Project Canterbury







"We do only profess this, that we are perfect Catholic." – Bishop Hall.

"Suppose we that the sacred Word of God can at their hands receive due honour, by whose incitement the holy Ordinances of the Church endure open contempt?" – Hooker.

"We are not of their mind, that had rather despise or neglect, than either observe or understand, the Ordinances of the Church for the public Service of God." – Bishop Cosin.

J. T. HAYES, Lyall Place, Eaton Square: and 4, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.

transcribed by David and Norma Sharp
AD 2001


THE present Paper is laid before all fair-minded Englishmen. The greater part of it was originally addressed to a Meeting of Churchmen.

It is an appeal from popular clamour to the settled principles of the English Reformation. In its intention it is defensive, not aggressive. Catholic-minded English Churchmen are willing to take matters as they find them, and live in peace and charity with all their brethren, if only they be permitted so to do. It is plain, however, that the present persistent attempt, upon the part of certain nominal Churchmen and others, to brand as traitors the Catholic-minded Clergy of the Church of England, cast them out of the Church, cannot be tolerated.

The fresh uprise in the Church, since 1662, of Erastian Puritanism—the cause of our present troubles—dates from the lamentable loss of the Non-jurors, our best blood both in Bishops and Clergy, upon the coming to the Throne of William the Third.

In the following Paper the weight of proof is laid upon the authoritative statements of the Bishops and Divines at the Savoy Conference, and their subsequent action in Convocation, in 1662. The private writings of one or two of the principal of them are only quoted or alluded to as corroborative testimony. The Bishops’ authoritative answers to the Puritans upon such questions as—The Eastward position in prayer, the Ornaments of the Church and of her Ministers, Eucharistic Adoration, Sacerdotal Absolution, &c., &c.—are quoted from Cardwell's "History of Conferences on the Book of Common Prayer."

THE Reformation of the Church of England has been often of late viewed from one or other of two opposite points of view, neither of which would seem to be in accordance with historical facts. By persons of an anti-Catholic tone of mind the English Reformation is spoken of as the resurrection from the dead of a too long forgotten "Protestantism"—supposed by such persons to have been the original religion of our Lord and His Apostles. By others, of very opposite sentiments, the English Reformation is too often spoken of, and written of, as the embodiment of well nigh all that is vile in religion, and to be execrated. The former speak of the Reformation as "glorious." The real sentiments of the latter would be more truly set forth by the term "Deformation" than "Reformation." Now I submit that the English Reformation, rightly considered, was most certainly not "Protestant" in the modern sense of the word; and neither was it, when truly considered, a "Deformation." Whether matters have, in all respects, been left exactly as those versed in the ways of primitive antiquity would desire is another matter, and one into the merits of which I need not enter. But that the truth is not set forth by either of the two above-mentioned opinions on the question is most certain. What ultra Protestants may think or say about the English Reformation is really no concern of orthodox Churchmen—except so far as false statements are religiously harmful. But it is time that sound Churchmen realized the true nature of the English Reformation, as that movement must be viewed when the facts of the case are fully and impartially considered.

For what was "the English Reformation"? When did it begin? And when did it end, so far as it may be truly said to be ended? As to when it began, we are all practically of one mind. But as to the period when it may be said to have, for the time being, ended, we do not seem agreed; and the object of this Paper is to do something towards agreement in this matter, that so we may secure a practical basis of action against our opponents.

What, then, is the popular ultra Protestant challenge constantly addressed to us? Why, that we are traitors in the camp of the Church of England, because, we openly profess to dislike, and are persistently conspiring to subvert, "the principles of the Reformation" of the English Church. And what is the reply too commonly given back to such a challenge? Is it not that, we care not to be held traitors to the English Reformation, if only we are faithful to the cause of the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church; or, in other words, a virtual admission of the truth of our opponents’ charge? The taunt of our opponents is, sometimes answered from our side in another way—namely, by asking them, "What are the principles of the English Reformation?"—the questioners seeming to think that their question is incapable of any consistent answer. But to men, who know very little about the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church, it is practically useless to make the first answer I have given, albeit we should be driven to make it, were it the only one open to us. The case, however, is far otherwise. We need not make either of these answers. The best, and the only practical, answer to make to these men is to emphatically deny their charge to be true—to tell them that we glory in the principles of the English Reformation; that we—and we only—represent them, and that they are the real conspirators against them.

For when did the English Reformation end, so far as it has ended? What was the nature of its latest development? When did the Formularies of the Church receive their last Revision affecting Catholic doctrine and practice? In short, in what practical form has "the Reformation" of the Church of England presented itself to us? From the inevitable answers, which must be given to these questions, we ascertain the real nature of the English Reformation. It is obviously not fair, or historically accurate, to test any work or movement by its first stages. Equally unfair and untrue to the merits of the English

