Pseudoadiaphora

Bishop Ridley of London 1550

Among the Oxford Martyrs burnt at the stake by Queen Mary on Oct. 16th 1555 was the Anglo-Lutheran divine, Nicholas Ridley. As Bishop of London under Edward VI, Ridley signed the patent of succession against Mary for Lady Jane Gray’s enthronement, sealing his fate with the subsequent fall of the Seymour House. But less known than his martyrdom, was Ridley’s ardent defense of Church law against John Hooper’s vestment controversy. Ridley’s defense against private opinion in areas of ritual established the general argument used by Prayer Book apologies.

In 1550 John Hooper returned from exile in Geneva to England, bringing with him iconoclastic passions that were more or less common in the Rhineland at the time. From the outset, Ridley rightly identified iconoclasm with the ‘anabaptism’ Zurich was usually associated. The crisis reached a head when Hooper refused to wear either cope or surplice at his consecration to the Bishopric. Hooper’s argument basically argued unless scripture commanded such apparel, personal conscience was free to pick ceremony regardless of royal statute. In the eyes of high churchmen Hooper’s desired freedom threatened uniformity which was presuppositional to “public” prayer. Ridely, in contrast, defended the Crown’s role in deciding ‘things indifferent’ or adiaphora, laying the ground work for Prayer Book apologies written toward the end of Elizabeth’s reign, such as, Whitgift’s Answer to the Admonition and Hooker’s eight-volume Ecclesiastical Polity.

Public authority in areas ecclesiastical was a salient feature of the magisterial reformation, especially in England where the monarchy governed the provincial Church in matters external. As with worship during the medieval era, Prayer Book ceremony in Tudor England retained the force of public law. Given this rather long history of the cooperation of civil and ecclesial power, Hooper’s plea for private conscience in questions of ceremony was fairly revolutionary, anticipating later Puritan polemic and upheaval. Of such private opinion, Ridley was rather disgusted, saying in his letters,

“And whereas it is said, that the thing indifferent is to be left free to use it or not use it, as it shall seem profitable or disprofitable unto the conscience of the user, this is true in things indifferent not commanded thus, or so to used, by an order: but in public ordinance it is not lawful, except in lawful urgent cause, or in a case of necessity, to break the same; for then thou showest thyself a disordered person, disobedient, as a contemner of lawful authority, and a wounder of thy weak brother his conscience” (p. 430, Writings of John Bradford).

Compare this to Hooker’s pointed comment,

“Again, politic society has fixed laws as to food, which, as living in society, we are bound to observe: and likewise in the church, certain regulations (as fastings, etc.) have been instituted, to which our private discretion must bend, unless we would be the authors of confusion.” (p. 83, Digest of Hooker’s EP)

The ‘public ordinances’ Ridley speaks about were mainly canons, prayer book, and a number of other formulae the Crown had moved under Cranmer and given civil backing by parliamentary Acts of Uniformity. Ridley reminds Hooper the dignity of such law-makers, namely, Lords both spiritual and temporal, “Wherefore I cannot but wish the writer [Hooper] a better mind, both towards composers, which was the company appointed of learned men, and also towards the parliament, which was the stablishers of the Book of Common Prayer in England” (p. 441). Not believing ourselves superior, Ridley pleaded with Hooper for patience with common authority, especially where the church and Crown have already agreed,

“Sir, a short proof is this, not framed after your appointment, for the nature of the cause needeth it not. The church hath received these vestments by lawful authority, and with an agreeable consent, for causes to them seen good and godly: and, until it shall be otherwise dispossessed by order…and authority, we will plead a possession, and …if every subject shall be a judge, what profiteth or not profiteth, what order shall follow? Wise men can judge, though you and I should both hold our peace.” (p. 439)

Behind public law was polity. More specifically Anglican authority was ‘prelatic’, meaning hierarchical and having submission of parts. Ridley sketches the sorts of common authority, naming the Crown, bishops, and certain under-officers. The polity of the Church of England included both secular and clerical officials. Its outline was also given in British BCP litanies until the American Revolution where the King, next the bishops and clergy, and then the secular nobility were summoned in Privy Council and parliament. After the lords came common magistrates and judges and, last, the mass of faithful. Ridley makes reference to these estates as they existed in the 16th century:

“And I pray you tell me, if this be received [pseudoadiaphora], who shall in the order of the church regard either commandment of the king or of his council, either parliament, prelate or any other ordinary power, whatsoever they commanded, not commanded in scripture, though else it be never so good? And the aforesaid sentence– as a thing which is the subversion of good order, wholesome discipline and obedience, and of other many godly ordinances made for the amendment of people’s manners, as the case diversely doth require– and as also the very root and well-spring of much stubborn obstinacy, sedition, and disobedience of the younger sort against their elders, contrary to St. Paul’s doctrine” (p. 445)

For Ridley and high churchmen like him the larger principle at stake was St. Paul’s maxim, “all things are done in order”. While sola scriptura was understood to protect men from church abuse, private opinion didn’t mean civil and ecclesiastical authorities lacked sway over the individual person. For Ridley ‘freedom of conscience’ continued to have its corporate aspect, requiring the weaker party to seek remedy by lawful petition (through the chain of authority noted above) until finally rectified, especially when “the abuse is more easily taken away than the thing itself, then such are not, because they have been abused to be taken away, but to be reformed and amended, and so kept still” (p.431).

This was certainly a charge for moderation. Rather than overthrow indifferent ceremony, Ridley hoped vestments might be retained while clarifying their correct use for the sake of order and peace. As it was, Whitgift’s defense of conformity ultimately convinced the King’s privy council, and ‘right-use’ proved chief reason for Cranmer’s making of the Prayer Book, even foundational to England’s religious settlement.

