to the see of Canterbury, at the Cathedral of St. Paul�s?
But if reasons* do thiis exist for disputing the authority of the Parker Manuscript, or even for rejecting the claims which have been put forth on its behalf to be regarded as the ultimate form in which the Articles were left at the rising of the Synod, it is, notwithstanding, a most valuable guide in tracing the course of their further progress, and the nature of the changes impressed upon them during the deliberations of the house of bishops. [These alterations are distinguished in the MS. by the marks of a red minium pencil, and by the Archbishop�s own handwriting. Dr. Lamb, Hist. Account, 17.]
[*See more on this subject in Bennett, c. VIII, and Strype, Parker, 319, 320, where it is argued that this MS. as well as a second of 1571, are no more than �first schemes or draughts preparatory.� The fact of their being left in the private library of Parker, the variety of corrections in the documents themselves, and the absence of all mention of royal approbation, form the principal arguments of those learned antiquaries.]
When first exhibited by the primate, about the 19th of January, they were forty-two in number, but on the 29th, which is the date of the subscriptions, three whole articles had been erased. These were the thirty-ninth, the fortieth and the forty-second of the Edwardine series, all bearing on speculative points which had been opened by the Anabaptists; and as the errors of this sect were no longer menacing the very being of the Church, there was not the same urgent reasons for proscribing them in detail. Another omission was made in the article respecting our Lord�s �Descent into Hell,� which had rested in the Formulary of 1552 upon the well-known language of St. Peter. The allusion made to a particular text was now altogether abandoned, we may conjecture, on account of the animosity excited by the disputes which this question had engendered in some districts, more especially in the diocese of Exeter.* A third important erasure was in the article respecting the Lord�s Supper,� which had been almost entirely recast by the Archbishop, before the meeting of the Synod. One of the altered sentences together with a long paragraph into which it was engrafted, disappear in the printed Articles; and even were there no evidence surviving to illustrate the reasons of the change, we should naturally assign it to some disagreement of the prelates on the doctrine thus abstracted. But the history of the Elizabethan period can supply us with abundant elucidations of the controversy arising out of the present article. The clause which was finally rejected by the Synod, was susceptible of a Zwinglian interpretation, � appearing to deny the presence of our Lord in any way whatever; and this would doubtless be one reason for the change in the eyes of many of the prelates.** It opened also a further question, which was then occupying and inflaming the discussions of sundry continental theologians, [See Le Bas, Life of Jewel, 129, 130.] � whether the humanity of the Lord can be so dissociated from His Divine nature, as to be in no sense present in many places at one and the same time. Whatever may have been the number of voices on either side of these stirring questions, the result was the same as in the disputations on the descent of our Lord into Hades; for the paragraph which had been the moving cause of the controversy, was at last altogether withdrawn. Its erasure afforded a fresh example of the latitude and forbearance which had been more or less exercised by the Church in all her synodical decisions; and if some have condemned this hesitating silence as a guilty abandonment of the truth, it will be justified, in respect of a large class of questions, by an appeal to the history of the Councils, and nowhere so fully as in the records of the contemporary council of Trent.
[*Among the papers of Alley, bishop of that see, which had been drawn up for the synod of 1562, there is one relating to this very subject. After expressing his desire that the clergy might all preach one kind of doctrine, and not inveigh against each other, he proceeds �First, for matters of Scripture, namely, for this place which is written in the epistle of St. Peter, that Christ went down into hell, and preached to the souls that were in prison. There have been in my diocese great invectives between the preachers, one against the other, and also partakers with them; some holding, that the going down of Christ His soul to hell, was nothing else but the virtue and strength of Christ His death, to be made manifest and known to them that were dead before. Others say, that descendit in inferna is nothing else but that Christ did sustain upon the cross the infernal pains of hell. ... Finally, others preach, that this article is not contained in other symbols, neither in the symbol of Cyprian, or rather Rufine. And all these sayings they ground upon Erasmus, and the Germans, and especially upon the authority of Mr. Calvin and Mr. Bullinger. The contrary side bring for them the universal consent and all the Fathers of both Churches, both of the Greeks and the Latins ... Thus, my right honourable good Lords, your wisdoms may perceive, what tragedies and dissensions may arise for consenting to or dissenting from, this article.� See Strype, Annals, I. 348, ed. 1725; and for some notice of a warm controversy at Cambridge on the same question in 1567, Life of Parker, 258. In the curious volume of theological Miscellanies by bishop Alley, entitled �The Poore Mans Librarie,� (Lond. 1565), he declares at large the opinions and judgments as well of the olde Fathers as of later writers, concerning this article of faith,� (Tom. II. fol. 72�77). He concludes by saying, �One thinge I would wishe, that neither this article, nor any other conteyned in the symbole, commonly called Symbolum Apostolorm, shoulde be lightlye shaken of, but to be beleued as they stande there.�]
[**�Dorman, who wrote his Proof� in 1564, alludes to this controversy in the �new Church,� as he calls it, affirming that while some, like Guest (of Rochester), preached for the �Real presence,� and others, like Grindal, denied it, Parker clung to the Lutheran tenet of consubstantiation (Strype, Annals, I. 334). It is probable that all these statements are somewhat exaggerated; but Nowel in his �Confutation of Dorman,� does not deny that disunion existed on the subject, fol. 362. The article of the French Confession which the Calvinists exhibited at the Colloquy of Poissy (1561), has some points of parallelism with the English statement, as it was first introduced into the synod. Confess. Fid. Gallicant, Art. XXXVI. ed. Niemeyer, 1840.]
The remaining alterations of the upper house were limited to single phrases, yet nearly all of them are worthy of some passing notice. The eighth article of the elder series had read in one version of φρόνημα σαρχος the word �stadium� only, and the omission had not been observed by Archbishop Parker; but �carnis� was not subjoined in the Synod for the sake of completing the sense. [In the English Articles of 1552, the passage stood correctly, �The desire of the flesh.�] In the title of the fifteenth article Parker had retained �in Spiritum Sanctum,� but his phrase was subsequently underscored in the Manuscript, and the words �after baptism� introduced. In the twenty-second of the Edwardine Articles �verbo Dei� was substituted for �verbis Dei�: in the margin of the twenty-ninth a passage of St. Augustine, which had been there cited, was verified by a reference to the treatise [The reference was �super Joann. Tract. 26,� which afterwards gave rise to some �nibbling.� See Strype�s Parker, 331, 332.] out of which it was taken: and in the thirty-third on �Traditions Ecclesiastical�, �temporum� was added after �regionum� to make the statement of the principle still more comprehensive.
The effect of these further modifications reduced the number of the Articles to thirty-nine; and in the form which it assumed at this period,* the document seems to have reached the lower house of Convocation. We have already seen that they manifested a peculiar zeal for the revival of the articles of 1552,** and had proceeded to organize a committee, under the sanction of the bishops, for considering if any changes were needed before these Articles were republished. The 20th of January was appointed for the bringing up of their report into the other house, and if this order was punctually obeyed, the criticism would be under the notice of the bishops during the whole of their own deliberations. It is now impossible to ascertain the amount of the changes which are due to the influence of this committee; but a comparison of the first edition of the Articles in 1563 with the Manuscript containing the episcopal signatures, must convince us, that with the exception of the disputed clause in the twentieth article, and the total disappearance of the twenty-ninth, entitled �Impii non manducant,� &c., the lower house of Convocation had implicitly accepted the copy which received the approval of the bishops. At the session of the 5th of February, the prolocutor [The only information obtainable respecting these proceedings, is derived from the extracts, published by Bp. Gibson iu his �Synodus Anglicana,� 206, seqq. (above) and as they belong to the journals of the upper house, the light thrown by them on the lower is casual and indirect.] and six of his clerical brethren were summoned into the presence of Grindal (acting in the stead of the Archbishop,) and questioned respecting the �Book of Doctrine� which had been lately forwarded from the bishops to be subscribed by the lower clergy. The prolocutor in reply exhibited a copy of the Articles, remarking that they had already passed the inferior house, and were signed by some of the members, but added the request, that an order might be issued from the prelates, enjoining subscription upon all. On this account it was decreed unanimously that the names of all persons who continued in the list of the non-subscribers at the next session of the Synod should be noted by the prolocutor, and proscribed as delinquents. Many fresh names accordingly seem to have been added before the day when the Convocation reassembled (Feb. 10;) and as no further mandate was issued after the 12th of this month, for the sake of ascertaining the backward subscribers, it is probable that all had now signified their assent either in person or by proxy.***
[*It may be remarked on taking leave of the Parker MS. that the following statement is appended to this copy of the Articles: �Hos Articulos fidei Christianae, continentes in universum novemdecim paginas in autographo, quod asservatur apud Reverendissimum in Christo patrem dominant Mattaeum Cantuariensem archiepiscopum, tocius Angliae primatem et metropolitanum (then follows an enumeration of the Articles in each page,) nos archiepiscopi et episcopi utriusque provinciae in sacra Synodo provinciali legitime, congregati, recipimus et profitemur, et ut veros atque ortodoxos, manuum nostranun subscriptionibus approbamus, vicesimo nono die mensis Jauuarii anno Domini secundum computationem Ecclesiae Anglicanae simo quingen� sexagosimo secuudo, et illustrissimae Principis Elizabethae Dei gratia Angliae, Franciae, et Hibernae reginae, fidei Defensoris, etc. dominae nostrae clementissimae, anno quinto.� The subscriptions are then added, as enumerated above, p. 128.]
[**A list of �Matters to be moved by the clergy in the next parliament and synod,� which Strype has printed in his �Annals,� I. 317, seqq. appears to have proceeded from some of the more zealous reformers. It includes the following note, among others: � �Certain Articles containing the principal grounds of Christian religion are to be set forth, in which also is to be determined the truth of those things which in this age are called in question. Much like to such Articles as were set forth a little before the death of King Edward. Of which Articles the most part may be used with additions, and corrections as shall be thought convenient.�]
[***A list of subscribers has been published in Strype, Annals, I. 327�329; but there seems no sufficient ground for supposing that it is a full and authentic copy, (cf. Dr. Lamb�s Hist. Acc. 20 seqq., Bennett, c. VI. passim.). The number of representatives in the lower house was one hundred and forty-four, twenty-two deans, fifty-three archdeacons, twenty-four prebendaries (or proctors of chapters,) forty-four proctors of the diocesan clergy, and one precentor (St. David�s). All the signatures in Strype amount to ninety-one �propiis manibus,� and fifteen others, �per procurationem.�]
When the labours of the Synod [Though the northern Convocation had no direct influence in the compiling of the Articles, its concurrence appears to have been implied in the signatures of the Archbishop of York and his suffragans. The document was set forth by the authority of both Convocations, that is, by ajiational synod. See Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. 165, 166.] were thus brought to a happy termination, at least so far as the Articles were concerned, we might have expected to follow them at once to a meeting of privy council, to witness their final approbation by the Queen. But a considerable time had elapsed, [See Bennett, c. XVII. Others make the interval nearly a year: e. g. Cardwell�s Synod. 38.] it may be a whole year, when an edition of them was published by the royal printer, declaring that they had received her Majesty�s approval, after she had read and examined them in person. [The language is very remarkable: � �Quibus omnibus Articulis serenissima princeps Elizabetha Dei gratia Angliae Franciae, et Hiberniae regina, fidei Defensor, etc., per seipsam diligenter lectis et examinatis regium suum assensum praebuit.�] Sir Edward Coke has stated that they were ratified at this period in the most formal manner, viz.: by passing under the great seal of England; [Instit. Part IV. c. 74, quoted by Bennett, 220.] but no cause has ever been assigned for the delay which intervened before the publication of the work itself. There can be no doubt, however, in the absence of the Manuscript thus finally approved by the crown, that the most authentic representation of the Articles is to be sought in the Latin text, as it was printed under the auspices of the Queen. It alone was legally binding on the clergy, being invested with the concurrent sanction both of the ecclesiastical and the civil powers. [See Dr. Cardwell�s remark, Synod. i. 38, 39.]
Now it is remarkable that this copy has altogether omitted one of the new articles* (the twenty-ninth in the Manuscript of Archbishop Parker,) and still more, that it contains the affirmative clause respecting the authority of the Church. Whether these changes were made at the instance of the lower house, after the Parker Manuscript had been signed by the bishop,** or whether they proceeded from the royal council at the command of the Queen herself,*** they indisputably exist in the original edition which was circulated as authentic in the Church of England. One of the discrepancies indeed was very speedily adjusted, for the twenty-ninth article appears in all the copies of 1571, whether English or Latin; it has therefore been comparatively unnoticed by those who have handled the present subject; but the conflicting versions of the twentieth article, and the stress that was subsequently laid upon the points which are there either asserted or omitted, have produced the very warmest disputations in the succeeding history of the Church.****
[*Bennett argues that it had passed the Convocation, but was subsequently withdrawn, (see below) through tenderness towards the Romanlaing party, who had not yet seceded from the Church. In the following Convocation, (1571,) this secession was taking place, and, therefore, the same need of forbearance no longer existed; 233, 234.]
[**With respect to the clause in Art. XX, it is evident from the existence of a similar passage in the Wirtemberg Confession of 1551, from equivalent affirmations in Art. XXXIV, and the undisputed sequel of Art. XX, as well as from the language of the puritanical party in the earlier Elizabethan period, that no ground was then existing for its deliberate omission from the new Formulary of Faith. See the language of Fox, in Strype�s Annals, I. 326. It was not till the time of Charles I that the controversy respecting it was distinctly raised, or its obnoxious character discerned.]
[***Cardwell�s Synod. I. 39. This view is urged by Dr. Lamb, 34, 35, and receives some degree of probability from what happened during an interview between Parker and Cecil in 1571, (Strype�s Parker, 331, 332,) where the Treasurer had called in question the lawfulness of the quotation made in the 29th Article from the writings of St. Augustine. His own scruples or his gentleness in dealing with the Romanizing party might have thus occasioned the withdrawal of the Article from the Convocation Records; and the example given by Mr. Soames (Elizabeth. Hist. 222, 223, notes) demonstrate that such acts of interference were not uncommon at the time.]
[****One of these may be read in the Life of Heylin, who took the question of Church-authority as the subject for an exercise in the schools. is opponent was the Professor himself, (Dr. Prideaux.) Life of Heylin, XCII, XCIII prefixed to his �History of the Reform.� ed. E. H. S.]
The nature and amount of the evidence both for and against the authority of the paragraph in question, [It begins at the opening of the 20th Article, and runs in the following terms: �Habet Ecclesia ritus [sive ceremonias] statuendi jus, et infidei controversiis auctoritotem; quamvis.� The two words in brackets do not appear in the original Latin edition, nor in the transcript made in 1637, from the Convocation-Records.] may be concisely stated thus:
It is not found
(1) In the Latin Manuscript of archbishop Parker, which had been signed by himself and a large majority of the bishops, on the 29th of January, 1562/3.
(2) In the English version of the Articles, as they were printed by Jugge and Cawood, in 1563.
(3) In the English Manuscript, signed by the bishops in the Convocation of 1571.
(4) In one Latin and one English edition, of Jugge and Cawood, in 1571.
On the other hand, it is found
(1) In the Latin edition of Reynold Wolfe, 1563, as authorized by the Queen.
(2) In two or more English editions of Jugge and Cawood, 1571.
(3) In six or more English editions from 1581 to 1628, and in all subsequent copies.
(4) In the transcript made in 1637 from the original copy of the Articles, as it was deposited in the registry of the see of Canterbury.
The weight of the Manuscript testimony against the disputed clause depends altogether on the assumption that the documents in the Library of archbishop Parker were the ultimate form which the Articles had taken when they were finally submitted to the Crown; but (as Bennett and Strype [See references above, and cf. British Critic for 1829; 96, 97.] have argued in detail) an assumption of this kind is precluded by the slovenly condition of the manuscripts themselves, by their place in a private repository, and above all, by their want of the public tokens, invariably found in the acts and instruments which have received the royal approbation. With regard to the early printed copies where the paragraph is also wanting, they are more than counterbalanced by the authority of to rest in which it did actually exist. On one side is the Latin text of 1563, the very first publication of the Articles, issuing from the press of the Queen�s printer, and containing her emphatic sanction; on the other is an English version laying claim to no kind of authority, either civil or ecclesiastical, and if made, as there is reason to believe, from the Manuscript of archbishop Parker, it could possess no higher value than the Manuscript itself. But even if we might allow that the printed evidence is equal, the fact of this clause appearing in the record as examined and attested by a public notary in 1637, is conclusive that it was actually inserted as early as the year 1563.
It may have been the production of the Synod before the Articles were forwarded to the Queen, or it may have been afterwards interpolated while in the hands of the royal council; but the argument of Bennett has at least established its claim to be regarded as a portion of the authoritative copy which found its way into the archiepiscopal registry at St. Paul�s, and perished in the fire of 1666. That record was quoted by archbishop Laud, and by other writers of his age, in terms the most positive and explicit, at a time also when it was open to the view of his bitter rivals, nay, in the hands of his infuriated enemies, and yet �not one of them ever ventured to question the truth of the assertions, or attempted to invalidate the proofs on which his defence had rested.�*
[*British Critic, as above referred to, 96. Attention is there drawn to the further statement of Archbishop Laud, that the contested clause was also found in the Articles subscribed by the lower house in 1571. The stoutest opponents of its genuineness in later times were Collins, in his �Priestcraft in Perfection,� 1710, and an anonymous writer (perhaps the same Anthony Collins) in a work entitled �Historical and Critical Essay on the XXXIX.Articles� (in reply to Bennett), 1724.]
After these remarks on the compilation and integrity of the Articles put forth in 1563, we may proceed to investigate the changes that befel them in the rest of the present reign.
On the assembling of Convocation in 1571 they were brought into the form which they have retained from that day till our own, and were then for the first time offered as a test to every candidate for Holy Orders.
During the interval, however, they had been frequently produced in debates of the civil legislature, where an attempt was made by sundry of the commons to compel the subscription of the clergy. On the 5th of December, 1566, we read [D�Ewes, Journals of Parliament, 132, Lond., 1682.] that �the bill with a Little Book printed in the year 1562, [More correctly, 1563; for although the Articles were agreed on in 1562, the first known edition of them was not printed till the following year. Bennett, 255, 256.] (which was the fourth or fifth of her majesty�s reign) for the sound Christian religion, was read the first time.� The book, it is universally allowed, was a copy of the Articles of Religion, and in all probability the second English edition, which had been printed in small octavo, by Jugge and Cawoood. [It is reprinted in Dr. Lamb�s publication. Although the 29th Article is wanting, the number is made � nine and thirty,� by dividing the 6th Article into two portions.] It is again mentioned in the �Journals of Parliament,� on the 10th of December, when the bill which attempted to give it a wider currency in the Church, was read the second time. [D�Ewes, ubi sup.] On the 13th of December, they appear again, the bill for the �Articles of Religion� being then passed at the third reading.� [Ibid. 133.] On the next day it was forwarded to the House of Lords, but for reasons which no one is able to assign precisely, it was there � steyed by commandment from the Queen.� The primate and other bishops appear to have been very desirous of accelerating its progress in the upper house, as we may judge from a petition [In Bennet, 258�260. It is interlined in the handwriting of archbishop Parker, and is written in the name of �the Archebyshope and Byshops of both the Provinces.�] �exhibited to the Queen�s Majestye the 24th of Decembre, anno 1566.� While striving to enkindle the royal zeal in behalf of the measures which had been lately originated by the commons, they declare, that �thapprobation of thies Articles by your Majestie shal be a verie good meane to establyshe and confirme all your Highnes subjects in one consent and unitie of true doctrine, to the great quiete and safetie of your Majestie: and this your realm; whereas now for want of a playn certeintie of Articles of Doctrine by law to be declared, great distraction and dissention of myndes is at,this present among your subjects, and dailie is like more and more to encrease, and that with verie great daunger in policie, the circumstances considred, if the said Boke of Articles be now steyd in your Majesties hand or (as God forbid) rejected.� Notwithstanding this earnest petition, the Queen was immoveably resolved, that proceedings upon spiritual matters should not emanate from, the House of Commons. Her feelings at this time accorded with the message she is said to have sent on a similar occasion, when projects relating to the Church were strenuously revived in 1571, � �she approved their good endeavours, but would not suffer these things to be ordered by parliament.� [D�Ewes, 185.]