Reformation is it to test it by its early beginnings. By some the period in which flourished Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, Bucer, Martyr, and others, is termed the period of the English Reformation proper; and the period in which flourished Cosin, Sparrow, Sanderson, Thorndyke, Wren, Pearson, Gunning, and others, is termed "the counter Reformation" period. This is a very unfortunate, because misleading, way of putting the matter; and one which, in practice, leads to a very serious amount of injury to the true principles of the English Church, and those who alone represent them. There has been a gradual progress in "the Reformation." The first Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth, in 1549, was sound and Catholic. The second Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth, in 1552, was the first altered in sundry particulars, avowedly to conciliate "mistakers" and "a number of people following their own sensuality," as the Act of Uniformity which ratified it declared. In the Prayer Book of Elizabeth, in 1559, a return was made, in several particulars, to the First Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth. The alterations and additions made in the Prayer Book in the reign of James the First were undoubtedly in the Catholic direction. They were roundly abused by the Puritans in consequence. Proposed uncatholic changes were peremptorily refused. The doings under Charles the First and Archbishop Laud were, as all allow, eminently and progressively Catholic. Under Cromwell’s "protectorship" the good work of "Reformation" was interrupted. But it was resumed under the auspices of Charles the Second in 1662. [1] If, then, "the English Reformation," as a matter of fact, was a gradual work, and did not end in the sixteenth century—if the last touches, so far as it has gone, were not put to it until 1662, and if this way of looking at the matter is destruction to our ecclesiastical opponents—why have we not all long ago agreed thus to view the matter? And yet take up any popular lecture or pamphlet, from our side, upon the English Reformation, and you will find that the matter, so far as I know, is never put in this way. Such publications make little or no capital out of the great and crowning events of 1662. They barely allude to them, and never, so far as 1 am aware, build their case upon them. This is indeed strange, considering that, whatever opinions different persons may hold regarding the earlier Reformers, it is, at all events, certain that the Revision and Settlement of the Formularies of the English Church in 1662 (the last Revision affecting Catholic doctrine and practice) was altogether orthodox and Catholic, and the utterances of the Bishops, both as individuals and as a bench, something that it is quite refreshing to look back upon. It is equally true that "the Reformation" for us is practically the last Revision in 1662. Former Revisions are superseded by the last, except so far as their results are embodied in it. It is to the last Revision and Settlement in 1662 that the Bishops and Clergy of the Church of England are bound by their Ordination promises and subscriptions. And this ecclesiastical Settlement of matters was ratified by Act of Parliament. So that nothing was wanting to complete the binding character, both ecclesiastically and civilly, of the latest phase of the Reformation of the Church of England. Then, if this be so, why do we allow our opponents to talk to us as though, the Formularies of the sixteenth century, and the Bishops who compiled them, alone represent the Reformation age; as though those Formularies alone embody "the principles of the Reformation," and their compilers alone deserve the title of "the Reformers." If any Formularies truly embody the Church of England’s latest and wisest—because most deliberate—conclusions, the revised Formularies of 1662 do so. These, then, obviously, more truly than any others, set forth the true principles of "the English Reformation," and the men who carried out such Revision deserve more truly than any others the title of – "Our noble Reformers." We may leave out of consideration the Revision of our Formularies at present proceeding in Convocation, and already, in part, ratified by Act of Parliament—for two reasons. First, that Revision has, confessedly, nothing whatever to do with doctrine. And, secondly, there is no wish or intention to disturb, in any way, the Catholic Settlement of 1662. The last trial of strength between Catholicism and Puritanism in the English Church, which resulted in action, was in 1662. The results of the action then taken are, consequently, our present standing ground; and they were distinctly Catholic. It is nothing less then lighting upon an oasis in the desert to forget for a moment the cowardly, time-serving utterances so often heard in the present day, and read the noble Catholic sentiments and conclusions of the faithful Bishops and Divines of 1662. At that period every effort was made to have the Prayer Book altered in numerous particulars in the direction of what is popularly termed "Protestantism;" but the faithful Bishops and Divines of that day effectually resisted all such attempts. All the popular, "Protestant" objections of to day, with the faithful answers of the Bishops, may be seen in the records of that period. All that is still ignorantly urged against—the Authority of the Church, Baptismal

Regeneration, the powers of the Christian Priesthood, Absolution, Eucharistic Adoration, Catholic Ritual, and other matters—was urged then, only much more cleverly than in the present day; and complete and crushing answers were given by the Bishops to all objections. And the best proof of the complete defeat of "Protestantism" at that period is that upwards of two thousand of the Puritan ministers honestly surrendered their posts rather than subscribe to what they considered the "Popish superstitions" and "pernicious nonsense" to which the Church required them to set their hands, on pain of losing the benefices into which Oliver Cromwell had intruded them during "the Commonwealth." And we have the clearest evidence as to the further results of a similar character, which ensued for a long time afterwards. In a Nonconformist book, for instance, compiled in 1862 (during the Bicentenary agitation), and entitled "Documents relating to the Settlement of the Church of England by the Act of Uniformity of 1662," the compilers declare of various Acts of Parliament passed subsequently to the Revision of 1662, and reprinted in that volume, that they "were intended to harass and destroy the Nonconformists." And that is the simple truth of the matter. Now, however much many of us in these days may plead for toleration towards outsiders in religious matters, we do not advocate disloyalty in the camp, and, therefore, we cannot but admire the bold, unflinching spirit of the Bishops of that day, in refusing to surrender to Puritanism and Nonconformity one jot of the sacred deposit entrusted to their charge.

I will now proceed to give some illustrations of the entire catholicity of this Revision of our Formularies and latest development of the Reformation of the Church of England. The sentiments of the Bishops and Divines are set forth in the discussions of the Savoy Conference; and their subsequent action taken in Convocation is patent in the pages of their revised Prayer Book as we now have it. Only it must be observed that it is impossible, even by far more lengthy extracts than I shall give, to convey an adequate idea of the thorough catholicity of this Revision. The Bishops and Divines in Convocation made some six hundred alterations in, and additions to, the former Prayer Book; but in no single one of them is there the slightest trace of any leaning to Puritanism. To gain an adequate idea of the thorough catholicity of the Revision the records of the movement must be read as a whole. Many further improvements in the Prayer Book would have been made had the temper of the times permitted it. This is evident from Bishop Cosin’s " Notes and Collections on the Book of Common Prayer," Bishop Sparrow’s "Rationale of the Book of Common Prayer," and other testimony. And, I. As regards the authority of the Catholic Church of Christ, in opposition to "private opinion or fancy." Upon this point the Bishops and Divines utter no uncertain sound. Moreover, although they were so much in favour with the Crown at the time, their utterances betray no tinge of Erastianism. They not only declare in the plainest manner the duty and necessity of "hearing the Church" in opposition to "private opinion," on pain of schism and sedition; but they also, in reference to a point in dispute, declare – "We dare not think a Parliament did intend to forbid that which Christ’s Church hath commanded. [2]

Upon the question of Church authority their declarations are most full and explicit. I have only space for two or three extracts. "Our Lord ....," say they, "left us governors ….., to whom He said, ‘As My Father sent Me, even so send I you,’. . . . of whom He hath said to us, ‘Obey those that have the oversight over you,’ and told us that ‘if we will not hear His Church, we must not be accounted as Christians, but heathens and publicans.’"

