Thursday, August 30, 2012

1662 & 1962: II. The Catechism

This is the third in a series by Consular on the 1662 BCP and the 1962 Canadian BCP. Read the first article here for an index.

1662 BCP: That is to say, an Instruction to be learned of every person, before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.

1962 BCP: An Instruction to be learned by every person, before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.

RED denotes omissions from 1662.
BLUE denotes additions by 1962.

[Note: 1662 makes no reference to who is asking the questions; each question is simply preceded by Question. - 1962 changes this to Catechist.]

RUBRIC, 1962: The Pastor of every Parish shall diligently, upon Sundays and Holy-days, or at such other times as he shall think convenient, instruct and examine the children of his Parish in this Catechism; and it is desirable that this should be done openly in the Church, from time to time, after the Second Lesson at Morning or Evening Prayer.


RUBRIC, 1962: The Catechist shall say:


Q. "What is your name?"

A. "N. or M." (1962: The person shall give his Christian Name or Names.)


Q. "Who gave you this Name?"

A. "My Godfathers and Godmothers in my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven."


Q. "What did your Godfathers and Godmothers then (do) for you?

A. "They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world (1962: the vain pomp and glory of the world) and all the sinful lusts (1962: desires) of the flesh. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith (1962: believe and confess the Christian Faith). And thirdly, that I should keep Gods holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of my life."


Q. "Dost thou (1962: Do you) not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do as they have promised for thee?"

A. "Yes verily (1962: Yes, I do); and by Gods help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath (1962: has) called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my lives (1962: life's) end.


Q. "Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief." (1962: "Recite the Apostles' Creed, the Articles of your Belief.")


RUBRIC, 1962: Note that the words in the Creed "He descended into hell" are considered as words of the same meaning as "He went into the place of departed spirits."


Q. "What dost thou chiefly learn in these Articles of your Belief?"

A. First, I learn to believe (1962: I learn to have faith in the one true God:) in God the Father, who hath made me, and all the world. Secondly, in God the Son, who hath redeemed me, and all mankind. Thirdly, in God the holy Ghost (1962: Holy Spirit), who sanctifieth me, and all the elect people of God (1962: who sanctifies me and all the people of God).


1962 Q. "What do you mean by 'the people of God'?"

1962 A. "I mean Christ's holy Catholic Church into which I have been baptized."


1662 Q. "You said that your Godfathers and Godmothers did promise for you, that you should keep God's commandments. Tell me how many there be.

1662. A. "Ten."

1962 Q. "You said that your Godfathers and Godmothers promised for you that you would keep God's holy will and commandments. To whom were these Commandments given?

1962. A. "To his ancient people Israel, by the hand of his servant Moses."


Q. "Which be they?" (1962: "What are these Commandments?")


RUBRIC, 1962: Note that the word Sabbath is a Hebrew word meaning Rest.

RUBRIC, 1962: In the case of the Second and Forth Commandments it shall be sufficient to memorize the first paragraph.


1962 Q. "How does the Christian Church receive and teach these Commandments?"

1962 A. "According to their spirit and purpose, as our Lord teaches us in the Gospel."


Q. "What dost thou/do you chiefly learn by these commandments?"

A. "I learn two things: my duty towards God, and my duty towards my neighbour."


Q. "What is thy (your) duty towards God?"

A. "My duty towards God, is to believe in him, to fear him, and to love him with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship him, to give him thanks, to put my whole trust in him, to call upon him (1962: to pray to him), to honour his holy Name and his Word; and to serve him truly all the days of my life."


1962 Q. "Why does the Church observe Sunday as the Lord's Day?"

1962 A. "Because it was on the first day of the week that our Lord rose from the dead."


1962 Q. "What is your duty as a Christian on the Lord's Day?"

1962 A. "To abstain from unnecessary work, and to go to church for the worship of God with his people."


Q. "What is thy (your) duty towards thy (your) neighbour?"

A. "My duty towards my neighbour, is to love him as myself, and to do to all men, as I would they should do unto me. To love, honour, and succour (1962: help) my father and mother. To honour and obey the King/Queen, and all that are put in Authority under him/her. To submit my self to all my governours, teachers, spiritual pastours, and masters. To order my self lowly and reverently to all my betters. (1962: To show respect to teachers and pastors; and to be courteous to all). To hurt no body by word or deed. To be true and just in all my dealing. To bear no malice nor hatred in my heart. To keep my hands from picking and stealing, and my tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering. TO keep my body in temperance; soberness, and chastity. Not to covet, nor desire other mens goods; but to learn and labour truly to get mine (my) own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto (1962: in the vocation to) which it shall please God to call me."


1962 Q. "What new Commandment did our Lord give to his disciples?"

1962 A. "A new Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."


[1962 Headline: PRAYER]

Catechist. "My good child (1962: My dear children), know this, that thou are not able to do these things of thy self (know well that you are not able to do these things of yourself), nor to walk in the commandments of God, and to serve him without his special grace (his grace and help), which thou must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer. Let me hear therefore if thou canst say the Lords Prayer."



Q. "What desirest thou (do you desire) of God in this Prayer?"

A. "I desire my Lord God our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people, that we may worship him, serve him, and obey him as we ought to do. And I pray unto God, that he will send us all things that he needful both for our souls and bodies; and that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins and help us to forgive others; and that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers ghostly and bodily (1962: both of soul and body), and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our ghostly enemy, and from everlasting death. And this I trust he will do of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I say, Amen. So be it."


[1962 Headline THE SACRAMENTS]

Q. "How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?"

A. "Two only (1962: Christ has ordained two Sacraments), as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord, which is the Holy Communion.


Q. "What meanest thou (what do you mean) by this word Sacrament?"

A. "I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same (1962: receive this grace), and a pledge to assure us thereof."


Q. "How many parts are there in a Sacrament?"

A. "Two: the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace."


Q. "What is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism?"

A. "Water: wherein (1962: in which) the person is baptized, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."


Q. "What is the inward and spiritual grace in Baptism?"

A. "A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness: for being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, (1962: born into man's sinful state), we are hereby made the children of grace by the power of the Holy Spirit."


Q. "What is required of persons to be baptized?"

A. "Reptentance, whereby they forsake sin, which separates them from God; and faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God, made to them in that Sacrament."


1662 Q. "Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them?"

1662 A. "Because they promise them both by their Sureities: which promise, when they come of age, themselves are bound to perform."

1962 Q. "Why then are Infants baptized?"

1962 A. "Infants are baptized so that, being received into Christ's Church, they may grow in grace and be trained in the household of faith."

1962 Q. "How can infants promise repentance and faith?"

1962 A. "Their Godfathers and Godmothers make the promise for them."

1962 Q. "When do they take this promise upon themselves?"

1962 A. "When they are confirmed by the Bishop and, through prayer and the laying on of hands, are strengthened by the Holy Spirit."]


Q. "Why was the Sacrament of the Lords Supper ordained?"

A. "For the continual remembrance of the Sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby."


Q. "What is the outward part or sign of the Lords Supper?"

A. "Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received."


Q. "What is the inward part, or the thing signified?"

A. "The Body and Bloud (Blood) of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lords Supper."


Q. "What are the benefits whereof we are partakers (1962: What benefits do we receive) thereby?"

A. "The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Bloud of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine."

