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

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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 55 of 83)
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on our Lord's words, " but me ye have not always." Dr.
Watson endeavoured to take the edge off this argument by a
counter-quotation from the same Father, upon which Philpot
replied that Watson's reasoning was foreign to the subject.
The prolocutor then engaging with Philips and Philpot threw
in some "unintelligible" distinctions," upon which the latter
gentlemen retired upon subtleties in grammatical construc-

After this Philpot and Philips entangled Moreman in an
argument with respect to the eucharistic bread which our
Lord ate in his last supper. They strove by this means to
reduce Moreman's views to an absurdity. The latter becom-
ing embarrassed Harpsfield stepped in to disengage him, but
found his weapons turned upon himself : on which the pro-
locutor interfered, but without much force ; and thus ended
the day's debate.

The disputation was renewed again on October 25 °°. Phil-
pot had prepared a Latin speech supported by testimonies ;

A.D. 1553.
Q. Mary.

' Warner,
ii. ?)3().
S Strvpe's
Mem. iii.

■• Foxe's
ii. 1340.
' Warner,
ii. 336.
J Coll. vi.

k Dialog,
p. 85.

1 Coll. vi.




n Johan
ac. 50.


hn .xii.

o Coll. vi.

o" Foxe's
ii. p. 1342.




P Chrysost.
ad Pop. An-

q Coll. vi.

r Warner,
ii. 337, and
Fuller, Ch.
Hist. b.
viii. p. 11.

» Coll.

' Dialog

» Coll.

V Coll. vi.

but the prolocutor suspecting some disadvantage to his party
from this course of proceeding enjoined on Philpot to debate
in English. He drew his arguments from Matt, xxviii. 6,
Luke xxiii. 5, and John xvi. 28 ; and lastly cited S. Cyril
when speaking on John xvi. 29, in order to disable an excep-
tion which he foresaw might be taken against his interpreta-
tions. To him Dr. Chedsey made answer and denied that the
texts cited by Philpot referred to the subject in hand, pro-
ducing a passage from S. ChrysostomP to fortify his own ex-
position of them. But " after some clashing between Philpot
and the prolocutor," the former appears to have disengaged the
testimony of S. Chrysostom as to the point in question, upon
which the prolocutor feeling the blow heavy, and fearing lest
his adversary should press on further, bid him desist. Phil-
pot here thinking himself ill-used at not having been permitted
to exhaust his weapons, complained that he had not finished yet
" with one argument, and that he had eleven i more to urge."
However Weston was unwilling to stand so lengthened an
assault, for his answer was, " hold your ^ peace or I will com-
mit you to prison," which, to say the least, seems a threat
much at variance with the promise held out on the previous
Sunday at S. PauFs, " that all objections should be answered
in this dispute."

Next followed a passage betsveen** Aihner and Moreman,
in which the latter again became so much entangled in his
arguments that he desired a day's respite in order to recon-
sider and arrange them. Haddon then pressed Dr. Watson
on the passage in Theodoret ' before alluded to, when Watson,
being in a strait, questioned the Latin translation, which was,
however, justified by a comparison with the Greek.

Perne who had" subscribed in favour of transubstantiation,
now argued against it, for which " he was checked by the pro-
locutor." Upon this Ailmer took leave to charge the latter
" with breach of promise," for it seems "Weston had engaged
that every one might speak his mind notwithstanding his sub-
scription ; besides, Ailmer reminded them that it was but
reason that a man should have liberty " to recollect himself,"
gather up his thoughts, "and alter his opinion" upon suffi-
cient discoveries. Night now coming on the assembly rose ;
Weston commending " their abilities and learning, but re-




minding them that all discussions of this nature must be
overruled according to "the decisions of holy Church," by
which he meant the corrupted Roman branch of it.

The dispute was renewed^ on the 27th of October, when
Haddon and Watson were again engaged over the passage
from Theodoret ^ before alluded to. Upon that father'^s as-
sertion with respect to the sacramental elements Haddon
framed a syllogism which overset Watson, and so far discon-
certed him that he took the freedom to call Theodoret a Nes-
torian. Cheyney then argued ^ against transubstantiation
from a passage in Irenseus, and from another in Hesychius
relating to the custom of burning the symbols. Watson,
wished to avoid this argument, but Cheyney pressing it re-
ceived no satisfaction, either from Watson or from Morgan
who came to his rescue; so Harpsfield endeavoured^ to re-
lieve them both by arguing from the extent of C od's omnipo-
tency, and the feebleness of man's understanding.