Again, "The true cause of those divisions ….. St. James tells us, is lust, and inordinate desires of honours or wealth, or licentiousness, or the like. Were these ceremonies laid aside, there would be the same divisions, if some who think Moses and Aaron ‘took too much upon them’ may be suffered to deceive the people, and to raise in them vain fears and jealousies of their governors."

Again, "Not inferiors but superiors must judge what is convenient and decent. They who must order that all be done decently must of necessity first judge what is convenient and decent to be ordered. These rules and canons. . . . made and urged by superiors are to be obeyed by inferiors, ….. Pretence of conscience is no exemption from obedience; for the law, as long as it is a law, certainly binds to obedience (Rom. xiii.) ‘Ye must needs be subject.’ And this pretence of a tender, gainsaying conscience cannot abrogate the law, since it can neither take away the authority of the law-maker, nor make the matter of the law in itself unlawful. Besides, if pretence of conscience did exempt from obedience, laws were useless; whosoever had not list to obey, might pretend tenderness of conscience, and be thereby set at liberty; which, if once granted, anarchy and confusion must needs follow."

Again, " The case of St. Paul not eating of flesh, if it offended his brother is nothing to the purpose; who there speaks of things not commanded either by God or by His Church, . . . . St. Paul would deny himself his own liberty rather than offend his brother; but if any man breaks a just law or custom of the Church, he brands him for a lover of schism and sedition (1 Cor. xi. I6)." [3]

Upon, II. The duty of observing the " Customs of the Churches" of God, and Catholic usage: The Bishops say, "God hath not given a power only, but a command also, of imposing whatsoever should be truly decent and becoming His public Service (1 Cor. xiv.) After St. Paul had ordered some particular rules for praying, praising, prophesying, &c., he concludes with this general canon, ‘Let all things be done e?s??µ????, in a fit scheme, habit, or fashion, decently:’ and that there may be uniformity in those decent performances, ‘let there be a t????, rule

or canon’ for that purpose." ,

Again, "It is not a violation of Christ’s royalty to make such laws for decency, but an exercise of His power and authority, which He hath given to the Church; and the disobedience to such commands of superiors is plainly a violation of His royalty. As it is no violation of the king’s authority when his magistrates command things according to his laws, but disobedience to the command of those, injunctions of his deputies is violation of his authority. Again, it can be no impeachment of Christ’s law as insufficient to make such laws for decency, since our Saviour, as is evident from the precepts themselves, did not intend by them to determine every minute and circumstance of time, place, manner of performance, and the like, but only to command in general the substance of those duties, and the right ends that should be aimed at in the performance, and then left every man in particular (whom for that purpose he made reasonable) to guide himself by rules of reason, for private services; and appointed governors of the Church to determine such particularities for the public. Thus our Lord commanded prayers, fasting, &c.—for the times and places of performance He did not determine every of them, but left them to be guided as we have said."

Again they say, "St. Paul . . . . . if any man breaks a just law or Custom of the Church . . . . brands him for a lover of schism and sedition (1 Cor. xi, 16)."

Again, "St. Paul reckons them amongst the lovers of contention who shall oppose themselves against the Customs of the Churches of God."

Again, "The Church hath been careful to put nothing into the Liturgy but that which is either evidently the Word of God, or what hath been generally received in the Catholic Church; neither of which can be called ‘private opinion,’ and if the contrary can be proved, we wish it out of the Liturgy." [4]

Some usages were expressly defended by the Bishops by name, as having been specially attacked.

As, for instance –

I. Praying towards the East.

The Puritans asked the Bishops to permit that the minister should face the people during prayer—that is, face west. The Bishops answered, "The minister's turning to the people is not most convenient throughout the whole ministration. When he speaks to them, as in Lessons, Absolution, and Benedictions, it is convenient that he turn to them, When he speaks for them to God it is fit that they should all turn another way, as the ancient Church ever did; the reasons of which you may see Aug., lib. 2, de Ser. Dom. in Monte."[5]

I will give St. Augustine’s testimony in the words of Bishop Sparrow, one of the chief Revisers of the Prayer Book in 1662. Bishop Sparrow, in his "Rationale of the Book of Common Prayer," says: "This was the ancient custom of the Church of England. . . . . . and for that purpose in many parish Churches of late the reading-pew had one desk for the Bible, looking towards the people to the body of the church, another for the Prayer Book looking towards the east or upper end of the chancel. And very reasonable was this usage; for when the people were spoken to it was fit to look towards them, but when God was spoken to it was fit to turn from the people. And besides, if there be any part of the world more honourable, in the esteem of men, than another, it is fit to look that way when we pray to God in public, that the turning of our bodies towards a more honourable place may mind us of the great honour and majesty of the Person we speak to, And this reason St. Augustine gives of the Church’s ancient custom of turning to the east in their public prayers, because the east is the most honourable part of the world, being the region of Light whence the glorious sun arises (Aug., 1. 2, de Ser. Dom, in Monte, c. 5), . . . . . . . , where St. Augustine says, cum ad orationem stamus, ad Orientem convertimur: When we stand at our prayers we turn towards the east. And by Epiphanius, 1. I, haer. c. 19, who there detests the madness of the impostor Elzaeus, because that, amongst other things, he forbad praying towards the east. . . . . . . Again, another reason may be given of turning from the people towards the upper end of the chancel in our prayers; because it is fit in our prayers to look towards that part of the church or chancel which is the highest and chief, and where God affords His most gracious and mysterious Presence; and that is the Holy Table and Altar, which antiently was placed towards the upper or east end of the chancel. This is the highest part of the chancel, set apart to the highest of religious Services, the Consecration and Distribution of the Holy Eucharist; here is exhibited the most gracious and mysterious Presence of God, that in this life we are capable of, the Presence of His most Holy Body and Blood. And, therefore, the Altar was usually called the Tabernacle of God’s Glory, His Chair of State, the Throne of God, the Type of Heaven, Heaven itself. As, therefore, the Jews in their prayers looked towards the principal part of the Temple, the Mercy-seat (Psal. xxviii, 2 ), so the Christians in their prayers turned towards the principal part of the Church, the Altar, of which the Mercy-seat was but a type. And as our Lord hath taught us in His prayer to look up towards Heaven when we pray, saying, Our Father, which art in Heaven (not as if God were there confined, for He is everywhere, in Earth as well as in Heaven; but because Heaven is His Throne, whereas, Earth is but His footstool), so holy Church by her practice teaches us in our public and solemn prayers to turn and look, not towards the inferior and lower parts of the footstool, but towards that part of the Church which most nearly resembles Heaven, the Holy Table or Altar. Correspondent to this practice was the manner of the Jews of old; for, at the reading of the Law and other Scriptures, he that did minister turned his face to the people, but he who read the prayers turned his back to the people, and his face to the Ark (Mr. Thorndyke, of Religious Assemblies, page 231)." [6] [Another of the Revisers of 1662, here quoted by Bishop Sparrow.]