1962. A. "The strengthening and refreshing of our souls and bodies unto eternal life by the Body and Blood of Christ."

[Note: Very interesting change of language: Transubstantiation implied?

In 1662, our bodies are nourished by Bread & Wine, and our souls are nourished by the Body & Blood of Christ.

In 1962, our bodies & souls are nourished by the Body & Blood of Christ.]


Q. "What is required of them (those) who come to the Lords Supper?"

A. "To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly (truly repent) of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively (living) faith in Gods mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men."

RUBRIC, 1962: The Catechist may conclude with a Collect and the following:

1 Peter 5:10-11

"The God of all grace, who has called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."


The Curate of every Parish shall diligently upon Sundays and Holidays, after the second Lesson at Evening Prayer, openly in the Church instruct and examine so many children of his parish sent unto him, as he shall think convenient, in some part of this Catechism.
[Moved to the beginning of the Catechism in 1962]

And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters and Dames, shall cause their children; servants and prentices (which have not learned their Catechism) to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear and be ordered by the Curate, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learn.
[Removed in 1962]

So soon as children are come to a competent age, and can say in their Mother tongue, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Commandments; and also can answer to the other questions of this short Catechism; they shall be brought to the Bishop. And every one shall have a Godfather or a Godmother; as a witness of their Confirmation. (1962: and also have been further instructed in the Church Catechism as it is given above; they shall be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed).

And whensoever (whenever) the Bishop shall give knowledge for children (shall give notice for persons) to be brought unto him for their Confirmation, the Curate (Pastor) of every Parish shall either bring, or send in writing, with his hand subscribed thereunto, the names of all such Persons within his Parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the Bishop to be confirmed. And if the Bishop approve of them, he shall confirm them in the manner following.

[CONFIRMATION follows here in 1662.]


Questions and Answers which may be studied with the Church Catechism in the preparation of candidates for Confirmation or at other times.

Q. "What is the Church?"

A. "The family of God, the body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit."


Q. "What do we say about the Church in the Nicene Creed?"

A. "I believe One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."


Q. "Why is it called One?"

A. "Because it has one Lord, one faith, and one baptism."


Q. "Why is it called Holy?"

A. "Because the Holy Spirit dwells in it, sanctifying all its members and endowing them with gifts of grace."


Q. "Why is it called Catholic?"

A. "Because it is universal, and holds for all time, in all countries, and for all people, the whole truth as it is in Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever."


Q. "Why is it called Apostolic?"

A. "Because it received its divine mission from Christ through his Apostles, and continues in their doctrine and fellowship."


Q. "What is the work of the Church in the world?"

A. "The work of the Church in the world is to offer to God on behalf of all men the worship which is his due; to make known to all men the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and to unite all men to God in one family."


Q. "How did our Lord provide for the life and work of the Church?"

A. "Our Lord sent his Holy Spirit upon the Church and upon his Apostles."


Q. "What authority did Christ give to his Apostles in the Church?"

A. "He gave them authority to preach the Word, to minister the Sacraments, to rule and care for his household the Church until his coming again."


Q. "What Orders of Ministers have been in the Church from the Apostles' time?"

A. "Bishops, Priests, and Deacons."


Q. "What is the work of a Bishop in the Church of God?"

A. "To be a chief pastor of the flock, to preach the Gospel, to guard well the Faith, to bless, to confirm, and to ordain, following the example of the blessed Apostles."


Q. "What is the work of a Presbyter or Priest?"

A. "To minister to the people committed to his care by the Bishop; to lead them in the worship of God and to preach his Word; to baptize; to celebrate the holy Communion; and to pronounce Absolution and Blessing in God's name."


Q. "What is the work of a Deacon?"

A. "To assist the Bishop or Priest in the Divine Service, and in other ministrations to the people of God."


Q. "What is your work as a lay member of the Church of God?"

A. "To take my part in its worship, labours, and councils, according to the gifts of grace that God has given me, and to pray, work, and give for the spread of his kingdom."


Q. "Why ought you to read God's holy Word, the Bible?"

A. "Because it tells how God has made himself known to man; and how we may come to know him, and find salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of his Church."


Q. "What does the Church teach about the Bible?"

A. "The Bible records the Word of God as it was given to Israel, and to his Church, at sundry times and in divers manners; and nothing may be taught in the Church as necessary to man's salvation unless it be concluded or proved therefrom."


Q. "Where then is the Word of God to be found in all its fulness?"

A. "In Jesus Christ, his only Son, who was made man for us and for our salvation."


Q. "What is the vocation of a Christian in this world?"

A. "To follow Christ and bear witness to him; to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life."


Every Christian man or woman should from time to time frame for himself a RULE OF LIFE in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel and the faith and order of the Church; wherein he may consider the following:

The regularity of his attendance at public worship and especially at the holy Communion. The practice of private prayer, Bible-reading, and self-discipline. Bringing the teaching and example of Christ into his everyday life. The boldness of his spoken witness to his faith in Christ. His personal service to the Church and the community. The offering of money according to his means for the support of the work of the Church at home and overseas.

Here endeth the CATECHISM.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Anglican Myths 7: Anglicans vs. Puritans

There seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding the Puritans, who they were, what they believed, and what their relation was to the Established Church of England.  Unfortunately, I think the confusion results from historical amnesia, meant to dilute past relationships between Anglicans and Puritans.  I'm slowly coming to a thesis, which is this, any indication of our Anglican, Protestant past has slowly been swept away, re-branded, or forgotten, in order to forge a new identity.  This relationship between Puritans and Anglicans is just one example of such trend.

To begin, who were the Puritans?  The Puritans were a movement within the Church of England to further reform the church along Genevan lines.  They had three rough concerns (according to J.I. Packer): a) concerns about prayer book ceremonies; b) concerns about the lack of good preaching; c) concerns about forms of church government.  All Puritans were concerned about a) and b) but not all were so about c).  Within the last category there were episcopal Puritans, i.e. those who were content with the government of the Church as it was; there were presbyterian Puritans, i.e. those who wanted a government similar to that of Geneva; and there were congregationalist Puritans, i.e. those who wanted the Church to be governed only in the congregational level.  All of these were part of the Church of England at one point and eventually, the presbyterians and congregationalists drifted away, but episcopal Puritans stayed behind in the Established Church to further "purify" it, hence the name.  J.I. Packer says,

‘Puritan’ as a name was, in fact, mud from the start. Coined in the early 1560′s, it was always a satirical smear word implying peevishness, censoriousness, conceit, and a measure of hypocrisy, over and above its basic implication of religiously motivated discontent with what was seen as Elizabeth’s Laodicean and compromising Church of England. Later, the word gained the further, political connotation of being against the Stuart monarchy and for some sort of republicanism; its primary reference, however, was still to what was seen as an odd, furious, and ugly form of Protestant religion.
Puritans in the 16th century were also known as that "hotter sort of Protestant."   