Anglicanism’s modern crisis is largely one of authority. Without a Crown, where do Anglicans look? Perhaps a lesson or two can be drawn from Ridley. Though not an exhaustive of doctrine, formularies like the Prayer Book, Articles, Ordinal, and later canons were born (in part) of royal statute and can be treated as an anchor for English catholicism since at least the 16th century. These formularies might further be organized among each other according to the degree of reception by Crown, Convocation, and Parliament, of course with the test of scripture and tradition, With this consideration, Anglicans not only have a gradation of ministers but grades of profession or ‘prayer’ whereupon private opinion certainly exists but is patient higher authority, be it the Ordinary or Article. Ridley did much to open such discussion regarding the force of church ordinances that later Anglicans championed. Not only as an Oxford Martyr but as an early defender of uniformity, Ridley is worthy of memory.

More about church-state soon! Many wonder how this applies today, and the liberal catholic, Rev’d Campion (1889 AD),  gives practical advice. Meanwhile, read more about the King’s seal/head with respect to our clerical and fatherly holy OathsAllegiance.

44 responses to “Pseudoadiaphora

  1. Benton H Marder

    One thing that Wesley and Keble had going for them which we did not have during the later ’70s. They had orthodox formularies. This meant, for them, that bishops like Hoadley and the alleged Hannoverian sloth, did not do lasting and/or permanent damage. So long as the BCP and Articles stood, they could wait out the illnesses. In our case, the EC created a defective and heretical Prayer Book (One need only look at the Creeds.) and also altered the nature and character of the ministry by ordaining women to the priesthood, something the Apostolic and Catholic Church never did—that was left to gnostic sects.
    There are the usual categories: esse, bene esse, plena esse, adiaphora—and pseudo-adiaphora. When we get into this last, we are looking at cult, not sect, but cult. Even in the Church, to this day, we have enough troubles with cult of personality surrounding bishops and clergy.

    Heaven protect us all.

    In +,
    Benton

    • You are right, Benton. Also, early Tractarians began with the understanding the Articles and BCP were catholic, and where formularies might be unclear, to appeal to the Vincentian rule as it applies to the first three or five centuries. Lord Peter’s article on early Tractarians admits some orthodoxy even amongst early Tractarians. Keble says the same when he credits the Reformation for understanding the Articles in the catholic sense, quoting the 1571 canon thereafter,

      “Now, from the Reformation downwards, both English Churchmen in general, and academical men in particular, have had at least so much warrant as this for interpreting the Articles in the Catholic sense. And to prevent cavil, I will here explain what I understand by the Catholic sense. I understand the phrase to mean, “that sense which is most conformable to the ancient rule, Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus.” When a doubtful expression occurs in a formulary, it seems to me catholic to interpret it so as may best agree with the known judgment of the primitive, and as yet undivided, Church.” (Keble, Case of Catholic Subscription)

      However, where I disagree with Keble is with hispossible modification of the Vincentian rule to include modern day opinion of both the East and Rome. This is something Archbishop Haverland also insists upon, in his most recent defense of ACC canons as well as his book on Anglican faith and practice. That said, I think the context of Keble’s essay would have to be understood as “Christendom” pertaining to the primitive, undivided church. However, modernist-ecumenicalists keep wanting to push the ‘line’ of orthodoxy closer to the present day, and ambiguities and contested opinions become routes for subversion. Keble might be understood in another sense.

  2. The best comment upon this is, in my opinion, a quote from the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. Given our present situation it strikes both ways. It if from the preface, On Ceremonies. Let me drop it for it speaks only too well for the proper attitude of the Church which seems greatly missing at the moment.
    And although the kepyng or omittyng of a ceremonie (in it self considered) is but a small thynge: yet the wilful and contempteous transgression, and breakynge of a common order and discipline, is no small offence before God.
    Let al thynges be doen emonge you (saith S. Paule) in a semely and due order. The appointment of the which order, perteineth not to private men: therefore no man ought to take in hand, nor presume to appoynt or alter any publique or common order in Christes church, except he be lawfully called and authorized thereunto.

  3. Most excellent quote, Bp. Lee. I mentioned article 34 but did not quote it. Interestingly, the 39 Articles reverberate and naturally reinforce the prayer book, “Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the Traditions and Ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like,) as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.” (Article 34).

    Anglicanism reiterates itself in so many places, both explicit and implicit, there is no reason to say its theology is elusive.

    • Benton H Marder

      What many of us need to remember is that, during the Edwardine period, many of the same men had to do with the Prayer Books, the 42 Articles, and the First Book of Homilies. During the Elizabethan Restoration, many of the same figures (including Great Eliza herself) had to do with the Prayer Book, the 39 Articles, and the Second Book of Homilies. There is a unity of thought here. We do not rightly separate the three.
      Archbishop Haverland was writing that the Articles did not possess an independent authority, He is correct here in a sense. The Articles are the theological expression of the Prayer Book as the Prayer Book is the liturgical expression of the Articles. This interdependency can apply in many ways, even anent the Trinity, if one has such a frame of mind. The Persons are not independent of each other. They are inter-related as is expressed in the Athanasian Creed.
      I had forgotten the passage in the 1552 BCP quoted. Not that certain of our brethren will pay it heed since this BCP is truly their ‘bete noire’, to be detested above all else.
      Now, in the present as in the past, there is/was a tendency to ‘freeze’ the Church into a fixed position. The Puritans wished to fix the position of the Elizabethan Restoration and ‘improve’ on it some. They carried it so far that the reaction at the Carolean Restoration was extreme—the Puritans were repaid in spades for their attempts. We lost some very good men due to this, Richard Baxter for one. As a natural developement of the Affirmation of St Louis, the ACC determined to ‘freeze’ the Church in a Henrician mode, also ‘improving’ it some. This situation has not worked its way through the system as did the earlier attempt. We hope that such does not happen again.

