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noticed that no trace of their language can be found in our present series of Articles. For the source of these we must turn to a different quarter. In 1538 a small number of Lutheran divines from Germany were invited to this country by Henry, in order to confer with a committee of Anglican divines, and, if possible, draw up a joint Confession of Faith, with a view to the comprehension of both Anglicans and Lutherans in one communion. The invitation was accepted. A mixed committee met, under the presidency of Cranmer, to consider the subject. So long as the discussion was confined to matters of faith, agreement was arrived at with comparative ease. By the use of general terms, and (in some cases) designedly ambiguous formularies, it was found possible to compile a number of propositions which proved satisfactory to both parties. Thirteen Articles were thus prepared on the following subjects I. De unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum. II. De Peccato Originali. III. De duabus Christi Naturis. IV. De Justificatione. V. De Ecclesia. VI. De Baptismo.
VII. De Eucharistia. VIII. De Pænitentia. IX. De Sacramentorum usu. X. De Ministris Ecclesiæ. XI. De Ritibus Ecclesiæ. XII. De Rebus Civilibus. XIII. De Corporum resurrectione et judicio extremo. Of these the first three are taken almost word for word from the Confession of Augsburg, the influence of which may be traced in other parts of the Articles as well. But it is noteworthy that the sections on Baptism, the Eucharist, and Penance are either entirely new or largely rewritten, while in that on the Use of Sacraments the language of the Lutheran Confession has been considerably strengthened, in order to emphasise the character of sacraments as channels of grace - apparently in order to satisfy the Anglican divines.
But, while agreement on the subjects mentioned was secured with comparative ease, divergence of opinion was at once manifested when the committee passed from the consideration of doctrine to the discussion of questions connected with discipline. The summer was wasted in fruitless negotiations. The approach of winter led to the return of the Germans to their own land. Although a second mission was sent by them in the following year, nothing was done, and the scheme for a joint Confession of Faith seems to have been quietly allowed to drop. The Articles were not made public. They were not even submitted to Convocation, nor did they ever receive any sanction or authority whatever. Their importance however, historically, is very great, for they form the link between the Confession of Augsburg and our own Articles. A comparison of the three documents makes it perfectly clear that it was only through the medium of the Book of the Thirteen Articles that the Lutheran formulary influenced the Forty-Two Articles of 1553, from which our own are descended. “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." I
Before proceeding to the consideration of the Edwardian Series of Articles (the immediate predecessor of our own), it will be well to give a very brief notice of some of the doctrinal formularies issued on the Continent, a comparison with which may sometimes tend to throw light on the meaning of the Anglican statements.
The position of the Lutherans is shown by the Con1 Jenkyns' Cranmer, 1. xxiv., quoted in Hardwick's History of the Articles, p. 61. The Thirteen Articles may be seen in Hardwick, Appendix ii.
fession of Augsburg. This document contains an apologetic statement of their position, as distinct from that of both Romans and Zwinglians, on the special points of doctrine and practice at that time actually in controversy. It was originally drawn up by Melancthon, revised by Luther and others, and presented to the Emperor Charles V. at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530. It contains twenty-eight articles, and is divided into two parts: (1) On doctrine, comprising twenty-one articles ; and (2) on ecclesiastical abuses, seven articles. have just seen, it was used by the framers of the Thirteen Articles of 1538, and has through them influenced the English Articles. But since its influence on the Anglican formulary was only indirect, there is no necessity to give a fuller account of it here."
A second Lutheran document to be noticed is the Confession of Würtemberg. This contains thirtyfive articles. It was framed on the model of the Confession of Augsburg, and presented to the Council of Trent by the ambassadors of the State of Würtemberg, in 1552. It is mentioned here, because, as will be shown further on, it proved of considerable use to Archbishop Parker in the preparation of the Elizabethan Articles of 1563.2
Meantime, while the Lutherans were thus formulating their views, the Swiss and French reformers, who sympathised with the teaching of Zwingli and Calvin, were busy with the preparation of a number of documents expressing their views. Of these, it will be sufficient to mention the following The Confessio Basiliensis (1534) and the Confessio Helvetioa I. (1536), both of which are Zwinglian. The Confessio Helvetica II. (1564), which is largely influenced by Calvin. Still more strongly Calvinistic is the Confessio Fidei Gallicana, containing forty articles.
1 The Confession of Augsburg is contained in Sylloge Confessionum. For some account of it, see Schaff's History of the (Lutheran) Reformation, vol. ii. p. 706.
2 For the Confession of Würtemberg (which is not given in the Sylloge Confessionum), see Le Plat, Monumenta, iv. 420.
This was apparently drawn up in 1559, and presented in the following year to Francis II. of France, and in 1561 to Charles IX. On the same lines is the Confessio Belgica of 1562 (containing thirty - seven articles), which obtained wide acceptance among the congregations of the “Reformed ” in the Netherlands. These documents, just enumerated, closely resemble each other, and are of a somewhat ambitious character, for they appear to be intended as complete schemes of theology, embracing the whole circle of Christian doctrine. It is needless to say that none of these compilations have the slightest connection with our own Articles. They are only mentioned here, because a comparison with them not seldom serves to bring out the marked contrast that there is between the unguarded and extravagant positions taken up by some of the foreign reformers, and the judicious moderation and wise avoidance of dogmatic assertions on points of small practical importance which may be observed in the English Articles.
The formal positions to which the Church of Rome committed herself at this period will be found in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. The Council first met in December 1545 in the pontificate of Paul III. By July 1547 ten sessions had been held. Shortly afterwards the Council was buspended for some years. Its sittings were resumed by order of Julius III. in 1551, and between September 1551 and April 1553 six more sessions (xi.-xvi.) were held. The Council was then once more suspended, nor did it meet again until the Papacy of Pius IV.; sessions xvii.-xxv. being held in the course of the years 1562, 1563, and the final confirmation of the Council being dated January 26, 1564. It will appear from this enumeration of dates that Rome was stereotyping her doctrine just at the same time that the Church of England was revising her expression of it. Many of the same subjects were considered at Trent as in England. In some cases priority of treatment belongs to Rome, in others to England. It becomes, therefore, a matter of importance to ascertain in each case whether our reformers were confronted with the authoritative statements to which Rome was formally committed by her representatives at Trent, or whether they had before them merely the popular doctrine and the current practices. Thus, in regard to the number and authority of the canonical books, the subject was discussed at Trent during the fourth session of the Council in 1546. So also, in the earlier sessions held during 1546 and 1547, such subjects as original sin, justification, and the sacraments generally were considered, and canons concerning them were drawn up. On all these matters, therefore, it is obvious that the compilers of the Edwardian as well as of the Elizabethan Articles had the formal decisions of the Council before them. The Eucharist, Penance, and extreme unction were discussed in sessions xiii. and xiv., held in October and November 1551; thus, in this case, the decrees were issued while the Forty-Two Articles were in course of preparation but before their actual publication in 1553. The question of communion in both kinds was not considered by the Council till
1 These Zwinglian and Calvinistic Confessions will all be found in Niemeyer's Collectio Confessionum in Ecclesiis Reformatis Publicatarum. For some account of the Swiss formularies, see Schaff's History of the Swiss Reformation, vol. i., p. 217 seq. No mention is made in the text of the Westminster Confession (1643), as it belongs to a somewhat different period.