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§ 79. The Edwardine Articles. A.D. 1553.

With the accession of Edward VI. (Jan. 28, 1547) Cranmer and the reform party gained the controlling influence. The Six Articles were abolished. The First Prayer-Book of Edward VI. was prepared and 614set forth (1549), and a few years afterwards the Second, with sundry changes (1552).

The reformation of worship was followed by that of doctrine. For some time Cranmer entertained the noble but premature idea of framing, with the aid of the German and Swiss Reformers, an evangelical catholic creed, which should embrace 'all the heads of ecclesiastical doctrine,' especially an adjustment of the controversy on the eucharist, and serve as a protest to the Council of Trent, and as a bond of union among the Protestant Churches.11671167   See Cranmer's letters of invitation to Calvin, Bullinger, and Melanchthon, in Cox's edition of Cranmer's Works, Vol. II. pp. 431–433.

This project was reluctantly abandoned in favor of a purely English formula of public doctrine, the Forty-two Articles of Religion. They were begun by Cranmer in 1549, subjected to several revisions, completed in November, 1552, and published in 1553, together with a short Catechism, by 'royal authority,' and with the approval of 'a Synod (Convocation) at London.'11681168   'Articuli de quibus in Synodo Londinensi, A.D. M.D.LII. ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum veræ religionis firmandum, inter Episcopos et alios Eruditos Viros convenerat.' 'Articles agreed on by the Bishopes, and other learned menne in the Synode at London, in the yere of our Lorde Godde, M.D.LII., for the auoiding of controuersie in opinions, and the establishment of a godlie concorde, in certeine matters of Religion.' They are printed in Hardwick, Append. III. pp. 277–333, in Latin and English, and in parallel columns with the Elizabethan Articles. The Latin text is also given by Niemeyer, pp. 592–600. On minor points concerning their origin, comp. Hardwick, pp. 73 sqq. It is, however, a matter of dispute whether they received the formal sanction of Convocation, or were circulated on the sole authority of the royal council during the brief reign of Edward (who died July 6, 1553).11691169   Palmer, Burnet, and others maintain the latter; Hardwick (p. 107), the former. The chief title to the authorship of the Articles, as well as of the revised Liturgy, belongs to Cranmer; it is impossible to determine how much is due to his fellow-Reformers—'bishops and other learned men'—and the foreign divines then residing in England, to whom the drafts were submitted, or whose advice was solicited.11701170   John Knox and the other royal chaplains were also consulted; see Lorimer, 1.c. pp. 126 sqq. Knox did not object to the doctrines of the Articles, but to the rubric on kneeling in the eucharistic service of the Liturgy, and his opposition led to the 'Declaration on Kneeling,' which is a strong protest against ubiquitarianism and any idolatrous veneration of the sacramental elements. It was inserted as a rubric by order of Council in 1552, was omitted to 1559, and restored in 1662.

The Edwardine Articles are essentially the same as the Thirty-nine, 615with the exception of a few (three of them borrowed from the Augsburg Confession), which were omitted in the Elizabethan revision—namely, one on the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Art. XVI.); one on the obligation of keeping the moral commandments—against antinomianism—(XIX.); one on the resurrection of the dead (XXXIX.); one on the state of the soul after death—against the Anabaptist notion of the psychopannychia—(XL.); one against the millenarians (XLI.);11711171   'Qui Millenariorum fabulam revocare conantur, sacris literis adversantur, et in Judaica deliramenta sese præcipitant (cast themselves headlong into a Juishe dotage).' Comp. the Augsburg Confession, Art. XVII., where the Anabaptists and others are condemned for teaching the final salvation of condemned men and devils, and the Jewish opinions of the millennium. and one against the doctrine of universal salvation (XLII.).11721172    'Hi quoque damnatione digni sunt, qui conantur hodie perniciosam opinionem instaurare, quod omnes, quantumvis impii, servandi sunt tandem, cum definito tempore a justitia divina pænas de admissis flagitiis luerunt.' A clause in the article on Christ's descent into Hades (Art. III.),11731173   'Nam corpus [Christi] usque ad resurrectionem in sepulchro jacuit, Spiritus ab illo emissus (his ghost departing from him) cum spiritibus qui in carcere sive in inferno detinebantur, fuit, illisque prædicavit, quemadmodum testatur Petri locus. (At suo ad inferos descensu nullos a carceribus aut tormentis liberavit Christus Dominus.)' and a strong protest against the ubiquity of Christ's body, and 'the real and bodily presence of Christ's flesh and blood in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper' (in Art. XXIX.), were likewise omitted.

 


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