      We cannot really ‘freeze’ the Church into a model we prefer. The Church is a living body; it must grow or wither. The Henrician Reformation did not ‘freeze’ itself into what Henry left to Edward. It grew. We gained the BCP, the Articles, the Homilies, and much else. There was a bloody reaction under Mary, which could not last. Was it an attempt to return to the status quo ante Edward? It failed. We then saw the Elizabethan Restoration. We gained some degree of peace and consolidation. Later, the Church began to grow by means of the Carolines. We are not talking about ‘development of docrtine here. We are talking about a growth in thought and understanding. While Hooker and Jewel seem very different, there are similarities. Hooker built upon Jewel, and the Carolines built upon Hooker. Yes, one can, after a fashion, use the image of the Bremner Stadtmusikanten but not in such musical terms. We, and our forebears before us, stand on the shoulders of giants. However, this image isn’t always fairly drawn. Rather, we use the building of the Church, Christ Himself having laid the cornerstone. Some ages have built well. Some ages have not. Sadly, later ages sometimes need to demolish the shoddy workmanship of the recent past so they can build strongly aright. In our own time, we behold this shoddy workmanship and worse materiel..We have had to tear down this ‘brummagem tawdry’ so to build again. We all need to take care that, in our rebuilding, we do not introduce our own ‘brummagem tawdry’ in its stead.

      Heaven guide and protect us all.

      In +,
      Benton

  4. Zwingli was not an Anabaptist. Although it is interesting that Anglicans “think” Zwingli was on that side of things. Clearly Zwingli rejected the “Catabaptist” views in his treatise on election:

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php&title=1682&search=%22election%22&chapter=3830&layout=html#a_1477969

    • Hello Charlie,

      I admit the difficulty in connecting Zwingli to Anabaptism. Even defining ‘anabaptism’ is problematic since it draws many, even contrary, conclusions to itself. My point here (and I think Hooker and Whitgift would agree) is to treat it as a kind of flawed hermeneutic with respect to biblical text, viz., the misapplication of scripture. However, the point I wish to make between these two camps born in Zurich was their mutual agreement regarding the second commandment as it applied to images. Both shared a strong iconoclasm, and here I believe is the birth of the regulative principle as systematically known by the Reformation. I see a Anabaptist contagion in Zwingli. Iconoclasm became a distinctive feature of Calvinism in Switzerland, and it’s influence in Puritan England– much by way of Marian exile– was the rationale for civil war in England as the Solemn League and Covenant plainly outlines. Iconoclasm, however, was not a feature of German Lutheranism. Thus, it was an unfortunate route which Swiss treaded upon in writing their confessions, especially when the Lutherans are considered as a faithful biblical witness at symposium during this formative period. You may read the unscriptural, basically anabaptist nature, of Regulativism here. There is a common geneaology, if not in certain points, in hermenuetic and spirit.

  5. Given the state of total disarray in the Anglican Communion where different provinces pretty much do what they want, the idea that Episcopal polity is superior to presbyterian or congregational polity is a bit of a stretch.

    The authority of Scripture and a solid confessional exposition of Scripture is absolutely necessary. The 39 Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are the “confession” of Reformed Anglicanism. The ordinal is less important since it is increasingly obvious that episcopal polity solves nothing.

    Charlie

    • Dear Charlie,

      I agree the three articles of subscription places classical Anglicanism in the ‘confessional’ camp. I’ve tried making a case for a ‘limited confessionalism’ here, here, and here.

      It’s essential Anglicans understand their own history and standards, knowing what falls within and outside formulas. That being said, I find it ironic you condemn provinces for ‘picking and choosing’ standards yet yourself would neglect the Ordinal. As classical Anglicans I don’t think we have that luxury. With respect to episcopacy, Anglicanism has never fallen on one side or the other (see Hooker’s discussion on the episcopate and silence of articles), but we do recognize the historical, catholic, wise, and ancient basis for continuing it. I prefer episcopacy over other polities because its princely-patriarchal character is closer to what I believe is demonstrated in the OT. It also appears to be the example in the NT. So, whether it has canonical or divine origin, I believe it worth keeping. Plus I dislike populist sentimentality often lurching behind more democratic forms of polity.

      Getting back to the point, recovering an Anglican center will be impinged upon restoring historic standards rather than parsing apostolic succession (given it is reasoned properly). We can’t pick and choose these formulas (e.g., the ordinal or ‘three offices’). If we disagree, then, as Bishop Lee points out, differences ought go to synod or be resolved in an ‘orderly’ fashion. This is an issue of public authority per article 34. Therefore we can start by being consistent with what we say about our own articles when we speak of them in a ‘confessional’ or unfeigned sense (i.e., ex animo)

      What has transpired in CC, from 1874 to 2008, is unfortunate, but various bodies are trying to reconcile. The reforms ushered by recent Bishops (like Richies, Boyle, and Robinson) are important. You might note congregationalism and presbyterianism have also been hit by modernism, yet the nature of episcopacy does not lend to large splits unless the bishops leave with laity. This makes episcopalianism an inherently more rigid and conservative body, explaining perhaps our fragmentation. When the bishops finally did leave, it permitted the first substantial exodus in 2008 vs. the nominal ones in ’76 and ’61. In contrast, Presbyterians were able to leave much sooner, i.e., 1973 and 1937.

      BTW. I am not a St. Louis Affirming anglo-catholic and have recommended others avoid rash vows to such.

  6. I think you would be hard pressed to find Lutherans who actually “venerate” icons. That being said, they certainly have less objection to religious art in the church than the Puritans.

