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§ 81. The Interpretation of the Articles.
The theological interpretation of the Articles by English writers has been mostly conducted in a controversial rather than an historical spirit, and accommodated to a particular school or party. Moderate High-Churchmen and Arminians, who dislike Calvinism, represent them as purely Lutheran;11861186 So Archbishop Laurence, of Cashel, and Hardwick, in their learned works on the Articles. Anglo-Catholics and Tractarians, who abhor both Lutheranism and Calvinism, endeavor to conform them as much as possible to the contemporary decrees of the Council of Trent;11871187 Newman, Pusey, Forbes. Archbishop Laud had prepared the way for this Romanizing interpretation. Calvinistic and evangelical Low-Churchmen find in them substantially their own creed.11881188 Even the Puritans accepted the doctrinal Articles, and the Westminster Assembly first made them the basis of its Calvinistic Confession. Continental historians, both Protestant and Catholic, rank the Church of England among the Reformed Churches as distinct from the Lutheran, and her Articles are found in every collection of Reformed Confessions.11891189 From the Corpus et Syntagma down to the collections of Niemeyer and Böckel. The Roman Catholic Möhler likewise numbers the Articles among the Reformed (Calvinistic) Confessions, Symbolik, p. 22. On the other hand, the Articles have no place in any collection of Lutheran symbols; still less, of course, could they be included among Greek or Latin symbols.
The Articles must be understood in their natural grammatical and historical sense, from the stand-point and genius of the Reformation, the public and private writings of their compilers and earliest expounders. In doubtful cases we may consult the Homilies, the Catechism, the several revisions of the Prayer-book, the Canons, and other contemporary documents bearing on the reformation of doctrine and discipline in the Church of England.
In a preceding section we have endeavored to give the historical key for the understanding of the doctrinal character of the English Articles. A closer examination will lead us to the following conclusions:
1. The Articles are Catholic in the œcumenical doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, like all the Protestant Confessions of the Reformation period; and they state those doctrines partly in the very words of two Lutheran documents, viz., the Augsburg Confession and the Würtemberg Confession.623
2. They are Augustinian in the anthropological and soteriological doctrines of free-will, sin, and grace: herein likewise agreeing with the Continental Reformers, especially the Lutheran.
3. They are Protestant and evangelical in rejecting the peculiar errors and abuses of Rome, and in teaching those doctrines of Scripture and tradition, justification by faith, faith and good works, the Church, and the number of sacraments, which Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin held in common.
4. They are Reformed or moderately Calvinistic in the two doctrines of Predestination and the Lord's Supper, in which the Lutheran and Reformed Churches differed; although the chief Reformed Confessions were framed after the Articles.
5. They are Erastian in the political sections, teaching the closest union of Church and State, and the royal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical as well as civil; with the difference, however, that the Elizabethan revision dropped the title of the king as 'supreme head in earth,' and excluded the ministry of the Word and Sacraments from the 'chief government' of the English Church claimed by the crown.11901190 The modification of the royal supremacy in Art. XXXVII., as compared with Art XXXVI. of Edward, was intended to meet the scruples of Romanists and Calvinists. Nevertheless this article, and the two acts of supremacy and uniformity, form the basis of that restrictive code of laws which pressed so heavily for more than two centuries upon the consciences of Roman Catholic and Protestant dissenters. Comp. the third chapter of Hallam's Constitutional History of England (Harper's ed. pp. 71 sqq.). All the Reformation Churches were more or less intolerant, and enforced uniformity of belief as far as they had the power; but the Calvinists and Puritans were more careful of the rights of the Church over against the State than the Lutherans.
6. Art. XXXV., referring to the Prayer-book and the consecration of archbishops, bishops, priests, and deacons, is purely Anglican and Episcopalian, and excited the opposition of the Puritans.
We have now to furnish the proof as far as the doctrinal articles are concerned.
THE ARTICLES AND THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION.
The Edwardine Articles were based in part, as already observed, upon a previous draft of Thirteen Articles, which was the joint product of German and English divines, and based upon the doctrinal 624Articles of the Augsburg Confession. Some passages were transferred verbatim from the Lutheran document to the Thirteen Articles, and from these to the Forty-two (1553), and were retained in the Elizabethan revision (1563 and 1571). This will appear from the following comparison. The corresponding words are printed in italics.
Art. I. De Deo.
Art. I. De Unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum.
Art. I. De Fide in Sacrosanctum Trinitatem.
|Ecclesiæ magno consensu apud nos docent, Decretum Nicænæ Synodi, de unitate essentiæ divinæ et de tribus personis, verum et sine ulla dubitatione credendum esse. Videlicet, quod sit una essentia divina, quæ et appellatur et est Deus, æternus, incorporeus impartibilis, immensa potentia, sapientia, bonitate, creator et conservator omnium rerum, visibilium et invisibilium; et tamen tres sint personæ, ejusdem essentiæ et potentiæ, et coæternæ, Pater, Filius et Spiritus Sanctus. Et nomine personæ utuntur ea significatione, qua usi sunt in hac causa scriptores ecclesiastici, ut significet non partem aut qualitatem in alio, sed quod proprie subsistit.||De Unitate Essentiæ Divinæ et de Tribus Personis, censemus decretum Nicenæ Synodi verum, et sine ulla dubitatione credendum esse, videlicet, quod sit una Essentia Divina, quæ et appellatur et est Deus, æternus, incorporeus, impartibilis, immensa potentia, sapientia, bonitate, creator et conservator omnium rerum visibilium et invisibilium, et tamen tres sint personæ ejusdem essentiæ et potentiæ, et coæternæ, Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus; et nomine personæ utimur ea significatione qua usi sunt in hac causa scriptores ecclesiastici, ut significet non partem aut qualitatem in alio, sed quod proprie subsistit.||Unus est vivus et verus Deus æternus, incorporeus impartibilis, impassibilis, immensæ potentiæ, sapientiæ ac bonitatis: creator et conservator omnium tum visibilium tum invisibilium. Et in unitate huius divinæ naturæ tres sunt Personæ ejusdem essentiæ, potentiæ, ac æternitatis, Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.11911191 The same passage occurs in the Reformatio Legum ecclesiasticarum (De Summa Trinitate, c. 2), a work prepared by a committee consisting of Cranmer, Peter Martyr, and six others, 1551. It was edited by Cardwell, Oxford, 1850, and serves as a commentary on the Articles. See Hardwick, pp. 82 and 371.|
|Damnant omnes hæreses, contra hunc articulum exortas, ut Manichæos, qui duo principia ponebant, Bonum et Malum; item Valentinianos, Arianos, Eunomianos, Mahometistas,||Damnamus omnes hæreses contra hunc articulum exortas, ut Manichæos, qui duo principia ponebant, Bonum et Malum: item Valentinianos, Arianos, Eunomianos, Mahometistas,|
|et omnes horum similes. Damnant et Samosatenos, veteres et neotericos, qui, cum tantum unam personam esse contendant, de Verbo et de Spiritu Sancto astute et impie rhetoricantur, quod non sint personæ distinctæ, sed quod Verbum significet verbum vocale, et Spiritus motum in rebus creatum.||et omnes horum similes. Damnamus et Samosatenos, veteres et neotericos, qui cum tantum unam personam esse contendant, de Verbo et Spiritu Sancto astute et impie rhetoricantur, quod non sint personæ distinctæ, sed quod Verbum significet verbum vocale, et Spiritus motum in rebus creatum.||
|Art. III. De Filio Dei.||Art. III. De Duabus Christi Naturis.||Art. II. Verbum Dei verum hominem esse factum.|
|Item, docent, quod Verbum, hoc est, Filius Dei, assumpserit humanam naturam in utero beatæ Mariæ virginis, ut sint duæ naturæ, divina et humana, in unitate personæ inseparabiliter conjunctæ, unus Christus, vere Deus et vere homo, natus ex virgine Maria, vere passus, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, ut reconciliaret nobis Patrem, et hostia esset non tantum pro culpa originis, sed etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis.||Item docemus, quod Verbum, hoc est Filius Dei, assumpserit humanam naturam in utero beatæ Mariæ virginis, ut sint duæ naturæ, divina et humana, in unitate personæ inseparabiliter conjunctæ, unus Christus, vere Deus, et vere homo, natus ex virgine Maria, vere passus, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, ut reconciliaret nobis Patrem, et hostia esset non tantum pro culpa originis, sed etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis.||Filius, qui est Verbum Patris ab æterno a Patre genitus verus et æternus Deus, ac Patri consubstantialis, in utero Beatæ virginis ex illius substantia naturam humanam assumpsit: ita ut duæ naturæ, divina et humana integre atque perfecte in unitate personæ, fuerint inseparabiliter coniunctæ: ex quibus est unus Christus, verus Deus et verus homo: qui vere passus est, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, ut Patrem nobis reconciliaret, essetque hostia non tantum pro culpa originis, verum etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis.|
|Idem descendit ad inferos, et vere resurrexit tertia die, deinde ascendit ad cœlos, ut sedeat ad dexteram Patris, et perpetuo regnet et dominetur omnibus creaturis, sanctificet credentes in ipsum, misso in corda eorum Spiritu Sancto, qui regat, consoletur ac vivificet eos, ac defendat adversus diabolum et vim peccati.||Item descendit ad inferos, et vere resurrexit tertia die, deinde ascendit ad cœlos, ut sedeat ad dexteram Patris et perpetuo regnet et dominetur omnibus creaturis, sanctificet credentes in ipsum, misso in corde eorum Spiritu Sancto, qui regat, consoletur, ac vivificet eos, ac defendat adversus diabolum et vim peccati.||
|Idem Christus palam est rediturus, ut judicet vivos et mortuos, etc., juxta Symbolum Apostolorum.||Idem Christus palam est rediturus ut judicet vivos et mortuos, etc., juxta Symbolum Apostolorum.||
|Art. IV. De Justificatione.||Art. IV. De Justificatione.||Art. XI. De Hominis Iustificatione.|
|Item docent, quod homines non possint justificari coram Deo propriis viribus, meritis aut operibus, sed gratis justificentur propter Christum per fidem, cum credunt se in gratiam recipi, et peccata remitti propter Christum, qui sua morte pro nostris peccatis satisfecit. Hanc fidem imputat Deus pro justitia coram ipso. Rom. III. et IV.||[Art. IV. of the Augsburg Confession is enlarged, and Art. V. added. In this case the English Articles do not give the language, but the sense of the Lutheran symbols, with the unmistakeable 'sola fide,' which was Luther's watchword.]||Tantum propter meritum Domini ac Servatoris nostri Iesu Christi, per fidem, non propter opera et merita nostra, iusti coram Deo reputamur. Quare sola fide nos iustificari, doctrina est saluberrima, ac consolationis plenissima: ut in Homilia de Iustificatione hominis fusius explicatur.|
|Art. VII. De Ecclesia.||Art. V. De Ecclesia.||Art. XIX. De Ecclesia.|
Item docent, quod una Sancta Ecclesia
pepetuo mansura sit. Est autem Ecclesia congregatio Sanctorum
[Versammlung aller Gläubigen], in qua Evangelium recte
docetur, et recte [laut des Evangelii]
Et ad veram unitatem Ecclesiæ satis est consentire de doctrina Evangelii et administratione Sacramentorum. Nec necesse est ubique esse similes traditiones humanas, seu ritus aut ceremonias, ab hominibus institutas. Sicut inquit Paulus (Eph. iv. 5, 6): Una fides, unum Baptisma, unus Deus et Pater omnium, etc.
