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When these learned Divines had completed their work, the Prayer Book was submitted to Convocation (which met on November 24th, 1548), that it might go forth with the full authority of the Church. It was then communicated to the King in Council, and afterwards laid before Parliament on December 9th, 1548, that it might be incorporated into an Act of Parliament [2nd and 3rd Edw. VI. cap. 1]. This Act (including the Prayer Book) passed the House of Lords on January 15th, and the House of Commons on January 21st, 1548-9. It was the first Act of Uniformity, and it enacted that the Prayer Book should come into use in all churches on the Feast of Whitsunday following, which was June 9th, 1549. The Book itself was published on March 7th, 1548-9, thus allowing three months' interval, during which the Clergy and Laity might become acquainted with the new Order of Divine Service.
Yet, although it was in one sense new, they who had been engaged upon it felt so strong a conviction that it was substantially identical with the old, that in after days Cranmer offered to prove that “ the order of the Church of England, set out by authority of Edward the Sixth, was the same that had been used in the Church for fifteen hundred years past'.”
In the Act of Parliament which enacted the Book of Common Prayer, it was said to have been composed under the influence of the Holy Ghost; and there is, doubtless, an indication of this belief in the choice of the day on which it was enjoined to be used. So solemn were the views which those who arranged and set forth the Prayer Book took of their work, so anxious their desire that it should be sealed with the blessing of God.
It was unfortunate for the peace of the Church of England, that those who were in authority at this period were disposed to yield too much to the influence of foreigners whose principles were totally alien from those on which the English Reformation was based. That Reformation had been strictly Catholic in its origin and in its official progress, and the repudiation of foreign interference with the Church of England had been one of its main features. But foreign interference now arose from a different quarter, Calvin and his associates endeavouring, with characteristic self-assurance, to bias the mind of England towards Genevan Presbyterianism, rather than Anglican Catholicity. Calvin himself thrust a correspondence upon the Protector Somerset, upon the young King, and upon Archbishop Cranmer? A letter of his still exists in the State Paper Office, which was written to the Duke of Somerset on October 22nd, 1548, and in which he urges the Protector to push the Reformation further than it had hitherto gone., Others to the same purpose may be found in Strype's Memorials of Cranmer [iii. 25]. Peter Martyr and Martin Bucer (neither of whom could understand the English language) were placed in the most important positions at Oxford and Cambridge by Somerset; John à Lasco, a Polish refugee, was quartered upon Cranmer for six months, and afterwards established in a schismatic position in London; and Poullain (Valerandus Pollanus] was, in a similar manner, established at Glastonbury'. These appointments show the manner in which the Church of England was sagaciously leavened with foreign Protestantism by those who wished to reduce it to the same abject level; and they are but a few of the many indications which exist that the Puritanism by which the Church was so imperilled during the succeeding bundred and twenty years arose out of foreign influences thus brought to bear upon the young clergy and the laity of that generation. These influences soon began to affect the Book of Common Prayer, which had been, with so much 659 forethought, learning, and pious deliberation, prepared by the Bishops and other Divines
who composed the Committee to which reference has so often been made. It had been accepted with satisfaction by most of the Clergy and the Laity *; and had even been taken into use by many at Easter, although not enjoined to be used until Whitsunday, so desirous were they of adopting the vernacular service. It was, probably, the quiet acceptance of the Prayer Book by the Clergy which raised hopes in the foreign party of moulding it to their own standard of Protestantism.
It is certain that an agitation had been going on, among the latter, from the very time when the Book of 1549 had been first brought into use. A Lasco, Peter Martyr, and Martin Bucer appear to have been continually corresponding about the Prayer Book, and plotting for its alteration, although they knew it only through imperfect translations hastily provided by a Scotchman named Aless, living at Leipsic, and Sir John Cheke. In the Convocation of 1550 a debate on the subject of Revision was started among the Bishops, and the question was sent down also to the Lower House, but it was postponed by the latter until the following Session, and what was done further does not appear; though it is probable that the consideration of the Thirty-nine Articles absorbed the whole attention of
1 Bp. Jeremy Taylor's Works, vii. 292.
3 The same hospitable but unwise charity towards religious refugees was shown by James I. in the case of Antonio de Dominis, Archbishop of Spalatro, and with most unfortunate results.
+ Even Bishop Gardiner's official reply to the Privy Council on the subject was favourable to the Prayer Book. “He had deliberately considered of all the Offices contained in the Common Prayer Book, and all the several branches of it: that though he could not have made it in that manner, had the matter been
referred unto him, yet that he found such things therein as did very well satisfy his conscience; and therefore, that he would not only execute it in his own person, but cause the same to be offi. ciated by all those of his diocese.” [Heylin's Reformation, i. 209. Eccl. Hist. Soc.] Somerset, writing to Cardinal Pole, June 4th, 1549, and sending him a Prayer Book, says that there was “a common agreement of all the chief learned men in the Realm”
in favour of the new " form and rite of service." [State Papers, | Dom. Edw. VI., vol. 7.] Edward VI.'s reply to the Devon
shire rebels asserts the same thing.