With this evidence before us, it is clear that it is simply trifling with a serious question to pretend that there is any doubt whatever as to the mind and intention of the English Church upon this point: as to whether, for instance, during the prayers of the Eucharist, the Celebrant and people should face east, west, north, or south? The English Church herself finally settled the point in 1662.

As regards –

The Vestments and other

"Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof" :

Puritans asked, in reference to the Ornaments Rubric :—"Forasmuch as this Rubrick seemeth to bring back the cope, albe, &c., and other vestments forbidden by the Common Prayer Book, 5 and 6 Edw. VI…… we desire it may be wholly left out." The Bishops answered, We think it fit that the Rubric continue as it is." And in general they say, "If all men would, as they ought, study peace and quietness, they would find other and better fruits of these laws of Rites and Ceremonies, as edification, decency, order, and beauty in the Service and Worship of God……..Reason and experience teaches that decent ornaments and habits preserve reverence, and are held, therefore, necessary to the solemnity of Royal acts, and acts of justice, and why not as well to the solemnity of religious worship?" [7]

And Bishop Cosin, who had the chief hand in the Revision of the Prayer Book in 1662, in his "Notes and Collections on of the Prayer Book of Common Prayer," speaking of "such ornaments as were in use in the second year of King Edward VI.," says "And then were in use, not, a surplice and hood as we now use, but a plain white alb, with a vestment or cope over it; and therefore, according to this Rubric, are we all still bound to wear albs and vestments, as have been so long time worn in the Church of God, howsoever it is neglected. For the disuse of these ornaments we may thank them that came from Geneva, and in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, being set in places of government, suffered every negligent priest to do what him listed, so he would but profess a difference and opposition in all things (though never so lawful otherwise) against the Church of Rome, and the ceremonies therein used."

Again, "Which is a note wherewith those men are not so well acquainted as they should be, who inveigh against our present ornaments in the Church, and think them to be innovations introduced lately bit an arbitrary power against law; whereas, indeed, they are appointed by the law itself."

Again, "Such ornaments, &c. – Without, which (as common reason and experience teaches us) the Majesty of Him that owneth it, and the work of His Service there, will prove to be of a very common and low esteem."

Again, "Those ornaments of the Church which by former laws, not then abrogated, were in use, by virtue of the statute 25 Henry VIII., and for them the provincial constitutions are to be consulted, such as have not been repealed, standing then in the second year of King Edward VI., and being still in force by virtue of this Rubric and Act of Parliament.

"That which is to be said for these vestures and ornaments in solemnizing the Service of God, is, that they, were appointed for inward reverence to that work which they make outwardly solemn. All the actions of esteem in the world are so set forth, and the world has had trial enough, that those who have made it a part of their religion to fasten scorn upon such circumstances have made no less to deface and disgrace the substance of God’s public Service.

"Such Ornaments as were in use in the second year of King Edward VI.]—In that year, by the authority of Parliament, was this order set forth, in the end of the Service-book then appointed. At Morning and Evening Prayer, the administration of Baptism, the Burial of the Dead, &c., in parish churches, the minister shall put upon him a surplice; in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, and in Colleges, the Archdeacons, Deans, Presidents, and Masters may use the ornaments also belonging to their degrees and dignities. . . . . The Bishop. . . . celebrating the Sacraments, shall wear a rochet or alb, ,with a cope or vestment; and he shall have also his pastoral-staff. And before the Communion,

. . . . the Priest having on him an alb, with a vestment or cope, shall stand at the Altar; and where there be many Priests and Deacons, so many of them as be needful shall help the chief minister, having albs or tunicles upon them.

"These ornaments and vestures of the ministers were so displeasing to Calvin and Bucer that they urged very vehemently to have them taken away, not thinking it tolerable that we should have anything common with the Papists, but shew forth our Christian liberty in the simplicity of the Gospel.

"Hereupon when a Parliament was called, in the fifth year of King Edward, they altered the former Book, and made another order for vestments, copes, and albs not to be worn at all, allowing an Archbishop and a Bishop a rochet only, and a Priest or Deacon to wear nothing but a surplice."

"But. by the Act of Uniformity the Parliament thought fit not to continue this last order, but to restore the first again; ,which since that time ,was never altered by any other law, and therefore it is still in force at this day. And both Bishops, Priests, and Deacons that knowingly and wilfully break this order are as hardly censured in the Preface to this Book concerning ceremonies as ever Calvin or Bucer censured the ceremonies themselves. Among other ornaments of the Church also then in use in the second year of Edward VI. there were two lights appointed by his Injunctions (which the Parliament had authorized him to make) to be set upon the High Altar, as a significant ceremony of the light which Christ’s Gospel brought into the world, and this at the same time when all other lights and tapers superstitiously set before images were by the same Injunctions, with many other absurd ceremonies and superfluities, taken away. These lights were (by virtue of this present Rubric) afterwards continued in all the Queen’s Chapels during her whole reign, and so are they the King’s, and in many Cathedral churches, besides the Chapels of divers Noblemen, Bishops, and Colleges to this day.

"It was well known that the Lord Treasurer Burleigh (who was no friend to superstition or Popery) used them constantly in his Chapel, with other ornaments of fronts, palls, and books upon his Altar. The like did Bishop Andrewes, who was a man who knew well what he did, and as free from Popish superstition as any in the kingdom besides. In the latter end of King Edward’s time they used them in Scotland itself, as appears by Calvin’s epistle to Knox, where he takes exception against them for following the custom of England.

