James Wayland Joyce.

England's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic online

. (page 52 of 83)
Online LibraryJames Wayland JoyceEngland's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic → online text (page 52 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

by the metropolitan when any important case arises. And still
further, our provincial synods are treated with the highest
marks of regard, and all such consideration as is due to those
legitimate successors of primitive Church assemblies. Among
the specified duties of the metropolitans that "■ of convening
such synods is not forgotten ; and, moreover, when an appeal
has been carried in an important case from an archbishop to
the crown, it is to be referred to three or four bishops, or to
a^ provincial spiod as the tribunal in the last resort^. As
however the king died * before he had given his royal signature
to this book, the design unhappily miscarried. To this hour
it has never been renewed by those who are concerned for the
honour and safety of the Church. But how that safety and
honour can without some such code be effectually secured is
left to the consideration of the reader.
,,,^„ „ , In the first Prayer Book there were some few

XXV. Second . •'

reformed Prayer pomts whicli Were uot palatable to the more
ardent reformers. Archbishop Cranmer ", who
had a high opinion of Bucer, applied to that foreigner for his
thoughts on the subject. In order to qualify himself for giving
an opinion he had the first Prayer Book translated into Latin
by one Alesse, a Scotchman ; and having then applied himself
to the necessary considerations, he wrote to the archbishop ^
on the whole matter and at length. At the outset he gives
this remarkable commendation to the book, declaring that
" upon ^ perusal of the service book he thanked God Almighty
for giving the English grace to reform their ceremonies to
that degree of purity ; and that he found nothing but what
was either taken out of the word of God, or at least not con-
trary to it, provided it was fairly interpreted." Now if the
first reformed Prayer Book was in this commendable state, it
might have occurred to this adviser that to undo what had
been so lately done might have an ill effect on menu's minds.
Still this seems not to have struck him, at least not with much
force, for he begrudged no pains to recommend an alteration,
and lengthened out his strictures to twenty-eight ^ chapters.
It has been thought that Bucer's animadversions were some-

* " Earn vel concilio provinciali definire volumus, si gravis sit causa, vel a tribus
quatuorve episcopis," &c. — Ref. Leg. de Appell. c. xi. p. 283.

A.D. 1549.
K. Ed. VI.

<i Ref. leg.
de Ecclesia,
cap. 18.

>■ Ref. legum
de Ecclesia,
cap. 17.

• Ref. leg.
de appella-

' Strype's
Mem. ii.

A. D. 1550.

" Coll. V.

' Coll. V.

» Coll. V.

" Coll. V.




A.D. 1550.






y'c^.' V.

^ Coll.

a Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 107.

b Coll. V.


c Coll. V.


'• Hevlin's
Hist." Ref.
p. 107.
Coll. V. 435.

e Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 107.
Coll. V. 435.

what strained ; and that his mind was overcharjred y with
scruples. Nor do his remarks in the body of his discourse
agree tolerably with the concessions at its commencement.
Notwithstanding this, however, Peter Martyr agreed with him,
as appears by a correspondence which passed between them.
Another very notorious person of that time took occasion also
to promote the enterprise — one who deemed himself wiser
than the primitive Church ; and who, from never being ha-
rassed with misgivings about the correctness of his own
peculiar views, thought himself qualified " to dictate ^ religion
to all countries in Christendom." This was Calvin, who, by
the way, not only assumed to himself a high degree of autho-
rity in matters of faith, but thought himself justified in taking
very sanguinary vengeance on those who declined to accept
his singularities ^ His weight was thrown into the scale of
those who pressed for an alteration of the first reformed Prayer
Book ; and in his writings at this time he took unwarrantable
freedoms in* making use of very rude and unguarded lan-
guage with reference to that work. But that his manage-
ments in this matter should be more exceptionable than
Bucer''s no one will wonder who takes the trouble to consider
the very dissimilar characters and dispositions of the two men.
For the latter was a person of kindly spirit, noble disposition,
and expansive mind. This (however indefen.sible his inter-
ference about the first service book may be) is plain from his
work entitled " The Kingdom of Christ," and presented as a
new year's gift to K. Edward VI., in which work much un-
common thought is well supported ^. He there recommends,
by the way, the holding of provincial synods ° twice in the
year — advice which some persons of figure in the present day
would seem prepared to treat with slender consideration.
„ . . ^ ., These designs for a fresh alteration in the

Revision of the ^ '^

former book pro- public scrvico wcrc presscd on " by ^ agents in

motcd in the Can- . . . „

terbury Synod in the court, the couutry, and the universities,
^^^ ■ and the effect of the general agitation was that

in the convocation this year (1550) the question of a revision
of the first reformed Prayer Book was brought forward.
The' first debate^ among the prelates in the upper house

'•' Witness his treatment of Servctus.