But the principle which prompted this language appears to have speedily relaxed: for after the same measure had been introduced afresh into the House of Commons (April 6, 1571), and from thence transmitted to the Lords (May 3,) the opposition of the Queen gave way, and the bill* �for the ministers of the Church to be of sound religion �received her wavering assent,** on the 29th of the following month. We may imagine that the fear which had been recently awakened by the excommunicatory bull, [See it in Camden�s Annales, Eliz. 183; ed. 1625.] combined with the displeasure of the council on witnessing the daily secessions from the Church*** at the beck of the Roman pontiff; had some weight in diminishing the hostility of the Crown to this kind of parliamentary legislation: for it is clear that nothing but the strongest motive could have urged a sovereign like Elizabeth to resign what she always regarded as her first and indisputable right. And when it is borne in mind that the series of measures, in which the bill for enforcing the Articles stood foremost, [In the original �Journal-Book,� it is called Bill A, being one of a series of measures �touching Religion and Church government.� D�Ewes, 185.] proceeded from the democratic party, who were now fast growing in the Commons, our wonder at the final acquiescence of the Queen is only the more augmented. One of the main promoters of this Act was �an ancient gentleman of hot zeal,� named Strickland,**** who was not only bent upon further changes in the Offices of the Church, [The �sour leaven� had already begun to work at Cambridge. See Dr. Lamb�s �Collection of Letters,� &c., 356.] but ventured even to recommend a fresh Formulary of Faith, after the model of the foreign Confessions. [Strype, ibid. 66.] He was seconded by another Puritan of the name of Wentworth; and when they waited upon the Archbishop of Canterbury with a draft of their new version of the Articles, it was immediately observed that they had struck out all mention of the Homilies, the Ordinal, and other matters relating to the hierarchy, authority, and ceremonial of the Church. The primate, naturally startled by this change, desired an immediate explanation; upon which Wentworth declared that certain subjects had been dropped because he had no time �to examine them how they agreed with the Word of God;� and after Parker had suggested that he should �refer himself wholly to the bishops� in the determination of such points, he answered, �No! by the faith I bear to God, we will pass nothing befqre we understand what it is, for that were but to make you popes; make you popes who list, for we will make you none.� [D�Ewes, 239: Strype, Annals, II. 67. Wentworth�s �freedom� afterwards brought him into the custody of the sergeant, in 1575.]
[*Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12. It enacts �by the authority of the present parliament, that every person under the degree of a bishop, which doth or shall pretend to be a priest or minister of God�s holy Word and Sacraments, by reason of any other form of institution, consecration, or ordering, than the form set forth by parliament in the time of the late king of most worthy memory, King Edward the Sixth, or now used in the reign of our most gracious sovereign lady, before the feast of the Nativity of Christ next following, shall, in the presence of the bishop or guardian of the spiritualities of some one diocese where he hath or shall have ecclesiastical living, declare his assent, and subscribe to all the Articles of Religion, which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments, comprised in a book imprinted, entitled, �Articles whereupon it was agreed by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God, one thousand five hundred sixty and two, according to the computation of the Church of England, for the avoiding of the diversities of opinions and for the establishing of consent touching true religion: put forth by the Queen�s authority.� It is enacted further, that a testimonial of such assent and subscription shall be procured from the bishops, and read together with the Articles in Church. The �said Articles� are also ordered to be subscribed in the presence of the ordinary, and publickly read in Church by every one at his admission to a benefice. � Disputes have arisen as to the particular edition of the Articles referred to in this Act (see Dr. Lamb�s Hist. Acc. 26, British Critic, as above, 96, 97;) and also as to the purport of the phrase, �the said Articles� just quoted. On this latter point more will be found hereafter in the chapter on �Subscription.�
[**On the first of May, the Lords had returned answer to a deputation from the Commons, that �the Queen�s Majesty, having been made privy to the said Articles, liketh very well of them, and mindeth to publish them and have them executed by the bishops, by direction of her Majesty�s regal authority of supremacy of the Church of England, and not to have the same dealt in by parliament.� D�Ewes� Journals, ubi sup.]
[***This was the origin of the Anglo-Romish schism. See Fullwood�s �Roma Ruit,� Appendix (A), 317, 318, new ed. 1847. The number of secessions was increased by enforcing subscription to the Articles; for until the work of Fran. � Sancta Clara in 1634, no one attempted to reconcile them with the Tridentine definitions.]
[****Strype, Annals, II. 63, 64. �The Queen liked not all these proceedings, reckoning it struck at her prerogative ... So that during the time of Easter, in the holy-days, Strickland, for his exhibiting a bill for the reformation of ceremonies, and his speech thereupon, was sent for before the Lords of the Privy Council; and required to attend upon them.� Ibid. This opened the question of the royal prerogative.]
The language of the puritanical party upon this and similar occasions would seem to favour a supposition derivable from the wording of the Act itself, that in the confirmation of the Articles by parliament in 1571, it was designed to enforce subscription only to such statements as embraced the fundamental verities of the faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments; and the organization of a plan for some new Confession among the warmest promoters of the measure may be deemed in some way corroboratory of the same hypothesis. But as this question will be hereafter resumed, when we come to consider the history of Subscription and the force which lawyers have generally assigned to the statute of 1571, we may in the mean time endeavour to ascertain the proceedings of the Convocation, which sat in connexion with the Parliament when the Articles were thus repeatedly canvassed.
The opening sermon was preached by Dr. Whitgift, who dwelt upon the authority of synods, upon vestments and ecclesiastical decorations, and also on the enemies of the Church, which he divided into Puritans and Papists. [Bennet, 262.] As no allusion was made by the preacher to a contemplated revision of the Articles, it is probable that the design arose entirely out of the agitation which was soon after excited in the House of Commons. On the 7th of April, however, being the day of the second session, an order issued from the primate,* enjoining that the members of the lower House �who had not formerly subscribed the Articles of Religion, agreed on in the year 1562, should subscribe them now, or upon their absolute refusal or delay (if such persons existed) that they should be wholly excluded from the House.� In obedience to this order the �Book of Articles� was read aloud and personally subscribed by the members of both Houses; but no more is heard of it till the following month, when the Commons had brought their discussions to a close, and the bill for legalizing the Articles of Religion was already handled by the peers. As a consequence, it would seem, of this measure, and for the sake of multiplying copies which might lay claim to the sanction of the Church and also correspond with the specification of the bill in requiring the use of the Articles in English, the bishops undertook a further revision, and minutes to the following effect were inserted in the register of Convocation, [Bennett, 262, 263.] at its fifth session (May 4):
[*Ibid. Dr. Lamb thinks this order was directed against Cheynie, Bishop of Gloucester, who was excommunicated for non-attendance at the synod, and afterwards absolved in the person of his proxy; but the terms of the order confine it to the members of the lower House. Camden speaks of Cheynie as �most addicted to Luther,� probably on account of his doctrine of the eucharist and his retention of pictures in churches. He refused to subscribe the Articles, in 1562. Strype, Annals, I. 563.]
�That when the Book of Articles touching doctrine shall be fully agreed upon, that then the same shall be put in print by the appointment of my Lord of Sarum [Jewel], and a price rated for the same to be sold.�
�Item, that the same being printed, every bishop to have a competent number thereof, to be published in their synods throughout their several dioceses, and to be read in every parish-church four times* a year.�
[*Archbishop Parker had before enjoined the reading of them twice a year (Strype�s Parker, App. p. 48), together with the �Declaration� above mentioned, which was also to be read twice. Grindal, A. D. 1571, makes the same order with regard to the �Articles� (Cardwell�s Docum. Annals, I. 370), and enjoins the use of them (A. D. 1576) when there was no sermon (Ibid. I. 401). They were also ordered to be read twice a year as late as the time of Charles II. (Ibid. II. 308).]
The ensuing session (May 11), which was at Lambeth, and strictly private, is said to have been occupied in deliberations respecting the Book of Articles; [Bennett, 263.] and this surmise is considerably strengthened by the fact, that on the same day an English Manuscript, belonging to the Library of archbishop Parker,* was signed by the primate and ten of his comprovincials.** The subject might possbly have been resumed on the 23rd of May, when the prelates are said to have had another meeting of two hours� duration, and when they might have sanctioned the few emendations of the Articles, which had been meanwhile introduced into both the Latin and the English texts; [Bennett, chap. xxii. passim.] but no further trace of their proceedings has been hitherto detected, and the Convocation was itself dissolved on the 30th of the same month.
[*An exact copy is contained in Dr. Lamb�s publication, No. IV. It was probably a transcript from the Little Book (see above) amended so as to become the �book imprinted� of Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12, which would not receive the royal assent till the close of the parliament and convocation. At any rate, the variations between it and the printed copies of 1571 imply that some further revision of it took place after the 11th of May. Bennett, 311�315. The same learned writer shows that the �Canons� of this year were, in like manner, authoritatively modified, after the subscriptions of the bishops were appended, 345, 346.]
[**These were Robert (Horne) of Winchester, John (Scory) of Hereford, Richard (Cox) of Ely, Nicholas (Bollingham) of Worcester, John (Jewel) of Salisbury, Edmund (Guest) of Rochester, Nicholas (Robinson) of Bangor, Richard (Curteis) of Chichester, Thomas (Cooper) of Lincoln, William (Bradbridge) of Exeter. They describe themselves, �We, the archbisshoppes and bisshoppes of either Province of this realme of Englande,� &c., intending, it may be, to forward a copy of the document to the northern convocation. They also mention the Articles as �thirty-eight� in number, two, viz. the 35th and 36th (respecting the Homilies and the Ordinal), being in this copy united in one Article.]
It is natural to expect that the Articles, in their finally revised condition, would be submitted to both houses of the Synod and again regularly subscribed. Such indeed is implied in the language of the royal ratification, which was appended to editions, both English and Latin, put forth in the same year. [The Latin, �apud Johannem Dayum, typographum. An. Domini, 1571:� the English, �at London in Powles Churchyard, by Richarde Ingge and Iohn Cawood, Printers to the Queenes Maiestie, in Anno Domini, 1571.�] But as the original copy or copies of this work have altogether perished, like that of the previous Convocation, we cannot ascertain the precise number of signatures by which it was ultimately approved. Bennett [Chap. XX.] has indeed called attention to a copy of the Latin edition of 1563, accompanied by names of the lower House, who had subscribed the Articles of Religion in the course of the present year; but the time at which those signatures had been made was probably the earlier part of April, when (as we have seen) the members of the lower House had been all ordered to subscribe on pain of exclusion from the Synod. Still, the fact that the whole of the 29th Article, as well as a number of minor changes, was now to be absolutely enforced upon the clergy, would weigh as a reason for submitting the Formulary to their approval when the task of revision was completed; so that, however much we may desiderate the original document, there can be little or no doubt of the ultimate acceptance by the Church of the particular version of the Articles which were eventually ordered to be �holden and executed� by the ratification of the Queen.
It is remarkable that neither this royal sanction, nor the canons passed in the present Synod, providing* that candidates for holy orders shall henceforward sign the Articles, make the slightest allusion to the Act of parliament by which they had been previously incorporated into the statute-law of England. This silence, on the part of Queen Elizabeth is to be explained by her unflinching belief in the boundless prerogative of the Crown; and on the part of the clergy, by their disinclination to recognise the difference which had been drawn in the recent Act, between the doctrinal and the other Articles: they both unquestionably foresaw, with more or less distinctness, that the intermeddling of such a body, in questions of this kind, would foster the growth and ultimate predominance of the democratic element in the Church, and end (if not providentially counteracted) by imperilling alike the altar and the throne.
[*�Quivis minister Ecclesiae antequam in sacram functionem ingrediatur, subscribit omnibus Articulis de religione Christiana, in quos consensum est in synodo; et publice ad populum, ubicunque episcopus jusserit, patefaceit conscientian suam, quid de illis Articulis, et universa doctrina sentiat.� Cardwell, Synod. I. 120. And in the famous canon, �Concionatores,� after declaring, that preachers shall never teach any thing as matter of faith excepting that which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and which Catholic fathers and ancient bishops have collected out of the same doctrine, it is added: �Et quoniam Articuli illi religionis Christianae, in quos consensum est ut episcopis in legitima et sancta synodo, jussu atque auctoritate serenissimae principis Elizabethae convocata et celebrata, haud dubia, collecti sunt ex sacris libris Veteris et Novi Testamenti, et cum coelesti doctrina, quae in illis continetur, per omnia congruunt .... quicunque mittetur ad docendum populum illorum Articulorum auctoritatem et fidem, non tantum concionibus suis, sed etiam subscriptione confirmabunt.� Ib. 127. Cf. �Articuli per archiepiscopum etc. in Synodo,� 1584, ib. I. 141.]
So far, indeed, was the Convocation of 1571 from bending under the puritanical storm which was now raging in all quarters, that the Articles issued from the last revision without suffering the threatened mutilation, or any considerable change. The twenty-ninth (as we have already noticed) was now inserted in every copy; and the clause affirming the authority of the Church, � though wanting in the draft which had been subscribed by some of the bishops, as it was also in the English edition of 1563, upon which that Manuscript was modeled [Bennett, 336.] � is found in all the English copies of this date, which have any claim to be regarded genuine.* It is wanting indeed in one Latin edition of 1571, printed by John Day, although it appears to have existed in other copies [e. g. in the Latin edition, by John Day, printed in Bp. Sparrow�s �Collection,� which differs in three other material particulars from the extant copy of Day�s edition.] in the same language, of the same date, and from the same press; so that whether we attribute the omission to accident or design, to the intrigues of Leicester [Fuller speaks of him as the �patron-general of non-subscribers.�] and the puritan party, or to the timidity of the editor** appointed by the Synod to superintend the publication of the Articles, there can be little doubt of its approval at that time, and none of its present obligation. [The disputed clause occurs in the English copy of the Articles subscribed by Convocation in 1604, and therefore in the series contemplated by the 36th canon.]
[*Ibid. c. xxiv. This point is proved from a minute correspondence between an English copy (in Bennett�s work marked E) and the language of a letter of Archbishop Parker (dated June 4, 1571, i e. immediately after the close of the convocation). In this edition, authenticated by the allusion of the primate, the disputed clause is found.]
[**i.e. Bishop Jewel (see above). This is the supposition of Mr. Soames, Elizabethan Hist. 152. If any such omission was made by that prelate, he clearly exceeded the powers which had been granted by the synod: for so far from constituting him an irresponsible reviser, the order was that his duty of editor should commence �when the Articles shall be fully agreed upon.�]
The rest of the changes which appear in .the authorized versions of this period will be hereafter exhibited in detail: [See Append. No. III, where the Articles, in this their final shape, are printed at length in Latin and English, by the side of the Forty-two Articles, together with collations of the most authentic copies of 1563.] it is sufficient to observe at present, that they leave the original purport of the Articles altogether unaffected, and are �either emendations in the wording of the titles, or corrections in the English draft from the older Latin copy, or explanations of a few words which were capable of misconstruction. The only positive addition is in the list of apocryphal books, which now for the first time appeared at the end of the sixth Article.
But a more important subject belonging to this stage of our inquiry, is suggested by the existence of the Articles both in English and in Latin. Are the two versions equally authentic, or, in the event of a discrepancy* between them, can either be regarded as the paramount record?
[*A few such variations have been pointed out: e. g. in the ninth Article, the English, �for them that believe and are baptized� = the Latin, �renatis et credentibus�; and just before, the English, �there be no condemnation� = the Latin, �nulla propter Christum est condemnatio.� Similarly, in the twelfth Article, the English, �follow after justification� = the Latin, �justificatos sequuntur.�]
This question has been so clearly and summarily stated by Dr. Waterland in his �Supplement to the Case of Arian Subscription,� that we cannot return a more satisfactory answer than by adopting his cogent language: �As to the Articles, English and Latin, I may just observe for the sake of such readers as are less acquainted with these things; first, that the Articles were passed, recorded, and ratified in the year 1562, and in Latin only. Secondly, that those Latin Articles were revised and corrected by the Convocation of 1571. Thirdly, that an authentic English translation was then made of the Latin Articles by the same Convocation, and the Latin and English adjusted as nearly as possible. Fourthly, that the Articles thus perfected in both languages were published the same year, and by the royal authority. Fifthly, subscription was required the same year to the English Articles, called the Articles of 1562, by the famous act of the 13th of Elizabeth.
�These things considered, I might justly say with Bishop Burnet, that the Latin and English are both equally authentical. Thus much, however, I may certainly infer, that if in any places the English version be ambiguous, where the Latin original is clear and determinate; the Latin ought to fix the more doubtful sense of the other, (as also vice versa,) it being evident that the Convocation, Queen, and Parliament intended the same sense in both.� [Works, II. 316, 317. Oxf. 1843.]
In the whole course of the investigation which the language of Waterland so aptly closes, one thought must have been peculiarly impressed on the mind of every reader, as to the strong and uniform connexion subsisting between the Articles which we are now called upon to subscribe, and the actual state of the Church at the time of their compilation. This fact, so steadily attested by contemporary writers, to say nothing of the evidence supplied by the title of the document itself, cannot fail to have modified our views of its character as a standard of Christian truth. It was manifestly designed to be pacificatory, and at the same time polemical: it strove either by silence or by general statements of doctrine to calm the feverish speculations of the clergy upon a host of debateable questions; while on the other hand it provided a test by which the advocates of absolute errors, whether Romish or Anabaptist, Zwinglian or Puritanical, were excluded from the office of teaching within the jurisdiction of the English Church. To appeal, therefore, to the Articles of Religion as the one single measure of truth, or as a full and formal body of theology, sufficient for all times, is to forget the circumstances of the age in which they were produced; � it is to mistake what are justly regarded as a strong though modern bulwark, for the whole of the venerable fortress in which the ark of God is treasured.*
[*It is worthy of note that in the year 1675, during the discussions on the Test-Bill, Lord Shaftesbury (the profligate leader of what were then called the �low-churchmen�) demanded in the house of peers, �How much is meant by the Protestant Religion?� Whereupon several bishops explained, �that the Protestant Religion is comprehended in the Thirty-nine Articles, the Liturgy, the Catechism, the Homilies, and the Canons of the Church of England.� Lord Campbell�s �Lives of the Chancellors,� III. 323: cf. the language of the prolocutor in the Convocation of 1689; Cardwell�s Hist. of Conferences, 445, Oxf. 1841.]
Such has never been the language of those who in the period of the Reformation, as well as in the later crises of the Church, have stood forward as our champions against error on the right hand and the left. Their views of the nature and design of the Articles are in harmony with the memorable words of Bishop Pearson, who like the prelates of the Elizabethan age, while encountering the emissaries of Rome, had also to contend with an opposite party who desired the �reformation of the public doctrine.� [No necessity of Reformation; Minor Works, II. 169; ed. Churton.] After observing that on the puritanical hypothesis the book of Articles was, from the nature of the case, defective, he adds: �It is not, nor is pretended to be, a complete body of divinity, or a comprehension and explication of all Christian doctrines necessary to be taught; but an enumeration of some truths, which upon and since the Reformation have been denied by some persons; who upon their denial are thought unfit to have any cure of souls in this Church or realm; because they might by their opinions either infect their flock with error, or else disturb the Church with schism, or the realm with sedition.� [Answer to Burges, ibid. II. 215.]
After the above illustrations of the origin of the Articles, we shall next endeavour to describe the formation of one or two kindred documents, � which serve to throw light on the subject of our present inquiry; and then trace the various attempts which have been made in succeeding times either to change its contents or to unsettle its authority.
Chapter VII � The Lambeth Articles
Of all the ancient �clerks,� whom the leaders of the reformation movement had continued to regard with peculiar deference, none held so high and commanding a place as the illustrious bishop of Hippo. In the writings of the Swiss and Saxon theologians, in Luther and Zwingli, in Bucer and Calvin, as well as in Melancthon and the rest of his coadjutors, the honoured name of St. Augustine continually recurs: while the frequent citations from his works by the chief of the English reformers [This deference has been made the ground of animadversion by Bp. Horsley, Sermon on 1 St. Peter 3:18�20, who thinks that the change in the Article on our Lord�s descent into Hades was owing to doubts which had been entertained by St. Augustine as to the import of this passage.] demonstrate the confidence which they felt in his authority, and their delight in his sacred learning.
But notwithstanding the veneration in which he was held by men of conflicting views, it cannot be denied that the system of St. Augustine, at least on some speculative points, diverged from the corresponding statements of the rest of.the Early Fathers. [Mr. Faber�s Primitive Doctrine of Election, I. VIII. 96�111. Lond. 1836: Prof. Blunt�s Sketch of the Church, Serm. IV. 167�177, Camb. 1836. This divergence did not escape the notice of Gardiner, Declaration (against Joye) fol. LXXIX.] The controversies which had been kindled in all quarters by the zeal of the Pelagian party drove him to reflect more deeply on the nature and necessity of Grace; and the course of these mighty investigations, combining with his natural temperament, conducted him to the ulterior problem, of reconciling the truth of the Divine foreknowledge with the parallel fact of individual freedom, and the consciousness of moral responsibility. The treasures of thought he had accumulated during this long and original process were made to supply a multitude of topics for the later disputations of the schools:* and it was out of the same source that the Genevan reformer, in the middle of the sixteenth century, professed** to have drawn the materials of the system, which he then reared with consummate skill, and bequeathed to a race of admiring disciples, impressed with his own name.