"To this head we refer the organ, the Font, the Altar, the Communion Table, and the pulpit, with the coverings and ornaments of them all, together with the paten, chalice, and corporas, which were all in use in the second of Edward VI., by the authority of the Acts of Parliament then made."

And, again, Bishop Cosin, who prepared the. Ornaments Rubric as it now stands, say’s: " The Minister is appointed to use as I, such Ornaments in the Church, and at all times in his ministrations, as were in use in the second year of King Edward the Sixth, according to the Act of Parliament. But what those Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers were, is not here specified, and they are so unknown to many, they are neglected. Wherefore it were requisite that those Ornaments used in the second year of King Edward, should be here particularly named and set forth, that there might be no difference about them." [8]

With such a clear and explicit exposition of the meaning of the Ornaments Rubric (and the law, both ecclesiastical and civil, upon the question) from the pen of the chief Reviser of e Prayer Book in 1662, it is worse than foolish to pretend that there is any uncertainty whatever as to its true meaning and intention. Who have a better right to inform us as to its true meaning than the Bishops who last placed it in the Prayer Book?

As to-

3. Eucharistic Adoration.

The Puritans tried to induce the Bishops to sanction sitting at the reception of the Holy Sacrament, alleging that it was more in accordance with our Lord’s Institution. The

Bishops answered "The posture of kneeling best suits at the Communion, as the most convenient, and so most decent, for us, when we are to receive as it were from God’s hand the greatest of seals of the kingdom of Heaven……… Which the Church did stand at her prayers, the manner of receiving was ‘more adorantium’ (S. Aug., Ps. xcviii.; Cyril, Catech. Mystag., 5)." Again they say – "Concerning kneeling at the Sacrament we have given account already; only thus much we add, that we conceive it an error to say that the Scripture affirms the Apostles to have received not kneeling. The posture of the Paschal supper we know; but the institution of the Holy Sacrament was after supper; and what posture was then used the Scripture is silent." [9]

As regards the Declaration at the end of the Communion Office, commonly called "the Black Rubic," the Bishops say— "This Rubric is not in the Liturgy of Queen Elizabeth, nor confirmed by law; nor is there any great need of restoring it, the world being now in more danger of profanation than of idolatry." [10]

The Bishops, however thought fit to reinsert this Declaration after making an alteration [11] in its wording to prevent the possibility of anyone with a theological education understanding it to deny either the Real Presence or Eucharistic Adoration.

In fact, the only important point in it is the denial of our Lord's Body being present in the Sacrament as in a place; or being naturally (that is, according to the ordinary laws of nature) present at one time in more places than one. But this is likewise denied in the most explicit manner by St. Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent, and therefore cannot be a tenet peculiar to "Protestantism." The declaration cannot, therefore, be meant to deny either the Real Presence or Eucharistic Adoration. If its object be to correct or prevent a too earthly conception of these unspeakable Mysteries, it labours in this pious task in harmonious concert with the great Roman Catholic theologian,

St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Council of Trent. Serious differences unhappily separate the Churches of England and Rome. But it would be contrary to truth, Christian charity, and sound Christian policy to exaggerate those differences, or try to create imaginary ones where none really exist. As a matter of fact, although there is a theoretical difference of opinion between the two Churches on the question of the Real Presence, there is none practically. Both Churches teach the Real Presence, though they differ as to the explanation of the doctrine commonly called "Transubstantiation." But upon the question of Eucharistic Adoration there is no difference whatever, and the English Bishops of 1662 were too sound theologians to dream of inventing one. Rome, as much as England, protests against—(1) adoring mere Bread or Wine; against (2) the notion of our Lord's Body being present in the Sacrament as in a place; or (3) our Lord's Body being naturally present at one time in more places than one. And this is absolutely the entire sum of what is denied in this famous Declaration, supposed to be one of the great bulwarks of "Protestantism." Hear the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent.

St. Thomas (on the Sacraments, sec. cxiv.) says, "In no way is the Body of Christ locally in this Sacrament—that is, as in a place." And the Council of Trent, in its Catechism (Part II., c. iv., ques. 42), says, "Christ the Lord is not in this Sacrament as in a place." And (in Sessn. xiii., c 1, De Eucharistia) the Council of Trent decrees – "For neither are these things mutually repugnant, that our Saviour Himself ever sitteth at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, according to the natural mode of existing; and that, nevertheless, He be, in many other places, sacramentally present unto us, in His own Substance, by that manner of existing which, though we can scarcely express it in words, we yet can, by the understanding illuminated by faith, suppose, and ought most faithfully to believe, to be possible unto God."

I may add a further illustration from a well-known Roman Catholic spiritual writer. In a Meditation on the Eucharist he says, "Our Saviour intending to withdraw Himself from us as regards the corporal, visible, and ordinary Presence of His Humanity, contrived a means to remain present with us in another manner, yet so as to be with us at all times, and for ever, until the ending of the world, under the forms of this Blessed Sacrament."

Again, he says, "And, moreover, to manifest hereby His infinite charity, that even when men would, through envy and rancour, cast Him out of the world, He contrived to leave Himself with them in the world, after another manner, full of piety and of love." [12]

Here this writer, equally with the famous Declaration, denies there being in the Eucharist "any corporal Presence of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood"—that is, "Christ's Flesh and Blood" being "corporally" present in a "natural" way.

Before I pass on, I may also mention that in Bishop Cosin’s "Notes and Collections," &c., we have the plainest evidence as to what he and the Bishops and Divines of his day held and practised in the matter of outward reverences during the celebration of the Eucharist. Such expressions as the following, in the form of rubrical directions, occur frequently in the "Notes," &c.:—"The Priest, after the collect, descends to the door of the septum, makes a low adoration towards the Altar." Again, "Then, having made adoration as before, the minister ascends, and genuflects." Again, "Here the other Priest, or, if there be none, he that executes, descendeth to the door, adores." Again, "Then the Bishop ascends with treble adoration, and, lastly, kneels down at the Altar." [13]

Such Rubrical directions as these show plainly enough what opinion Bishops Cosin, Andrewes, and others, were they living, would have of those nominal Churchmen who are now attempting to put down by force in the Church of England the Catholic and pious custom of paying outward reverence to our Blessed Lord present in His Holy Sacrament.