|[This Article is much enlarged, and makes an important distinction between the Church as the 'congregatio omnium sanctorum et fidelium,' (the invisible Church), which is the mystical body of Christ, and the Church as the 'congregatio omnium hominum qui baptizati sunt' (the visible Church).]||
Ecclesia Christi visibilis,
est cœtus fidelium, in quo verbum Dei purum prædicatur, et
sacromenta, quoad ea quæ necessario exiguntur, iuxta Christi institutum
The silence of this Article concerning the episcopal succession was observed by Joliffe,
prebendary at Worcester, who added among the marks of the Church, 'legitima
et continua successio vicariorum Christi.'
Sicut erravit Ecclesia Hierosolymitana, Alexandrina et Antiochena: ita et erravit Ecclesia Romana, non solum quoad agenda et cæremoniarum ritus, verum in his etiam quæ credenda sunt.
[Compare Art. XXXIII., which treats of ecclesiastical traditions, and corresponds in sentiment to the second clause in Art. VII. of the Augsburg Confession.]
|Art. XIII. De Usu Sacramentorum.||Art. IX. De Sacramentorum Usu.||Art. XXV. De Sacramentis.|
|De usu Sacramentorum docent, quod Sacramenta instituta, sint, non modo ut||Docemus, quod Sacramenta quæ per verbum Dei instituta sunt, non tantum||Sacramenta a Christo instituta non tantum sunt notæ professionis Christianorum,|
sint notæ professionis inter
homines, sed magis ut sint signa et testimonia voluntatis Dei
erga nos, ad excitandam et confirmandam fidem, in his, qui utuntur, proposita.
Itaque utendum est Sacramentis ita, ut fides accedat, quæ credat promissionibus,
quæ per Sacramenta exhibentur et ostenduntur.
Damnant igitur illos, qui docent, quod Sacramenta ex opere operato justificent, nec docent fidem requiri in usu Sacramentorum, quæ credat remitti peccata.
|sint notæ professionis inter Christianos, sed magis certa quædam testimonia et efficacia signa gratiæ, et bonæ voluntatis Dei erga nos, per quæ Deus invisibiliter operatur in nobis, et suam gratiam in nos invisibiliter diffundit, siquidem ea rite susceperimus; quodque per ea excitatur et confirmatur fides in his qui eis utuntur. Porro docemus, quod ita utendum sit sacramentis, ut in adultis, præter veram contritionem, necessario etiam debeat accedere fides, quæ credat præsentibus promissionibus, quæ per sacramenta ostenduntur, exhibentur, et præstantur. Neque, etc.||sed certa quædam potius testimonia, et efficacia signa gratiæ atque bonæ in nos voluntatis Dei, per quæ invisibiliter ipse in nobis operatur, nostramque fidem in se, non solum excitat, verum etiam confirmat.|
Besides these passages, there is a close resemblance in thought, though not in language, in the statements of the doctrine of original sin,11931193 Conf. Aug. Art. II., English Art. IX., from Augustine. and of the possibility of falling after justification.11941194 Conf. Aug. Art. XII. ('Damnant Anabaptistas qui negant semel justificatos posse amittere Spiritum Sanctum,' etc.), English Art. XVI. Several of the Edwardine Articles, also, which were omitted in the Elizabethan revision, were suggested by Art XVII. of the Augsburg Confession, which is directed against the Anabaptists.
THE ARTICLES AND THE WÜRTEMBERG CONFESSION.
In the Elizabethan revision of the Articles another Lutheran Confession was used (in Arts. II., V., VI., X., XI., and XX.)—namely, the Confessio Würtembergica, drawn up by the Suabian Reformer, Brentius (at a time when he was still in full harmony with Melanchthon), in the name of Duke Christopher of Würtemberg (1551), and presented by his delegates to the Council of Trent (Jan. 24, 1552).11951195 Printed in the Corpus et Syntagma Conf., and in Dr. Heppe's Bekenntniss-Schriften der altprotestantischen Kirche Deutschlands, Cassel, 1855, pp. 491–554. See above, § 47, pp. 343 sq. Archbishop Laurence (Bampton Lectures, pp. 40 and 233 sqq.) first discovered and pointed out this resemblance. Hardwick (pp. 126 sqq.) and the 'Interleaved Prayer-Book' speak of the Confession of Brentius alternately as the 'Saxon' Confession, and the 'Würtemberg' (or Wirtemburg!) Confession, as if the Saxon city of Wittenberg and the Duchy (now Kingdom) of Würtemberg were one and the same. The 'Saxon Confession,' so called, or the 'Repetition of the Augsburg Confession,' is a different document, written about the same time and for the same purpose by Melanchthon, in behalf of the Wittenberg and other Saxon divines. See above, p. 340, and the Oxford Sylloge, which incorporates the Saxon but not the Würtemberg Confession. Soon 628after the accession of Elizabeth the negotiations with the German Lutherans (which had been broken off in 1538) were resumed, with a view to join the Smalcaldian League, but led to no definite result. It was probably during these negotiations that the Würtemberg Confession became known in England; and as it had acquired a public notoriety by its presentation at Trent, and was a restatement of the Augsburg Confession adapted to the new condition of things, it was very natural that it should be compared in the revision of the Articles. Melanchthon's 'Saxon Repetition of the Augsburg Confession' would indeed have answered the same purpose equally well, but perhaps it was not known in time.