After some more ^ clashing on this head the prolocutor
appealed to the hearers whether the objections of Philpot and
his party against the doctrine of transubstantiation had been
sufficiently answered. To this some persons answerd " Yes ;"
but the majority by '' far greater in number shouted " No."
Weston, somewhat put out, said he did not desire the opinion
of the unlettered " multitude, but only of the house," and asked
the reformed divines whether they were now willing on their
parts to respond to arguments which should be produced on
the other side. " Haddon, Cheyney, and Ailmer refused," for,
as the latter said, they had not engaged themselves to abide
the regular " forms of a disputation," but only to assign their
reasons for not subscribing the schedules produced by the
prolocutor, which asserted transubstantiation. In this course
they were prepared to proceed, and it was not just that they
should stand on the defensive until their own arguments
were answered. Besides it appeared ^ of little use to prolong
discussion, as it was plain the house would decide against

Philpot, however, accepted the challenge, and was bold
enough to say he would venture the contest even if he stood
alone ; upon which the prolocutor forgot himself, became in-
temperate in his language, and said the archdeacon "was'^ fit

A.D. 1553.
Q. Mary.

" Foxe's
ii. p. 1344.

Dialog, ii.

y Coll. vi.


^ Coll.

=> Coll.

b Coll.

c Coll. vi.

d Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p.




A.D 1553.




Robert Hoi

gate in


e Foxc's
Acts & Men,
ii. p. 1345.
f Cone.
Macr. Brit,
iv. 81!.
e Coll. vi.

h Coll. vi.

iActsiii. 21.

J Col

" Coll.

' Coll. vi.

'I Ibid.

to be sent^ to Bedlam."'"' Philpot in reply complained of par-
tiality, and declared himself roughly treated. However, as he
had undertaken to proceed with the argument another day
was appointed for the purpose.

On the 80th of October ^ they met again e, and now Philpot
endeavoured to disprove " transubstantiation from the property
of human bodies,"" and the impossibility of their being at once
absent and present. In proof of this he adduced a passage
from Vigilius, which, to say the least, appears somewhat un-
necessary. Morgan took exception to this as not being scrip-
ture, on which Philpot " alleged ^ the text where our Lord is
said to be like us in all things except sin,"" and joined to this
the evidence of S. Peter, where he says of Him, that " the
heavens ' must receive Hira until the restitution of all things."'"'
Hence Philpot argued, that if the heavens were to receive Him
till the restitution of all things, the Lord could not here in the
holy sacrament be corporally present. Li order to shrink from
this inference, Harpsfield retreated again behind the shelter of
divine omnipotence ; but it was replied that this attribute
would hardly disentangle the present difficulty, unless we had
scripture warrant for applying it to the case in hand. Upon
this the prolocutor interposed, but his argument was meta-
phorical J, and therefore wholly inadmissible in a logical dis-

There then followed "^ some collision on the meaning of the
word " oportct ;"" but as the different measures of obligation
and the doctrine of necessities are subjects somewhat difficult
of solution, it was impossible on this emergency for either
party to give the other satisfaction. So Morgan at last asked

Ipot "whether ^ he would be concluded "" by the Church. To


this Philpot consented, " provided it was the true Catholic
Church," which, he said, must be based on scripture. Upon
this Moreman, who had been overset in his arguments before,
as we have seen, thought he perceived an opportunity for re-
covery, and so interposed, asking Philpot " whether the scrip-
ture was before the Church "."'"' Philpot said " yes ;" but More-
man improved his advantage, and proved the Chri.stian Church
to have been antecedent to the scriptures of the New Testa-
ment. He said that the Christian Church began with our
Saviour"'s resurrection at least ; but that S. Matthew's gospel




was not written till about twelve years after our Saviour''s
ascension, and so that the Church certainly was before scrip-
ture. Philpot denied the conclusion, saying that Moreman's
view of scripture was too naiTOW ; that the term should not
be confined to words formed by letters or delineated by pen
and ink. He argued that " the salutation of the angel was
scripture before it was written ;" and that whatever God's
Spirit dictated should be reckoned as scripture, though only
laid up in the minds or delivered by the tongues of holy men.
Here Philpot was exceedingly unconvincing in his argument,
and failed, as one might have expected, to satisfy his adver-
sary. Indeed this time Moreman seems to have had the best
of the encounter, which made some amends to him for his
former overthrows.

