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either this identical volume, or some more perfect copy taken from it, was "The King's Book," on which Cranmer commented. The history of the matter appears to be, that, at the commencement of 1538, a plan was entertained for supplying the above-mentioned defect in the authority of The Institution, by a republication of it in the name of the King. This new edition being contemplated, Henry was probably induced, by his confidence in his theological acquirements, and by his unwillingness to sanction tenets which he had not fully examined, to take the pains of revising the work throughout. Vain however as he was of Hen. VIII.'s his own learning, he condescended to submit his revisions of the Into the judgment of Cranmer. The task thus imposed on stitution. the Archbishop, will be readily admitted to have been of a very delicate nature. But those who are strongly impressed with the current accounts of his pliability, will have no difficulty in foretelling the course pursued by him. They will anticipate, that he approved the corrections without hesitation, and accompanied his approbation with many compliments to the King's superior wisdom. Such anticipations, however, will be altogether disappointed. It will be found on the contrary, that he criticised both the grammar and the theology of his master with a caustic freedom, which might have given offence to an author of far humbler pretensions than a sovereign who had entered the lists with Luther, and who prided himself on his titles of Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the National Church. It is true, that he softened the severity of his criticisms by an apology for his presumption, in being "so scrupulous and 66 as it were a picker of quarrels to his Grace's books." But even when these excuses have been allowed their full weight, there will still remain enough of boldness to surprise those, who have no other idea of Henry, than that he was a dog
s Letter ccv.
matical tyrant, or of Cranmer, than that he was a cowardly timeserver.
These Annotations, as they were entitled by their author, though they have been long known to be in existence, were not generally accessible before 1809, when they were printed for the first time in The Fathers of the English Church. And they were still but imperfectly understood in the absence of the book, on which they were professedly comments. This deficiency has been now supplied by the discovery of Henry VIII.'s Notes in the Bodleian Library. And it is presumed that no apology is needed for inserting these specimens of Royal theology in the present Collection. Though they cannot in strict right, claim a place among Cranmer's Works, they are yet most necessary for the clear understanding of his remarks. They will also tend to illustrate the much contested character and opinions of Henry himself. They will, for instance, prove on the one hand, that his temper, however imperious, could yet bear with patience the free remonstrances of an honest servant; and on the other, they will betray manifest indications of a rooted love of arbitrary power, of a lingering attachment to astrology and the like superstitions, and of an unscrupulous disposition to bend Scripture, even by alteration, into an accordance with his own views and passions.
The united endeavours of the King and the Archbishop to improve The Institution, were not followed by a new edition. It was left untouched till 1543; when it appeared with far more considerable changes than were now contemplated, under the title of A Necessary Doctrine and EruConfer- dition for any Christian Man. The abandonment of the the German plan for its immediate republication was probably occasioned Protest- by a project of a more comprehensive nature. Negotiations ants. 1538. had now been on foot for some years between Henry and the German Protestants, for the double purpose of con
t Vol. ii. p. 21.