[*�Of Predestination and reprobation, it is our part to speak advisedly. But that the only will of God is the cause of reprobation, being taken as it is contrary to predestination, not only St. Paul and St. Augustine, but the best and learnedest schoolmen have largely and invincibly proved.� Dr. Whitaker to the Archbishop, in Strype�s Whitgift, App. No. XXV. p. 200. For the interesting disputes on these questions at the Council of Trent, see Sarpi, I. 367, seqq.]
[**See Instit. Lib. III. c. 22, � 8, where he disingenuously affirms that St. Augustine claimed the support of the other Fathers, the fact being that he appeals only to three writers of the age anterior to his own. Mr. Faber�s Doctrine of Election, ubi sup.]
How far the contemporary school of Calvin affected the English reformation, has been a frequent subject of debate. It is true that his earliest assertion of the doctrines appertaining to our present inquiry was the close of the year 1551,* and therefore some time after the compilation of the Articles and the offices of worship: but if it be conceded that his teaching on Predestination and the other kindred questions is identical with that of St. Augustine, the Formularies of the Church may still have been to some extent tinctured with �Calvinism,� although not immediately derived from the writings of Calvin. [It is unquestionable that many of these points had been opened in the reign of Edw. VI, and even earlier: Heylin�s Historia Quinqu-Articularis, Part III. c. 16: Gardiner against Joye, passim.] This identity, however, cannot be maintained by any one who is intimately versed in the systems of theology as they came from the schools of Geneva and Hippo: for much as the Calvinists were indebted to their venerable predecessor, they so far exaggerated some portions of his teaching, and so far curtailed or abandoned others, that in spite of similarity of language a deep and even a fundamental change is observable on passing from the ancient to the modern doctor. One striking example of this diversity relates to the question of �final perseverance,� or the amissibility of regenerating grace. In both systems it was maintained that no more than a remnant of the human family were actual partakers of the gift entitled the �grace of perseverance:� yet Augustine held that others, not included in this remnant, were possessed of a true and justifying faith, which they might notwithstanding forfeit altogether; while Calvin absolutely restricted the communication of spiritual gifts to those whom a decree irreversibly exempted from the possibility of ultimate perdition.** In the one case there was a clear and positive check upon the desolating influence of presumption as well as of lawlessness and desperation; in the other, where grace was arbitrarily withheld except from the finally saved, we need not wonder that the feeling of responsibility was endangered, if not altogether uprooted.
[*Archbp. Laurence, Serm. II. note (14). Yet the name of Calvin must have been well known in England before this period, for he was of the number invited io take part in the religious �Conference� which was projected as early as 1549: see above. One of the first strictures upon him, by an English reformer, occurs in a letter of Hooper to Bucer (dated Zurich, June 19, 1548): �I do not rightly understand what you write respecting Calvin. I had never any intention of using my pen either against him or Favell, although his commentaries on the first Epistle to the Corinthians displeased me exceedingly.� Original Letters, ed. P. S. 48.]
[**Cf. the Augustinian Treatise �de Correptione et Gratis,� c. 6 and c. 13, or �de Praedestinatione Sanctorum,� c. 14, with Calvin�s �Institutiones,� Lib. III. c. 24, � 6. It is very observable that the distinction was felt at the compiling of the Lambeth Articles, for in the emendations of Whitaker�s theses by the archbishop and his colleagues, an important change was made in Art. V: �In autographo Whitakeri verba erant �in iis qui semel ojus participes fuerunt,� pro quibus � Lambethanis substituta sunt, �in electis� sensu plane silo et ad mentem Augustini; cum in autographo sint ad menten Calvini. Augustinus enim opinatus est, verum fidem quae per dilectionem operatur, per quam contingit adoptio, justificatio et sanctificatio, posse et intercidi et amitti; fidem vero ease commune donum electis et reprobis, sed perseverantiam electis propriam: Calvinus autem, veram et justificantem fidem solis salvandis et electis contingere.� See Appen. No. V. Hutton, Archbishop of York, suggested an alteration in Art. VI, on the ground that as it stood it was opposed to St. Augustine, who taught, �Reprobi quidem vocati, justificati, per lavacrum regenerationis renovati sunt, et tamen exeunt,� etc. Strype�s Whitgift, 461, ed. 1718: cf. the Augsburg Confession, Part I. � 12; where notwithstanding the uniform reverence for St. Augustine, the notion that �persons once justified cannot lose the Holy Spirit,� is denounced as an error of the Anabaptists. This charge seems to have been made against the Cambridge �Calvinists� in 1595: Strype�s Whitgift, 434.]
It, is probable indeed that distinctions of this kind were unnoticed by many of the ardent refugees who sought shelter from the Marian persecutions under the roofs of �Calvinistic� reformers, and who were chiefly instrumental in opening the disputes which are still rending the Church of England. The number of such exiles was very considerable, embracing a majority of those who from the special emergency of the times were advanced, at the opening of the reign of Elizabeth, to the highest ecclesiastical honours. We may trace the effects of their long association with the leading Swiss reformers, by contrasting their future conduct with that of the smaller band of scholars, who lived in comparative retirement at home, during the triumphs of the Romanizing faction. These were in almost every case untainted, either by the disciplinary scruples of their brethren, or by the harsh and even blasphemous notions which many a predestinarian zealot brought back from his foreign masters. [Some of them did not blush to say, that �all evil springeth of God�s ordinance, and that God�s predestination was the cause of Adam�s fall, and of all wickedness.� See other instances in Heylin, Hist. of the Presbyterians, 243, Oxf. 1670.] They acted as the conservative elements of the Church in the midst of a troublous period, when there was �continual struggling to throw off its godly orders,� or �to break in pieces those constitutions, on which it was established�; and had no such better elements survived, �it would in all probability have never been able to have subsisted afterwards.� [See Strype�s observations on Archbp. Parker; Life, 543.] The admission of the docrines of Geneva might have led the way to its �pretended holy discipline,� and the forebodings of men like Richard Hooker have been fearfully accomplished.
It is not unlikely that the general respect for the authority of St. Augustine continued to aid the circulation of the strong �Calvinian� tenets, or at least, to disarm the hostility of some who could not fail to foresee the disastrous results in which they were sure to issue. Among this number we may class the venerable Parker, who had reluctantly obeyed the royal nomination to the helm of the English Church.* The sobriety of himself and a few faithful coadjutors succeeded in thwarting the vigorous attempt to infuse a distinctively Genevan spirit into the public Formularies of Faith. As early as 1559, when the exiles were anxious to exhibit a declaration of their doctrine to the Queen, they laid peculiar stress on the tenet of Predestination [Strype�s Annals, I. 116. They admit, however, that �in this our corrupt age,� discreet ministers should speak �sparely and circumspectly� of such matters.] as �a thing fruitful and profitable to be known,� appealing moreover to the example which had been set them by St. Augustine: yet we look in vain for any mention of that tenet in the test which was immediately put in circulation both in this and the sister island; and in the subsequent revision of the Edwardine Formulary, we have seen that the language of the Article on Predestination was somewhat softened or restrained, instead of contracting the more rigorous tone which was gradually pervading the great body of the Church.
[*See a curious account of one Richard Kechyn, whom the archbishop preferred, �charging him not to preach controversial sermons ou the Divine Counsels,� in Mr. IIaweis� Sketches of the Reformation, 95. The obedient clerk was afterwards rebuked for his silence by one of the itinerant preachers, who declared that � Predestination should and ought to be preached in every sermon and in every place, before all congregations, as the only doctrine of salvation,� &c.]
The controversy, however, of which that doctrine was a prominent member, continued rather to increase with the lapse of the Elizabethan period; and it may be confidently affirmed that for an interval of nearly thirty years the extreme opinions of the school of Calvin, embracing the dogma of irrespective reprobation, were almost every where triumphant. He became, if we may employ the parallel of Hooker,* what the master of the sentence was in the Church of Rome, �so that the perfectest divines were judged they which were skillfulest in Calvin�s writings.� Even the �horrible� dictum [Calvin himself says, �horribile quidem decretum fateor,� in contemplating his own theory of reprobation. Instit. Lib. III. c. 23, � 7.] �which speaks little better of our gracious God than this, that God should design many thousand of souls to hell before they were, not in eye to their faults, but to His own absolute will and power,� � was, in the language of Harsnet, in 1584, � grown high and monstrous, and like a Goliah, and men do shake and tremble at it; yet never a man reacheth to David�s sling to cast it down. In the name of the Lord of Hosts,� he adds, �we will encounter it, for it hath reviled not the host of the, living God, but the Lord of Hosts.� [Quoted in Heylin, Histor. Quinqu-Articul. Part III. ch. xvii. � 4.]
[*Pref. to Eccl. Pol. chap. II. � 8. In a MS. note of Hooker on �A Christian Letter,� &c., he asks ironically, �What should the world doe with old musty doctors? Alleage scripture, and shew it alleage in the sense that Calvin alloweth, and it is of more force in any man�s defense, and to the proofe of any assertion, than if ten thousand Augustines, Jeromes, Chrysostomes, Cyprians, or whosoever els were brought foorth. Doe we not daily see that men are accused of heresie for holding that which the fathers held, and that they never are cleere, if they find not somewhat in Calvin to justify themselves?� Works, I. 139, note (33), ed. Keble.]
Such, then, was the general condition of the Church, in respect of the predestinarian controversy, when the predominant party attempted to fix and perpetuate their system, by compiling the memorable document which is known by the name of the �Lambeth Articles.�
The main-spring of all the movement is found in the rigorously Calvinistic tenets of Dr. Whitaker, a distinguished polemical writer, and the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. Assisted by Chadderton and Perkins,* the latter of whom was peculiarly violent, he resolved on immediate measures for checking the growth of �Pelagianism and Popery,� as it was the fashion to characterize the teaching which demurred to the dicta of Calvin. The leader of the opposite party was the Margaret Professor of Divinity, Baro, or Baron, by name, who had sought an asylum in this country at an early period of his life, and by the favour of Burleigh had occupied his present post since 1574 or 1575. Though naturally of a mild and retiring spirit, he was uniform in opposing the principles avowed by his brother professor, and advocated more or less by a majority of the senior members of the Senate. His learned lectures, however, had the effect of diminishing the extreme value which had been set upon the works of the Swiss reformers: and as the new generation, which had been trained by his teaching, replaced the more sturdy admirers of Calvin, the �Institutions� and other similar textbooks were exchanged for the primitive Fathers and sometimes for the Schoolmen.**
[*His �Armilla Aurea, containing the order of the causes of salvation and damnation,� was published in 1592, for the use of students, and tended, perhaps, more than the writings of the other party, to damage the character of �Calvinism� by pursuing it into its logical results.]
[**In a report of the Vice-Chancellor and others to Whitgift, who had sanctioned their search into private studies (Strype�s Whitgift, 438), it is stated that things had already grown to such a pass, that �instead of godly and sound writers, among their stationers, the new writers were very rarely bought; and that there were no books more ordinarily bought and sold than popish writers,� &c.]
Very soon after the date of his arrival at Cambridge, Baro had ventured to urge from the history of Nineveh, that �it is the will of God we should have eternal life, if we believe and persevere in the faith of Christ; but if we do not believe, or believing only for a time, do not persevere, then it is not the will of God we should be saved.� [Praeleot. in Jonam, Prophetam, XXX. 217: Lond. 1579.] And a further exposition of his doctrine survives in the sermon �ad clerum� which he preached in 1595, when the Lambeth Articles were compiled. He there asserted three things, (1) �That God created all men according to His own likeness in Adam, and so consequently, to eternal life; from which he chased no man, unless because of sin. (2) That Christ died sufficiently for all, showing that the denial of this doctrine is contrary to the Confession of the Church of England, and the Articles approved by the parliament of this kingdom, and confirmed by the Queen�s authority. (3) That the promises of God made to us, as they are generally propounded to us, were to be generally understood, as it is set down in the seventeenth Article.� [Strype�s Whitgift, 466. See also his �Orthodox Explanation of the nine propositions concluded upon at Lambeth.� Ibid. App. No. XXVI and the �Assertiones� of his accusers, ibid. 470. Their great objection was to his doctrine of �universal redemption.�]
Notwithstanding the apparent moderation of these statements and the �modest� way in which they are said to have been delivered, the unfortunate professor was cited before Dr. Goade, the Vice-Chancellor of the University; and although the proceedings against him were eventually stopped by the interposition of his patron Burleigh, he did not offer himself for re-election, retiring from the field of contest in 1596. [Ibid. 473.]
But while the friend of Andrewes and Overall, and the champion of the English Church, was thus driven from his post by the innovating zeal of the �Calvinian� party another victim inferior both in age and reputation excited their indignant activity to a still more feverish pitch. William Barrett was a fellow of Caius College, and one of the warmest spirits in the number who �liked not Calvin�s scheme.� A sermon, �ad clerum,� which he preached at St. Mary�s church on the 29th of April, [Heylin, Hist. Quinqu-Artic. Part III. c. 20, � 6, 7.] 1595, contained a strong and even virulent attack on the popular system of theology; where, besides a denial of the indefectibility of grace and the received doctrine of assurance, he indulged in a number of bitter reflections upon Calvin, Beza, Peter Martyr, and others, who had taught the doctrine of irrespective reprobation. [Strype, Whitgift, 436: and cf. Bk. IV. App. No. XXIII.] Very soon after the delivery of this sermon the offender was cited before the Vice-Chancellor, and heads of houses, and urged at several successive meetings to retract the obnoxious language. He finally consented to this course, and on the 10th of May read out in St. Mary�s church, a form of recantation* which had been provided by some of the University authorities, if not by Dr. Whitaker himself. The insincerity of this act, like many similar ones in all ages, was instantly made apparent; and on the 26th of the same month several members of the senate reopened the dispute by presenting a memorial to the Vice-Chancellor and his colleagues, denouncing the sermon upon the score of its �savouring of popish doctrine in the whole course and tenour thereof,� and reflecting on the �unreverend manner� in which it had been withdrawn.
[*Ibid. App. No. XXII. It is observable that he was taught to discern the doctrine of reprobation in the 17th Article, although Whitaker in writing to the archbishop is more cautious. His words are, �For the points of doctrine, we are fully persuaded, that Mr. Barret hath taught untruth, if not against the Articles, yet against the religion of our Church, publicly received,� &c. Ibid. Bk. IV. No. xxv.]
The cause was now carried by both parties to Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury. On one side the letter of the heads of houses (bearing date June 12,) complained of Barrett�s behaviour, and stigmatized his teaching as �injurious to the worthy learned men of our times,� as �strongly savouring of the leaven of popery,� and as � contrary to the doctrine of the nature of faith set forth in the Articles of Religion and Homilies appointed to be read in Churches.� [Strype, Whitgift, 437, 438.] On the other hand, Barrett appealed from the Vice-chancellor to the Primate, alleging that his opponents were no more than a puritanical faction in the University, for that many who studied truth and peace had refused to join the present persecution; and while admitting that he had dealt roughly with Calvin, directed his chief indignation against Perkins, whose book �On the Apostles� Creed,� though denying an article of the faith, [Alluding to the �descent into hell,� which the Calvinists expounded of our Lord�s extreme mental sufferings.] had not been hitherto discountenanced by any of the University authorities. On these grounds ho prayed the Archbishop to interpose, and save him from the malice of his enemies who had already punished him enough by stopping his degree. [Strype, ibid. 438, 439.]
The first impressions of Whitgift seem to have been somewhat in favour of the appellant, for in a message to the Vice-Chancellor and heads of houses, he condemned the warmth of their recent proceedings and asserted his own prerogative in the adjudication of doctrinal questions. In particular he objected that some points of the retraction, which they had forced upon Barrett, were �contrary to the doctrine holden and expressed by many sound and learned divines* in the Church of England,� and which he �for his own part thought to be false and contrary to the Scripture.� Of the contumelious language in which Barrett had animadverted upon the Calvinistic writers, he expressed his entire disapprobation, adding that he �did not allow the same towards Augustine, Jerome, and other learned fathers, which nevertheless had often been abused in the University without control.� And yet, he proceeded, �if a man would have occasion to control Calvin for his bad and unchristian censure of King Henry VIII, or him and others in that peremptory and false reproof of the Church of England in divers points, and likewise in some other singularities, he knew no article of religion against it, much less did he know any cause why men should be violently dealt withal for it, or termed ungodly, popish, impudent. For the doctrine of the Church of England did in no respect depend upon them.� [Strype�s Whitgift, 441.]
[*One of these was Hooker�s bosom-friend Saravia, and a favourite of Whitgift. He was frequently at Lambeth and wrote (apparently for the Archbishop) a �Censure of Barrett�s Retraction.� Ibid. Bk. IV. App. XXIV. It is a sober and elaborate production, breathing far more the spirit of Augustine than of Calvin, and quoting the former authority throughout. He concludes by censuring the acrimonious language of Barrett, and by declaring �Fuerunt et sunt adhuc hodie in diversis ecclesiis quamplures fideles Christi servi bene de Ecclesia meriti, qui non idem de praedestinatione sentiunt, qui tamen se mutua charitate fuerunt amplexi nee ullius sese mutuo haereseos insimulant,� 198. � There is also a �Censura Censurae D. Barreti,� among the Minor Works of Bp. Andrews, Oxf. 1848, 304, seqq. It is confined, however, to one point, viz.: the certainty of salvation, which Whitaker and his school maintained. In the same place will be found the �judgment� of that prelate touching the Lambeth Articles.]
Emboldened by the result of his former application, and apprehensive lest his enemies should have strength enough to deprive him of his fellowship, Barrett now ventured to desire from the Primate a formal statement of the truth in the controversy which continued to distract the University of Cambridge. The heads of houses in the meanwhile started the question as to the right of the Archbishop to interfere in matters like the present, and from the warmth which this point excited on both sides, it is probable that the case of Barrett would have been thrown altogether into the background, had not Whitaker undertaken to mediate between the contending parties. His former service to the Church in answering Bellarmine had placed him very high in the opinion of Whitgift, and the conciliatory tone which he adopted at this stage of the dispute, was still more in favour of his faction. He did not venture to assert that the teaching of Barrett had contradicted the language of the Articles, nay, he was now not unwilling to concede that the topics chiefly controverted �were not concluded and defined by public authority;� [Strype�s Whitgift, App. No. XXV. 199: cf. the remarks of Dr. Waterland on this letter; Works, II. 343, 344, Oaf. 1843.] yet, inasmuch, as the Church had been violently disturbed, and as the opinions of his adversary were novel and offensive, he requested the Archbishop to use his influence in exacting from Barrett a further recantation.
After a comparative lull of some weeks, the contest was renewed in the following September, by the �Calvinian� heads of houses, who forwarded a more dutiful communication to the Primate, imploring him to allow a rigourous inquiry into the real opinions of the offender, in order that the grievous scandal which had been given �not only to malicious enemies but also to weak professors,� might be at length entirely removed.* In compliance with their wish a string of questions [They were eight in number, and relate to the indefectibility of �justifying faith� and the other topics which had been handled by the anti-Calvinistic preacher. Strype, ibid. 452, 453.] �nicely propounded and suited critically to the principles of Whitaker,� was now forced upon the notice of Barrett, who appears to have answered them at Lambeth. His replies were immediately sent to his implacable accusers, and submitted to the strictures of Whitaker, who began by denouncing them �as not only indirect and insufficient, but for the most part popish also.� He urged in particular, that the views of Barrett respecting the nature of faith, were opposed to the statement of the Articles, [Strype, Whitgift, 453.] � but in what way he neglected to specify; and on the 17th of September, the heads of houses, with undiminished vigour, sent up a new list [Ibid. 454.] of animadversions in addition to those which the Regius Professor had already transmitted to Lambeth.
[*Ibid. 451, 452. In this document they characterize the positions of Barrett as �contrary to the doctrine of our Church set down in the Book of Articles, in the Apology of the Church of England, and in the Defence of the same, in Catechisms commanded by authority to be used, and in the Book of Common Prayer;� but as Waterland remarks, �they neither specify those positions, nor at that time point to any Article, or particular passage of the Catechisms or Common Prayer, so that this general charge is of little or no moment.� Ibid. 344.]