|Confessio Würtembergica, 1552.||Thirty-nine Articles, 1563.|
|Art. II. De Filio Dei (Heppe, p.492).||Art. II. Verbum Dei verum hominem esse factum.|
|Credimus et confitemur Filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, ab æterno a Patre suo genitum, verum et æternum Deum, Patri suo consubstantialem, et in plenitudine temporia factum hominem, etc.||Ab æterno a Patre genitus, verus et æternus Deus, ac Patri consubstantialis.|
|Art. III. De Spiritu Sancto (Heppe, p. 493).||Art. V. De Spiritu Sancto.|
|Credimus et confitemur Spiritum Sanctum ab æterno procedere a Deo Patre et Filio, et esse ejusdem cum Patre et Filio essentiæ, majestatis, et gloriæ, verum ac æternum Deum.||Spiritus Sanctus, a Patre et Filio procedens, ejusdem est cum Patre et Filio essentiæ, majestatis, et gloriæ, verus ac æternus Deus.|
|Art. XXX. De Sacra Scriptura (Heppe, p. 540).||Art. VI. Divinæ Scripturæ doctrina sufficit ad salutem.|
|Sacram Scripturam vocamus eos Canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti, de quorum authoritate in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.||. . . Sacræ Scripturæ nomine eos Canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti intelligimus, de quorum auctoritate in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.|
|Art. IV. De Peccato (Heppe, p.498).||Art. X. De Libero Arbitrio.|
|Quod autem nonnulli affirmant homini post lapsum tantam animi integritatem relictam, ut possit sese, naturalibus suis viribus et bonis operibus, ad fidem et invocationem Dei convertere ac præparare, haud obscure pugnat cum Apostolica doctrina, et cum vero Ecclesiæ Catholicæ consensu.||Ea est hominis post lapsum Adæ conditio, ut sese, naturalibus suis viribus et bonis operibus, ad fidem et invocationem Dei convertere ac præparare non possit. [The next clause, 'Quare absque gratia Dei,' etc., is taken almost verbatim from Augustine, De gratia et lib. arbitrio, c. 17 (al. 33).]|
|Art. V. De Justificatione (Heppe, p. 495).||Art. XI. De Hominis Justificatione.|
|Homo enim fit Deo acceptus, et reputatur coram eo justus, propter solum Filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, per fidem.||Tantum propter meritum Domini ac Servatoris nostri Jesu Christi, per fidem, non propter opera et merita nostra, justi coram Deo reputamur.|
|Art. VIII. De Evangelio Christi (Heppe, p. 500.|
|Nec veteris nec novi Testamenti hominibus contingat æterna salus propter meritum operum Legis, sed tantum propter meritum Domini nostri Jesu Christi, per fidem.|
|Art. VII. De Bonis Operibus (Heppe, p. 499).||Art. XII. De Bonis Operibus.|
|Non est autem sentiendum, quod iis bonis operibus, quæ per nos facimus, in judicio Dei, ubi agitur de expiatione peccatorum, et placatione divinæ iræ, ac merito æternæ salutis, confidendem sit. Omnia enim bona opera, quæ nos facimus, sunt imperfecta, nec possunt severitatem divini judicii ferre.||Bona opera, quæ sunt fructus fidei, et justificatos sequuntur, quanquam peccata nostra expiare, et divini judicii severitatem ferre non possunt, Deo tamen, grata sunt et accepta in Christo. . . .|
|Art. XXXII. De Ecclesia (Heppe, p. 544).||Art. XX. De Ecclesiæ Autoritate.|
|Credimus et confitemur, quod una sit Sancta Catholica et Apostolica Ecclesia, juxta symbolum Apostolorum et Nicænum. . . .||Habet Ecclesia ritus sive ceremonias statuendi jus, et in fidei controversiis auctoritatem, quamvis Ecclesiæ non licet quicquam instituere, quod verbo Dei scripto adversetur nec unum Scripturæ locum sic exponere potest ut alteri contradicat|
|Quod hæc Ecclesia habeat jus judicandi de omnibus doctrinis, juxta illud, Probate spiritus, num ex Deo sint.|
|Quod hæc Ecclesia habeat jus interpretandæ Scripturæ.|
THE ARTICLES AND THE REFORMED CONFESSIONS.
We now proceed to those doctrines in which the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches differed and finally separated—namely, the doctrines of predestination and the eucharistic presence. Here we find the English Articles on the Reformed side. The authors and revisers formed their views on these subjects partly from an independent study of the Scriptures and Augustine, partly from contact with the Swiss divines.
The principal Reformed Confessions were indeed published at a later date—the Gallican Confession in 1559; the Belgic in 1561; the Heidelberg Catechism in 1563; the Second Helvetic Confession in 1566. But Zwingli's and Bullinger's works, Calvin's Institutes (1536), and his Tract on the Lord's Supper (1541), the Zurich Consensus (1549), and the Geneva Consensus (1552), must have been more or less known in England. Bishop Hooper had become a thorough disciple of Bullinger by a long residence in Zurich before the accession of Edward VI., and was consulted on the Articles. Cranmer (as previously mentioned) embraced, with Ridley, the Reformed doctrine of the Lord's Supper as early as 1548; he corresponded with the Swiss Reformers, as well as with Melanchthon, and invited them (March 1552) to England to frame a general creed; and he was in intimate personal connection with Bucer, Peter Martyr, John Laski, and Knox at the time he framed the Articles.11961196 One of the last letters of Cranmer was written from his prison, 1555, to Peter Martyr, who was a decided Calvinist. See Zurich Letters, First Series, Vol. I. p. 29. From the same period we have a remarkable witness to the influence of Calvin's tracts in defense of the doctrine of predestination.11971197 See above, p. 474. Bartholomew Traheron, then Dean of Chichester, and librarian to King Edward, wrote to Bullinger from London, Sept. 10, 1552, as follows:11981198 Zurich Letters, First Series, Vol. I. p. 325. 'I am exceedingly desirous to know what you and the other very learned men who live at Zurich think respecting the predestination and providence of God. If you ask the reason, there are certain individuals here who lived among you some time, and who assert that you lean too much to Melanchthon's views.11991199 From this we might infer that Melanchthon's influence, in consequence of his abandonment of absolute predestinarianism, was declining in England, while Calvin's was increasing. But the greater 631number among us, of whom I own myself to be one, embrace the opinion of John Calvin as being perspicuous, and most agreeable to holy Scripture. And we truly thank God that that excellent treatise of the very learned and excellent John Calvin against Pighius and one Georgius Siculus should have come forth at the very time when the question began to be agitated among us.12001200 He means the Consensus Genevensis de æterna Dei prædestinatione, which appeared in 1552, and acquired semi-symbolical authority in Geneva. Calvin had also previously (1543) written a tract against Pighius on the doctrine of free-will, and dedicated it to Melanchthon, who gratefully acknowledged the compliment, but modestly intimated his dissent and his inability to harmonize the all-ruling providence of God with the action of the human will. See Stähelin, Calv. Vol. I. p. 241. For we confess that he has thrown, much light upon the subject, or rather so handled it as that we have never before seen any thing more learned or more plain. We are anxious, however, to know what are your opinions, to which we justly allow much weight. We certainly hope that you differ in no respect from his excellent and most learned opinion. At least you will please to point out what you approve in that treatise, or think defective, or reject altogether, if indeed you do reject any part of it, which we shall not easily believe.' To this letter Bullinger replied at length, but not to the satisfaction of the Dean, who wrote to him again, June 3, 1553, as follows:12011201 Zurich Letters, First Series, Vol. I. p. 327. Bullinger's tract De providentia, which was occasioned by Traheron, is still extant in MS. in Zurich, and is fully noticed by Schweizer. See above, p. 475. 'You do not approve of Calvin, when he states that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity, but that he also at his own pleasure arranged it. But unless we allow this, we shall certainly take away both the providence and the wisdom of God altogether. I do not indeed perceive how this sentence of Solomon contains any thing less than this: "The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Prov.xvi.4). And that of Paul: "Of him and through him, and to him are all things" (Rom. xi. 36). I pass over other expressions which the most learned Calvin employs, because they occur everywhere in the holy Scriptures.'
The Elizabethan revision was the work of the Marian exiles, who felt themselves in complete theological harmony with the Swiss divines, especially with Bullinger of Zurich, who represented an improved type of Zwinglianism, and agreed with Calvin on the subject 632of the Lord's Supper (as expressed in the Consensus Tigurinus, 1549), but was more moderate and guarded on the subject of predestination.12021202 On Bullinger's intimate personal relations with English divines, which began before the reign of Edward and continued till his death (1575), compare Pestalozzi's Heinrich Bullinger, pp. 441 sqq. His writings seem to have been better known and exerted more influence in the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign than those of Calvin, which were more congenial to the Scotch mind; but they became all-powerful even in England towards the close of the sixteenth century.
On this point we have the explicit testimonies of the very men who were the chief assistants of Archbishop Parker in the revision of the Articles. Bishop Horn, of Winchester, wrote to Henry Bullinger, Dec. 13, 1563, soon after the adoption of the Latin revision: 'We have throughout England the same ecclesiastical doctrine as yourselves. . . . The people of England entertain on these points' [the sacraments, and 'against the ubiquitarianism of Brentius'] 'the same opinions as you do at Zurich.'12031203 Zurich Letters, Second Series, Vol. I. (A.D. 1558–1579), p. 135. Bishop Grindal, of London, afterwards (1575) the successor of Parker in the primacy, wrote to Bullinger, Aug. 27, 1566: 'We, who are now bishops, most fully agree in the pure doctrines of the gospel with your churches, and with the Confession you have lately set forth' [i.e., the Second Helvetic Confession, which appeared in the same year]. 'And we do not regret our resolution; for in the mean time, the Lord giving the increase, our churches are enlarged and established, which under other circumstances would have become a prey to the Ecebolians, Lutherans, and semi-papists.'12041204 Ibid. p. 169. Ecebolus was a sophist of Constantinople in the fourth century, who followed the Emperor Julian in his apostasy. In a letter to Calvin, dated June 19, 1563, Grindal says: 'As you and Bullinger are almost the only chief pillars remaining, we desire to enjoy you both (if it please God) as long as possible. I purposely omit mention of Brentius, who having undertaken the advocacy of the very worst of causes' [ubiquitarianism], 'seems no longer to acknowledge us as brethren.'12051205 Ibid. Vol. II. p. 97. Brentius advocated the absolute ubiquity of Christ's body, and fiercely attacked the Reformed in several tracts, from 1560 to 1564 (ten years after he wrote the Würtemberg Confession). He was answered by Bullinger and Peter Martyr. See above, p. 290. The letters of Bishop Cox, of Ely, to Bullinger and Peter Martyr, though not so explicit, breathe the same spirit of grateful respect 633and affection. The strong testimony of Bishop Jewel of Salesbury, the final reviser of the English text and chief author of the Second Book of Homilies, we have already quoted.12061206 See his letter to his revered teacher, Peter Martyr, p. 603. Grindal called him after his death (Sept. 22, 1571), 'the jewel and singular ornament of the Church, as his name implies.'—Zurich Letters, Second Series, Vol. I. p. 260. An adversary, Moren, said of him : 'I should love thee, Jewel, if thou wert not a Zwinglian; in thy faith I hold thee an heretic, but surely in thy life thou art an angel.' Queen Elizabeth ordered a copy of Jewel's 'Apology of the Church of England' (1562) to be chained in every parish church.