    But the Lutherans do not venerate the sacramental elements of bread and wine either. Despite their doctrine of consubstantiation they still connect Word and Sacrament together just as the Calvinists and the English Reformers did.

    Charlie

    • Hello Charlie,

      Neither reformation Lutherans nor Anglicans venerated icons. But how Lutherans justified images vs. Reformed arguments for regulative principle are two very different approaches to scripture. To clarify what was earlier discussed at Lord Peter’s blog, while I don’t find the 39 articles especially calvinist, or even Lutheran, I believe the articles and prayer book can comprehend many a calvinist opinion. However, this is not so with regulativism which I take to be outside the magisterial tradition proper. RPW is an anabaptist contagion. Please also understand I know no Anglican formula for reliable antiquity beyond the first five centuries. The later iconodulist theology of Theodore the Studite is basically idolatrous, and Sarum (late medieval) art is preferable, proper to our own ornament rubric.

  7. It is silly to attribute the regulative principle of worship to the Anabaptists. In fact the regulative principle of worship is a Puritan doctrine and it is articulated in the Westminster Confession at:

    WCF 1.6 The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed.

    1.6 specifically condemns the Anabaptist view of new revelations. Ironically, the Anglo-Catholic idea of the church as being sovereign over Scripture in fact leads to new interpretations of Scripture that are “implicit” in Scripture according to them but operate more like “new revelations.”

    Charlie

  8. This is where you are missing the point. Regulativism predates Calvin by Zwingli. The Zurich reformation had a particular iconoclastic bent. I am not saying Zwingli was anabaptist in any confessional sense. I am saying on the point of iconoclasm they share the same conclusions and reasoning. By this I mean ‘spirit’, and to me anabaptism is better characterized by a kind of insanity.Both Whitgift and Ridley identify it with an ‘anabaptist’ impulse. This impulse ultimately led to SLC, and the tragedy of the English civil wars where two parties who otherwise agreed on most particulars (and should have remain joined), shed blood over questions of worship. This would not have happened if a more learned hermeneutic approach to scripture was adopted, a better one being the Lutheran, for example. Hooker tries to explain all of this in Ecclesiastical Polity.

    Let’s get more to the point. What’s your opinion about adiaphora? Do you believe men may establish rites given these are not contrary to scripture? If so, then what the heck are we arguing about?

  9. I follow the Declaration of Principles of the Reformed Episcopal Church–and not the recent revision and re-interpretation of the Declaration of Principles at the REC website but the Declaration as it plainly reads. http://www.trecus.net/downloads/declare.pdf

    That means no apostolic succession, no candles on the table, no re-presentation of the one sacrifice of Christ, etc. No incense, no high church vestments, etc.

    And let’s not forget the Black Rubric. Anglo-Catholicism and the High Church Carolinians are not faithful the Formularies or Scripture, imo.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

    Obviously, I’m not a Presbyterian because I follow the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

    On the other hand, the theology of the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity are solidly biblical and beyond question the best systematic summary of Scripture around.

    Any Anglican who really believes the Bible cannot possibly reject the other Reformed Confessions.

    Articles 6, 19 and 20 are clearly Reformed.

    Charlie

    • Oh, yeah! Sorry, but I think that is simply nonsense. There is always something about those who claim to be Bible Christians who come to a point where there is a simple Bible demand which they simply cannot meet. And don’t! And won’t!

      It is like those who claim to follow the 1662 Book of Common Prayer except for the Ornaments Rubric and confession.

  10. Lil Bo TeeT:

    It seems to me that it is even sillier to make something that is not required something required, particularly when Scripture does not require it. That is the papist approach, not the Reformed approach.

    Of the Authority of the Church
    The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.

    That last part would include the Anglo-Papist doctrines like “re-presentation” of Christ’s one sacrifice, purgatory, meriting justification, prayers to the saints, veneration of the saints, veneration of the bread and wine, wearing high church vestments like the colorful batman cape, etc., et. al., ad nauseum.

    The Black Rubric, by the way, is part of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and is not optional.

    Regarding the Ordinal, the doctrine of apostolic succession is not there. Hello.

    The only apostolic “succession” that counts is apostolic doctrine infallibly and inerrantly recorded in Holy Scripture. While having an episcopal polity is preferred among the Anglicans and even Methodists, it is not the “only” polity allowable, particularly since it cannot be proved from Holy Scripture alone.

    Furthermore, the Lambeth Quadrilateral is total bunk in light of the Anglican Formularies.

    Need I say any more to offend you vanities?

    Charlie

  11. The Church Society page exposes why Anglo-Catholics trump up the Ornaments in the rubric:

    “We can only mention the most controversial parts of the Revised Prayer Book which aroused the greatest opposition. Under the cover of the ‘Ornaments rubric,’ which was re-worded in 1662, an increasing number of ‘Ritualist’ or, as they were then styling themselves, ‘Anglo-Catholic’ clergy, had introduced the use of the medieval Mass vestments for the Holy Communion in spite of their condemnation by the Church Courts. The Royal Commission recommended the framing of an entirely new ‘ornaments rubric,’ but the Revisers in the 1927 book left this rubric untouched, merely adding a positive statement that ‘for the avoidance of all controversy and doubtfulness it is hereby prescribed that notwithstanding anything that is enjoined in any Rubric or Canon, the Priest in celebrating the Holy Communion shall wear either a surplice with a stole or with scarf and hood or a white alb plain with a vestment or cope.’” From: http://www.churchsociety.org/issues_new/doctrine/bcp/1928/iss_doctrine_bcp_1928_Carter.asp

    This is clearly NOT what the Ornaments rubric itself intended:

    “And here is to be noted, that such Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof, at all Times of their Ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England, by the Authority of Parliament, in the Second Year of the Reign of King Edward the Sixth.”