Whitgift, in his turn, was now changed into a mediator, and while censuring some of the answers which Barrett had recently given, declared with regard to another (and that even a principal point of the dispute) that he could not see how it varied from the Articles of Religion. [Ibid. 455, 456.] He declared, however, that he had been greatly annoyed by the want of respect to academical authority, which the defendant appears to have betrayed in the whole of the present disputation, [Ibid. 457.] and as the contest between the heads of houses and himself was now amicably adjusted, he was not unwilling to aid them in correcting the unruly spirit, whom they were anxious to curb or banish. He therefore appointed a second meeting at Lambeth where Barrett was finally examined in the presence of a deputation from Cambridge, of which Whitaker was one; and after modifying some of his doctrinal statements, and recalling his acrimonious observations upon Calvin, he consented to make a public retractation in terms of his own devising; which seems, however, to have been delayed till the commencement of the following year, and then altogether abandoned.*
[*A letter of his to Dr. Goade (in Heylin�s Hist. Quinqu-Artic. Part III. ch. XX. � 10) appears to establish this point in opposition to Strype. He there says: �But if you and the rest of your assistants (whom I reverence) do purpose to proceed in disquieting and traducing me as you have done by the space of three quarters of this year, and so in the end mean to drive me out of the University, I must take it patiently, because I know not how to redress it: but let God be judge between you and me.� According to Fuller, he afterwards went abroad and conformed to the Church of Rome. Hist. of Univ. of Cambridge, 286; new ed.]
But while this controversy was still pending, another plan had been suggested to Whitaker and his party for obtaining a more authoritative sanction of their ultra-Calvinistic tenets, and for ejecting not only Barrett but Baro from the University of Cambridge, or it might be altogether from the Church.
Having paved the way in a vehement sermon [Strype, Whitgift, 460.] from the pulpit of St. Mary�s, Dr. Whitaker proceeded to London early in November, 1595, at the desire, it would seem, of the heads of houses, in order that he might be present at a conference for allaying the animosity which had been every where excited by the proceedings above recounted. Another member of the deputation was Tyndal, Dean of Ely, who had before taken the most active part in prosecuting Barrett, and had been present also at his final examination. How long this conference continued it is difficult to ascertain. Whitaker was in London on the 19th of November, as we know from a letter which he then wrote to Burleigh, [Ibid.] the Chancellor of Cambridge, and as there is some reason for believing, that the disputes among the Calvinists were animated and protracted, [Articuli Lambethani, 4, Lond. 1651.] it is probable that they had assembled very early in the month. Heylin and others [Heylin, Hist. Quinqu. Part III. ch. xxi. � 2; Collier, II. 644.] inform us that the �propositions,� which form the result of their labours, were submitted to the notice of the Primate on the 10th of November, while Strype [Ibid. 461.] mentions that the work was actually completed on the 20th of the same month. The truth seems to be that Whitaker and the friends, who aided him in making the original draught of the Lambeth Articles, held a number of preliminary meetings in private; [Perhaps at the house of Nowell, dean of St. Paul�s, from whence the above letter to Burleigh is dated.] and that after they bad determined the precise shape of their production it was immediately presented to the Archbishop for his approbation or correction.
The conduct of Whitgift in this matter has occasioned very different conjectures as to the motives by which he was actuated, in lending even a partial assent to the theses of the Cambridge doctors. In addition to the inference which might be drawn from the favour he showed to men like Harsnet, [After the publication of the Sermon (see above) in which he had so strongly objected to the dogma of reprobation, he was made the archbishop�s chaplain, and treated with peculiar kindness.] Saravia [See the paper above referred to; from which it is clear that the tenets of Saravia were strictly Augustinian, and opposed to the system of Whitaker and Calvin.] and Hooker,* his own language in the case of Barrett would lead to the supposition that he shrank from the full development of the views propounded at Geneva. Yet, on the other hand, it is certain that he sympathized at least to a considerable extent with Whitaker and the Calvinistic party: and if the desire of peace** and the dread of innovation may be thought to have operated in his recognition of the Lambeth Articles, he had, notwithstanding, come to the deliberate conclusion, that after the modifications to which they were eventually submitted, he �agreed fully with them and they with him.�***
[*Hooker, in like manner, modified the Calvinistic theory, denying the doctrine of reprobation altogether, and following the language of St. Augustine on the efficacy of the sacraments. See his version of the Lambeth Articles; Works, ed. Keble, I. c. 2, Eccle. Pol. V. LX. 3, and App. to Bk. V. pp. 596, 597.]
[**In the short history of this compilation prefixed to the �Articuli Lambethiana,� Lond. 1651, we have the following statement, which must be taken, however, cum grano salis: �Whitgiftus, princeps ejus oonventus, etsi Whitakeri dogmata minime probabat, facilitat tamen et metu discordiae, cum suam probare allis non posset, factus, est ipse alienae sententiae accessio, 4.�]
[***See his own memoranda in Strype, 459. He adds, �I know them to be sound doctrines and uniformly professed in this Church of England, and agreeable to the Articles of Religion established by authority. And therefore I thought it meet that Barrett should in more humble sort confess his ignorance and error: and that none should be suffered to teach any contrary doctrine to the aforesaid propositions agreed upon.�]
During the conference which preceded their publication, he was mainly if not altogether assisted by Richard Fletcher, recently translated to the bishopric of London, by Richard Vaughan, bishop-elect of Bangor, and the above-mentioned deputation of divines from Cambridge. [The corrected copy of the Articles in Strype is headed, �Articuli approbati a reverendissimis dominis D. D. Joanne archiepiscopo Cantuariensi, et Richardo episcopo, Londinensi et allis Theologis, Lambethae, Novembris 20, anno, 1595.�] So far as we are able to determine, they were all more or less of the school which Barrett and the Margaret Professor had ventured to assail, and it was consequently to be expected that the new test of doctrine would savour considerably of the channel from which it had been drawn. Yet on comparing the rough draught of the Articles as they came from the pen of Whitaker with the form which they ultimately assumed, we shall perceive that they underwent a number of corrections, all of which tended to make them less offensive to the anti-Calvinistic party. For example, there was a phrase in the original copy declaring that �all who had ever been partakers of true faith and of the sanctifying Spirit� must eventually be accepted: while in the Article, as amended and imposed upon the Church, the indefectibility of grace was affirmed not of all who had been regenerate and justified, but of �the elect,� in accordance with the language of Augustine. A similar deference was shown in modifying the statement of another Article on the nature of assurance or the certainty of faith, and of a third touching the manner and degree in which grace is communicated or withheld with respect to the world at large. [For these and other variations see Append. No. V, where the Articles are printed in the original Latin, with notes and emendations by the bishops and divines.]
Yet in spite of these mitigating clauses, attributable to the influence of Whitgift, the �orthodoxal propositions,� as they were frequently entitled, aroused in the doctors of the subsequent period the most unmeasured condemnation. [See an extreme specimen in Warburton�s Remarks on Neal�s Hist. of the Puritans: Works, VII. 809; Lon. 1788.] Nor can it be denied that the harshness of their tone and their unshrinking assertion of the �horrible decree� were calculated to inflame the disputations which they vainly struggled to suppress. Their aim was to fasten upon the Church a number of arbitrary definitions, ill according with the spirit of the men by whom the Reformation had been carried, and altogether out of harmony [Collier, II. 645, seqq., Heylin, Histor. Quinqu-Art. Part II, ch. viii. seqq., and Laurence, Bampton Lectures, passim.] with the Prayer-Book and the elder Formularies of Faith. Some indeed have represented them as no more than interpretative statements, [See Fuller, Bk. IX. p. 232. Hutton, archbishop of York, who yielded a general assent to them, employs a somewhat different language: �Hae theses ex sacris literis vel aperte colligi vel necessaria consecutione deduci possunt, et ex scriptis Augustini.� Strype, 461.] deducible from the authorized Articles of Religion; but we must despair of connecting them with that work by any of the ordinary processes of thought. On the other hand it is natural to infer from this attempt to introduce a more stringent measure and to speak a less faltering language, that in respect of the points which were then so violently urged by the ruling school at Cambridge, the Churoh had before been either silent and undecided, or absolutely antagonistic.
Be this, however, as it may, the Articles of Dr. Whitaker, as accepted by the Primate and a few more of his episcopal brethren, have no claim whatever to be viewed as synodical determinations either now or then binding on the Church. We may quote them as melancholy illustrations of the age in which they were compiled, or may welcome them as proofs that certain tenets which we cherish were strenuously pressed to their logical results by the men of a former generation: but as Whitgift was careful to instruct the University of Cambridge (Nov. 24), the document �must be so taken and used as their private judgments,� who thought �them to be true and correspondent to the doctrine professed in the Church of England, and established by the laws of the land, and not as laws and decrees.� [Strype, 462. Cf. Heylin, ubi sup. Part III. ch. XX. � 3, 4.]
The displeasure of Lord Burleigh and still more of his royal mistress,* combined with the death of Dr. Whitaker, who survived the triumph he had won over the antagonists of Calvin no more than a few days, suspended the further circulation of the Articles even among the authorities of the University which had called them into being. They were offered, indeed, to Professor Baro by some of the heads of houses, and were the means of involving him still further in the controversy to which we have before adverted; [See above.] but after the month of January 1595/6 [They continued to excite �much talk and resentment� for some months later, as we gather from a communication of Hutton to Whtgift, �March 14, 1595� (i. e. 1596): Strype, 478.] no more is heard of imposing the �Lambeth propositions� as a test of doctrine or as an authorized interpretation of the Formularies of Faith, until the party, who had now extorted them from Whitgift, attempted at his death to incorporate them into the �Articles of Religion� in 1604. [Ibid. 480.]
*Strype, 463, 464. The letter of Whitgift to the Vice-Chancellor (Dec. 8) advises him to comply with the royal wishes, and forbear urging them on the. University. Fuller has a curious story of the Queen reminding the Primate, half in jest, that his recent conduct in �calling a council� had exposed him to a praemunire.
The Church, however, had in the mean time strengthened her hold upon the truths of the earlier Reformation, and in Cambridge even, the new race of theologians, with Overall at their head, were supplanting the ardent auxiliaries of Calvin as well as the platform he had reared upon the ruins of the ancient faith. The time of reaction was commencing, and the spells by which he had bound and bewildered the finest intellects of Europe were soon to be utterly broken; or if some continued to accept the general features of his system, they owed it to the proximity of a wider and purer creed that so many of his harsher tenets had been virtually withdrawn.
Unhappily this amelioration was confined to our own country: for in the sister-island, as we shall see in the following chapter, the Genevan spirit was destined to prevail during a much longer period, and to succeed in impressing the Lambeth Articles with a kind of ecclesiastical sanction.
Chapter VIII � The Irish Articles of 1615.
The Church of Ireland, after existing from the earliest ages of the Gospel, had gradually contracted the errors and diseases, which in the time preceding the Reformation were corrupting the Church of England. She threw them off, however, at the same period, by her own intrinsic vigour, and restoring the verities of the faith which had been partially perverted or forgotten, took her place at the side of her English sister, in the struggle with the Roman pontiffs.
During the reigns of Henry and Edward, the Irish prelates had been accustomed to lean almost exclusively upon the acts of our own Convocation, having adopted the formularies of worship which emanated from this country under the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Crown. [The English Prayer Book was first used on Easter Sunday, 1551, at the commandment of Sir Anthony St. Ledger, the Lord Deputy. Mant. Hist. of the Church, I. 204, 295; 2nd ed.] But, in 1560, the Elizabethan Prayer Book was regularly accepted by the clergy, [Dr. Elrington�s Life of Archbp. Ussher, 42.] and the character of the Irish reformation became henceforward far more national. In 1566, as we have before noticed,* the �Brief Declaration� of doctrine coinciding with our �Eleven Articles,� was appointed to be read by the incumbents �at their possession-taking, and twice every year afterwards;� but whether the English Articles of 1562 were circulated simultaneously, as a coordinate authority, does not seem to have been fully settled. Archbishop Ussher stated, in the sermon which he preached in 1620/1, before the English House of Commons, �We all agree that the Scriptures of God are the perfect rule of our faith; we all consent in the main grounds of religion drawn from thence; we all subscribe to the Articles of doctrine agreed upon in the synod of the year 1562, for the avoiding of diversities of opinions,� &c.; yet his learned biographer contends, that this language cannot be considered as absolutely decisive when weighed against the evidence which may be urged on the other side of the question. He argues that the archbishop �might have used the words in a general sense, as merely expressive of assent, and, indeed, must have done so, for many of the persons he addressed had never subscribed the Articles.� [Ubi sup. 43, and note.]
[*See above, ch. VI. It is worthy of remark, that during the reign of Elizabeth and long after the Union of Scotland with England, the Scottish Church, as well as the Presbyterians, made use of the �Confession of Faith� drawn up in 1560. Stephen�s Hist. of the Church of Scotland, I. 95. Lond. 1843. The Presbyterians subsequently adopted the �Westminster Confession,� and the Church our authorized �Articles,� in the Convocation at Laurencekirk, 1804.]
It is not unlikely that the want of some minuter test than the �Eleven Articles� of Archbishop Parker was one of the reasons which operated in the mind of the Irish prelates when they consented, in 1615, to the compilation of the longer series, which is the subject of the present chapter. Still, it may not be concealed, that more questionable agency was at work among some of the bishops and divines, who took part in the framing of such a Formulary. The rigorous Calvinistic spirit, which had before invaded the Church of England, and had struggled to fetter the working of her system by means of the Lambeth Articles, is said to have been even stronger at this period in the whole of the neighbouring kingdom; and, though baffled on our own side of the Channel, to have been there for a while triumphant. The propagation of the Genevan tenets, if due, in some measure, to political causes, [Ibid. 43.] was now more peculiarly aided by the influence of the learned Ussher, who had passed with unsullied.reputation from his course of laborious study to occupy the chair of divinity in the University of Dublin. [Ubi sup. 44. He was also Vice-chancellor in the previous year, 1614. Ibid. 49.] His opinions were afterwards softened, [Waterland, Works, II. 346, and Dr. Elrington�s Life, 290, seqq.] like those of many other theologians who were the glory of the Caroline period of the Church, but it is unquestionable that in the years of which we are now treating he was the unflinching advocate of Geneva, ranking with Whitaker and the rest, who endeavoured to purge the colleges at Cambridge from �Popish and Pelagian� errors. Ussher is even said to have drawn up the Irish Articles himself, at the nomination of a Synod, which assembled at Dublin in 1615, and which sat concurrently with the civil legislature,* according to the English usage. The president was Jones, the Archbishop of Dublin, but very few particulars have, unhappily, survived of the nature of its proceedings, or the degree of cordiality with which it had accepted the Articles bearing its name.**
[*Parr, an older biographer of Ussher, implies that the two legislative bodies were convened at the same time, but the Parliament met May 18, 1613, and the Convocation did not assemble till the end of 1614, or the beginning of 1615. Elrington, 39.]
[**Articles of Religion, agreed vpon by the Archbishops and Bishops, and the rest of the clearge of Ireland, in the Convocation holden at Dublin in the yeare of our Lord God, 1615,� &c. They will be found at length in Append. No. VI, printed from a copy of the original edition in Dr. Elrington�s Life of Ussher, App. IV.]
They are a long and discursive compilation, extending to one hundred and four paragraphs, arranged under nineteen general heads, and comprehend a variety of statements, or rather disquisitions, upon the following theological topics: The Holy Scripture and the three Creeds; faith in the Holy Trinity; God�s eternal decree and predestination; the creation and government of all things; the fall of man, original sin, and the state of man before justification; Christ, the Mediator of the second Covevenant; the communicating of the grace of Christ; justification and faith; sanctification and good works; the service of God; the civil magistrate; our duty towards our neighbours; the Church, and outward ministry of the Gospel; the authority of the Church, General Councils, and bishop of Rome; the state of the Old and New Testament; The Sacraments of the New Testament; Baptism; the Lord�s Supper; the state of souls of men after they be departed out of this life, together with the general resurrection and the last judgment.
Many of the Articles, contained in one or other of these divisions, are borrowed from the authorized English series, on conesponding points; some, again, are of a homiletic nature, relating wholly to Christian duties; others enter upon speculative questions, such as the fall of angels, and the primeval state of Adam; one absolutely pronounces that the pope is �the man of sin� and antichrist; [A similar decree had been made just before in a Calvinistic synod at Gappe, Collier. II. 708.] but the paragraphs which excited the strongest objection [Mant, I. 385. seqq.] at the time of their first appearance, as well as in the later ages, are those which include the Lambeth Articles, or bear upon the controversy out of which those Articles had issued. It is true that they are not incorporated altogether, beingdispersed in various portions of the work, and that in the original copy [Bp. Mant�s copy had such a reference to each of the nine Articles of the Lambeth series; but it must have been either the London edition of 1629, or that which is appended to Neal�s Hist. of the Puritans. See Elrington�s Ussher, 44, note (f).] there was not the slightest reference to the compilation of 1595; yet the resemblance, with one or two verbal [One of these is important, for while the Irish Articles (� 37) affirms that true faith is not extinguished in �the regenerate,� the fifth of the Lambeth Articles had deliberately avoided this phrase and spoken of �the elect:� see above.] exceptions, is so manifest and complete, that we cannot possibly mistake the connexion between them. [Some persons, like Heylin, asserted that the whole proceeding was �a plot of the Calvinians and Sabbatarians of England to make themselves a strong party in Ireland.� See Mant, I. 387.]
Referring the reader to an Appendix for the Articles themselves, it is desirable to ascertain the amount of their authority, even with respect to the Irish clergy; and the rather because this question has been lately reopened, and made the ground of a resolute attack upon the two sister Churches. The document (as we have seen) professed to have been sanctioned by the Convocation of Dublin, and a paragraph appended to the original edition, authoritatively decreed as follows: �If any minister of what degree or qualitie soeuer he be, shall publikely teach any doctrine contrary to these Articles agreed upon, � if, after due admonition, he doe not conforme himselfe and cease to disturbe the peace of the Church, let him bee silenced and deprived of all spiritual promotions he doth enjoy.�
The novelty, however, of the Synod, at least in its present constitution, and the informalities which may be traced in some of its proceedings, [Elrington�s Ussher, 39, 40.] appear to have excited considerable doubts at the time of their publication, as to the ecclesiastical authority of the Dublin Articles; for we find Dr. Bernard, one of the biographers of Ussher, himself strongly tinged with Calvinian notions, and a uniform admirer of the Articles, under the necessity of meeting this prevalent objection, and of asserting, on the verbal testimony of his patron, that the Formulary was actually signed �by Archbishop Jones, the president of Convocation, by the prolocutor of the lower House, in the name of the whole clergy, and also by the Lord Deputy, by order of James I.�* Although part of this evidence has been discredited, perhaps with sufficient justice, it cannot be altogether set aside; and, accordingly, while we may assume that the Articles were destitute of preliminary sanction, and could not therefore be legally enforced, we are bound to admit, that there is not enough ground [All the evidence against the legitimate adoption of the Articles has been ably stated in the �Irish Ecclesiastical Journal,� No. 118, pp. 66, 67.] for disputing their formal acceptance by the Church, in some kind of synodical meeting.
[*Bernard�s Life of Ussher, 50. Collier endeavours to explain the motives of the English monarch in confirming so many Articles at variance with his own opinions, II. 708. Compare Heylin, Hist. Quinqu-Artic. Part III. ch. xxii. � 5: but the solution of Wood, (in Dr. Elrington�s Ussher, 47, 48,) is far more probable. Archdeacon Stopford discredits the testimony of Bernard, suspecting that the deputy never signed the Articles at all, and contending, that if he did, such an indirect exercise of the supremacy was invalid. Introduction to Vol. III. of the MS. Irish Prayer Book, LXIII. ed. E. H. S. But the following extract from an anti-Armenian pamphlet of 1633, entitled �The Truth of three Things,� &c. indicates that the royal sanction of them was generally believed: �I may adde hereunto the doctrine of the Articles of the Church of Ireland, which fitly may here be inserted, as both looking to King James, under whose authority and protection it came forth, and was maintained, and looking to the doctrine of the Church of England, since it were an intollerable and impudent iniury to the wisdome and religious knowledge of these time, to say that betweene them there was not a harmonie,� 29, 30. The pamphlet, however, is full of special-pleadings.]
Whether or no they were originally offered for subscription, like our own Articles, after the Convocation of 1571, and whether the Church ever authorized any of the prelates to exact this subscription from the clergy, � are altogether different questions, and such as it is not easy to determine either in one way or the other. The view which is most satisfactorily established* supposes that where individual bishops made use of the Articles as a positive test of doctrine, they were exceeding the power which had been determined by the language of the Synod; for the decree appended to the document itself betrays no wish to impose the Articles absolutely on the Church, either by the agency of subscription or any other apparatus. It declares, indeed, that whoever shall teach what is contrary to them shall be silenced and deposed, in imitation, it would seem, of the order which had accompanied the Lambeth propositions; yet unlike the authorized determinations of the Church in 1562, they had no more than a negative force, and must have acted rather as Articles of discipline and peace than as a public Formulary of Faith.