The prolocutor, whose morals™ were no better than his
manners, appears to have behaved throughout with indecent
partiality. Instead of urging reasons with the meekness and
charity of a divine, or the convincing logic of a philosopher,
he argued after the fashion of a dragoon, sword in hand, for
he cut all reason short with this unanswerable sally : " It " is
not the queen's pleasure that we should spend any longer time
in these debates, and ye are well enough already, for you have
the word and we have the sword." In which outbreak he
very precisely stated the different position of the reformed
divines and of the Romanists throughout this reign.

Philpot, who had reason to complain of the prolocutor's
treatment, said he should be happy ° to depart from the com-
pany, but Weston, in order now to make a shew of fair deal-
ing, told him that his arguments should be heard, provided
that he appeared under two conditions. 1st, That he should
be dressed p in the habit of the house ; and 2ndly, That he
should not speak except by the prolocutor's order. " Theni,"
said Philpot, " I had rather be absent altogether, and so it
seems departed the place."

The reformers' were then requested to subscribe their
opinions^ on the subject of the holy communion, and thus
ended this disputation, in which neither party made any
approach towards giving the other satisfaction. Nor indeed

^ The opinions of Philips, Haddon, Cheyney, and Philpot may be seen re-
corded in Collier's Eccl. Hist. Records, No. 68 repeated.

A.D. 1553.
Q. Mary.

■" Strype's
Mem. iii.
Ill, and see
pref. to
" Gardiner
(le vera
pp. 8—13
reprint 1553.
" Hevlin's
p. 200.

o Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p.

P Fuller,

Ch. Hist.

b. viii. p.


1 Fuller,

Ch. Hist.

b. viii. p.


>• Cone.

Magf. Brit.

iv. 88.




A.D. 1553.




Robert Hol-

gate in


» Strype's
Mcui. iii.

' Strype's

Mem. iii.


« Vid. infra,

next page


* Foxc's
ii. 1347.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 88.

A.D. 1554.
" (Jonc.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 94.
y Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 94.

^ Vid. sup.
l)p. 495, 496.

« Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 94.
* Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. '94.
*> Cone.
Mag. Brit,
jv. 98.

could it have reasonably Ijeen expected that they would do so
in a case like the present, where both were exercising them-
selves in matters too high for them, and arguing upon those
deep mysteries of God which the human intellect fails to
grasp, and which human language is inadequate to define.
„ . , In this convocation ^ four articles appear to

Four artieles ^^

defined by the havo been defined by the upper house, but
whether they were ever even presented to the
lower is not clear.

1 . The first limited the administration of the communion
to one kind.

2. The second asserted the doctrine of transubstantiation.
8. The third enjoined adoration and reservation of the


4. The fourth speaks of the eucharistic sacrifice and its
institution, defining by whom, for whom, and to whom it is to
be offered.

From these heads * were framed the three propositions dis-
puted" on at Oxford in the following April by Cramner, Rid-
ley, and Latimer, before royal commissioners composed of a
committee of the convocation with associated divines from
Oxford and Cambridge.

The present pretended ^ provincial synod continued its ses-
sions until the 13th of Dec. 1553 "", a week after the dissolu-
tion of Q. Mary's first parliament, when, by her majesty's writ
directed to Bonner, this convocation was dissolved.
„,„ „ , , The next convocation was summoned to meet

VIII. Pretended

provincial i^ynod in S. JMary's Church", Oxford, on the Srd of
April, 1554, and the solemnities usual ^ on the
opening of the assembly were observed. But this convocation
can liave no better pretence than the last to the character of
an English provincial synod, and that for the reasons before
assigned^. Nor can such an appellation be properly applied
to any of the succeeding convocations in this reign. P^rom
Oxford the assembly was continued to S. PauFs, London,
where it met ^^ on the 5th April. Dr. Hugh Weston, whose
temper and language in the last convocation appeared highly
exceptionable % was again appointed prolocutor, and after
some discussion a conunittee was elected who were to appear
on behalf of the clergy at Oxford'', in order to assist at




the now impending disputation between the Roraanist divines
on one side, and Archbishop Cranmer with Bishops Ridley
and Latimer on the other. Rumours'^ had gained circu-
lation that at the disputation in the convocation-house last
year the Romanists were worsted ; and indeed the accla-
mations ^ above referred to shewed what the opinions of
the hearers were on that occasion. Upon this account the
convocation and the two universities were authorized by the
queen to appoint a body of divines to conduct this second
disputation, but in the convocation*^ the subjects to be dis-
cussed were settled. They were three in number, and were
framed upon the groundwork of the four articles, which we
have seen were sanctioned last year by the bishops. The
terms of them are given in the note *.