' This was probably in the synod which met Ajiril 22, or October 11, 1550. Sec




referred to the exceptions which had been taken against the
then authorized formularies. There were two ^ points which
appear on tliis occasion to have received special attention : —

1. The holy days which were retained in the calendar and
those which were abrogated.

2. The form ^ of words used in distributing the elements to
communicants, and the manner of administering that holy

These subjects were debated by the prelates, and a com-
munication from them was made to the prolocutor and the
clergy upon the matter. A formal'* initiation of this business
had indeed taken place in the lower house on the previous
day, but still on points so important the members had not
had sufficient time to come to conclusions, and the lower
house therefore returned answer, "that' they had not yet
sufficiently considered of the points proposed, but that they
would give their lordships some account thereof in the follow-
ing session." Their final answer is unfortunately unrecorded,
not having been entered upon the acts of convocation ; but
that an agreement was come to on the subject at this time
may be learned from corroborative evidence, though there is
no record to produce. The witness is Peter Martyr, who
writes to this effect at the beginning J of 1550 n. s. : — "He
gives ^ God thanks for making himself and Bucer instrumental
in putting the bishops in mind of the exceptionable places in
the Common Prayer," and he adds "that' Archbishop Cran-
mer told him tliey had met about this hiisiness, and had coii-
cluded on a great many alterations."'

. , Thus, for ™ avoiding scruples and for satisfy-

Its review by a ^ . . .

committee of di- ing importunities rather than from any admis-
sion " of impropriety in the first reformed Prayer
Book, it was ° brought under a review, and reduced ^ nearly to

Cone. Mag. Brit. vol. iv. p. 60 ; though possibly in that which met Feb. 3, 1 550
N.s. See Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 32.

2 The ehief variations from the first reformed Prayer Book were as follow :
I. The FIRST REFORMED Prayer Book cnjoincJ what the second did not in
the following particulars among others : — 1. Introits or psalms prefixed to the
collects for the day. 2. A second communion for Christmas and Easter, and a
service for the feast of S. Mary Magdalene. 3. The use of the terms " mass "
and " altar." 4. The mixture of water with wine in the eucharist. 5. A rubric
for setting the elements on the altar and the ancient form in delivering them. 6.

A. D. 1550.
K. Ed. VT.


Hist. Ref.
p. 107.

D Hey] ill's
Hist. Ref.
p. 107.

" Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 107.

• Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 107, and
Coll. v. 435.

J Jan. 10,
1550 N.s.
k Coll. v.

I Coll. v.

"> Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 107.

n Coll. V.

o Stvype's
Cran. 266,
and Mem.
ii. 365.




A.T). 1550.







1 See above,
this chap, ad
an. 1549,

■■ See chap,
xii. ad an.
1559, and
chap. XV.
ad an. 16G2;
also Reel-
ing's Litur-

* Strype's
Mem. ii.

' Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. vii. p.

A.D. 1.551.
" Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 108.
*' Vid. sup.
this chap,
ad an. 1543
N.s. and
w Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 863, and
iv. 15.
" Strype's
Mem. ii.

y Strj-pe's
Mem. ii.

the form in which p our Common Prayer Book now stands.
The ordinal also of 1549, with some slight changes i, was
appended. To enter here into a detailed account of all the
differences in the whole work, from our present Common
Prayer Book, would be beyond our present purpose at this
point'; our main object being now to discover the synodical
sanctions which were successively given to the service books
and formularies of faith adopted at this period of her history
by the English Church. This second review of the Common
Prayer Book was managed by ^ Cranmer, Ridley, Cox, and
some associated divines. It is believed indeed that the
reviewers were' in the main the same committee as that
which had " arranged the first reformed Prayer Book ; and if
such was the case, the remarks made above on the synodical
authority of that committee (as having^ probably been the
continuation of a committee appointed by the ^ command of
convocation in 1543 n.s.) will here also apply. The reviewers
carried on their work with assiduity, and by "^ September 1551
some proof copies were printed by Grafton, though the per-
formance was not yet either synodically or civilly ratified.
The issue of any copies was however >' forbidden, as some few
emendations still had to be made. Finally, after completion,
An invocation — a verbal oblation and signing of the cross in consecration. 7- The
use of the " Gloria in excelsis " and some other portions of the service were also
transposed in the second book. 8. In the first book, moreover, there were prayers *
for the dead in the communion and burial service. 9. A rubric for receiving the
bread in the mouth, another for reserving the sacrament. 10. A communion at
burials. 11. Anointing in the visitation and communion of the sick. 12. A form
of exorcism, trine immersion, unction, and the chrism in baptism. 13. A separate
service for the consecration of the water. 14. Signing of the cross in matrimony.
15. The rochet, albe, and vestment or cope were authorized.

