Page images
[ocr errors]

session xxi. (July 1562), the sacrifice of the Mass in session xxii. (September 1562), and the doctrine of Purgatory, invocation of saints, adoration of images and relics not till the very last session of the Council held in December 1563, some months after the publication of the Elizabethan Articles. On all these matters, therefore, priority of treatment belongs to the Anglican formulary, and it is impossible to take its statements as intended to refer directly to the formal decrees of the Council of Trent. The so-called “ Creed of Pope Pius iv." is of still later date, as it was only published in a bull dated November 13, 1564.

[ocr errors]

2. THE FORTY-Two ARTICLES OF 1553. The subjects to be considered in this section may be divided thus :

(a) The history and authority of the Forty-Two Articles,

(6) Their object and contents.
(c) Their sources.
(a) The history and authority of the Forty-Two Articles.

The first draft of these was certainly the work of Archbishop Cranmer, the impress of whose mind they bear throughout. Edward vi. had come to the throne in 1547, but, though the liturgical reforms moved rapidly, some time was suffered to elapse before the publication of any doctrinal as distinct from liturgical or homiletical ? formulary. According to Strype, in the year 1553 the King and his Privy Council ordered the archbishop to

In 1548 was published the "Order of the Communion," an English form for communicating the people in both kinds. The first complete English Prayer Book followed in 1549, the English Ordinal was published in 1550, and in 1552 the first Prayer Book was superseded by “the Second Prayer Book of Edward vi."

2 The first Book of the Homilies was published in 1647. Cranmer, bk, ii. ch. xxvii.



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. But at a still earlier date we find indications that a series of Articles had been framed by the archbishop and used by him as a test of orthodoxy. This was in all probability “an early draft of the great formulary afterwards issued as the Forty-Two Articles." By Cranmer they were submitted to other bishops for their revision and approval. In May 1552 they were laid before the Council. In September of the same year they were returned to the archbishop, who added the titles upon every matter, and sent them to Sir William Cecil and Sir John Cheke, the King's secretary and tutor. Shortly after this they were submitted to the six royal chaplains, “ to make report of their opinions touching the same. The MS. signed by the chaplains is happily

[ocr errors]

1 On December 27, 1549, Hooper writes to Bullinger as follows :—“The Archbishop of Canterbury entertains right views as to the nature of Christ's presence in the Supper, and is now very friendly towards myself. He has some articles of religion, to which all preachers and lecturers in divinity are required to subscribe, or else a licence for teaching is not granted them; and in these his sentiments respecting the eucharist are pure and religious, and similar to yours in Switzerland.”—See Original Letters (Parker Society), p. 71. The letter is wrongly dated “February 27” in Hardwick's History of the Articles, p. 72. Again, on February 5, 1550, Hooper writes to the same correspondent in almost identical terms : "The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is at the head of the King's Council, gives to all lecturers and preachers their licence to read and preach ; every one of them, however, must previously subscribe to certain Articles, which if possible I will send you ; one of which respecting the Eucharist is plainly the true one, and that which you maintain in Switzerland."-Original Letters, p. 76.

Hardwick, p. 72. Hooper apparently took these Articles, and after modifying them in an arbitrary fashion to bring them more into harmony with his own opinions, offered them as a test to the clergy of his diocese at his visitations in 1551 and 1552.-See Dixon's History of the Reformation, vol. iii. p. 463.

See Strype's Cranmer, bk. ii. ch. xxvii., and Hardwick, p. 73 seq.



still in existence, and enables us to see exactly the form which the documents had by this time reached. The Articles are forty-five in number, that on the Eucharist, which afterwards appeared as XXIX., being broken up into four separate Articles, and besides this difference of enumeration and division they differ in various other not unimportant particulars from the series as finally published. In November they were remitted to the archbishop, for “the last corrections of his pen and judgment.” A few days later the document was turned to the Council, and on June 19, 1553, a mandate was issued in the King's name to the officials of the province of Canterbury, requiring subscription from all clergy, schoolmasters, and members of the university on admission to degrees. This is really all that is known, for certain, of their history. But we find that the Articles thus offered for subscription in June 1553 had been issued to the public in English in the previous month. They were published at the press of R. Grafton, and bore 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 MDLII., for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a Godly concord in certain matters of religion."