[*In this way only can we give a satisfactory explanation of the language employed in 1634 by Strafford, Laud, and Bramhall. They all speak as if the Irish Articles needed confirmation, and imply that the Puritan party were fully aware of the defect. See Archdeacon Stopford, ubi sup. Lam., LXIV.]
But whatever be the amount of authority which they exercised from 1615 to 1635, they were virtually, if not formally, abolished by the Convocation of this latter date. The leanings of the Irish Church in the direction of Geneva were now considerably adjusted, and with men like Strafford and Bramhall presiding in her counsels, it was natural to expect that a fresh effort would be made to remove every obstacle in the way of her cordial agreement with the English. Strafford, in his character of Deputy, had submitted a plan for this entire assimilation as early as 1634; and Laud,* with the consent of his royal master, at once adopted the proposal, and urged its immediate execution. It was accordingly submitted to the Irish Convocation of 1635, and by the powerful advocacy of Bramhall, the following Canon was accepted, with a single dissentient voice: [Mant, I. 491.] �For the manifestation of our agreement with the Church of England in the confession of the same Christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments, we do receive and approve the Book of Articles of Religion, agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops and the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London, in the year of our Lord, 1562, &c. And, therefore, if any hereafter shall affirm that any of these Articles are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe unto, let him be excommunicated, and not absolved before he make a public recantation of his error.�
[*In writing to Strafford, Oct. 20, 1634, he says, �I knew how you would find my Lord Primate [i.e. Ussher] affected to the Articles of Ireland; but I am glad the trouble that hath been in it will end there, without advertising of it over to us. And whereas you propose to have the Articles of England received in ipsissimis verbis, and leave the other as no way concerned, neither affirmed nor denied, you are certainly in the right, and so says the King, to whom I imparted it, as well as I. Go, hold close, and you will do a great service in it.� Strafford, Letters, I. 329: cf. Bramhall�s Works, V. 80, and notes; Oxf. 1845.
No doubt can, therefore, exist as to the formal adoption of the English Articles, by the whole of the sister Church; but it has always been warmly disputed whether the fact of such an approbation has absolutely repealed the Dublin Articles. It is probable that the original promoters regarded the Canon of 1635 from very different points of view. Ussher, who was still unweaned from his Calvinistic tenets, though at this time the intimate friend of Laud, has left his own opinion of the case in the following extract from a letter addressed to Dr. Ward: �The Articles of Religion agreed upon in our former synod, anno 1615, we let stand as we did before. But for the manifesting of our agreement with the Church of England, we have received and approved your Articles, also concluded in the year 1562, as you may see in the first of our Canons.� [Elrington�s Life, 176.] On the other hand, it is clear that both Strafford and Bramhall anticipated the abrogation of the Irish Articles as the result of the present measure: the former actually expressing his intention �to silence them without noise,� [Strafford, Letters, Dec. 16, 1634. I. 342: cf. Neal, Puritans, II. 107, ed. 1733.] and the latter hoping to �take away that Shibboleth which made the Irish Church lisp too undecently, or rather, in some little degree, to speak the speech of Ashdod, and not the language of Canaan.� [Mant, I. 493, and Bp. Taylor�s Sermon upon the Lord Primate [Bramhall:] Works, VIII. 411, 412, ed. Eden.] Heylin has indeed asserted that the Dublin Articles were actually �called in;� [Life of Laud, Part II. 271�274: Hist, of the Sabbath, Part II. c. VIII. � 9.] but there is no sufficient proof that any order was given prohibiting the use of them by individual bishops, and the practice of Ussher himself [Elrington�s Life, 176: cf. a letter of Laud to Ussher, May 10, 1635; Ussher�s Works, XVI. 7, 8.] in requiring subscription to both the series would lead to the conclusion that they were still in some degree permitted. The attempt, however, rising out of the predilection of the Primate, to retain them by the vote of the Synod, as a coordinate authority* in the Irish Church, was strongly discountenanced by the Deputy, and ultimately abandoned; so that, however much of forbearance may have been exercised in abstaining from a direct repudiation of those Articles, they were in truth tacitly withdrawn, together with a Canon of the same period, which deliberately strove to set them on a level with the authorized English Articles. Whatever may have been the precise nature of their claims during the interval which elapsed between the two Convocations of 1615 and 1635, they were henceforth in the condition of a will, in which the latest declaration has the force of overruling the earlier provisions, so far at least as they may seem to have worn a somewhat different aspect, or to have been capable of a contrary meaning. [See Collier�s observation to this effect, II. 763.] Accordingly, after the Rebellion, in which most of the remaining Puritanism of Ireland had been tempered or exploded,** no further instance occurs of a desire to enforce subscription to the Dublin Articles on the part of a single prelate. The English have alone been regarded as the preliminary test of doctrine on admission into holy orders, [Elrington�s Ussher, 177.] and long before the civil enactment at the opening of the present century the two sister Churches, upon opposite sides of the Channel, were constituted by ecclesiastical usage the united Church of England and Ireland.
[*This appears from the draft of the following canon proposed in the Convocation, but withdrawn through the influence of Strafford: �Those which shall affirm any of the Articles agreed on by the clergy of Ireland at Dublin, 1615, or any of the 39 concluded of in the Convocation at London, 1562, and received by the Convocation at Dublin, 1634, to be in any part superstitious, or such as may not with a good conscience be received and allowed, shall be excommunicated and not restored but only by the Archbishop.� Pref. to Vol. III of �MS. Book of Common Prayer for Ireland,� E. H. S., CXVI. The note of Strafford is remarkable as indicating some defect in the authority of the Articles of 1615: �It would be considered here whether these Articles of Dublin, 1615, agree substantially with those of London, or confirmed, equally by the King�s authority: else I see no reason of establishing them under one penalty.�]
[**It is well observed by a writer in the �Irish Ecclesiastical Journal� for June, 1850, that notwithstanding the strength of feeling at this period, in Ireland as elsewhere, against every thing �Genevan,� the Dublin Articles of 1615 were unnoticed by the Convocation (from 1661 to 1665;) which is a strong proof that they were considered as no longer possessed of the slightest authority or obligation.]
Chapter IX � The Synod of Dort and the Royal Declaration.
After the failure of the vehement effort to fasten the Lambeth Articles on the Church of England, the zeal which had prompted their compilation appears to have gradually subsided. The Calvinistic party now found themselves every where confronted by a host of formidable opponents,* while many of their own champions had fallen back into silence and neutrality, or had altogether left their ranks.** Some, it is true, including men the most highly gifted of their times, continued to combine their acquiescence in the more rigorous of the Genevan doctrines with a pure and unflinching attachment to the Formularies of the Church; but, generally speaking, the extreme or supra-lapsarian Calvinist took the side of the disciplinary �Precisians,� whose horror of �the cap, the tippet, and the surplice� had driven them, under the guidance of Cartwright, to a more congenial platform. [The first �conventicle� was organized in 1568. Mr.Haweis� Sketches, 189.]
[*See Bp. Young�s remark at the time of Laud�s ordination, in Le Bas, Life of Laud, 6. The following order of the King to the Universities in 1616, conduced to the same result: �That young students in divinity be directed to study such books as be most agreeable in doctrine and discipline to the Church of England, and incited to bestow their time on the Fathers and Councils, schoolmen, histories, and controversies, and not to insist so long upon compendiums and abbreviatures, making them the grounds of their divinity.� Wilkins, IV. 459.
[**e. g. Dr. Thomas Jackson, of whom Prynne says that he �disgraced his mother the university of Oxford, who grieved for his defection.� Works, I. xi. Oxf. 1844. Hales of Eton abandoned his former opinions with the observation that he �bade John Calvin good night.� Faringdon�s Letter, prefixed to �Golden Remains.� Lond. 1659. See also Bp. Sanderson�s remarkable statement of the change of his own mind on this subject. Hammond�s Works, I. 669, fol. ed.]
Yet the most cursory perusal of the Jacobean literature will convince us how large and acrimonious was the party, both within and without the Church, who persisted in preaching the �Divine decrees� as the sum and substance of the Gospel. Shrinking (as many of them did) from the logical consequences of their system, or, in other words, taking shelter in the sub-lapsarian hypothesis, by which the hardness of the older teaching was considerably softened, they still deemed it a part of their sacred duty to denounce the slightest divergence from their ground as Pelagian and even Popish.* To question the inamissibility of grace, to assert the universality of redemption, to claim any freedom of choice for man as the surviving element of his moral constitution, � suspending his final acceptance on the fruitfulness of his faith, or his use of the talents with which he was entrusted, would infallibly tend to implicate the preacher in long and angry disputations: it was treason against the majesty of Calvin, and a virtual renunciation of the Gospel.
[*The Vice-chancellor of Oxford (Dr. Robert Abbott) in a Sermon before the University, 1614, made the following onslaught upon Laud, who was then rising into eminence: �Might not Christ say, what art thou? Romish or English, Papist or Protestant? Or what art thou? A mongrel, or compound of both? A protestant by ordination, a Papist in point of Free-will, inherent righteousness and the like?� Le Bas, Life of Laud, 25. Carleton, in like manner, denounces Montague as �running with the Arminians into the depths of Pelagius his poysoned doctrine,� and when the �Appellant� declares that he has read nothing of the Arminians and utterly repudiates Pelagius, the only answer he obtains from his stern �Examiner,� is this: �It seemeth that you are an excellent scholler, that can learne your lesson so perfectly without instructors.� Examination of those things wherein the Author of the late Appeale holdeth the doctrines of the Pelagians and Arminians, to be the doctrines of the Church of England, 19, 20: 2nd ed.]
But warm as might be the agitation rising out of domestic causes, it was still further exasperated and inflamed by the growth of a controversy upon the same questions in the republic of the Low Countries. Our own Church, as Bp. Hall expressed it, began to sicken of the �Belgic disease,� or the �five busy Articles,� [�Men, brethren, fathers, help. Who sees not a dangerous fire kindling in our Church, by these five fatal brands? which, if they be not speedily quenched, threatens a furious eruption, and shall too late die in our ashes.� Bp. Hall, Via Media, Works, X. 479. Oxf. 1837.] and the preachers to indulge in pathetic warnings against the �poison� of Arminius. The leader of this formidable attack upon the popular theology was a professor in the university of Leyden, who is said to have abandoned his Calvinistic tenets after reading a production of Perkins, one of the English supra-lapsarians. [William Perkins, Armilla Aurea (see above.) The animadversions of Arminius are entitled �Examen Praedestinationis Perkinsianae.�] Appalled, it would seem, by the principles enunciated in that work without the slightest mitigation or reserve, he resorted to the theory of the Divine decrees which had been first adopted by St. Ambrose, [See Mosheim, II. 93, and the �Confcssio sententiae Pastorum, qui in foederato Belgio Remonstrantes vocantur,� 31. Herdewic. 1622.] regarding it as the best clue for escaping from the subject in which he was entangled, and urging it as the one intelligible way of vindicating the grace of the Almighty, and the freedom of His fallen creatures.
The date of this change in the teaching of Arminius was 1604, and as we might have expected from the age, to which his conclusions were addressed, he was immediately the object of unsparing castigation. Nor did his death in October of 1609, put an end to the animated strife which he had thus been the instrument of raising. On the contrary, it spread rapidly on all sides, and threatened to absorb into the Arminian party the learning and intelligence of Holland. Among the rest who contributed to extend it more especially were Episcopius and Uytenbogaert, [Guerike, Kircheng. II. 519.] the one by the agency of the press, the other of the pulpit. They were aided also by the countenance of Grotius and of Olden-Barneveld (the land-syndicus of Holland:) but the cooperation of these eminent statesmen had eventually the effect of associating the principles of Arminius with a large political combination who were bent on resisting the authority, which the revolution had conferred on the leading House of Orange. On this account, while some of the provincial states were the ardent patrons of the sect, it had to encounter the hostility of Prince Maurice, and the rest of the Dutch republic. [Miller, Philosophy of Hist. III. 192, 193, 3rd ed.]
In order to avert the indignation of the party who were thus wielding the civil sword, and threatening to use it in behalf of the Calvinistic dogmas, the school which had accepted the teaching of Arminius resolved to present a declaration of their tenets, at a general assembly of States, in 1610. This document was due to Episcopius and his colleague, and the title which it bore (the Remonstrance) has suggested the future appellation of the sect. It consisted of five Articles, [See Acta Synod. Dordrecht. ParIII. ed. 1620, for the Articles and also for the Judgments of the Divines upon each thesis in succession.] touching predestination, the extent of Christ�s death, man�s free will and corruption, the manner of our conversion to God, and the perseverance of the saints; but so far from conciliating its opponents, either political or religious, it led, after a stormy interval of eight years,* to the calling of the Synod of Dort.
[*During this interval (1611) a public disputation had taken place at the Hague between the Remonstrants and the Contra-Remonstrants, but no concession having been made by either party and the toleration of the Prince of Orange being exhausted, he imprisoned Grotius and Olden-Barneveld. Collier, II. 716. Tho latter was afterward beheaded, in 1619. Guerike, II. 521.]
The grand object of this meeting was the condemnation* of the tenets embraced in the �Remonstrance�, so that the cause of the Arminians was in fact decided before it was at all examined. Towards the end of November, 1618, sixty-one [Kerroux, Abr�g� de Hist. de la Hollande, II. 500, 501, (quoted by Miller), makes the number sixty-four.] of the Dutch divines, comprising thirty-six ministers, five professors, and twenty elders, had assembled at the town of Dort to welcome the arrival of twenty-eight foreign coadjutors, who had been invited to the synod from various European States, for the purpose of lending additional weight to its conclusions, but without the power of exercising any vote in the determination of the schism.
[*It has even been alleged that an oath was taken by the delegates, to proceed in this arbitrary manner, but Fuller has shown satisfactorily with regard to the English divines at least, that no such obligation was imposed. Church Hist. Book XI. Sect. II. �� 14, 15. In fact, the foreign deputies had no votes, and therefore might not be called upon to take the oath administered to the others.]
Among the rest who contributed to the respectability of the proceedings was James I of England; whose motives in thus furthering the triumphs of Geneva have given rise to a number of conjectures. The bitterness which he had shown in opposing the doctrine [See Dr. Cardwell�s Hist. of Conf. 180, seqq.] as well as the discipline of the Non-Conformists at the Hampton-Court Conference of 1604, and the patronage which he afterwards lavished upon Montague* and the sturdiest adversaries of Calvin, would imply that his own leanings were not in the direction of the principles so fearlessly asserted at this synod: and yet his denunciation of Vorstius [Heylin, Hist. Quinqu-Artic. Part III. ch. XXII. � 8.] who had suceeded to the theological chair of Leyden, include the very strongest censure of Arminius and some of the principles of his school. It is probable that the reasons by which James had been swayed in acceding to the wishes of the Belgic states, were partly theological and partly political. The reprehensible speculation of Vorstius [He had seemed to call in question the absolute perfections of the Divine attributes. Ibid.] had led him to infer that Arminius, the favourite of the same body, was similarly tainted by heretical notions; or at least that his teaching had some kind of tendency to unworthy ideas of the Divine Being: while on the other hand, the intimate friendship subsisting between James and the Prince of Orange impelled him to assist in the depression of a party, who, by the admixture of the political elements to which we have before adverted, had become in a great degree identified with the opposition to that house.
[*The famous �Appello Caesarem,� (1624) was aproved by James, and immediately licensed with the declaration �that there was nothing contained in it but what was agreeable to the public faith, doctrine and discipline established in the Church of England.�]
But in what way soever the English monarch was incited, whether by the strength of these causes, or of others which have been suggested by different writers, [Collier, II. 716.] he answered the earnest solicitations of the States by sending a private deputation* of divines to the national synod of Dort. These were George Carleton, bishop of Llandaff, afterwards of Chichester; Joseph Hall, at that time dean of Worcester, and afterwards the distinguished bishop of Exeter and Norwich; John Davenant, Margaret Professor at Cambridge, and afterwards bishop of Salisbury; and Samuel Ward, Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and archdeacon of Taunton. [They were joined in the following month by Walter Balcanqual, a Scotchman, who was also the bearer of credentials from King James. Collier, II. 717. Hales�s Letters from the Synod of Dort, 44, ed. 1659.] With the exception of Carleton, who was always reputed a most rigid Calvinist, these divines may be classed with the more moderate of the party who opposed the system of Arminius, and with respect to the benefits of infant baptism, or the actual reception of grace by many, who did not afterwards persevere,** the opinions of Ward and Davenant had been drawn exclusively from Hippo, in contradistinction to Geneva. They were on this account well fitted to carry out the intention of the King by advocating those principles in the synod, which might �tend to the mitigation of the heat on both sides,� and dissuade the Contraremonstrants in particular from �delivering in the pulpit to the people those things for ordinary doctrines which are the highest points of schools.� [See the Royal Instruction, in Collier, II. 716.] It is moreover asserted that the King instructed them to lay special emphasis upon the doctrine of universal redemption, � a tenet which �pursued in its just consequences is sufficient to overthrow the whole Calvinian system of the five points.�***
[*�Whatever this synod may signify in some place we have nothing to do with it. The English that appeared there were no ether than four court-divines: their commission and instruction were only from the King ... they had no delegation from the bishops and by consequences were no representatives of the British Church.� Ibid. 718.]
[**Dr. Ward in writing to Archbp. Ussher, (May 25, 1630), asserts that the efficacy of baptism in infants had been discussed by Davenant and himself at Dort, when they signified their judgment that the case of infants was not appertaining to the question of Perseverance. Ussher�s Works, XV. 504. ed. Elrington. See also Ward�s �Determinationes Theologicae,� 44 seqq. Lond. 1658, and Bedford�s �Vindiciae Gratiae Sacramentalis,� to which a Letter of Davenant is prefixed relating to the same question. These works together with Ward�s �Vindication,� which Ussher, his bosom friend, published after his death, demonstrate that a belief in the regeneration of all infants (as distinguished from their final perseverance) was deemed in no way incompatible with the strongest denial of the Arminian theory of decrees. See below, note, and compare Ussher�s Works, XV. 505�520.]
[***Dr. Waterland, Works, II. 348. Oxf. 1843. This question was first handled by Balcanqual, the Scotch deputy of King James, (Hales, Letters, 74), and from his own correspondence (Ibid. 2) we learn that Davenant and Ward agreed in maintaining that �Christ died for all particular men�, while Carleton and Goade persisted in the belief that He died �only for the elect, who consists of all sorts of men.� The Calvinistic limitation prevailed for a while (Ibid. 4); but the following extract from a subsequent letter of the same divine, April 4/14, implies that the English theologians had afterwards returned to the question; �The deputies appointed by the synod have taken pains, I must needs confess, to give our Colledge all satisfaction; besides the second Article [on the extent of Christ�s death], some of our Colledge have been earnest to have this proposition out: �Infideles damnabunter non solum ob infidelitatem, sed etiam ob omnia alia peccata sua tam originale quam actualia�; because they say that from thence may be inferred that original sin is not remitted to all who are baptized, which opinion hath been by more than one councel condemned as heretical: They have, therefore, at their request put it out,� 34: cf. Sententia Theologorum Magnae Britanniae de Articulo secundo, Acta Synod. Dordrecht. Part II. 100�106.]