II. The SECOND REFORMED Prayer Book enjoined what the first did not in
the following particulars among others: — 1. A rubric requiring all priests and
deacons to say daily the morning and evening prayer either privately or openly,
except let by some urgent cause. 2. The sentences of exhortation, the confes-
sion, and absolution, the " Jubilate Deo," " Cantato Domino," and " Deus miserea-
tur," in the morning and evening jn-ayers. 3. The commandments and a third
exhortation in the communion service. 4. The declaration relative to kneeling at
the communion. 5. The ordinal of 1549, with the slight variations mentioned
above f . 6. The Athanasian creed was appointed for some saints' days as well as
for the great festivals. — See Bulley's Variations of Communion and Baptismal
Offices, Pref. pp. vi. vii. x. Cardwell's Two Liturgies. Coll. v. 435-7. Picker-
ing's reprint of Prayer Book. Lond. 1844.

* CoU. V. 292-3.

f Vid. sup. ad an. 1549, note.




it became the service book of the English Church, authorized
both by the ecclesiastical ^ and civil ^ power.

Second reform- ^^ sliould be remembered that the reviewers
ed Prayer Book of the secoud reformed Prayer Book, as was said.

received sanctions , j ^ ^

ecclesiastical and brought their labours '^ to a close in September
1551, with the exception only of some few
emendations which were subsequently to be considered. The
Canterbury Synod mef^ on October 14th and"^ November 5th
next ensuing, and it looks very much as if these meetings were
called for the special purpose of considering the emendations
referred to, previously to the whole work being submitted to
convocation and parliament, which met ^ respectively January
24th f and 23rd s, 1 552 n. s. following — the meeting of the con-
vocation succeeding the meeting of parliament by one day,
according to the usual practice which prevailed after the pass-
ing of the Submission Act\ However this may be, the
second reformed Prayer Book was ratified by this' parlia-
ment; and since the convocation which sat acourse with it
was constantly engaged, as is evident even from the very
short record^ remaining of its proceedings, it seems highly
probable, considering the practice of those times which
has been abundantly shewn in our previous inquiry, that
the synod was engaged in completing and sanctioning the
work. But though it is impossible to give absolute proof of
this, the registers of this convocation J having been miserably
kept, yet the synodical sanction given to this book by the
articles of 1552-3 \ probably debated at this time and finally'
concluded by the synod on March 2, 1553 n.s., is incompa-
rably clear. That sanction is given by the thirty-fifth of
those articles, and is most plain to our purpose. It runs as
follows : —

" ™ The Booke whiche of very late time Avas geven to the
Churche of Englande by the kinges aucthoritie and the par-
lamente, conteining the manor and fourrae of praiying and
ministring the sacramentes in the Churche of Englande, like-
wise also the booke of ordring ministers of the Churche, set
foorth by the forsaied aucthoritie, are godlie and in no poincte
repugnaunt to the holsome doctrine of the gospel, but agre-

^ " Ad XXIV diem Januarii prox. prorogabatur, a quo die usque ad dissolutiouem
ejus . . . synodus convenit pro more solito." — Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 68.

A.D. 15.51.
K. Ed. VI.

^ Art. 35
of 1553 N. s.
» 5 & 6 Ed.
vr. c. 1.

b Strvpe's
Mem. ii.

c Conr.
Macf. Brit,
iv. (30. 68.
>i Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 68.

A. D. 1552.
e Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
pp. 120-1.
f Cone.
Ma?. Brit.
V. 68. 73.
g Hume,
chap. xxxY.
p. 370, and
Stat, at
Large, in

•> 25 Hen.
VIII. c. 19.
i 5 & 6 Ed.

J Fuller's
Cii. Hist.
Appeal, pt.
ii. p. 78.
State, p.
598, and see
pp. 121-2.
k Heylin's
Hist." Ref.
pp. 121-2.
' Wake's
State, p.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 76.
Card. Syn.
•ol. i. p. 31.