PREDESTINATION AND ELECTION.
On the premundane mystery of predestination, which no system of philosophy or theology can satisfactorily solve in this world, and which ought to be approached with profound reverence and humility, all the Reformers, in their private writings, followed originally the teaching of the great Augustine and the greater St. Paul; meaning thereby to cut human merit and pride at the roots, and to give all the glory of our salvation to God alone. But the Lutheran symbols (with the exception of the later Formula of Concord) are silent on the subject, while most of the Reformed standards, under the influence of Calvin, give it a prominent place. The English Articles handle it with much wisdom and moderation, dwelling exclusively on the election of saints or predestination to life. We give the XVIIth Article in its original form with the later amendments; the clauses which were omitted in the Elizabethan revision are printed in italics, the words which were inserted or substituted are inclosed in brackets.
OF PREDESTINATION AND ELECTION.
Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen [in Christ]12071207 The insertion 'in Christ' is Scriptural and in accordance with all the Reformed Confessions. There is no election out of Christ or apart from Christ. out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor. Wherefore, such as have [they which be endued with] so excellent a benefit of God given unto them, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons [of God] by adoption: they be made like the image of God's [his] only begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth 634fervently kindle their love towards God: so, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil may [doth] thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, although the Decrees of Predestination are unknown unto us, yet we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture; and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.
This Article can not be derived from the Augsburg Confession, nor from the Thirteen Articles, nor from the Würtemberg Confession—for they omit the subject of predestination altogether12081208 With the exception of an incidental allusion to the absolute freedom of divine grace in the Augsburg Confession, Art. V., De Ministerio: 'Per verbum et sacramenta tamquam per instrumenta donatur Spiritus Sanctus, qui fidem efficit, ubi et quando visum est Deo, in iis qui audiunt evangelium.' Compare with this the expression of the Form. Concordiæ (Sol. decl. Art. II. de lib. arbitr. p. 673): 'Trahit Deus hominem, quem convertere decrevit.' It is significant that in the altered edition of 1540 Melanchthon omitted the words ubi et quando visum est Deo,' as also the words 'non adjuvante Deo' in Art. XIX. The brevity of allusion shows that even in 1530, although still holding to the Augustinian scheme, he laid less stress on it than in the first edition of his Loci. This appears also from a letter to Brentius, Sept. 30, 1531 (Corp. Ref. Vol. II. p. 547), where Melanchthon says: 'Sed ego in tota Apologia fugi illam longam et inexplicabilem disputationem de prædestinatione. Ubique sic loquor, quasi prædestinatio sequatur nostram fidem et opera.'—nor from Melanchthon's private writings, for he abandoned his former views, and suggested the synergistic theory as early as 1535, and more fully in 1548.12091209 See above, pp. 262 sqq., and Schweizer, Centraldogmen, Vol. I. p. 384. There is not a trace of synergism in the XVIIth Art, and Art. X. expressly denies the freedom of will, while Melanchthon asserts it in the later editions of his Loci ('Liberum arbitrium esse in homine facultatem applicandi se ad gratiam'). Laurence (p. 179) and Hardwick (p. 383) derive the last clause about the 'general' promises and the 'revealed will' from Melanchthon, but the same sentiments are found in Calvin, Bullinger, and the Reformed Confessions. See below. It can not be naturally understood in any other than an Augustinian or moderately Calvinistic sense. It does not, indeed, go as far as the Lambeth Articles (1595), which the stronger Calvinism of the rising generation thought necessary to add as an explanation. It omits the knotty points; it is cautiously framed and guarded against abuse.12101210 This element of caution and modesty is well expressed by Bishop Ridley: 'In these matters [of God's election] I am so fearful that I dare not speak further, yea, almost none otherwise than the very text doth, as it were, lead me by the hand.' Ridley's Works (Parker ed.), p. 368. He thus wrote in a letter of sympathy to his friend and chaplain, Bradford, who in prison, at London, had a dispute with a certain 'free-willer,' Henry Hart, and wrote an excellent 'Defense of Election.' This treatise was approved by his fellow-prisoners, and shows what an unspeakable comfort they derived from this doctrine. See The Writings of John Bradford, Martyr, 1555 (Parker Soc. ed.), pp. 307 sqq. But it very clearly teaches a free eternal election in Christ, which carries with it, by way of execution in time, the certainty of the call, justification, adoption, sanctification, and final glorification (Rom. viii. 29, 30).635
This is all that is essential, and a matter of dogma in the Reformed Churches; the rest of what is technically called Calvinism, in distinction from Arminianism, is logical inference, and belongs to the theology of the school. It should be remembered that all the Reformed Confessions (even the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession, and the Helvetic Consensus Formula) keep within the limits of infralapsarianism, which puts the fall under a permissive decree, and makes man alone responsible for sin and condemnation; the most authoritative, as the Helvetic Confession of Bullinger, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Brandenburg Confessions (also the Scotch Confession of 1560) teach only the positive and comforting part of predestination, and ignore or deny a separate decree of reprobation; thus taking the ground practically that all that are saved are saved by the free grace of God, while all that are lost are lost by their own guilt. They also teach that God's promises and Christ's redemption are general, and that we must abide by the revealed will of God, which sincerely offers the gospel salvation to all who repent and believe.12111211 Conf. Helv. post., cap. X.: 'Bene sperandum est de omnibus. Vestrum non est de his curiosius inquirere. . . . Audienda est prædicatio evangelii, eique credendum est, et pro indubitato habendum, si credis ac sis in Christo, electum te esse. . . . "Venite ad me omnes," etc. . . . "Sic Deus dilexit mundum," etc. . . . "Non est voluntas Patris, ut quisque de his pusillis pereat." . . . Promissiones Dei sunt universales fidelibus' (not electis), etc. Heidelb. Cat., Qu. 37: 'Christ bore the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race (1 Pet. ii. 24; 1 John ii. 2, etc.).' Conf. Belg., Art. XIII.: 'Sufficit nobis ea duntaxat discere quæ ipse verbo suo nos docet, neque hos fines transilire fas esse ducimus.' Calvin himself often warns against idle curiosity and speculation on the secret will of God, and exhorts men to abide by the revealed will of God. See the passages quoted by Stähelin, Vol. II. p. 279. Comp. the remarks of Dr. Julius Müller on the Reformed Confessions concerning predestination, in his work, Die evang. Union (1854), p. 214, and his Dogmat. Abhandlungen (1870), p. 194.
The remarks of the Article about the 'sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort' of our election in Christ, and the caution against abuse by carnal persons, are consistent only with the Calvinistic interpretation, and wholly inapplicable to Arminian views, which are neither comfortable nor dangerous, and have never thrust any man 'into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living.'12121212 Dr. Cunningham (The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation, p. 194), says: 'It is only the Calvinistic, and not the Arminian doctrine that suggests or requires such guards or caveats; and it is plainly impossible that such a statement could ever have occurred to the compilers of the Articles as proper and necessary, unless they had been distinctly aware that they had just laid down a statement which at least included the Calvinistic doctrine.'
The view here taken is confirmed by the contemporary testimonies 636already quoted, and by the first learned commentator of the Articles, Thomas Rogers, who was chaplain to Archbishop Bancroft, and did not sympathize with the Puritan party. He draws the following propositions from the XVIIth Article, and fortifies them with abundant Scripture passages:12131213 The Catholic Doctrine of the Church of England, etc., first published, London, 1586, Parker Society ed. (by J. J. S. Perowne), 1854, p. 143. This important work has not been even alluded to by any writer I have consulted on the subject.
'1. There is a predestination of men unto everlasting life.
'2. Predestination hath been from everlasting.
'3. They who are predestinate unto salvation can not perish.
'4. Not all men, but certain, are predestinate to be saved.
'5. In Christ Jesus, of the mere will and purpose of God, some are elected, and not others, unto salvation.