    From: http://www.eskimo.com/~lhowell/bcp1662/daily/index.html

    Exactly what was authorized by Parliment during the 2nd year of Edward VI’s reign? Clearly what is intended is the 2nd half of Edward’s reign in 1549 and that is in fact what was in practice at the time under Cranmer, who was still the Archbishop until he was martyred under Bloody Mary’s reign in 1556. The idea that the situation as it existed before Cranmer pushed through his reforms under the 2nd half of Edward’s reign is what is intended in the rubric is just silly.

    Let’s not forget that Matthew Parker succeeded Cranmer and I hardly think that Parker would have supported the Anglo-Papist agenda of modern revisionists.

    I find it simply amazing that Anglo-Papists claim to follow Scripture, the 1662 Formularies, and the English Reformation when in fact they dissimulate and twist the truth to fit their own agenda.

    Charlie

    • Hello Charlie,

      First, I think you’ve mistaken something. This blog is no more Anglo-Papist than you are Anabaptist. Second, whoever said the people who post here agree with the various papist enormities you listed? Do you just want to fight or actually persuade? If you have something you want to share or debate, then do so. But please make your whirlwind of accusations relevant. I certainly don’t mind debating but it helps to keep it one topic at a time, not a thousand accusations the vast majority of which are baseless.

      You say, “Any Anglican who really believes the Bible cannot possibly reject the other Reformed Confessions.” I am not sure how this can be asserted when the WCF errors in a number of places, contradicting the 39 Articles, especially in chapter 21. By not ‘rejecting’ other Reformed Confessions, what do you exactly mean? Do you mean consenting to them in the same way we do our own articles? I don’t think this is possible. Do you mean agreeing with certain points? Surely we can. However, I believe there are important points of differences between the Elizabethan Settlement and Solemn League which cannot be reconciled without one side admitting error.

      Given your bold font above seems to admit ‘adiaphora’ and not RPW, then how can you speak well of WCF? The Westminster Confession, as you well know, was a ‘condition’ for upholding Solemn League. When you read Solemn League it’s nothing but a polemic against the prayer book, and indeed it began in Scotland against the imposition 1637 BCP. So, I would say the WCF belongs to a current of history fairly hostile to the Articles, homilies, and BCP. I’d be very careful in appropriating it.

      Regarding the Lambeth Quadrilateral, what I dislike about the Quad is how it’s used by liberals to force a minimal anglicanism. It’s intent was never to be used inside the church against historical standards but to define the criteria of relations with other non-Anglicans. It went from a declaration of ‘toleration’ to one of ‘comprehension’. It envisions a common, national discipline. If the bishopric is ‘adiaphora’, as you say, then it cuts both ways. It applies to Presbyterians and congregationalists as much as Anglicans, so why should they balk about titular bishops or superintendents? We see such as being ‘good’ while they see it as divine command, binding like moral law. These are two very different opinions, reasoned from different angles, and they mix like oil and water. Given the error of their hermeneutic (which is the real problem– not us having an episcopate), it’s probably for the best they amend their views and conform to magisterial protestantism not Anabaptism, at least in so far as such applies to questions of polity which, sadly, for them are non-negotiable due to their incredible error.

      Getting back to our standards, Article 34 and 37 commend public authority. I think Wesley had a special sense of obedience and self-restraint which Ashbury lacked. The same is true of engagers vs. covenantors. We cannot neglect standards without proving a disorderliness of our own character. This includes ‘ceremonies’ as well as ‘doctrine’. While both compel us to obey, each are based on different kinds of law. The former is based on canon. The latter is based on God’s institution. Canon is an entirely different nature than divine ordinance. Canon can be amended or abolished, but Christ’s institution cannot. However, canon is not changed privately. That’s an important point, and it pertains to the Oxford movement as much as the Puritans.

      My question w/ respect with your criticism of the Ornament’s rubric is this, “what are your canons?” When we speak of the ornament rubric here, it’s somewhat hypothetical. Anglicans today are spread across several jurisdictions. Ultimately they must answer their bishops and respective canons. Yet we ask what the ornament rubric ought to look like? Now, the only canons which matter with respect to this kind of question are those belonging to the Second Year of Edward. These would have been Henry’s 1538 injunctions which carried forward with nominal change after 1547.
      This can be read here,

      “Edward’s later Protestantism which did not officially begin until mid-1549. Until that date, with the exception of the Privy’s Council’s 1547 Injunction, Henrican statutes defined aesthetic boundaries”.

      However, this becomes complicated because canons do amend over time, and other injunctions were either imposed or lifted in 1559 and 1604– certain vestments in particular being suppressed. The problem is not canon changing, as Laud and Charles I lawfully did in England, but private individuals ignoring canon against public authority. I think that would be the Anglican position. In this respect, the Oxford movement and Puritans were both wrong, and I don’t know how you fix a wrong by courting an earlier error?

      Anyway, we have a few separate issues here. Do you want to talk about the canons you are under in REC, those which the Oxford movement violated, or the canonical changes in 1927/28? At least we are now discussing PUBLIC AUTHORITY which is really the topic of this post.

    • The Most Reverend Matthew Parker did not succeed Archbishop Cranmer, but his successor, the Most Reverend Reginald Cardinal Pole who was wise enough to die on the very same day as Queen Mary because he had been summoned to Rome on charges of heresy. That meant when Elizabeth I of blessed memory came to the throne she had several empty sees which she could fill with her own appointments. Unfortunately her sisters bishops whom she would have preferred to retain decided to refuse to serve the Church while she was Queen.

