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of the opposite party was Stokesley, Bishop of London, who defended the seven sacraments by an appeal to antiquity. The Bible indeed, he admitted, was the only Written Word of God; but he asserted, that many traditions, inasmuch as they are mentioned by the old doctors of the Church, might be presumed to have been received from the Apostles, and being therefore of like authority with the Scripture, might "worthily be called the Word of God "Unwritten d." The discussion was carried on with much freedom of speech, but led to no decision: and it seems to have been felt, that the Convocation was so much divided in opinion, as to render it very doubtful, whether, if left to their own deliberations, they would draw up any form of Articles of doctrine at all. To obviate this difficulty, a Book of Articles 1536. which had been previously prepared, was brought down by Crumwell. It gave rise to warm debates; but was at length subscribed by a large proportion of the members of both Houses, and was published shortly afterwards with the following title: Articles devised by the Kinges Highnes Majestie, to stablyshe Christen quietnes and unitie amonge us, and to avoyde contentious opinions: which Articles be also approved by the consent and determination of the hole Clergie of this realme. These were the Articles of 1536, the first Formulary of Faith agreed on by the Church of England after its separation from that of Rome, and the foundation on which the more copious expositions of doctrine subsequently set forth by Hen. VIII. were constructed.
This Formulary has been attributed, on the evidence of the above title, wholly to the pen of the King, but the Introduction prefixed to it does not support this conclusion. It is more likely that it was drawn up by a committee; and there is much probability in Strype's conjecture, that “ a great "share therein" belonged to the Archbishope. This view
is confirmed by a draft for the Articles on images and on praying to saints, preserved at Lambeth, on which corrections in the handwriting of Cranmer and Tunstal may still be seen f. But there is reason to believe, that although this Formulary was not originally composed by Hen. VIII, it was yet revised by him, before it was submitted to the Convocation. For he speaks in his Preface to it, of having "in his own person many times taken great pain, study, "labour, and travailss;" and Burnet states, that he had seen copies of several parts of it, with alterations by the King's own hand h.
It has been often assumed, that the Reformers gained a MS. Fraggreat point by the omission in these Articles of four out of ment of the the seven sacraments; and that they lost ground in the 1536. following year, by the restoration of them to their former rank in The Institution of a Christian Man. But a documenti in the Chapter House at Westminster proves
f Lambeth Library, No. 1107. Archbishop Cranmer's Collection of Law, p. 125–132. One of these corrections is very characteristic of the sentiments of the two prelates. Tunstal inserted a sanction of the practice of praying to saints, upon which Cranmer added a qualification, that it must "be done without any vain superstition." Both clauses are retained in the printed copies.
& Formularies of Faith, p. xv. Oxford, 1825.
h Hist. of Reformat. vol. iii. p. 237. Some manuscripts answering Burnet's description still exist among the Theological Tracts in the Chapter House at Westminster.
i The document alluded to, is an imperfect copy of the Articles on Matrimony, Confirmation, Orders, and Extreme Unction, subscribed by Crumwell, Cranmer, and thirty-three others. (Chapter House, Theological Tracts, vol. viii. p. 11-33.) It opens with a declaration of the inferior dignity and necessity of these four sacraments, agreeing in substance, and partly in expression, with a similar distinction at the end of the exposition of them in The Institution. Then follow the Articles on Confirmation and Orders, which are perfect, and which, like the three published Articles, were incorporated without much change into The Institution in the following year. Those on Matrimony and Extreme Unction are missing. As this fragment does not appear
From this it appears,
such a supposition to be erroneous. that, whatever doubts may have been entertained by some of the New Learning, (as it was called,) their leaders on the present occasion not only allowed Matrimony, Confirmation, Orders, and Extreme Unction, to be styled Sacraments, but actually subscribed the Articles drawn up to explain them. And it may be suspected that the objection to the publication of the Articles thus subscribed, proceeded from the opposite party. The advocates for the Old Learning would be much dissatisfied with the broad line of distinction, by which the above-named rites were to be separated from Baptism, Penance, and the Lord's Supper, and by which in fact little was left to them beyond the name of sacraments. They might also have been unwilling to give their sanction to the Article on Orders, as it was finally arranged. For a dispute arose, as we learn from a note on one of the manuscripts k, respecting a clause originally contained in it, asserting the power of priests and bishops to take examinations and judge crimes. And the dispute was
to have been hitherto noticed, the signatures affixed to it are subjoined.