'6. They who are elected unto salvation, if they come unto years of discretion, are called both outwardly by the Word and inwardly by the Spirit of God.
'7. The predestinate are both justified by faith, sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and shall be glorified in the life to come.
'8. The consideration of predestination is to the godly-wise most comfortable, but to curious and carnal persons very dangerous.
'9. The general promises of God, set forth in the holy Scriptures, are to be embraced of us.
'10. In our actions, the Word of God, which is his revealed will, must be our direction.'
To this theological comment I add the judgment of an impartial and well-informed secular historian. Henry Hallam12141214 Constit. History of England, ch. vii. p. 230 (Amer. ed.). declares that the Articles on predestination, original sin, and total depravity, 'after making every allowance for want of precision, are totally irreconcilable with the scheme usually denominated Arminian.' He justly appeals in confirmation of this judgment to contemporary and other early authorities, and adds: 'Whatever doubts may be raised as to the Calvinism of Cranmer and Ridley, there can surely be no room for any as to the chiefs of the Anglican Church under Elizabeth. We find explicit proofs that Jewel, Nowell, Sandys, and Cox professed to concur with the Reformers of Zurich and Geneva in every point of doctrine. 637The works of Calvin and Bullinger became the text-books in the English universities. Those who did not hold the predestinarian theory were branded with reproach by the name of Free-willers and Pelagians; and when the opposite tenets came to be advanced, as they were at Cambridge about 1590, a clamor was raised as if some unusual heresy had been broached.'
The Arminian interpretation of the Article under consideration is an anachronism and a failure. The Lutheran interpretation is more plausible, but true only so far as the Lutheran system is itself Augustinian. The Tractarian interpretation, which identifies eternal election with ecclesiastical calling, and the elect with the baptized, is contrary both to the spirit and letter of the Article. It must in all fairness be admitted that Art. XVII., in connection with Arts. X. and XIII., implies the infralapsarian scheme, and that the Lambeth Articles are not a reaction, but a legitimate though one-sided development.
Note.—The anti-Calvinistic interpretation began after the Synod of Dort with Archbishop Laud, or his biographer, Peter Heylin (in his Historia Quinqu-Articularis, London, 1660, which was answered and refuted by Henry Hickman, in his Historia Quinqu-Articularis Exarticulata, 1673). It was maintained, with hesitation, by Waterland (1721), more decidedly by Dr. Winchester, d. 1780 (Dissertation on the XVIIth Article, new ed. London, 1808); by Dean Kipling (The Articles of the Church of England proved not to be Calvinistic, Cambridge, 1802); by Bishop Tomline, d. 1827 (A Refutation of Calvinism, London, 1811); and, with considerable learning, by Archbishop Laurence, d. 1839 (Bampt. Lect., Lect. VII. and VIII., Oxford, 1834, 3d ed. 1838), and by Hardwick (Hist. of the Articles).
Laurence and Hardwick, as already remarked, trace Article XVII to Lutheran sources, but they overlook the difference between the Lutheran system (which admits the Augustinian premises, and even the doctrine of unconditional election of grace—see the formula of Concord, ch. xi.) and the Arminian system (which denies the Augustinian anthropology, and makes both election and reprobation conditional), and show more dislike than real knowledge of Calvin. It is little less than a caricature when Laurence says of Calvin that his 'love of hypothesis' was superior to his great talent and piety (p. 43); that his 'vanity induced him to frame a peculiar system of his own' (pp. 262, 263), and that 'no man, perhaps, was ever less scrupulous in the adoption of general expressions, and no man adopted them with more mental reservations' (p. 375). Principal Cunningham has exposed this unfairness (The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformers, 1866, pp. 179 sqq.).
Bishop Burnet (who was an Arminian and Latitudinarian) and Bishop Browne (a moderate High-Churchman) hesitate between the Augustinian and the Arminian interpretation. Burnet, after calmly reviewing the different theories of predestination, says (p. 236, Oxford ed.): 'It is not to be denied, but that the Article seems to be framed according to St. Austin's doctrine: it supposes men to be under a curse and damnation, antecedently to predestination, from which they are delivered by it; so it is directly against the supralapsarian doctrine; nor does the Article make any mention of reprobation—no, not in a hint; no definition is made concerning it. The Article does also seem to assert the efficacy of grace—that in which the knot of the whole difficulty lies is not defined; that is, whether God's eternal purpose or decree was made according to what he foresaw his creatures would do, or purely upon an absolute will, in order to his own glory. It is very probable that those who penned it meant that 638the decree was absolute; but yet since they have not said it, those who subscribe the Articles do not seem to be bound to any thing that is not expressed in them; and, therefore, since the Remonstrants do not deny but that God having foreseen what all mankind would, according to all the different circumstances in which they should be put, do or not do, he upon that did by a firm and eternal decree lay that whole design in all its branches, which he executes in time; they may subscribe this Article without renouncing their opinion as to this matter. On the other hand, the Calvinists have less occasion for scruple, since the Article does seem more plainly to favor them. The three cautions that are added to it do likewise intimate that St. Austin's doctrine was designed to be settled by the Articles for the danger of men's having the sentence of God's predestination always before their eyes, which may occasion either desperation on the one hand, or the wretchedness of most unclean living on the other, belongs only to that side; since these mischiefs do not arise out of the other hypothesis. The other two, of taking the promises of God in the sense in which they are set forth to us in holy Scriptures, and of following that will of God that is expressly declared to us in the Word of God, relate very visibly to the same opinion.
Bishop Browne, after a long discussion, comes to the conclusion (p. 425) that 'the Article was designedly drawn up in guarded and general terms, on purpose to comprehend all persons of tolerably sober views. . . . I am strongly disposed to believe that Cranmer's own opinions were certainly neither Arminian nor Calvinistic, nor probably even Augustinian; yet I can hardly think that he would have so worded this Article had he intended to declare very decidedly against either explanation of the doctrine of election.'
Bishop Forbes, a Tractarian, admits the Article to be 'Augustinian, but not Calvinistic' (p. 252), and identifies the baptized with the elect, saying (p. 254), 'God's predestination is bestowed on every baptized Christian. . . . The fact of God bringing men to baptism is synonymous with his choosing them in Christ out of mankind.'
John Wesley, unable to reconcile Art. XVII. with his Arminianism, omitted it altogether from his revision of the Articles.
BAPTISMAL REGENERATION AND FALL FROM GRACE.
The Articles teach also the possibility of falling away from grace (XVI.) and the doctrine of general baptismal regeneration (XXVII.). This seems to exclude an absolute decree of election 'to everlasting life,' which involves final perseverance as a necessary means to a certain end. Hence the attempts to explain away either the one or the other in order to save the logical consistency of the formulary.12151215 Dr. Goode, in his learned work, The Doctrine of the Church of England as to the Effects of Baptism in the case of Infants (1849), labors to show that inasmuch as the founders of the Church of England were Calvinists, they can not have held the Tractarian doctrine of baptismal regeneration, which is incompatible with Calvinism. Archdeacon Wilberforce, who afterwards seceded to Rome, showed, in his Doctrine of Holy Baptism (London, 1849), in opposition to Goode, that the formularies of the Church of England do clearly teach baptismal regeneration. J. B. Mozley, B.D., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in his able work on The Primitive Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration (London, 1856), takes a middle ground, viz., that the Church of England imposes the doctrine 'that God gives regenerating grace to the whole body of the baptized,' and tolerates the doctrine 'that God gives grace sufficient for salvation only to some of this body' and 'that these two positions can not really be in collision with each other, though apparently they are.' Mozley grapples with the difficulties of the problem, but has after all not succeeded in making it clear.
In Article XVI. there is no real difficulty. It is directed against 639the Anabaptists, who 'say they can no more sin,' and the modern Novatians, who 'deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent,' and accords with a similar article in the Augsburg Confession.12161216 Comp. Augs. Conf., Art. XII.: 'Damnant Anabaptistas, qui negant semel justificatos posse amittere Spiritum Sanctum. . . . Damnantur et Novatiani qui nolebant absolvere lapsos post baptismum redeuntes ad pœnitentiam.' Also Bullinger's Confes. Helv., cap. XIV.: 'Damnamus et veteres et novos Novatianos, atque Catharos.' It simply teaches the possibility of a temporary fall of the baptized and regenerated, but not a total and final fall of the elect, as is clear from the addition, 'and by the grace of God we may arise again and amend our lives.' This is quite consistent with Augustinianism, and even with the most rigorous form of Calvinism.12171217 See the defense of this Article by Dean Bridges, of Sarum, quoted by Hardwick, p. 211.