The Puritans were concerned about a few of the ceremonies allowed in the Prayer Book which they regarded as "popish".  These included: a) the giving of rings in weddings; b) kneeling to receive Holy Communion; c) the wearing of the surplice; d) the sign of the cross in baptism.  There were other scruples but these were the essential ones.  Briefly, a) implied a sacramental theology of marriage to the Puritans (even though Article 25 expressly denies this), b) implied an adoration of the elements in the Sacrament (again expressly denied in the Black Rubric), c) implied that English priests were sacerdotal priests, standing between God and man, and d) was regarded as superfluous to the action of baptizing in water.  In response to liturgical forms of worship, there was also a division among the Puritans, "There were, and are, three possible ways of ordering public worship: to have a set liturgy like the Book of Common Prayer, or a manual of general guidance like the Westminster Directory, or to leave it entirely to the individual minister or congregation to regulate its own worship at will. "

All this to establish briefly who the Puritans were and what their objectives were.  It is interesting to note that the Puritans did not have many doctrinal scruples with the English Church.  J.I. Packer notes that William Laud was just as Reformed as the Puritans in theology but in matters of ceremonial and worship, the parties diverged.  Interestingly enough, church polity was a matter of doctrine for the Puritan party but not for Anglicans at large, who (at that time), regarded church polity as a matter of adiaphora, thus holding to the bene esse position of the episcopacy in the life of the Church.  

With this "Anglican Myths" I wanted to briefly introduce the Puritans and remind us that they were Anglicans.  There was no artificial separation as there is now in talking of "Anglicans and Puritans".  Puritans were members of the Church of England who wanted to further "reform" it along Genevan lines (obviously a point I wouldn't agree with but nonetheless).  


Sunday, August 19, 2012

1662 & 1962: I. Baptism

This is the second in a series by Consular on the 1662 BCP and the 1962 Canadian BCP.  Read the first article here.  


RED denotes 1662 words omitted or changed by 1962.
BLUE denotes words added by 1962.


There are THREE rubrics preceding the rite of Baptism in 1662.
There are NINE rubrics preceding the rite of Baptism in 1962.

Pairs of related rubrics are contained within tilde (~) signs.

RUBRIC 1, 1962:

The Minister of the Parish shall often admonish the people that they bring their children to the Church for Baptism as soon as possible after birth; and that except for urgent cause and necessity they seek not to have their children baptized in their houses.


RUBRIC 1, 1662:

The people are to be admonished, that it is most convenient that Baptism should not be administred but upon Sundays, and other Holy days, when the most number of People come together: as well for that the Congregation there present may testifie the receiving of them that be newly baptized into the number of Christ's Church; as also because in the Baptism of Infants, every man present may be put in remembrance of his own profession made to God in his Baptism. For which cause also it is expedient that Baptism be ministred in the vulgar tongue. Nevertheless (if necessity so require) children may be baptized upon any other day.

RUBRIC 2, 1962:

It is fitting that Baptism should be administered upon Sundays and other Holy-days at a public Service, so that the Congregation may witness the receiving of the newly baptized into Christ's Church, and also may be reminded of the benefits which they themselves received and the profession which they made in holy Baptism.


RUBRIC 2, 1662 (RUBRIC 3, 1962):

And note, that there shall be for every Male child to be baptized, two Godfathers and one Godmother: and for every Female, one Godfather and two Godmothers. Nevertheless, when three sponsors cannot be had, one Godfather and one Godmother shall suffice. Parents, if necessity so require, may be the Sponsors for their own child. The Sponsors shall be baptized persons and able to make the promises required.


RUBRIC 4, 1962:

In the absence of a Priest, it is lawful for a Deacon to baptize children.


RUBRIC 3, 1662:

When there are children to be baptized, the Parents shall give knowledge thereof over night, or in the morning before the beginning of Morning Prayer, to the Curate. And then the Godfathers and Godmothers, and the people with the children must be ready at the Font, either immediately after the last Lesson at Morning Prayer, or else immediately after the last Lesson at Evening Prayer, as the Curate by his discretion shall appoint. And the Priest coming to the Font (which is then to be filled with pure water) and standing there shall say,

"Hath this Child been already baptized, or no?"

If they answer, "No": Then shall the Priest proceed as followeth.

RUBRICS 5 & 6, 1962:

When there are children to be baptized, the Parents shall give due notice thereof to the Minister of the Parish. He shall thereupon appoint the time for Baptism, which shall be either immediately after the last Lesson at Morning or Evening Prayer, or at such other time as he shall appoint.

Before proceeding with the Service, the Priest shall require assurance that the child brought to him for Baptism has not already received this Sacrament.


RUBRIC 7, 1962:

The Priest and the people may remain standing throughout the Baptismal Service.

RUBRIC 8, 1962:

The Priest shall meet the Parents, Sponsors, and the Candidates for Baptism at the Font, which is to be filled with pure water in the presence of the people.

RUBRIC 9, 1962:

A Psalm or Hymn may be said or sung at the Font, or while the Priest comes to the Font.

Standing at the Font, the Priest shall say:



"Dearly beloved in Christ, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin (1962: seeing that God willeth all men to be saved from the fault and corruption of the nature which they inherit, as well as from actual sins which they commit), and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost (1962: Holy Spirit); I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through the (1962: our) Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will grant to this child that the thing which by nature he cannot have, that he may be baptized with water and the holy Ghost, and received into Christs holy Church, and be made a lively (1962: living) member of the same."

RUBRIC, 1662: Then shall the Priest say,

RUBRIC, 1962: Then he shall say one or both of the following prayers:

"Almighty and everlasting God, who of thy great mercy didst save Noah and his family in the ark from perishing by water, and also didst safely lead the children of Israel thy people through the Red sea, figuring thereby thy holy Baptism: and by the Baptism of (through) thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan, didst sanctifie the water to the mystical washing away of sin; We beseech thee for thine infinite mercies, that thou wilt mercifully to look upon this child; wash him and sanctifie him with the holy Ghost (1962: in the Holy Spirit), that he being delivered from thy wrath, may be received into the ark of Christs Church (1962: that he may be received into thy holy Church); and being stedfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, may so pass the waves (1962: through the dangers) of this troublesome world, that finally he may come to the land of everlasting life; there to reign with thee world without end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN."

"Almighty and immortal God, the aid of all that need, the helper of all that flee to thee for succour:, the life of them that believe, and the resurrection of the dead; we call upon thee for this Infant (1962: Child), that he coming to thy holy Baptism, may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration. Receive him, O Lord, as thou hast promised by thy well-beloved Son, saying, Ask and ye shall have; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: So give now unto us that ask; let us that seek, find; open the gate unto us that knock: that this infant/child may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast promised, by Christ our Lord (1962: by him who is the Resurrection and the Life, Jesus Christ our Lord). AMEN."

RUBRIC, 1662: Then shall the people stand up, and the Priest shall say:

RUBRIC, 1962: Then, the people standing, one of the Ministers shall say:

"Hear the words of the Gospel written by Saint Mark, in the tenth Chapter, and the thirteenth verse."

People. "Glory be to thee, O Lord."

(Mark 10:13-16)

People. "Praise be to thee, O Christ."

RUBRIC, 1662: After the Gospel is read, the Minister shall make this brief Exhortation upon the words of the Gospel.