Convocation for several sessions, and that the proposition for a revised Prayer Book was set aside, as far as the official assembly of the Church was concerned. The young King had now, however, been aroused by the meddlesome letters of Calvin, and perhaps by some of the Puritan courtiers, to entertain a strong personal desire for certain changes in Divine Service; and not being able to prevail on the Bishops to accede to his wishes, he declared to Sir John Cheke (with true Tudor feeling) that he should cause the Prayer Book to be altered on his own authority. It was this determination of Edward, probably, which finally turned the scale in favour of a more constitutional Revision.
No records remain to show us in what manner or by whom this Revision was ultimately made. It has been suggested by Dr. Cardwell [Two Liturgies of Edw. VI., xvii. n.] that the Convocation delegated its authority to a Commission appointed by the King, and that this Commission was the same with that which had set forth the Ordinal of 1550, consisting of “six Prelates, and six other men of this Realm, learned in God's law, by the King's Majesty to be appointed and assigned ;” but of which only the name of Bishop Heath of Worcester is recorded. Archdeacon Freeman considers it to be “all but certain that it was the Ordinal Commission which conducted the Revision of 1552," especially because the Ordinal was affixed to the Act of Parliament by which the revised book was legalized '. There is no certain proof that the Prayer Book of 1552, commonly called the Second Book of Edward VI., ever received the sanction of Convocation; yet it is highly improbable that Cranmer would have allowed it to get into Parliament without it. Edward's second Act of Uniformity, with the revised Prayer Book attached, was passed on April 6th, 1552, with a proviso that the book was to come into use on the Feast of All Saints following. Three editions of the book were printed, but in so unsatisfactory a manner, that on Sept. 27th any further issue of those already printed was forbidden by an Order in Council. At the same time a Royal mandate was sent to Archbishop Cranmer, the purport of which can only be gathered from his reply. This reply is of sufficient interest to be printed at length :
“After my right humble commendations unto your good Lordships.
“Where I understand by your Lordships' letters that the King's majesty his pleasure is that the Book of Common Service should be diligently perused *, and therein the printer's errors to be amended. I shall travaile therein to the uttermost of my power—albeit I had need first to have had the book written which was past by Act of Parliament, and sealed with the great seal, which remaineth in the hands of Mr. Spilman, clerk of the Parliament, who is not in London, nor I cannot learn where he is. Nevertheless, I have gotten the copy which Mr. Spilman delivered to the printers to print by, which I think shall serve well enough. And where I understand further by your Lordships' letters that some be offended with kneeling at the time of the receiving of the sacrament, and would that I (calling to me the Bishop of London, and some other learned men as Mr. Peter Martyr or such like), should with them expend, and weigh the said prescription of kneeling, whether it be fit to remain as a commandment, or to be left out of the book. I shall accomplish the King's Majesty his commandment herein :-albeit I trust that we with just balance weighed this at the making of the book, and not only we, but a great many Bishops and others of the best learned within this realm appointed for that purpose. And now the book being read and approved by the whole State of the Realm, in the High Court of Parliament, with the King's majesty his royal assent—that this should be now altered again without Parliament—of what importance this matter is, I refer to your Lordships' wisdom to consider. I know your Lordships' wisdom to be such, that I trust ye will not be moved with these glorious and unquiet spirits which can like nothing but that is after their own fancy ; and cease not to make trouble when things be most quiet and in good order. If such men should be heard—although the book were made every year anew, yet it should not lack faults in their opinion. But,' say they, 'it is not commanded in the Scripture to kneel, and whatsoever is not commanded in the Scripture is against the Scripture, and utterly unlawful and ungodly. But this saying is the chief foundation of the Anabaptists and of divers other sects. This saying is a subversion of all order as well in religion as in common policy. If this saying be true, take away the whole Book of Service; for what should men travell to set in order in the form of service, if no order can be got but that is already prescribed by Scripture ? And because I will not trouble your Lordships with reciting of many Scriptures or proof in this matter, whosoever teacheth any such doctrine (if your Lordships will give me leave) I will set my foot by his, to be tried by
i See also Heylin's Reformation, i. 228, 229.
it is said that the king had caused the former Book of 1549 to be 2 The word "perused" has a technical sense, the force of which “perused, explained, and made fully perfect." It thus - meant is shown by the Act which authorized the Book of 1552, in which I more than the correction of clerical errors.
fire, that his doctrine is untrue ; and not only untrue, but also seditious and perilous to be heard of any subjects, as a thing breaking their bridle of obedience and losing from the bond of all Princes' laws.