k Chapter House, Westminster, Theological Tracts, vol. viii. p. 59.
settled, as appears from the finished copy, by expunging the obnoxious sentence. This may possibly have induced the staunch supporters of ecclesiastical authority to prefer a total silence on the subject, to the circulation of an exposition which in their judgment robbed the clergy of one of their most valued privileges.
of a Chris
It has been long believed, that the Reformers were mainly Institution indebted to Cranmer for the larger Formulary of Doctrine tian Man. above alluded to, entitled The Institution of a Christian 1537. Man. And this fact is now established beyond dispute, by the recent publication in the State Papers of some letters to Crumwell from Bishops Latymer and Fox'. These two prelates were members of the Commission to which the preparation of the work was entrusted. They had therefore abundant opportunities of being well informed: and from their testimony we learn m, among several other curious particulars, that the judgments of the Commissioners were "of such diversity," as to cause great difficulty in coming to an agreement; and that "much of the credit of what"ever was praiseworthy in their doings, was due to the Archbishop." The plan pursued by these divines in their deliberations cannot be ascertained on unexceptionable evidence; but Strype's conjecturen is highly probable, that the matter was reduced to questions, which were proposed separately to each Commissioner and answered in writing. Certain it is, that many papers of this description, and of about this date, are still preserved °. The book at last compiled by them, may truly be pronounced one of the most valuable productions of this reign. The Articles of 1536 were its foundation, but they were much enlarged and improved. Besides the Exposition of the four sa
1 State Papers, London, 1831, vol. i. part ii. Nos. 90. 95, 96.
m See some extracts from their letters, Vol. i. p. 188.
Among these is a brief judgment by Cranmer on Confirmation. See Vol. ii.
craments, which had been already prepared but suppressed, it was further increased by long and useful notes on the Apostles' Creed, on the Ten Commandments, and on the Pater Noster and Ave Maria. Thus the new Formulary contained copious materials for practical instruction, as well as a rule of faith. And since it was drawn up for the most part according to the views of the Reformers, it was better calculated to advance their cause than that by which it had been preceded P. But though superior in its contents, it was inferior in authority 9; being neither approved by Convocation, nor set forth by the King. It was published indeed by his printer, but was not, like the former book, provided with a Preface by his Majesty, commanding it to be received by his subjects, as agreeable to God's word. Its only introduction was a Letter to him from the Commissioners, announcing its completion, and praying him to issue orders for its general use.
Closely connected with The Institution of a Christian The King's Man, are Cranmer's Annotations on The King's Book. By some writers indeed, they are supposed to have been occasioned by it; while by others they are believed to relate to a work of later date, A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man1. But there is a fatal objection to both suppositions; namely, that neither of these publications contains the precise expressions criticised in the Annotations. Most of these, however, are found in some manuscript Notes, written chiefly by Henry VIII.'s own hand in an edition of The Institution preserved in the Bodleian Library: whence it may be fairly inferred, that
p It was, however, differently interpreted according to the different views of its readers. See a curious discussion on this point in the correspondence between Cranmer and a Kentish Justice, now first printed from manuscripts in the Chapter House at Westminster. Vol. i. p. 208. 9 See Letter CLXXXIV; Collier, Eccles. Hist. vol. ii. p. 142; Strype, Cranm. p. 54.
See Vol. ii. p. 21. note.