RUBRIC, 1962: Then the Minister shall say:

"Beloved, ye/you hear in this Gospel the words of our Saviour Christ, that he commanded the children to be brought unto him; how he blamed those that would have kept them from him; how he exhorteth all men to follow their innocency. Ye/you perceive how by his outward gesture and deed he declared his good will toward them; for he embraced them in his arms, he laid his hands upon them, and blessed them. Doubt ye not therefore, but earnestly believe, (1962: Be ye, therefore, assured) that he will likewise favourably receive this present Infant/Child, that he will embrace him with the arms of his mercy, that he will give unto him the blessing of eternal life, and make him partaker of his everlasting kingdom. Wherefore we being thus persuaded of the good will of our heavenly Father towards this Infant/Child, declared by his Son Jesus Christ, and nothing doubting but that he favourably alloweth his charitable work of ours, in bringing this infant to his holy baptism, let us faithfully & devoutly give thanks unto him and say together,"

"Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give thee humble thanks that thou hast vouchsafed to call us (1962: that thou hast called us) us to the knowledge of thy grace and faith in thee: Increase this knowledge, and confirm this faith in us evermore. Give thy holy Spirit to this Infant/Child, that he may be born again, and be made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN."

(1962 Headline:) THE PROMISES

RUBRIC, 1662: Then shall the Priest speak unto the Godfathers and Godmothers on this wise:

RUBRIC, 1962: Then shall the Priest say to the Sponsors:


1662: "Dearly beloved, ye have brought this child here to be baptized, ye have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ would vouchsafe to receive him, to release him of his sins, to sanctifie him with the holy Ghost, to give him the kingdom of heaven, and everlasting life. Ye have heard also that our Lord Jesus Christ hath promised in his Gospel to grant all these things that ye have prayed for: which promise he for his part will most surely keep and perform. Wherefore after this promise made by Christ, this Infant must also faithfully for his part, promise by you that are his Sureities (until he come of age to take it upon himself) that he will renounce the devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's holy Word, and obediently keep his commandments."

1962: "Dearly beloved, you have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ may be pleased to receive, cleanse, and sanctify this Child, and grant unto him the blessing of eternal life, which things Christ, for his part, will most surely perform. And now this child, on his part, must through you, his Sponsors, promise and vow that he will renounce the devil and all his works, believe in Christ, and obediently keep God's commandments."


"I demand therefore:

Dost thou (1962: Do you) in the name of this child renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal (1962: sinful) desires of the flesh, so that thou/you wilt not follow nor be led by them?"

Answer, 1662: "I renounce them all."
Answer, 1962: "I do."

Minister, 1662. "Dost thou believe in GOD the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth? And in Jesus Christ his only begotten Son our Lord? And that he was conceived by the holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; that he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; that he also did rise again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; and from thence shall come again at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead? And dost thou believe in the holy Ghost; the holy Catholick Church; the Communion of Saints; the remission of sins; the resurrection of the flesh; and everlasting life after death?"

Answer, 1662. "All this I stedfastly believe."

[The form of the Creed presented above is not present in 1962; in its place is this:]

Priest, 1962. "Let us recite the Articles of our Belief."

RUBRIC, 1962:  Then shall be said by the Priest and the Godparents, and the whole Congregation, the Apostles' Creed.


1962 RUBRIC after the Creed: Note that the words in the Creed 'He descended into hell' are considered as the words of the same meaning as 'He went into the place of departed spirits'.


Inquiry, 1662:

Minister, 1662. "Wilt thou be baptized in this faith?"
Answer, 1662. "That is my desire."

Minister, 1662. "Wilt thou then obediently keep Gods holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of thy life?"
Answer, 1662. "I will."

Inquiry, 1962:

Priest, 1962. "Do you, in the name of this Child, profess this faith?"
Answer, 1962. "I do."

Priest, 1962. "Do you, in the name of this Child, seek Baptism into this faith?"
Answer, 1962. "I do"

Priest, 1962. "Do you, in the name of this Child, acknowledge the duty to keep God's holy will and commandments, walking stedfastly in the Way of Christ?"
Answer, 1962. "I do."

Priest, 1962. "Will you pray for this Child, and take care that he may learn and do all these things?"
Answer, 1962. "I will."

RUBRIC, 1662: Then the Priest shall say,RUBRIC, 1962: Then shall the Priest make the following supplications, and after each of them the Congregation shall answer "Amen".

1662 I. "O Merciful God, grant that the old Adam in this child may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in him. Amen."
1962 I. "O Merciful God, grant that all sinful desires may die in this Child, and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him."

1662 II. "Grant that all carnal affections may die in him, and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him. Amen."
(1962. Transferred to previous supplication.)

1662 III & 1962 II. "Grant that he may have power and strength to have victory, and to triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Amen."

1962 III (New). "Grant that whosoever here shall begin to be of thy flock may evermore continue in the same. Amen."

1662 & 1962 IV. "Grant that whosoever is here dedicated to thee by our office and ministry, may also be endued with heavenly virtues, and everlastingly rewarded, through thy mercy, O blessed Lord God, who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen."


~[The following is unique to 1962:

Priest. "The Lord be with you;"
People. "And with thy spirit."

Priest. "Lift up your hearts;"
People. "We lift them up unto the Lord."

Priest. "Let us give thanks unto our Lord God;"
People. "It is meet and right so to do."

RUBRIC, 1962: Then shall the Priest say:

1962: "It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God, for that thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ,]

1662: "Almighty, everliving God, whose most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ,

for the forgiveness of our sins, did shed out of his most precious side both water and bloud/blood, and (after his glorious Resurrection) gave commandment to his disciples, that they should go teach all nations, and baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost; Regard, we beseech thee, the supplications of thy congregation (1962: the prayers of thy Church), sanctifie/sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin: and grant that this child now to be baptized therein, may receive the fullness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of thy faithful elect and children, through Jesus Christ our Lord (to whom with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, throughout all ages, world without end). Amen."

[The preceding prayer in 1962, with additions, resembles the beginning of a Eucharistic Prayer with a Doxology; thus, the grammar is significantly altered from 1662.]

RUBRIC, 1662: Then shall the Priest take the child into his hands, and shall say to the Godfathers and Godmothers,

RUBRIC, 1962: The Priest, taking the Child into his arms, or by the right hand, shall say to the Sponsors:

"Name this Child."

RUBRIC, 1662: And then naming it after them (if they shall certifie him that the Child may well endure it) he shall dip it in the water discreetly and warily, saying,

RUBRIC, 1962: And then, naming him after them, he shall dip him in the Water or pour Water upon him saying:

"N., I BAPTIZE thee In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

[The second 1662 rubric specifying baptism by pouring of water over a weak & sickly child is removed in 1962]

[The section beginning "We receive this child into the congregation of Christs flock..." and the Sign of the Cross are unchanged in 1962.]

[The section beginning "Seeing now dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christs Church..." is unchanged in 1962.]