A.D. 1552.






n Hcylin's

Ecc. Vind.

4to. pp. 83,


° Vid. sup.

this chap.

p. 473.

P Vid. this

chap, iiifia,

pp. 483 et


1 Cone.

Mag. Brit.

iv. 6'8. 73.

■" Stat, at

Large, in


» 5 & 6 Ed.

VI. c. 1.

t Card. Two


pref. x\\x.

" Stat, at

Large, in


*■ Sec. 6.

"l4Car. IL
c. 4.

" 5 & 6 Ed.
VI. c. 3.

y Stat, at

Large, in


^ lleylin's

Tracts, p.


a Atterb.

Rights, p.


able thcrounto, fcrthcring and bcaiitifiyng the same not a
litle, and therfore of al faithfull nienibres of the Churche of
Englande, and eheiflie of the ministers of the worde, thei
ought to be received, and allowed with all readinesse of minde
and thankcs geving, and to bee eonmiended to the people of

Here then we certainly have in the thirty-fifth article of
1552-3 full and complete" synodical sanction to the second
reformed Prayer Book, as well as to the reformed ° ordinal of
1549 appended to it; that is if those articles were synodi-
cally ratified themselves, a fact which will p be shewn in due
course. This second reformed Prayer Book received the
ratification of the civil legislature at the end of the sessions
of convocation 1 and parliament"^, which rose in the middle of
April 1552. For by the statute^ finally* passed in the House
of Commons April 14, 1552, entitled "an act" for the uni-
formity of service and administration of sacraments through-
out the realm," the use of the new service book was
enjoined from the feast ^ of All Saints (November 1) then next

That this second reformed Prayer Book received proper
synodical sanction our legislators of K. Charles II.'s time
seem to have been fully assured. For in the preamble of
their act of uniformity^ it is recited that "the order of
common service and prayer " in use in the first year of
Q. Elizabeth was "compiled by the reverend bishops and
clergy." This statement can of course refer to none other
but this second reformed Prayer Book, and it is perfectly
clear, by the expressions here used, that our legislature of
that day was satisfied of the ecclesiastical origin of the

This parliament of K. Edward VI. also passed another
act, wisely uniting civil sanctions with synodical decisions.
For by ^ " an act for the keeping holy days >' and fasting
days," the legislature traced the ' steps of the rubric in
the new Common Prayer Book relating to holy days, "and
ordered* none to be kept holy," to use Dr. Atterbury''s
words on this subject, "but what had before hand been so
ordered to be kept by the clergy in convocation, only it added
new penalties."




^„^rT T^ The Convocation of Canterbury which met

XXVI. Forty- _ •'

two Articles of January 24, 1552 n.s., is one of great import-
ance'', as to that synod must probably be
referred the discussion on the articles of 1552-3. It is evident
that some important synodical business was under hand at
this time, for from the 24th of January 1552 n. s. to the 16th
day of April following, the synod continually held sessions, as
we may learn "= from the meagre ^ record which remains ^ of
this convocation *. It is clear from this fact that some press-
ing business lay before them, and taking all the circum-
stances of the case into consideration, as well as the time and
other evidence hereafter to be produced, it cannot I think ^ be
doubted but that the forty-two articles of 1552-8 s, and the
ratification of the new service book by the thirty-fifth of those
articles, was the business '^ which now engaged the attention
of the synod. In pursuing this inquiry it is not only the
loss of the convocation registers by fire that creates a diffi-
culty, but the unsatisfactory state in which those registers
were found by those persons who formerly had opportunities
of consulting them, and whose investigations have come down
to us. Fuller, who was* a member of convocation in 1640,
and who paid especial attention to this point before us, bears
testimony to the fact that the records of this date were
"either veryj carelessly taken or soon destroyed by those who
had no mind that they should be known to postei-ity." For
he assures us that the ^ records of this convocation (i. e. of
1552 N.s.) anno 5 & 6 Ed. VI. 6, "are but one degree
above blanks, scarce affording the names of the clerks assem-
bled therein.'" And again he says of the journals " that they
contained only the names of the* members therein daily
meeting.''"' Still we have evidence from™ other quarters on
the subject under consideration.

Now first we will inquire into the history of the compilation
of these articles, and then proceed to consider the corrobo-
rative proof that they were really what their title itself de-
clares : '''Articles agreed "^ on hy the hishoppes and other learned
menne in the synode at London in the yere of our Lorde Godde


* "A quo die [Jan. 24, 1551-2] usque ad dissolutionem ejus synodus convenit
pro more solito." — Cone. Mag. Brit. vol. iv. p. 68.