On the subject of baptism the Anglican Church agrees much more with the Lutheran than with the Calvinistic creed. She retained the Catholic doctrine of baptismal regeneration, but rejected the opus operatum theory, and the doctrine that baptism destroys the nature of original sin as well as its guilt. Baptismal regeneration is taught indefinitely in Article XXVII.,12181218 'Baptism is . . . a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly, are grafted into the Church.' The language of this Article bears a Reformed or Calvinistic interpretation. Bishop Hooper and several of the Marian exiles were Zwinglians, but the views of Cranmer and Ridley, in their private writings, on the effects of baptism and baptismal grace, agree substantially with those of Luther. See Browne on Art. XXVII. pp. 668 sq.; the passages collected by Jones, Expos. of the Art. pp. 157 sqq.; also Hardwick, pp. 393–395. more plainly in the Catechism,12191219 The second question: 'Who gave you this name? Ans. My godfather and godmother in baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.' and in the baptismal service of the Liturgy, which pronounces every child after baptism to be regenerated.12201220 After the public baptism of infants, the priest shall say: 'Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church, let us give thanks to Almighty God for these benefits,' etc. And in the prayer which follows: 'We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church.' The same prayer is prescribed for the office of private baptism of infants. The baptismal service is derived from the Sarum Manual and from the 'Consultation' of Archbishop Hermann of Cologne, which was borrowed from Luther's Taufbüchlein. See Daniel, Cod. Liturg. Eccl. Luth. p. 185, and Procter, History of the Book of Common Prayer, p. 371, 11th ed. (1874). Among the eight particulars in the Prayer-Book, which Baxter and his Nonconformist brethren objected to as sinful, the fourth was 'that ministers be forced to pronounce all baptized infants to be regenerate by the Holy Ghost, whether they be the children of Christians or not' (Procter, p. 133). The last clause intimates that baptized children of Christian parents were regarded by them as regenerate.640
This doctrine seems to be contradicted by the undeniable fact that multitudes of baptized persons in all churches, especially in those where infant baptism is indiscriminately practiced, show no signs of a holy life or real change of heart, and belie their baptismal engagements.
To remove this difficulty, some Anglicans take the language of the baptismal service, not in a real and literal, but in a hypothetical or charitably presumptive meaning.12211221 So Mozley, who endeavors to fasten this meaning upon the fathers, and the standard Anglican writers, including Hooker. But the strong language of the Greek and Latin fathers, who almost identify baptism with regeneration, and seem to know no other regeneration but that by baptism (which they call ἀναγέννησις, παλιγγενεσία, θεογένεσις, φωτισμός, regeneratio, secunda nativitas, renascentia, illuminatio), must be understood chiefly of adult baptism, which in the first four centuries of the Church was the rule, while infant baptism was the exception, and which was administered to such only as had passed through a course of catechetical instruction, and professed repentance and faith in Christ. The same is true of the passages of the New Testament on baptism. Others make a distinction between baptismal or ecclesiastical regeneration (i.e., incorporation into the visible Church) and moral or spiritual regeneration (which includes renovation and conversion). Still others distinguish between the regenerate and the elect, and thus harmonize Art. XXVII. with Art. XVII. Augustine regards the elect as an inner circle of the baptized; and holds that, in addition to the baptismal grace of regeneration, the elect receive from God the gift of perseverance to the end, which puts into execution the eternal and unchangeable decree of election. The reason why God grants this grace to some and withholds it from others is unknown to us, and must be traced to his inscrutable wisdom. 'Both the grace of the beginning,' he says, 'and the grace of persevering to the end is not given according to our merits, but according to a most secret, just, wise, and beneficent will.' 'Wonderful indeed, very wonderful, that to some of his own sons, whom he has regenerated, and to whom he has given faith, hope, and charity, God does not give perseverance.'12221222 See his tract De dono perseverantiæ, and Mozley's Treatise on the Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination (Lond. 1855), pp. 191 sqq., and the Primitive Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, pp. 113 sqq. Mozley thinks that Augustine means by baptismal regeneration only capacity for goodness and holiness. Browne (on Art. XXVII.) presents a somewhat different view, viz., that Augustine uses the term regeneration sometimes in a wider, sometimes in a stricter and deeper sense. 'At one time he speaks of all the baptized as regenerate in Christ, and made children of God by virtue of that sacrament; at another time he speaks of baptismal grace as rather enabling them to become, than as actually constituting them God's children; and says that, in the higher and stricter sense, persons are not to be called sons of God unless they have the grace of perseverance, and walk in the love of God' (p. 660). There is no doubt that Augustine wished to adhere to the traditional orthodox view of baptism, and yet he could not help seeing that his new doctrine of predestination required a modification, which, however, he did not fully and clearly carry out.641
Here is a point where Calvin differs from Augustine, at least in logic, although they agree in the result—namely, the non-salvation of the non-elect, whether baptized or not. Calvin likewise brings baptism into close connection with regeneration,12231223 This is undoubtedly the case in the New Testament wherever Christian baptism is mentioned: John iii. 5; Acts ii. 38; Rom. vi. 3, 4; Gal. iii. 27; Col. ii. 12; Eph. v. 26; Tit. iii. 5; 1 Pet. iii. 21. Calvin's exposition of some of these passages in his commentaries should be compared with his teaching in the 'Institutes.' but he draws a sharper distinction between the outward visible sign and seal (Rom. iv. 11) and the inner invisible grace; he takes moreover a higher view of regeneration as a thorough moral renovation, and identifies the truly regenerate with the elect. He consequently restricts the regenerating efficacy of the Spirit to the elect, and makes it so far independent of the sacramental act that it need not always coincide with it, but may precede or follow the same. Thus the Westminster Confession calls baptism 'a sign and a seal of the covenant of grace, of his [the baptized person's] ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.' But it adds that 'grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it [baptism], as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it (Rom. iv. 11; Acts x. 2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47); or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated (Acts viii. 13, 23). The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered (John iii. 8): yet, notwithstanding by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost to such (whether of age, or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time (Gal. iii. 27; Tit. iii. 5; Eph. v. 25, 26; Acts ii. 38, 41).'12241224 Chap. xxviii. 1, 5, 6.
The objection to the Calvinistic view is that it resolves the baptism of the non-elect into an empty ceremony (not to say solemn mockery); while the Augustinian view turns the baptismal regeneration of the non-elect into a failure. The former sacrifices the universality of baptismal grace to the particularism of election, the latter sacrifices the higher view of regeneration to the claims of baptism. The real difficulty 642of both theories lies in the logical incompatibility of a limited election and a universal baptismal grace. The predestinarian system and the sacramental system are two distinct lines of thought, which neither Augustine nor Calvin have been able satisfactorily to adjust and to harmonize.
NECESSITY OF BAPTISM.
As to the necessity of baptism for salvation, the Anglican Church at first followed, but afterwards softened the rigor of the Augustinian and Roman Catholic doctrine, which excludes even unbaptized infants dying in infancy from heaven, and assigns them to the limbus infantum, on the borders of hell. In the second of the Ten Articles of Henry VIII. (1536), it is asserted that 'infants and children dying in infancy shall undoubtedly be saved thereby [by baptism], and else not.' In the first revision of the Liturgy, the introductory prayer that the child may be received by baptism into the ark of Christ's Church contains the exclusive clause 'and so saved from perishing.'12251225 Borrowed from the Lutheran service composed by Melanchthon and Bucer for Cologne: 'That being separated from the number of the ungodly, he may be kept safe in the holy ark of thy Church (in sancta Ecclesiæ, tuæ Arca tutus servari possit).' See Laurence, p. 71; Procter, p. 374. The Augsburg Confession (Art. IX., Latin ed.) teaches quod baptismus sit necessarius ad salutem, and condemns the Anabaptists for teaching that infants may be saved without baptism. But in the revision of 1552 this clause was omitted; for Cranmer, who framed the Liturgy, had in the mean time changed his opinion, as we may infer from the treatise upon the 'Reformation of Ecclesiastical Laws,' composed under his superintendency, where the 'scrupulous superstition' of the necessity of infant baptism for infant salvation is rejected.12261226 Reformat. Leg., De Baptismo: 'Illorum etiam videri debet scrupulosa superstitio, qui Dei gratiam et Spiritum Sanctum tantopere cum sacramentorum elementis colligant, ut plane affirment, nullum Christianorum infantem salutem esse consecuturum, qui prius morte fuerit occupatus, quam ad Baptismum adduci potuerit; quod longe secus habere judicamus.' This change must be traced to the influence of Zwingli and Bullinger, who first boldly asserted that all infants dying before committing actual sin, whether baptized or not, whether of Christian or heathen parents, are saved in consequence of the universal merit of Christ ('propter remedium per Christum exhibitum'), which holds good until rejected by unbelief.12271227 See above, p. 378. Zwingli was not quite so positive about the salvation of heathen children, but he declared it at least 'probabilius ut gentium liberi per Christum salventur quam ut damnentur.' Bullinger held the same view, though not so clearly expressed. See the passages quoted by Laurence, pp. 266, 267, who agrees on this subject with the Zurich Reformers. 643Calvin likewise taught the possibility of salvation without baptism, but confined it to the elect. Thomas Becon (chaplain to Cranmer, and one of the six preachers of Canterbury Cathedral, died 1567) is very explicit on this subject. As many Jewish children, he says, were saved without circumcision, so many Christian children, and even Turks and heathens, may be spiritually baptized and saved without water baptism. 'Besides all these things, what shall we say of God's election? Can the lack of outward baptism destroy and make of none effect the election of God; so that when God hath chosen to everlasting salvation, the want of an external sign shall cast down into everlasting damnation? . . . As many people are saved which never received the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, so likewise are many saved though they were never outwardly baptized with water; forasmuch as the regeneration of the Christian consisteth rather in the spirit than in the flesh. This text, therefore, of Christ, "Except a man be born of water," etc., is to be understood of such as may conveniently be baptized, and yet, notwithstanding, contemptuously refuse baptism, and despise the ordinance of Christ.'12281228 Quoted by Jones, 1.c. pp. 167 sq. Bishop Jewel says: 'The grace of God is not tied to any sacraments. He is able to work salvation both with them and without them.'12291229 Ibid. p. 171. Hooker is much more cautious and churchly. 'Predestination,' he says, 'bringeth not to life, without the grace of external vocation, wherein our baptism is implied, . . . which both declareth and maketh us Christians. In which respect we justly hold it to be the door of our actual entrance into God's house; the first apparent beginning of life; a seal, perhaps, to the grace of election, before received (Calvin, Instit. iv. 15, 22), but to our sanctification here a step that hath not any before it. . . . If Christ himself which giveth salvation do require baptism (Mark xvi. 16), it is not for us that look for salvation to sound and examine him, whether unbaptized men may be saved, but seriously to do that which is required, and religiously to fear the danger which may grow by want thereof.' Yet, touching infants who die unbaptized, he inclines, at least in regard to the offspring of Christian parents, to a charitable presumption of 'the great likelihood of their salvation,' for the reasons that 'grace is not absolutely tied unto sacraments;' that 'God bindeth no man unto 644things altogether impossible;' that 'there is in their Christian parents, and in the Church of God, a presumed desire that the sacrament of baptism might be given them;' and that 'the seed of faithful parentage is holy from the very birth (1 Cor. vii. 14).'12301230 Eccles. Polity, Book V. ch. 60 (Vol. II. pp. 341, 342, 346, 347, Keble's ed.).