  12. Sorry, but you are simply wrong. Worse, you have exposed yourself as functionally illiterate. Go back and read the Ornaments Rubric for what it says. Or let me translate it for you: the ornaments of the church, i.e., its furniture and the appointments of the altar, etc., as well as what the clergy and lay ministers are to wear shall be what was legal and used in the Church of England in the year before the passage of the first Book of Common Prayer. You may call them the medieval mass vestments if you please, but they were used in the Church, East and West, long before the middle ages ever happened.

    Since those vestments continued to be worn during the reign of Elizabeth and were complained about by the bishops of her time in their letters to their friends in Zurich, it is exactly what was intended. And since the bishops of the Church of England in the period just after the Restoration retained that rubric over the objections of the Puritans, knowing that it could not be obeyed immediately but hoping for better days which finally came in the nineteenth century, it is your argument which is historically nonsense.

    Incidentally, there exists in a museum in France a chasuble (you know, that garment which St Paul had left and requested be brought to him in Rome) that was made for Elizabeth I in the late 1590’s and which was given by James I to the French ambassador who had arranged the marriage between the prince of Wales and the French princess.

    I would suggest that anyone really interested in the facts of the case read the books of the Reverend Canon Malcolm MacColl: The Reformation Settlement Examined in the Light of History and Law and The Royal Commission and the Ornaments Rubric. A through review of the three volumes of The Very Reverend Provost Vernon Staley’s Hierurgia Anglicana and J. Wickham Legg’s <English Church Life From the Restoration to the Tractarian Movement; Considered in Some of its Neglected or Forgotten Features might also be in order.

    It also might be well to remember that the only times reported in the Gospels of our blessed Lord’s resorting to physical violence are those times when he constructed a whip of cords and physically drove the money changers from the temple while never himself criticizing the worship of same in any detail.

  13. Hello Bp. Lee,

    Wouldn’t ornaments “legal and used in the Church of England in the year before the passage of the first Book of Common Prayer” include those regulated by the 1538 and 1547 injunctions? However, as you say, these injunctions don’t touch vestments. Some of this discussion has branched off over to an earlier post on the ornament rubrick

    “The idea that the situation as it existed before Cranmer pushed through his reforms under the 2nd half of Edward’s reign is what is intended in the rubric is just silly.”

    Unfortunately, Charlie, this is the literal reading/intent of the rubrick. Later canons suppressed this fact, but to understand ‘why’ or ‘how’, you need to understand the nature of canon. Probably more important is how your present REC canon deals with the ornament rubrick. I am not against suppression of a particular prayer book usage or catholic practice given it’s done by synod, deals with adiaphora, and addresses an urgent pastoral need. That said, I am not in the REC. Thank you for the link on Amyrault/Amyraldianism. It was a good read.

    • The literal intent of the rubric is the intent of Cranmer. Do you see Cranmer wearing a chasuble or a cope or a mitre? Please.

      The silly arguments of revisionists are just that–silly. Any idiot can see through BS.

      Even a plow boy could figure that one out. The fact is you’re enamored with the high church ceremony and pomp and grandeur of man-made traditions.

      The power of the 1662 BCP is not high church ceremonies but the evangelistic and Evangelical thrust of the services. Samuel Leuenberger has adequately proved that the 1662 BCP is the most Reformed and Evangelistic liturgy there is. Even Gregory Dix had to acknowledge that the genius of Cranmer was to outline the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the Morning and Evening Prayers and in the Lord’s Supper.

      Idolizing ornaments was forbidden after 1549 precisely because it was idolatry. If you want to be taken seriously, then you would have to demonstrate that your view was in force after 1549 up to 1553 when Edward VI died.

      I seriously doubt you can do that. However, I would like to see your evidence for such a practice of the ornaments and vestments IF you can.

      Charlie

      • It’s hard to answer when your reply by mixing insult. Your basing your entire argument off Cranmer when you should first factor in what was passed by parliament-king-convocation. Cranmer made his mark, indeed, but the voice of the English church is found where the three above agree. Many pious, including Elizabeth I, also had their say.

      • The rubric has nothing to do with Cranmer. It was not written until after both he, Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole were all dead. It did not become part of the BCP until 1559. Would a plow boy know that? Probably not.

        As for the doctrine of Justification by Faith, there is nothing protestant or reformed about it. As Doctor Oden, my fellow Oklahoman has proven in his small book, it was part of the common faith of the undivided Church, i.e., the one referred to in the historic creeds included in the services of the classical prayer books which would be the “one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

        The point of the prayer book was to restore that faith and the practice of that Church which had been distorted by the See of Rome from the reign of Pope Clement II. It was not to invent a new faith based upon a new understanding of Holy Scripture tainted by Islamic ideas. But it did have to contend those who bought that ideal and wished to destroy the faith of the earliest Church.

    • What I am talking about is the suppression of the other uses in the last years of Henry VIII leaving that of Sarum alone. What Charlie forgets or never knew is that the Use of the prayer book of 1552 ended when Mary I came to the throne. She with the cooperation of the Convocations and Parliament suppressed that book and reimposed the Use of Sarum throughout the Kingdom of England, Wales and Ireland. And this was the condition of the Church of England when Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558. This is why the mass at Elizabeth’s coronation was according to the Sarum Use. Essentially the prayer book was a dead issue and without Elizabeth’s commitment to her father’s intentions in the reform of the English Church would have remained so. But Elizabeth had no commitment to the extremes of the second prayer book which were more the work of Knox than Cramner. She also would have preferred to retain her sister’s bishops. Most of them were fine with the first book, but saw the second book as extreme. So she got the best that she could, but the two rubrics at the first of Morning Prayer mean precisely what they say and are written in a sort of particular British legalese to make precisely clear what was and was not intended..