[The Lord's Prayer is said here, concluding with the doxology "for thine is the kingdom..." only in 1962]


Then shall the Priest say,

1662: "We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with thy holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church. And humbly we beseech thee to grant, that he being dead to sin, and living unto righteousness, and being buried with Christ in his death, may crucifie the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of sin, and that as he is made partaker of the death of thy Son, he may also be partaker of his resurrection; so that finally with the residue of thy holy Church, he may be an inheritour of thine everlasting kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

1962: "We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Child with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church. Grant, O Lord, that being baptized into the death of Christ, he may also be made partaker of his resurrection, so that serving thee here in newness of life, he may finally, with all thy holy Church, inherit thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."


[1962 Headline: THE DUTIES]

RUBRIC, 1662: Then all standing up, the Priest shall say to the Godfathers and Godmothers this Exhortation following.

RUBRIC, 1962: The Priest shall say to the Sponsors and Parents:

"(1962: Dearly beloved,) Forasmuch as this child hath promised by you his Sureties, to renounce the devil and all his works, to (1962: Forasmuch as you have brought this Child to be baptized into the family of Christ's Church, and have promised that he shall renounce the devil and all his works, and shall) believe in God and to serve him; ye must remember that it is your parts and duties/duty to see that this Infant (1962: he) be taught, so soon as he shall be able to learn, what a solemn vow, promise and profession he hath here made by you.

Use all diligence therefore to see that he be virtuously brought up to lead a godly and a Christian life; and to that end you should teach him to pray, and bring him to take his part in public worship.

1662: And that he may know these things better, ye shall call upon him to hear Sermons, and chiefly ye shall provide that he may learn the Creed, the Lords Prayer, and the ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue, and all other things which a Christian ought to know and believe to his souls health; and that this child may be virtuously brought up to lead a godly and a Christian life; *

(1962 interjection): Take care that he be taught the Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, and be further instructed in the Church Catechism; and then that he be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed by him; so that he may be strengthened by the Holy Spirit, and may come to receive the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, and go forth into the world to serve God faithfully in the fellowship of his Church.

(1962: Remember) * remembering always, that baptism doth represent (1962: represents) unto us our profession, which is to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto him; that as he died and rose again for us; so should we who are baptized, die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness, continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections (1962: all evil desires), and daily proceeding (1962: increasing) in all virtue and godliness of living."


Then shall he add and say,

"Ye are to take care that this child be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed by him, so soon as he can say the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue, and be further instructed in the Church Catechism set for that purpose."


It is certain by God's Word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved.

To take away all scruple concerning the use of the sign of the Cross in Baptism; the true explication thereof, and the just reasons for the retaining of it, may be seen in the 30th Canon, first published in the Year 1604.


Priest. "Will you be faithful in the fulfilment of these duties?"
Answer. "I will, the Lord being my helper."

Then the Priest may say one or both of the following prayers:

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, whose beloved Son did share in Nazareth the life of an earthly home; Bless, we beseech thee, the home of this Child, and grant wisdom and understanding to all who shall have the care of him, that he may grow up in stedfast love and reverence of thy holy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

"Grant, O Lord, that this Child may by thy mercy grow in health of body and mind, and serve thee faithfully according to thy will all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
RUBRIC, 1962:  Then shall follow Benedictus or Nunc Dimittis, if the Office has been used at Morning or Evening Prayer. In that case the Canticle shall be followed by the Mutual Salutation, after which the Priest shall say, Let us pray, and proceed to the Collect of the day and the other prayers, and so end Morning or Evening Prayer.

When this Office is used as a separate Service, the Priest may say:

"The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen."

Here endeth the Ministration of Publick Baptism of Infants.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Thirty-Nine Articles and the Protestant Episcopal Church

A few discussions on Internet forums provoked me to investigate the place of the 39 Articles as a binding document on PECUSA.  This post is intended to be rather short and not loaded with commentary.  

First, I thought it would be pertinent to post the Preamble to the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to see how the Church understands herself.  

The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church (which name is hereby recognized as also designating the Church), is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. This Constitution, adopted in General Convention in Philadelphia in October, 1789, as amended in subsequent General Conventions, sets forth the basic Articles for the government of this Church, and of its overseas missionary jurisdictions. (PEC Constitution, Preamble)

I've highlighted portions of the text that I find relevant.  First, it is interesting that the relationship with the Anglican Communion is placed on level grounds as the membership in the Catholic Church, almost as if these were equivalent.  The second thing to note is that the purpose of PECUSA (and the Anglican Communion), according to the Preamble, is to uphold and propagate the historic Faith and Order of the Church as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.  It's not clear which BCP this is referring to but for the sake of contemporary issues, I assume it means the 1979 BCP.  

Next, I quote the Preface to the 1789 BCP, which explains further the rationale for changes in the Liturgy and further details how PECUSA sees itself in relation to the Church of England.

It is a most invaluable part of that blessed “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, “according to the various exigency of times and occasions.” 
The Church of England, to which the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under God, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Preface of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a rule, that “The particular Forms of Divine Worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasonable that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient." 
The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasional alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship; and we find accordingly, that, seeking to keep the happy mean between too much stiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly established, she hath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient; yet so as that the main body and essential parts of the same (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still been continued firm and unshaken.Her general aim in these different reviews and alterations hath been, as she further declares in her said Preface, to do that which, according to her best understanding, might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of God; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil or quarrel against her Liturgy. And although, according to her judgment, there be not any thing in it contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a godly man may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible, if allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings; yet upon the principles already laid down, it cannot but be supposed that further alterations would in time be found expedient. Accordingly, a Commission for a review was issued in the year 1689: but this great and good work miscarried at that time; and the Civil Authority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new Commission. 
But when in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to civil government, their ecclesiastical independence was necessarily included; and the different religious denominations of Christians in these States were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship, and discipline, in such manner as they might judge most convenient for their future prosperity; consistently with the constitution and laws of their country. 
The attention of this Church was in the first place drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the prayers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution. And the principal care herein was to make them conformable to what ought to be the proper end of all such prayers, namely, that “Rulers may have grace, wisdom, and understanding to execute justice, and to maintain truth;” and that the people “may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty.”But while these alterations were in review before the Convention, they could not but, with gratitude to God, embrace the happy occasion which was offered to them (uninfluenced and unrestrained by any worldly authority whatsoever) to take a further review of the Public Service, and to establish such other alterations and amendments therein as might be deemed expedient. 
It seems unnecessary to enumerate all the different alterations and amendments. They will appear, and it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In which it will also appear that this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship; or further than local circumstances require. 
And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true member of our Church, and every sincere Christian, with a meek, candid, and charitable frame of mind; without prejudice or prepossessions; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Gospel are; and earnestly beseeching Almighty God to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating them to mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting and majestic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. 
Philadelphia, October, 1789. 

Since the Preface refers to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church of England, it is profitable to specify what those are here.

A 5
The Doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. 
In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal. 

PEC agrees that it does not intend to depart from the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church of England, except where local circumstance requires.  

Now to refer to the Constitution and Canons to further clarify matters.  

First, the Constitution states that ordinands must make the following oath at their ordination.