On the arrival of the deputies at Dort the business of the meeting was begun, though the representatives of Arminianism did not arrive till the fourth of the following month. [John Hales, who was an eye-witness of the proceedings for three months, writes (Dee. 6, 1618, stylo novo) �The armies have been in sight one of another and have had some parley.� Letters, 23.] The president, elected at the outset, was Bogermann, one of the sternest of the Contra-remonstrant party, who had openly stated his opinion that all who refused the Calvinistic dogmas should be punished by the civil sword. [He had before this time translated into Dutch the notorious Treatise of Beza, �De Haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis.�] The assessors and secretaries who were appointed at his wish, had been trained in the same rigid school, so that when Episcopius and his party saluted the synod at the meeting of December the 7th, it was not difficult to foresee that the cause which they expressed themselves willing to defend, had been virtually predetermined. If any doubts existed on this point, they were dispelled by a circumstance which happened on the morrow; for two of the Arminian deputies from Utrecht, who had taken their places with the other members of the synod, were now ordered to renounce that character, and to associate in future with the thirteen others who had been formally cited [Hales, ubi sup. 26. seqq. A third deputy from Utrecht, �professed to submit himself to the judgment of the synod, if they shall decide according to his conscience,� 33.] as delinquents. In vain did Episcopius urge them to discuss the controverted questions publicly and seriatim: his appeal to �the Scriptures and to solid reason,�* was met by a demand of the president for unquestioning submission to the terms imposed by himself and the synod, and when the Remonstrants with an air of defiance protested against an authority which they deemed imperious and unjust, they were eventually dismissed the assembly, deprived of their ecclesiastical appointments, and banished out of the territory of the Dutch republic. How sad must have been the feelings which this spectacle excited in the breast of the future Bp. Hall! He did not however stay to see the end of the proceedings,** for the failure of his health induced him to solicit a recall from his royal master, and his place was very speedily supplied by Dr. Thomas Goade, who had distinguished himself as one of the prosecutors of Barrett more than twenty years before. Time had in some measure softened the acerbity of his spirit, and it is satisfactory to observe that throughout the whole course of the discussions, from the opening of the synod to its close, the conduct of the English theologians, more especially of Davenant and Ward, was always on the side of Christian moderation, as well as of Christian truth. When they finally returned to their own country [Balcanqual�s last letter is dated �25 of April stylo loci.� The Synod itself closed May 9, 1619, with the 154th Session. Guerike, II. 522.] in April 1619, they left a salutary admonition in the ears of their over-zealous colleagues: �If questions happen to arise which the reformed Churches have not hitherto decided, and if they are discussed by learned and holy men without any detriment to the faith, it is not seemly in grave and moderate divines to obtrude upon all others their own way of thinking. In such a case all is well, provided only the diversity of opinions break not the bond of peace among the clergy, nor be the means of disseminating faction. We suggest, moreover, that of those things which are established on the sure foundation of the Word of God, there are some, which ought not to be promiscuously inculcated upon all, but touched in the proper time and place with tenderness and judgment. One of them is the sublime mystery of predestination, sweet indeed and most full of comfort, but to them who are rooted in the faith, and exercised in holy living; for to such only will it prove an unfailing bulwark in the midst of the grievous struggles of the conscience. But truly when the imprudence of certain preachers exposes this profound inquiry to men who have not learned as they aught the first principles of religion, and whose mind is still rioting in carnal affections, it follows as the necessary consequence that while they dispute on the mysteries of predestination, they are abandoning the salutary Gospel, and while they dream of nothing else but predestination unto life, they enter not on the way everlasting as it is marked out for the predestined. Still greater need of caution is there in approaching the mystery of reprobation, not only that it may be handled sparingly and prudently, but also that in the expounding of it the horrible and unscriptural opinions be avoided which lead rather to desperation than to the edification of the people, and which are now one of the most grievous scandals in some of the reformed Churches. Finally, let us so think of the most precious merit of Christ�s death that we spurn not the opinions of the Early Church, nor the Confessions of the Reformed Communions, and what is of the highest moment, that we never weaken the promises of the Gospel universally propounded in the Church.� [Suffragium Collegiale Synodo Dordrecht, 103, 104, Lond. 1626.]
[*Ibid. 39. It was conceded by the synod that the Remonstrants might propose their doubts both in the question of election and of reprobation, but must not venture to make any suggestion as to the best mode of proceeding, 47. �An absolute liberty of going as far as they list in oppugning before the synod what opinions they pleased of learned men, this was thought unfit,� 48, 52.]
[**He had preached in the 16th Session of the Synod (Nov. 29) what Hales described (p. 10) as �a polite and pathetical Latine sermon,� urging among other means of reconciliation a full discussion of Rom. ix. by the two contending parties: �Agite ergo, vizi judices, si me auditis, jubete, ut pars utraque litigantium, breven, claram, apertamque sine fuco sine ambagibus, illius loci paraphrasin, sancta Synodo, fraterna manu, exhibeat.� Acta Synodi Dordrecht. 46.]
It would have been well for our own country, as for others, if the controversialists had hearkened to this sober counsel, and instead of pursuing their speculations on the nature of the Divine decrees, had turned to that aspect of religion immediately bearing upon man. But in spite of the earnest efforts of a small conciliatory band, the return of the deputies from Dort was the signal for a still deeper agitation of the topics there disputed. �Already do we see the sky blacken,� was the language of Bishop Hall, [Dedication of the �Via Media.�] (himself one of the few mediators;) �we hear the winds whistle hollow afar off, and feel all the presages of a tempest, which the late example of our neighbours bid us fear.� A growing school of the English theologians had warmly espoused the tenets of Arminius, and gave vent to their unmeasured condemnation of the synod in which his system was proscribed; the rest were even louder in their praises of the Calvinistic party, and though happily restrained from the deeds of bloodshed which had accompanied the suppression of the Dutch Remonstrants, it is impossible to exaggerate the ferocity of the zeal which they now breathed in every quarter.
The pulpits of the rural district, as well as of the town, were propagating the perturbation of which the Universities were the centre. Every where, some or other of the �Five Points� was the text of the fiery preacher, and if he chanced to hold the Calvinistic theory, which was very frequently the case, he stirred up the strongest passions of his audience by associating the system of Arminius with the hated Babylonish harlot;* while the press, vying with the pulpit, was inundating the country with a host of publications, which for the coarseness of their tone and the rancour of their spirit are unrivalled even among the sickening annals of the Quinquarticular disputations.
[*The house of Commons, who made their religious discontent a plea for political agitations, were manifesting the same spirit. The following specimen occurs in their remonstrance against the Duke of Buckingham: �And as our fear concerning change of subversion of religion is grounded upon the daily increase of papists ... so are the hearts of your good subjects no less perplexed, when with sorrow they behold a daily growth and spreading of the faction of the Arminians, that being, as your majesty well knows, but a cunning way to bring in popery, and the professors of those opinions, the common disturbers of the protestant churches, and incendiaries in those states wherein they have gotten any head, being protestants in show, but Jesuites in opinion,� &c. Rushworth, Hist. Collect. I. 621, Loud. 1682.]
The zeal and vehemence, or, we might almost add, the frenzy, with which these questions were now handled, appear to have at length satisfied the King that his sanction of the recent synod had been the means of calling up a power which, if not speedily allayed, might embody itself in some political agitation, and shake him from his throne. His next step, therefore, was an effort to restrain the contending parties, and with the versatility which may be traced in all his public conduct, he wrote a letter to archbishop Abbot (August 4, 1622), deploring the abuses and extravagances of the pulpit, and charging him to circulate a number of �Directions concerning Preachers� among all the clergy of his province. One of these, which was obviously intended as a curb on the rampant disputations, was couched in the following terms: �That no preacher of what title soever, under the degree of a bishop, or dean at least, do from henceforth presume to preach in any popular auditory the deep points of predestination, election, reprobation, or the universality, efficacy, resistibility or irresistibility of God�s grace; but leave those themes to be handled by learned men, and that moderately and modestly, by way of use and application, rather than by way of positive dactrine, as being fitter for the schools and universities than for simple auditories.� [Wilkins, IV. 465. In the January following, Gabriel Bridges of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was prosecuted under this order for preaching against the theory of irrespective predestination. Heylin, Histor. Quinqu-Art. Part III. ch. XXII. � 10.]
But notwithstanding the vigilance of the ecclesiastical authorities, who were now as weary as King James of the fruitless [Almost the only fruit of it was a daily defection from the Church to popery, anabaptism, or other points of separation in some parts of this kingdom. Abbot�s Letter explaining the above doctrines, Wilkins, 466.] agitation, and grieved at the spread of �indecent railing,� the royal order, in many districts of the island, was continually forgotten, or ignored. When Charles I succeeded to the throne in 1625, he found the Church of England labouring under the evils which had grown up in the previous reign, spent by unedifying contests, and torn by the factions which were fostered every day by the virulence of party spirit. He therefore betook himself in earnest to the remedies which had been suggested by his father, and with the help of Laud and some other bishops, [Their object might be in some measure to deliver Montague from his numberless assailants, among the rest from the House of Commons, who had established a Committee of Religion, and undertaken the censorship of the theological press. See Le Bas, Life of Laud, 87, 88.] drew up the memorable Proclamation of 1626. He began by deploring the prevalence of dissensions, and �the sharp and indiscreet handling of some of either party,� on the ground that they had �given much offence to the sober and well-grounded readers, and raised some hopes in the Roman Catholics that by degrees the professors of our religion may be drawn, first to schism, and afterwards to plain popery.� He then signified his disapprobation of all those who, from motives of a different kind, adventured to innovate on the existing usage of the realm, avowing his determination to visit the clergy, whoever they might be, with a severe penalty, if they should raise, publish, or maintain opinions not clearly warranted by the doctrine and discipline of the Church. [Rushworth, I. 412.]
In the Universities and market-towns where this edict was immediately put in circulation, it seems to have had the desired effect of silencing the more boisterous polemics, but a number of the unquiet spirits in remoter parts of England, identifying the �Institutions� of Calvin with the revelations of the holy Bible, were not slow in perceiving that by such a measure their craft was seriously endangered, and their agitations at an end. The mutters of discontent were not long in reaching the ears of Laud, and it was to check the further outbreaks of their zeal, and if possible to guard against the civil commotions which they were soon to be the means of precipitating into the depths of the Great Rebellion,* that the King was now advised to order a reprint of the Thirty-Nine Articles, and to insist with still greater force on the execution of his recent edict. The document, which rose out of this conference with the bishops,** and which has since kept its place in front of our Articles, under the title of �His Majesty�s Declaration,� made its appearance in 1628.
[*Many of the divines at that period foresaw the inevitable tendency of the Genevan teaching. In a letter to the Duke of Buckingham in 1625 from three of the Bishops, it is affirmed �that they cannot conceive what use there can be of civil government in the commonwealth, or of preaching and external ministry in the Church, if such fatal opinions, as some which are opposite and contrary to those delivered by Mr. Mountague shall be publickly taught and maintained.� And a yet stronger affirmation of this truth may be seen in a letter of Dr. Brooks, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Dec. 15, 1630. Heylin�s Hist. Quinqu-Art. Part II. ch. VI. � 10.]
[**Prynne, in his Canterburie�s Doome, has the following observation, after charging archbishop Laud with the intention of establishing Arminianism in England: �To which end he procured his Majesty by a printed declaration prefixed to the Thirty-nine Articles, compiled by himself and other bishops, of which the most part were Arminians,� 160: cf. Rushworth, I. 653. That Laud was in reality actuated by �moderate counsels� and an earnest desire for peace is proved by his private correspondence. Le Bas, Life, 128, 129.]
After reminding the people that he was the supreme Governor of the Church, and as such desirous of repressing unnecessary disputations, he proceeds, with the advice of his bishops, to declare that the Articles of Religion contain true doctrine, and to confirm them by his royal approbation. He then states, in the two following clauses, that differences on the external polity of the Church should be settled by the clergy assembled in Convocation,* and that from the decisions of this body he will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree. On approaching the dissensions which had �been ill raised� among the clergy, he expressed his satisfaction that all of them had cordially subscribed the Articles established, and that even in �those curious points in which the present differences lie,� the disputants were on both sides not unwilling to carry their appeals to that common standard. In respect, therefore, of the questions rising out of the Quinquarticular controversy, he ended by the following order: � We will that all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God�s promises, as they be generally set forth to us in the holy Scriptures, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print or preach to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.� [Wilkins, IV. 475. On Dec. 30, 1639, the king published instructions for causing the contents of the Declaration to be put in execution and punctually observed for the time to come. Heylin, ubi sup. Part III. ch. xxii. � 12.]
[*This clause aroused the special indignation of the puritan, Sir John Elliott: �And now to the particular in the declaration, we see what is said of popery and Arminianism; our faith and religion is in danger by it, for like an inundation it doth break in at once upon us. It is said, If there be any difference of opinion concerning the reasonable interpretation of the Thirty-nine Articles, the bishops and clergy in the convocation have power to dispute it, and to order which way they please, and for aught I know, popery and Arminianism may be introduced by them, and then it must be received by all.� Rushworth, I. 649.
It was not easy to conceive a more sober document than the one above recited, for the clergy were simply required to perform a most obvious duty in abstaining from all attempts to torture the Articles of Religion into non-natural acceptations; yet so crooked was the age to whom this order was addressed, that it served only to embitter and inflame the passions it was anxiously striving to appease.* A large body of the Calvinistic clergy in and about London lost no time in preparing a petition to tho King in which they deprecated the restraints he had imposed upon �the saving doctrines of God�s free grace in election and perseverance.� They alleged that the Declaration had placed them in a most painful dilemma, for that they must henceforward incur the displeasure of the King if they attacked �the Pelagian and Arminian heresies,� or, on the other hand, must provoke a still heavier indignation by neglecting to make known the whole counsel of God. [Collier, II. 746, 747.] In the House of Commons also, where the puritanical party was now predominant, and where it was solemnly averred that the suppression of �Popery and Arminianism� was the very foremost duty, [Rushworth, I. 652.] a debate** on the royal Declaration had resulted in the following vow: �We the Commons in parliament assembled do claim, protest and avow for truth, the sense of the Articles of Religion which were established by parliament in the thirteenth year of our late Queen Elizabeth, which by the publick act of the Church of England, and by the general and currant expositions of the writers of our Church, have been delivered unto us. And we reject the sense of the Jesuits and Arminian, and all others, wherein they differ from us.�
[*The following passage from a �Declaration� of the king on the dissolution of parliament (March 10, 1628,) is a strong proof of his personal earnestness in this matter: �Having taken a strict and exact survey of our government, both in the Church and commonwealth, and what things were most fit and necessary to bo reformed, We found, in the first place, that much exception had been taken at a book, entitled Appello Caesarem, or An Appeal to Caesar, and published in the year 1625, by Richard Montague, then bachelor of Divinity, and now Bishop of Chichester; and because it did open the way to those schisms and divisions, which have since ensued in the Church, We did, for remedy and redress thereof, and for the satisfaction of the consciences of our good people, not only by our publick proclamation, call in that book, which ministered matter of offence; but to prevent the like danger for hereafter, reprinted the Articles of Religion, established in the time of Queen Elizabeth, of famous memory; and by a Declaration before those Articles, We did tie and restrain all opinions to the sense of those Articles, that nothing might be left to fancies and invocations (? innovations.) For we call God to record, before whom we stand, that it is, and always hath been our heart�s desire, to be found worthy, of that title, which we account the most glorious in all our crown, Defender of the Faith.� Rushworth, I. App. p. 4.]
[**The speeches of Rous and Prynne are full of the most vehement denunciations of Arminianism. Ibid. 645, 647. The latter asserts it to be the duty of a parliament to establish true religion and to punish false, declaring its superiority above the Convocation of Canterbury, which is but provincial, and cannot bind the whole kingdom, and adding, with respect to York, that �it is distant and cannot do any thing to bind us or the laws.� Ibid. 649, 650.]
How fatal these protestations are to the plea that the Articles were manifestly framed on the Calvinistic hypothesis, it is almost needless to remark; for as the royal Declaration did no more than restrict the teaching of the clergy to a plain and literal interpretation of that Forniulary, the outcry which was now raised against a principle so clear was the fullest admission of the ground which Montague and the rest had taken, when they urged that the �Calvinism� of the Articles can be proved by none of the laws which have ordinarily obtained in the construction of legal or of other documents. [See the remarks of Dr. Waterland on this subject, Works, II. 350.]
Chapter X � Objections to the Articles at Different Periods
The earliest example of antipathy to the Articles of 1562 was the result of the numerous scruples which began to be urged in the reign of Elizabeth, touching the rites and ceremonies of the Church. Though some of the Puritans were able to reconcile their rejection of �the defiled robes of Antichrist� with the acceptance of the thirty-fourth article on ecclesiastical �Traditions,� [See above, ch. V. Some, however, more consistently objected to the Article in question, and as early as the Convocation of 1562, proposed that the censure of those who disconform may be softened, and let down to a gentler dislike. Collier, II. 486.] it was felt by the majority as a harsh and unwarranted restriction, which they might piously struggle to remove. Accordingly the bill �for ministers of the Church to be of sound religion,� which passed in 1571, was so ambiguously worded by its promoters in the House of Commons as to relieve some of the puritanical clergy (at least in their own opinion) from the necessity of subscribing to any other [Neal, Hist. of the Puritans, I. 267, 268, Lond. 1732; Blackburne, Works, V. 23, Camb. 1804, and below. The Parliament of 1610 urged this distinction on behalf of the Puritans. Neal, II. 83.] Articles, except those �which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments.�
Yet even this apparent relaxation did not conciliate the licentiousness of party spirit which was now diffusing itself on all sides among the mass of the English people. The �Admonitions to the Parliament� in 1572 were bold and acrimonious manifestations of the same growing discontent. Stimulated by an epistle from Beza, which is appended to the first �Admonition,� the Non-conformists began to insist more impatiently than ever upon �purity of discipline,� understanding, in the first instance, the subversion of the hierarchy, which was regarded as the �cheefe cause of backwardnesse, and of all breache and distention.� [�To the godly readers,� A.] But their zeal was not suffered to expire in its denunciation of the bishops, and of �antichristian rites.� �Remoue Homylies, Articles, Inunciations,� was the undiscriminating clamour of the selfsame faction, �and that prescripte Order of seruce made out of the masse-booke.� [Ibid. A. iiij.]
Some writers, indeed, have contended that the Puritans while agitating for �their conceived discipline, never moved any quarrel against the doctrine of our Church;� [Bp. Carleton, Examination (of Montague�s Appeal,) 8, 121. Lond. 1626.] but nothing can be more certain than that the authors of the two Admonitions to Parliament took a very different ground, affirming, with as much of sagacity as of malice, that �the righte gouernment of the Church cannot be separated from the doctrine.� [First Admonition, C.] They positively argued that in addition to its ritual deformities, the Prayer Book was �full of corruptions,� [Ibid. B. vii.] that in the Ordinal there was at least one paragraph which they never hesitated to condemn as �manifest blasphemy;� and for this very reason some of them had refused to subscribe in the course of the previous year, when summoned before the high Commissioners. It is true that the Articles of Religion, excepting so far as they involved an approval of the other Formularies of the Church, appear to have been in a less degree obnoxious to the Nonconformists in the reign of Elizabeth. They were sometimes not unwilling to avow, [See the passage at length and remarks upon it in Whitgift�s �Answere to a certen Libell instituted, �An Admonition to the Parliament,�� Lond. 1573, 298, 299.] �For the Articles concerning the substance of doctrine, using a godly interpretation in a poynte or two, which are eyther too sparely or else too darkely set downe, we were and are ready, according to duetie, to subscribe vnto them.� But the reverse accompanying this statement may not unreasonably excite our suspicion, that even with respect to the particular document thus arbitrarily chosen for approval, the Puritans had secret misgivings, lest here also they should �be stoong with the tayle of Antichristian infection.� And on turning to other portions of the same manifestos, there is satisfactory proof that such scruples existed in the authors of the second Admonition. After a severe invective on episcopacy for its persecuting and intolerant spirit, they proceed to enumerate additional grievances equally needing reformation: �I praye you are they not starke naught, yea, and so are diuers of them, not onely for their bribing and corruption, and their arrogancie, their tyrannie, but for flat heresie in the sacrament, and some bee suspected of the heresy of Pelagius. For the first, that is, concerning the sacrament, the bishops are notoriously knowne which erre in it, and for free-will not only they are suspected, but others also. And indeede the booke of the Articles of Christian religion speaketh very daungerously of falling from grace, which is to be reformed, bicause it too muche enclineth to their erroure.� [Second Admonition to the Parliament, A. D. 1572, 43.]
The disaffection implied in language of this kind went on gradually deepening its hold upon the people in proportion as the principles imported from Geneva were more and more consciously developed. In 1587, appeared �A defence of the Government established in the Church of England by John Bridges, deane of Sarum,� who is occupied in vindicating the Articles no less, than the other Formularies of Faith from the same unquiet spirits. They had ventured to �speake against diuers grosse and palpable errors that had escaped the bishops,� in the compilation of the Book of Articles; [1301, 1302, Lond. 1587.] alleging, it would seem, by way of example [Ibid. 1302.] a few of the more obnoxious. The first related to the distinction which is drawn in the sixth Article between the Canonical and Apocryphal books, but the cause of their vehement dislike is only matter for conjecture. [Bridges says, after guessing for some time, 1304�1308, that he can neither see nor feel �the gross and palpable errors.�] The second ground of animadversion is the same as we have before noted in the �Admonitions to the Parliament.� The Puritans argued that the clause of the sixteenth Article which assumed the defectibility of grace was susceptible of an heretical interpretation, if not positively false. [Ibid. 1308.] They looked upon the terms �justified� and �elect� as altogether interchangeable, while Bridges who answered their cavils took up a very different position, maintaining that �diuers graces of the Holy Ghost may bee geuen to those that are not elected,� [Ibid. 1310.] and consequently that the statement of the Article is in no way at variance with the view of predestination, as held by himself and others of the Augustinian school. A third and more sweeping objection assailed the whole body of the Articles, as the fruit of prelatical or popish domination. According to the Puritanical scheme, they ought to have been severally proved by a number of scriptural texts, whereas now �they must be accepted of all men, without either reason or testimonie of the Scripture, and no man permitted to shew anye reason or scripture, that inforceth his consceience to the contrary, but onely to hang vppon the authority of bishops.� [Ibid. 1314.]