Bishop Sparrow also, in his "Rationale," &c., speaking of Eucharistic Adoration in the Primitive Church, says, "The Sacrament is to be given to the people kneeling, for a sin it is not to adore when we receive this Sacrament (Aug. in Psalm xcviii.) And the old custom was to receive it after the manner of Adoration (Cyril, ibIdem.)" He adds, on the same subject, "This Sacrament should be received fasting (Conc. Carthag. 3, Can. 29.) And so was the practice of the Universal Church says St. Augustine (Epist.118,) which is authority enough, in things of this nature—namely, circumstances of time, &c.—to satisfy any that do not love contention (1 Cor.xi.16.)" This custom Bishop Sparrow proceeds to further illustrate by the testimony of antiquity. Amongst other remarks, he says, "The first reason may be this, because our minds are clearest, our devotion quickest, and so we fittest to perform this most high Service, when we are In our virgin-spittle, as Tertullian expresses it. A second is this: it is for the honour of so high a Sacrament that the precious Body of Christ should first enter into the Christian’s mouth, before any other meat (St. Aug., Ep. 118.) ‘It is true that our Saviour gave it to His Disciples after supper; but dare any man quarrel with the universal Church of Christ for receiving it fasting? This also pleased the Holy Ghost, that, for the honour of so great a Sacrament, the Body of Christ should first enter into the Christian’s mouth, before all other meats. Neither, because our Saviour gave it to His Disciples after supper, will it necessarily follow, that we should receive it so, mingling the Sacrament with our other meats: a thing which the Apostle seems to reprehend (I Cor. xi.) There was a special reason for our Saviour’s doing so; His Supper was to succeed immediately to the Passover; and therefore as soon as that was over He instituted His……… But……..what hour and time it should afterwards be received He left to be ordered by them that were after His departure to settle the Churches—namely, the Apostles; and accordingly we find St. Paul ( I Cor. xi. ) rectifying some abuses, and prescribing some rules for the better ordering of some rites and ceremonies about the Sacrament, and promising, when he should come, to settle and order for the rest (v. 34); from whom St. Augustine seems to think that the Catholic Church received this custom of receiving the Sacrament fasting (Ep. 118).’" [14]

Again, of -

III. The term "Protestant :"

The Bishops say, "Those that profess the Augustine Confession" are they "to whom the name of Protestants most properly belongs, "thereby disclaiming the propriety of the title as applied to themselves. And, on the other hand, the title by which they describe a faithful Churchman in the same document is "A good Catholic Christian." [15] The term "Protestant" has passed through three phases of meaning. It was first applied to certain continental adherents of Luther in 1529. With the term in this connection we have nothing to do. Secondly, the term was transplanted into England by certain of our own fellow-Churchmen upon their return from Geneva, whither they had gone during the reign of Queen Mary. In this second sense the term came to be used to describe a member of the Church of England, as distinguished from a Roman Catholic on the one hand or a sectary on the other. In this sense such sound Churchmen as Archbishop Laud or Bishop Andrews might, in popular language, call themselves "Protestants" as meaning that they desired to protest against any additions to, or subtractions from, Primitive Catholic truth. And in this sense the English Church may have been sometimes popularly called "the Protestant Church." But the third sense of the term, which has gradually come into use, is essentially anti-Christian, and one with which no sound English Churchman can have anything to do. "The Protestant Church" has, in these later times, come to mean—the aggregate of all, unbelief and heresy: and "a Protestant" now-a- days means anyone who hates and protests against, and strives to put down, Catholic truth, worship, and practice. All the sects, except the "Irvingites" and a section of the "Methodists," protest against the Catholic three-fold ministry. They all, except the "Irvingites," protest against Sacramental Grace, and the Catholic doctrine of Church unity—a unity, that is, which the world can see (St. John xvii. 20-23). The "Baptists" protest against infant Baptism. The "Mormonites" protest that the Bible is not the only Divine Revelation vouchsafed in writing to the Church; and protest also that a man is at liberty to marry as many wives as he pleases. "Quakers" protest against the necessity of any outward administration of Sacraments. "Swedenborgians," "Unitarians," and "Socinians" protest against the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Trinity. "Unitarians" and "Socinians" protest against the doctrine of Original Sin and human depravity, and the consequent necessity of Regeneration. They also protest against the Catholic doctrines of the Incarnation and the eternal Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. I need go no further. Between them, these sects have more than got rid of the whole Catholic faith. But all these sects boast of being "sound Protestants." Together, therefore (with certain others similarly minded), they form "the" true "Protestant Church"—a body of which every sound English Churchman will cry, in the words of holy Jacob – "O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united." It is well that the English Bishops in 1662 seem to have foreseen the fate hanging over the misleading term "Protestant." It is well that the term is nowhere to be found in either the Bible or Prayer Book.

In reference to-

IV. The Burial of the Dead :

The Puritans asked the Bishops – "We desire it may be expressed in a Rubrick, that the prayers and exhortations here used are not for the benefit of the dead, but only for the instruction and comfort of the living." [16]

The Bishops did not accede to the request. And Bishop Cosin, in his "Notes and Collections," &c., defends the practice of praying for the faithful departed in several passages. In one place, commenting upon the prayer before "the Collect" in the Burial Office he says: "The Puritans think that here is prayer for the dead allowed and practised by the Church of England, and so think I; but we are not both of one mind in censuring the Church for so doing. They say it is Popish and superstitious. I for my part esteem it pious and Christian. The body lies dead in the grave, and but by Christ’s power and God’s goodness shall never be raised up again (and the benefit is so great that sure it is worth the praying for; because then we may pray for what we ourselves, or our deceased brethren, as yet have not); therefore doth the Church pray for a perfect consummation and bliss both in soul and body to be given to our brother departed. We believe the Resurrection, and yet may pray for it, as we do for God s Kingdom to come, &c. Besides, prayer for the dead cannot be denied but to have been universally used of all Christians in the ancientest and purest times of the Church,……What though their souls be in bliss already? they may have a greater degree of bliss by our prayers." And on the question of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, Bishop Cosin says, in, reference to this matter, "The prayers ……of which Sacrifice…….in presenting the death and merits of our Saviour to God, is not only beneficial to them that are present, but to them that are absent also, to the dead and living both, to all true members of the Catholic Church of Christ." [17]