No person shall be ordered Priest or Deacon to minister in this Church until the person shall have been examined by the Bishop and two Priests and shall have exhibited such testimonials and other requisites as the Canons in that case provided may direct. No person shall be ordained and consecrated Bishop, or ordered Priest or Deacon to minister in this Church, unless at the time, in the presence of the ordaining Bishop or Bishops, the person shall subscribe and make the following declaration: 
I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Episcopal Church. (Article VIII)
From previous documents, I think it is evident that the "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Church refers to the Book of Common Prayer, which contains the Articles of Religion and the Ordinal therein.  Article X guarantees that the BCP be used in all Dioceses of the Church:  
The Book of Common Prayer, as now established or hereafter amended by the authority of this Church, shall be in use in all the Dioceses of this Church. (Article X)
In the Canons, we see the care that is given to make sure that all copies of the BCP reflect the text o the Standard Book.
Sec. 1. The copy of the Book of Common Prayer accepted by the
General Convention of this Church, in the year of our Lord 1979, and authenticated by the signatures of the Presiding Officers and Secretaries of the two Houses of the General Convention, is hereby declared to be the Standard Book of Common Prayer of this Church.  (Title II.3.1)
In 1979, this canon read as follows:

Sec. 1. The copy of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the Use of the Episcopal Church, together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, the form of making, ordaining, and consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, the form of Consecration of a Church or Chapel, and an office of institution of ministers and Historical Documents of the Church, includingthe Articles of Religion, accepted by the General Convention of this Church, in the year of our Lord 1979, and authenticated by the signatures of the Presiding Officers and Secretaries of the two Houses of the General Convention, is hereby declared to be the Standard Book of Common Prayer of this Church. 
However, in the Convention of 1985, the text was edited to its present form.  The drafters of the revision commented, to clarify the position of the Articles:

Lest any question be raised concerning the effect of this Amendment on the Articles of Religion, the drafter of the original Resolution A010, the Very Rev.Orris G. Walker, Jr., member of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, stated on August 29, 1985: "As a member of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, I was responsible for drafting the part of our report now entitled A010. It was not my intention, nor that of the Commission, to repeal the Articles of Religion by the proposed Amendment... We simply wished to bring this language into conformity with the title in the present Prayer Book."... This intent is reflected in the wording of Resolution A133 of the 1979 General Convention, as found on page C-9 of the Journal, which incorporates the Articles of Religion in a shortened title "The Book of Common Prayer."
 Lastly, I turn to White and Dykman, the official commentary on PEC Constitution and Canons.  Granted, any doctrinal references in the C&C are scant but, commenting on Article VIII, White and Dykman say:
The Articles of Religion still remain 'established' by Article X, and, until the adoption of the revision of the Prayer Book in 1979, they were printed at the end of all Books of Common Prayer... The Prayer Book of 1979 has placed the Articles in a section in the latter part of the Book entitled "Historical Documents of the Church" which includes also such theological documents as the Christological definition of the Council of Chalcedon and the Athanasian Creed. (White and Dykman, 136)
It is true that PEC clergy were never required to subscribe to the Articles of Religion like clergy in England were required to do.  However, there is good reason for why this was not required.  William White, in 1801, thought that the language of Articles VIII and X (different numbers back then) and the oath in ordination were sufficient so that an additional subscription was not necessary.  The "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Church is defined as the Book of Common Prayer by all the sources that I can find.  This means that the Articles of Religion are still binding on PEC clergy.

To answer, probably the most common objection, is that the Articles of Religion are in the "Historical Documents" section and therefore not part of the "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Church.  I would raise two issues with this interpretation (it is a plausible interpretation).  First, there is no official statement from PEC to state that "Historical Documents" are not part of the "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Church.  There could easily be a resolution or canon to say that Historical Documents are not intended to be part of the ordination oath yet no such clarification exists.  Second, if we say that the "Historical Documents" are not part of the "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Church, we run some serious risks in diluting or denying essential Christology.  The Definition of Chalcedon and the Athanasian Creeds are also part of the Historical Documents.  While many progressives might be willing to part ways with Chalcedon, I'm not aware of any orthodox churchmen willing to do so.  Lastly, if we say that the Historical Documents are not binding on modern Church, we must abandon the Lambeth-Chicago Quadrilateral as a statement of Anglican identity because it is also in the Historical Documents section.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Destructive Influence of Tract 90

I published this reflection some time back which subsequently generated quite a bit of discussion on this subject.  Later, I felt that the statements made in this post were too harsh on Mr. Newman and his school of thought.  I then removed this post from the public viewing to reflect upon the points made therein.  Now, I come back to this piece, slightly editing its contents but standing behind the statements I originally made here with more force now than when I first wrote them some time ago.  

The Oxford Movement began in 1833 with the infamous sermon, "National Apostasy," offered by Keble in response to the reduction of Irish archbishoprcis by Parliament. Eight years later, one of the defining documents of the Movement was published. In 1841, the tract, "Remarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles," or "Tract 90" was published by John Henry Newman. This was by far the most controversial of the Tracts because, within its pages, Newman contended that the theological statements in the Articles, "were not directed against the authorized creed of Roman Catholics, but only against popular errors and exaggerations".  Newman's work was not even wholly original, Christopher Davenport had published a treatise, titled, "Paraphrastica Expositio Articulorum Confessionis Anglicanae," in 1634, which sought to do the same thing that Newman had done in 1841.  One thing that has become more clear to me after serious research on the Oxford Movement and its effects is that the full weight of disaster caused by the Movement cannot be tagged onto one tract, that being Tract 90.  However, I think Tract 90 has served as a symbol of the break that occurred via the latter years of the Oxford Movement, both then and now.

However destructive and controversial this tract was in 1841, it is much more so today. For, in 1841, clergy and laity knew that Newman's ideas were innovative and contrary to the clear teaching of the Church of England and the Holy Scriptures. Nowadays, most Anglican parishioners have never heard of much less actually read the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. The folly of Tract 90 is that it tries to reconcile two conflicting views of the Christian faith and what the catholic faith actualy is. Newman employs the word "Catholic" throughout all of his writings, when it is not clear what he means by this word, or worse, that it is a fancy of his imagination.  The Reformation was not about abandoning the catholic faith, but restoring the Church to the purity of that faith. "[T]he Reformation debate was not one between self-designated Catholics and Protestants; it was a debate about where the Catholic Church was to be found" (Rowan Williams), as Archbishop Williams describes in this quote, the Reformation was not a debate between "Catholics" and "Protestants" but between two groups of people who equally claimed the title "catholic" for their view of the Church. The Romans defined the "catholic faith" as the faith as it had been given to the Church by Christ and written about in Scriptures, and developed through Tradition. To be a part of the faith, one must be in communion with a valid bishop ordained by bishops in communion with the See of Rome. Protestants meanwhile said that the catholic faith was the faith, "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) this excluded medieval accretions to the faith. "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same" (Article XIX).

Some of the silliest claims I hear today about the nature of Anglicanism stem from Newman's ideas present in Tract 90 (or his other works). Newman has to dance around the text of the Articles to make it mean what he wants it to mean because the Articles were written to deny the doctrines of Trent. However, Newman's goal is to say that the Articles do not really condemn the doctrines of Trent but only popular misconceptions about what the council taught. A casual reading of the Articles, much less a systematic reading, will show how fanciful his initerpretation is.  