The convocation appointed^ the following members to act
in their behalf at Oxford : — Dr. Weston, prolocutor, Dr. Ogle-
thorp, Dr. Seton, Dr. Chedsey, Dr. Cole, Dr. Geffrey, Mr.
Pye, Mr. Fecknam, and Mr. Harpsfield ; and having nomi-
nated these gentlemen, nothing more was done by the assem-
bly, which then was prorogued by sundry continuations until
the following 27th of April.

The articles s mentioned in the note were
sent down to Cambridge and approved by the
senate, where also an instrument** bearing date
April 10 was executed, appointing seven ^ of
their doctors to proceed to Oxford, in order to
take part in the dispute. To the committee of the convocation
and the seven Cambridge doctors there were added at Oxford
the chancellor of the latter university, the vice-chancellor,
some professors and doctors, of whom we find five ^ names
specified. These however cannot include the whole number, as

8 " 1. In Sacramento altaris virtute verbi divini a sacerdote prolati prsesens
est realiter sub speciebus panis at vini naturale corpus Christi conceptum de vir-
gine Maria ; item naturalis ejus sanguis.

"2. Post consecrationem non reraanet substantia panis et vini, neque alia ulla
substantia nisi substantia Christi, Dei et hominis.

" 3. In missa est vlvificum Ecclesise sacrificium pro peccatis, tarn vivorum
quam mortuorum propitiabile." — Strype's Cran. p. 334. Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 98.

'•> J. Young, W. Glyn, R. Atkinson, Th. Watson, C. Scot, A. Langdale,
T. Sedgwick.— Strype's Cran. p. 335.

1 Drs. Holyman, Tresham, R. Marshall, Morwent, and Smith. — Strype's Cran.
p. 3.35.

IX. Royal com-
mission for the
trial of Arch-
bishop Cranmer,
Bishops Ridley
and Latimer.

A.D. 1554.
Q. Mary.

^ Coll. vi.

<! Vid. sup.
p. 503.

c Strype's
Cranmer, p.

f Cone.
Mai,'. Biit.
iv. 9i.
p. 335,

S Str^'pe's
p. 334, &
Cone. Mag.
Brit. iv. 98
h Strype's




A.D. 1554.




Robert Hol-

gate in


' Strype's
Cranmer, p.

i Coll. vi.

jj Coll. vi.

•* Vid. sup.
cliiip. xi.
p. 486.

' Strype's

Cranmer, p.


"' Coll. vi.


the royal commissioners'


ited to thirty-three, of

whom nine were supplied by the lower house of convocation
seven by the university of Cambridge, and most of the rest
therefore it may be presumed were of Oxford.

The commissioners met in S. Mary's church, Oxford, whither
Archbishop Cranmer and l^ishops Ridley and Latimer were
brought having been lately removed from their prisons within
the Tower of London.

ChedseyJ, Ti*esham, Weston, and Young were the most
vocal antagonists on the llomanist side. Cranmer was
charged by them with mistranslating or misrepresenting
Justin INIartyr, Irenseus, and other ancient fathers. Weston,
moreoverJJ, accused him of setting forth K. Edward's cate-
chism in the name of the Synod of London, and said that
nevertheless fifty members of that convocation had never
heard a word of that book. Cranmer denied that the title
was appended with his sanction, and maintained that he had
complained himself to the council on the subject, and that
they had answered that the book was so entitled because it
was set forth during the session of convocation. As has
before'' been said, this special complaint of the catechism,
without mention of the articles of 1552-^ bound up with it, is
so far forth a corroborative evidence that those articles were
synodically ratified.