  14. “…. a chasuble (you know, that garment which St Paul had left and requested be brought to him in Rome)…”

    Oh, you forgot to mention the Shroud of Turin as well. Relics and bones of the saints and pieces of the cross are at best spurious and at worse outright false.

    My faith is in the inspired Scriptures, not in traditions which may or may not be true.

    There is absolutely no evidence that the apostle Paul used a chasuble. That is medieval wannabes reading anachronistic arguments back into the Scriptures.

    Charlie

    • You seem to jump back and forth erratically between RPW and adiaphora. Do you believe chasubles and other vestments require scriptural warrant to wear in public worship? If not, then on what basis do you oppose them? Are you opposed to traditions not proven by scripture? Or only those which might overthrow the nature of the sacrament or otherwise contrary? There’s a difference. If you are making a canonical argument, then what canon and jurisdiction? etc. Until then, these are just non-sensical railings.

    • Charlie,

      A chasuble is simply a garment that was worn for a great deal of time before it became “a vestment.” It was a very common garment in New Testament times. So Saint Paul wanted the one which he owned and had left behind brought to him when his friends came to take care of him in his last days.

      +Lee

      • This argument is identical to Hooper vs. Ridley on the Vestment Controversy. Just substitute the cope for chasuble. The ‘cloak’ is right but it needn’t represent ‘sacrifice’ but a hierarchic authority and leading liturgical role (who has the right to administer the sacraments rather than merely distribute or assist). At least that’s how I take it. Unlike congregationalists, we have an ordered ministry, and its reflected in the chancel. It also admits the uniqueness of the sacrament, but to say this means a ‘bloody sacrifice’ is a leap.

  15. BTW, I resigned from the REC as a deacon because I found that I was lied to and that the REC was no longer faithful to its founding documents. The REC is for all practical purposes an Anglo-Catholic denomination and in full communion with the Anglo-Papists in charge of the AC-NA.

    I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I am ashamed that the Anglican Communion is a heterical and heterodox denomination with no commitment to the Reformation and Scripture.

    Charlie

    • OK. That makes sense, Charlie. Don’t be alone though. Will you remain Anglican or go Presbyterian/Reformed? I have said good things about the Reformed.

  16. Cranmer’s intent is clear in the 1552 Rubric for Morning and Evening Prayer:

    “And here is to be noted, that the minister at the tyme of the Communion and all other tymes in his ministracion, shall use neither albe, vestment, nor cope: but being archbishop or bishop, he shall have and wear a rochet; and being a preest or deacon, he shall have and wear a surplice onely.”

    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1552/MP_1552.htm

    I seriously doubt that Elizabeth wanted to return to the Roman Catholic vestments and the so-called via media was not between Rome and Canterbury but between Canterbury, Geneva and Wittenberg. I think you will be hard pressed to show that the Lutherans were into all the high church things we see with the Anglo-Papists or even the High Church Carolinians.

    I know you love the smells and the bells, but they are forbidden in Scripture as Cranmer himself pointed out in the 1552 BCP.

    Charlie

  17. Charles, you admit openly your commitment is to heretical organizations:)

    I, on the other hand, am absolutely committed to Scripture as the final authority. As for the Presbyterians, they are not much better off than the Anglicans. They have problems with papist doctrines like the Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul, which originated with your favorite heretic, N. T. Wright.

    The Reformed understanding of the true church is not a denomination or even a communion of churches. It is focused on the local congregation which rightly preaches the law and the Gospel and rightly administers the two sacraments.

    Article 19

    Charlie

  18. The high church vestments are forbidden in both rubrics. The only vestments allowed are the rochet for bishops and the surplice for presbyters and deacons. That’s clear in the 1552 rubric, which is clearly what was intended by the rubric in the 1662 BCP. Only dissimulators and compromisers could possibly say otherwise. It’s rather like Newman reading papist doctrines back into the 39 Articles.

    No, I don’t trust liars whether they be AC or HC.

    Charlie

    • Does anyone else find the title of Charlie’s blog ironically amusing?

      • Hi Matt,
        You probably saw the ‘reasonable christian’ at work at Bishop Robinson’s Old High Churchman? This is where the argument began. It’s too bad because not all his points are delirious, yet the manner he makes them totally undermines his message.

  19. In case you did not notice, each province has its own constitutions and canons.

    The only “canon” that really matters, however, is the canon of Scripture.

    You might want to consult Gerald Bray’s book, The Faith We Confess. He has ideas diametrically opposed to yours on the English Civil War and other matters.

    Charlie

    • OK. Charlie, good luck with your journey. You’ve used this site as a spring board for your personal opinions and poor form. I’ll leave the posts but goodbye.

  20. Elizabeth I an Anglo-Papist? Hardly, but she did describe herself as “a good a Catholic Prince as any in Europe” which I am sure Charlie is entirely unaware of.

    Charles, I think that you have done very well in dealing with this pseudo-Anglican whose connection to the faith is to the heresies of the REC at its worse. Those were rejected by the English Church during the reign of William and Mary. Williams heretical prayer book of Comprehension failed in the lower house of Convocation because ordinary English priests knew that it was a rejection of the doctrine, discipline and worship of what the prayer book tradition had become from the reign of Elizabeth I while William was a hard line Calvinist of the Dutch variety.

    Actually a great deal of it was mildly amusing as if the English were silly enough to believe that making reference to the year before the first Book of Common Prayer was really intended to refer to second part of the reign of Edward VI. And identifying Mary Stewart of Scotland as “Bloody Mary” when that was Elizabeth’s older half sister, Mary Tudor.

    Very good job! You handled it extremely well. Thank you.