Faith Only
Article XI, says, "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification." The last phrase of this article is odd in that there is no homily called "The Homily of Justification," presently in the collection in the Book of Homilies. It probably refers to the "Homily of Salvation." In clear contrast to the text of the Article, Newman reminds us that the article does not, "imply a denial of Baptism as a means an instrument of justification," Newman seems to miss the meaning of the word only, as do modern Anglo-Catholics who misinterpret the Scriptures and Anglican formularies. Although there was some internal debate between Evangelicals and High Churchmen as to the exact nature of justification, they condemned this deviation from (Protestant) Catholic truth.

Now, High Churchmen and some Evangelicals did rightly declare the redemptive significance of baptism in its close relation with regeneration. However, regeneration is a separate spiritual event from justification although closely related. Baptism is an instrument of regeneration and grafts us into the Church but faith alone is the instrument of justification. Newman next states that, "Nor does the sole instrumentality of Faith interfere with the doctrine of Works as a mean also," in direct contradiction with the Articles:

"The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will" (Article X)

"Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit" (Article XII)

"Works done before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea, rather for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin" (Article XIII)

"Voluntary works besides, over and above, God's commandments which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required: Whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to do, say, We be unprofitable servants" (Article XIV).

A correct balance between the nature of baptism and its relation to salvation is maintained by Daniel Waterland, who proposes a contrast between regeneration and renewal, or conversion.  The latter is a status, conferred by God in baptism, upon the worthy recipient. The latter is a conscientious decision by a mature Christian to follow Christ as an adult.  This regeneration/renewal distinction maintains the proper place of faith only as a means of justification, while acknowledging that baptism is a sign of regeneration.

The Church
Newman makes some interesting and contradictory statements about the nature of councils, "General councils then may err, [as such;--may err,] unless in any case it is promised, as a matter of express supernatural privilege, that they shall not err; a case which [as consisting in the fulfilment of additional or subsequent conditions,] lies beyond the scope of this Article, or at any rate beside its determination." The article he is referencing is Article XXI, which reads, "General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of princes. And when they be gathered together, forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and word of God, they may err and sometime have erred, even in things pertaining to God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture." Newman has to wiggle around the clear meaning of the text by saying that the article refers only to "general" councils called by princes, "may be partly Catholic, partly not," and not ecumenical councils called by Christ. The Article makes no distinction between these types of councils and to do so is to read them in a sense apart from their "literal and grammatical sense." More than that, the Article places the authority of the council under the Supremacy of Scripture. Elsewhere, the Articles note the fallibility of the church, "As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith" (Article XIX).

Purgatory, Pardons, Images, Relics, and Invocation of the Saints
The comments Newman makes here have been the most destructive to Anglicanism's identity.

The Article plainly says,

"The Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saint, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God."

Newman's comments are clever and the method he uses to get around the clear meaning of this article infects our churches to this day, "Now the first remark that occurs on perusing this Article is, that the doctrine objected to is "the Romish doctrine." For instance, no one would suppose that the Calvinistic doctrine containing purgatory, pardons, and image-worship, is spoken against. Not every doctrine on these matters is a fond thing, but the Romish doctrine. Accordingly, the Primitive doctrine is not condemned in it, unless, indeed, the Primitive Doctrine be the Romish, which must not be supposed. Now there was a primitive doctrine on all these points,--how far Catholic or universal, is a further question—but still so widely received and so respectably supported, that it may well be entertained as a matter of opinion by a theologian now; this, then, whatever be its merits, is not condemned by this Article." Newman fails to realize that there is only one doctrine of Purgatory, that of Rome, therefore the adjective "Romish" is not meant to condone another doctrine of purgatory but to condemn the only doctrine of purgatory. What Newman calls the "Primitive" doctrine is unclear. Perhaps there is room for a view of sanctification in heaven but this is beyond the scope of this post and must be clearly distinguished from the doctrine of purgatory. Newman continues with regards to pardons, "This is clear without proof on the face of the matter, at least as regards pardons. Of course, the article never meant to make light of every doctrine about pardons, but a certain doctrine, the Romish doctrine, [as indeed the plural form itself shows.]" What folly, there is no part of the doctrine of pardons which is complimentary to Sacred Scripture.

Newman continues, "And [such an understanding of the Article is supported by] some sentences in the Homily on the Peril of Idolatry, in which, as far as regards relics, a certain veneration is sanctioned by its tone in speaking of them, thought not of course the Romish veneration... If, then, in the judgment of the Homilies, not all doctrine concerning veneration of relics is condemned in the Article before us, but a certain toleration of them is compatible with its wording; neither is all doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, images, and saints, condemned by the Article, but only 'the Romish.'" One hears this rhetoric throughout Anglican churches to allow the unlawful veneration of images and relics where the Article clearly condemns these practices as "repugnant to the Word of God."

"And further by "the Romish doctrine," is not meant the Tridentine [statement], because this Article was drawn up before the decree of the Council of Trent. What is opposed is the received doctrine of the day, and unhappily of this day too, or the doctrine of the Roman schools; a conclusion which is still more clear, by considering that there are portions in the Tridentine [statements] on these subjects, which the Article, far from condemning, by anticipation approves, as far as they go. For instance, the Decree of Trent enjoins concerning purgatory thus:--"Among the uneducated and vulgar let difficult and subtle questions, which make not for edification, and seldom contribute aught towards piety, be kept back from popular discourses. Neither let them suffer the public mention and treatment of uncertain points, or such as look like falsehood." Session 25. Again, about images: "Due honour and veneration is to be paid unto them, not that we believe that any divinity or virtue is in them, for which they should be worshipped (colendae) or that we should ask any thing of them, or that trust should be reposed in images, as formerly was done by the Gentiles, which used to place their hope on idols."—Ibid." The Council of Trent lasted from 1545-1563, the first edition of the Articles of Religion was released in 1563 by Elizabeth. I am not sure about Newman's assertion that the doctrine was "drawn up before the decree of the Council of Trent," perhaps he is referring to the original composition by Cranmer in 1552. However, this is superfluous because the Church of England accepted this doctrinal teaching during the Council and again in 1571 with the final form of the Articles and again in 1662 with the Act of Uniformity. The Council of Trent is not contradictory to medieval Roman doctrines but reaffirmed the teachings espoused by medieval churchmen. "If, then the doctrine condemned in this Article concerning purgatory, pardons, images, relics, and saints, be not the Primitive doctrine, nor the Catholic doctrine, nor the Tridentine [statement] but the Romish, doctrina Romanensium, let us next consider what in matter of fact it is," Here Newman continues in his distinction between "Primitive," "Roman," and "Tridentine," doctrine. Roman and Tridentine doctrines are one and the same and Newman's appeal to "Primitive" doctrine is ambiguous and vague.

Saying all of that, yet, there is a clear understanding of the intermediate state, in Anglicanism.  Unlike other forms of Protestantism (those accepting the Westminster Confession of Faith) and Romanism, Anglicanism has an understanding of the soul after death that is best described as an intermediate state.  Romans and other Protestants believe that the souls of the righteous go to heaven (or purgatory) and the souls of the damned go to hell upon death.  Anglicans would say that the souls of the righteous and damned go to an intermediate state, sometimes called Hades, after death, to await the second coming of Christ and the final judgement.  This understanding of an intermediate state differs from purgatory in many significant ways.  First, the final destination of the soul is already determined, it is simply waiting for the final judgement at Christ's return.  Second, the Church temporal cannot alter or "help" the soul.  