The Anglican Church, then, as far as we may infer from her authoritative declarations, makes certain the salvation of all baptized infants dying in infancy, and leaves the possibility of salvation without baptism an open question, with a strong leaning towards the liberal view. The Roman Church makes infant salvation without baptism impossible; the Lutheran Church makes it at least improbable; the Calvinistic Churches make it certain in the case of all the elect, without regard to age, and decidedly incline to the charitable belief that all children dying in infancy belong to the number of the elect.
The doctrine of the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation has always been based upon two declarations of our Lord, Mark xvi. 16, and John iii. 5 (on the assumption that 'water' refers to baptism). But in the first passage our Lord, after declaring that faith followed by baptism saves, states the negative without adding, and is not baptized; intimating by this omission, that only the want of faith or the refusal of the gospel, not the want of baptism, condemns. In the discourse with Nicodemus he does not say that water baptism is regeneration, nor that every one that is born of water is also born of the Spirit (which was certainly not the case with Simon Magus, who, notwithstanding his baptism, remained 'in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity'); he simply lays down two conditions for entering into the kingdom of God, and puts the emphasis on being born of the Spirit. This is evident from the fact that in that discourse 'water' is mentioned but once, but the Spirit four times. The most that can be inferred from the two passages is the ordinary necessity of baptism where it can be had—that is, within the limits of the Christian Church. We are bound to God's ordinances, but God's Spirit is free and 'bloweth where it listeth.' We should never forget that the same Lord was the special friend of children, and declared them to belong to the kingdom of heaven, without any reference to baptism or circumcision, adding these significant words, 'It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish' (Matt. xviii. 14).645
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
If the Articles on Predestination and Baptism leave room for different interpretations, there can be no reasonable doubt about the meaning of Art. XXVIII. on the Lord's Supper. It clearly teaches the Reformed doctrine of the spiritual presence and spiritual eating by faith only, in opposition both to transubstantiation and consubstantiation, which imply a corporal presence and an oral manducation by all communicants, both good and bad, although with opposite effects.
The wide departure from the Lutheran formularies, otherwise so freely consulted, may be seen from the following comparison:
1563 and 1571.
|De cœna Domini docent, quod corpus et sanguis Christi vere adsint, et distribuantur vescentibus in cæna Domini; et improbant secus docentes.||De Eucharistia constanter credimus et docemus, quod in sacramento corporis et sanguinis Domini vere, substantialiter,12311231 The term substantialiter is borrowed from the Apology of the Augsburg Conf., Art. X. et realiter adsint corpus et sanguis Christi sub speciebus panis et vini.12321232 Sub speciebus panis et vini, from the German edition of the Augsburg Conf. (unter Gestalt des Brotes und Weines). Et quod sub ejusdem speciebus vere et realiter exhibentur et distribuuntur illis qui sacramentum accipiunt, sive bonis sive malis.||Corpus Christi datur, accipitur, et manducatur tantum cœlesti et spirituali ratione (only after an heavenly and spiritual manner). Medium, autem quo Corpus Christi accipitur et manducatur in cœna, fides est (and the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is faith).|
The clause here quoted from the Elizabethan revision was wanting in the Edwardine Articles, and was inserted on motion of Bishop Guest of Rochester.12331233 This is inferred from a letter to Cecil, Dec. 22, 1566, where Guest justifies the use of the word 'only' by saying that he did not intend to exclude 'the presence of Christ's body from the sacrament, but only the grossness and sensibleness in the receiving thereof.' Hardwick, p. 130. Both series contain the assertion that the bread which we break is a communion of the body of Christ 'to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same,' which was meant to exclude the oral manducation. Both strongly condemn transubstantiation. The Edwardine Articles protest also against the Lutheran 646hypothesis of the ubiquity of Christ's body.12341234 'Forasmuch as the truth of man's nature requireth that the body of one and the self-same man can not be at one time in diverse places, but must needs be in some one certain place: therefore the body of Christ can not be present at one time in many and diverse places. And because (as holy Scripture doth teach) Christ was taken up into heaven, and there shall continue unto the end of the world, a faithful man ought not either to believe or openly to confess the real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ's flesh and blood, in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.' This same protest against ubiquity is found substantially in the Parker MS. of the Latin revision of 1563, but it was struck out in the Convocation.12351235 Hardwick regards this omission as a protest against Zwinglianism. But the leading Elizabethan bishops, especially Horn, Jewel, and Grindal, assure Bullinger and Peter Martyr of their full agreement with them against the ubiquitarian hypothesis, which was at that time defended by Brentius and Andreae, and opposed by the Swiss. See pp. 603 and 632. Instead of it a new Article was added in the English revision of 1571, denying that the unworthy partake of Christ in the communion.12361236 Art. XXIX. 'Of the wicked which do not eat the body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper. The wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as St. Augustine saith) the sacrament [i.e., the sacramental sign] of the body and blood of Christ: yet in no way are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing.' This Article is wanting in the Latin edition of 1563, having probably been withdrawn from the Convocation records in compliance with the desire of the Queen and her council to deal gently with the adherents of the 'old learning' (whether Romish or Lutheran); but it was inserted in the Latin editions after the year 1571. See Hardwick, pp. 144 and 315.
The Catechism likewise limits the reception of Christ's body and blood to the 'faithful,' and declares the benefit of the Lord's Supper to be 'the strengthening and refreshing of our souls.' The communion service does not rise above this view, and the distribution formula, inserted in the revision of 1552, expresses the commemorative theory. The rubric on kneeling, at the close of the service, which was inserted in the second Prayer-Book of Edward VI. (1552) by Cranmer, through the influence of Hooper and Knox (one of the royal chaplains),12371237 See the lengthy discussion of this subject in Lorimer's John Knox, pp. 100–136. then omitted in Elizabeth's reign from regard to the Catholics, but which was again restored in the Reign of Charles II. (1662) to conciliate the Puritans, explains the kneeling at the communion not to mean an adoration of the sacramental bread and wine, or any corporal presence of Christ's natural flesh and blood. 'For the natural body and blood of Christ are in heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural body to be at one time in more places than one.' This is a plain declaration against consubstantiation and ubiquity.
Before the Articles were framed a public disputation on the eucharistic 647presence was held before the royal commissioners at the University of Oxford, May, 1549, in which Peter Martyr, then professor of theology, defended the figurative interpretation of the words, 'This is my body,' and the commemorative character of the ordinance. The acts of the disputation were published by Cranmer, with a preface and discourse of Peter Martyr.12381238 Tractatio de sacramento Eucharistiæ habita in celeberrima Universitate Oxoniensi. Ad hæc: Disputatio de eodem sacramento in eadem Universitate habita. London, 1549; also in Zurich, 1552, and an English translation, 1583. See an account in Dr. C. Schmidt, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Leben und ausgewählte Schriften (Elberfeld, 1858), pp. 91–100, 105. In June of the same year a disputation on the same subject, in which Bucer took part, was held in the University of Cambridge.12391239 Schmidt, p. 106. Ridley's Works, pp. 171 sqq.