In reference to -

V. The authoritative as distinguished from the declarative character of sacerdotal Absolution; and the use or omission of it at the Priest’s pleasure :

The Puritans asked – "That the Absolution may only be recommended to the minister to be used or omitted as he shall see occasion," and "that the form of Absolution be declarative and conditional, as, ‘I pronounce thee absolved,’ instead of "I absolve thee,’ ‘if thou dost truly repent and believe.’" The Bishops answered, "If the sick person show himself truly penitent, it ought not to be left. to the minister’s p1easure to deny him Absolution, If he desire it. Our Church’s direction is according to the Thirteenth Canon of the venerable Council of Nice,…… The form of Absolution in the Liturgy is more agreeable to the Scriptures than that which they desire, it being said in St. John xx., ‘Whose sins you remit they are remitted,’ not, whose sins you pronounce remitted; and the condition needs not to be expressed, being always necessarily understood." [18] Moreover, the Bishops now inserted, for the first time, the direction to the Priest in the Visitation of the Sick, to "move the sick person to make a special Confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter." And Bishop Sparrow, in his "Rationale," observes, "It should be considered whether every deadly sin be not a weighty matter." [19]

This only shows how much truth there is in a statement lately made, that in the various Revisions of our translated Formularies, there has been a gradual and "careful weeding out of expressions" in favour of Confession. The reverse is the truth.

Again, Bishop Cosin says: "The Church of England, howsoever it holdeth not Confession and Absolution sacramental—that is, made unto and received from a Priest—to be so absolutely necessary as without it there can be no remission of sins, yet, by this place it is manifest what she teacheth concerning the virtue and force of this sacred action. The Confession is commanded to be special. The Absolution is the same that the ancient Church and the present Church of Rome useth. What would they more ?…..Our ‘if he feel his conscience troubled’ is no more than ‘if he find out his sins’……for if he be not troubled with sin, what needs either Confession or Absolution? Venial sins that separate not from the grace of God need not so much to trouble a man’s conscience. If he hath committed any mortal sin, then, we require Confession of it to a Priest, who may give him, upon his true contrition and repentance, the benefit of Absolution."

Again, he says: "Who hath left power to His Church to Absolve, &c.—This is that which the Puritans of our days, and their fathers the Novatians, old Puritans of the Primitive Church, deny. The Novatians used to say that an injury was done to God if Priests should have the power of remitting sins (Ambr., lib. I, de Poen., cap. 2). They used to scoff at it – ‘What, can he forgive me my sins’? which was the wont of all the old heretics." [20]

Bishop Sparrow, in a sermon on Confession and Absolution preached before the University of Cambridge, says: "He that would be sure of pardon, let him seek out a Priest, and make his humble Confession to him; for God, Who alone hath the prime and original right of forgiving sins, hath delegated the Priests His judges here on earth, and given them the power of Absolution, so that they can in His Name forgive the sins of those that humbly confess unto them. But is not this blasphemy? said the Scribes once. Is not this Popery? say some with us now." Then he quotes St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Gregory, St, Ambrose, and others, and continues – "These I have named are…..too pious to be thought to speak blasphemy, and too antient to be suspected of Popery," [21] and much more to the same effect. He also refutes the Puritan notion that the power of Absolution ceased with the death of the first Apostles. He declares – "Which power of remitting sins was not to end with the Apostles, but is a part of the ministry of reconciliation, as necessary now as it was then, and therefore to continue as long as the ministry of reconciliation—that is, to the end of the world (Eph. iv, 12, 13). When, therefore, the Priest absolves, God absolves if we be truly penitent." He also declares that "this remission of sins granted here to the Priest, to which God hath promised a confirmation in Heaven, is not the act of preaching, or baptizing, or admitting men to the Holy Communion, for……all these powers were granted before our Saviour’s Resurrection…… as you may see St. Matt. x. 7….. and St. John iv. 2…..and I Cor. xi. ….but this power of remitting sins, mentioned St, John xx, was not granted (though promised, St, Matt xvi.19), till now, that is, after the resurrection—as appears by the ceremony of breathing, signifying that then it was given; and, secondly, by the word receive, used in that place (v: 27.), which he could not properly have used if they had been indued with this power before. Therefore the power of remitting, which here God authorizes…….that, which the Church calls Absolution. And…… to doubt of the effect of it……is to question the truth of God, and he that, under pretence of reverence to God, denies or despises this power, does injury to God in slighting His commission, and is no better than a Novatian, says St. Ambrose, 1. I, de Poenit., cap. 2."

Again, Bishop Sparrow, commenting on St. James v.15, says: " ‘If he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him’ by the benefit of Absolution; so the words import. For ?µa?t?a?, sins, being a feminine plural, seems not to agree with the verb ?fe??seta?, it shall be forgiven, of the singular number; and therefore this word more properly seems to be rendered impersonally thus – ‘if he hath committed sins, pardon or absolution shall be given him, ‘and so by this means the sick person shall be sure, if not to save his body, yet at least to save his soul." He also says: "It were an happy thing to see in the people…..that they would when they are sick, send for the Priest, not verbally only to comfort them by rehearsing to them comfortable texts of Scripture, whether they belong to them or not (which is not to heal the sick, but to tell them that they have no need of the spiritual physician, by which means precious souls perish for whom Christ died), but to search and examine the state of their souls, to show them their sins, to prepare, them by ghostly counsel and exercises of penance for Absolution and the Holy Communion whereby they might indeed find comfort, remission of sins and the Holy Ghost the Comforter." [22]

Dr. Pierce, another of the 1667 Revisers, preaching before the King, says: "The duty of Confession from the penitent to the Priest hath been commanded by the Church in the purest times of antiquity, and, however misused by the Church of Rome, hath been reformed, and not abolished, by this of England. Now some malcontents there were who thought our Church not clean enough unless they might sweep away the pavement, and, amongst other things, their stomachs rose against Confession. Will not God, say they, be pleased with the acknowledgement of the heart, but; must that of the mouth be required also? Must we pour out our souls into the ear of the Priest? But I would say to such an English or Scottish Naaman, ‘Wash and be clean’—that is, confess and be forgiven."