The Sacraments

The Number of Sacraments
The question of the number of sacraments has become an issue in Anglicanism while it was not an issue historically. There are many who say that Anglicanism embraces the seven sacraments of the Roman Church. This shows the destructive influence of the Tractarians on Anglicanism because Anglicanism has historically denied that there are seven sacraments but rather two. I refer to the Catechism first, before quoting the Article:

How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?
Answer. Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

Now, many claim here that the Catechism means to say something like, "Two which are generally necessary for salvation but there are others which are not necessary for savlation." However, this contradicts the plain meaning of the text. Grammatically, the comma separates the answer "Two only" from an explanatory clause which is meant to say that these two sacraments are generally necessary for salvation, with the number of sacraments clearly defined as two. Newman rests on the part of Article XXV which deals with those "five commonly called Sacraments," however, I feel it necessary to quote the entirety of the Article:

"Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace and God's good will towards us, by the which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in Him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not the like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, have they a wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith."

Newman says, "This Articles does not deny the five rites in question to be sacraments, but to be sacraments in the sense in which Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments; "sacraments of the Gospel," sacraments with an outward sign ordained of God. They are not sacraments in any sense, unless the Church has the power of dispensing grace through rites of its own appointing, or is endued with the gift of blessing and hallowing the "rites or ceremonies" which, according to the Twentieth Article, it "hath power to decree." But we may well believe that the Church has this gift." I hear this rhetoric from modern Anglicans all the time. Newman clearly misses the plain meaning of the text. Newman tries to create a definition which is not in the text by creating a sacrament "not of the Gospel." The Catechism is a good reference here, for it answers our question as to how the Anglican Church defines a sacrament:

Question. What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?
Answer. I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.
Question. How many parts are there in a Sacrament?
Answer. Two: the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.

Newman seems to think that there can exist sacraments without "an outward sign ordained of God," which contradicts the definition given both in the Article and the Catechism. The organization of the Article gives us an implication of the meaning of the Article. "There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord, & etc." then, "Those five commonly called Sacraments, etc." The Article then continues to say, "being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles," a negative statement implying that they are not Sacraments, implying here probably confirmation, penance, and unction, as growing from the Apostles and the others, "partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures," probably holy orders and matrimony. The next part is crucial, Newman creates a false dichotomy between "Sacraments of the Gospel" and "Sacraments of the Church" however, the Article does not have this distinction for it distinguishes between the Sacraments and "those commonly called Sacraments." The Article tells us why they are, "not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel," this is because they, "have not the like nature of Sacraments." Did you notice that? The Article is equating "Sacraments of the Gospel" with "Sacraments" therefore eliminating Newman's false dichotomy.

Newman claims that the Articles of Religion do not condemn official Roman teaching on transubstantiation but only popular misconceptions of it. The relevant portion of the Article reads:

"Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine, in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacraments, and hath given occasion to many superstitions."

Here, the Article does not condemn some misunderstanding of transubstantiation, but the whole doctrine, for transubstantiation, is the "change of the substance of bread and wine," into the "body and blood of the Lord," according to Roman teaching. This might have been misunderstood to imply a corporeal presence in the middle ages but the Article condemns the whole concept. The rest of the Article gives us the clear teaching of the Church of England on the Holy Communion. First, "The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ." The Article defines the sacrament as a partaking of the body and blood of Christ by those who receive the bread and wine worthily with faith. This is key to understand the position of the Church of England in comparison with other reformers. This statement puts the Church of England in company with Martin Bucer, John Calvin, and other Reformed theologians rather than Luther. For the Lutherans believe, "Of the Supper of the Lord they teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord," (Augsburg Confession) and more precisely, "It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself" (Small Catechism). Again the Articles affirm, " The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith," which distances the reception of the body and blood from the elements themselves and denies the eating of Christ in the mouth but the eating of Christ by faith. This leads to the next Article which says, "The wicked and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing." Here the Articles deny the manducatio indignorum or the eating of the unworthy which was affirmed by the Lutherans, "We hold that bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians" (Smalcald Articles). In case one thinks this not enough evidence, the Catechism supports the Articles,

Question. What is the outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper?
Answer. Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received. Question. What is the inward part, or thing signified?
Answer. The Body and Blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.

The Body and Blood of Christ are truly received by the "faithful" at Holy Communion yet the wicked, "visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ."

One more note about the Lord's Supper, there have arisen many practices which are condemned by Scripture. First, there are services of Benediction, where the people and priest gather together and pray before the Sacrament and venerate it yet do not receive from it. This is condemned by the plain words of Scripture and the Articles. Likewise, the elevation of the elements in church for worship is condemned. The Article condemns other beloved practices such as Corpus Christi processions.

"The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped."

The Sacrifice of the Mass
Newman says that the Church of England does not condemn the official Roman teaching but rather, "actual existing errors in it, whether taken into its system or not." He continues, "Here the sacrifice of the Mass is not spoken of, in which the special question of doctrine should be introduced; but " the sacrifice of masses," certain observances, for the most part private and solitary, which the writers of the Articles knew to have been in force in time past, and saw before their eyes, and which involved certain opinions and a certain teaching." A note here, there was no differrence in popular speech between "Sacrifice of the Mass," and "Sacrifices of the Masses," both were acceptable terms for the official Roman teaching in the 16th century. Likewise, the Roman Church has correctly interpreted our Confession as condemning their doctrine as it rightly does. "Now the "blasphemous fable" is the teaching that there is a sacrifice for sin other than CHRIST'S death, and that masses are that sacrifice," and again Newman believes that, "On the whole, then, it is conceived that the Article before us neither speaks against the Mass in itself, nor against its being [an offering, though commemorative,] for the quick and the dead for the remission of sin; [(especially since the decree of Trent says, that "the fruits of the Bloody Oblation are through this most abundantly obtained; so far is the latter from detracting in any way from the former;")] but against its being viewed, on the one hand, as independent of or distinct from the Sacrifice on the Cross, which is blasphemy; and, on the other, its being directed to the emolument of those to whom it pertains to celebrate it, which is imposture in addition." It in fact condemns all of those things. Enough of Newman's babbling, the Article is clear:

"The offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits."

Again, our Communion Service reaffirms the uniqueness of Christ's offering,

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again"

The Holy Communion is not anything we offer to God but only what God offers to us in Christ. It is a sacrificial meal stemming from the once for all Sacrifice of Christ where we receive the benefits of his Passion. It is a commemoration of His perfect Sacrifice for sin, once for all. It is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving (i.e. Eucharist) for Christ's sacrifice, "O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving," and it is an oblation of ourselves to God, "And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee," we only offer ourselves to God in Communion and he transforms us into his likeness, it can be said that the real "transubstantiation" happens within our souls not the bread and wine.


I think many people would be able to simply understand the Articles if they sat down and read them. If you read this post and subscribe to the ideas of Newman, take a moment to read the Articles for what they say, not what Newman wants them to say. They are very clear where they need to be clear and comprehensive where they need to be comprehensive.