cluding a treaty of alliance, and of drawing up a joint Confession of Faith. Some progress in the business had been made by English embassies on the continent, particularly by one conducted by Fox and Hethe in the winter of 1535. Seckendorfu relates that several Articles of Religion were then agreed on by the two parties, and he recites the precise terms, in which they expressed their judgment of the Lord's Supper. But Henry was not satisfied with these deliberations at a distance: he was desirous that they should be transferred to his own dominions, and continually pressed the German princes to send ambassadors for the purpose. And his wishes were at length gratified; a mission being dispatched to England in the spring of 1538. It consisted of Francis Burcard, Vice-Chancellor to the Elector of Saxony; George à Boyneburg, a nobleman of Hesse; and Frederic Myconius, Superintendent of the Reformed Church at Gotha. On their arrival in London, Cranmer, with some other bishops and divines, was immediately directed to open conferences with them. The course of the present discussions, as well as of those which had been previously held in Germany, seems to have been regulated by the Confession of Augsburgh. According to the order of that Formulary it was arranged, that the representatives of the two nations should first settle the chief articles of faith, and should then proceed to inquire into the abuses and corruptions alleged to have crept into the Church. They are known, from a letter by Myconius, to have brought the first division of their consultations to a happy issue; having decided on a form for declaring the principal points of Christian doctrine V. But this concord was broken when they came
" Seckendorf, Comment. de Lutheran. lib. iii. §. xxxix. Add. (f.) v "In articulis et in summa doctrinæ Christianæ eousque progressi 66 sumus, ut de præcipuis jam conveniat: et quod de abusibus est reli
quum, cum in eis rebus tam verbo quam scripto, nostrorum Princi
pum, Doctorum, Ecclesiarum, et nostram sententiam explicaveri
to examine the abuses: here Henry, who himself interfered in the proceedings, differed so widely from the Germans, as to cut off all hope of a satisfactory arrangement. The ambas sadors persisted in asserting, that the three main corruptions of the Church of Rome were the denial of the cup to the laity in the administration of the Lord's Supper, the custom of private propitiatory Masses, and the prohibition of marriage to the clergy. The King was no less stiff in maintaining all these practices to be good and lawful; and either from his own strong feeling on these questions, or at the instigation of counsellors desirous of a rupture, he announced his resolution to undertake this part of the controversy in person w. The tract written by him in consequence, as well as the letter of the Germans to which it was a reply, is preserved in the Cotton Library, and has been printed by Burnet. But the Confession of Faith previously settled, has not hitherto been given to the world. Yet it seems strange, that while the memorials of their disunion have reached us, the Articles on which they agreed, should have MS. Book perished. And probably this is not the case. For a main the State nuscript among Archbishop Cranmer's papers in the State Paper Office, may be reasonably conjectured to be a copy of them. It is a thin folio, entitled, "A boke conteyning dyvers Articles De Unitate Dei et Trinitate personarum, "De peccato originali," &c. The documents tied up in the same bundle, relate chiefly to these negotiations with the foreign Reformers; and the "boke" itself is manifestly founded on the Confession of Augsburgh, often following
66 mus, et Episcopi atque Doctores jam sententiam nostram teneant, 66 poterunt etiam nobis absentibus illa expendere." Myconius to Crumwell, in Strype, Memorials, vol. i. App. N°. 95. See also Cranmer's Letters, Vol. i. pp. 261. 263.
w This however must be understood with some allowance; for in the elaborate answer addressed in his name to the Germans, he was most materially assisted by Tunstal.
* Burnet, Hist. of Reformat. vol. i. Add. Nos. 7, 8.
it very closely, and departing from it exactly in those instances, where the mixture of English with German theology might have been expected to cause a variation. It is also in Latin, and this circumstance adds to the probability of its having been composed in concert with foreigners: for such other Formularies of this reign as were designed for domestic use, are in English. And lastly, the only Article, namely that on the Lord's Supper, which there is an opportunity of comparing with the conclusions approved by Fox and Hethe in Germany, is word for word the samey. There seems therefore to be a fair presumption, that this "boke" is a copy of the Articles of Faith arranged at London by the English and German Reformers in the summer of 1538.
But whatever may be the value of this conjecture, there can be no doubt, either that this Book of Articles was considered at that time of great importance, or that Cranmer was concerned in framing it. This is clear from the number of rough drafts for different parts of it still existing in the State Paper Office and the Cotton Library 2; one of which is corrected in the handwriting of the King, and several in that of the Archbishop. This document is interesting also in another point of view: it appears to have been the groundwork of Edward VI.'s Articles of 1552, and conse
y Seckendorf, Comment. de Lutheran. lib. iii. §. xxxx. Add. (f).
z Six of these Articles have been printed from the drafts in the Cotton Library by Strype, who considered them to be part of a Formulary composed in 1540 by Commissioners then appointed under the authority of an Act of Parliament. This opinion, which has been adopted by Mr. Todd, and with some reserve by Archbishop Laurence, is in no respect inconsistent with the supposition advanced above. But no evidence has been adduced in support of it; and the Articles of 1540, even if they were ever completed, (which is doubtful,) being intended for the exclusive use of the English Church, were in all probability not drawn up in Latin. See below, p. xxx; Strype, Memorials, vol. i. p. 357. and App. N°. 112; Todd, Declarations of Reformers, &c. Introd. p. vi; Laurence, Bampton Lectures, p. 195.