It may seem unfair to associate the growth of this ecclesiastical democracy with the more purely theological movement which agitated the. University of Cambridge in 1595: for the Nonconformists who had enlisted under the banner of Cartwright, were loud in denouncing the ritual and hierarChy, which Whitaker and others, who took part in the compilation of the Lambeth Articles, had most cordially accepted. And the same is unquestionably true of Ussher and of the members of the Dublin Convocation, who afterwards embodied those articles into their own national creed, and bound them, in some sort at least, upon the conscience of the Irish clergy. Yet, on the other hand, it cannot be concealed that in these and all similar attempts to impart a distinctly Genevan tone to some of our speculative theology, there is betrayed a certain amount of misgiving on the part of their promoters as to the insufficiency of the present Articles of faith for establishing their cherished notions. Whitaker, as we have seen, [See above.] admitted that the p,oints which he condemned in the teaching of Barrett �were, not concluded and defined by public authority,� and a like feeling must have actuated the Irish prelates in departing so far from the English standard, where it seems to fall short of the system of Calvin. Nor is this mode of explaining their conduct to be viewed as a mere conjecture. The wavering voice of the Articles was deliberately confessed at the Hampton-Court Conference in 1603/4, when the Puritans prayed by their representative Reynolds, himself the unhesitating champion of Geneva, that �the nine assertions orthodoxal, concluded upon at Lambeth; might be inserted into the Book of Articles,� [Dr. Cardwell, Hist. of Conferences, 178, Oxf. 1841.] � a motion which was however strenuously refused on the ground that when such questions might chance to be disputed in the schools, it was desirable to determine them in those seats of learning, and �not to stuff the Book with all conclusions theological.� [Ibid. 185.]
It is indeed very observable that the Non-conformists were still complaining with the greatest warmth �of the errors and imperfections of the Church, as well in matter of doctrine as of discipline,� [Ibid. 225.] and at the Conference which had been summoned with a view to moderate their scruples, it was specified among the list of grievances submitted by Dr. Reynolds, that �the Book of Articles of Religion, concluded in 1562, might be explained in places obscure, and enlarged where some things were defective. For example, whereas in Article XVI the words are these; After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace; notwithstanding the meaning be sound, yet he desired, that, because they may seem to be contrary to the doctrine of God�s predestination and election in the seventeenth Article, both these words might be explained with this or the like addition; yet neither totally nor finally.� [Ibid. 178. The same deepening objection to the Articles is seen in an �Apology of the Lincolnshire Ministers� in 1604, (Neal II. 55), who affirmed that the Book of Articles as well as of Common-Prayer, � contained sundry things which are not agreeable, but contrary to the Word of God.�] In the answer of Bp. Bancroft, which is of some historical importance, it was stated that �very many in these daies, neglecting holinesse of life, presumed too much of persisting of grace, laying all their religion upon predestination. If I shall be saved, I shall be saved; which he termed a desperate doctrine, showing it to be contrary to good divinity, and the true doctrine of predestination, wherein we should reason rather ascendendo than desecndendo.� He then pointed to the teaching of the Church of England in the final clause of Art. XVII, admonishing us to receive God�s promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture.*
[*Ibid. 180, 181. Overall (dean of St. Paul�s) entered into the same question (186), reaffirming a statement he had made during the discussion of the Lambeth Articles, to the effect that �whosoever (although before justified) did commit any grievous sin did become, ipso facto, subject to God�s wrath, and guilty of damnation until they repented.� His opponents, who adopted the rigorously Calvinistic tenet, had maintained the absolute indefectibility of grace, believing that all persons who wore once truly justified, though afterwards guilty of the most grievous sins, �remained still just, or in a state of justification, before they actually repented of those sins.� See Overall�s Sententia Eccl. Anglican. de Praedestinatione, etc. �Articuli Lambethani,� 41, seqq. Lond. 1651.]
A second objection [His. of Conferences, 179.] of the puritan representatives, was based upon the wording of Art. XXIII, �in the congregation,� as if it implied that all men might preach and administer the sacraments out of the congregation without any lawful mission. This, however, was one of the merest cavils, for the term congregation is clearly equivalent to the Church in its widest acceptation, and �by the doctrine and practice of the Church of England, none but a licenced minister might preach, nor either publikely or privately administer the Eucharist.� [See Bancroft�s Answer, Ib. 181.]
A third objection related to the language of Art. XXV, in which confirmation seems to be characterized as a rite that had �grown partly of the corrupt following the Apostles;� whereas in the proper Service it is said to be administered �after the example of the Apostles.� [Ibid. 179.] According to Bancroft, the discrepancy should be solved by supposing that while the Article has respect to the undue elevation of the ordinance in ranking it with the two �sacraments of the Gospel,� the Prayer Book �aims at the right use and proper course thereof.�
A further emendation was proposed in Article XXXVII, by adding to the clause �The Bishop of Rome hath no authority in this land,� the words �nor ought to have�; but such an addition was declared to be redundant, and when Dr. Reynolds proceeded to suggest that a phrase, denying the intention of the minister to be of the essence of the sacrament, should be annexed to the book of Articles as a remedy against some prevalent error, it was in like manner summarily dismissed, and the Formulary left in the shape it had presented from the time of the Convocation of 1571. [*In �A Note of such thinges as shal be reformed in the Church� (Strype�s Whitgift; 575) drawn up, it would seem, at the close of the Conference, we find the following minute: �The Articles of Religion to be explaned and inlardged. And no man to teach or read against anie of them.� The handwriting is thought to be Bancroft�s, but it is not probable, after reading his speeches at the Conference, that he was willing to make any change whatever.]
But an attempt, which threatened to be far more successful, was made in 1643, by the party who had uniformly expressed their antipathy to some of the authorized Articles, and who were now, for the first time, invested with the power to carry out their wishes. At an early session of the �Assembly of Divines,� they received an order from both Houses of Parliament (July 5, 1643,) requiring them to take into their consideration the first ten of the XXXIX Articles of the Church of England, �to free and vindicate the doctrine of them from all aspersions and false interpretations.� [From one of �six hundred copies of the proceedings of the Assembly of Divines upon the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England,� printed �for the services of both houses and the Assembly of Divines� (Camb. University Lib. Ff. 14, 25). The Articles are signed by �Charles Herle, prolocutor, Henry Borrough, Scriba, Adoniram Byfield, Scriba.�] A second list of instructions from the same quarter extended the authority of the Assembly to the nine Articles following, and these also were afterwards submitted to a close and elaborate censure. The orders, however, had been limited in both cases to �the clearing and vindicating� of the Articles, and accordingly the Divines, in their report to the House of Commons, felt it their duty to acknowledge that, notwithstanding the additions and alterations they had thought proper to insert, very many things continued to be �defective,� and �other expressions also fit to be changed.� At the time when their work was interrupted by a fresh order, bearing date Oct. 12, 1643, fifteen of the Articles had been thus �sparingly� revised; but no further progress appears to have been made either at this or any subsequent period. [We learn from a pamphlet (Lond. 1654) that the revised Articles, which are called �Fourteen Pillars of the Church of England,� were presented to Charles I at the Isle of Wight.] Their services were bestowed, in the first instance, on �the work of Church-Government,� and afterwards in framing the memorable �Confession for the three kingdoms, according to the solemn League and Covenant.� It seems indeed to have been their own wish to throw the Articles entirely aside, �as a piece several ways imperfect, and the whole as relating onely to the Church of England,� but an order from the House of Commons, Dec. 7, 1646, commanded them to present the result of their criticism to their parliamentary employers; and to this circumstance we are probably indebted for its preservation to our own times.*
[*Above. A few hints on this subject will be found in Lightfoot�s �Journal of the Assembly of Divines,� Works, XIII. 5. seqq. ed. Pitman. On July 12, there was a great debate as to the propriety of adducing Scriptural proofs for each Article according to a wish expressed by the Elizabethan Non-conformists. See above. This was carried in the affirmative, 5. On July 15, Selden and others who had been appointed to search for authentic copies of the Articles, made their report to the Assembly, 6. On July 28, the third Article excited much discussion, some proposing that it should be altogether withdrawn, 7. The three Creeds were considered, Aug. 18, and after a long agitation about translating them anew, and about �setting some gloss upon the preface and conclusion of Athanasius� Creed, which seems to be something harsh,� the question was deferred till some future time, 10. It appears that the Divines were �very busy upon the sixteenth Article and upon that clause of it which mentioneth departing from grace,� 17, when the work was finally suspended by the parliamentary order.]
The design of this revision, in the language of Neal, [III. 68.] �was to render the sense of the Articles more express and determinate in favour of Calvinism.� And a cursory examination of the phraseology adopted in the new series of definitions, will leave no doubt as to the kind of influence which presided over that second reformation of the Church. The first, second, [In the new Article, �for our sakes truly suffered most grievous torments in his soul from God� = �truly suffered� in the authorized Article.] fourth, [�At the general resurrection of the body at the last day� = �at the last day.�] fifth, twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, as we might expect from their character and purport, were left as they stood before, or altered only in such a manner as to indicate but little of the ruling spirit. Of the rest, the third of the new series interprets the �descent into Hell� as equivalent to �continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power and dominion of death.� The sixth omits all mention of the testimony of the Church in determining the canon of Scripture; it eliminates the Apocrypha altogether; it adds a list of the New Testament canon: and also substitutes for the canonicity of the sacred books the fact of their inspiration, as the ground of our deference to their teaching. The seventh adds one clause, implying that even the civil precepts of Moses should be urged upon Christians, provided they be not such as were peculiarly meant for the commonwealth of the Jews; [This clause is somewhat illustrated by the fact that during the Protectorate of Cromwell, there was a party who laboured to bring about the abolition of the whole law of England, and to substitute the Mosaic in its place. Lord Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors, III. 88.] and a second, affirming that by the �moral law� we understand all the Ten Commandments taken in their full extent. [The force of this language is felt by comparing the scruples of Chillingworth, who maintained that the fourth commandment was no part of the moral law, and did not appertain to Christians. See the Life prefixed to his Works, ed. 1820, p. 16.] The eighth, on the Creeds, was finally accepted, with the proviso that they should be retranslated, and explained in an Appendix to the contemplated edition of the Articles. [See above.] The ninth, on Original Sin, bears the special impress of Geneva: (1) the divines insert that original sin consists of the �first sin imputed,� as well as of inherent corruption; (2) that man is not only �very far gone from original righteousness,� but �wholly deprived� of it; (3) that he is of his own nature inclined only to evil; (4) they substitute �regenerate� for �baptized�; and (5) affirm that concupiscence �is truly and properly sin.� The tenth, �Of Free-will,� interpolates a clause, which describes �the preventing grace� of God as �working so effectually in us, as that it determineth our will to that which is good.� The eleventh, �Of the justification of man (before God)�, in explaining the mode of our acquittal declares that the �whole obedience and satisfaction� of our Saviour �is by God imputed unto us, and Christ with His righteousness apprehended and rested on by faith only:� while the thirteenth changes the expression �works done before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of His Spirit� into �works done before justification by Christ and regeneration by His Spirit.�
One member of the self-constituted synod which undertook this revision of the Articles, and one of the clerical assessors in compiling the Westminster Confession, was a Dr. Cornelius Burges. On the restoration of the monarchy, and with it of the Church of England, he published a number of �Reasons shewing the necessity of reformation of the public doctrine,� [The work professes to have been written �by divers ministers of sundry counties in England,� but Burges was the real author. See Bp. Pearson�s Minor Works, II. 165, and the Editor�s note.] as well as of worship and government. He also indulged in very frequent attacks upon the Articles of Religion, impugning them as either doubtful or defective. Under the first head, he included a severe censure of the Royal Declaration, [Bp. Pearson is not quite correct in speaking of the date of the Declaration, as 10 Caroli. The mistake is explained by Bennett, 366.] on account of the shelter it was thought capable of yielding to the �Arminian� tendencies of the clergy. He argued that its retention as a preface to the Articles was a check upon the spread of salutary doctrine leading the way to a number of �sad consequences,� among which is the sanction which was there given to a belief in the defectibility of grace, in the judicial authority of the Church, and in a variety of questionable statements which are interspersed in the Book of Homilies, more particularly in that relating to Almsdeeds. [See Pearson�s replies to the objections seriatim, ibid. II. 174, seqq.] On the other hand, it was attempted to prove that the Articles were defective, (1) in failing to enumerate the books of the New Testament canon; (2) in shrinking from an assault upon sundry points of Popery, or rather of �Arminianism,� which were loudly calling for the animadversion of the Church; [The work of Burgess specifics universal redemption, universal grace, falling from grace, &c. See Pearson�s remark, 189.] (3) in passing over many topics of general divinity, such as the creation, the doctrine of providence, the fall of man, sin, effectual calling, sabbath or Lord�s day, marriage, communion of saints, &c. In all cases, however, it has been satisfactorily shown by Bp. Pearson, that the objections were either false in themselves, or rested upon a false hypothesis as to the nature and object of the work against which they were directed. [See as above, and Answer to Dr. Burges, II. 205, seqq.]
Many of the same cavils have continually recurred in the writings of the later Puritans, [They had publicly urged at the Savoy Conference, 1661, as one of their many grievances, that their preachers were obliged to accept the Articles as not contrary to the Word of God. Cardwell, Hist. of Conf. 266 (note).] and are no where, perhaps, stated so plausibly and fully as in Richard Baxter�s �English Non-conformity,� which appeared in 1689. Like most of his predecessors in this field of criticism, he was not unwilling to acquiesce in the definitions of doctrine as they stand in the present series, but with the authors of the Admonitions to Parliament, he was constrained to add, that �the words of the Articles in the obvious sense are many times liable to exception, and there are many things in them that good men may scruple.� [Chap. XXIV.] He then proceeds to specify the instances where exception had been taken to some one or other of them, by the writers of his own age; but his remarks are frequently unworthy of serious refutation, [Bingham, in his �French Churches� Apology for the Church of England,� 36�98, Lond. 1706, has examined most of the objections, made by Baxter and others to the Articles of Religion. One of the latest assailants was John Wesley, who reduced the number of the Articles to twenty-five, and inserted a number of characteristic changes.] and are interesting only as evidence that in spite of the general offers of the Nonconformists to accept the doctrinal Articles, provided the remnants of popery might be weeded out of the Ordinal and the Prayer-Book, there was always a lurking disaffection in the members of his school to the teaching of the English Church. She clung to the inheritance she had received, not from the Reformation merely, but through it from the earliest ages of the faith; while he felt a positive horror both of primitive and mediaeval Christianity, acting and even arguing as if Christ never �had a true Church on the earth before these times.� [Bp. Pearson, �On the Creed, To the Reader.�]
His hostility was, however, disarmed or abated at the period of the Revolution of 1688, for he was then left to the unfettered use of his own modes of worship, while the hope of his cordial conformity was less and less strongly cherished; and although the �Act of Toleration� [Stat. 1 Gul. at Mar. c. 18, � 8.] enjoined the formality of subscribing the Articles of Religion, excepting the thirty-fourth, the thirty-fifth, the thirty-sixth, the affirmative clauses of the twentieth, and a portion of the twenty-seventh, [For the relief of the dissenters �who scruple the baptizing of infants,� � 10.] even this point of contact or collision was gradually weakened [It appears that in 1772, the subscription of the dissenting ministers was very seldom made. Letters to a Bishop, 56: and in 1779, the Act of 19 George III. c. 44, absolved him altogether.] and is now altogether removed.
The subsequent efforts of the Arian party in the Church to escape from a number of unpalatable truths which are propounded in the Articles of Religion will be noticed in the course of the following chapter, on the history of Subscription.
Chapter XI � Historical Notices Of Subscription To The Articles
It does not fall in with the design of the present publication to enlarge upon the ethical meaning of subscription, nor to adjudicate in respect to the Articles before us, whether it must be viewed as extending to the positive adoption of every tenet there propounded, or whether it imply no more than a general obligation on the part of the subscriber to keep himself within definite limits in his treatment of controverted topics. Though the latter view has been occasionally advanced by men of the highest reputation, [e. g. Bramhall, Works, II. 201, and elsewhere; Oxf. 1842: but cf. Bennett, c. XXXIV. on this and other similar passages.] the former would seem to be more consistent with the nature and intention of the Articles as well as with the ground which the Church has occupied in the Canons of 1571. [Articuli illi ... haud dubie selecti sunt ex sacris libris Veteris et Novi Testamenti, et cum coelesti doctrina quae in illis continetur per omnia congruunt.� Cardwell�s Synod. I. 127.]
The subscription of the clergy to Formularies of Faith is exacted with the hope of securing a similarity of doctrine in those who have deliberately undertaken the office of public teachers. It must accordingly involve their appropriation of the Articles as the exponent of their individual opinions, so far as they bear upon subjects which are authoritatively determined in that series; and while in this way obliging the clergyman to a full and positive faith, subscription is also the act by which he formally renounces the errors and corruptions which are there either censured or proscribed. It does not indeed assume that every single definition is capable of the same kind of proof, or that all are in the same way needful to salvation, and necessary terms of communion for the layman; but even with respect to those statements which have been viewed as no more than probable opinions, or which are in truth only matters of history and of morals, the candidate for holy orders must certify his own willingness to shape his teaching by the public standard, and to yield his unwavering assent to the fitness of the whole collection.
The mode of interpreting the Articles has been made a further subject of discussion from the time of their first appearance; [See above] one man claiming to subscribe with the mental reservation � �so far as they are in my opinion agreeable to the holy Scriptures�; a second, questioning the obligation of the test where it may seem to have varied from the language of an older school or system; but reluctant as we may be to stigmatize* the subscriber of this kind as disloyal to the Church, or regardless of his own character and position, the claim to such an exercise of �private judgment� is certainly incompatible with the health and continuity of all religious associations.
[*Bp. Conybeare (Sermon on 1 Tim. vi. 3, 4) characterizes the former view as �trifling with common sense as much as with common honesty.� The same principle was deliberately stated by the Arians at the beginning of the last century. Waterland, �Case of Arian Subscription,� passim.]
The following canons of interpretation, which have the sanction of some distinguished living prelates, appear to be more reasonable in themselves and more suited to the nature of the document for which they are intended:
First, to study the history of the period out of which the Articles were originally produced.
Secondly, to read them in this light, approximating as nearly as possible to the point of view which was occupied by the leading compilers.
Thirdly, to weigh the language of the Articles in its plain and grammatical sense (i.e. in the sense which it bore in the Edwardine and Elizabethan periods of the Church), bestowing on it �the just and favourable construction, which ought to be allowed to all human writings, especially such as are set forth by authority.�
Fourthly, in case of vagueness in the language of the Articles, or (as might be expected from their history) of comparative silence touching some theological topic, to ascertain the doctrine of the Church of England, by consulting the rest of her symbolical writings � the Prayer Book, the Ordinal, the Homilies and Canons.
Fifthly, where all these sources have been tried, without gaining explicit information as to the purport of any Article, to yield our assent to the inferences which �the catholic doctors and ancient bishops� have gathered on that point out of the sacred Scriptures; according to the recommendation of the Canon in which the Articles of Religion were originally enjoined.
The first occasion which called for an exercise of these principles occurred in the years 1551 and 1552, when the Edwardine Articles were put in circulation at least by some of the reforming prelates, for the subscription of the English clergy. [See above.] This, however, was done without any public authority either of the Church or of the civil power, and was not unfrequently resisted by the Romanizing party; but a royal mandate of June 19, 1553, made subscription imperative on all (including the students in the University of Cambridge,) at the expiration of six weeks from the date of its appearance. By this means all the actual incumbents were constrained to subscribe on pain of deprivation, and a similar, test was provided for those who might in future be appointed to any office in the Church. [See above.] But the death of Edward interrupted the circulation of this mandate, and subscription to the Articles was accordingly abandoned for a period of eighteen years.
In the meanwhile, however, Gardiner had profited by the example which had been set by his rival Hooper; and on forwarding his series of fifteen Articles to the University of Cambridge, he took the precaution of enjoining that they should be punctually subscribed by the students before admission to degrees. [Wilkins, IV. 127.]
During the early years of the reign of Elizabeth (1559�1571) the clergy, on entering their benefices, very generally accepted a test of doctrine embodied in �Eleven Articles�; being commanded on the authority of the bishops, without any formal order of Convocation, to read this document on two Sundays of the year, after the Gospel for the day. The same was also prescribed in Ireland after the year 1566, but in neither country was attention drawn distinctly to the present list of Articles till 1571, excepting so far as the signatures of the members of the Synod, by whom the Edwardine Articles were revised, was a recognition of the principle of subscription.