To go through the arguments between the reformed and
the Romanists at Oxford before the royal commission is
here needless, as it would be for the most part a repetition of
the discussion held in convocation in the autumn of L")5o.
It is sufficient here to say that Archbishop Cranmer and
Bishops Ridley and Latimer argued in turn upon the subjects
proposed, but to great disadvantage, being overborne at times
by the clamour of their antagonists in the divinity schools \
where the disputation took place. Dr. Hugh Weston'",
whose temper was irritable and language indecent, again mis-
behaved himself remarkably, as he had done last year. His
bearing and observations were rude to Cranmer, and flippant
towards Ridley. Moreover, he indulged in personal reflections
which, when introduced into a cause of so grave a character,
are particularly un])ardonable.

The whole disputation is said to have been carried on in a




Cranmer and his
two suffragans
condemned as he-

disorderly manner, and though the Roman Cathohc champions,
being select men from both universities and well furnished
with skill and learning, displayed much research and argued
with force, yet unfair advantages were certainly taken by
them, and their opponents were subjected to noise ", clamour,
and hard usage. The event was such as might have been

The archbishop and his two suffragans were
condemned" as heretics in S. Mary's church, on
April 20, the whole disputation and the con-
demnation of these three martyrs before the
commissioners being ratified under the seal of the university,
and subscribed by the notaries.

The sequel p of this dire tragedy is too well known. Each of
the accused suffered for his faith at the stake,

"... et meclios animam spiravit in ignes 1."

The commis- On the 27th "^ of April the sentence of convic-
pr°e"entedTJ"the ^i^"' ratified Under the university seal, was pre-
convocatiou. scuted to couvocation by Dr. Weston, who'

returned that week to London for the purpose. The canonical
value of this document may be questioned, whatever may be
thought of its constitutional worth. That an archbishop and
two bishops should be tried ' for heresy by a royal commission,
was, to say the least, a novel proceeding. Such a management
does not carry any appearance of primitive practice on the
face of it ; nor does this fact mend the matter, that all the ^
commissioners present were of the second order in the
priesthood, upon which it may be observed that the power
of the regale, even under Roman auspices, appears to have
here disabled the canonical decrees " of the councils of
Carthage and Trullo. However, the practice of the present
day is to place in the hands of commissioners powers of such
extravagant extent, that the proceeding may perhaps not seem
so startling to modern observers as it reasonably should.
„ , , . On the 30th of April the convocation again

Sundry business \ ^

in the " convoca- assembled, but nothing appears then to have
taken place worthy of record, save that Walter

2 The Bishop of Winchester's (Gardiner's) name appeared in the commission,
but he neither was present at the disputation nor at the time of sentence. — Coll.
vi. 78.

A.D. 1554.
Q. Mary.

n Coll. vi.

o Strype's

P See Coll.
vi. 120—
122. 13.5—
q Ovid.
Metam. 11
V. 106.
<■ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 94.
* Strype's

1 Coll. vi.
78, 79.




A.D. 1554.




Robert Hol-

gate in


' Cone.
Mag. Brit.


iv. 94.

w Cone.
INlag. Brit.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 94.
y Fuller, Ch.
Hist. b.
viii. p. 15.

* Wake's
State, p.

* Cone.
M.ig. Brit,
iv. 94.

Philips, dean of Rochester, who had maintained the reformed
doctrines during the disputation last autumn in the convo-
cation-house, now recanted his sentiment.s, and consented
to subscribe to the schedules which he had then opposed.
So sensible are the minds of some men to pressure from

Appointment of On the 4th of May, however, an arrange-
proxies. ment was made in the lower house of some im-

portance, which involved two points.

] . In the lower house the whole " clergy agreed that
proxies should be substituted by the members, and that all
the powers of the parties who gave the proxies should be
delegated to those who held them. On this point a novel
doctrine has been started of late — that capitular and clergy
proctors may not .substitute their proxies. But this is much
of a piece with other legal opinions on ecclesiastical matters,
thrown off in our days at haphazard, though with shews of
learning and authority. The right of capitular and clergy
proctors to substitute proxies in the same manner as deans
and archdeacons seems beyond all question plain from mani-
fold precedents '.

_,, ., , , 2. The second point settled in this session

The aid of the ^

was, that whatever members ^ should happen to
be present on any future occasions in the lower
house might take upon themselves the responsibility of select-
ing any persons they pleased from the universities of Oxford
or Cambridge to aid them in their deliberations.

These arrangements certainly carry a suspicious air on the
face of them. It looks much as if the Romanizing party
rather leant on the universities than on the Church for the
maintenance and propagation of their views.

This convocation^ ended on the 5th October, looJ-.

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 55 of 83)