"My good Lordships, I pray you to consider that there be two prayers which go before the receiving of the Sacrament, and two immediately follow—all which time the people praying and giving thanks do kneel. And what inconvenience there is that it may not be thus ordered, I know not. If the kneeling of the people should be discontinued for the time of the receiving of the sacrament, so that at the receipt thereof they should rise up and stand or sit, and then immediately kneel down again—it should rather import a contemptuous than a reverent receiving of the Sacrament. “But it is not expressly contained in the Scripture' (say they) that Christ ministered the sacrament to his apostles kneeling: Nor they find it not expressly in Scripture that he ministered it standing or sitting. But if we will follow the plain words of the Scripture we should rather receive it lying down on the ground-as the custom of the world at that time almost everywhere, and as the Tartars and Turks use yet at this day, to eat their meat lying upon the ground. And the words of the Evangelist import the same, which be åvaktiwal and åvatittw, which signify, properly, to lie down upon the floor or ground, and not to sit upon a form or stool. And the same speech use the Evangelists where they show) that Christ fed five thousand with five loaves, where it is plainly expressed that they sat down upon the ground and not upon stools.
“I beseech your Lordships take in good part this my long babbling, which I write as of myself only. The Bishop of London is not yet come, and your Lordships required answer with speed, and therefore am I constrained to make some answer to your Lordships afore his coming. And thus I pray God long to preserve your Lordships and to increase the same in all prosperity and godliness.
“At Lambeth, this 7th of October, 1552,
On July 6th, 1553, Edward VI. died, and it does not appear that any of the revised books had been printed after 1552; the “ Declaration on kneeling” being inserted on a fly-leaf. It seems very unlikely, therefore, that this second Prayer Book of Edward VI. was ever taken into common use; and its chief importance is derived from the circumstance that it was made the basis of those further Revisions which resulted in the Prayer Book which has now been used without alteration for two centuries.
I State Papers, Domestic, Edw. VI. xv. 15.
Feast of Pentecost next ensuing, " and none other or other. ? It was never used at all in Ireland.
wise.” 3 The following is a condensed account of the two Acts of II. Any clergyman refusing to use the Book of Comigou Uniformity passed in the reign of Edward VI.:
Prayer, or using any other forms than those set forth therein,
shall, on conviction by verdict of a jury, forfeit one of his bene$ 2 and 3 Edw. VI. c. 1. [A.D. 1549.]
fices, and suffer six months'imprisonment for the first offence; for I. For a long time there have been “divers forms of Common the second offence be imprisoned for twelve months, and forfeit Prayer" used in England, that is to say, “ the use of Sarum, of all “his spiritual promotions ;” and for the third offence suffer York, of Bangor, and of Lincoln ; and besides the same, now of imprisonment for life. Unbeneficed clergy to be imprisoned six late much more divers and sundry forms and fashions have been months for the first offence, and perpetually for the second. used in the Cathedral and parish churches of England and Wales, L III. No “interludes, plays, songs, rhymes," or any other open as well concerning the Mattins or Morning Prayer and the Even words, are to be allowed to be spoken“ in the derogation, deprar. song, as also concerning the Holy Communion, commonly called ing, or despising of the same Book, or of any thing therein con. the Mass, with divers and sundry rites and ceremonies concerning tained, or any part thereof." No one shall forcibly compel a clergythe same, and in the administration of other Sacranients of the man to use other forms than those of the Prayer Book, under penalChurch.” Some have been pleased with the use of “rites and ties similar in character to those enacted in the second clause. ceremonies in other form than of late years they have been used,” IV. Gives power to the Judges to inquire, hear, and determine and others greatly offended. The King, Protector, and Council all offences committed contrary to this Act. have tried to stay such innovations, but without success; where. V. Provides that any Archbishop or Bishop may associate him. fore to the intent that a uniform, quiet, and godly order should be | self with the Judge in the trial of such offences as have been adopted, his Highness has appointed the Archbishop of Canter- | committed within his own diocese. bury, with other bishops and learned divines, to arrange such an | VI. The Prayer Book may be used in Greek, Latin, or Hebrew, order, “having as well eye and respect to the most sincere and by such as understand those languages, with the exception of the pure Christian religion taught by the Scripture, as to the usages Holy Communion. in the Primitive Church.” This “rite and fashion of Cominon VII. In “Churches, Chapels, Oratories, or other places," any and open Prayer and administration of the Sacraments, has been, Psalm or Prayer taken out of the Bible may be used, provided BY THE AID OF THE HOLY Ghost, WITH ONE UNIFORM the proper Service has been previously said. AGREEMENT, concluded by them, and is set forth in the Book of VIII. That the books shall be bought at the charges of the Common Prayer." This fornı of “Mattins, Evensong, celebration parishioners, and where they have been obtained before Pentecost of the Lord's Supper, commonly called the Mass, and adminis shall be put in use within three weeks afterwards. tration of each of the Sacraments, and all their rommon and The five following clauses are of a technical kind, and need not open prayer," is therefore to be said and used from and after the be noticed.