At the later date two measures, independent in their origin and operation, were adopted for promoting uniformity of doctrine, and for excluding all those from the ministry of the Church who were unwilling to acquiesce in the fitness of this test, as well as of the Elizabethan Prayer Book. The first measure, originating in the House of Commons, and resulting in the Act 13 Eliz. c. 12, required �every one under the degree of a bishop, which doth or shall pretend to be a priest or minister of God�s holy Word and Sacraments, by reason of any other form of institution, consecration or ordering than the form set forth by Parliament in the time of the late king, of most worthy memory, King Edward the Sixth, or now used in the reign of our most gracious sovereign lady, before the feast of the Nativity of Christ next following, shall in the presence of the bishop, or guardian of the spiritualities of some one diocese where he hath or shall have ecclesiastical living, declare his assent, and subscribe to all the Articles of Religion, which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith, and the doctrine of the Sacraments � and shall bring from such bishop or guardian of spiritualities in writing under his seal authentick, a testimonial of such assent and subscription; and openly on some Sunday, in the time of the public service afternoon, in every Church where by reason of any ecclesiastical living he ought to attend, read both the said testimonial and the said Articles.�
The early portion of this clause was clearly designed to meet the case of the ministers who had been ordained during the previous reign, while the Ordinal of King Edward was superseded; and on this ground it had to encounter the reprobation of the �Admonitioners to the Parliament,� which was published in the following year: but whether the Articles, to which subscription was exacted from the future candidates for ecclesiastical preferment, were all the thirty-nine of the present series, or those which can be regarded as purely dogmatical, [The Articles relating to faith and doctrine (so far as these may be separated from the rest) are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22. Bp. Gibson�s Codex, 321.] are questions very difficult to answer.
In a following clause of the Act it is enjoined that no person shall hereafter be admitted to any benefice with cure, �except he then be of the age of three and twenty years at the least, and a deacon, and shall first have subscribed the said Articles in presence of the ordinary,� � where the ambiguity of which we complained above, is no less strikingly apparent.
Bennett [C. XXII.: cf. Collier, ff. 531.] and other writers have contended that the word �only� was not designed to be restrictive but demonstrative, declaring the nature of the subjects handled in the Articles which exclusively concern the true Christian faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments.
But this argument is at the best precarious, and when we bear in mind that such a distinction was actually drawn as early as the introduction of the bill, by its principal promoters, [See above.] and revived in the Admonition to the Parliament in the course of the following year,* and in the Convocation of 1575, [Wilkins, IV. 284.] and urged still more emphatically on behalf of the Puritans in the reign of James I, [See above.] it must be allowed that the statute was regarded, at least by many who were in search of a pretext for non-conformity, as binding to no more than one class of statements.
[*See Whitgift�s Defence of the Answere to the Admonition, 776, Lond. 1574. Elsewhere, however, it would seem as if the Admonitioners did not themselves recognize this distinction. They speak of the �pontificall, which is annexed to the booke of common-prayer and whereunto subscribing to the Articles we must subscribe also.� B. V.]
Selden [Table Talk, �Articles,� 3, 4. Lond. 1789.] has alluded to the same fact in the following passage of his �Table-Talk:� �There is a secret concerning the Articles,� he writes; �of late ministers have subscribed to all of them, but by Act of Parliament that confirmed them, they ought only to subscribe to those Articles which contain matter of faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments. ... But bishop Bancroft, in the Convocation held in king James�s days, he began it, that ministers should subscribe to three things, to the king�s supremacy, to the Common-Prayer, and to the Thirty-nine Articles; though many of them do not contain matter of faith.�
The writers on the other side have alleged a remarkable opinion from the Institutes of Sir Edward Coke, which is couched in the following terms: �I heard Wray, Chief Justice in the King�s Bench, Pasch. 23 Eliz., report that where one Smyth subscribed to the said Thirty-nine Articles of Religion with this addition �so far forth as the same were agreeable to the Word of God,� it was resolved by him and all the Judges of England, that this subscription was not according to the statute of 13 Eliz. Because the statute required an absolute subscription, and this subscription made it conditional; and that this Act was made for avoiding of diversity of opinions, &c. and by this addition the party might by his own private opinion take some of them to be against the Word of God, and by this means diversity of opinions should not be avoided, � which was the scope of the statute, � and the very Act itself made touching subscription hereby of none effect.� [Instit. Part IV. c. 74, 323, 324.]
Now this opinion of the Lord Chief Justice, soon after the statute came into operation, is certainly entitled to great weight, but it seems to rest solely on a determination that no such reserve or restriction was easily reconcilable with the object of the Church, instead of being drawn from a careful examination of the wording of the Act itself, and the known views of its leading promoters.
The practice also of the high commissioners before whom delinquents were summoned was in favour of the rigorous interpretation; but while this fact is of the greatest service in ascertaining the general feeling of the Church at that period, it does not clear away the ambiguity of language observable in the passages above mentioned. As late also as the opening of the reign of Charles II the king himself appears to have recognized a distinction between articles of doctrine and articles of discipline: [Cardwell�s Document. Annals, II. 300.] yet in the Act of Uniformity (13 and 14 Car. c. 4), such a difference is wholly abandoned, and there is now no colorable plea [Yet Blackburn ventures to affirm, that the limiting clause is not abrogated by that Act. Preface to 2nd edition of the �Confessional.�] for seeking shelter in a limitatory clause, however plausible it might have been urged anterior to the passage of that Act.
But while the House of Commons were thus exacting a subscription to the Articles (1) of all the clergy who had not been ordained according to the Edwardine form, and (2) of all future incumbents upon admission to their cures, the Convocation of the same year was actively engaged in devising a second and auxiliary provision. They enjoined [Cardwell, Synod. I. 127.] that all persons approved as public preachers, should have their licenses renewed only on the condition that they subscribe, the Articles of Religion as agreed on at the Synod, and pledge themselves to preach in accordance with that standard. In like manner, every minister of a church before entering on his sacred functions is enjoined [Cardwell, Synod. I. 120.] to give a satisfactory proof of the orthodoxy of his creed by subscribing (not some, but) all the Articles of Religion; � where the prelates had obviously an eye to the notion that all the requirements of the Church were included in the recognition of what were deemed the doctrinal Articles; and consequently, if subscription to the rest could not have been legally enforced, it is indisputable that the whole work was now binding on the clergy, at least in foro conscientiae.
It may have been this consideration which moved the commissioners to demand the subscriptions of 1572 without any limitation or reserve: and the obligatory imposition of the Articles in general would form the crying grievance of the Puritans, and the cause of the formidable agitations which sprang up in every quarter. The earliest symptom of discontent appears in the following extract [Pref. to the First �Admonition to the Parliament.�]: �Whereas immediately after the laste Parliament, holden at Westminster, begon in anno 1570, and ended in anno 1571, the ministers of God�s holy Word and Sacraments were called before her maiesties hygh commyssyoners and enforced to subscribe vnto the Articles, if they would kepe theyr places and liuyngs, and some for refusing to subscribe [The number actually deprived for non-subscription was about one hundred. Neal, I. 284: cf. Preface to Rogers, On the Articles, who describes the malcontents as �divers of the inferior ministers in and about London and elsewhere in this kingdom.�] vnbrotherly and uncharitably intreated, and theyr offyces and places removed: May it please therefore thys honorable and high court of Parliament, in consideration of the premises to take a view of such causes as then dyd withhold, and now doth, the foresayd ministers from subscribing and consenting vnto those foresaid Articles,� &c.
This attack on the general principle of subscription without regard to the nature of the document propounded, was speedily followed by others of the same unsparing tone. �The wound grows desperate,� they cried, [Neal, I. 285.] �and wants a corrosive; �tis no time to blanch or sew pillows under men�s elbows.� Yet instead of meeting this furious onslaught and repelling the demon of nonconformity at its first invasion of the Church, too many of the Elizabethan prelates, after a few feeble efforts, sunk down into lethargic acquiescence, or even fostered the growth of the evils which were to issue in the Great Rebellion. The whole of the primacy of Grindal was marked by his tenderness in favour of the Non-conformists, and in his later years he seems to have almost wholly neglected to press the Articles, or any other test of doctrine, upon the clergy of his province. [Fuller, Church Hist. Bk. IX. p. 138. ed. fol.] The result was that when Whitgift succeeded to his post in 1583, he found it necessary to enter upon more stringent measures for preserving the Church from the rising inundations of the Puritanic principle. He accordingly proposed a number of declarations which are known as �Whitgift�s Articles,� and which finally received the sanction of the Church in the 36th of the Jacobean Canons. They were designed for all who had been admitted to the cure of souls, [Pref. to Rogers, On the Articles.] as well as for all who should in future be licensed to preach, read, catechize, minister the sacraments, or execute any other ecclesiastical function. [Bennett, 398, 399.] The first relates to the royal supremacy, the second to the Prayer-Book and Ordinal, while the third immediately bearing on our subject is expressed in the following terms: �That I allow the Book of Articles of Religion agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy, in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God 1562, and set forth by her Majesty�s authority, and do believe all the Articles therein contained to be agreeable to the Word of God. In witness whereof I have subscribed my name.� [For another form of subscription employed at this period, see Bennett, 399.]
�The brethren,� as the Puritan party was now generally designated, were so pressed by this vigorous measure of the Primate,* that the year 1584 is noted in their annals as �the woful year of subscription.� [Rogers, Ibid.] Nor was the indignation excited at this period confined to the bosoms of the clergy. The House of Commons also, which was now more and more strongly tainted with the democracy of Geneva, addressed a petition to the Lords in 1585, desiring that �hereafter no oath or subscription be tendered to any that is to enter into the ministry, or to any benefice with cure, or to any place of preaching, but such only as be expressly prescribed by the statutes of this realm,� &c. [D�Ewes, 358. The Archbishop of York (Sandys) replied, that �for subscription, he doubted not it was lawful, and might prove the cause of much order and quietness in the Church,� 360.]
[*In the same year the Convocation put forth certain �Articuli pro clero,� enjoining among other things that no bishop hereafter shall admit any person to holy Orders, except he is of his own diocese ... �vel saltem, nisi rationem fidei sum juxta Articulos illos Religionis ... . Latino sermone reddere possit, adeo ut sacrarum literarum testimonia, quibus eorundem Articulorum veritas innititur, recitare etiam valeat.� Cardwell, Synod. I. 141.]
Yet the impulsive efforts of one true-hearted prelate appear to have had little force in curing the laxity of discipline which prevailed in the Church at large. Non-conformity went on silently increasing, and that with the connivance of the bishops, until it leavened the whole lump. �How carelessly subscription is exacted in England,� was the lamentation of Bancroft in 1593, �I am ashamed to report. Such is the retchlessness of many of our bishops on the one side, and their desire to be at ease and quietness to think upon their own affairs; and on the other side, such is the obstinacy and intolerable pride of that factious sort, as that betwixt both sides, either subscription is not at all required, or if it be, the bishops admit them so to qualifie it that it were better to be omitted altogether.� [Survey of the Pretended Holy Discipline, 249, Lond. 1593.]
Bancroft was himself raised to the primacy of England very early in the following Century, and before that time had been distinguished by his zeal in reducing the lawlessness of the Nonconformists. He was president of the Convocation which assembled on the 20th of March, 1603/4, and in which the Articles of Religion �all and singular,� were subscribed �by the byshops and the whole cleargy of the province of Canterbury.� This formal recognition had doubtless been suggested by the prevalent hostility to the Articles, as well as to the other Formularies of the Church,* on the part of the puritan body; and the same cause would operate in the proposition of Bancroft, to engraft the disciplinary injunctions of archbishop Whitgift,** upon the new code of Canons, which were solemnly confirmed at this period, under the great seal of England. The absolute order for subscription which this code embodied, resulted in the secession of a large number of the Nonconformists, entitled �brethren of the second separation,� and in the further embittering of those who adhered to the communion of the Church, against the whole ecclesiastical system.
[*At the Hampton-Court Conference just before the leader of the Puritans had contended that �subscription was a great impeachment to a learned ministry, and therefore entreated it might not be exacted as heretofore.� Cardwell�s Hist. of Confer. 193. �To subscribe according to the statutes of the realm, namely, to the Articles and the King�s supremacy they were not unwilling.� The Prayer-Book was the great stumbling-block.]
[**See above, and cf. Canon XXXVI which enjoins subscription to the Articles universally on all as well at ordination as at institution to a benefice. The best �Account of the Subscription of the Convocation to the Articles in 1604,� is given by the late Archdeacon Todd in App. IV of his �Declaration of our Reformers on Original Sin,� &c. Lond. 1818.]
But the zeal of the English rulers, though too long dormant or perverted, was now prompting them to undertake a more extensive plan for repairing its many breaches. [e.g. Bancroft inquires in 1605, and Abbott in 1616 whether any impugn the Articles (Cardwell�s Docum. Ann. II. 103, 221).] The Universities, which had long been the nursery of puritanism, were henceforth included under the operation of the test provided by the Canons of 1604. It is true that the officers of Cambridge adopted a similar method of ascertaining the orthodoxy of their graduates, as early as the reign of Edward; but his death, as we have noticed, put an end to the agitation which this question was exciting, and it does not seem to have been afterwards mooted there until the reign of James I. [Some of the following facts are drawn from a �Summary View of the Laws relating to Subscriptions,� &c., 2nd ed. Lond. 1772.] At Oxford, however, a decree of Convocation, in 1573, commanded that each candidate for the future, before taking his degree, should subscribe the Articles of Religion: and in 1576, a further law extended the application of the test to every person above the age of sixteen, upon entering his name at any College or Hall. In the year 1616 [Three years earlier the King had prescribed subscription to the three Articles of the 36th Canon in the case of candidates for divinity degrees, but the rule was now made binding upon all who took any degree whatever.] the powers of both the Universities were enlarged by directions from King James, enjoining that all who were admitted to degrees should subscribe the three Articles of the 36th Canon; but in the case of Cambridge, it was resolved by the �Grand Committee for Religion,� (Jan. 19, 1640/1), that the regulation for exacting subscription from the students was against the law and liberty of the subject, and ought not to be pressed in future upon any one whatever. [Rushworth, IV. 149.]
Yet notwithstanding the disuse into which it had fallen, during the gloomy interval that elapsed from this period to the Restoration of Charles II, it was now imposed upon the clergy with a greater stringency than ever. Conformity to the ritual of the Church was peremptorily ordered by Sheldon and his colleagues, and the 36th of the Jacobean Canons obeyed with unswerving punctuality. Among other proofs of this augmented vigilance, which it was thought necessary to exert in promoting the harmony of faith and worship, the Act of Uniformity, 13 and 14 Car. II., c. 14, requires every head of a college to �subscribe unto the Nine and Thirty Articles of Religion, mentioned in the statute made in the thirteenth year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth ... and declare his unfeigned assent and consent unto, and approbation of, the said Articles�: and in a subsequent proviso it enacts, that �all such subscriptions shall be construed as extending to the Ordinal mentioned in the six and thirtieth Article, any thing in the said Article, or in any statute act, or canon heretofore had or made, to the contrary thereof, in any wise notwithstanding.�
The Act of Toleration, as we have seen already, restricted the number of the Articles which were offered to �dissenting ministers�, but in the application of that Formulary to the Church, its effect has been altogether unimpaired from the period of the Restoration to the times in which we live.
It should be remarked, however, that a large number of the English clergy, more especially in the middle of the last century, were loud in demanding emancipation from what they called the �fetters of subscription.� The depriving of the Non-jurors very frequently involved the substitution of elements ill-according with the primitive temper of the Prayer-Book, or with the unhesitating voice of the other Formularies in behalf of dogmatic truth. The controversies also, which broke out at the same period, were the means of confining the attention of the rest to their own immediate wants; and in proportion as the study of patristic literature decayed, there grew up a school of Arian and Socinian clergy, absolutely denying the necessity of faith in the fundamental doctrines of the Church, or striving to reduce the credenda of the Gospel to the lowest possible number. Still it is painful to record, that most of these writers were not unwilling, in the first instance, to undergo the formality, as they deemed it, of subscribing the Articles of Religion, either as a step on the way to ordination or to the honours and emoluments of office. They alleged that �these Articles may conscientiously be subscribed in any sense in which they themselves, by their own interpretation, could reconcile them to Scripture without regard to the meaning and intention, either of the persons who first compiled or who now imposed them.� [Waterland, Case of Arian Subscription; Works II. 264, 265.] But the hollowness of their principle was speedily acknowledged, and many of them afterwards resorted to a scheme for demolishing every oath and declaration, which had the power of questioning their fitness for the work of their sacred callings. Headed by the unscrupulous but very talented author of the �Confessional,� they affirmed that the doctrines of the Christian religion cannot possibly be made clearer by human compilations or Articles of faith; that to demand a full and undoubted assent to propositions, in themselves very doubtful and obscure, is to tyrannize over the understanding of subscribers; that external conformity in the use of an established Liturgy without the aid of Articles of Religion, or any test of doctrine whatsoever, is security enough for the decencies of public worship, and also for the peaceful continuation of the present Church-establishment. [See these arguments soberly stated in a �Letter to the Members of the Honourable House of Commons,� by a Christian Whig, Lond. 1772. The Arian character of the movement is peculiarly manifest in �Reasons humbly offered for composing a new set of Articles of Religion; with XXI Articles proposed as a specimen for improvement,� Lond. 1771. In this �improved set,� there is no allusion to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.]
While the press was teeming with publications in behalf of these bold and suicidal measures, the disaffection took a more formidable shape under the guidance of the same Blackburne, who had been the instrument in rousing the general agitation. In 1771, he published his �Proposals for an Application to Parliament, for relief in the matter of subscription to the Liturgy and Thirty-nine Articles of the Established Church of England;� [Works, VII. 1, seqq. Camb. 1804.] and as the way had been already opened in some of his earlier productions, there was no lack of �learned and conscientious clergy� to aid him in his present undertaking. A petition [See it at length ; ibid. 15, seqq.] was accordingly prepared and introduced into the House of Commons, Feb. 6, 1772. It set out by affirming �the undoubted right of Protestants to interpret Scripture for themselves;� it complained of the violence habitually done to this principle by the exaction of assent to �Articles and Confessions of faith drawn up by fallible men�; and after enlarging upon other grievances, submitted the cause of the petitioners, �under God, to the wisdom and justice of a British parliament, and the piety of a Protestant king.�
Happily, however, for the nation as well as for the Church, this feverish effort of the Arianizing party to escape from the consequences of the obligations to which it had willingly submitted, was condemned in the House of Commons. By whatever motives they were influenced, whether by �disinclination to religious changes,� [A Letter to a Bishop, (by an advocate of the measure,) 4. Lond. 1772.] or �by the fashion of the times,� [Blackburne, Reflections on the Fate of a Petition, &c. Works, VII. 37.] or by a clearer anticipation of the fruits of this measure than some of its infatuated authors, they repelled the petition on the threshold, by a majority of 217 to 71, leaving Blackburne to utter his regret in a series of acrimonious �Reflections� on the fate of his darling project.
The following period [In 1801 the Articles were formally accepted (not, however, without modification in one or two particulars) by the Church in the United States of America, and in 1804, as was before mentioned by the sister Church in Scotland.] in the history of religion was undisturbed by any organized attack upon the Articles, or, indeed, upon any of the tests of doctrine put forth by the English Church; for in spite of the coldness which prevailed at the close of the last century, and in spite also of a number of individual scruples, and the laxer theories of subscription which are perpetually recurring, the Formularies of Faith have continued to keep their hold upon the affections of the country, and to answer the salutary end for which they were first provided.
In our own age, there is, perhaps, less fear than ever, that the Articles of Religion will be successfully assailed by the growing host of misbelievers. The new life which has sprung up in the hearts of individual churchmen, and has propagated itself through the masses of the island to the farthest dependencies of our gigantic empire, is awakening, together with a deeper zeal and a more unworldly self-renunciation, a fresh love for the objective verities of religion, and a cordial regard for the teaching of the past. It has quickened the perception of our intimate affinity to the whole of the Christian body; it has urged us to emulate the ancient worthies into whose labours we have entered; and if only it be calm and discriminating as it is vigorous and expansive, it will, by God�s help, make this Church of England the joy of the whole earth.
Long indeed may she go forward on her mission, patiently tracking the footsteps of her Master, and earnestly contending for the faith as it was once delivered to the saints. And long especially may we be spared the distressing spectacle which is exhibited in the continent of Europe, where the principles vindicated and re-affirmed in the age of the Reformation, were then as ardently cherished as on our own side of the German Ocean, but where now the guilty abandonment of Formularies, combining with an imperfect ecclesiastical organization, has left no more than a small and sorrowing remnant to toil in the re-establishment of the Gospel upon the quicksands of infidelity.