See Lemon's Calendar of State Papers, “ Domestic," 1547-1580, p. 46. The Articles signed by the chaplains are printed in the last edition of Hardwick, Appendix iii. Mr. Dixon (Reformation, iii. p. 481 seq.) shows (after Dr. Lorimer) that the Article on "The Book of Prayers and Ceremonies of the Church of England ” (No. XXXV. in the published series, XXXVIII. in the original draft) was considerably modified after the Articles had been submitted to the chaplains, probably owing to the remonstrances of John Knox. “All that had appeared in the first draft on the subject of the ceremonies of the Prayer Book was cancelled, and nothing remained savo what referred to the doctrine of the book, to which Knox had taken no exception.”—Lorimer's Knox in England, p. 126.

2 The mandate is given in Wilkins' Concilia, vol. iv. p. 79 ; cf. Strypa Ecclesiastical Memorials, bk. ii. ch. xxii.

Two other editions were published shortly afterwards, in which the Articles were appended to a catechism that had previously been prepared.

1. An English edition, published by Day: “A short catechism or plain instruction, containing the sum of Christian learning, set forth by the king's majesty's authority, for all schoolmasters to teache. To this catechism are adjoined the articles agreed upon by the bishops and other learned and godly men, in the last convocation at London, in the year of our Lord MDLII., for to root out the discord of opinions and establish the agreement of true religion. Likewise published by the king's majesty's authority, 1553."

2. A Latin edition, published by Wolfe: “ Catechismus Brevis Christianæ disciplinæ summam continens omnibus ludimagistris authoritate regia commendatus. Huic Catechismo adjuncti sunt articuli, de quibus in ultima Synodo Londinensi Anno Domini MDLII. ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum vere religionis firmandum inter Episcopos et alios eruditos atque pios viros convenerat: Regia similiter authoritate promulgati, 1553."

We now come to the consideration of the authority i which these Articles were imposed upon the Church. Lad they really received the sanction of Convocation ? The records of Convocation unfortunately perished in the great fire of London, and it is therefore impossible to appeal to them; but, even were they forthcoming, it is doubtful whether a reference to them would decide the question, for Fuller, who had the opportunity of examining them before their destruction, tells us that they were “but one degree above blanks, scarce affording the names of the clerks assembled therein.” 1

To the same effect Heylin writes: “The Acts of this Convocation were so ill kept that there remains nothing on record touching their proceedings, except it be the names of such of the bishops as came thither to adjourn the house.” 1

* Church History, vol. ii. p. 400 (Ed. Nichols).

In the face of these statements it would appear that the acts of the Synod must either have been kept with culpable negligence, or that there was deliberate mutilation in the following reign. Whichever be the true explanation of the blank character of the records, it would appear that no help would be obtained from them were they still existing, for the solution of the question before us. We are left, then, to search for any evidence from other quarters which may throw light upon it.

On the one hand, it will be noticed that the authority of Convocation was claimed for the Articles in each of the three editions published, and that, where they are appended to the catechism, this authority is claimed for them alone, and not for the catechism. This latter is said, in the King's injunction prefixed to it, to have been “written by a certain godly and learned man," and committed to the examination of "certain bishops and other learned men, whose judgments we have in great estimation ";? but not a word is said concerning its submission to the Synod, whereas, in each edition of the Articles, they are said to have been agreed upon in the Synod of 1552 (i.e. according to modern reckoning, 1553, as the year was then considered to begin on 25th March). At first sight, this fact might seem to be conclusive. But, on the other hand, there is no mention of the authority of Convocation in the royal letter requiring subscription, and grave doubts are thrown on the truth of the statement made in the title by what happened in the following reign. Early in the reign of


[ocr errors]


History of the Reformation, vol. i. P.

256. ? See the Liturgies of Edward VI. (Parker Society), p. 485, where the Catechism and Articles will be found, both in Latin and in English.

« PreviousContinue »