The Acts of Uniformity passed in the reign of Edward were legally repealed by 1 Mary, sess. ii. c. 2, which was passed in October, 1553. By this Act the Services of made unlawful by the Church of England were restored to the condition in which they were in the last Queen year of Henry VIII. A proclamation was also issued, enjoining that no person should use “any book or books concerning the common service and administration set forth in English to be used in the churches of this realm, in the time of King Edward the VIth, commonly called the Communion Book, or Book of Common Service and Ordering of Ministers, otherwise called the Book set forth by the authority of Parliament, for Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments; but shall, within fifteen days bring or deliver the said books to the Ordinary, where such books remain, at the said Ordinary's will and disposition to be burnt.” This Act and Proclamation were preceded, apparently, by an Act of Convocation of the same tenour; for the Upper House had been requested by the Lower (both being doubtless “packed ” assemblies at the time) to suppress the “schismatical book called the Communion Book, and the Book of Ordering Ecclesiastical Ministers.” Thus the work which had been done with so much care and deliberation was, for a time, set aside; Divine Service was again said in Latin, and the customs of it reverted, to a great extent, to their mediæval form. As, however, the monasteries were not revived, the devotional system of Queen Mary's reign must, in reality, have been considerably influenced in the direction of reformation. We have already seen that “the last year of the reign of Henry VIII.” (which was the standard professedly adopted) was a period when much progress had been made towards establishing the devotional system afterwards embodied in the Book of Common Prayer; and it seems likely that the services of the Church in the reign of Queen Mary were a modified form of, rather than an actual return to, the mediæval system which existed before the sixteenth century.
Queen Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on November 17th, 1558, and for a month permitted no change to be made in the customs of Divine Service.
On December 27th of that year, a Proclamation was issued condemning unfruitful disputes in matters of religion, and enjoining all men “not to give audience to any manner of doctrine or preaching other than to the Gospels and Epistles, commonly called the Gospel and Epistle of the day, and to the ten commandments, in the vulgar tongue, without exposition or addition of any manner, sense, or meaning to be applied or added; or to use any other manner of publick prayer, rite, or ceremony in the Church, but that which is already used and by law received; or the common Litany used at this present in her Majesty's own chapel"; and the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed, in English, until consultation may be had by Parliament, by her Majesty and her three estates of this realm', for the better conciliation and accord of such causes as at this present are moved in matters and ceremonies of religion.” The first Act of Parliament in the reign of Queen Elizabeth restored to the Crown
Revision of Queen the supremacy over persons and causes ecclesiastical, which had been taken away from Eliza it in the previous reign. But this does not seem to have been considered sufficient authority for dealing with the subject of Divine Service; nor does it seem to have been possible, at first, to place it in the hands of Convocation. An irregular kind of Committee was therefore appointed at the suggestion of Sir Thomas Smith, the Queen's Secretary, who were to meet at his house in Cannon Row, Westminster, and who were “to draw in other men of learning and gravity, and apt men for that purpose and credit, to have their assents.” This Committee consisted of the following persons :
| than of any other worthy cause," the said book has, by command $ 5 and 6 Edw. VI. c. 1. (A.D. 1552.]
of the King, and with the authority of Parliament, been “faithI. The Book of Common Prayer, “A very godly order, agree- fully and godly perused, explained, and made fully perfect," and able to the Word of God and the primitive Church, very com a form for the consecration of bishops, and ordination of priests fortable to all Christian people desiring to live in Christian con- and deacons, has been annexed to it. The revised book is to be in versation, and most profitable to the state of this realm," having force under the provisions of the former Act; and shall be put in been set forth by authority of Parliament, yet a great number of use by all persons after the Feast of All Saints, under penalties persons " following their own sensuality, and living either without such as those previously enacted : overy Curate reading this Act knowledge or due fear of God,” neglect to come to church on on one Sunday in every quarter of & year; and enforcing the Sundays and Holy-days.
duty of Common Prayer in an exhortation to his people. II. For reformation thereof, it is enacted that every person These two Acts of Uniformity were repealed by 1 Mary, sess. ü. shall duly attend church, unless they have some reasonable hin. cap. 2, but revived by 1 Eliz, cap. 2, the first of the two Acts drance. The two following clauses give authority to punish those now printed in the Prayer Book. who disobey the Act.
The English Litany of Henry VIII. See State Papers, V. Doubts about the manner of using the Prayer Book having Dom. Eliz. i. 68. arisen, “rather by the curiosity of the minister and mistakers, | That is, Lords, Commons, and Clergy. See note at p. 64.