A. D. 1552.
K. Ed. VI.

b Hevlin's
Hist.' Rcf.
pp. 121-2.

c Fuller's
Ajjpeal, pt.
ii. p. 78.
d Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. ()8.
« See note,
f Strype's
Mcui. ii.

g Heylin's
Hist. Kef.
pp. 121-2.
" Strype's
Mem. ii.

' See his
Ch. Hist. _
b. xi. p. 167

J W'ake's
State, p.

k Fuller's
Ch. Hist,
b. vii. p.
4-20, and
p|.. 121-2.
1 Fuller's
Appeal, pt.
ii. p. 78.
™ Strype's
Mem. ii.

™ Card. Syn.




A. D. 155-2.






o Stry])c's
p. 272.
P Strype s
p. 272.

1 Strype's
Mem. ii.
368. Hey-
lin's Hist.
Ref. pp.
•■ Strype's
Cran. p.

' Strype's
Cran. p.

' Strype's
Cran. p.

" Strype,
Cran. p.
273, cites

'' Strype's

Cran. p.


w Coll. V.


A. D. 1553.

" Coll. V.

^^ Present
State, p.

y Present
State, p.
599, and «ce
Coll. V. 476.
* Vid. sup.

In the year 1551 Archbishop Cranmer undertook to frame
a book of articles for the preservation of peace and unity in
the Church, with a view to their being " set forth ° by pubUc
authority." A draft of articles was made by him, and deh-
vered for inspection p to some of the other bishops. Now it
was, it is believed, in this convocation, whicli began Jan. 24,
1552 N.S., and which was evidently, as before observed, en-
gaged in some important business from their frequent meet-
ings, that these articles were brought '^ forward and discussed,
though not finally ratified till the following year, March 1 553
N.s. For on the 2nd of May, 1552, the council addressed a
letter to the archbishop in reference to " the articles "^ that
were delivered last year to the bishops, and to signify whether
the same were set forth by any public authority according to
the minutes." The archbishop sent his answer to the lords
of the council; and in September (1552) was again engaged*
in putting the whole work into shape, affixing titles to each
of the articles, and making some additions where necessary.
On the 19th of September the archbishop consulted by letter
Sir William Cecyl and Sir Jolni Cheke, the one being his
majesty's principal secretary and the other his majesty's tutor,
whether they should themselves submit the draft of these
articles to the king, or whether the matter should lie over
until the archbishop himself could attend at court and open
the business. It was deemed * advisable that the latter course
should be pursued. Subsequently the archbishop delivered
the book to the king, who took the opinions " of his chaplains
on the subject'; and on November 20 (1552) the articles
were dispatched by a messenger to Cranmer, then at Ford,
near Canterbury, that they might be reviewed by him, and
receive the last touches of his hand, "in order ^ that they
might be presented before the convocation ^^ and allowed there,
and so be published by the royal authority." The archbishop
made his last remarks ^ on them, and on the 2nd of March
following the convocation met, when, according to Dr.
Wake ''^ "this book of articles was finally laid before it,"
and " the result ^ was, that the whole body agreed upon
them and subscribed to them," If, then, as was before sug-
gested ^, the rough draft was debated by the convocation be-
* Air. llarley, Bill, Horn, Griudal, Pernu, and Kno.\.




tween Jan. 24, 1552 n.s., and the following 16th April, when
the synod was busily engaged, yet it seems that the final
confirmation and subscription of the synod after the retouches
of the archbishop and the approval of the king did not take place
till March 2, 1553 n.s. And this view agrees perfectly well
with their title®: '■'Articles^ agreed on hy the hislioppes and
other learned menne in the synode at London in the yere of our
Lorde Godde MDLii.,/or the avoiding of controversie in opinions
and the estahlishement of a godlie concorde in certeine matiers of

For the debates on them, when they were generally agreed
to, seem, as was above suggested, to have taken place in the
spring of 1552, that is, up to April 16 ; and their ratification,
after the archbishop's retouches, took place also in 1552, ac-
cording to the old style of reckoning; March 2, 1553 n.s.,
being, as is generally known, March 2, 1552 o.s. That such
documents were universally dated according to the old style
is admitted on all hands. As an instance in point we may

Online LibraryJames Wayland JoyceEngland's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic → online text (page 52 of 83)