Cranmer, after holding first to transubstantiation, then to consubstantiation, adopted at last the Calvinistic theory of a spiritual real presence and a spiritual reception by faith only, and embodied it in the Articles and the second revision of the Liturgy.12401240 See above, p. 601. Cranmer admits the charge of his opponents, Bishop Gardiner and Dr. Smith, that he was upon this point first a Papist, then a Lutheran, and at last a Zwinglian. 'After it hath pleased God,' he says, 'to show unto me, by his holy Word, a more perfect knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ, from time to time as I grew in knowledge of him, by little and little I put away my former ignorance. And as God of his mercy gave me light, so through his grace I opened mine eyes to receive it, and did not willfully repugn unto God and remain in darkness. And I trust in God's mercy and pardon for my former errors, because I erred but of frailness and ignorance.' Answer to Smith's Preface, Works, Vol. I. p. 374. He openly confessed this change at a public disputation held in London, Dec. 14, 1548, in the Parliament house, 'in the presence of almost all the nobility of England.'12411241 Of this recantation Bartholomew Traheron wrote to Bullinger from London, Dec. 31, 1548, as follows: 'I can not refrain, my excellent Bullinger, from acquainting you with circumstances that have lately given us the greatest pleasure, that you and your fellow-ministers may participate in our enjoyment. On the 14th of December, if I mistake not, a disputation was held at London concerning the eucharist, in the presence of almost all the nobility of England. The argument was sharply contested by the Bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury, contrary to general expectation, most openly, firmly, and learnedly maintained your opinion upon this subject. His arguments were as follows: The body of Christ was taken up from us into heaven. Christ has left the world. "Ye have the poor always with you, but me ye have not always," etc. Next followed the Bishop of Rochester [Ridley], who handled the subject with so much eloquence, perspicuity, erudition, and power, as to stop the mouth of that most zealous papist, the Bishop of Worcester [Heath]. The truth never obtained a more brilliant victory among us. I perceive that it is all over with Lutheranism, now that those who were considered its principal and almost only supporters have altogether come over to our side. We are much indebted to the Lord who provides for us also in this particular.' In a postscript to this letter, John of Ulmis adds: 'The foolish Bishops have made a marvelous recantation.' The same 'notable disputation of the sacrament' is mentioned in King Edward's Journal as having taken place in the Parliament house. See Zurich Letters, 1537–1558, pp. 322, 323. He wrote an elaborate exposition and defense of his final 648view against the attacks of Gardiner.12421242 An Answer unto a Crafty and Sophistical Cavillation, devised by Stephen Gardiner, Doctor of Law, late Bishop of Winchester, against the True and Godly Doctrine of the most holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ (1550). The sacramental writings of Cranmer fill the first volume of the Parker Society's edition of his works (Cambridge, 1844). He does not allude to Calvin's writings on the eucharist, although he can hardly have been ignorant of them, but quotes largely from Augustine, Tertullian, Origen, Theodoret, and other fathers who seem to favor a figurative interpretation, and approvingly mentions Bertram, Berengarius, and Wycliff among mediæval divines, and Bucer, Peter Martyr, Zwingli, Œcolampadius among the Reformers, as teaching substantially the same doctrine.12431243 Works, Vol. I. pp. 14, 173, 196, 225, 374. He also expressed his unqualified approbation of Bullinger's 'Tract on the Sacraments,' which was by his desire republished in England (1551) by John à Lasco, to whom he remarked that 'nothing of Bullinger's required to be read and examined previously.'12441244 See a letter of John à Lasco to Bullinger, dated London, April 10, 1551; Cardwell's Liturgies of Edward VI. (Preface), and Lorimer's John Knox, p. 49. But he traced his change directly to Bishop Ridley,12451245 See a letter of John à Lasco to Bullinger, dated London, April 10, 1551; Cardwell's Liturgies of Edward VI. (Preface), and Lorimer's John Knox, p. 49. and Ridley derived his view not so much from Swiss sources as from Bertram (Ratramnus), who, in the middle of the ninth century, wrote with great ability against the magical transubstantiation theory of Paschasius Radbertus, and in favor of a spiritual and dynamic presence.12461246 Bishop Browne correctly says (p. 710): 'Ridley, indeed, refused to take the credit of converting Cranmer, but Cranmer himself always acknowledged his obligations to Ridley.' In his last examination at Oxford, before Bishop Brooks of Gloucester (Sept., 1555), Cranmer said that 'Doctor Ridley, by sundry persuasions and authorities drew me quite from my opinion' (on the real presence). Works, Vol. II. p. 218. Brooks on the same occasion remarked: 'Latimer leaneth to Cranmer. Cranmer to Ridley, and Ridley to the singularity of his own wit;' to which Ridley replied, that this was 'most untrue, in that he was but a young scholar in comparison of Master Cranmer.' Ridley's Works, pp. 283, 284. Cranmer's last utterances on this subject, shortly before his condemnation and martyrdom, were made in the Oxford disputations with the Romanists to which he, with Ridley and Latimer, was summoned from prison, April (and again in September), 1555. He declared there that Christ's 'true body is truly present to them that truly receive him, but spiritually. And so it is taken after a spiritual sort. . . . If ye understand by this word "really," re ipsa, i.e., in very deed and effectually, so Christ, by 649the grace and efficacy of his passion, is in deed and truly present to all his true and holy members. But if ye understand by this word "really" corporaliter, i.e., corporally, so that by the body of Christ is understanded a natural body and organical, so the first proposition doth vary, not only from usual speech and phrase of Scripture, but also is clean contrary to the holy Word of God and Christian profession: when as both the Scripture doth testify by these words, and also the Catholic Church hath professed from the beginning, Christ to have left the world, and to sit at the right hand of the Father till he come unto judgment.'12471247 Works, Vol. I. pp. 394, 395.
We add the last confessions of the other two English Reformers at their examination in Oxford.
Bishop Latimer declared 'that there is none other presence of Christ required than a spiritual presence; and this presence is sufficient for Christian man, as the presence by the which we both abide in Christ, and Christ in us to the obtaining of eternal life, if we persevere in his true gospel.'12481248 Jones, l.c. p. 176, where also the passages of the leading divines and bishops of the Elizabethan age on the subject of the Lord's Supper are collected.
Bishop Ridley said: 'I worship Christ in the sacrament, but not because he is included in the sacrament: like as I worship Christ also in the Scriptures, not because he is really included in them. . . . The body of Christ is present in the sacrament, but yet sacramentally and spiritually (according to his grace) giving life, and in that respect really, that is, according to his benediction, giving life.The true Church of Christ doth acknowledge a presence of Christ's body in the Lord's Supper to be communicated to the godly by grace, and spiritually, as I have often showed, and by a sacramental signification, but not by the corporal presence of the body of his flesh.12491249 Ridley's Works, pp. 235 sq. Jewel expresses the same views very fully in his controversy with Harding, Works, Vol. I. pp. 448 sqq. (Parker Soc. ed. 1845). Bishop Browne (p. 715) says that all the great luminaries of the Church of England (naming Mede, Andrewes, Hooker, Taylor, Hammond, Cosin, Bramhall, Ussher, Pearson, Patrick, Bull, Beveridge, Wake, Waterland) agree with the doctrine of the formularies in denying a corporal and acknowledging a spiritual feeding in the Supper of the Lord.
REVISION OF THE ARTICLES.
The Thirty-nine Articles have remained unchanged in England since the reign of Elizabeth. The objections of Nonconformists to some of 650the Articles (XXIV., XXV., the affirmative clause of XX., and a portion of XXVII) have been removed since 1688 by relaxation and exemption; and the difficulties arising from the development of theological schools with widely divergent tendencies, within the bosom of the Church of England itself, have been met by liberal decisions allowing a great latitude of interpretation.
During the reign of William III., in 1689, a thorough revision of the Book of Common Prayer was undertaken and actually made in the interest of an agreement with Protestant Dissenters, by an able royal commission of ten bishops and twenty divines, including the well-known names of Stillingfleet, Patrick, Tillotson, Sharp, Hall, Beveridge, and Tenison. But the revision has never been acted upon, and was superseded by the toleration granted to Dissenters. The alterations did not extend to the Articles directly, but embraced some doctrinal features in the liturgical services—namely, the change of the word Priest to 'Presbyter' or 'Minister;' Sunday to 'Lord's Day;' the omission of the Apocryphal Lessons in the calendar of Saints' days, for which chapters from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were substituted, a concession to conscientious scruples against kneeling in receiving the sacrament, and an addition to the rubric before the Athanasian Creed, stating that 'the condemning clauses are to be understood as relating only to those who obstinately deny the substance of the Christian faith.12501250 A revision of the Book of Common Prayer was adopted by the National Church Assembly, July, 1927, the vote being 34 to 4 bishops, 255 to 37 clergymen, 230 to 92 laymen, but rejected by the House of Commons, Dec., 1927, by a vote of 238 to 205. A second revision was rejected by the Commons, June 14, 1928, by an increased majority, 266 to 220. The revision seemed to permit the reservation of the sacrament and introduced after the consecration of the elements the epiclesis of the Greek Church, stating the change of the bread and wine. The Revised Book is issued by the S. P. C. K.—Ed.
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