  21. Charlie,

    I stopped responding to you because you proved over and over that you had no real knowledge of anything except the extreme puritan writings and was simply incapable of considering any other position.

    Yes, the canon of Scripture is the most important part of tradition. Vincent of Lerins said it already. It is The Tradition. But, and this is a big one, it must be read in the spirit in which it was written and with some knowledge of what there was before it and what it established immediately after it. You seem to believe that without Calvin, Luther and Zwingli none of us would be able to understand what we find in either the New Testament or the Old.

  22. Benton said:

    What many of us need to remember is that, during the Edwardine period, many of the same men had to do with the Prayer Books, the 42 Articles, and the First Book of Homilies. During the Elizabethan Restoration, many of the same figures (including Great Eliza herself) had to do with the Prayer Book, the 39 Articles, and the Second Book of Homilies. There is a unity of thought here. We do not rightly separate the three.

    But we must because of the necessity of historical accuracy separate the Edwardian from the Elizabethan. Both the political as well as the religious scene had changed drastically because of what had happened during the reign of Mary Tudor. Those facts kept Elizabeth from doing much that she would have liked to do because of the Kingdom’s reaction to Mary’s policies and what can only be termed the Spanish occupation.
    Benton said:

    Archbishop Haverland was writing that the Articles did not possess an independent authority, He is correct here in a sense. The Articles are the theological expression of the Prayer Book as the Prayer Book is the liturgical expression of the Articles. This interdependency can apply in many ways, even anent the Trinity, if one has such a frame of mind. The Persons are not independent of each other. They are inter-related as is expressed in the Athanasian Creed. I had forgotten the passage in the 1552 BCP quoted. Not that certain of our brethren will pay it heed since this BCP is truly their ‘bete noire’, to be detested above all else..”

    But this is largely because of the detestation of the other extreme, and their pretense to be the correct interpreters of the prayer book when they so plainly refuse to do what it orders or believe what it teaches. But it is not just the prayer book with which they disagree. It is also the Bible from the first page of Genesis to the last page and paragraph of Revelations. God says in the last book of the Old Testament: “my name shall be great among the Gentiles and in every place incense shall be offered to my name and a pure offering . . .”, but the moment the incense pot appears the Puritans and their descendents vanish as if it were the work and word of the old Nick himself.

    Now, in the present as in the past, there is/was a tendency to ‘freeze’ the Church into a fixed position. The Puritans wished to fix the position of the Elizabethan Restoration

    Not true! The Puritans detested the Elizabethan Settlement and did their absolute to undermine and destroy it. Read the Zurich Letters and the Marprelate Tracts. Read Ussher’s “The Restoration of the Church.” It was Elizabeth and her advisers who inserted the rubrics at the beginning of Morning Prayer and the Ornaments Rubric was to have a whole page to itself but for the disobedience of the typesetter and the expense of reprinting. Daniel Neale, the Puritan historian, notes that the services in the Royal and Collegiate chapels as well as the cathedrals were so splendid in their vestments and ceremonial that foreigners could not distinguish them from the Roman service save for the language. The pope’s own nephew visiting Elizabeth’s court late in her reign wrote to his wife that the services in her chapels was more splendid than in those of the pope, his uncle.and ‘improve’ on it some. They carried it so far that the reaction at the Carolean Restoration was extreme—the Puritans were repaid in spades for their attempts. We lost some very good men due to this, Richard Baxter for one.

    For all the praise given Richard Baxter, I will never believe him a good man. He went over to Cromwell and the Commonwealth, the first absolutist totalitarian state in modern Europe. The first “liberal state,” if you will and one of which the English people very soon tired. They saw first hand what it was like to have the Bible interpreted through the eyes of the Quran and more than didn’t like it.

    As a natural developement of the Affirmation of St Louis, the ACC determined to ‘freeze’ the Church in a Henrician mode, also ‘improving’ it some. This situation has not worked its way through the system as did the earlier attempt. We hope that such does not happen again.

    We cannot really ‘freeze’ the Church into a model we prefer. The Church is a living body; it must grow or wither. The Henrician Reformation did not ‘freeze’ itself into what Henry left to Edward. It grew. We gained the BCP, the Articles, the Homilies, and much else. There was a bloody reaction under Mary, which could not last. Was it an attempt to return to the status quo ante Edward? It failed. We then saw the Elizabethan Restoration. We gained some degree of peace and consolidation. Later, the Church began to grow by means of the Carolines. We are not talking about ‘development of docrtine here. We are talking about a growth in thought and understanding. While Hooker and Jewel seem very different, there are similarities. Hooker built upon Jewel, and the Carolines built upon Hooker. Yes, one can, after a fashion, use the image of the Bremner Stadtmusikanten but not in such musical terms. We, and our forebears before us, stand on the shoulders of giants. However, this image isn’t always fairly drawn. Rather, we use the building of the Church, Christ Himself having laid the cornerstone. Some ages have built well. Some ages have not. Sadly, later ages sometimes need to demolish the shoddy workmanship of the recent past so they can build strongly aright. In our own time, we behold this shoddy workmanship and worse materiel..We have had to tear down this ‘brummagem tawdry’ so to build again. We all need to take care that, in our rebuilding, we do not introduce our own ‘brummagem tawdry’ in its stead.

    I would very much agree that it is impossible to “freeze” the Church. But we must at all times and in all places attempt to be absolutely true to both Holy Scripture and the Church. We need not have any ‘art,’ but in everything it is required that we do the very best that we can. We are in much the same place in which devout Churchmen who could not flee to France or Holland during the Commonwealth. We have been thrust out of our buildings; the best of our ornaments have been destroyed and we must start anew in places of which we would have been ashamed in years past. The most important thing is to be faithful and solid!

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