As I have only set myself in this Paper to illustrate the points popularly supposed at the present time to be contrary to the principles of the English Reformation, I shall not notice the Bishops’ elaborate and lucid defence of the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration against the Puritan attack. I shall also leave unnoticed the Bishops’ defence of such important matters as the term "Priest;" the observance of Lent and Saints’-days; the preservation in the Calendar of the memories of the Black-letter Saints; the use of Lessons from the Apocrypha; the sign of the Cross; &c. The Puritans of that day bear ample witness to the common use in Churches of Altar-candlesticks, Crucifixes and Images, "Canopies over the Altar" (i.e., Baldachinos), "and Curtains on each side of it" (rendering impossible a north-end position of the Celebrant), Credence-tables, genuflections, and so forth. [23]

The other Revisers of 1662, as Bishop Sanderson, Bishop Gunning, Bishop Pearson, and Mr. Thorndyke, defend, with equal firmness, all points of the Catholic position in their private writings.

I have now, then, I think, sufficiently demonstrated what I undertook to prove. I have proved that the last Revision and Settlement in 1662 of the Formularies of the English Church, by which the Bishops and Clergy are bound, both by their Ordination promises and by Act of Parliament, was distinctly Catholic. I have proved, therefore, that the Catholic-minded clergy of the English Church alone are in the right, that the charge of "Romanizing" and unfaithfulness to their Church, so persistently brought against them because of their faithful adherence to Catholic truth and practice, is a grievous slander, and that the only consistent course for their opponents to adopt—in order, if they can, to put themselves in the right—is to endeavour to get the Formularies of the Church altered in a "Protestant" direction, and so to alter the basis on which we now stand. Until this be accomplished, which God forbid! Catholic-minded Churchmen, and they only, truly represent the mind of the English Church. All others are simply, more or less, conspirators against "the principles of the" English "Reformation" in its latest, and therefore most carefully considered, development. Consequently, it is obvious that the efforts so strenuously made in the present day by nominal Churchmen of Puritan sentiments to persecute and, if possible, put down the Catholic-minded clergy of the English Church, under a pretended zeal for the principles of the English Reformation, wear an appearance of gross hypocrisy. Puritans ever since the first dawn of "the Reformation," have been in the Church of England only on sufferance. If any are to be restrained, it must not be those clergy who loyally carry out the principles of the Church which the Revisers of 1662 so strenuously maintained against all attacks, but any who (although many of them holding position and preferment within the Church) use their position and influence, contrary to their Ordination promises, [24] to carry out the work of the Nonconformists of 1662, and undermine the Reformation principles for which the Revisers of 1662 contended, and which they have preserved in the Formularies of the Church. [25]

[1] Cardwell’s Conferences, pp. 1-41, 121-146, 238-392; Bishop Short’s History of the Church of England, pp. 135-451; and other authorities,

[2] Cardwell, p.340.

[3] Cardwell, pp. 346-349

[4] Cardwell, pp. 337-339, 346-349.

[5] Cardwell, pp. 320, 353

[6] Ration., Seventh Edition, of 1722, pp. 27-30

[7] Cardwell pp. 3i4, 349-351

[8] Cosin’s Works, Lib. Ang. Cath. Theol., Vol. V., pp. 42,43,233, 438-441, 507

[9] Cardwell pp. 310, 321, 350, 354.

[10] Cardwell p. 354

[11] The Bishops substituted the words – "corporal presence of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood" for the former words – " real and essential presence, there being of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood" (which were liable to be misunderstood) – thereby refusing to deny a "real and essential presence" of Christ’s Flesh and Blood – that is – of His Corpus, or Body; but, and truly, denying any "natural presence" of His Corpus to be in the Sacrament (that is His Corpus being present according to the ordinary laws of nature) in which manner of existing it could not "be at one time in more places than one."

To explain the nature of the Real Presence, does not come within the scope of this Paper. Acceptance of it, when rightly apprehended, is a very simple matter indeed to the humble believer. The many specious theoretical difficulties raised against it are the foolish inventions of "Protestantism’s" fertile brain. Suffice it to say that the believer’s adoration is directed towards the Blessed Trinity and our Incarnated Lord

(Rev. v. 13; vii. 9, 10.)

[12] De Ponte, Medns., Vol IV., p. 129.

[13] Notes and Collections, pp. 89-93.

[14] Ration., pp. 175, 176, 227, 246.

[15] Cardwell, pp. 338, 354.

[16] Cardwell p. 332.

[17] Notes and Collections, pp. 169, 170, 336.

[18] Cardwell pp. 332, 361.

[19] Ration., p. 212.

[20] Notes and Collections, pp. 163, 164.

[21] Sermon on Confession and Absolution, Edn. of 1722, p. 16, &c.

[22] Ration., pp. 11-17, 221, 222.

[23] Cardwell pp. 272, 273, 285.

[24] "Will you give your faithful diligence always so to minister the Doctrine, and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ …….as……..this Church and Realm hath received the same…….so that you may teach the people committed to your Cure and Change with all diligence to keep and observe the same? Answer : I will so do, by the help of the Lord." – The Ordering of Priests.

[25] Another matter cannot well be left entirely unnoticed. The Ecclesiastical Settlement of 1662 was made, as we have seen, by the joint action of Church and State – that is, the Church carried out the Revision, and the State ratified the Church’s action. Therefore to undo, or alter in any way, that Settlement, on constitutional principles, Church and State must again unite. The State cannot constitutionally act in the matter without the consent of the Church. Consequently, legal decisions (abolishing the Ritual, or in any way tampering with the Settlement, of 1662) emanating from a court established without the consent of the Church, and deriving its authority purely from the State, cannot be considered as binding on the consciences of the clergy, but rather are to be repudiated by all lovers of the Constitution, as interfering with the liberties of the Church, and plainly tending to disruption between Church and State.

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